Tom Watson: ‘Millionaires’ tax cut is unfair and illogical’

Tom Watson with Labour activists at Kingston Retail Park
Tom Watson with Labour activists at Kingston Retail Park

Labour big-hitter Tom Watson was in Milton Keynes today to campaign against Tory cuts that will benefit millionaires – while the rest of the country suffers.

Mr Watson visited Kingston Retail Park at 11am as part of a four day national tour to meet voters and campaigners.

Tom Watson with Labour's deputy leader in MK, Hannah O'Neil

Tom Watson with Labour's deputy leader in MK, Hannah O'Neil

Britain’s highest earners are set to benefit to the tune of more than £100,000-a-year from George Osborne’s 5p cut to the top rate of tax, which came down from 50p to 45p this month.

It comes at a time when many people are struggling to cope with ever dwindling household budgets and increased taxes, including the controversial Bedroom Tax.

Mr Watson said: “This is a critical month for all political parties.

“This is the month when millions of families are worse off as a result of coalition changes.

“The only people who are not are millionaires.

“Places like Milton Keynes are really important to Labour. At a time when 25,000 families in MK are having their living standards cut, it is wrong to give millionaires a tax cut.

“They will look at this and think ‘this is completely illogical’.”

And he added: “It is what it is – an illogical and unfair tax cut for some of the richest people in our country.

“There are really hard working people, working in small businesses, feeling the effects of a double dip recession. This is an out of touch decision.

“If you are a struggling family seeing a millionaire get a 100,000 tax cut, you are saying this is manifestly unfair.

“They can’t understand how the Government could make this crass and unfair decision.

“We want to support the real wealth creators. they are the ones who will grow the economy and get people working again.

“Yet they are not getting any breaks.”

Asked by the Citizen if it was wrong for a politician found to have claimed the maximum amount of £4,800 for food in a single year when the MPs expenses scandal broke to be talking about the best use of taxpayers money, Mr Watson said it is time for public figures to lead by example.

“MPs expenses is over now,” he said.

“We have reformed the system. It was not a great time for Parliament.

“What I will say is that everyone in public life has to feel the pain.

“That is why politicians have to lead by example.”

Mr Watson also pledged his support for Labour’s ‘vibrant, young’ parliamentary candidates, Andrew Pakes and Emily Darlington.

Mr Pakes will contest Milton Keynes South with current incumbent Iain Stewart, while Miss Darlington will compete for Mark Lancaster’s seat in Milton Keynes North at the 2015 General Election.

“We have a plan for growth that will kick start the economy,” he added.

The event was also attended by local Labour activitists, including new deputy leader Hannah O’Neill.