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Personal Allowance

Volume 601: debated on Tuesday 27 October 2015

The Government are committed to raising the income tax personal allowance from £10,600 to £12,500 by the end of this Parliament. That is alongside our commitment to raising the higher-rate threshold to £50,000. More than 30 million individuals will benefit from those changes. This year’s summer Budget confirmed that the personal allowance will increase to £11,000 next year and to £11,200 in 2017-18.

I thank the Minister for that answer. Raising the personal allowance is one of the most powerfully progressive things that we are doing in moving towards a lower tax, higher pay society. Income tax cuts will mean that nearly 5,000 people in my constituency will be lifted entirely out of paying income tax. Does that not show that Conservatives are on the side of working people?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Those working 30 hours a week on the national minimum wage will be taken out of income tax altogether and kept out of income tax. That contrasts with the position in 2010 when people earning just £6,500 were paying income tax. Those people have recently seen an increase in their marginal rate from 10% to 20%.

Raising the personal allowance is not a panacea; it will do nothing to address the deep levels of poverty among the working poor. Is the Minister concerned at all at recent Office for National Statistics figures showing that 6 million jobs pay less than the living wage?

The best way to address poverty is to ensure that we have a strong economy—jobs growing, increasing productivity, making sure that we have the business investment that we need. This Government are delivering a pro-business approach that is good for job creation, which is why there are more people in work than we have seen ever before.