No policy is perfect nor can it ever deliver only the desired outcomes; unintended consequences are a fact of political life. However the several drawbacks of raising personal income tax allowances raises the question of whether it is the right policy to frame the fairness of the Liberal Democrats, their successes in Government and their future objectives.
Freezing working-age benefits would almost certainly weaken the living standards of low-income families, including the millions of working families who rely on tax credits to top up their earnings. The Coalition's reliance on benefit freezes to curb rising welfare spending also suggests they are running out of ideas on welfare reform.
As Tuesday's reshuffle made clear, a new generation of right-wing conservatives is coming to the fore in British politics. This (new) New Right -exemplified by the Free Enterprise Group MPs Liz Truss, Priti Patel and Dominic Raab - differs from the Thatcherites of the 1980s in some key respects. It is mostly liberal on social issues, largely uncluttered with baggage on family and faith, and interested in policy issues that concern modern parents, like childcare.