April will see the start of the new tax year and since the Conservatives came into government, 31 million people will have seen a reduction in their income tax bill. The cumulative effective of the large annual rises of the tax-free allowance means that a typical basic rate taxpayer will be paying over £1,000 less income tax than in 2010. This April’s changes will mean another 1.3 million of the lowest paid will be taken out of tax altogether, taking this total to over 4 million people since 2010.
As well as taking those on the lowest incomes out of taxation altogether, it is those on lower and medium incomes who proportionately benefit the most from the raising of the income tax allowance. Another significant measure to help the lowest paid is the introduction of the National Living Wage.
Making work pay while simultaneously reforming the benefits system has been a key part of turning Britain around and making lives better for millions of people. However, we should never forget that these changes were strongly opposed by the Labour Party because Labour see it as acceptable to make a lifestyle choice to live on benefits as opposed to it being what it should be - a safety net for those in genuine need. Indeed, they are still wedded to increasing taxes for ordinary working people so as to pay for people on benefits to have an empty spare bedroom, despite the pressures that exist in providing social housing for people in urgent need of being housed.
Welfare has been capped so that no out-of-work household can claim more than the average working family earns, which ensures that our successful economy delivers for people who want to work and get on in life. Increasing people’s incomes has helped to create more jobs, with employment up by over 2.8 million since the 2010 election.
Crawley has become more of a thriving town over the last few years with unemployment sharply down, incomes up, and more households in work. There is always more to do but I believe we have laid solid foundations.