Tag Archives: workers bonus

Opinion: Do I want a £100 tax cut? Not now, Nick

This morning Nick Clegg has embarked on a major new campaign to press the Coalition Government to increase the income tax threshold by a further £500, taking the first £10,500 of income out of tax. With half an eye to next month’s Autumn Statement, he wants to go beyond the Coalition Agreement.

However, there are problems with this.

The first is the obvious one: it has to be paid for. How will that happen?  Well, with the Conservatives having rejected any further tax on the wealthy and other changes to taxation, it would have to come from additional spending cuts. It is …

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Nick Clegg on Andrew Marr: Tories want tax cuts for wealthy. I want to put £100 back in people’s pockets.

Nick Clegg was on Andrew Marr today talking about his wish to see the Government raise the tax threshold by a further £500, putting £100 back in people’s comments. If you agree, by the way, sign the petition here.

Without any hint of rancour or peevishness, he put a lot of effort into demonstrating that the Tories favoured tax cuts for the rich while the Liberal Democrats favour tax cuts for ordinary people. He listed the Tory plans – cutting inheritance tax, cutting the top rate of tax, marriage tax breaks, that the Liberal Democrats opposed.

Again he looked relaxed and confident, and also a bit like he’d been messing with the Strictly Come Dancing spray tan machine. What’s going on there, I wonder?

I was much happier with his language on the community tensions in Sheffield as well – it was much more consensual and his point on the need for dialogue was not lost this time. He also was absolutely clear that he wasn’t going to see any group of people villified.

And, finally, on the age of consent controversy, he said he wouldn’t favour a reduction to 15 but talked about the need for much better sex education.

Why, though, do journalists never ask the questions you want them to? An extra £100 to basic rate tax payers is fine but I’m not sure I want it to be the pinnacle of our ambition. It makes the extra £2000 we’d promise for the next Parliament look uninspiring – although you have to see that in the context of more help with childcare, more nursery places for the most deprived two year olds and the like. What worries me, though, is that there are single income households where less than £10,000 is coming in. They won’t get that extra £100 and they are really struggling. What can be done to help them?

Here’s a storify thingy of mine and others’ tweets.

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Nick Clegg calls for “workers’ bonus” to put £100 back in people’s pockets

Clegg SpeechThere have been rumours for a while about Nick Clegg being very keen to find a way to help those struggling with rising living costs. Today he announces that he’s pushing for the Coalition to raise the tax threshold to £10,500 in April 2015, exceeding the manifesto promise that Liberal Democrats made in 2010.

From Scotland on Sunday:

Sources close to Clegg said last night that the increase in the personal allowance – which has gone up from £6,475 in 2010 to £10,000 by 2014-15 – was the Lib Dems’ “signature tune” in the coalition pact. “It was always our intention to get to the £10,000 and a £700 tax cut, but we believe the economic recovery allows us to put even more money back in people’s pockets. Because the economy is recovering, we want to reward people with a workers’ bonus,” the source said.

The extra tax cut would have to be paid for from current spending limits, the source added. “We know that we are on to a vote winner here. 
The Tories once said this ­policy wasn’t affordable, but now they like to claim credit for it.”.

Clegg is expected to argue that the increase is a “reward” for people who have accepted below-average pay rises or flexible working hours to stay in work during the hard times.

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