Employment is rising, unemployment is falling, inflation is below target and growth is re-established. There is still more to do to fully repair the economy and make sure this recovery keeps going, but our long term economic plan is working.
It’s vital that everyone can share in the economic benefits of the recovery. Back in 2010, when I sought your vote to be the Member of Parliament for Carshalton and Wallington, I made a commitment to deliver income tax cuts of £700 for working people.
It was on the front page of the Liberal Democrat manifesto, it was on all those leaflets that came through your door and it was a top priority in the negotiations that led to the formation of the coalition government. This week, the £700 tax cut is delivered to your pocket.
The personal allowance, the amount you can earn before you pay income tax, is now £10,000, up from £6,475 in 2010.
It hasn’t been easy. In 2010, we inherited an economy with spiralling national debt, a record peace time deficit and a broken banking system. The country was suffering the consequences of Labour's catastrophic mismanagement.
Re-establishing stability was vital. That’s why we formed the coalition. As a result, Liberal Democrat values and economic thinking are at the centre of the long term plan that is now delivering jobs and growth.
Right from the formation of the coalition in 2010, the Liberal Democrats insisted that raising the personal tax allowance to £10,000 was our first tax priority. Lifting the personal tax allowance helps local residents and it rewards work, making it more attractive than a life on benefits.
Here in Sutton, it means £700 tax cuts for 87,100 people and it means 7,940 will no longer pay any income tax at all. Across the country, this tax cut will benefit over 25 million taxpayers.
I stand resolutely behind my party’s commitment to fight for further tax cuts for the working people of Carshalton and Wallington. The Budget saw more progress, raising the allowance to £10,500 in April next year. We will fight to raise it even further in the next Parliament to £12,500.
That would mean a two term Liberal Democrat government would deliver a total tax cut of £1200. Tax cuts for working people are a vital part of building the stronger economy and fairer society that our area deserves. With your help, that is what I intend on delivering.