Petition launched by Wanstead Quaker Group calls for rise in income tax to help poor

Promoting The Fair Penny Campaign, Peter Green, Jan Sellers, Melvyn Freake, Kate Green, Sue McCarthy and Anne Smith.

Promoting The Fair Penny Campaign, Peter Green, Jan Sellers, Melvyn Freake, Kate Green, Sue McCarthy, Anne Smith and Kate Green.

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter - Wanstead & Woodford

A petition is calling for income tax to be increased to offset the impact of government funding cuts.

Wanstead Quaker group, based in Bush Road, is calling for those paying £40,000 or more to pay an extra 1p in every pound after Redbridge Council cut the budget for social services by £1.9million this year, with total required savings of £21million over the next two years.

The online petition, part of the Fair Penny Campaign, has already received 1,085 signatures.

It will be presented to Redbridge Council if the total reaches 2,000, the amount needed to force a full council debate on the proposal.

The petition states: “Austerity measures are affecting the poor disproportionately, increasing inequality.

“We see this as an injustice: everyone has a right to a fair share and everyone ought to contribute fairly.

"It's the government's job to make sure this happens.

“Many people are willing to pay an extra penny in tax to help prevent cuts to benefits and services.”

Members of Wanstead Quaker group admitted the proposal would not be popular with many people, but said they are determined to publicise the issue.

Kate Green, 65, of Blake Hall Crescent, Wanstead, said: “All we want to do is get justice for the poor.

“We want to show all the political parties that there are people who care and people who want to give more so the disadvantaged don’t struggle as they are.

“It is true that many people will not be willing to pay more tax and we understand that. But because of our faith we have been led to act, and our petition has received loads of support so far.”

Melvyn Freake, 66, of Hamilton Avenue, Barkingside, said: “People earning over £40,000 a year can afford to give this extra money.

“The idea of paying more tax may seem a bad idea, but I want people to realise that paying extra can contribute to the greater welfare of society.

“Rather than cutting, the government could actually choose to spend money on people, we want to show that people are willing to spend a bit extra to help out."

Deputy Leader of Redbridge Council, Ian Bond, said the proposed tax rise could be counter-productive.

He said: "I recognise the concerns that this campaign is raising.  Liberal Democrats are working hard both in government and on the council to manage with less money and mitigate the impact on the poorest.

"For example, the Redbridge Council Tax Support Scheme offers more support than those of neighbouring boroughs. However Lib Dems nationally are proud of having reduced income tax for lower earners; I do not think that an across-the-board tax increase for everyone would be the fairest way of raising extra money."

Comments (12)

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12:16pm Fri 4 Apr 14

Villagecranberry says...

Yes we should increase taxes as the price of tattoos, piercings, booze and fags have all gone up.
Yes we should increase taxes as the price of tattoos, piercings, booze and fags have all gone up. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -7

12:53pm Fri 4 Apr 14

mdj says...

These good people should be directing their fire at the vast amount of tax that's now avoided by big companies with the connivance of all governing parties, whose senior members are well rewarded for their efforts by those companies when they leave office.

Michael Foot had a good phrase about 'fat men telling thin men to tighten their belts' which is apposite here.

Among their other great qualities Quakers promote an admirable culture of frugality, but that shouldn't lead them to be seduced by the false rhetoric that there's no money in our society.
'Speaking Truth to Power' is another of those great Quaker qualities, and now would be a good time for it.
These good people should be directing their fire at the vast amount of tax that's now avoided by big companies with the connivance of all governing parties, whose senior members are well rewarded for their efforts by those companies when they leave office. Michael Foot had a good phrase about 'fat men telling thin men to tighten their belts' which is apposite here. Among their other great qualities Quakers promote an admirable culture of frugality, but that shouldn't lead them to be seduced by the false rhetoric that there's no money in our society. 'Speaking Truth to Power' is another of those great Quaker qualities, and now would be a good time for it. mdj
  • Score: 10

1:30pm Fri 4 Apr 14

hursthill says...

I have good news for the 1,085 people who have signed the petition !

They can pay more tax already, simply by sending a cheque to HMRC explaining it is a voluntary tax payment. Check out HMRC website.

Personally when I hear about kids receiving job seekers allowance because they can't be arsed to better themselves, but just want to play on computers all day - I want to keep my hard earned money & pay less tax.
I have good news for the 1,085 people who have signed the petition ! They can pay more tax already, simply by sending a cheque to HMRC explaining it is a voluntary tax payment. Check out HMRC website. Personally when I hear about kids receiving job seekers allowance because they can't be arsed to better themselves, but just want to play on computers all day - I want to keep my hard earned money & pay less tax. hursthill
  • Score: 2

1:36pm Fri 4 Apr 14

NDevoto says...

What's the point of 2000 signatures to get the Local Council to "debate" the proposal? They have no control over income tax nor influence over the Govt on the issue!
What's the point of 2000 signatures to get the Local Council to "debate" the proposal? They have no control over income tax nor influence over the Govt on the issue! NDevoto
  • Score: 5

2:25pm Fri 4 Apr 14

T. Watts says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
Yes we should increase taxes as the price of tattoos, piercings, booze and fags have all gone up.
But one thing is still very cheap - your pathetic remarks, eh Cornbeefur!
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Yes we should increase taxes as the price of tattoos, piercings, booze and fags have all gone up.[/p][/quote]But one thing is still very cheap - your pathetic remarks, eh Cornbeefur! T. Watts
  • Score: 4

2:26pm Fri 4 Apr 14

T. Watts says...

hursthill wrote:
I have good news for the 1,085 people who have signed the petition !

