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UK tax credibility 'damaged'

01 May 2008
Categories: News , Income Tax , Inheritance Tax
Government has undermined its reputation for fair taxation, claims TUC chief

The Government's reputation for fair taxation has been undermined during the past 12 months, the TUC's general secretary has claimed.

Brendan Barber warned the Labour Party that its financial credibility, built up over 11 years, has been damaged by such moves as raising the inheritance tax threshold and abolishing the 10p tax band.

He then advised the Government that if it is to convince voters that the UK has a fair and progressive tax system, ministers must to offer more than the recently announced compensation package those affected by the recent end to the starting tax rate.

Mr Barber said: 'In many ways, Labour has a good story to tell: tax credits, the minimum wage and a buoyant economy have all delivered better incomes for the poor - but too often the Government has shied away from telling that story.

'Those that believe in a progressive tax system must never stop making the case that a civilised society needs a fair tax system to pay for decent public services, a secure society and help for those who need it.

'Changes to tax must always take place - and be explained - within the framework of fair tax and sufficient spend, but… sometimes the Government has seemingly chased popular headlines in the short-term, at the expense of promoting a long-term core message about its values.

Mr Barber continued: 'Ordinary people who pay tax through PAYE see the super-rich treating tax as optional, with non-doms enjoying a timid flat charge for a get-out-of-tax-free card.

'I am optimistic that the row over the 10p tax band will prove a turning-point. The next Pre-Budget Report provides the ideal opportunity for the Government to show that it is on the side of a fair tax system that provides help for those who need it and taxes those who can afford it.'

Categories: News , Income Tax , Inheritance Tax
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