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Sunday, April 11, 2004

High tax image?

Yesterday's Guardian reports:

"The Liberal Democrats plan to dilute their plans for a 50p top rate of income tax for anyone earning more than £100,000 by including national insurance and a local income tax in the 50p rate.

The party has spent the last few months developing its fiscal policy in response to attempts by Labour and the Conservatives to paint it as a high tax, high spending party which will penalise the middle class. Party leaders say that combining national and local income tax rates for those earning more than £100,000 will not add up to more than 50p in the pound.

Since the party's local income tax rate is planned to be set at an average of 3.75%, the Liberal Democrats' nationally-imposed income tax rate will in reality be set below 50p."

This is actually very important. We are now the only mainstream Party who are committed to investing in free care for the elderly and free tuition for higher education students with a costed means of paying for these policies. However, we also have to be seen to be fiscally responsible and we have to assuage people's fears about the impact on their pockets. There is a lot of misinformation being put about regarding Local Income Tax that needs to be combatted and I am pleased to see that we are doing so at the highest level. The fact is that up to 70% of taxpayers will be better off under a Local Income Tax, whilst huge savings can be made in dismantling costly Council Tax Benefit bureaucracies.

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