Shouldn’t we all play by the same rules on tax?

So asks the new tax campaign website launched by the Liberal Democrats today:

We believe that everyone should pay their fair share of tax. That means the people who have the most paying more than those who have less. To help make that happen, we want to give a tax cut to every working family in the country by raising the amount you can earn before paying income tax, initially to £10,000 a year.

This would give every working person in the country a tax cut of over £500.

You can sign up to back the campaign or to find out more about what’s being called for at FairerTax.org.

It’s part of this autumn’s fair tax campaign, which is one of the party’s most serious efforts for a long time in having a consistent campaign theme across different parts of the party, and one that integrates party conference, national media efforts, local campaigning and the internet.

Aside from the issues’s inherent importance in creating a fair and liberal society, tax is also a handy issue to take up as it helps establish how the Liberal Democrats want to do things differently from the Conservatives.

Online, there are lots of new things being tried – such as running an email survey in advance asking people to choose between possible slogans for the campaign, and using the NationBuilder software for this dedicated campaign site along with lots of social media integration.

* Mark Pack is Party President and is the editor of Liberal Democrat Newswire.

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13 Comments

  • Malcolm Todd 20th Sep '12 - 1:07pm

    “we want to give a tax cut to every working family in the country by raising the amount you can earn before paying income tax, initially to £10,000 a year.

    This would give every working person in the country a tax cut of over £500”

    No it wouldn’t. That’s just not true. It would only be true if (a) every working person in the country earned over £10,000 a year and (b) the personal allowance for everybody was currently £7,500. Neither of those is true. (I mean not even remotely true. The basic personal allowance is already over £8,000 for a start – http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2012/income-tax-rates.htm.)

    So I’m not sure I’ll waste my time listening to anything else this campaign has to say, if it can’t get its core facts and sums right.

  • “working family”? Individuals pay tax, not families.

  • Austin Rathe 20th Sep '12 - 1:31pm

    Malcolm,

    The £500 figure is based on the whole policy of raising the threshold to £10k. I accept the point about the use of the word “every”, perhaps “average” would be better?

  • Richard Swales 20th Sep '12 - 2:11pm

    @Simon McGrath,

    Don’t expect an answer to your second question. It was when I realised that for many the answer is “When everyone has the same take-home” that I knew this wasn’t the party for me.

  • Nigel Quinton 20th Sep '12 - 2:19pm

    @Simon – do you just not understand progressive taxation at all? Of course the more wealthy pay a greater share of tax. As a “better off person” I can state quite clearly that I do not pay my fair share of tax. My income can be structured flexibly to make sure I only pay what I need to now, spreading my liability over the leaner years that might be ahead, and the council tax system means that I am paying the same as people in houses worth a lot less than ours. Would I welcome paying more tax – of course not, but I know that I probably should.

  • Richard Dean 20th Sep '12 - 2:30pm

    What is the meaning of “fair” in this context? Are there any principles or reules by which one can judge whether a tax or tax system is fair? It may be right, but why is it “fair” for high income earners to pay proportionately more?

  • “This would give every working person in the country a tax cut of over £500.”

    Surely if the higher thresholds are also moved downwards, and tax credits are adjusted this is simply not true. I’m not against either measure but there will be many people on middle incomes who may feel this is wrong. Surely the wording needs to be changed to stop what is a good policy being picked to bits…

  • Richard Dean 20th Sep '12 - 3:27pm

    Very amusing, jedibeeftrix!

  • Simon McGrath 20th Sep '12 - 10:13pm

    @nigel – I am familiar with what a progressive tax system means. Looking at the HMRC figures we seem to have one.

  • Peter Davies 21st Sep '12 - 8:05am

    I hope the complete lack of content on this site is because our leaders will actually be listening at the consultation session (see the post two after this one).

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