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Tax Freedom Day is a reminder of the choice in 2015: high tax Labour, low tax Conservatives

28 May 2014

2:02 PM

28 May 2014

2:02 PM

Tax Freedom Day, which falls today, is cause for celebration. It marks the point in the calendar when someone’s income stops paying for their tax bill and they start keeping the money they have earned. It is an annual reminder that people who work hard and play by the rules deserve to keep their hard won earnings. It is why cutting tax has always been a priority for Conservatives.

Four years ago we inherited a tax system that was designed to be as complicated as possible. Gordon Brown’s stealth taxes doubled the revenue the Treasury raised through taxation and National Insurance. In total, Labour put up taxes 178 times, and the myriad of extra charges was as complicated as the methods used by corporate tax avoiders today – and as morally compromising. For many of those years, Ed Miliband was the lieutenant who Brown trusted to invent these schemes.

The progress that this Government has made is extraordinary. We have cut taxes in every area. 25 million people have been given an income tax cut: by raising the person allowance we’ve returned an average of £705 to people’s pockets and taken three million people out of tax altogether. We have given councils the funds required to freeze or cut Council Tax. If you’re driving a car, you’ll be benefiting from the freeze in fuel duty. If you go to the pub this evening, you can toast a Conservative Chancellor who cut the cost of a pint by slashing Labour’s hated Beer Duty Escalator. Thanks to these and other measures, Tax Freedom Day has fallen three days earlier this year than it did last year. Long may that trend continue.

Yet tax cuts have not been an ideological extra; a pat on the back after the economy started growing. No, the economy is recovering because the tax burden has been reduced.


Nowhere is this clearer than the cut to Labour’s jobs taxes. We introduced an employment allowance of £2,000 a year, effectively a cut in national insurance contributions, to make it easier for small businesses to create jobs. It is thanks to decisions like these that there are 1.7 million more private sector jobs – and 1.7 million more people with the security of a pay packet. And cutting those workers’ personal taxes has left people with more money in their pocket and stimulated demand.

So while Labour used tax rises to cover up excessive Government spending, we have used tax cuts as part of a long-term economic plan to repair the economy and help Britain deal with its debts. It cannot be repeated often enough: we have cut the deficit by cutting taxes.

Labour, on the other hand, has not learned that tax rises damage the economy. They promise a new tax on the family home – a penalty on families and pensioners whose homes are worth more than a figure determined by Whitehall. Labour would increase income tax on the better off and put additional charges on the bonuses of financial sector workers. And they want to hit the elderly the hardest of all, by withdrawing the winter fuel allowance and reintroducing a cap on pension tax relief.

Those are just the rises they have announced. They have even hinted at raising income tax for everyone by 2%. Indeed, with unfunded policy commitments that cost £27.9 billion, there will be more tax rises around the corner if Labour gets into power.

The choice at the next election could not be clearer. If you want higher taxes, vote for Ed Miliband. If you want lower taxes, vote Conservative.

Priti Patel is Conservative MP for Witham

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Show comments
  • Mynydd

    What’s this ‘Tax Freedom Day’? Does it mean I wont have to pay Mr Cameron/Osborne’s extra 2.5% VAT for the rest of the year? or could it mean, it’s earlier this year because those earning over £150,000 are paying 5% less income tax.

  • Gary Wintle

    Ah yes, the freedom to have my tax money spent on German and Chinese railways.

    The freedom to have my tax money wasted on Crossrail and other corporate welfare scams.

    The freedom to have my tax money wasted on embassies even though technology has rendered them obsolete.

    The freedom to have my tax money wasted on the Help to Buy Ponzi scheme.

    The freedom to ahve my tax money wasted on the state pension.

    The freedom to have my tax money wasted on MPs pensions and drinks.

    The freedom to have my tax money wasted on ATOS, Serco, and other sleazy corporate welfare piggies.

  • Ed_Burroughs

    “If you’re driving a car, you’ll be benefiting from the freeze in fuel duty.”

    Close, a benefit would only accrue from a reduction. Don’t make yourself look silly by pretending that inaction is action.

  • wycombewanderer

    I’m not sure if you read the comments here, Priti, but I’ve read that you might quit the commons in 2015 is that correct?

