POLITICS

Lib Dems Get More Credit Than Tories For Lifting Income Tax Threshold (GRAPH)

13/03/2014 13:34 GMT | Updated 13/03/2014 14:59 GMT
Oli Scarff/PA Archive
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visits a Sainsbury's supermarket in Notting Hill, London, as he urged George Osborne to introduce the £10,000 personal allowance on income tax more quickly than planned to relieve the growing pressure on household budgets.

Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems have spoken a lot about raising the starting threshold for income tax as high as £12,500 in order to help the poorest and now a new poll shows the voters are getting the message.

David Cameron has repeatedly tried to claim credit for raising the income tax rate threshold, with Clegg once quipping" “I’m delighted everybody is now scrambling to share authorship of a Lib Dem idea.”

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Nearly half (45%) of those polled by Ipsos-MORI say that the Lib Dems deserve the credit for raising the income tax threshold in a "workers' bonus", while a third (33%) say the idea came from the Tories.

A Lib Dem spokesman welcomed the news, telling HuffPostUK: "Liberal Democrats put the promise of a £700 income tax cut on the front page of our manifesto and are now delivering it into the pockets of 25 million working people in the UK. We are also taking 2.7 million people out of paying tax altogether.

"The Conservatives have been totally inconsistent on tax policy. First David Cameron said our policy wasn’t affordable, then they made their priority an inheritance tax cut for the richest in society and then they argued for a tax cut for a tiny number of married couples. For them to try and now claim the credit for our tax cut is dishonest, and it is no surprise that the public have seen right through it.”

Clegg may be hoping that policies like this to help the poorest will pay off at the next election, although the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies argues that it will help the rich more than the poor.

"There are better ways to help the low paid via the tax and benefit system than through further increases in the income tax personal allowance," the IFS concludes.