Chancellor’s budget gives to the rich with one hand and takes from the poor with the other

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Chancellor’s budget gives to the rich with one hand and takes from the poor with the other

Chancellor’s increases personal tax allowance in the budget announced on 21 March but threatened an additional £10 billion cut to the welfare budget.

26/03/2012

Basic state pension increased but introduced the ‘Granny tax’ – freezing the tax free allowance for pensioners.      

The main elements of the Chancellor’s budget, which impact on Deaf and disabled people are given below:

The tax-free personal allowance is to rise by £1,100 from April 2013 to £9,205, giving an increase of £220 a year. This is a welcome improvement for those on a low income, which frequently includes Deaf and disabled people.  However, in order to maintain the same rate of reductions in spending the Chancellor may cut a further £10 billion from the welfare provision by 2016. This is an extremely worrying threat for Deaf and disabled people as this is in addition to an estimated cut of £24 billion already taking place under the Welfare Reform Act. However, it is not clear if the Chancellor with go ahead with this further cut and how it will impact on disabled people if he does.

What is clear is that this government is choosing to support  those on high incomes and big business with a reduction of the 50p rate of income tax to 45p for those earning more than £150,000 from 2013 and corporation tax  reduced from 26% to 24%, (Belgium’s rate is 34%).

Older people

The Chancellor’s plan to raise the basic state pension by £5.30 a week, giving an increase of £275 a year will be welcome. However, the tax-free allowance is being frozen at £10,500 for those already retired and at £10,650 for over 75’s. For those yet to retire it will be the same as everyone else. Winter fuel payments are going back down to the levels of 2008/9 because temporary increases of £50 people for those up to 79 and £100 for 80 years and above will be scrapped so those aged up to 79 will receive £200 and £300 will be given to those over 80 years.

Working Tax Credit

If you are disabled and either work for 16 hours or are entitled to the 'disability element' of working tax credit you will be entitled to Working Tax Credit.

Carer’s allowance and working tax credit

From 2012-13, a couple where at least one partner is entitled to Carer’s Allowance may qualify for Working Tax Credit, including the childcare element, where at least one partner works at least 16 hours per week.

More information on Working Tax Credit is available at: www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits

Transparency?

The government plans to provide all tax payers with a statement showing how their money is spent. Since the largest portion is spent on welfare Inclusion London is concerned that this ‘headline’ information may stir more antagonism towards Deaf and disabled people who have already been portrayed as benefit scroungers and cheats, even though a comparatively small amount of the welfare costs are spent on benefits for disabled people.  

The Chancellors full speech is available at:

www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/21
www.parliament.uk/business/news

Other budget information is available at:

www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog
www.disabilityrightsuk.org/budget2012
www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-news