Many of you may notice a difference in your payslip this month. That's because on Monday 6 April the personal tax allowance was increased to £10,600. This means that during this Parliament the Liberal Democrats will have delivered a tax cut worth £825 for most workers in Watford and Three Rivers.
Cutting taxes for people on middle incomes and having the chance to lift the poorest people out of paying tax altogether was a key manifesto pledge for the Lib Dems in 2010. I am proud that we were able to deliver it despite George Osborne's opposition.
Under this election's manifesto plans, we will go further and increase this to £12,500 by the end of the next Parliament, delivering a further tax cut of £400. Under our plans, anyone earning the minimum wage will not pay tax on that.
We live in an area with an enviable unemployment rate – and there are 12,300 more jobs in Watford than in 2010. We've also been successful in attracting lots of high-quality jobs that give people the opportunity to progress and develop their career.
High employment in Watford is good news – but we all know that the cost of living is also high here. It doesn't make sense to ask workers on the minimum wage to pay income tax when it's a struggle for so many people to keep a roof over their head.
Of course, although it's a good start, a tax cut for average and lower income workers doesn't fix everything. That's why as your MP I would continue to support building more affordable and social housing in our area and back the Lib Dems' rent-to-own homes scheme. At the same time I will vote to protect our much-needed public services like our schools and hospitals from unnecessary, ideological Tory cuts.