They can pay more tax already, simply by sending a cheque to HMRC explaining it is a voluntary tax payment. Check out HMRC website.

Personally when I hear about kids receiving job seekers allowance because they can't be arsed to better themselves, but just want to play on computers all day - I want to keep my hard earned money & pay less tax.
Meaningless drivel.
[quote][p][bold]hursthill[/bold] wrote: I have good news for the 1,085 people who have signed the petition ! They can pay more tax already, simply by sending a cheque to HMRC explaining it is a voluntary tax payment. Check out HMRC website. Personally when I hear about kids receiving job seekers allowance because they can't be arsed to better themselves, but just want to play on computers all day - I want to keep my hard earned money & pay less tax.[/p][/quote]Meaningless drivel. T. Watts
  • Score: 5

6:53am Sat 5 Apr 14

Villagecranberry says...

T. Watts wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote:
Yes we should increase taxes as the price of tattoos, piercings, booze and fags have all gone up.
But one thing is still very cheap - your pathetic remarks, eh Cornbeefur!
Who is that?
[quote][p][bold]T. Watts[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Yes we should increase taxes as the price of tattoos, piercings, booze and fags have all gone up.[/p][/quote]But one thing is still very cheap - your pathetic remarks, eh Cornbeefur![/p][/quote]Who is that? Villagecranberry
  • Score: -5

1:45am Sun 6 Apr 14

Villagecranberry says...

Funny how most people calling for others to pay more tax do not pay much themselves.
Funny how most people calling for others to pay more tax do not pay much themselves. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -5

7:04pm Mon 7 Apr 14

stickmanny says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
T. Watts wrote:
Villagecranberry wrote:
Yes we should increase taxes as the price of tattoos, piercings, booze and fags have all gone up.
But one thing is still very cheap - your pathetic remarks, eh Cornbeefur!
Who is that?
It's you - lying again
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]T. Watts[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Yes we should increase taxes as the price of tattoos, piercings, booze and fags have all gone up.[/p][/quote]But one thing is still very cheap - your pathetic remarks, eh Cornbeefur![/p][/quote]Who is that?[/p][/quote]It's you - lying again stickmanny
  • Score: 4

7:04pm Mon 7 Apr 14

stickmanny says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
Funny how most people calling for others to pay more tax do not pay much themselves.
Funny how everything you write is lies
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: Funny how most people calling for others to pay more tax do not pay much themselves.[/p][/quote]Funny how everything you write is lies stickmanny
  • Score: 4

7:48pm Thu 10 Apr 14

KateGreen says...

Thank your for your interest in our petition!

We're not a bunch of frugal do-gooders; our campaign has been very carefully thought through!
1) we would make a sacrifice to reduce the suffering of others - wouldn't you?
2) Making that commitment helps to shame those who don't pay their fair share.
3) Most people receiving benefits are working, but not getting paid enough to live on. It could be any of us, or members of our families, suddenly dependent on others.
4) We know income tax has nothing to do with the council ... that was journalistic licence.
5) We wouldn't want to send money to the government ... they might use if for Trident or other weapons. We would only pay if it went towards helping the most vulnerable.

Thank you for reading! Now please go and sign the petition!
Thank your for your interest in our petition! We're not a bunch of frugal do-gooders; our campaign has been very carefully thought through! 1) we would make a sacrifice to reduce the suffering of others - wouldn't you? 2) Making that commitment helps to shame those who don't pay their fair share. 3) Most people receiving benefits are working, but not getting paid enough to live on. It could be any of us, or members of our families, suddenly dependent on others. 4) We know income tax has nothing to do with the council ... that was journalistic licence. 5) We wouldn't want to send money to the government ... they might use if for Trident or other weapons. We would only pay if it went towards helping the most vulnerable. Thank you for reading! Now please go and sign the petition! KateGreen
  • Score: 0

9:50pm Thu 10 Apr 14

mdj says...

'1) we would make a sacrifice to reduce the suffering of others - wouldn't you? '

I hope we would, and do: but this misses the elephantine point that if Vodaphone, Amazon, Philip Green's empire and a host of other mega-companies paid the tax in this country that their turnover here would justify, there is NO lack of money!
I don't see how further sacrifice by the modestly-off would increase any sense of shame in the above parties, since we have seen no indication of any so far. It would merely increase their impudence and sense of impunity.
Why should people, many of whom as you rightly observe have not enough to live on, pay more to a body that may, as you say, spend it on unrelated , indeed immoral purposes?
'1) we would make a sacrifice to reduce the suffering of others - wouldn't you? ' I hope we would, and do: but this misses the elephantine point that if Vodaphone, Amazon, Philip Green's empire and a host of other mega-companies paid the tax in this country that their turnover here would justify, there is NO lack of money! I don't see how further sacrifice by the modestly-off would increase any sense of shame in the above parties, since we have seen no indication of any so far. It would merely increase their impudence and sense of impunity. Why should people, many of whom as you rightly observe have not enough to live on, pay more to a body that may, as you say, spend it on unrelated , indeed immoral purposes? mdj
  • Score: 1

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