Fairer tax for low earners and part time workers

Here’s my latest Ham and High column. Also available in full on Lib Dem Voice.

Week after week, I meet local residents at my constituency advice surgeries. Many are working hard in full or part time jobs, but still struggling to make ends meet due to the current economic climate.

The unemployed and part timers often tell me they want to work more but also keep more of the money they earn.

The Lib Dems have known this for a long time. And from now, the amount you can earn before being taxed has risen to £9,440. That’s £600 less tax to pay for working people, since the Liberal Democrats entered Government in 2010.

Even better news – next year it will rise to £10,000 – meaning 25 million people across the UK will pay a total of £700 less Income Tax.

This announcement was made in the recent budget, one year sooner than had been expected.

In Haringey alone, an estimated 86,500 working people will benefit from the £700 tax reduction, and 7,520 local low and part-time earners will be lifted out of paying Income Tax all together.

Make no mistake; this would not be happening if it were not for the Liberal Democrats. This was so important to us we put it on the front page of our manifesto, argued for it in the coalition negotiations and are now delivering it in Government.

Labour failed to deliver this in 13 years in office, instead hitting low income workers by scrapping the 10p rate and pandering to bankers in the City of London. The Conservatives would not have delivered this on their own. Their priority at the last election was an inheritance tax cut for millionaires.

Low earners and part time workers keeping more of the money they earn is a key part of our plan to build a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life. That’s why securing these vital tax reductions for ordinary workers is so important.

In other news, families in Haringey – and across the UK – are to get greater financial support for childcare, thanks to a major new Government initiative.

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced a £1bn boost to help parents with childcare costs. This could benefit around 10,972 families in Haringey – saving them £1,200 per child, per year.

Almost a quarter of employed mothers say they would like to work longer hours but can’t do so because of the cost of childcare.

Making sure all families – and mothers in particular – can afford to work has been an absolute priority for Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats and I am delighted we are able to give parents this much needed help.

I know that these measures will not solve all the problems we face, but I hope these Lib Dem led initiatives go some way to helping individuals and families in Haringey and across the UK.