Many MPs – from all parties – have proposed making the first £10,000 that you earn tax-free. This was first proposed by Maurice Saatchi back in 2001, with the Centre for Policy Studies thinktank. It has since been championed by many Lib Dems and Conservatives alike (for example, Platform10 here). I have argued for it for a long time, most recently with Dover MP Charlie Elphicke, as this tax-cut would make most people £700 better off, every year. That’s £60 more a month.
Experts like the Institute for Fiscal Studies sayBritain can afford it. With the crisis in Europe, we can’t afford to lose jobs and growth. As Tim Montgomerie has said:
“I urge George Osborne to spend his better-than-expected January surplus. This would give the Chancellor enough money to deliver shock-and-awe tax cuts of the kind that will boost the economy and demonstrate in a powerful and not uncontroversial way that the Conservative Party is on the side of ordinary families – rather than the very wealthy.”
Tax cutting has to be as much about morality as about economics. For Modern Conservatives, the task is clear: Any tax cut must be affordable, help the economy to grow, and be justifiable on ethical grounds. That is why we must stop talking so much about the 50p rate of tax, and show instead that tax cutting is in essence a moral creed – allowing people to keep more of their own money. Unlike Ed Balls and Labour (whose VAT-cut would line the pockets of tycoons and billionaires), Conservative tax-cutting must help the millions of British strivers: the families up and down the country who work hard, and do the right thing.
Please join our campaign, and sign this online petition, from the grassroots campaign group Right Angle, who are calling for lower taxes for the low-paid. We only have a few weeks left before the Budget. Our message is: HANDS OFF OUR FIRST £10,000!
Robert Halfon is MP for Harlow. He tweets at @halfon4harlowMP