HYNDBURN MP Greg Pope is celebrating after Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a shock U-turn on the controversial 10p tax band affecting people on low incomes.
He was one of the leaders in the Labour rebellion against the proposals – which was backed by 46 of the party’s MPs.
On Wednesday Chancellor Alistair Darling said he would assess the loss to pensioners aged 60 to 64 and childless people from the abolition of the 10p rate, and a compensation deal would be unveiled in the autumn and backdated to April.
Former Labour minister Frank Field, who led the rebellion, responded by withdrawing his amendment.
Mr Pope, a former Labour whip, said he was defending the rights of his constituents.
He said: "The Government needed to back down and compensate people. They have listened and have agreed to what we want.
"I’m delighted the Government has listened. I’m a loyal Labour MP and the fact that I and other Labour MPs voted against it has made the Government sit up and take notice.
"I felt it was important that I represent the people of Hyndburn on this issue as many of them will be affected by this tax move."
Under the changes, millions of low earners will be hit by the loss of the 10p tax band.
Meanwhile, the basic rate has been lowered from 22p to 20p, meaning middle-earners will be better off.
Mr Pope said he was particularly concerned about single women aged between 60 and 65 who did not have children and were not in work or on low incomes, and couples under 25 who currently get tax credits.
He added: "There are many groups of people who are on quite modest incomes.
"For them £2, £3, or £4 a week makes a major difference with the cost of food and petrol rising. In the end it is my job to represent the people of Hyndburn."