April 22, 2008 12:00 PM

David Howarth MPGordon Brown's decision to double the lowest rate of income tax is unfair and hurts the lowest earners, David Howarth MP said.

The tax change means people who would have paid income tax at the lowest, introductory 10% rate will now have to pay a 20% rate.

David Howarth commented:

"I warned the government last year that doubling the 10p rate of tax for the lowest paid would mean large numbers of people at the bottom end of the income scale paying more tax and that it was unfair. Labour MPs, including ministers, simply denied everything. Many of them are still denying it this year.

"Gordon Brown has for far too long got away with pretending that he is redistributing income and wealth when all he does is shift money from one set of not well-off people to a different set. It is exactly the same trick as his policy of making council tenants in Cambridge pay millions in rent to support tenants in other parts of the country. People are not going to be fooled by New Labour forever.

"Next Monday, Liberal Democrats will be supporting a move to suspend the doubling of the 10p rate. The government must give way if Labour is to keep any credibility at all as a progressive party."


Notes to Editors

1) The Finance Bill was given a second reading on Monday 21 April. MPs approved it by 298 votes to 223. Mr Howarth voted against.

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