Letter: Read his lips: no fair taxes

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The Independent Online
Read his lips: no fair taxes

Sir: As a higher-rate taxpayer, and by no means a left-winger, I am appalled at Gordon Brown's commitment not to increase standard and higher rates of income tax ("No new taxes? Read his lips", 21 January).

One of my hopes for a change of government, any change, had been for a reversal of the socially divisive and regressive tax system of recent years. In particular I had looked forward to a shift, even if the total tax burden was left unchanged, from indirect to direct taxation.

By not taking account of anyone's ability to pay, VAT hits the poor more than the better-off. And corporation tax is very low by international standards. Unless spending is to be cut by unacceptable amounts, direct taxes must be increased and VAT reduced.

FMM STEINER

Deddington, Oxfordshire

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