Login Register

‘Mummy tax’ to be ‘final straw’ for new parents

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 11, 2013

Jon Wheale - Labour party prospective parliamentary candidate for Burton

Comments (16)

THOUSANDS of new parents in and around Burton could be hit by a so-called ‘mummy tax’ that came into effect last week, it has been claimed.

Jon Wheale, who will stand for the Labour Party in Burton in the 2015 General Election, said the measure would be the ‘final straw’ for new parents.

The annual rate of increase of many benefits, including statutory maternity pay, has been capped at one per cent, meaning they will rise slower than the cost of living.

Critics of the Government’s welfare reforms have dubbed the one per cent cap on maternity pay a ‘mummy tax’ and claim that new parents will be £180 a year worse off by 2015 than they would have been if the pay had risen in line with the cost of living.

The Government, however, has defended its changes to the welfare system, arguing the status quo is ‘unsustainable’ and pointing out that many people in employment are currently on pay freezes.

Mr Wheale said: “I think mums in Burton this year will want a government that is on their side.”

He accused the Government of ‘cutting support for new mums while cutting taxes for millionaires’.

“Real terms cuts to maternity pay for many will be the final straw,” Mr Wheale added.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “In difficult economic times we’ve protected the incomes of pensioners and disabled people and most working-age benefits will continue to increase one per cent.

“This was a tough decision but it’s one that will help keep the welfare bill sustainable in the longer term.

“By raising the personal allowance threshold, we’ve lifted two million people out of tax altogether.”

There were 3,533 women who gave birth in East Staffordshire, South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire in 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available.

Read more from Burton Mail

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters


  • Burhan  |  April 23 2013, 10:54AM

    He's talking tories, thats all!

  • BrewerDave  |  April 19 2013, 1:56PM

    What on earth is JimmyDean on about? Confused...

  • BrewerDave  |  April 19 2013, 1:56PM

    What on earth is JimmyDean on about? Confused...

  • BrewerDave  |  April 19 2013, 1:56PM

    What on earth is JimmyDean on about? Confused...

  • jimmydean  |  April 13 2013, 12:35PM

    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to £100... If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this... The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay £1. The sixth would pay £3. The seventh would pay £7.. The eighth would pay £12. The ninth would pay £18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay £59. So, that's what they decided to do.. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by £20". Drinks for the ten men would now cost just £80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men? The paying customers? How could they divide the £20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share? They realised that £20 divided by six is £3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay. And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving). The sixth now paid £2 instead of £3 (33% saving). The seventh now paid £5 instead of £7 (28% saving). The eighth now paid £9 instead of £12 (25% saving). The ninth now paid £14 instead of £18 (22% saving). The tenth now paid £49 instead of £59 (16% saving). Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a pound out of the £20 saving," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,"but he got £10!" "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a pound too. It's unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!" "That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get £10 back, when I got only £2? The wealthy get all the breaks!" "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison, "we didn't get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!" The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill! And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier. David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D. Professor of Economics.

  • Bookworm  |  April 12 2013, 7:09PM

    What Jon Wheale and Labour still seem to fail to understand is that the welfare bill grew to astronomical levels under the Labour Government, and there simply isn't the money to keep it at that level. When working people are seeing salary freezes I don't think it's unreasonable for benefits to only go up by 1%.

  • JohnJarman  |  April 12 2013, 4:42PM

    I assume that Mr Wheale has received an education and does understand what Tax actually is. If not then let me inform him. Tax is what the government takes from monies earnt in return for work or sale of goods or services ... benefits are what are given to the less fortunate in some cases and universal in others. The reduction or withdrawal of what is essentially a gift is NOT tax. At best Mr Wheale demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the situation or at worst he is complicit in fostering ill feeling on the back of a lie.

  • phillch  |  April 12 2013, 1:05PM

    well choccy, i personally believe what you have said is drivel and slightly based on jealousy! Why should the rich be punished for earning more. You im sure think these people dont actually do any work etc and get paid this for nothing! All i have seen over many years now are unemployed people claiming all benefits and actually bringing home more money than me. I work 40hrs + a week and my partner works part time and we have 2 children yet labour thought it was ok to pay others more in benefits for doing nothing! thats what annoys me! The real problem in this country is not the rich its the people who sponge every penny they can get out of the system with no consequences to others! No matter what government is in power the country will not get better until people stop being greedy and earn what they get!

  • MouthAlmighty  |  April 12 2013, 11:54AM

    Do we need to spend less as a country? Yes Is population increasing exponentially? Yes I reckon this is not a bad thing then. Interesting new Labour tactic to declare any Gov't cuts a 'tax' (Bedroom tax, Mummy tax). I suppose it covers up their lack of any alternative proposals other than 'spend, spend, spend'.

  • choccy  |  April 12 2013, 11:31AM

    Phillch, what utter drivel! You are obviously very sensitive to the right wing propaganda that's currently flooding the media. This government is covering up the mess their (still) billionaire pals in the financial sector had left behind in the WORLD WIDE economy crash. Labour were by no means perfect, but much of the money spent by them went on repairing the damage to the NHS, schools and our industries, caused by the Conservatives. I'd sooner see my taxes spent on the needy and vulnerable in society than the untouchables at the 'top' losing a small portion of money they could not possibly spend in their lifetime. Do you subscribe to their lies because you hope to be one of them one day, because I guarantee you they will make sure that never happens. They are keeping the elderly and middle classes sweet for nothing more than their gullible votes.