Prime minister addresses abolition of 10p tax rate

Prime minister, Gordon Brown, is attempting to head off a tax rebellion following criticism from the Labour Party’s backbenchers.

Speaking on Monday, the prime minister’s spokesman (PMS) said that a budget amendment had not yet been tabled but to wait and see what happened in parliament during the course of the week.

This is partly as a result of the government’s decision to scrap the 10 pence tax rate and replace the 22 pence tax band with a 20 pence rate, which has met with indignation from backbench Labour MPs.

Despite newspaper reports that the prime minister has offered concessions to appease such MPs, the PMS said that the Budget provided £3 billion to help lower-paid staff, who will be affected by reforms made elsewhere in the Budget. These measures include an increase in pension allowance, working tax credits and child tax credits.

The PMS also refused to confirm how many people had been affected by the removal of the 10p tax rate.