GWYNNE SLAMS TAX CHANGES following release of new figures

04_28_41-Pile-of-Money_webLabour MP Andrew Gwynne has slammed tax changes that came into effect last week.

New figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies show that families will be an average of £891 worse off in the new financial year starting this month because of tax rises and cuts to tax credits and benefits introduced since 2010.

Taking into account all changes to tax, tax credits and benefits that have been introduced since 2010, households in the UK will on average be £891 a year, or £17 a week, worse off in the 2013/14 financial year.

The analysis is based on figures published by the IFS in its Green Budget in February and its post Budget briefing earlier this month.

Andrew Gwynne MP, Denton and Reddish, said:

“I am appalled by these latest figures from the independent IFS. Families across the country are being hit by this Government, but the North West is being hit particularly hard. It cannot be right to force millions to pay more while millionaires pay less.

“The whole country has seen whose side David Cameron and George Osborne are really on. One thing is clear; it is not the better off who are paying the price for their economic failure.”

Ed Balls MP, Labour’s shadow chancellor, said:

“These shocking figures show the huge hit millions of families are facing at the very same time as David Cameron and George Osborne are giving millionaires an average £100,000 tax cut.

“On average families will be £891 worse off this year because of changes introduced since 2010. All this comes at a time when a flatlining economy has seen prices rise faster than wages and unemployment rise again this month.

“And while Ministers trumpet the small rise in the income tax personal allowance, they should admit that it is hugely outweighed by things like cuts to tax credits and child benefit, higher VAT, the bedroom tax and the granny tax. They are giving with one hand, but taking away much more with the other.”

Underneath the average figures, some families face particularly harsh hits from changes being introduced next week.

This month, changes to council tax and housing benefit has meant:

  • 2.4 million families on low incomes will pay on average £138 more in council tax in the year 2013/14, as a result of cuts to council tax benefit, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • 660,000 people will lose an average of £728 per year or £14 a week as a result of the ‘bedroom tax’, according to figures from the IFS.

Changes in this new tax year include:

  • the top rate of income tax will be cut from 50p to 45p. This will benefit 267,000 people earning over £150,000, including 13,000 people earning over £1 million who will receive an average tax cut of £100,000, according to figures from HMRC.
  • child benefit will be frozen for a third year, while tax credits and other working-age benefits will be increased by just 1 per cent. These real terms cuts will affect 9.7m households, of which 7.3m (or 75 per cent) are working households according to the IFS.
  • the personal allowance for those aged under 65 will rise to £9,440 but the higher rate threshold will fall to £41,450.
  • changes to the age-related allowance – the so called ‘granny tax’ – will see 3.6m pensioners lose £68 a year and 360,000 people turning 65 this year lose £268, according to the IFS.

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