"That this House notes that, despite assurances to the contrary, many
people are being made worse off by the abolition of the 10 pence tax
rate; notes with concern that this is having a disproportionate impact
on people who can ill afford to be made worse off; accepts that this
was not the intention of the Government but is dismayed at the response
to the plight of those adversely affected; and calls on the Chancellor
of the Exchequer to bring forward measures to correct this damaging
change to the taxation system."
At the time of writing thirty MPs have already signed it, twenty six of whom are from Labour.
2.45pm update: David Gauke MP has been in touch to point out another angle to this…
"It also pointedly refers to the fact that ‘despite assurances made to the contrary, many people are being made worse off by the abolition of the 10 pence tax rate’. To what ‘assurances’ is the motion referring?
The answer can be found in yesterday’s Guardian story, which states that criticism was made of the policy at Monday’s meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party but that the Prime Minister ‘responded by pointing out that no one would be less well-off as a result of the 10p tax rate abolition, stated in his last budget, of March 2007, when he was chancellor’. Or to put it another way, in the words of the EDM, Gordon Brown assured his MPs that ‘no one would be made worse off by the abolition of the 10 pence tax rate’.
Unfortunately for the Prime Minister, this simply isn’t true, as confirmed by a Treasury answer to a Parliamentary Question in October which stated that 5.3 million households will be worse off.
So not only does the EDM, signed by so many Labour MPs, criticise the tax hike on poorer households, it also implicitly questions the veracity of the Prime Minister. That so many Labour MPs are prepared to sign such a motion must cause the Prime Minister some concern."
And on the the related news this afternoon that Labour Minister Gerry Sutcliffe thinks Alistair Darling should "change his mind" on alcohol duty:
"This is more evidence that the Government is unravelling, when even its own Ministers don’t support the tax rises announced in last month’s Budget. These tax rises on alcohol will hit millions of responsible drinkers, and won’t to anything to tackle binge drinking. Gerry Sutcliffe is right to say that the Chancellor should perform yet another u-turn and change his mind on this wrongheaded policy.
Put together the various Parliamentary rebellions of late (post office closures etc), the Ivan Lewis article, the very public Carter turf wars and now a Minister criticising one tax policy and dozens of backbenchers criticising another, we are seeing the sort of indiscipline that tends to happen when a Party has given up on its leader."