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Bosworth Liberal Democrats back Action Plan to help local families

October 27, 2008 12:00 AM

Hinckley and Bosworth Liberal Democrats are backing plans that would give tax cuts to local people on low and middle incomes, lower mortgage payments and cut fuel bills.

The plans are part of a Liberal Democrat Action Plan to help people through the current economic crisis.

Michael Mullaney Liberal Democrat Parliamentary spokesman for Bosworth said "Our plans will help local people through these difficult times. Cutting taxes, reducing fuel bills, and slashing Interest Rates would help many local people who are struggling to make ends meet."

The Lib Dem proposals include;

1. Cutting taxes for struggling families so they keep more money in their pockets.

The Liberal Democrats will cut taxes for people on low and middle incomes, raising them for the richest so the tax cuts are affordable. They will fund this by ending upper rate tax relief on pensions, clamping down on tax avoidance, harmonising income and capital gains taxes, increasing green taxation and trimming overall central public spending. These proposals would not increase the government fiscal deficit; that means they are affordable now. This tax cut is now urgent to get money to people who are struggling the most, helping them to pay for essentials and keep spending money in the high street.

2. Lowering energy bills so people can afford to keep warm this winter

As wholesale fuel prices fall - they have dropped 28% since August - utility companies must lower people's bills too. Millions of people face a winter unable to heat their homes: 4 out of 5 single pensioners will be in fuel poverty this winter. Energy companies must pass on wholesale price cuts. Liberal Democrats will also change billing rules so the first units of energy you use are no longer the most expensive. Essential energy should be the cheapest, while bigger users pay more. This is fairer, and will help the environment. Finally, those energy companies that received a £9bn subsidy from the European Emissions Trading Scheme must invest in lower tariffs for vulnerable customers and providing comprehensive insulation for everyone.

3. Keeping people in their homes, so they don't need to fear unfair repossessions

Banks must only ever repossess people's homes as a last resort. Liberal Democrats will instruct the courts to make sure banks don't repossess unless they've already offered free independent financial advice, and pursued all alternatives like renegotiating the terms of the mortgage and offering a shared equity agreement.

There are already nearly two million families on housing waiting lists. We can help those families and prevent a homelessness crisis by allowing councils and housing associations to buy up unsold properties and land from building companies. This will replenish our social housing stock, stimulate the house building industry and provide homes now for people who need them.

4. Lower mortgage payments and cheaper business loans through big interest rate cuts

People and businesses need help paying off their mortgages and loans, so we need substantially lower interest rates. The UK still has higher official interest rates than the EU (4.5% compared to 3.75%) and dramatically higher rates than the US (1.5%). This makes it much harder for people to pay their mortgages, makes it harder for business to survive and slows the economy down. The Bank of England must remain independent, but at this time of emergency its remit must be changed to make interest rates fall dramatically and swiftly. This should be part of international action to cut rates across all major economies.