Date: 23 April 2008
10p TAX RATE - LABOUR MUST LOOK AFTER LOW PAID WORKERS
UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, has called on the Government
to return to an agenda that looks after low paid workers and to
compensate those who have been hit by the abolition of the 10p tax
Speaking at the Scottish TUC in Inverness, he will urge the Prime
Minister to take up the offer of John McFall, MP and the Treasury
sub-committee to work together to make sure that those who lost
out are compensated.
Dave Prentis said: "The abolition of the 10p tax rate has dealt
a body blow to millions of low paid workers. A review that kicks
the problem into the long grass is not good enough. These workers
need to be compensated now. They are opening pay slips now and finding
that they are up to £15 a month worse off.
”They are the ones who can least afford to lose money. They are
already reeling from energy and food price hikes, and the cost of
borrowing. They are the very people that the Labour Government should
”Gordon Brown has a good track record on taxation and measures
to alleviate poverty. What has gone wrong?
"He ought to do the right thing and take measures now to compensate
those who are losing out. I urge him to take up the offer made by
John McFall and the Treasury sub-committee to work together to make
sure those who lost out are compensated.
”And let's be clear about the overall sum we are talking about
- £550 million. That's an average £2 a week for the low paid and
when you have to count every penny, that's a lot. But for the rich,
£2 a week is not even loose change.
"The TUC has calculated that the Government could raise the £550
million just by closing a loophole that allows the rich to split
ownership of an asset with a spouse, within twelve months before
its sale. And there are many more ways of getting the rich to pay
their fair share.
”Fair taxes should be a cornerstone of this Government. Imposing
an extra tax burden on the low paid, while allowing the rich to
get away with their tax avoidance schemes destroys that principle.
We must return to an agenda that looks after all the low paid.”
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