Workers pay less tax as personal allowance raised

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NEARLY half a million workers in South Yorkshire are to pay less tax, in plans announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in yesterday’s Budget.

George Osborne announced the biggest ever lifting of the personal allowance, raising it to £1,100 from April 2013.

The measure will mean 446,700 working people in South Yorkshire - and 178,000 in Sheffield alone - will be £220 better off a year, paying no tax on their first £9,205 of earnings.

The plan - the third consecutive rise of the personal allowance - means 46,620 of the poorest people in South Yorkshire, and 16,530 in Sheffield, will have been lifted out of paying any income tax at all since 2010.

Deputy PM Nick Clegg, MP for Sheffield Hallam, claimed the measure was major win for his Liberal Democrat party.

He said the plan was on the front page of the Lib Dem manifesto at the last election.

“Liberal Democrats are putting £220 back in the pockets of Sheffield workers,” he said. “Times are tough and this will make a real difference to lives across the city.”

There was no change to tax on alcohol on top of measures already agreed, which will see beer, wine and spirit duty rise by two per cent on top of inflation until 2014/15.

Fuel duty will rise by 3.02 pence per litre on August 1.

But Labour’s Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield lambasted the Government for slashing the top tax rate from 50p to 45p for people earning over £150,000.

He said: “A million young people are now out of work, families are struggling with rising prices, and manufacturing needs support, yet this budget has focused on the Government’s real priority - cutting taxes for the richest one per cent.

“The Lib Dem claim that lifting the tax threshold helps those most in need is a con. It gives the same cash benefit to millionaires as everyone else.”