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Politics

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: http://www.humanite.fr/monde/londre...

by Peter Avis

London picks the pockets of employees and pensioners

Translated Monday 30 April 2012, by Charlotte Foyle and reviewed by Derek Hanson

David Cameron is increasingly laying claim to the legacy of Mrs Thatcher having proposed a third austerity budget, essentially a gift to cheer up the wealthy.

Correspondence from London: Although deep in recession and despite the fact that the buying power of employees and those least well off has fallen particularly in the public sector, the British government has decided on a third monetary policy whereby the wealthiest receive a tax cut.

The 300,000 people earning more than £150,000 a year will see their tax rates reduced to 45% as opposed to the current rate of 50%. To compensate for this gift and make savings at the same time, cuts have to evidently be made elsewhere. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has therefore decided to make £3 billion over the course of four years by picking the pockets of 5 million pensioners, who will lose an average of £244 a year with the disappearance of a compensatory regulation introduced by Winston Churchill a century ago.

Most people will remain heavily taxed, particularly those already struggling to find the means to supplement their incomes. The left have called for a VAT cut which would help low-income families, but, according to the coalition government (Conservative – Liberal Democrat), looking after the City was of more importance.

Several strains have emerged inside the coalition, with the Liberal Democrats expressing the desire to introduce a mansion tax on large real estate. But the Conservatives have categorically refused it, not wishing at any cost to upset the property owners who vote for them.

Mark Serwotka, Secretary General of the PCS Union, which represents almost 300,000 public sector workers, stated yesterday that the Chancellor was in the process of “institutionalising poverty”.


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