Lib Dems pile pressure on Tory MPs over Jeremy Hunt’s ‘stealth taxes’ with launch of new ad campaign in ‘Blue Wall’ seats to highlight how millions will be dragged into a higher tax band after Chancellor froze thresholds

  • Lib Dems launch ad campaign targeting ‘Blue Wall’ Tory MPs over ‘stealth taxes’
  • They call on Conservatives to ‘come clean’ over impact of Chancellor’s decisions
  • Jeremy Hunt froze income tax thresholds at this month’s Autumn Statement
  • OBR estimates that around six million workers now face paying more tax

The Liberal Democrats are launching a new ad campaign as part of a bid to put Tory MPs in ‘Blue Wall’ seats under pressure over Jeremy Hunt’s ‘stealth taxes’.

In a series of digital ads and leaflets, the Lib Dems are calling on the Conservatives to ‘come clean’ over the impact of the Chancellor’s decisions at this month’s Autumn Statement.

Mr Hunt froze the income tax personal allowance, as well as the threshold for paying higher rate income tax, until April 2028 as he attempted to fill a huge blackhole in the nation’s finances.

The Office for Budget Responsibility estimated that around six million workers now face paying more tax due to the Chancellor’s action.

They said around 3.2 million people will be dragged into paying the 20 per cent basic rate of income tax due to the freezing of the personal allowance at £12,571.

Meanwhile, an estimated 2.6 million people are predicted to be pulled into paying the 40 per cent higher rate of income tax after Mr Hunt announced the threshold would stay at £50,271 until 2028.

In a series of digital ads and leaflets, the Lib Dems are calling on the Conservatives to ‘come clean’ over the impact of the Chancellor’s decisions


The Lib Dem ad campaign will be run in dozens of ‘Blue Wall’ seats held by Tory MPs, such as Angela Richardson’s Guildford constituency and Stephen Hammond’s Wimbledon seat

 

The Lib Dem ad campaign will be run in dozens of ‘Blue Wall’ seats held by Tory MPs.

These include the Guildford constituency held by Angela Richardson, as well as the Wimbledon and Winchester seats held by former ministers Stephen Hammond and Steve Brine, respectively.

The ‘Blue Wall’ is a term used to refer to those constituencies in southern England that have traditionally been won by the Tories, but could be vulnerable to the Lib Dems or Labour at the next general election.

The Lib Dems have already scored significant victories in traditional Tory strongholds such as Chesham and Amersham, North Shropshire, and Tiverton and Honiton in recent by-elections. 

The new attack ads about Mr Hunt’s tax decisions are set to be issued in printed leaflets and across social media in the coming days. 

Sarah Olney MP, the Lib Dem’s Treasury spokesperson, said: ‘Hard-working families are being hammered with endless tax hikes, on top of soaring mortgages and energy bills.

‘We are putting pressure on Conservative MPs to come clean with their constituents about the impact of this huge stealth tax rise.’

Ms Olney also accused the Tories of a ‘shameful stealth tax cover up’ after they voted down a Lib Dem amendment to the Finance Bill tonight.

The party had called for HMRC write to every taxpayer hit by the freeze in income tax thresholds to explain exactly how much extra tax they would be paying and whether they’ve been dragged into a higher rate.

The Lib Dems have calculated that Mr Hunt’s tax decisions will cost £1,100 for a family of two taxpayers on an average salary of £32,300.

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