- The Times reports on freezing of income tax threshold bands costing squeezed-middle households
- Local Conservative MP criticised for voting to hike taxes 12 times in Parliament
Yesterday (29 July) The Times reported on new analysis by the Liberal Democrats, revealing that Wimbledon is one of the 20 constituencies hit hardest by the Government’s latest stealth tax rise which has frozen the higher rate tax threshold.
There are now 5,500 more higher rate taxpayers in Wimbledon despite the Conservatives’ manifesto promise not to increase taxes. In total there are now 23,300 Wimbledon residents paying the higher rate, up from 16,800 in 2020.
The problem is only set to get worse, thanks to the Conservative Government’s plans for stealth tax rises by freezing income tax band thresholds until 2026.
On current rates of inflation, the freeze could mean anyone currently earning up to £4,000 less than the £50,000 upper rate threshold faces being dragged into the top band within a year. Those earning little more than £11,500 may also find themselves pulled above the personal allowance tax threshold within a year.
With inflation rates at their highest in decades, this stealth tax will see many more dragged into higher rates of tax despite skyrocketing prices hitting the value of the pounds in their pockets.
Wimbledon’s Conservative MP, Stephen Hammond, has been criticised by his Liberal Democrat challenger, Paul Kohler, for breaking his election promise not to raise taxes.
“In this Parliament alone, Stephen Hammond has voted 12 times in favour of higher taxes on families and small businesses”, said Cllr Paul Kohler, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Wimbledon.
“This will come as a hammer blow to local people who are struggling to keep up with spiralling bills.
“In the coming days it will be announced that average energy bills will rise to over £3,000 a year, and these tax hikes will add more salt to the wound.
“It has been disappointing to see our local Conservative MP vote in favour of these tax hikes time and time again. Every time he does so, he hurts families, pensioners and businesses in Wimbledon struggling to cope with the cost of living crisis.
“Squeezed-middle families need help instead of these grossly unfair tax hikes. That is why I’m calling for a VAT cut to help people hit hard by the rising cost of shopping, energy and fuel. We need a fairer tax system to help hard-working people and struggling pensioners who can’t rely on offshore bank accounts or Non-Dom status to preserve their wealth.”
The latest analysis is based on figures provided by the Government in response to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP, showing the number of higher rate taxpayers by constituency in 2019/20, the most recent year available.