Our tax code is a fundamental extension of our moral code. I agree with those who argue that a person who works hard and earns a fair reward should rightly be allowed to enjoy the benefits of their labour. But I also appreciate that no man is an island, and I believe in the principle that the more an individual personally benefits from being a member of our society the more they have a duty to give back.
That’s not a radical idea; it’s a values based, moral principle that has been enshrined in UK law for as long as we have had an income tax. These two ideals of fair earnings and fair contributions are not in conflict, they are the pillars that underpin any system of progressive taxation.
In government the Liberal Democrats have exceeded our manifesto pledge and delivered a tax cut worth £825 a year (£1,650 to a typical family with two working parents) to millions of low-middle income workers. Next we want to go further, increasing the tax free personal allowance again to £12,500 whilst simultaneously cracking down on the imbalance whereby tax payable on income streams only accessible to the richest in society is actually less as a proportion of income than the taxes paid by ordinary people.