Monday, 21 April 2008

Gordon at the PLP

Good meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party tonight, at which Gordon directly addressed MPs' concerns about the abolition of the 10p tax band and promised to review the impact on people on low incomes. He acknowledged that although the Government has prioritised tackling pensioner and child poverty in past Budgets, we need to do more to ensure that people on low incomes who do not qualify for working tax credit, and those who do not benefit from the increased personal allowance for pensioners or the increase in child tax credits, do not lose out. I'm sure more details will be revealed over the coming week.

In the meantime it is worth looking at just how redistributive past Labour budgets have been. The attached graph shows how much the poorest deciles have gained during Gordon's time as Chancellor. Not much consolation if you're in the minority who have lost out in this month's pay packet I know, but it is indisputable that the lower paid are much better off under a Labour government than they were under the Tories. The crocodile tears being shed by the Tories on this issue - which is going on in the Chamber as I write - is hypocrisy of the highest order.

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