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Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


Date: 23 April 2008


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 rate.

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 be helping.

”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.”


For Further Information Please Contact: Mary Maguire (Head of Press and Broadcasting) 07771 548 957 (m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)