After a year’s light snoozing, the Labour party has belatedly realised that the last budget delivered by their Iron Chancellor-as-was will have the incidental effect of making poor people worse off in 2008/09. The scrapping of the 10p band, as reported heretofore, will make everyone on an income of below about £18,000 worse off before inflation from 6th April next week.
I must hand it to them, for they are charmingly worried and concerned. Oh dear! Making poor people worse off? That’s not right, is it! Why only the other day, Eric Martlew, MP for Carlisle, received a complaint in his surgery from a disgruntled poor person who was about to get even poorer!
Here’s Nia Griffith, a parliamentary private secretary at Environment:
We have always wanted to support those on lower incomes, we have done an enormous amount with things like the minimum wage to raise people out of poverty. I think therefore anything that hits people on lower incomes is perhaps something we are particularly sensitive to in the Labour party.
“Perhaps”? “Sensitive to”? Bravo, Nia! Have you ever considered becoming a candidate?
Of course, Gordon’s answer was that tax credits made up the slack, and to be absolutely fair to him, in Gordon’s head they probably do. Only we don’t live in Gordon’s head, praise the lord. Onlookers report that the MPs muttered discontentedly at this, doubtless because they are perfectly well aware from dealing with gruelling queries in their constituencies that not everyone on a low income is eligible for child tax credits, which do exactly what they say on the tin (only not necessarily, and we might take the tin away again). Something must be done! Say, can we talk this policy over, Gordon?
It is, of course, far far far too late. You useless numpties.
UPDATE: the FT is now carrying this story as well, with extra added numpty quotes.