Dan Jarvis MP has today spoken out against what he has called “the Liberal Democrat myth”.
The Barnsley Central MP was referring to the Liberal Democrats claims that they are helping the poorest in society by forcing their Conservative partners in the Coalition Government, to raise the income tax personal allowance.
Jarvis explained, “Ever since the Omnishambles of a budget, the Liberal Democrats have tried to claim that they are on the side of the poorest in society and that this can be proved by the rise in the personal allowance.
“It is a myth. The reality is, when you drill into the figures, the cash in people’s pockets, actually amounts to very little, or in some cases, nothing at all.
“For instance, in the financial year 2012/2013 the income tax personal allowance was raised to £8,105 meaning anyone earning under £34,370 a year will be £186 better off. That amounts to an extra £15.50 a month in your pocket.
“In the financial year 2013/2014, the income tax personal allowance will rise to £9,205 meaning anyone earning under £34,370 a year will be £346 better off. That amounts to an extra £28.83 a month in your pocket.
“This sounds like a good thing, but we must place it in the context of the Liberal Democrats voting to raise VAT to 20% which is estimated to cost a family with children £450 a year.
“We must also place it in the contexts of rising Gas and electricity prices, rising train and bus fares, rising food prices and rising long-term unemployment.
“In Barnsley Central, we have 365 households that have now lost their working tax credits and we have 11,290 families who have either lost or had their Child benefit reduced. A total loss of child benefit amounts to an annual loss of £545.
“This reduction in benefit comes at a time when we have one million young people unemployed and a 200% rise in youth unemployment in Barnsley Central over the last 12 months.
“This reduction also hits women hardest. Unemployment amongst women is at its highest in over two decades and with 914 women in Barnsley Central in the dole queue instead of work, they need a Government that is willing to be frank about the facts.
“It is simply not acceptable for Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats to attempt to make out they are on the side of the poorest and most vulnerable families in society when they helped to deliver a budget that gives a little with one hand and takes a lot with the other.”