LETTER: Paying for the public good

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From Mr Andrew Smith, MP

Sir: It is quite wrong for the Treasury Minister, Angela Knight, to assert that it is due to more people being in work now, as compared with at the time of the last general election, that more people are paying income tax ("Wider spread of tax net held as 'proof of Tory betrayal' ", 23 September).

On the contrary, the Government's own figures show that since the election in 1992, the number of people in employment has actually fallen by 1.6 per cent.

This year, a record number of taxpayers are paying the cost of the Government's mismanagement of the economy. Typical families are hit with demands of pounds 800 more in tax, on average, since the last election. It is therefore wrong, too, for Mrs Knight to claim that households are better off this year.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Smith

MP for Oxford East


House of Commons

London, SW1

25 September

The writer is Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.