Alexander: zero tax for low earners

THE LIBERAL Democrats should fight to cut out income tax for anyone earning less than £12,500, said Danny Alexander.

Speaking at the Birmingham party conference, the chief secretary to the Treasury said the tax issue should be top of the party’s manifesto.

“An income tax threshold of £10,000 was the first priority in our manifesto. Now it’s the first tax priority of the government.

“In the next parliament, I want us to go further; our aspiration should be that someone working full time on the minimum wage should pay no income tax at all.”

Alexander’s emphasis on low earners allowed him to step away from the thorny issue of whether the coalition government should drop the 50p tax rate on high earners.

But he added: “Some people have argued that we should change our tax priorities and focus our limited resources on cutting taxes for the wealthiest instead.

“At a time of austerity, this argument simply beggars belief. If we are all in this together, those with the broadest shoulders must bear the greatest burden.”

Alexander said that, compared to last year, the average worker’s income tax bill has been reduced by £200 this year and will be £700 less by the end of parliament.