7 reasons our community can be happy about today's budget - Simon Hughes

7 reasons our community can be happy about today's budget


Today’s Budget shows that the Liberal Democrats are building a stronger economy and a fairer society to create opportunity for everyone in Bermondsey and Old Southwark.

Here are 6 reasons our community can be pleased with today’s announcements:

1. More help for lower and middle income earners

Residents of our area will benefit from an increase in the Personal Allowance by a further £200 so that from April 2016 it increases to £10,800 and from April 2017 to £11,000. By 2017-18, 27.2 million individuals will have benefited from increases in the personal allowance and we will have lifted over 3.7 million out of income tax altogether.

In London, the personal allowance increase in 2017-18 will lift 502,000 people out of income tax altogether, and 3.65 million people will see an average real terms gain of £527. The average taxpayer will be £905 a year better off in 2017-18 compared with 2010-11.

I have already fought so that 132,000 people in Southwark have been given a £800 tax cut, and 15,000 have stopped paying income tax altogether.

2. More money for children with mental health problems

£1.25 billion of new funding will be provided over the next five years to improve our mental health services. I expect that to help 110,000 more children with mental health issues, and provide rapid access to treatment for new mothers.

3. More help for pensioners

Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, has introduced a policy that will give people, who have already bought an annuity, greater flexibility over how they access its value.

4. More help for businesses employing apprentices

As announced yesterday, we will introduce an Apprenticeship Voucher.

These will be paid for by:

5. Reducing the lifetime allowance for pension contributions that benefit from tax relief from £1.25 million to £1 million

This will affect only the top 4% of the wealthiest individuals. The wealthiest in our society are the ones with the broadest shoulders, and should carry their fair share of the weight in securing our country’s economic future.

6. Increasing the bank levy

This will raise £4.4 billion over the next five years. The public bailed out the banks after the Great Recession, and should pay their way now that they are back on their feet.

7. Cracking down on off-shore tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance

Our economy is growing because of the hard work of people and businesses throughout Britain and communities like ours. But our economic plan is the rock on which our recovery is being built – it wouldn’t be happening without the Liberal Democrats.

Some other interesting facts

The UK currently has the fastest growth among G7 economies.

The deficit is forecast to have fallen by a half by the end of 2014-15.

At the end of 2014, employment was at its highest level ever at 30.9 million.

According to the Office of Budget Responsibility, average households will be £900 better of in 2015 than in 2010.

Liberal Democrats will borrow £70 billion less than Labour, and cut £50 billion less than the Tories if in government after the General Election on May 7. 


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