Election hopefuls clash over tax

The party leaders clashed over tax policy in the last of the three TV debates
before polling next Thursday.

Gordon Brown defended the coming rise in National Insurance contributions and
attacked the Tories for wanting to cut child tax credits

The Prime Minister said: “The reason for the National Insurance rise is to
ensure our national health service our police and our education.” He said it
would not effect people earning less than £20,000.

Referring to Tory inheritance tax (IHT) policy he said: “The biggest
beneficiary is as always the richest estates in the country and not the ordinary
hard working people in this country.”

David Cameron countered by saying that Gordon Brown now considered everyone
earning more than £20,000 “rich”. He added: “You are considered a target for the
Labour government to go on wasting money this year and to hit you with taxes
next year.”

Carmeron then defended his party’s IHT policy. He said he would answer the
question of IHT “directly”: “I believe, in this country, that if you work hard
and you save money and you put aside money and you try to pay down your mortgage
on your family home you shouldn’t have to sell that or give it to the taxman
when you die, you should be able to pass it on to your children.”

Nick Clegg attempted to remain clear of the clash. Addressing the questioner
form the studio audience he said: “Taxes are unfair on millions of people on
ordinary income.

“I believe that if people work hard, particularly if they want to get off
benefits…even if its only part time, we should help them keep more of their

According to HMRC figures roughly £24bn was paid in child and working tax
credits in 2008-09. Inheritance tax raised £2.8bn in the same year.


Watch the leaders clash over tax

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