Nick Clegg tells Lib Dem Members: This is a Budget for the many, not the few

Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat party Leader e-mailed Party members this afternoon to tell them that today’s Budget puts us within “touching distance” of our goal to raise the tax thre

We can be proud that the biggest tax cuts in today’s Budget go to millions of working families.
As a result of this Budget, someone working a full week on minimum wage will see their income tax bill cut by over 50% compared to under Labour.

Increasing the personal allowance to £9,205 takes us within touching distance of our number one manifesto pledge – ensuring no one pays any tax on the first £10,000 they earn.

Thanks to our changes, a basic rate taxpayer will be paying £45 a month less in tax than they would have been under Labour.

We can be proud that we’ve ensured the richest in our society will be paying more, much more.

The Tycoon Tax, an increase in stamp duty for high value properties and other new taxes on wealth will raise five times as much as the 50p tax rate. Those with annual incomes of more than £150,000 a year will be paying on average an additional £1,300 a year in tax, as a result of this Budget.

Of course, this is a Coalition Budget and we did not get our own way on everything. Conservative priorities are not ours. But as on so many other issues, we have made sure that there is a real Liberal Democrat stamp on this Budget.

Lower taxes for more than 20 million working people; effective new taxes on the rich.

This is a Budget we can be proud of – a Budget for the many, not the few.

Thanks for all the support you give to the party.

He also invited members to a special online Q and A with Danny Alexander tomorrow night. You can register for this event here.

* Caron Lindsay is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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21 Comments

  • Of course what hasn’t been said is that the people right at the bottom – the disabled unable to work, people stuck in low-paid and part-time jobs, those dispensed with by the public sector recently, carers, and so on – who never troubled Income Tax in the first place, don’t benefit at all from upping the allowances and yet are hit in the face by the spending cuts promised. The Lib Dems have adopted the Tory way of talking of the “deserving hard-working” – which by implication means that those who aren’t in sufficiently well paid work aren’t deserving. Perhaps such language might be more forgivable in times of lower unemployment…

    …and yet Labour missed the open goal, if they even saw it at all.

  • Tax cut for the rich, tax cut for the poor, paid for by reducing public services, most likely to be used by the poor. Difficult to argue this in anyway represents a budget for the many.

  • Adam Bernard 21st Mar '12 - 3:10pm

    Julia has this exactly right. Not that it’s any bad thing to take the lowest paid out of taxation, but doing so is still a tax cut, and will tend to be paid for partially by cuts in benefits and public services which will hit hardest on those that are the absolutely poorest. As a party we should be better than this.

    Having said that, I was pleased that there were some moves at least not to extend the full benefit of the threshold rise to higher earners.

  • We will never know what the 50p rate would bring in a normal year. In the first year people avoided it by bringing forward their renumeration packages to before the introduction of the 50p rate. In the second and last year they will avoid it by deferring their renumeration until after it is abolished. I think you would have to be quite naive to believe that Osborne’s budget has really increased taxes on the wealthy.

  • Nick (not Clegg) 21st Mar '12 - 3:52pm

    It’s not a budget for pensioners.

  • An extra 10 billon to be cut from welfare. How do you explain this to those on the bottom who would dearly love to earn enough to pay tax in the first place?

  • er…”As a result of this Budget, someone working a full week on minimum wage will see their income tax bill cut by over 50% compared to under Labour”

    OK, that’s right, let’s forget about tax credit cuts, benefit cuts, higher VAT and the rest of it and pretend your income tax bill is all that matters

    What has happened to this party?

  • Fantastic we will cut Tax for the very rich because they avoid paying it. The poor get a small Tax cut but get stuffed on Cigs, Beer and fuel and if they are out of work we will cut their benefits, that’s fair isn’t it?

  • David Allen 21st Mar '12 - 5:54pm

    The 50p rate has not been cut because it brought in “next to nothing”, in Osborne’s mendacious phrase. It has been cut because it was bringing in too much (or, as AndrewR points out, it would have done if it had been left in place long enough to be effective).

    To claim that a clampdown on tax avoidance counts as redistribution away from the rich is bogus. All governments, all the time, try to clamp down on tax avoidance. All the same time, rich people and their lawyers and accountants work out clever new ways of avoiding tax which in turn have to be clamped down upon. The fact that the Coalition are using such a bogus argument to claim fairness just shows how threadbare their position is.

    This is a typical Tory budget for increased social inequality. Supported by the NuLibDems.

  • 10bn in welfare cuts? Where Nick are these coming from, where?

  • Richard Dean 21st Mar '12 - 8:19pm

    The increase in personal allowance at the low end is certainly welcome. But people too poor to pay tax anyway will not benefit at all. Smokers and drinkers will pay their gains back in increased tobacco and drink duties.

    I didn’t see anything at all that will generate jobs. Perhaps I missed it? I didn’t see why North Sea exploration assistance is needed, and this won’t be generating jobs, it will be paying the huge hire costs of exploration vessels owned abroad.

