During this recession, many people across Angus will be feeling the pinch, working fewer hours or with reduced pay, whilst still having to meet rising food and petrol costs. With huge bonuses for bankers and tax dodging millionaires donating to political parties, most voters must be wondering whether politicians will deal with this unfairness.
The Liberal Democrats have long campaigned for a fairer tax system. We promise that if you earn less than £10,000 you will pay nothing, zero, £0 in income tax. If you earn more that that, you will pay £705 less.
So if you earn, say £8,000, you will pay no income tax, saving you £305 per year, an extra £25 per month. If you earn, £17,000, you will save £705. That’s almost £59 per month extra in your pay packet, to help you pay for your shopping, put towards your holiday or buy that special treat for your kids.
We will pay for this by cutting special tax breaks that only the wealthiest can use.
Pensioners will save £100 a year, which combined with relinking pensions with earnings, will help the most vulnerable in our society.
We will invest £3.1bn to create 100,000 green jobs, including £400m to refurbish harbours to manufacture offshore wind turbines. As your MP, I would fight for that investment to come to Montrose, creating jobs across all of Angus. We will pay young people on apprenticeships, so small companies can take them on.
That’s fairness for you, but what about the way MPs have behaved with our money?
The ugly SNP / Tory expenses and donations spat in Angus makes clear that we need a complete overhaul of our political systems. Labour and the Tories propose a tweak here and there, but after 20 years of scandal after scandal, it is clear we need genuine democracy.
The Liberal Democrats would cap donations and limit spending by political parties and introduce independent audits of expenses. We would create a register of political lobbying, a Lib Dem proposal that Mike Weir voted against in 2006. Crucially, you would have the right to sack corrupt MPs.
The UK needs a written constitution that sets out exactly what MPs can and cannot do and defines the roles of judges, ministers, the Head of State, parliament and national assemblies.
We would introduce a fairer, proportional voting system so your voice is heard. Mike Weir was elected with just 1 out of every 5 of the possible votes. A full 2/3rds of voters, voted against him. Surely Angus deserves an MP with a better mandate than that?
During this General Election in Angus, the Liberal Democrats are the only party that will bring genuine fairness back to our economy and our politics.