'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Let's start with an apology to @charlotteahenry...

...who thinks the Lib Dem blogosphere has been slightly too 'ra ra party policy' and not enough ' are you mad?' in recent weeks. And she's probably right. What's the point of being an unelected foot soldier pushing endless focus envelopes through doors if you can't point the finger at the leadership and say 'oi' every now and again?

So sorry Charlotte. Because for me, today is the best day to be a Lib Dem since May 2010, with Nick's speech today marking out a clear, unequivocal and just plain right stand on tax policy, and a drive to taking the poorest paid workers out of income tax sooner rather than later.

So I'm saying hip hip hooray, and shamelessly posting our approach to tax that I've nicked off the party website.

Sorry Charlotte :-)

Thu, 26 Jan 2012
The Liberal Democrats believe you should keep more money that you earn. That is why we believe the tax-free threshold should raise to £10,000, saving working people £700 a year and making sure millions of the lowest paid workers don’t have to pay any income tax at all.
Between now and the Budget, Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats in Government will be arguing for faster tax cuts for hard-working families, promoting work and growth, and rewarding innovation, paid for by increasing the amount paid by the richest.

And the Liberal Democrats in Coalition are already making the difference:
  • More than 800,000 working people no longer paying income tax
  • 23 million working people have been given a £200 tax cut
  • In April this year every worker will be given a further income tax cut of £130
  • And by the local elections in May this year, 1.1 million of the lowest paid workers, will no longer be burdened by income tax

Imagine a mum who works 3 days a week as a teaching assistant - earning £10,000 a year or just over £190 a week. Under Labour she paid more than £1,000 in income tax and national insurance. Although she wanted to work more days a week she knew it was not financially worth it. Under Labour; once tax, tax credits and housing benefit has been deducted, for every extra pound she earned she was able to keep just 10.5p.
Under our plan she would see her income tax bill cut to zero making her £700 a year better off.

The Liberal Democrats are committed to delivering a fairer economy, turning our tax promise into cash in your pocket. It was on the front page of our manifesto and is being implemented because of Liberal Democrats in Government.

As part of this Coalition, Liberal Democrats are calling time on our unfair and out-of-whack tax system.
  • We’ve clamped down on tax avoiders – targeting an extra £7bn every year
  • We’re taxing the banks by an extra £2.5bn every year
  • We’ve stopped inheritance tax cuts for millionaires
  • We’ve put up Capital Gains Tax
  • We’re ending the scandal, under Labour, of a hedge-fund manager paying less tax on their shares than their cleaner paid on their wages
  • We’ve reduced tax breaks on pension funds for the super-rich
  • We have retained the 50p rate
  • And our overall priority is freeing the lowest-paid from income tax altogether and cutting income tax for millions of ordinary workers

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