Lib Dem policy is helping worst-off
I WANT to draw attention to the effects of Lib-Dem policies on the Government.
If you earn less than £9,440, you will no longer pay income tax. If you're paid more than that then you will be paying £600 less each year than you were in 2010.
This is the biggest ever increase in your personal allowance, it means the Lib Dems are now within a whisker of achieving the manifesto pledge of allowing everyone to earn £10,000 a year tax free – a total tax cut of £700, coupled with a state pension rise of more than £5 per week for pensioners aged 65 and over.
The difficult truth coming out of the autumn statement is that we have to continue to make savings for another few years. Some people say that's a good reason to give up on the Coalition, in my view that's absurd, it makes the Coalition even more essential to provide the strong government that Britain needs.
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Labour left us with a mess to clear up and with the situation in Europe and ongoing problems with the banks, it is harder than anyone had predicted.
The Coalition has to pull together strongly for another big push on cutting the deficit and kick-starting growth. Both Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander in negotiations with the Conservatives fought longest and hardest to get that tax break for working people, they worked to limit the impact of the next wave of cuts on low income families, ruling out the abolition of child benefit for families with two or more children and saying we should keep housing benefit for under 25s who need a place to stay. The welfare savings are less than half of the £10bn cuts first floated. They give people on benefits the same rise as we are paying nurses, civil servants and all in the public sector.
These were far from easy decisions, we are asking people to make great sacrifices. We must always be fair in the language we use to describe people on benefits. Many people on benefits are in work and others are out of work through no fault of their own. When they are being asked to tighten their belts, they should not be demonised too. Finally the Lib Dems fought for its policy on a mansion tax. But the Conservatives have an irrational phobia against asking people who live in £2 million plus properties from chipping in a little more when every one else is making their contribution. So we agreed to ensure the richest pay their fair share by limiting pension tax relief for millionaires and increasing our efforts on tax avoidance. The end result is this autumn statement has taken no more from benefit claimants than it has from the wealthy.
I am certain if Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander were not part of it, things would have turned out for the worse, as it is it adds up to a fair and balanced package, it puts money back in the pockets of families to help them plot a course through the next two years I say well done Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander.
President of Plymouth Liberal Democrats