LETTERS - tax cuts, Rwanda bill and volunteering - The Redditch Standard

LETTERS - tax cuts, Rwanda bill and volunteering

Redditch Editorial 27th Jan, 2024   0

‘Maths doesn’t add up’

I NOTE that Rachel Maclean has been pleased again to offer us tax cuts that benefit the rich more than the poor, or even the Redditch average wage earner.

I’ve been doing my sums again.

If the Government wanted us all to benefit by the same amount, they could have introduced a lower rate National Insurance rate for earnings of between £12,000 and £18,000, of say five per cent instead of 12 per cent.

If we earned the average wage then in Redditch, we would get an extra £420 in our pocket as opposed to the existing plan, that gives us only £218.

If you are in the lowest fifth of wage earners, you will gain, under our Rachel’s scheme, just £70.

If you are an apprentice, aged 16 to 18, you get just £79.

If the government had simply increased the rate at which you do not pay National Insurance contributions by inflation, the apprentices, and anyone earning more than £13,500 would get at least £90.

The careers she highlighted?

A nurse with five years’ experience should have had a pay rise of £5,000, compared to the salary she actually earns, which would have been paid for by the earners of over £40,000, who pay lower rates of NI than the rest of us.

So – us lucky residents of Redditch – who for the most part earn less than £36,000 can be delighted that we are subsidising those earning more than £40,000, and losing our council and government services.

Whilst those like nurses, doctors and teachers lose out on salary rises because the Government has done its sums wrong reducing the taxes of the rich, increasing the government debt.

Anyone in debt, knows that a debt not paid just keeps adding interest – guess who is paying the government’s debt, at £1,500 per taxpayer? Yes, It’s us!

Margot Bish


‘Clueless MP’

I READ with interest the report in last week’s Standard about Rachel Maclean entitled ‘MP backing Rwanda Bill’.

Mrs Maclean proudly announced it was a top priority of hers, not that I remember it being so.

So I checked Handsard to see what representations Rachel had made on the Rwanda scheme and guess what?

In the two years since this scheme was announced, she only ever mentioned it in the House of Commons once and that was in December 2022. Hardly a top priority was it?

The Gov and our MP claim the scheme is ‘the will of the people’.

Yet it was not in the 2019 Manifesto and therefore has not ever been endorsed by the public and neither was the unelected Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – he clearly has no mandate.

If they’re so emphatic it’s what the people of UK demanded – why not put it to the test and call a general election?

Redditch Resident


‘Giving up alcohol shouldn’t mean giving up socialising’

YOU MIGHT be surprised by someone from Alcohol Change UK advocating this, but we’re more than half-way through Dry January – so maybe it’s time to head to the pub.

Giving up alcohol shouldn’t mean giving up socialising.

Pubs are increasingly supportive of Dry January, and for good reason.

Our research shows that 44 per cent of those going alcohol-free this month are more likely to visit a bar or pub if it serves a good selection of alcohol-free beers, wines or spirits.

So how about seeing what’s behind the bar at your local?

You might find a range of good options already on offer – there’s been a huge increase in the quality and availability of alcohol-free products over recent years.

And they can help us cut down the amount of alcohol we drink, while making nights out more inclusive.

But they’re still not universally easy to find. You can help change that. In fact, many of our supporters have told us that speaking to the landlord of their local has resulted in better alcohol-free options being stocked year-round.

Of course, some of us doing Dry January will feel less comfortable in a pub because it might trigger cravings.

Alcohol-free alternative drinks are not right for everyone, and that’s fine.

But if you’d like to see improved options behind the bar, why not pop into your favourite pub and start a conversation with the staff?

Your encouragement might just help make your local even better!

Check out dryjanuary.org.uk for more info.

Joe Marley

Director, Alcohol Change UK, the charity behind Dry January

‘Help a noble course’

DID YOU know that a quarter of adults can’t think of something they’re truly proud of in the last 12 months?

This statistic highlights the need for meaningful experiences that not only enrich our lives but also make a positive impact on the lives of others.

As we step into the promising year of 2024, I’d like to encourage people to embark on a journey that not only fosters personal pride but also contributes to a noble cause.

Participating in an event for the BHF provides the perfect opportunity to achieve both.

The BHF is supporting more than 60 events across the country this year.

By choosing to take on an event like BHF’s iconic London to Brighton Bike Ride, Bournemouth Pier to Pier Swim or one of the AJ Bell Great Run Series events, which the BHF are official charity partner for, you not only challenge yourself physically and mentally but also contribute to funding crucial research.

Imagine the sense of accomplishment and pride you’ll feel as you cross that finish line, knowing that your efforts have made a difference to the 7.6million lives affected by heart and circulatory diseases, in the UK each year.

Visit bhf.org.uk/events to learn more about BHF events or to register.

Dan Geneen,

Head of events marketing

British Heart Foundation


CONGRATULAYIONS to Redditch’s Conor Rabone and his band ‘Gathering of Strangers’ who could have their song ‘Red and Gold’ played at this year’s Super Bowl after it was adopted by the San Francisco 49ers.

Whilst many people in Redditch probably do not have an allegiance to an American football team, I am sure we will all be hoping for a San Francisco 49ers win on Sunday so Conor and his bandmates’ creation can be heard by a staggering 115.1million people around the world.

We welcome your letters….

We welcome your letters for the Redditch Standard on any subject.

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