Tax blow for low-paid workers triggers union call for help

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The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is calling on the government to introduce new measures to help millions of low paid workers that it says, have lost out through the abolition of the 10p tax rate.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber made the call in a speech to the north west TUC annual conference in Liverpool.

The TUC has calculated that compensating the 5.3 million workers who have lost out as a result of the abolition of the 10p tax rate would cost the Treasury approximately £550 million. The TUC believes this could easily be funded by closing what it dubs 'a notorious tax scam' currently enjoyed by the 'super-rich'. According to TUC calculations, £550 million could be raised by preventing wealthy individuals from splitting ownership of an asset with their spouse within twelve months before sale.

Barber said: "Across the UK, people's finances are being squeezed by rising food, energy and borrowing costs. And earlier this week, millions of low-paid workers were dealt a further blow by the abolition of the 10p tax rate."

He added: "When it is so clear that the growing numbers of super-rich are not paying their fair share of tax, it is not surprising that average and low-earners resent any increase in their tax bills. The danger for progressive politics is that this leads people to question the fairness of our tax system, which in the longer term risks undermining the pensions, benefits and decent public services that depend on fair taxes."

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