Gardeners are counting the cost of Gordon Brown’s Budget after one totted up how much tax changes would cut from her pay packet and received a nasty shock.
People earning less than £15,000 a year will be hit by the abolition of the 10 per cent lower rate of income tax. They will lose around £120 annually.
“Many gardeners are paid under £15,000,” said the horticulturist, who asked not to be named. “They are going to be at least £100 worse off because of this change. It would be nice if the National Trust and RHS led the way on this.”
Though Brown cut the basic tax rate from 22p to 20p in last month’s budget, he abolished the 10p starting rate. Taxpayers therefore start paying at 20p in the pound, doubling the rate of tax for those on less than £15,000. The change starts next year.
HTA director of commercial services Andrew Maxted said: “We are very aware and surprised at the change. Many staff on less take-home pay will request some sort of compensatory pay rise.”
He said the tax change was bound up with minimum wage and agricultural wages board issues and would be tackled in HTA meetings with the Government.
“The Government has given with one hand and taken away with the other. It’s an extra blow to the industry. We’ve had two poor seasons and continuing pressure on public-sector budgets, which continues to hit amenity planting.”
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