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'Cut Income Tax' in Budget - Lib Dems urge Chancellor

March 11, 2008 9:00 PM

Budget BoxChancellor Alistair Darling should cut national income tax, paid for by rises in green taxes, when he delivers his Budget tomorrow (Wednesday 12th), say Northampton Liberal Democrats.

Andrew Simpson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton North Constituency, said, "The people of Northampton have been squeezed by higher prices for energy, escalating fuel costs and rising council tax over the past year.

"And since the last Budget, the country has suffered again from extreme weather conditions, where climate change is likely to have been a causal factor.

"The Budget is an ideal opportunity for the Government, at last, to tackle the environmental damage that is contributing to the freak weather conditions we are seeing happen only too often. It is also an opportunity for Alistair Darling to cut the burden of tax on low and middle income households.

"The Liberal Democrats therefore want to see a cut in national income tax to 16p in the pound. This should be paid for by increasing the taxes on activities that pollute most, such as running the most polluting vehicles or flying.

"Council tax is an unfair tax. It is far more of a burden for low and middle income households. Liberal Democrats want the Chancellor to use the Budget to scrap council tax and replace it with a fair, local income tax, based on ability to pay.

"I strongly believe that the Liberal Democrats' plan of shifting more of the tax burden from people's income and onto pollution will benefit people in Northampton.

"In Britain, the poorest fifth of households pay a bigger share of their income in tax than the richest fifth. The wealth divide between rich and poor has actually risen since Labour came to power.

"The Budget is an ideal opportunity for Labour to put right the problems they have allowed to grow since they first came to office in 1997."