Just wrote this
I wish to enlist your sympathies, to whatever extent, for a Conservative voting family with one member taxed at the higher rate . I am talking about child benefit ,of course, and the coalition’s brutal policy.
The state taxes me for various reasons, many of which I abhor, but overall we have a deal. Part of it was a fifty year old regime whereby some of my cash came back to me when I needed it, as child benefit. This much loved institution was only redistributive to children from adults, and from everyone to themselves over time.
Now, having funded said benefit for rich and poor, I will not get my turn. We have lurched from deal to no deal in one breakfast TV chat when , oddly enough ,I recall countless guarantees that no such cut would be countenanced. This is what we call lying .It is not appreciated and please don’t insult my intelligence by saying things are worse than was thought . That would require an inability to think at all.
Aside from the savage deceit, think of the intergalactic stupidity. For a family with three children , like mine, and an income of say £44,000, the loss of child benefit amounts to £46 per week or an effective tax rise of £2,400 a year. For someone at a marginal rate of 40% plus 2% National Insurance, that is equivalent to a loss of £4,132 of gross income . Do you think people on tight budgets have that sort of money spare ?
Imagine if every Public sector worker on over £40,000 got a £5000 pay cut .In fact that is less than the amount their salaries have outstripped real world earners ,so why not ? Sadly families have no Unison or GMB and that’s why we are in the firing line isn’t it . An easy hit , nowhere to go ,that is the calculation is it not ?
To add to appalling cynicism there is further sophistry in the timing . The top rate, as you know, is due to come down to about £42,000 at the next budget. The median full-time employed man from 35-50 in the South is not far from this after three years of inflation. We are not rich ,we are average people with old cars and no holiday ,devoted to our children . Many on our estate are working hard to get somewhere. Are we all to give up ?
Well we might as well. For family bread winners between £40,000 and say £47,000, the effective marginal rate is ...well you work it out 90% ...100%? Maternity allowances, child tax credits, baby bonds. The coalition is slightly less child friendly than King Herod , and remember, you are attacking the very people who have been getting it in the neck for ten years anyway .We are already badly stretched .
I have listened to the least respected chancellor of my lifetime, defend £9billion going overseas with no support whatsoever from voters , ( I can show you the surveys if you like ). Some of these people earn a pound a year he says .What fatuous sanctimony .The Oxfam box is always there George . For me my own children come before ,“World peace”, a phrase rightly associated with dim witted beauty queens and latterly Coalition Ministers .
We have ring fenced Dr. Croesus and his wasteful NHS, we are still replacing Trident ,we are still posturing around the word as a faux major power ,we are paying the precious benefit to 40,000 Polish children in Poland for god’s sake. We show no sign of squeezing efficiency out of bloated state and all in all , I suggest no-one gets me started .Are there really no better targets than children?
I hope I have made my point but I do have some questions I would like nice clear answers to :
1-Do you, or do you not, support the removal of £2500 every year from me, my family and everyone like us ? There are lots of us
2-It has been suggested that this was pushed for by Nick Clegg and Vince Cable. Is this true ?
3 I have read that the median wage caught in this attack is £75,000. At that level the loss can be sustained but with South East House Prices the disposable income amongst those in the early £40s makes this a brutal clumsy and callous measure. We can see it was not thought through ,by the frantic TV tours on the day, and Cameron’s infuriating admission that he was ‘stunned’ by the anger .
Clearly ordinary life is another planet to him. Child care cost , long term penny pinching , this is our life . We had plans, we all had plans.
With three years to go, can anything be done ?
4 I do not believe the figures of 1.2 million families and billion of income they are far too low , what are the real figures ? ( I will find out anyway but help appreciated )
I was overjoyed at the coalition and I never imagined I would be set against it so soon but this vicious attack cannot be forgiven .I hold you responsible in the first instance .Sorry but there it is .I shall also be directing my ire at the Conservative Party, however, and in particular the patrician ruling elite for whom it now seems to exist . My support for the administration is entirely withdrawn and it does not stop with this letter .
I look forward to hearing from you