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Unite: 'Taxpayers will be furious with George Osborne'

Millionaires will be raising a glass of champagne to George Osborne this weekend as he slashes the incomes of people struggling to get by to give handouts to the rich.But ordinary people - taxpayers - will be furious that George Osborne has chosen to give away £1 billion to the super-rich while their fuel and food costs rise and wages are falling.

His party knows no shame. They are trying to claim that their tax cuts benefit ordinary people but this is another lie - the truth is that while those earning over £1 million per year will be an average £100,000 better off, low income families will be around £900 worse off.

This is not the way to recover our failing economy. Creating real jobs and paying decent wages, including a one pound increase on the minimum wage, will bring down the benefits bill and get people spending again.

Instead of getting on with the job he ought to be doing, like sorting out the problems he has caused to our economy, Osborne prefers to encourage hatred and demonise the poor, both in and out of work, in an ideological attack on our welfare state.

– Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary


Balls 'would not support 50p tax if it did not raise revenue'

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said he would not support a 50p top rate of tax if it was not raising revenue.

He told Radio 4's Today programme:

I would rather see every tax rate come down. I'm not a high tax person, I'd rather get taxes low.

I wouldn't support a 50p tax rate if it wasn't raising revenue but the reason why it's important to have it, the reason why it was introduced first in 2008 and then 2009 was at a time when families are paying a big price for the global financial crisis it is important that we share the burden fairly.

New tax reforms come into effect today

The Government's new tax reforms come into effect today, here's a run-down of the main changes:

  • The largest rise in personal allowance, which means that no one pays any tax until they earn more than £9,440 per year.
  • The higher rate personal allowance threshold is to fall to £41,450.
  • The top rate of income tax will fall from 50p to 45p.

Balls renews attack on government's tax reforms

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has urged the Government to change course over its tax reforms. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has renewed his attack on the Government's new tax reforms, which come into effect today.

The Labour MP said: "David Cameron and George Osborne are today giving millionaires an average tax cut of £100,000 while they make millions of pensioners and working people on middle and low incomes worse off.

"Families with children are being hit hardest of all. For example, a one earner family with children will be a staggering £4,000 worse off on average this year because of tax and benefit changes since 2010.

"And this is on top of the income squeeze we have seen over the last three years as a flatlining economy has seen prices rise faster than wages."

He added: "These figures show the full picture David Cameron and George Osborne do not want you to see. They reveal that any gains ministers boast about from the rise in the personal allowance are swamped by higher VAT, cuts to tax credits and child benefit.

"People in work, people looking for work, stay at home mums and pensioners hit by the granny tax are all being squeezed like never before. Millions are paying more while millionaires pay less."


New government tax rate reforms come into effect

A raft of tax changes come into effect today. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Struggling families will lose thousands of pounds in the new financial year while Government tax reforms save 13,000 millionaires an average of £100,000, Labour claimed today.

Among a raft of changes coming into effect today are the largest rise in the personal allowance, which means that no one pays any tax until they earn more than £9,440, and a fall in the higher rate threshold to £41,450.

But a one earner family with children will be £4,000 worse off on average in the next 12 months under changes introduced since the Coalition took power, according to Opposition analysis of figures published by the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

Overall, Labour claims UK households will be £891 a year worse off on average in the new tax year as a result of cumulative benefits cuts and tax rises.

The Government's controversial decision to reduce the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p will benefit 267,000 people on more than £150,000, including saving 13,000 earning £1 million an average of £100,000, it added.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said: "The whole country will today see whose side this Conservative-led Government is really on and who is paying the price for their total economic failure."

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