Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Help the Low Paid: Take Them out of Tax

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Help the Low Paid: Take Them out of Tax

Article excerpt

ONE of the Government's more progressive moves, a Liberal-Democrat demand, has been to take more lowpaid workers out of tax. From April 5, the income tax threshold will rise to [pounds sterling]9,205; next year it is set to hit [pounds sterling]10,000. But as Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander tells this paper, the threshold needs to rise to [pounds sterling]12,875 in order to take everyone working full-time on the minimum wage out of tax: he sees this as a major Lib-Dem goal after 2015.

Such a move would be an important way of helping make work pay, which is central to the Government's welfare reforms. It makes no sense to disincentivise the low paid from working -- either through perpetuating the benefits trap or by taxing those on the lowest wages. Lifting the threshold in this way would take around 1.3 million workers out of tax. It is a pledge that could also bolster the Government's stated ethos that everyone is in economic hard times together: help for the poorest workers offers at least some balance to the cut in the top income tax rate. …

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