PM feels ‘moral duty’ to cut taxes


Published: Thursday 30th October 2014 by The News Editor

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David Cameron said he feels a “moral duty” to cut taxes but faced a Labour backlash over claims promised income tax changes would save the average worker £3,800 by 2020.

The Prime Minister sought to return the political spotlight to the economy after a flurry of bruising headlines about Europe and immigration just three weeks ahead of the fight to prevent Ukip snatching a second Tory Commons seat.

Writing in the Times he issued a reminder of his promise of tax cuts worth £7.2 billion to 30 million voters around the country if they return him to Downing Street with a Conservative majority in May’s general election.

A future Tory government would raise the threshold at which workers pay the higher 40p rate of income tax to £50,000, while increasing the personal allowance below which no tax is payable to £12,500.

Mr Cameron said the change to the personal allowance would mean “most basic-rate taxpayers will pay £3,800 less in tax over the next parliament compared to Labour plans we inherited”.

But the Opposition accused him of failing to explain how reductions would be paid for and ignoring the impact of benefit cuts on low-paid families.

“It is morally right that the rich pay their fair share in tax; and right that those who are able to contribute to our public services and safety nets do so,” Mr Cameron wrote.

“But what is morally wrong is government spending money as if it grows on trees. Every single pound of public money started as private earning.

“Every million in the Treasury represents a huge amount of hard work: early morning alarms, long commutes, hours spent on the factory floor, the office, the hospital ward or the classroom.

“Conservatives understand this basic point. Labour doesn’t.

“No one should doubt my position: with every spending commitment we must be mindful of who picks up the bill. It’s easy for governments to trumpet what they spend money on – and claim a moral victory for it – but on the other side of the coin are those who work hard, many on low incomes, who would desperately like to spend more money on their family.

“The Government has a moral duty to think of these people in any decisions made on tax and spending.”

The newspaper said Mr Cameron’s claimed saving was based on where rates would be if Labour had stuck to inflation-only rises in personal allowance since 2010 which would have left it at around £7,600 by 2015.

Shadow Treasury chief secretary Chris Leslie said: “David Cameron will be judged on his actions, not his words. He’s raised taxes 24 times.

“While millionaires have been given a huge tax cut, ordinary working people are paying more because he raised VAT and cut tax credits.

“Independent figures from the IFS show that by next year families will be £974 a year worse off because of tax and benefit changes since 2010.

“And David Cameron still won’t rule out raising VAT again on families and pensioners to pay for £7 billion of unfunded tax promises.

“Labour’s economic plan will introduce a lower 10p starting rate of tax for 24 million people on middle and low incomes and cut business rates for small firms.

“We will tackle tax avoidance and introduce a mansion tax to invest in our National Health Service. And to balance the books in a fairer way we’ll reverse David Cameron’s £3 billion tax cut for the top one per cent of earners.”

Labour says House of Commons library figures suggest the net effect of measures announced at the Conservative conference would leave Mr Cameron £132 a year better off while a two-child family where both parents work part-time on the minimum wage would be £538 a year worse off by 2015.

Published: Thursday 30th October 2014 by The News Editor

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