All four of my tax sketch people would be surprised if they found out that the government’s wish for people to pay a higher overall rate of tax was directed at them. They do not see themselves as tax avoiders. They, after all, are doing things the government wishes to encourage by offering them lower tax rates.
Charity, the retired accountant, has always in the past been a Conservative voter. She is not entirely happy with the Coalition, and is particularly concerned that it is unwilling to bring powers back from the EU which she did not want surrendered in the first place. She would not vote UKIP in a General Election, as she does not want to end up with a pro EU MP, but she is asking herself whether she should vote UKIP in the next European election to show how she feels about the EU issue. She will watch to see if Mr Cameron follows up his veto on the latest Treaty,which she was pleased about. She was not pleased to learn that the Age Allowance will be phased out, though relieved to discover that it was not going to be cut in cash terms.
Prudence has usually voted Lib Dem. She particularly liked their promise to avoid tuition fees for young people going to university. She feels badly let down by them, as her youngest child is about to go to university and will be caught by the large increases in fees. She does not have enough income herself to pay her daughter’s bills. She was thinking about voting Green next time, but is worried that they will put her energy costs up too much. She is genuinely floating.
Mr Reader, the teacher, has always been a strong Labour voter. Mr Blair tried his patience, as he did not think he was a good enough socialist. He approved of Mr Brown’s spending plans, but was worried by the economic collapse on Labour’s watch. He thinks Mr Miliband should be tougher on the rich and the bankers, and is disturbed by the Labour reluctance to support the teachers’ unions wholeheartedly. In the end he will probably vote Labour again.
Ed, the businessman, did not bother to vote in 2010. He wanted the Conservatives to offer a strongly pro enterprise package, but did not see it. He likes what they are doing on Corporation Tax, but does not like some of the anti business rhetoric he hears from the Coalition, or their personal tax and red tape policies. He probably won’t vote next time either, unless some party comes up with a package which he thinks makes sense for people like him, and for the smaller companies he helps.