A key priority for Conservatives is helping ordinary working families with the cost of living. This includes making work pay by ensuring that you keep more by being in work than you would if on benefits. This year saw the Personal Tax Allowance increased by more than inflation for the seventh consecutive year, raising it to £11.500. As a result of these changes, a typical basic rate taxpayer will now pay £1,005 less income tax in 2017-18 than in 2010-11.
As well as taking millions of people out of tax altogether, the lowest paid have also been helped by the introduction of the National Living Wage which has boasted incomes by over £1,400 for full-time workers. This year the National Living Wage increased from £7.20 to £7.50 an hour.
Pensioners have also been supported with a £1,250 increase in the basic state pension since 2010. This means that someone on a full basic State Pension can expect to receive around £590 more a year in 2017-18 than if it had been uprated by average earnings since 2010-11.
Fuel costs can make up a big part of a family budget and there has been significant pressure on prices at the pump. The Conservative Government cancelled the fuel duty rise that was scheduled for April which kept it frozen for the seventh consecutive year, saving the average car driver £130 a year and the average van driver £350 since 2010.
Our political opponents like to claim that only the very wealthiest have done well under the Conservatives while everyone else suffers. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is that income inequality has fallen and is now at its lowest level in over 30 years while average disposable household income was £1,000 higher in 2015/16 than it was in 2007/08. Another statistic they like to keep quiet is that the richest 1% now pay 27% of all income tax revenue, which is a higher proportion than it was under the last Labour government. Working families are the backbone of our society and helping them manage must always remain a priority.