Thousands of local residents suffer tax grab

April 14, 2008 12:22 PM

Liberal Democrats across the country have launched a stinging attack on the Government for bringing in tax changes that have increased income tax bills for millions of people.

On 6th April, Labour doubled the starting rate of income tax from 10p to 20p in the pound. Previously, a 10p rate was paid on the first £2230 of taxable income. As a result, instead of taking £223 in income tax on this portion of people's wages, Gordon Brown's government is taking £446.

Though the standard rate of income tax has been cut from 22p to 20p in the pound, a single person with no children would have to be earning over £18,500 to be better off under the tax changes.

Mark Hunter MP for the Cheadle Constituency, said: "These tax changes have left thousands of people in the local area worse off. These changes have come under a Labour Government who said that they are working to make Britain more equal, but are in fact taking money from the poor to pay for tax cuts for the better off.

"Thousands of residents on lower incomes in the local area are now facing increased tax demands at the same time as big increases in bills for gas, electricity and transport. They seem to be totally out of touch with the problems that ordinary families are facing."

Those worst hit by the tax changes include:

• A single person with no children earning less than £18,500 will be a net loser, by up to £232 a year.

• People taking early retirement with a taxable income of less than £8,000 will lose, by up to £232 a year.

Liberal Democrat plans to cut the tax burden for those on low income include scrapping council tax and replacing it with a local tax based on ability to pay, and cutting the standard rate of national income tax by 4p in the pound, paid for by closing tax loopholes used by the wealthy and by increasing green taxes, such as the duties paid by the most polluting vehicles and those who travel in the most polluting aircraft.

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