Sticking plaster Budget - Lib Dems

By Vince CableLiberal Democrat Treasury spokesman(writing for the EADT)THIS has been nothing more then a "sticking plaster" Budget.Although he clearly has started to acknowledge much of the unfairness, we find with in the tax system, his actions over council tax and savings are merely palliative and not a cure, while his inaction over pensions, shows that he has no commitment to equality whatsoever.

By Vince Cable

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman

(writing for the EADT)

THIS has been nothing more then a "sticking plaster" Budget.


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Although he clearly has started to acknowledge much of the unfairness, we find with in the tax system, his actions over council tax and savings are merely palliative and not a cure, while his inaction over pensions, shows that he has no commitment to equality whatsoever.

How can it be right that in Britain today that the poorest 20% pay more in tax, as a proportion of their income, than the richest 20%?

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Over the last eight years the Chancellor has tinkered an awful lot, but he has failed tackle fundamental unfairness in the system. This budget is just more of the same.

Gordon Brown offered pensioners a £200 pay off for one year only, but failed to mention the likely tax rise from council tax revaluation, due to start on April 1l.

The Welsh experiment suggests that seven million people in England will pay significantly more after revaluation. The Government cannot keep on patching up this unfair tax.

Under a local tax based on the ability to pay, as proposed by the Liberal Democrats, the typical household will benefit by over £450 per year. Six million pensioners will not pay local income tax and an average single pensioner will benefit by £209 a year.

This Budget lacked not only fairness, but continued the trend of complexity and ducking tough choices.

As a government, the Liberal Democrats would make £5billion of savings from low priority areas such as the scrapping of the Department of Trade and Industry, identity cards and child trust funds, and redirect this money into pensions, policing, health and education.

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