Deputy PM says 'move quicker' to stop wage tax on poor

26/01/12

Nick Clegg

There is already a promise to stop tax on earnings under £10,000 a year by the next General Election in 2015.

Now Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says he wants to reach that threshold much quicker.

He says it's "because things are very tough" and "the period of austerity is going to take longer than we originally hoped".

It would be welcomed by 19-year-old Holly Inglis from Edinburgh.

She said: "I'm a hairdresser and I get taxed mega."

She says she'll earn about £10,000 this year.

Like everyone else, she pays income tax on everything she earns above £7,475.

From April, the threshold will be £8,105.

"Once you've paid all your bills you've got nothing to spend on yourself," she said. "It's hard."

'Big difference'

Under Nick Clegg's proposal, Hollie would pay no tax on her wages at all.

She told Newsbeat: "It would make such a big difference."

Holly Inglis
Image caption Holly Inglis says she'd welcome a higher tax threshold

It's just a few weeks until the Budget, the annual speech setting out plans for raising and spending government money, so there's a chance all this will be made official then.

For Nick Clegg, it's important that it all has his personal stamp on it.

He's under pressure to show he's making changes his Liberal Democrats want to see, rather than just propping up his bigger Conservative partners in power.

He says the extra money can be found by tackling tax avoiders and getting businesses and richer people to pay more.

Holly welcomes that idea.

"I'm not asking them to give us their whole life savings," she said.

"But I wish they would just give us a little bit of what their life is like."