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  1. Politics
2 May 2008

Alun Michael: a concession was painted as a climbdown

Former Welsh Secretary and first minister Alun Michael says the 10p tax issue played very badly with

By Ben Davies

Labour’s Alun Michael says the 10p tax debacle was a big issue on the doorstep in the run up to the 1 May elections and by the time concessions came from Number 10 people felt it was too little, too late.

Michael, who represents Cardiff South and Penarth, said the prime minister’s reaction to concerns that the abolition of the tax band would hit the poorest in our society was being painted as a climbdown and not a concession borne out of listening to people.

“It’s been particularly unfair on Gordon as he’s put such effort into tacking poverty across Britain. There was a perception that the decision on the 10p tax band was going against Labour values. When the concessions came they came too late to be potent in persuading voters.”

On the particular situation in Wales, Michael said the picture was very mixed. He pointed out that as well as Labour losses, Plaid Cymru had suffered defeats in their heartland as well.

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