The latest Lib Dem ‘Focus’ leaflet arrived this morning with yet more boasts about Lib Dems putting ‘cash back in your pocket’. What they don’t say is that while personal tax allowances have gone up, a whole raft of working benefits and child benefit have effectively been cut.
Based on figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, it is calculated that since 2010 families on average have lost over £800 a year as a result of the Coalition’s tax and benefit changes and not 'gained' £700 as the Lib Dems claim.
In addition, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2.4 million families on low incomes will pay on average £138 more in council tax this year as a result of cuts to council tax benefit and 660,000 people will lose an average of £728 per year or £14 a week as a result of the ‘bedroom tax’, according to figures from the IFS.
The Lib Dems need to tell the whole story. But then they wouldn’t without having to admit that their policies are hitting ordinary families here in North Devon hard while the wealthiest enjoy huge tax breaks.
They are also claiming a record pensions rise – again Lib Dems - tell the whole truth. This increase just reflects the changes in the Consumer Price Index since 2010 and in fact this year’s rise is because the last Labour government introduced a guaranteed 2.5% minimum rise for pensioners.
Finally – they can’t break the habit of saying it’s a 2 horse race here in North Devon. These 2 horses are from the same stable – it makes little difference if they’re wearing different colours – they’re both on the same disastrous course. Back either of them and you’ll get the same outcome. It’s time to break with the past and back a new runner – vote for your Labour candidates on May 2nd.