Nick Clegg challenges Coalition partners to deliver £140 income tax cut to 20m workers by scrapping Tory plans

Deputy Prime Minister wants the Chancellor to ditch breaks for married couples and employee shareholders

Nick Clegg has challenged Conservative coalition partners to deliver a £140 income tax cut to 20 million workers by scrapping Tory plans for tax breaks for married couples and employee shareholders.

The Deputy Prime Minister is pressing Chancellor George Osborne to use his Budget on March 19 to increase the main income tax allowance to £10,500 in what he calls a "workers' bonus" which would slash around £100 from the bills of basic-rate taxpayers and take some low-paid workers out of income tax altogether.

Now he has said the threshold below which earnings are not liable to income tax could be raised further to £10,700 - increasing the potential saving to £140 - if the Conservatives agreed to ditch "pet tax projects" like the married couples' tax allowance.

Raising the threshold to £10,000 was a key plank of the Liberal Democrats' election manifesto in 2010 and was identified as the Government's tax priority in the coalition agreement . The personal allowance has been raised in steps from £6,475 and will reach £10,000 in April next year, in a gradual process which Mr Clegg said was worth a total of £700 a year to around 20 million workers.

But the Lib Dem leader has opposed plans outlined in last month's autumn statement for a £700 million transferable tax allowance for some married couples and civil partners, worth £200 a year to an estimated four million households from 2015.

Speaking at a Westminster press conference, Mr Clegg said: "My priority in the Budget, in a few weeks' time, will be to deliver a 'workers' bonus', to go further than the £10,000 income tax allowance that we will be delivering in April - a policy which I notice has suddenly become a subject of great enthusiasm for the Conservatives, an enthusiasm which they kept well hidden until now.

"It was a policy that was on the front page of the Liberal Democrat manifesto and was only in the coalition agreement because of the Liberal Democrats and millions of people are benefiting to the tune of around £700 each because of that Liberal Democrat commitment.

"I want to go further. I've said that if we can responsibly find means to deliver an even higher allowance of £10,500 - a workers' bonus - we should do so. That would be worth an extra £100 off the tax bills of over 20 million basic rate taxpayers.

"But now that my coalition partners have professed such enthusiasm for this policy, maybe we can go further still. If the Conservatives were prepared to give up spending huge amounts of money on their own tax pet projects - whether it's the marriage tax break, or what I call the unmarried couple tax penalty, which consumes hundreds of millions of pounds, or the tax incentives encouraging people to give up their employment rights to take up shares - if we just moved off both of those we could deliver a £10,700 tax allowance at the next Budget.

"That would be worth £140 back in the pockets of over £20 million basic rate taxpayers, taking more and more people on very low incomes out of paying income tax altogether."

PA

Video: Nick Clegg says Tory cuts for the sake of it "monumental mistake"

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game