Stephen Williams has welcomed today’s increase in the personal allowance, a policy that was not initially received well by the Tories until the Lib Dems forced it through in government.
The personal allowance - the point at which people start to pay income tax - today rises to £11,500 as part of the new tax year.
When the Lib Dems left office in 2015 the personal allowance was set at £10,600. The party beat their own goal, set out in their 2010 manifesto, to raise the personal income tax allowance to £10,000, which was at that time set at £6,475. The party fought the 2015 election pledging to increase it to £12,500.
David Cameron described the policy as unaffordable shortly before the 2010 election.
Commenting on the tax changes, the Lib Dem candidate to be the West of England regional mayor, Stephen Williams said:
“The Bristol and Bath cities region economy is already the most prosperous in England outside London. It contributes over £25billion to the national economy. The taxes its people and businesses pay subsidise the rest of the country. Raising the personal allowance not only helps the poorest in the region but puts more money in to the pockets of everyday local small business owners, who are the lifeblood of our local economy.
“This is a radical, flagship, Liberal Democrat legacy but we had to fight tooth and nail with the Tories to deliver it. I’m delighted to see that our determination to see more money in working people’s pockets delivered a permanent shift in government thinking to making the tax system fairer and that it is continuing to make a difference to local people.
“This election is a clear choice between me and the inexperienced, Brexit-defending Tory candidate. If elected on 4th May I will press the government to avoid a hard Brexit, which will be deeply damaging to our economy and to the personal finances of the people of Bath, North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.”