New tax year brings misery to millions of Brits


Millions of Brits face tax rises and benefit cuts today as the new tax year begins.

Dubbed 'Black Wednesday', shadow chancellor Ed Balls claims that working families will be badly hit, losing up to £1,560 a year due to the coalition government's childcare policies alone.

Alison Garnham, chief executive for Child Poverty Action Group, agrees with Balls, calling babies born today from low–income families "austerity babies".

"We warned that the cuts failed the fairness test and now families will be feeling it. Child poverty will rise as a result of these unfair cuts and the health and wellbeing of these children will be at greater risk."

Child benefit, which used to rise in line with inflation, have been frozen while higher–rate taxpayers will miss out on higher rate tax savings of childcare vouchers. That means they will receive £124 a month tax–free instead of £243.

In addition, the basic and 30–hour working tax credit has also been frozen and Balls argues this could cost families an additional £391.

The income threshold at which higher rate tax (40%) is paid has dropped from £43,875 to £42,475. This change is likely to affect 750,000 more people.

Changes will impact all

The Treasury argues the changes will only impact the well–off. However, the income tax move will see nurses and teachers among those workers suddenly finding themselves pay more tax.

But Garnham claims low–income families will also be hurt.

She adds: "The government must look at the fairer options available for dealing with the deficit, like stopping tax dodgers and taxing high earners more fairly. Families on a low income with a new baby should be last in line and should not face any cuts."

In contrast Treasury analysis shows only the top 20% will be worse off and 21 million people who earn up to £30,000 a year could see gains. On top of this, 800,000 people will now pay no tax due to the increased personal allowance from £6,475 to £7,475.

Mike Warburton, senior tax partner at accountants Grant Thornton, agrees that those on the lowest incomes will see the biggest gains.

"Those on the lowest incomes will benefit most from the tax changes with those on middle incomes being squeezed."

However, Warburton adds that the current difficult economic environment is having an effect on everybody: "The hard fact is that we are all having to tighten our belts this year as we cope with the increase in VAT together with rising fuel and most other costs."


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same old thing poorer famlies suffer.

some of the comments made in support of Balls are from left of center action groups therefore they are no surprise. The measurement of what constitutes child poverty is also dubious.

Nobody complained when Balls and his previous Labour colleagues spent what they didn't have and made promises they couldn't keep. We just have to knuckle down and get on with it. nobody likes paying extra taxes. The whole point of the changes is to put what little we have by way of money into the pockets of those that need it the most..

Why do you only report the bad aspects of the tax changes, and restrict your comments only to income tax and NI contributions??

Whilst there are, admittedly, many people who will suffer, there are many more who will benefit from the new tax allowances. The personal allowance has been increased by £1000 and many relatively lower earners will pay significantly less tax (or none at all).

My main concern is the way pensioners are being treated. They only get a tax allowance increase of £450 and pensions will be reduced by linking them to the CPI rather than the RPI. Existing pensioners will not be eligible for the new flat-rate pension announced recently. It is those who are aged just over 60 (women) or 65 (men) who will suffer the worst under the new regime.

Yes, it's all so terribly unfair. We should just pretend that Labour didn't destroy our economy and go on spending.

Very droll. Define poor! Poverty i srelative.