The Liberal Democrats party has unveiled a major shift in its tax policy, which includes propels to cut the basic rate of income tax and scrap plans for a 50p in the pound higher rate income tax rate.
Revealing his vision for the future of the party and his proposals for policy reform - entitled My Priorities for a Liberal Britain, Menzies Campbell, leader of the LibDems, this afternoon said he believed “taxation is complex, stealthy and unfair”, particularly on the lowest earners who feel they are penalised for “hard work”.
Full details of Campbell's plans for taxation policy reform will be published in a paper next month – so party members have the information ahead of its annual conference – but a key development will be a cut of 2p in the pound on the basic rate of income tax to 20p, as well as lift two million low-paid workers and one million pensioners out of income tax.
No details are revealed as to how the tax gap will be filled but Campbell suggests even with the scrapping of the party’s plans for a 50p higher rate tax band – should they be elected to government – it will still raise funds from wealthier individuals.
“I want to redefine our approach to tax to reflect the growing sense in many low income and middle class households that taxes are unfair, over-complicated and penalise hard work,” said Campbell.
“My aim is to cut the burden of direct taxes on the low paid and Middle Britain and pay for it by raising taxes on those who pollute the environment and on the very wealthy.”
He continued: “We are the one major party which takes the environment seriously and that does mean that environmental taxes will rise. We are the one major party which believes in redistribution: the very wealthy should pay more; but not in the form of 50p marginal rates on high incomes. The 50p rate was an important symbol that we are a redistributive party. But the substance of the tax commission proposals shows that we can be both redistributive and innovative,” added Campbell.
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