Article by David Harding Price, Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Lincoln
Many of you may have noticed a small but significant change in your latest pay packets that have arrived over the last week or so. A little extra money that has not been taken by the tax man, which you are now free to spend on repairing the car, saving for a holiday, paying off a little more of that credit card or a meal out with the family- whatever you do is up to you! This is thanks to the rise in the tax threshold which happened on the 5th April this year, and has been delivered by the Liberal Democrats in government.
On the front page of our manifesto in 2010, we said we would raise the tax threshold, which is the point you start pay tax, from £6,475 to £10,000 a year. This has meant 37,400 ordinary working people in Lincoln have received a £700 a year tax cut delivered by the Lib Dems. We also have 5,000 Lincoln residents on the lowest incomes taken out of tax all together.
If you were one of those people who witnessed the first TV debate at the General Election of 2010, David Cameron blasted Nick Clegg for wanting to deliver a £17 billion income tax cut. He said “I would love to take everyone out of their first £10,000 of income tax, Nick. It’s a beautiful idea, a lovely idea. We cannot afford it.” Since then, the Conservative Party seem to have erased that from their memory, and claim it as their own policy. If the Lib Dems were not in government, the Income Tax cut would never have taken place.
The Lib Dem approach in delivering fairer taxes is in stark contrast to record of the Labour Party. In Government, Labour increased tax on low income households with the scrapping of the 10p tax rate in 2008, giving those on the lowest incomes a £232 increase in their tax bills. Not a fair thing to do.
The Lib Dems have now pressured the Conservative Chancellor, George Osbourne into going even further. As of next year, everyone will receive an additional £100 tax cut with the threshold going up to £10,500, meaning the Lib Dems have over-delivered.
Liberal Democrats are working for a stronger economy and a fairer society, so that everyone can get on in life, so we are cutting taxes for ordinary working people. Liberal Democrats want fairer taxes, which is why we made raising the tax-free allowance our number one priority. When times are tough, with rising bills and wages not keeping pace with inflation, we want to give people real, practical help. Cutting Income Tax will not deal with all of those problems, but it will help. And I hope it will make a big difference to every family in this city.
But I’d like us to go further after the election – with the goal that you don’t pay Income Tax until you earn more than the minimum wage and a further tax cut for hardworking families across Lincoln and the UK.