    If it is can I ask ,you to reconsider?
    you’re a breath of fresh air and much needed.

  • starfish

    Most people would consider that working half a year for the govt to mismanage and waste hard earned money is nothing to crow about

    Tax freedom day should be in march

  • DaveTheRave

    Nonsense! It’s high tax Tories, Labour, Libdems… and any other party going with the establishment blueprint. Even under Thatcher billions of taxpayers’ money was spent on the unemployed, despite reputations. Make a difference next May – vote in your millions for Ukip!!!

    • HookesLaw

      Why, what is the UKIP policy?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …it’s not the socialist LibLabCon clones’, lad.

        • Grey Wolf

          HookesLaw and Telemachus belong in the loony bin. Sadly they are out and about.

        • Nick

          Why do you call everybody “lad”?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …why not?

          • Ed_Burroughs

            What’s it to you, Lad?

  • Grey Wolf

    The likes of Patel would have us believe that marginally higher vs. marginally lower taxes are the defining issue of our nation and its health. What a ruse! What a carefully planted ploy! I wonder what Chuka Umunna has to say about this.

    No Patel, who do I vote if I want less, much less immigration?
    Who do I vote if I want much less diversity?
    Who do I vote if I want much less military entanglement in middle-east deserts?

    Any answers Patel?

  • Bluesman_1

    “Tax Freedom Day is a reminder of the choice in 2015: high tax Labour, low tax Conservatives”

    Not quite Citizen Patel. It should read:

    Tax Freedom Day is a reminder of the choice in 2015: high tax Conservatives, higher tax Labour

    • wimsb

      Much lower tax, UKIP

  • Martin

    1.7 million extra jobs? Most of them are zero hours minimum wage jobs working for SERCO or G4S

    • Ooh!MePurse!

      Most? Proof?

      • Gary Wintle

        Most of the jobs created are increasing the national debt because the wages are so low in many cases as to be economically worthless.

        • Ooh!MePurse!

          Most? Proof?

          • Mynydd

            Just look at the National Debt figures and you will find; Mr Cameron/Osborne have added to it more in 4 your than Mr Blair/Brown added in 13 years.
            Just look at the working tax credits numbers and you will find; that the number of workers claiming these taxes is the same as the number of the jobs claimed by Mr Cameron.

    • Gary Wintle

      And Serco and G4S sponge off the taxpayer so the national debt grows as a result.

  • Graeme S

    Off Topic completely …….. why have the MSM not discussed the rotten borough issues currently on-going to the Hamlets …….. I find it disquieting

  • McRobbie

    Its simple..labour is big state, big spend, big interference and equality of poverty..tories are small state,small spend, freedom of choice and equality of opportunity. Simples..tory for me.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      All of LibLabCon is big state, big spend, big interference and equality of poverty, not just Lab.

      • Grey Wolf

        Its hard to fathom how many people in this country are drunk on Kool-Aid. God save us.

    • Kitty MLB

      Labour are about keeping people dependant, poor, vulnerable and grateful
      to Labour who pretends they are helping.
      Tories are about individuality and freedom . Everything you say. And
      those who say they believe there would be no difference with the 2 Ed’s
      in charge, continuing Browns ruinous agenda are talking out of the place where the sun doesn’t shine. And considering the damage that would do to this country, almost treasonous.

    • Grey Wolf

      Really? There is such a huge difference b/w Lab and Con. I fail to see it. To me both appear as lefties. Did Cameron not go all out for marriage equality? Is help to buy not a Tory policy (state financial support for private home buyers)? Are banks not being supported through lose monetary policy?

      Don’t be drink on Kool-Aid. Open your eyes, if you have any

      • HookesLaw

        Then you are blind as well as thick.

        • Grey Wolf

          OK. So it’s come to this in the land of Magna-Carta. If I tell the truth then I am blind and thick! Wow!!

      • Tony_E

        Marriage equality is not necessarily left wing – it’s libertarian. What it isn’t is Conservative. And it was going to pushed through anyway, so it was politically shrewd in terms of the younger vote to get it done sooner rather than later.

        Anyway, why is it the right of the state to instruct people on whether they can marry or not? Why should something be restricted if it does no harm to others? Why is restricting something ‘right wing’?

