Chancellor is ‘Robin Hood in reverse’

Gordon Brown’s latest budget raises income tax for lower paid Scots

Jo Swinson has attacked the Government’s failure to create a fair tax system for low paid workers in Scotland.

Speaking in the House of Commons today, Jo asked Secretary of State for Scotland Douglas Alexander MP:

“1 in 5 Scots will be hit by tax rises under the Chancellor’s latest budget, that’s 1 million Scots already on low incomes. He proposes increased tax credits to compensate, but among some groups the take up of these is as low as 20%.

“How can this Government pretend to be creating a fairer tax system when the reality is the Chancellor acting like Robin Hood in reverse?”

Commenting later, Jo said:

“In last week’s budget, Gordon Brown revealed a tax rise for around a million Scots on low incomes. He even had the nerve to announce it as a tax cut.

“Indeed for some, taxes will be cut – but not those on low incomes. The Chancellor had an opportunity to rebalance the tax system in favour of lower paid workers, but he failed to take it.

“With tax credit take-up rates as low as 20%, the Chancellor shouldn’t be claiming that tax credits can compensate for tax hikes.

“The story of the Gordon Brown’s 10 years at the Treasury is of a society in which the lowest earning fifth of UK households still pay a greater proportion of their income in tax than the highest earning fifth.”

Figures produced by HM Revenue & Customs show that take-up rates of working tax credits among over 25s earning under £12,000, without children, is 20%.

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