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This has been copied from page 8 of the Nov/Dec RMT newsletter.

Following consistent uni0n pressure, the government has agreed to withdraw proposed changes to Seafarers Earnings Deductions that would have hit seafaring members affected very hard.
HM Revenue and Customs had planned to introduce guidance in December 2008 which would restrict the application of the tax break to seafarers who work in the offshore oil and gas industry. However, RMT parliamentary group member Katy Clark put down early day motion 891, which has been signed by over 70 MPs, opposing the move.
The EDM expressed concerned that such a move would adversely affect thousands of seafarers many of whom work on low wages. RMT national secretary Steve Todd said that the treasury was clearly embarrassed by the original announcement, opposed by the maritime uni0ns and the Chamber of Shipping.
He said that the government had also stated that construction, construction support, well service and dive support vessels will continue to be classified as ships for the purposes of SED.
“New guidelines are now being drawn up and it is clear that any decision will not be retrospective and most seafarers, if not all, will be able to claim SED,” he said.

A draft document is expected before the New Year and RMT will be fully involved in the consultation process.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Oh and BTW all those uni0n cynics may like to reconsider their position, as they obviously do have some power and can resolve issues. This time they were acting on behalf of all seafarers and we will reap the benefits. What happens when there is an issue that specifically affects ROV, who will fight our corner?

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