Balancing the Books

Since the Liberal Democrats took office in 2010, 53,900 Guildford residents have enjoyed an £800 pound annual tax cut and 3,100 low earners have been lifted out of paying income tax altogether. There have also been 3,900 new business start- ups in the Guildford area with the benefit of loans to the value of over £150,000 championed by Liberal Democrat policy.

Today the UK has the strongest growth of the major world economies since the crash of 2008.

It has record numbers in work, low inflation and rising business investment. Whilst life for many families remains challenging, pay levels are starting to rise faster than the cost of living. Without the Liberal Democrats in government this recovery would not be happening. Our policies of cutting taxes for working people, of boosting apprenticeships, of driving up investment in the regions are at the heart of the recovery. Since the Liberal Democrats took office in 2010, 53,900 Guildford residents have enjoyed an £800 pound annual tax cut and 3,100 low earners have been lifted out of paying income tax altogether. There have also been 3,900 new business start- ups in the Guildford area with the benefit of loans to the value of over £150,000 championed by Liberal Democrat policy.

Yet the economic repair is not complete. We aim to find around £30 billion to close the gap between what we spend and what we raise in taxes. However, national insurance, VAT, income tax and corporation tax rates will remain the same. In fact, one of our main acts in the first year of the next Parliament would be to further reduce income tax for millions of workers by raising the personal allowance to £11,000.

The Tories propose to tackle the deficit by cutting public spending alone – this is unfair. It leaves those on low and middle incomes to endure most hardship from the austerity measures. Instead, we ask that those with the broadest shoulders carry their fair share of the burden by increasing taxes.

We will raise £8 billion in tax measures targeted at ensuring the wealthiest continue to make a contribution and that large businesses pay their fair share. These include:

• introducing a High Value Property Levy;

• increasing charges for those who own UK property but are not living here;

• increasing the Banking Levy (an annual tax paid by banks).

Kelly-Marie said “This approach is sustainable and fair. It asks something from everyone, but the most from those who have the most. We believe that both the Labour and Tory parties, by themselves, would jeopardise the recovery. The Conservatives’ policy of cuts alone would have damaging social and economic consequences. Whilst Labour has theoretically signed up to tackling the deficit by 2017/18, they appear to have no concrete plans to meet this goal at all. For them, it’s deficit reduction on the ‘never, never’. Our proposal is the only plan that keeps the foundations of our economic recovery intact.”