November 26: Tax breakdown betrays the hand of Osborne

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

I WRITE to protest at the continuing mendacity of George Osborne as Chancellor and at his politicisation of the Civil Service.

My Annual Tax Summary that arrived from HMRC this week had on the reverse a pie chart, showing how my tax is spent.

A clear quarter of the pie chart was devoted to “welfare”.

The danger is that in these days of right-wing tabloids with their own agendas and TV programmes like Benefits Street, the easy popular assumption by readers is that 25 per cent of my tax payments is going in cash handouts to the feckless unemployed.

Office for Budget Responsibility figures show that social security expenditure excluding pensions constitute 3.5 per cent of GDP for working age claimants and a further two per cent for children.

The 25 per cent figure for “welfare” is arrived at only by including a whole host of other items such as the public sector occupational pension 
that I receive – and to 
which I contributed when working.

Of course, this is the same George Osborne who raised the minimum wage and then appropriated the label “living wage” (which it is not) in an effort to cover his tracks regarding cuts in tax credits. He has form.