Yesterday’s Independent on Sunday carried the news that Lib Dem MPs will this week step up the pressure on the chancellor, George Osborne, to move more quickly to raise the income tax personal allowance to £10,000. This follows Nick Clegg’s speech last month in which he called publicly for the upcoming budget to go faster than previously anticipated in implementing the policy.
As the Indy reports:
This week the Lib Dems will mount a major campaign to persuade Mr Osborne to agree to a sharp increase in the allowance. Simon Hughes, the party’s deputy leader, has urged all members and activists to back an e-petition calling for the Government to go further and faster. David Laws returns to the political front line on BBC2’s Newsnight, and Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader, will use a party political broadcast on Wednesday to demand “faster tax cuts funded by increasing the amount paid by the richest”.
Many will have guessed that this is one of the issues David Laws has been working on in an unofficial capacity – just look at the written Parliamentary questions he’s been asking over the last few months – given the need to fund the measure (the Independent also reported that the party has come up with £16bn worth of funding ideas, including limiting tax relief on pension contributions and a mansion tax on properties worth more than £2m).
You can catch Laws talking about the policy on tonight’s Newsnight (BBC2, 10.30pm).
* Nick Thornsby is Thursday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs here.