Firstly I want to thank you for being one of the Labour MPs who stood up to the proposal which effectively cut the wages of so many lower paid workers myself included, if only marginally, at this tough enough time financially.
On reading Alistair Darling's letter yesterday while he correctly highlights two main groups, those aged 60-64 who have taken early retirement and low paid families without children, he has largely ignored other groups. There is mention of changes to minimum wage to help the younger workers, again that is fine at the lower end of the pay scale. However it is still ignoring a large number of us who are not a family, aged between 25 and 60 who work our guts out yet still earn less than £18,000 pa.
From viewing the news yesterday the pensioners can be dealt with without exceptional cost by employing the Winter Fuel Allowance system, the families without children it would seem would be asked to apply for a tax credit (means tested no doubt, at what level? and what percentage of uptake?) and the minimum wage increase is shouldered by the employers not the government, who actually benefit from raising this through the additional revenue from taxation and NI contributions.
It seems sadly a typical complicated additional muddle to the tax system, which has become increasingly confusing in the last 11 years, while still ignoring many affected higher up the wide band of those affected struggling to make ends met in these harsh time of food, energy, fuel and transport increases all above the 'recognised' rate of inflation.
Keep up the good work on this issue it isn't over yet. I'm looking forward to my second consecutive reduction in my pay packet in the middle of next month when I have a full month without the 10p rate.
Best Regards etc
Alistair Darling has Treasury Questions today which is bound to be an interesting time. As he will be getting asked for more details about the hastily concocted compensation plan. One wonders if it was scribbled on a post it note while heading off to PMQs on Wednesday.
I look forward to seeing just what questions are posed and just how many will get a straight answer later on.
Update: All credit to Michael Connarty he does know the fight over this is not yet over and got back to me to get details of just how affected I was by this 10p rate to get as much pressure on the Chancellor as possible.