March 22, 2007
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So much for Gordon Brown’s former socialist credentials. The much vaunted 2p cut in income tax is, as has been pointed out by all and sundry today, going to hit the poorest while the higher earners sit back and watch the cash roll in. Just watching Channel 4 news, and they used the example of a nurse starting out in their career earning £12,600pa (incidentally: ouch!); the nurse now pays an extra £120 a year in tax. It might not sound much, but on that kind of wage you need every penny you can get. Brown claimed that abolishing the 10p rate of tax wouldn’t make much difference, and that low earners would be able to claim working tax credits. But not everyone’s eligble: if you don’t have kids, are under 25 or work part-time. So that automatically cuts out a large amount of people doing low-paid jobs, as many low-paid jobs are kept under whatever hours per week it is that triggers some employment law (sorry for the fuzziness; I think it’s some form of National Insurance contributions or another legal benefit?). And most of these people will be the same people the government are targeting for not bringing up their kids wiv respec’ and not feeding them properly. Instead of tackling the poverty that creates these situations, they’re making them pay more tax! Oh, well done!
But look at me! Now, I earn £shedloads. This 2p drop gives me an extra £20 a month. And look what happens in 2009! The 40% tax threshold goes up, and even though National Insurance is going up with it, I don’t think it’ll cover the full grand extra I’ll be due. Doesn’t that take the piss? If you’re earning enough to pay tax even at the current 40% threshold, then you really don’t need any more. I’ve always thought it’s a moral obligation that if you earn more than about £35kpa, you should pay more tax. Yes, it’s subsidising the nation, but I’d rather it came from my pocket cos I can afford it. Oh, I’m sure I’ll manage to spend this extra money, but it’s the kind of tax break I’d rather have got from the next (doubtless) Tory government when I could complain about the right-wing bastards instead of having yet another demonstration of why Labour aren’t worthy of the name.