Liberal Democrat News 23rd March 2012
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
Victory for 'further faster' campaign
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander MP, writes:
"Over 20 million working people will be better off next year after Liberal Democrats in the Coalition government delivered the biggest ever increase in the income tax personal allowance in the Budget.
"The increase of £1,100 is worth £220 to 21 million working people - taking the total income tax cut for working people delivered over three years by the Coalition to nearly £550 a year. Two million people will pay no income tax at all. By going 'further and faster' as Nick Clegg promised, we getting real help to millions of hard-pressed people at a time when they need it most.
"The £14bn tax cut means that the government is in 'touching distance' of delivering the most important promise we Liberal Democrats made in the 2010 General Election manifesto - that no one should have to pay any income tax until they earn more than £10,000.
"With the allowance rising to an historic high of £9,205 next April, our aim will be to deliver the final step at the next budget - so that people get the full benefit over a year before the 2015 General Election.
"This big tax cut for working people is paid for in part by a significant increase in the tax paid by the wealthiest. As part of the Coalition budget deal, we agreed to reduce the top rate of tax to 45p - but only after securing a series of new taxes on the wealthy that pay for it five times over.
"Labour's 50p rate turned out not to work effectively. By introducing taxes that do work, like a tycoon tax, raising stamp duty, blocking stamp duty avoidance, and getting non-resident companies to pay Capital Gains Tax on their residential property, we have secured real progress on the taxation of wealth. This is a Budget for the many, not the few.
"All of this has been done while sticking to our tough but necessary plan to deal with this country's financial problems. Britain can't afford unfunded giveaways - unlike the last Labour government, we have made sure everything is paid for.
"The Budget shows real progress on our commitments to infrastructure - on roads, railways, and renewable energy. Tougher green taxes on company cars will help cut emissions as well as raising money.
"The Budget delivers other long fought for Liberal Democrat ideas. The government is now committed to delivering the 'single tier pension' - Steve Webb's plan for a Citizen's Pension that will mean a basic pension above the means test of around £140 per week.
"Specific measures to support key industrial sectors like creative industries, technology investment, aerospace and university spin out, as well as further Business Tax simplification means that we have delivered a Budget for growth as well as fairness.
"The negotiations on this Budget were friendly but hard fought. But Liberal Democrats should be proud of what we have achieved - not for ourselves, but for the millions of people who voted for us because they saw a party willing to stand up for the squeezed middle. Those people can see the difference we are making in government for them - and that gives us a very strong message for the elections in May and beyond."