January 28, 2014

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A Labour government will reverse David Cameron's top rate tax cut.

It's part of our commitment to bring down the deficit in the next Parliament - but do so in a fair way.

David Cameron and George Osborne used to say "we are all in this together". You don't hear that line much these days.

Over the last year, while ordinary people are facing a cost-of-living crisis, the Conservatives have given a tax cut to the richest one per cent - those earning over £150,000.

Meanwhile, everyone else is feeling the squeeze and three years of flatlining mean the deficit is still high.

It cannot be right for David Cameron and George Osborne to have chosen to give the richest people in the country a huge tax cut. Yet that has happened at the same as a massive fall in living standards for the majority. 

The sad reality is that this government has asked ordinary people to pay for mistakes made by the wealthiest bankers. Prices have risen faster than wages in every month since the coalition government came to power in 2010 apart from April last year when bonuses in the banking industry were delayed to take advantage of the new, lower tax rate.

Reversing a tax cut for the richest 1% shows that Labour would cut the deficit in a fairer way.

Labour would support ordinary working people, by introducing a lower 10p starting rate of tax to help make work pay and cut taxes for 24 million working people on middle and lower incomes. We would tackle tax avoidance and reverse tax cuts for hedge funds to ensure that those with the broadest shoulders bear a fairer share of the burden.

We would also support small businesses by cutting business rates. 

Talking to shopkeepers in Formby and Crosby, it is clear that they need support if we are to see our town centres and high streets thrive. There are many challenges facing small independent retailers including how they survive against the might of the supermarkets. 

Most people I speak to want to support local shops and for that to happen we all need to support local shops as much as possible. For example, you can buy your newspapers from your newsagent and coffee from a local cafe and still do your weekly shop in a supermarket. 

I plan to hold a debate in parliament soon about how to support local shops. Such a debate will need to recognise the role of supermarkets but it also will need to look at how we can have a level playing field between small business and big.