Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Squeezing the poor until the pips squeak*

The church treasurer has been round with forms for me to sign, to change standing orders to pay the church administrator and cleaner. Both of them, part-time workers (one with another part-time job too) will receive less money in future, although they received a cost-of-living wage increase in January.

You remember last year's Budget, the last that Mr Brown prepared? At the end, he announced that the base rate of tax would go down from 22% to 20%, quite wrong-footing the Leader of the Opposition who had to give an instant critical reply - and wrong-footing the Leader of the Opposition is an absolutely appropriate thing for the Chancellor to do. But not, I think, by leaving out an important fact, which I read about in the paper the next day. The 10% tax rate for lower-paid workers was being eliminated and, as soon as they had enough to pay tax at all, they would pay 20% like the rest of those of us who are on basic rate.

This means that, from this April, people earning enough to pay tax but less than £15,000 per annum will pay more. Helping people out of the poverty trap? I don't think so.

*Denis Healey denies, by the way, saying "Squeezing the rich until the pips squeak", but says that Lloyd George said it back in the 1920s. However, I suspect it will remain indelibly associated with him.

8 comments:

Dave said...

I was very annoyed about this when I first read it.

That was a vicarious annoyance, on behalf of the poor.

It is possible that I may be joining their ranks later this year (please don't comment about this over at my place for the moment; I will blog about it when I can) so now I feel completely aggrieved.

Z said...

I suppose Gordo simply wanted to show how right Jesus was when he observed that the poor are always with us.

Mum's the word, honey (not the sort of mum who sends people to the tip to paint fences).

Vicarious - I saw what you did there...

john.g. said...

The sooner this rabble are gone, the better!

LizSara said...

I don't really have a kind of brain to work these things out but i can see that's not really good for those people who earn under 15k

However, i'm not rich and i earn much more than that, so it's not just the poorly paid people that'll be worse off, i will be better off and while i am not poorly paid, i'm not rich either.

sablonneuse said...

That means we pensioners are not going to do very well then - as usual.

Z said...

Thing is, Lizsara, prices have risen much more for basic cost of living expenses than the RPI indicates, so many of us are worse off, not least because of indirect taxes, than we were.

Sablonneuse, I'm in the same bracket too - I had a tax-deductable expense of massive proportions too, so the taxman has been paying me for the last few years. It'll run out eventually though and that'll hurt...

Blue Witch said...

But, this abolition of the 10% bracket only hurts people on low/no pay without kids who own their own homes. Those with kids or who rent (or are OAPs on low incomes) just get it doled back out again from another source.


Why not abolish income tax, and the benefits system could go too (see my Libertarian Party link last week).

Sad thing is, I suspect we're in for another dose of Brown et al come the election. And if you're in Great Yarmouth constituency Z, you have the most useless piece of two-faced lying ***t standing as your candidate for the main opposition party at the next election...

Z said...

Yes, BW - one of these people is in her fifties with grown up children and the other is in her thirties and childless. Both, with their husbands, own their own home. Neither, I believe, is on benefits. They have lost money.

When Dilly gave up work to bring up her children, she was given Tax Credits - she knew she was being overpaid but *they* didn't listen. She didn't spend any of the money, but kept it in a separate account so that she could pay back what it was demanded, as it was. I know others who don't claim what they could because they don't understand or don't trust the system.

I'm in South Norfolk, BTW, not Gt Yarmouth.