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Friday, February 03, 2012

Clegg asserts Lib Dem position on tax cuts again

This morning's Telegraph reports that Nick Clegg has continued his campaign to secure help for the lower paid with the insistence that Conservative plans to give married couples a tax break must take second place behind a Liberal Democrat tax cut for low-earners.

The paper says that as ministers debate next month’s Budget, pressure is mounting for a targeted tax cut to ease pressure on household finances and stimulate the shrinking economy:

Mr Clegg last week called for an acceleration in Coalition plans to raise the starting point for basic rate tax, a policy designed to increase the take-home pay for low and middle income earners.

He told the House magazine that the threshold must be raised before Tory hopes of a married couples’ tax allowance can be considered.

The threshold plan is far from complete, he said, suggesting that other tax cuts are a long way off.

Mr Clegg insists that the Coalition agreement between his party and the Tories must be honoured, meaning the Lib Dem tax cuts must come first.

“I think the Coalition agreement is very clear that the precedence on tax cuts is the [personal] allowance and we haven’t come anywhere near to delivering what we set out we would do,” Mr Clegg said.

“There’s a very clear chronology to which tax cuts are most important. The Coalition agreement says the priority is another tax cut [rather than married couples].”

It is policies such as these, with the emphasis on increased social mobility and justice that have marked out the Liberal Democrats contribution to the coalition.
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