        My only reservation was that it would be used to restrict religious freedom -which would be anti libertarian in the extreme.

        • Grey Wolf

          Libertarians annoy me the most. Their social liberalism places them to the left of the communists.

          • Tony_E

            What? Really? I’m not particularly Libertarian but that’s just daft.

            Not controlling people’s actions and expecting them to simply behave with a little concern for their fellow man while pursuing their own pleasures is somehow ‘more left than Communism’?

            Be careful not to prove that Black is White, or you might get run over on the next Zebra crossing.

            • Grey Wolf

              Some of us are traditionalists and do not think that atomised isolation of human beings (what libertarians call ‘freedom’) is the best thing. We don’t think the freedom to consume is what the purpose of human life is. ”Pursuit of pleasure” as the goal of life is nihilistic and deplorable.

    • Tony_E

      And it takes them half the year to collect their ‘Small State’ budget?

      You’re ‘avin a giraffe mate!

      All modern politicians are big government. They have to keep the public sector / welfare train running just to get elected.

  • colliemum

    Ms Patel seems to be unaware of the post below by Eamonn Butler:
    He argues that ‘cost of government’, i.e. debts, ought to be included because we’re also paying for that.
    Thus we’ll have to work another four weeks or so before proper tax & government cost Freedom Day comes around.
    Hidden costs also need to be paid – and it’s no good crowing about the government’s achievements just for propaganda purposes when we can find out so easily that it’s another instance of smoke and mirrors.

  • tastemylogos

    I really fancy priti patel. Come over to UKIP please.

  • Ian Walker

    There’s a third choice of course – UKIP who will ditch the expensive EU and use the money to cut taxes more than either of you

    • Kitty MLB

      We are actually speaking of the Conservatives and labour and our taxes.
      its not a discussion about the EU. Yes we must leave, but its a little tedious
      to mention the EU in every discussion.

      • Count Dooku

        Try reading the Telegraph comments…

        • Kitty MLB

          I Did that once a few weeks back. I felt as
          if I were drowning in a miasmic and suffocating sea. And as a Conservative,
          I needed fresh air so promptly left.

          • telemachus

            Can I recommend the Guardian
            Simon Jenkins, Mark Lawson, Andrew Rawnsley and other giants spice the most objective news in the UK
            There is a refreshing neutral approach to party politics and the ability to stimulate minds

            • Count Dooku

              I wipe my @rse with the Guardian.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Your standards are dropping Count. I would not allow a page of that syphilitic rag near any part of my body.

                • Count Dooku

                  It’s scavenged from the various Starbucks dotted around town. I swear they are responsible for half the Guardian’s circulation.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Good point. Perhaps we should all lobby for a ‘Guardian’ Tax it would give the impression that Starbucks was paying its fair share and might raise, oh I don’t know, £60 or £70 for the exchequer.

              • colonel panic

                You have to buy it first …

            • Ed_Burroughs

              That provoked genuine mirth 🙂

      • wimsb

        How stupid; when our taxes contribute £55 million per day to the EU. If neither Tories nor Labour will leave the EU, then it is clearly relevant to discuss UKIP.

    • Mynydd

      UKIP are not a choice, with no MPs they can’t even talk about the taxes they would cut when they have an overall majority in the House of Commons.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Well, they seem to have you hopping about, so they must be a choice.

  • crackenthorp

    Just look at the true figures the Conservatives are taxing us more than Labour ever did. I know this is an unpalatable thing to read in the Spectator but just do a teeny weeny bit of research and you will see it is true

  • George_Arseborne

    it is pretty pathetic that Priti Patel is saying Tax free day for all. This Tax free day for the Tories super rich donors created by this Tory government of which she is a member.
    Who the hec do you think you are talking to?

  • the viceroy’s gin

    “It cannot be repeated often enough: we have cut the deficit by cutting taxes.”


    You can repeat it as often as you like, lad, but it’s still nonsense.

    You Camerluvvies raised taxes as a first measure, and kept all of Darling’s budget spending, and then raised that level of spending after your IMF masters instructed you to do so.

    Had you attacked the level of government spending, and held the line on taxation, your statements would be true. You didn’t, so your statements are false.