'Not a dickie bird on public sector pay.'
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has been slammed for his tax giveaways to the richest 1%, amid a cost of living crisis as millions of people struggle to make ends meet.
Hunt decided to abolish the cap on the amount of money professionals can put into their pension pot before they are hit with extra tax charges by the Treasury.
According to the government, the policy aims to prevent high-earners like doctors leaving the workforce once they have more than £1 million in their retirement funds. People are expected to be able to save up to £1.8m over a lifetime, up from £1.07m currently.
However, critics say that the policy benefits only the wealthy. People with more than £1.4 million in their pension pot are able to pay up to £150,000 less in tax.
The Labour Party has already pledged to reverse the tax cut for the rich. Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said: “The Budget was a chance for the government to unlock Britain’s promise and potential. But the only surprise was a one billion pound pensions bung for the one per cent, a move that will widen the cost of living chasm.
“At a time when families across the country face rising bills, higher costs and frozen wages, this gilded giveaway is the wrong priority, at the wrong time, for the wrong people.
“That’s why a Labour government will reverse this move. We urge the Chancellor and the Conservative government to think again too.”
Meanwhile, Hunt’s budget contained nothing by way of pay increases for public sector workers. Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) Director Paul Johnson questioned whether Mr Hunt “recalls that the Government has spent months saying it can’t find any money to prevent nurses and teachers getting very big pay cuts.
“He just found £6 billion to cut fuel duties. That’s a choice.”
Christina McAnea, General Secretary at Unison, which represents 1.3million public workers including from the NHS and police force, said: “There are more holes in this budget than on most public highways.
“It’s funny how the Chancellor can lay his hands on billions when he wants. Ministers have sounded like a broken record, insisting the country can’t afford to pay key workers more.
“Yet, in a flourish, there’s cash for another fuel duty freeze, tax cuts for those who need them least, and no action to curb the mega-profits of the oil and gas giants. But not a dickie bird on public sector pay.”
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward
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