Monday, 12 April 2010

Fair taxes will help ordinary people in Reading West

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg today launched Lib Dem proposals for fair taxes. Readers of this blog and people that have spoken to me will know that I am passionate about the need to reduce inequality in Reading so that everyone can thrive wherever they live and whatever their bank balance. This is because since moving to Reading seven years ago I was struck by the real poverty I saw in a so-called 'boom town'. The Economist confirmed this picture in this article a few weeks ago.I was disgusted that under a Labour government and Labour council areas of the town had been allowed to get so rundown and so many people left to struggle. People who had been told time and time again that Labour was on their side. So I'm delighted that Nick has put fairness at the centre of the Lib Dem manifesto leaving up to these important elections. Currently the poorest 20% of people in our area are losing more of their income in tax than they did in 1997 and the richest 20% are paying less. The gap between rich and poor neighbourhoods around Reading has widened and the number of children living in poverty has gone up. Nick today pledged that the Lib Dems would raise the tax threshold to £10,000 so that people would not pay tax on the first £10,000 they earn. This would help millions of people on low incomes including pensioners and also cut most people's tax bills by £700. We would pay for this by closing tax loopholes that Labour have allowed to continue for years. We'd also introduce a new tax on homes worth over £2.5 million pounds (bearing in mind the average house price in Reading is £221k) and introduce 'green taxes' on aviation. Anyway, enough from me - watch this video to hear Nick setting out these radical plans much more eloquently than I ever could!

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