‘Shameless’ Conservatives copy Lib Dem policy

Nick Clegg and David Cameron

The Conservatives have promised to increase the income tax threshold further, something the Liberal Democrats have campaigned supported for years.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference, David Cameron has pledged to balance the books by 2018. If the Conservatives win 2015’s general election, the Prime Minister has also promised to cut taxes for around thirty million people.

One thing the Conservatives would do is raise the 40p tax band up to £50,000 by the end of the next parliament. Mr. Cameron also promised to raise the personal allowance on income tax from the current £10,000 to £12,500.

However, the move to raise the threshold is something the Liberal Democrats have been committed to for years.

Responding to the move on ITV, Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: "The Tories shameless attempt to copy Liberal Democrat tax policy will be utterly incredible to the millions of working people who they have made clear will be their main target for cuts in the next Parliament.”

Under the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, the personal allowance on income tax has been increased significantly. In 2009 and 2010, the personal allowance was £6,475, showing just how much the threshold has changed under the coalition.

Additionally, back in 2007-8 the threshold was £5,225, showing that in less than a decade it has doubled. Even when inflation is included, it is clear that citizens on lower income are now taking a lot more home.

The Liberal Democrat manifesto promised increasing the threshold to £10,000, something which has been achieved in the coalition. The Conservatives did not make such a promise and are taking the credit for the Liberal Democrat policy and are planning to expand on it in 2015.

In response to Cameron’s speech, the Guardian has called the tax cutting pledges an: “audacious bid to woo middle and lower income earners” over to the Tory corner.

The Conservative conference is almost over and has seen speeches from George Osbourne on the economy, Boris Johnson and Theresa May, as well as other prominent Tory figures.

However, the conference has also been overshadowed by UKIP defections of Douglas Carswell, Mark Reckless and Boris Johnson’s former deputy mayor for his 2008-2012 term.

As for the Liberal Democrat conference, their’s begins this Saturday in Glasgow.

There are now only eight months until the general election - eight months until the end of the coalition. However, with debates like this over tax policy it is possible that the current alliance in Westminster could end before next May.