25 March 2007
Harriett Baldwin, Parliamentary Candidate for West Worcestershire delivered her verdict on Gordon Brown's Budget which sets out the Government's plans for taxes and public spending:
  • Independent experts have calculated that 3.5 million families will be worse off as a result of the Budget. The headline-grabbing move to cut the basic rate by 2 pence is offset by the abolition of the 10p income tax rate and an increase in National Insurance contributions for many.
  • A single person without children earning £16,000, like an NHS maternity care assistant or a police community support officer, will pay more in tax, and not gain from tax credits.
  • The Government is considering introducing a raft of new town hall taxes, including bin taxes to collect household rubbish, higher council tax bands, regular council tax revaluations and pressuring pensioners to sign away their homes in return for deferring their council tax bills - a 'death tax' in all but name.
  • The Budget has hit small businesses. Gordon Brown is raising the tax rate and increasing complex allowances for small firms.
  • The NHS was mentioned just once in Gordon Brown's speech and there was nothing proposed to tackle the £1.3 billion financial crisis in the NHS.
  • The Budget fails to increase stamp duty thresholds in line with house price inflation, increasing stamp duty by stealth. The average first time buyer is paying over £1,500 in stamp duty, and more and more homes are being pushed into the punishing 3 per cent band (£7,500 tax on a £250,000 home).

Harriett Baldwin said:

"Gordon Brown's last Budget is a tax con not a tax cut. He gave with one hand and took back with another. Three and a half million families will be worse off.

"In his stealthiest taxes yet, he has paid for his 2p cut in income tax by abolishing the 10p rate, hitting low income earners like junior nurses, and putting National Insurance up for professionals like doctors. There is nothing to tackle the crisis in the NHS.

"Worse, Gordon Brown's town hall tax report has dropped a tax bombshell on working families and pensioners across the country - calling for regular council tax revaluation, higher bands, a new bin tax and a new death tax on the elderly. Higher taxes are on the way - engineered by Labour Ministers in Whitehall - without any improvements in local services."