Workers’ pay becomes key election battleground

REX/Ray Tang

Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking at the at the Conservative Party annual conference this week, has proposed tax cuts that could affect more than 30 million people.

If the Conservatives win next year’s general election, Cameron has made two key pledges on tax: to raise the tax-free personal allowance from £10,500 to £12,500; and to increase the threshold for the higher 40p tax rate from £41,900 to £50,000.

The former would mean that an employee on the minimum wage working a 30-hour week would pay no tax at all, he said.

Raising the personal allowance would take around one million people out of income tax altogether, and mean a drop in tax for 25 million more. Cameron claimed that the changes would back people “who do the right thing”, saying that: “If you work hard, we will cut your taxes, but only if we can keep cutting the deficit so we can afford to do that.”

These latest announcements suggest that workers’ pay will become a key election battleground.

Last week, Labour leader Ed Miliband said he would raise the national minimum wage to £8 per hour if Labour were to gain power, claiming Britain’s lowest paid workers are suffering a “cost of living crisis”.

Subsequently, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage pledged that his party would abolish income tax altogether for minimum wage workers if it were voted into government.

2 Responses to Workers’ pay becomes key election battleground

  1. Angela Baron 3 Oct 2014 at 10:01 am #

    So who do we trust? The Tories whom I seem to remember fought to the bitter end to prevent a minimum wage in the first place, Farage whose grasp of economics seems tenuous in the extreme? What we need is a living wage and to stop the taxpayer support of big business making millions in profit and paying greedy accountants further millions to ensue they pay the minimum in tax. The vast majority of those living in poverty are in work? What does that tell us? Much of the benefits both Cameron and Farage so dearly want to scrap is paid out to those slaving away on minimum wage so their bosses Can roll around in their ill gotten gains in their glamorous tax havens. It’s not rocket science boys but it is glaringly unfair and one day the voters might just notice!

  2. JoshLRussell 8 Oct 2014 at 5:49 pm #

    “If the Conservatives win next year’s general election, Cameron has made two key pledges on tax: to raise the tax-free personal allowance from £10,500 to £12,500; and to increase the threshold for the higher 40p tax rate from £41,900 to £50,000.”

    And how will this be paid? Presumably by cutting more frontline services through austerity, which will result in higher costs for the users of those services. Meanwhile businesses will continue to be able to pay criminally low wages but benefit hugely from tax breaks and loopholes. Basically, this is a surreptitious benefit for large employers, facilitating their paying of tax-payer-sustained low wages whilst the rest of us foot the cost. The only reason to move in this direction is the Tory party have more in common with City CEOs than the vast majority of the people they are supposed to serve.