Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Yesterday while out campaigning in the North East that Tim'rous Beastie of a Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, said sorry for the botched changes he made in his last budget. With the removal of the 10p tax rate to make room for his cheer raising lowering of the 22p rate to 20p (a long held Tory goal), affecting so many lower paid workers earning less than £18k.

Why was it hard for him to say, because the went on to repeat the manta which makes many people squirm every time they hear it:

"But I do stress, as a result of the Budget, far more people are better off, people who are on low incomes are better off, people who are in poverty as families or as pensioners, many have been taken out of tax altogether."

For that many who are better off Gordon yet again forgot to mention everyone earning more than £18k leaving many on lower salaries who do not qualify for the benefits and tax credits he waves and dangles before them worse off. People who aren't looking to spend across the whole basket of goods that make up the Retail Price Index. People who's real inflation is well above the magic government top level 3%. When you consider that filing up a petrol tank in currently rising by £1 a week you can see the sort of problems people are facing when that pound or more is being taken from their wage packets through extra income tax every week.

Of course yesterday was also the day that the Conservative amendment to re-establish the 10p rate in January 2009 failed at Westminster but Frank Field, ably back I know from communication with him by my own MP Michael Connarty, has promised to keep up the fight to have every losing out compensated and backdated to 1 April.

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