Depicting the general election as the nation’s “tax moment”, the prime minister will say that voters have to choose between a Conservative party committed to tax cuts worth £7bn, and Labour and the Liberal Democrats, which he will describe as tax-rising “enemies of aspiration”. Cameron will say he is passionate about tax cuts because “it’s your money, not the government’s, and so you should keep it”. The Conservatives have already proposed raising the basic rate tax-free allowance to £12,500 over the lifetime of the next parliament, and raising the higher rate 40p income tax threshold to £50,000, at a cost of £7bn, although the the partyhas failed to specify exactly how this would be funded, saying the money would come from the £23bn surplus it hopes to run by the end of the decade.
Cameron will make it clear that delivering tax cuts is an absolute priority.
“We’re at that moment now – what I would call the tax moment, when after years of sacrifice, the British people deserve a reward,” he will say.
“Let me put it like this: in the wake of Labour’s great recession, these past few years have incredibly hard for this country. But after some dark times, we are coming out the other side. And as we do, I’m clear – the people whose hard work and personal sacrifices have got us through these difficult times should come first.”
Cameron will argue that tax cuts are good in principle.
“I sometimes get asked: why do I believe in tax cuts so much? It’s simple, because I trust people more than I do politicians,” he will say.
“I think people know how to spend their money better than those in Westminster do. I believe that if people have worked hard and earned their own money, they should be able to spend it on a holiday, or a nice meal out, or some new clothes for their children – and that it shouldn’t be thrown up the wall to satisfy the latest gimmick dreamed up in Whitehall.”
And he will argue that, with Labour and the Lib Dems both committed to using tax rises as part of their deficit reduction plans, they deserve to be seen as “the enemies of aspirations”.
Labour and the Lib Dems both argue that their respective plans involve tax rises for the rich, not for ordinary workers, and that the Tories have treated the wealthy too leniently.
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