Liberal Democrats in Reading West have accused Labour MP Martin Salter of letting down local people on low and modest incomes, by backing the Government over the doubling of the 10p tax rate without an adequate compensation package.
Patrick Murray, Lib Dem PPC for Reading West, said:
“Martin Salter has been taken in by the Government. The Government’s compensation promise offers no guarantees at all.
“The Government won’t say how many people it will help. They won’t say if it will be permanent, or just for one year. And they already seem to have gone back on their promise that it will all be backdated.
“How do the Government expect people on below average incomes to pay today’s bills with money they won’t get for another six months – and that there is no guarantee they will even get then?
“On Monday night MPs had a chance to guarantee that the compensation package that the Government eventually come up with will be an adequate one – by voting for an amendment that said the 10p rate would be restored at the start of next year unless MPs have voted to approve a compensation package they judge to be adequate before then.
“Sadly Martin Salter voted against this. He seems content to trust Gordon Brown on this, when all evidence so far suggests he cannot be trusted on this issue. It was Gordon Brown after all, who originally claimed no-one would lose out under the changes.
“Labour MPs have now been fooled twice on the 10p rate. First in March last year, when they cheered Gordon Brown’s budget and it was left to the Liberal Democrats to point out he was upping tax on the low paid. Now they have been fooled again by a promise of compensation which has more holes than a fishing net.
“It is clear that Martin Salter cannot be relied on to stand up for local people on low and modest incomes.
“It is also clear that the Liberal Democrats, not Labour, are the party of fairness in Britain today.”
According to data released by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, losers from the doubling of the 10p rate will be those on incomes between £5,435 and £19,355. IFS Report
More than 50 Labour MPs will make their average constituent pay more income tax if they vote to double the 10p tax rate on Monday, Liberal Democrat research shows.
In total there are 58 constituencies where the average constituent would lose out by the abolition of the 10p tax rate, with 51 of them held by Labour MPs.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable said “Labour MPs have a stark decision to make either they vote with the Government and make millions of low income workers worse off or they vote with their conscience. The Chancellor’s supposed concessions of last week will not make a blind bit of difference to the millions are ready feeling the pinch from Gordon Brown’s tax grab. Labour MPs must not give in to the Chancellor’s bribes and half promises. Labour simply cannot pretend that the doubling of the 10p rate will not hurt people when 50 of there MPs will be voting for a tax rise for their average constituent. The abolition of the 10p rate is clear evidence that the Prime Minster has lost all touch with ordinary people. MPs from all sides of the house must come together to tell the Prime Minister that we simply will not accept this cynical tax rise on those who can least afford it.”
A snippet from the Revenue website on 6 April 1999
NEW 10P RATE OF TAX MEANS A BETTER DEAL FOR THE PEOPLE OF BRITAIN
The new 10p rate of tax comes into force today – the lowest starting rate of tax for over 35 years.
Chancellor Gordon Brown today welcomed the new rate of tax saying “My Budget in March introduced tax cuts for a purpose – to make work pay, encourage enterprise and support families. And so from today, all taxpayers will see the benefit of the promises the Government has made to the British people. We are delivering on those promises to get a better deal for Britain. The new 10p rate – the lowest starting rate of tax in Britain for more than 35 years – will make work pay and help people, especially those who are low-paid, to keep more of the money that they earn. People will see the benefit of the new 10p tax rate in their first pay packet after 17 May – just a few weeks from now. As a result of the new 10p rate, 1.8 million low-paid workers will see their tax bills halved as a result – a gain of up to £150 a year. And from today too, every worker in Britain who pays national insurance will have their tax bills cut by £65 a year, because of the reforms we have made to national insurance contributions.
“When we make promises, we keep them.”
Har de Har!