Poor way to treat needy as tax cuts make for rich pickings

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From: John Cole, Oakroyd Terrace, Baildon, Shipley.

WHEN are the budget deficit and the UK national debt a problem – and when are they not a problem?

They were a problem last Monday when George Osborne’s task in hand is to justify reducing the size of the state and the support given to the poorest and weakest in society.

It is these latter who are being required to pay for the excesses of the top five per cent, many of whom, via their casino behaviour, caused the financial crash and the resulting depression.

By last Wednesday, however, the deficit and debt seem to have receded as problems. This allows David Cameron to promise “tax cuts for millions”.

True, if implemented, millions will benefit from the tax cuts, but the benefit is not evenly spread. On the change to pension pot taxation, the Pensions Policy Institute calculates that 70 per cent of the benefit accrues to the top two bands of taxpayers.

David Cameron proposed raising the threshold for income tax to £12,500 and the threshold for the 40p rate to £50,000. Work by the impeccably objective (and vastly competent) Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that over half the benefit of these proposed changes goes to the top 25 per cent of income earners.

The total cost to the Treasury of these proposed changes is put at £7bn. The fact that we have a deficit and debt, being addressed by cutting support to those at the bottom, does not preclude a £7bn “give-away” largely to those at the top.

From: Mrs A Goodall, Sutton, Thirsk.

COMPARABLE statistics of last week – borrowing £400 from Wonga for seven years would leave the borrower owing Wonga Britain’s national debt!

How does the ignorance of these desperate borrowers compare to the ignorance of the northern county councils who, against the wishes of their electorate and advice from the Government, have still committed us, the council tax payers, to pay off their £750m loan over 25 years to a Spanish-made and run waste incinerator?

These councillors do not mention the inevitable add-on costs and interest rates, do they? They compare well to Wonga borrowers except it is the council tax payers who will have to fund the consequences of their stupidity and crass ignorance.

From: Andrew Mercer, Guiseley.

IF John Prescott can see that Ed Miliband is a poor leader, why can’t the Shadow Cabinet?