Sammy Wilson: We must not become two nations, one doing well economically, the other not

George Osborne, above in his Budget speech last week,rewarded the rich while taking �1.3 billion from the disabled. Photo: PA Wire
George Osborne, above in his Budget speech last week,rewarded the rich while taking �1.3 billion from the disabled. Photo: PA Wire
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During the first day of the budget debate last Wednesday I warned that what the chancellor had proposed was unfair.

To give a 40% cut in the rate of Capital Gains tax for the very rich whose investments had increased in value, while at the same time taking £1,300m from the incomes of people with disability could never be seen as fair.

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

It was clear from the reaction of some on the government benches that they agreed with my view but I never for once imagined that there would be a rebellion of the magnitude which has subsequently erupted.

A decision to reverse the decision will be welcome. By all means we must stop the disability system of benefits being abused but we must not punish those who genuinely need help because of their inability to work due to their illness.

The money needed can be found from reducing the tax breaks given to the most well off or since there is huge uncertainty about tax forecasts the chancellor and these cuts are not due to take effect for two years he could wait and see what happens to the revenue he gets from tax.

The figures are volatile. In October he had £27bn to give away within six months he found he needed £4bn to fund a shortfall in tax revenue who knows what the situation will look like in two years time.

What he must avoid is the situation I described last Wednesday where we have two nations, one doing well economically the other shut off from any prospects of economic improvement.

If Iain Duncan Smith has caused a rethink on this issue then he has done the country a service.

Sammy Wilson, DUP, East Antrim MP