My take on Tax

I occasionally have a copy of the free City A.M. newspaper thrust in my hand as I am walking towards Westminster. It isn’t my normal newspaper of choice, and for those of you who have never come across it – it makes the Daily Mail look like the Morning Star.
The front page made my blood boil with the headline “50p tax makes it harder to keep talent in London”. This was a comment from Barclays Chairman, Marcus Agius. It reminded me of the comments (apparently from his agent) that Ashley Cole had been treated like a slave by Arsenal regarding his pay (I think he was on about 50 grand a week at the time!)
People paying the 50p tax rate earn over £150,000 and frankly should stop complaining. For those who think that it’s unfair there is a fast train from Paddington to Heathrow Airport and don’t forget your passport.
For what it is worth my view is that any tax cuts in the future should be increases in the personal allowance. As part of the coalition agreement the Tories agreed to take on the Lib Dem policy to increase the personal allowance to £10,000 before people start paying tax. The first stage of this comes in from April. This helps the low paid, and particularly those who work part-time. It was interesting to talk to a Labour MP last week when I was in Brussels with the Transport Select Committee. He was saying that Labour made a mistake in not taking on this policy when they were in Government. Unfortunately Governments rarely agree to policies being put forward by other parties, however sensible they might be.
I would like to go further than the £10,000. I think we should be aiming to raise the personal allowance to the full-time equivalent of the minimum wage. Increasing the personal allowance helps most working families, but it has the biggest impact on the lowest paid. This is what we should be doing.

3 responses to “My take on Tax

  1. Lifting the lowest paid out of tax is a good idea. Such a shame the ConDems have completely nullified it by pushing up VAT, the most regressive tax of all. It’s also confusing for voters, of course, given that the Lib Dems campaigned against a VAT rise in 2010.

    I’m getting very used to John’s rose-tinted version of reality. Do you think your constituents are idiots, Mr Leech?

  2. Having seen the Barnsley by-election result, I wonder what at 13% shift away from the Lib Dems and towards Labour would do in Withington. Have you worked it out Mr Leech?

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