Mar 222012

You know anyone would think the media isn’t capable of adding up to more than 10 without taking their socks off given all the fuss about the so-called “granny tax”. By which they mean the gradual elimination of the increased tax allowance that older people get once the increased personal allowance reaches that level.

Either the complaint is that pensioners are paying the same level of tax as working people, or that the tax allowance for pensioners is not going to go up by the level of inflation for a couple of years. Neither are exactly catastrophic for pensioners – the poorest pensioners are not going to reach that level of income anyway, and those that will be effected will hardly notice the difference.

After all there is no guarantee that the tax personal allowance will increase by the level of inflation every year … neither the normal personal allowance nor the “bonus” allowances that older people get on top of their personal allowance. And why should older people get a special taxation allowance merely for being older ?

Eliminating that special case will make the taxation system just a little bit simpler – something to be encouraged.

I’m more likely than most to throw rocks at the Tories and their policies, but I don’t see this as being worth picking up a rock for.¬†There’s quite a few other things about the recent budget to get excited about.

Like reducing the income tax rate for the wealthy from 50% to 45%; whilst the Tories are quite possibly right about it not being a great revenue raiser, it sends out the message that the Tories are on the side of the wealthy. Whilst they have also done a bit of tinkering with tax avoidance, and added a top rate of stamp duty (on residential property purchases), reducing the income tax rate for the top earners feels wrong.

So why is the media making more fuss about the non-issue that is the “granny tax” ? Someone more suspicious than me might suspect that the media is deliberately drawing attention away from the income tax issue – just how much do these journalists earn anyway ?

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