  • I think pensioners should stay quiet myself, they collectively have retired early, emptied the pots and left the rest of us to work longer, retire later and have less . Perhaps those with pensions whonhave other earnings should be paying kre tax!

  • I don’t agree with Nick.

  • john mc

    Why do we always find see these attacks on certain people in society? It seems that when the right (Tories/LD and New Labour) are in control we see the demonisation of welfare claimants, the disabled, the poor, the unemployed and now pensioners. I dislike this attitude of certain people under pressure are encouraged to attack other people under pressure. Sad!

    There is dislike also of the bankers but they are still getting paid handsomely and receiving tax cuts (and they have had their tax cut today despite what that poor excuse for a Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander says)

  • John mc – perhaps it will encourage some downsizing.

  • ‘The Tycoon Tax, an increase in stamp duty for high value properties and other new taxes on wealth will raise five times as much as the 50p tax rate. Those with annual incomes of more than £150,000 a year will be paying on average an additional £1,300 a year in tax, as a result of this Budget.’

    PLEASE PLEASE explain to me how this will happen ?

  • Keith Browning 21st Mar '12 - 11:43pm

    Simon
    I suspect some clever dick in the Tory PR dept has averaged out the take from the property tax amongst the total number of high rate tax payers. People don’t move very often so averaging between a property tax and income tax is complete balderdash – an old fashioned word but seems to sum out the attitude of the Tory toffs.

  • Keith: You’re mistaken because of the changes that Simon mentions, stamp duty changes for property are only part of what makes up the £1,300. Included in the changes in that quote are changes to other, non property, taxes too.

  • Still not understanding it at all……so many of the properties bought over £2 mil are bought by foreign buyers, therefore if this is included, it’s not really the British rich being taxed is it ? Or am I being really stupid ?

  • Matthew Huntbach 22nd Mar '12 - 11:06am

    Nick Clegg

    This is a Budget we can be proud of – a Budget for the many, not the few.

    There he goes again, he didn’t have to say that.

    It’s a Budget we can tolerate, not one we can be proud of. To be fair to Nick, he’s saying that in the rest of the comment, but then he spoils it by ending this way. The previous nuance gets lost, “Liberal Democrat leader says this is a Budget we can be proud of” is the headline.

    As I keep saying, we need to underplay rather than overplay our influence in the government. It’s a Tory government with a little Liberal Democrat influence, it’s not what we would do (I hope) if we were the major party in government. Any government that was in now would have to be making decisions that are unpopular, which is all the more reason not to want to tie ourselves too closely to it. As anyone who has experience of difficult balance of power situations could have told Nick from the start, we will not get any thanks for even the most necessary of the difficult decisions, but we will certainly get the blame for all those we would not have made but had to be let through as part of the negotiations.

    The narrative needs to be that this is a government in which the Tories have five times the strength of the LibDems, what comes out of it is a compromise, but that’s what politics is – coming together and reaching a compromise. If there were more LibDem MPs the compromise would be more our way, so more in favour of the poor and less in favour of the rich. But government has to go on, we have the government the people elected under the electoral system they endorsed by two to one last year, so we have to go with that – the end result is Budgets and other policies we can tolerate and accept as democrats who accept the will of the people as expressed in the ballot box, but NOT what ON THE WHOLE we can be “proud” of.

    Although I’m very unhappy about this government, I’m yet to see anything from the Labour Party which convinces me it’s time to end the coalition and seek something different. I wish I could, and I hope I do well before 2015. What is needed is an acceptance of pluralist politics, which includes an acceptance that we can’t somehow convert the Conservatives to support 100% of our policies and none of theirs which contradict ours, so opposition to us which suggests we can is just silly knockabout – with the ultimate aim of destroying us so Labour can again exercise one-party control as we say done so … under Blair.

    If we had that acceptance from Labour, and some positive ideas on policies where we could work together, the way for something different would be open – and we could go into the next election saying that ultimately is is up to the people to choose – in 2010 they put the Tories first, resulting in a Tory-led but LibDem influenced government, next time?

  • Matthew Huntbach 22nd Mar '12 - 11:15am

    Higher stamp duties is a cop-out, but thinking through it rationally something like a “mansion tax” needs to be thought through and worked out properly, not just thrown in quickly to counterbalance other things. The case for property taxes – I would say going quite a way down from the £2 million level, needs to made carefully and forcefully. The line that it is somehow an attack on Londoners so a bad policy for London MPs is really stupid, because Londoners suffer the most from high house prices so a decent property tax that would being the down would benefit Londoners more than any. Our politics and commentariat, however, are so skewed that they do seem really to think in terms of just the top 1-5% of the population, and genuinely think if something hurts them that’s bad – worst still they manage to persuade a good many lower down to think that way by using “middle” to mean “top 5%”. Those at the bottom ought to be shouting out for property tax, but the political right has cleverly managed to shut them up by making them think electoral politics isn’t for them anyway. I wish there was a decent political left in this country which could counter this.

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