First Labour resignation over 10p tax rate abolition

by Stephen Tall on April 17, 2008

According to the BBC, Angela Smith, parliamentary private secretary to Yvette Cooper “has told colleagues she is going to resign in protest at the abolition of the 10p tax rate. … The Sheffield Hillsborough MP has previously been extremely loyal.”

The Lib Dems were the first party to point out that Gordon Brown – the supposed saviour of traditional Labour – was using his last Budget, in March 2007, to hit the poorest to benefit the richest… about 30 minutes after Mr Brown sat down. At last Labour MPs are beginning to realise quite what an unjust, and unpopular, move it was.

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“Unpopular” yes. “Unjust” is, I think, being rather kind to them. They must have known what our objections were. And although we were the only political party objecting, others outside politics did. The BBC’s own tax expert pointed out the whole, as did the Low Income Tax Reform Group.

They had no excuse for not realising how unjust the effects would be. At best they are guilty of complete incompetence to hold office, at worst of a cynical and desperate attempt to defuse the resentment they have suddenly detected in their constituencies in advance of 1st May.

IMHO.

by Alix Mortimer on April 17, 2008 at 7:41 pm. Reply #

Alix – I don’t think you are being strong enough in your criticisms.

Brown stated on multiple occasions, and it has been reiterated by Darling (notably swallowing any remaining pride), that the original introduction of the 10p band was only a ‘transitional’ measure.

Not only are they open about their sham-popularism, but they have failed to provide any explicit reassurance about what it is a transition to.

The episode surely exposes the miscalculations and scams that were practised as the norm during Brown’s ‘miraculous’ tenure as Chancellor.

by Oranjepan on April 17, 2008 at 7:58 pm. Reply #

“A junior member of the government who was thought to have quit has now said she is not going to leave – following a conversation with Gordon Brown.” BBC

Whatever next!

by davy on April 17, 2008 at 9:32 pm. Reply #

Brown bottled an election, now a PPS bottles a resignation. What a bloody mess.

by Stuart on April 17, 2008 at 10:08 pm. Reply #

Mmmm. At the time of this post going up Ms Smith had long since withdrawn her half-hearted threat/sentiment to resign, made more than 12 months late in any case.

Any and all tax changes have winners and losers. That’s a political fact of life.

5% council tax rise plus £62M cuts in Liverpool being an example where most are losers … thanks to Lib Dems. Losing jobs, losing services such as EPHs … and a darn sight more than is lost on a change in the lowest rate.

What’s more it turns out that the Lib Dems there have quite simply failed to apply for monies they could have. They had a freeze and even a cut when there were no reserves. And they are reckoned to be already overcharging residents by £101 a head for nation’s worst services.

Let’s hope that Labour get the 20% swing needed to win 11 seats and overall control in one fell swoop on May 1.

This situation is what you get if you let Lib Dems run a council for ten years. A painful learning experience.

by Chris Paul on April 18, 2008 at 11:24 am. Reply #

I had to retire early due to ill health and have a private pension. I am 56 and fall into the catagory that the 10p tax most benefited. The increase in tax has more than wiped out my pension increase for this year. My pension is just large enough to prevent me claiming any benefits. So removing this tax has made me a lot poorer.
On top of that my wife is a comunity carer and is a low wage. The removal of the 10p tax levy has put her wages back to what it was 3 years ago.
I still have a mortgage and being hit by the increases there. I calculated that the both of use are almost £15 a week worse off than this time last year.
Now I understand why Tony Blair kept him out of power for so long. Brown Hasn’t helped the poor, he’s just made it more difficult for them to survive.
I thank god my pension fund wasn’t robbed by him, just like he did to others over a decade ago.
He’s a dangerous man to have in charge of Labour.

by Anthony Dugmore on April 20, 2008 at 12:59 pm. Reply #

And they are reckoned to be already overcharging residents by £101 a head for nation’s worst services.

It’s a bit rich for Labour to try and lecture the Lib Dems on overcharging Liverpudlians, considering how much they charged for council tax when they ran the city.

I also can only assume that you didn’t see the recent Mail on Sunday article which showed that the majority of the 10 lowest council tax rises were in Lib Dem run councils. The lowest was in Liverpool!

by Andy on April 20, 2008 at 2:42 pm. Reply #

Just found out that I shall definately be well over £50 worse off soon because of the 10p tax abolitiion.

Worked and saved hard all my life, trying to budget well on pensions. Not given any benefits because of this. The sooner Mr Brown ceases to run this country the better!!

by Rose on July 15, 2008 at 4:15 pm. Reply #

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