George Osborne has been criticised for sending millions of households annual tax statements that show the biggest chunk of their contribution going towards welfare, with trade unions describing it as “political propaganda masquerading as neutral information”.{jcomments on}

The letters are due to fall on to doormats over the next few weeks but the Treasury has quietly dropped plans to provide a further breakdown of benefit spending on the document.

The annual tax statements, announced by the chancellor in March 2012, are to provide more than 24 million people with a visual illustration of how their taxes are being spent. In examples released by the Treasury, someone earning £30,000 a year would be told that £1,663 of their money goes towards welfare, £1,280 to health, £892 on education, and £822 to state pensions. Just £78 of their taxes goes towards overseas aid and £51 to the EU budget.

The letters are being sent – at a cost of £5m – after Osborne signalled that he wanted to make another £12bn of welfare cuts in the next parliament, raising suspicions that he is seeking to soften up voters in order to win political support for further reductions in the benefits budget.

Read the full story on the Guardian website



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