'Chancellor abandons Rochdale's lowest paid' says Rochdale MP

April 6, 2007 3:33 PM

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen has accused Chancellor Gordon Brown of 'abandoning Rochdale's poorest' by the doubling of the starting rate of income tax rate. This means in real terms that anyone earning less than around £15,000 will pay more in income tax. Cutting the basic rate of income tax and axing the 10p lower tax rate means in reality that many people in Rochdale, where an above the national average percentage of the population earn below £15,000 will be affected.

Paul Rowen MP said, "The 2p cut in the basic rate is welcome, but it must be stressed that this is an income tax cut for the wealthy masquerading up as a tax cut for the poor. Basically it amounts to those on low incomes experiencing higher rates of taxation and that is not the right message to be sending to people who are looking to work. When you get past all the headlines it is clear that yet another opportunity has been missed to make the tax system fairer."

Paul continued, "This was a wasted opportunity from the Chancellor who I thought may have tackled some of the problems he has been talking about of late. He didn't do enough to tax pollution, he didn't do anything to get rid of Government waste, he didn't do anything to help young families and there were many more missed opportunities. The legacy of Gordon Brown as Chancellor will be a catalogue of unnecessary projects like the £5 Billion plus on the illegal war in Iraq, the ever increasing cost of their unpopular ID Card's policy which could cost the tax payer as much as £18 Billion and not forgetting the £74 billion they committed to for the decommissioning of the existing generation of nuclear power stations. Building a new series of nuclear power stations will simply add to that bill. I'm afraid I am not impressed and if this is an indication of New Labour under Gordon Brown we should be worried. The gap between rich and pooer gets wider and wider - Margaret Thatcher would be proud."