Posted: February 22nd, 2013
IF you’re reading this, you’re in exactly the right place to do something for yourself and your fellow-pensioners.
You are on-screen, so you can put your name to an e-petition to make the government think again on a mean move that will hit 65-year-olds and over.
The shocking plan to halt age-related tax allowances, which has been called the “granny tax”, is due to take effect from April. But if the online petition attracts 100,000 signatures, the plan would be sent back to Parliament for a re-think.
With a month to go – the petition closes on March 22 – there are already more than 92,000 signatures, and a late surge would force MPs to debate the much-criticised measure.
You can sign the e-petition on: https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/31778
In last year’s Budget, the government announced that the amount of income that is not taxed will be frozen for those aged over 65, and those reaching 65 from April 6 2013, will no longer receive a larger personal allowance than people of working age.
Pensioner groups have registered “disgust” at Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to freeze the Age Related Tax Allowance at £10,500 for present retired taxpayers, and reduce it to £9,440 for all new retirees from 6th April 2013. They point out the hardest-hit pensioners will be those with modest savings, and estimate it will cost all tax-paying pensioners between £83 to £273 a year. At the same time, the top rate of tax for those earning £150,000 or more will be cut from 50p to 45p
The e-petition posted on the Government’s website states : “We consider that at a time when pensioners are struggling to make ends meet and yet are a group of people due to age, health etc who often have extremely limited opportunity to make good lost income, this reduction in allowances is grossly unfair.”
The official reply admits: “The Government accepts that many people will be disappointed by these decisions … The Government remains committed that personal allowances should be set high enough to ensure that those solely reliant on the Basic State Pension do not pay any tax … The Government has also continued to support pensioners in other ways.”
Geraldine Bedell, editor of the website Gransnet and one of the campaigners working to force the government into another tax U-turn, said: “What people are saying on our forums is that they feel that they’re a soft target, that this is a tax on prudence.”
By BILL ROWNTREE, former Mirror Group photographer
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