08:00 Saturday 12 January 2013

Union: 'MP helps rich but hits poor'

Written byBY ADRIAN JENKINS

Tory Party Chairman - Grant Shapps visiting the Burton MailMP Andrew Griffiths Tory Party Chairman - Grant Shapps visiting the Burton MailMP Andrew Griffiths

A TORY MP has been accused of ‘lining the pockets of the richest while kicking the poorest’.

Burton backbencher Andrew Griffiths was attacked after backing a tax cut for the highest earners while supporting a one per cent cap on benefits for the next three years.

“Mr Griffiths voted in favour of massive tax cuts for millionaires with the 5p in the pound income tax cut for the richest earners,” said Unite regional officer Rick Coyle.

“This week he has voted to make the poorest people in Burton and Uttoxeter ever poorer. It’s disgraceful.

“He’s lining the pockets of the richest while kicking the poorest. His priorities are sickening.”

Mr Coyle said Mr Griffiths had supported the Government’s moves at a time when hundreds of workers were involved in pay disputes at B&Q and Argos.

“These people could not work harder, yet many of them are on benefits because wealthy employers offer low pay or insecure work,” he said.

Mr Coyle said it was ‘a lie’ for the Government to claim public spending cuts were necessary when it was providing ‘huge giveaways’ to the wealthy.

But Mr Griffiths hit back, saying he was ‘looking for a fair deal for hard-working people in Burton’.

He said public sector workers had endured a two-year pay freeze and would receive one per cent rises in future.

Private sector workers, meanwhile, had suffered pay cuts, with some on three-day weeks.

“How can it be justified to increase benefits faster than hard-working people are seeing their pay increase?” Mr Griffiths said.

“If Unite and Labour feel we should increase benefits faster than pay, that is their choice.”

He said the Institute of Fiscal Studies had confirmed the wealthiest would pay ‘substantially more’ due to Government tax increases.

The said is was ‘nonsense’ to suggest the contrary.

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