Tax hysteria

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The hysteria generated by the “granny tax” is as unfounded as George Osborne’s presentational and policy skills are incompetent. Why should pensioners such as I (and much wealthier bankers, NHS consultants et al who may indeed still be working) benefit from a higher tax-free allowance than the hard-working population, many with young families, and in addition to paying no National Insurance, purely because of their age?

Whatever the original justification was for age-related allowances, it no longer exists.

What the coalition should have announced in June 2010 was an early move to incorporating our tax-free cash benefits, like the winter fuel allowance, into the taxable state pension, linking that pension to both the tax-free allowance and the minimum wage for 18- to 20-year-olds, amalgamating income tax and NIC, extending VAT to many VAT-free items and improving the progressive tax structure.

John Birkett

Horseleys Park

St Andrews, Fife