Alan Spencer of the Notts NUM, in last week’s Chad - read the letter here - raises some vital questions in the General Election debate. He rightly describes the Government taking £8billion from the mineworkers’ pension fund as a scandal. This is the equivalent of 4p on the standard rate of income tax for the whole population, for a year. This has, of course, to be set against the background of large-scale cuts to the workforce of the Inland Revenue and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, now some 25 per cent. This has, of course, made it easier for wealthy tax dodgers to escape the law. Currently the Public and Commercial Services Union, which is the Inland Revenue staff, estimates that some £130 billion a year is avoided by wealthy tax dodges.
Noisy, cosmetic campaigns which collect little revenue are no substitute for an efficient tax collection system where we all pay our fair share. I understand some 94 per cent of self assessments are no longer checked whilst the Government continues to slash tax rates for the wealthy.
In effect, Mansfield ex-miners are subsidising tax cuts for the better off from their pension fund.
The recent vastly expensive party political propaganda paid for by the Conservatives in local newspapers like the Chad, Derbyshire Times and Worksop Guardian did not mention this looting of the mineworkers’ pension fund. Meanwhile champagne guzzling, tax dodging billionaires, lolling in hammocks on yachts in the Bahamas, raise their glasses to Theresa May.
However, all will be well when Mrs May brings back fox hunting.