• https://www.twitter.com/tommy5d tommy5d

    I’m afraid I can’t really agree. Robert Halfon isn’t presenting the “only option on the table”, it’s not even on the table, it’s a pet project from an irrelevant back-bencher.

    On the other hand, raising the personal allowance is the current game in town. It’s Lib Dem policy, probably the one being pushed most by their section of the coalition. Cameron, etc. are very keen to jump on the bandwagon and claim the policy as their own and I wouldn’t be surprised if Labour tried to adopt it as future policy come 2015.

    You talk about a significant tax cut but 10% up to £12,000 will only offer a saving of £200/year to the average family. Yes, you’re right, we shouldn’t turn our nose up at that but why not push for no taxation up until £12,800 which would provide a saving of £560/year and will likely be Lib Dem and Tory policy come 2015?

    If we’re stuck for things to do after that then we can start pushing up the National Insurance threshold from the current meagrely £5668/year towards the minimum wage. Achieving this would result in an additional £856/year tax cut for the average family.

    I do agree that support for the two isn’t mutually exclusive but why when we have a credible, simply tax cut on the table don’t we focus our efforts on uniting behind that?

    The main problem with the 10p band is it’s just a cumbersome way of doing what the personal allowance already does. 10% until £12k is the same as pushing the allowance to £11k, except that the allowance rise helps the poorer more because you get the full benefit when earning £11k whereas with the 10p band you have to earn £12k to get the full cut.

    Also, it’s not about lines in the tax code, it’s about normal people’s perceptions of our tax system. It’s about the message you can take out to people, not just for political reasons but to get people working. Which is a better message “pay nothing on your minimum wage” or “pay nothing on the first £10k, 10% on the next £2000 and then 20% on the final £800″