Ruffley launches consultation to help working families and pensioners in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket

Monday, 15 November, 2004

New proposals to reverse Labour's tax hikes for those on low and middle incomes

Ahead of the Government's annual mini-Budget at the beginning of December, David Ruffley MP this week launched new Conservative policies to cut the level of tax on low and middle income earners and pensioner savers in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket.

David said:

'I urge the Citizens Advice Bureau in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket, Age Concern, Help the Aged and other groups who advise on people's financial issues to go online and view the consultation document via and following the link to 'policies' on the left hand side.'

The new consultation paper proposes a number of ways in which more people on lower incomes can be taken out of tax completely, and how many on middle incomes can be freed from having to pay punitive, top rates of income tax.

Estimates suggest that since 1997, due to Tony Blair's stealth tax increases in income tax thresholds and National Insurance, an average of:

• 6,400 more people in the Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket area on low incomes have now being dragged into the tax system, including part-time workers on the minimum wage, students working weekends to pay their tuition fees, and pensioners receiving just £60 a week from a personal pension.

• Another 2,000 more people in the Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket area are now paying top rates of income tax, including deputy head teachers, police inspectors, warrant officers in the armed services, and many hospital matrons.

David Ruffley explained:

'Conservatives believe in low taxes. Families and businesses across the Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket area know better how to spend or invest their money than regional bureaucrats or Whitehall pen-pushers.

'Tony Blair promised not to raise tax 'at all'. But he did- 66 times. Now independent experts agree that if Tony Blair were to be re-elected, taxes will have to go up yet again. Yet too much taxpayers' money is being wasted, and high taxes are undermining incentives to work, to save and to invest.

'We need action to ensure all taxpayers get value for money, to thin down fat government, and ensure that hard working families and pensioners and those on modest and middle incomes in the Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket area receive a fairer deal.'

Notes to Editors

The full consultation document can be downloaded via:

It includes detailed options for reducing National Insurance and income tax for those on low incomes and middle incomes.

Since 1997, 4.2 million more people are now paying some form of income tax, whilst 1.35 million more people are now paying top rate income tax. Across the UK's 659 Parliamentary constituencies, this averages out at 6,400 and 2,050 more people respectively per constituency.

Gordon Brown's Pre-Budget Report will take place on 2 December 2004.