One of the key differences between the Labour and Conservative parties is that Labour like to make people dependent on the state while the Conservatives like to free people from state dependency. The former is about control over people’s lives and the latter about liberation.
The Welfare State must always be there for those in genuine need, but it must never be a trap that is hard to escape. For most people, work is the best route out of poverty and we have record numbers of people in work, but the Government are keen to look at what more can be done to help the most vulnerable because tackling poverty will always be a priority.
The Conservatives are determined that being in work pays. The new tax year is starting and the Conservatives are further increasing the personal allowance to £12,500 that will cut income tax for 32 million people, taking millions of the lowest paid out of paying income tax altogether. Since 2010 when coming into government, the Conservatives have almost doubled the earnings amount before having to pat any income tax. This has a proportionally greater benefit to those on the lowest incomes.
Also going up from this April is the National Living Wage, which will rise to £8.21 an hour for 2.1 million workers. It is also good to see that wages are increasing at their fastest pace ahead of prices in over a decade.
While our Labour opponents like to claim that ‘all new jobs are part time or zero-hour contracts’, the truth is that the proportion of jobs that are low paid stands at the lowest level for 20 years thanks in part to the National Living Wage that the Conservatives introduced.
Despite dubious media coverage to the contrary, it is a statistical fact that absolute poverty is lower than under the last Labour government and it is our successful economy that underpins this. There is always more to do in tackling the root causes of poverty but helping people into work and making people better off in work is the right thing to do.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
3rd April 2019