The Missing Links

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There is room for some innovative thinking on the link between pay discontent and the march towards war ('Fight Fire with Fire', November SR).

Buried away in Gordon Brown's Finance Bill is a freeze in personal allowances for working-age adults. This is the threshold at which workers start to pay income tax. It is obviously of greatest importance to the low paid, but it affects everybody.

Everyone is paying for the £1 billion that Gordon Brown has set aside for the Iraq war, and for the £24 billion per annum that this country spends on arms. Meanwhile, Mr Prudence has abolished many of the royalties due on North Sea oil and slashed corporation taxes. As your editorial points out, large groups of workers are not seeing the benefits of economic growth because of inflation in the privatised housing and transport sectors (the same is true of childcare, higher education and elderly care). Disposable income is the key--New Labour is taking your allowances away.

Joe Bord
Cambridge