When I talk to people on the doorsteps in Haringey, they often ask me what I’m doing to help in their daily lives, and with the cost of living. I am their MP, after all!
I am proud to respond to them, and say that last month’s Budget cut taxes for ordinary people and slashed childcare costs for parents.
At the last election the Liberal Democrats’ top priority was to give low and middle earners a £700 tax cut. And we’ve delivered! From this April, for the first time ever, nobody will pay income tax on the first £10,000 they earn. This will benefit 86,500 people in Haringey.
9,550 part time and low paid workers have been taken out of paying tax altogether.
As the economy continues to recover, I think it’s important that we make sure everyone can share in the economic benefits. That’s why from April 2015, we’ll increase the personal allowance again, putting another £100 back in people’s pockets. This means the total Lib Dem tax cut will be worth £800 a year.
While the Conservatives were campaigning to cut tax for the richest 15%, I am proud that we have ensured the Coalition delivers our top pledge to help working people. And we have done this four times faster than Labour managed during their 13 years in government.
Income tax isn’t the only way the Liberal Democrats are helping cut living costs. We want to do everything we can do help reduce the cost of childcare for parents. That is why Nick Clegg announced new tax-free childcare to save working parents up to £2,000 per child.
From next year, working parents will be able to get 20p from the government for every 80p they spend on childcare. This will help 8,340 families in Haringey and around two million families across the UK. I am delighted that we have been able to introduce this support on top of the 15 hours a week of free Early Years education that we have already introduced for 3 and 4 year olds.
Labour used to regularly hike up our Council Tax, year after year. In fact, Council Tax bills went up every year but one under the last Labour government, adding a huge £474.34 to the typical Band D Council Tax bill here in Haringey.
But since 2010, successful Liberal Democrat campaigns – and our work in government to secure funds for Council’s who agree to a freeze – mean our Council Tax bills in Haringey have not risen. A typical Band D Council Tax bill in Haringey will be £229.63 less from April 2014 than if Labour’s increases carried on as before.
There is still plenty of work to do to help individuals and families in the current economic climate. But I am very glad that despite, the economic problems, the Liberal Democrats both nationally and locally have been able to deliver a tax cut and a Council Tax freeze for Haringey and the rest of the UK.
Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey & Wood Green
Tel: 020 8340 5459
Email: [email protected] or write to me at House of Commons, London SW1A