Open Letter to Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP
How are the Conservatives "working for everyone"?

I ask how the Conservatives can say they are "working for everyone" whilst giving extra tax breaks and benefits to the 15% of top earners, and at the same time cutting benefits for the poor.

Dear Anne-Marie,

I live in your constituency and I have a question.

I am wondering how the Conservatives can say you are "working for everyone" whilst giving the 15% of top earners1 a tax break 5 times the size of low earners2? How is it fair that people on minimum wage should only get a £100 tax break but those who earn more than £45,000 gets a £500 tax break?

Now consider the ISA offerings you bumped the limits of to £20,000 per year. It would technically be possible to get this benefit if you earn £25,000 per year—assuming you live for free, eat for free, and spend no more than 75 pence per day3. Yet, the median salary in this country is roughly £21,000 before tax4, which means half the population cannot possibly get this full benefit even if they save all their earnings. You need to be among the top 10% of higher earners—which means you have a salary of more than £35,3455—to have a fighting chance of making the full use of this benefit. It is clear that this is not a benefit for everyone, but for the few: the elite.

To finance these tax cuts and benefits for high earners you cut benefits to the poorest and most vulnerable in this country. You're cutting the Employment Support Allowance (ESA) by £29/week. You're cutting child tax credits, worth £545 per year. Further you are freezing benefits, including JSA, ESA, child benefits and some housing benefit payments2. All the while a rising number of people are reaching out to food banks to make ends meet6.

The Conservatives say you are "working for everyone". It's time you start acting like it.

Stig

1

Estimate for the percentage of people on higher tax band, myself included. Source: https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/jan/27/how-many-pay-top-rate-of-income-tax-uk

2

Personal allowance increased from £11,000 to £11,500, which equals a £100 tax break. But the 40% rate of tax will move from £43,000 to £45,000. This will save higher rate taxpayers an additional £400. Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39441970

3

At £25,000 per year https://www.uktaxcalculators.co.uk/ says you should have about £20,279.68 left after tax.

Date: 20 May 2017

Author: Stig Brautaset

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