I would say that the aim of the 10p policy should be to encourage people on low incomes to take higher-paid work, to work longer hours and to start the transition up the income scale. That is why it
“is right that we need to introduce a 10p tax rate in the interim; otherwise, people will go straight from their tax-free allowance to being taxed on any income above that.”—[Hansard, 22 January 2013; Vol. 557, c. 37WH.]
Those are not my words but those of George Eustice, in a debate in favour of a 10p starting rate of tax that was held some months ago.
“a 10p tax rate would cost half the amount of an increase in the personal allowance. There would be an impact on more people. We should support the aim of securing a new 10p tax rate, because it would help the poorest paid but also emphasise the need for everyone who works to contribute to society”.—[ Hansard, 22 January 2013; Vol. 557, c. 40WH.]
Another Conservative Member, Martin Vickers, said:
“A commitment to a 10p tax rate would send the clear message that we are indeed all in it together.”—[Hansard, 22 January 2013; Vol. 557, c. 44WH.]
“I believe that restoring the 10p rate would help the coalition to counter the war cry of its political opponents that it is only interested in cutting taxes for millionaires. It would prove to the public that ‘lower taxes for lower earners’ is not just a soundbite but that it can be a reality”.—[Hansard, 22 January 2013; Vol. 557, c. 34WH.]
The hon. Gentleman went on to say that
“it would help to tackle the desperate stagnation in incomes that Britain has suffered”.—[Hansard, 22 January 2013; Vol. 557, c. 38WH.]
Those are four colleagues of the hon. Member for Bury St Edmunds who would recommend to him the concept of a 10p rate. I wonder whether he agrees with them.