George Osborne’s 2012 Budget on Wednesday was labelled as “blatant self-interest”, and has been widely condemned by Islington Labour.
The chancellor’s proposal to reduce the income tax rate from 50 to 45p in the pound for incomes over £150,000 a year has angered the Labour-run council.
The tax cut will take effect from April 2013.
Alice Perry, councillor for St Peter’s ward, poured scorn on the chancellor’s announcement. Mr Osborne and several other cabinet members already have seven-figure fortunes, and Ms Perry believes they are abusing their positions to enhance their personal wealth.
“To reduce the tax rate sends a message that the Government are really out of touch with normal people,” she said. “Cutting it doesn’t stimulate economic growth – it’s just blatant self-interest.”
She added: “The cabinet consists of a load of millionaires who all went to Eton. They are just appeasing their friends and families – they don’t care about other people, they have no respect.
“It doesn’t grow the economy – it is just really sad that they are using the Government and this country to make themselves, their friends and their families even richer.”
Paul Smith, councillor for Holloway, said that giving the rich a lower rate of tax sends the wrong message to people within the borough on lower incomes.
He said: “The Government is clearly not on the side of the borough or ordinary people. Islington has lost so much to the cuts, but areas like Surrey and Dorset have lost almost nothing. Islington has one of the highest levels of poverty in the country, and the Government has chosen to take money from us.
“They have taken opportunity and support from those who need it most in order to enable those who have the most to have even more.
“The lowering of the 50p tax rate while there are people in Islington who are being forced out of their homes because they are no longer getting housing benefits is simply unfair.
“On the other side, people are losing their jobs because the Government have cut the vital services they provided – it is just plain wrong.”
Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP for Islington North, also voiced his discontent. Taking to Twitter, he said: “George Osborne could have saved £100bn if he cut Trident in today’s Budget, sadly he did not.”