Government letting us down on income and alcohol tax


Jo has expressed anger at Labour and Tory votes in the House of Commons this week against financial help for working people.

Despite the financial difficulties Britons are experiencing in the recession, MPs’ voted against a move to provide compensation to workers who have lost out because of the abolition of the 10p income tax rate. Gordon Brown’s controversial decision, which saw the 10p rate paid on the first £2230 of taxable income doubled to 20p, hit people on low incomes the hardest, but they will now not be compensated for the loss.

As the Government’s Finance Bill was debated in Parliament this week, the Liberal Democrats put forward an amendment which would raise the personal allowance – income which is not taxable – from £6,475 to £10,000. However, MP’s also voted against this move, along with another Lib Dem proposal to scrap rises in alcohol duty.

Commenting, Jo said:

“It is a great shame that MPs’ have chosen to vote against a series of measures which would have made life easier for people by putting money back in their pockets.

“Thousands of people in East Dunbartonshire are up to £232 a year worse off because Gordon Brown abolished the 10p tax rate, and now, in the middle of a recession, those people will receive no compensation.

“Reducing the tax burden on working people is vital to reducing poverty and getting consumers back into the shops, which is why the Liberal Democrats want to protect an extra £3525 of your income from taxation. It is deeply disappointing that Labour and the Tories voted against it.

“The news that alcohol duty will continue to rise above inflation every year will come as particularly bad news to the pub landlords in East Dunbartonshire. 2,200 pubs have closed since last year’s budget, and beer sales dropped by 8.2% in the first quarter of 2009. The Government ought to be providing support to British businesses at the moment, not making things more difficult for them.”


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