Jill Hope

Northamptonshire County Councillor for Sixfields - a Lib Dem campaigner working all year round, not just at election time Learn more

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by Jill Hope on 25 March, 2012

The March 2012 budget was extensively leaked. When George Osborne stood up to make his budget speech we thought there would be few surprises. The arguments about the rights and wrongs of the reduction in the 50p tax had been discussed in the media for days. The increase in personal allowances, to take even more low-paid people out of tax altogether, is a well-established Lib Dem policy, and it was expected.

Osborne’s end of extra age allowances for pensioners was a shock!

Osborne said it was a ‘simplification of the tax system’! Well pensioners aren’t stupid. This was clearly an ill-judged attempt by Osborne to cover up this change.

Osborne says pensioners have had a ‘biggest ever’ £5.30 increase in their weekly pensions this year, and still get free bus passes and winter fuel allowance. But this is just a rise to keep pace with inflation! Pensioners have aslo been hit by a massive drop in interest on savings.

The Government has also switched to the lower CPI inflation rate to calculate pension increases. Another back door cut.

Now, another cut, with no additional personal allowance for pensioners.

Osborne says pensioners need to share the burden of cuts that other people have had to suffer. But pensioners have already taken the cuts and most are on a fixed income not linked to inflation. Pensioners can’t usually take on an extra jobs to meet increased costs.

George Osbourne thinks the Granny Tax issue will fade away. He’s wrong – it will haunt him.

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