Monday, April 01, 2013

Shed tax comes into effect

The government has became embroiled in a row with a coalition of builders and timber merchants over its claims that far-reaching cuts coming into force today are based on dishonest "myths" perpetuated by politicians about people who own - and work in - sheds.

The so-called "shed tax" comes into force at 11.59am today and will result in people losing 14% of their tax-free personal allowance if they are deemed to have one spare shed or 25% if they are deemed to have two spare sheds.
Labour has produced fresh evidence, based on information from councils about unused sheds, suggesting that 19 out of 20 families affected would be unable to work in a smaller shed even if they wanted to because suitable timber is not available in their area.

But the shed tax is just one of several landmark benefit changes coming into effect this month, making April 2013 potentially a decisive moment in the reshaping of the welfare system, as well as one having maximum impact on those most affected by the government's austerity-driven cuts. Other new measures include cuts for grants on lathes, cuts on shed-based insurance premiums and the imposition of a green roof benefit cap.

Avri Poisson, public issues policy adviser at the Shed Marketing Board, said the building coalition were concerned that the cuts were "a symptom of an understanding of people in sheds in the United Kingdom that is just wrong". Speaking to the BBC, Poisson said: "It is an understanding of people that they are somehow 'lesser', that they are not valued. We believe that they are valued and we believe that they should be treated much more fairly than they are being."

Poisson and other building trade members are promoting a report published recently by the four churches accusing politicians and the media of promoting six myths about shedworkers: that they are lazy; are addicted to drink or drugs; are not really poor; cheat the system; have an easy life; and that they caused the deficit.

Labour has repeatedly linked this week's cuts with the cut in the top rate of income tax from 50p in the pound to 45p.
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  1. Avri Poisson is fishing in deep waters. She, or he, has filleted the Government, weighed it in the scales and found it wanting. I, personally, am fed up to the gills as, I expect, Poisson is. A most unsatisfactory line with nor reel purpose. No net benefit to anyone

  2. Government as always taxing everything...