Cuts impact

FROM: Craigavon Unionist (name and address supplied).

RECENT days have brought together three significant public statements that have a very real impact upon every one of your readers.

First we had the granny tax imposed on senior citizens by the Tories. According to the HMRC this will bring an extra 230,000 into the income tax system and will leave almost 4.5 million people worse off. This was the very same Tories in the very same budget that gave a tax windfall to millionaires by cutting the higher tax rate.

Second we had the fairly warm welcome given by the UUP to this budget containing this Tory assault on senior citizens. In the UUP’s official response to the Budget Sandra Overend MLA spoke approvingly of the tax measures saying:

“As regards income tax, personal income tax allowance will be raised to £9,205 from April 2013, making 24 million people £220 a year better off. This extra disposable income will be beneficial for people throughout Northern Ireland as they are finding it more difficult to make ends meet.”

Then, third we had the statement given from the US by the Tory Secretary of State in which he confirmed that the Tories and UUP are still in discussions on how to move forward collectively.

While this is a staggering state of affairs it should not surprise anyone. After all, all three UUP Assembly candidates – Sam Gardiner, Jo-Anne Dobson and Colin McCusker and their Lurgan Council candidates campaigned in support of the massive Tory cuts agenda. Even after David Cameron gave his television interview in which he placed Northern Ireland at the top of his cuts hit list they continued to knock doors, distribute election literature and urge support for this Tory cuts broadside.