General Election 2015: Lib Dems and Conservatives clash over personal tax allowance

Sarah Spickernell
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Personal tax allowance will increase next year (Source Getty)

The Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservatives of unfairly taking credit for changes to personal tax allowance in the UK.

In 2016/2017, the minimum income at which people have to start paying tax will go up from £10,600 to £10,800. This will rise again to £11,000 in 2017/2018.

The move was introduced by the coalition government, but a member of the Liberal Democrats has accused the Conservatives of “unbelievable cheek” in claiming it was their decision.

David Laws, who used to be chief secretary to the Treasury, told the BBC that Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor never pushed for the change during talks with their coalition party.

"What I can tell you is that there hasn't been a single Budget or Autumn Statement in this parliament where the prime minister or the chancellor have ever made this a Conservative ask," he said.

"The discussion they've had with Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander have always been on the basis that it's the Lib Dems pushing for this and it's the Conservatives pressing other policies which usually don't help those people on low and middle incomes."

He added that if they had it their own way, the Lib Dems would take the changes even further: "The Lib Dems left to our own devices, or putting our position in coalition talks, will want to go a lot further and faster than the measures set out in the Budget recently to help those people on low and middle incomes.”

However, Osborne has described raising the personal tax allowance as one of his “big tax commitments”. He also claims to have no plans to cut the highest tax rate.

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