PM tries to calm troubled tax waters

Prime minister Gordon Brown hoped to avert a mutiny among his Labour
backbenchers yesterday by promising to consult on new measures to fight poverty
as he faced mounting criticism over the 10p income tax band.

Labour party managers believe Brown’s appeal for unity at Monday’s party
meeting has quelled the rebellion, but Frank Field, the Labour MP spearheading
opposition, claimed more than 30 Labour MPs could back his calls for
compensation for those affected, which would be enough to defeat the finance
bill in the House of Commons, the Financial Times reports.

Brown has ordered a modest concession to the rebels and has addressed MPs for
the second time in a month.

Party whips have been busy putting pressure on the rebels, warning a defeat
for the government on a key part of its finance bill next Monday would mean a
devastating blow for Brown’s administration.

Further reading:

story in the Financial Review

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