Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Clegg backs individual tax statements plan

The deputy prime minister has strongly endorsed plans to give taxpayers a detailed breakdown of how the government spends their money, describing the proposal as "an excellent idea".

Reports suggest that the chancellor will announce proposals to give 20 million people personal statements outlining what proportion of their taxes are used to pay for education, health and welfare in his Budget statement on 21 March.

Speaking during questions on 20 March 2012, Nick Clegg said the proposals, to be introduced in 2014, would provide "far greater transparency" for citizens.

"That goes right to the heart of greater accountability in government and empowering citizens in knowing where this money is spent," Mr Clegg told MPs.

But he refused to be drawn on government plans for the future of the 50p tax bracket, as his shadow counterpart confirmed that Labour was against dropping the higher rate levy.

"If chancellor announces any cut in the top rate of tax, on this side we'll vote against it - will he?" Harriet Harman asked.

Mr Clegg said Ms Harman would have to wait and see what proposals would be revealed in the Budget.

He said the coalition was committed to providing "real help" to people on middle and low incomes.

"Whatever changes there are to this bit of the tax system or that bit of the tax system, we believe the wealthy should pay more because the broadest shoulders should bear the heaviest burden," he added.

The 45 minute session was followed by questions to the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve.

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