Clegg is not helping the poorest with their tax bills so he should stop pretending he is

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Nick Clegg has proposed increasing the income tax personal allowance, again.

The argument is always the same: it's said that this 'takes the poorest out of tax'.

There's a flaw with this argument: as this graph shows the bottom 30% of taxpayers hardly pay any income tax already:

Screen shot 2013-11-18 at 07.43.17

In fact, the bottom 25% of earners pay just 2.3% of all income tax between them right now, and the bottom 10% just 0.4%. However it's looked at, you can't cut that by much and the result is that this policy blindingly obviously does not do what Clegg claims: it does not take the poorest out of tax as they are already not paying income tax. That is, therefore, just a ruse for a tax cut for others higher up the income order.

Now that may be what Clegg wants to deliver, but if so say it.

Otherwise cut the taxes that impact the poorest more, like national insurance and VAT; the latter especially.

And in the meantime drop the anti-tax rhetoric which suggests that government is a a bad thing when very obviously it is not.

This is lousy politics, poor tax management and real misrepresentation. I resent all three.