Either David Cameron accidentally read out parts of the speech that Nigel Farage gave in Doncaster last week, or they are using the same speech writer.
In what looked like a part re-run of the UK Independence Party leader's speech last week, the prime Minister today announced the intention of his party to raise the basic rate tax threshold to £12,500, a level that would exclude those on the minimum wage. He also said that the threshold for paying the higher rate of tax at 40p in the pound would be raised to £50,000.
Many in the Conservative Party may see these as UKIP-killing policies, but UKIP will put this forward as more evidence that their party is once again driving the agenda with the Tories clinging onto their coattails in the hope of catching up.
UKIP economic spokesman Patrick O’Flynn welcomed the Prime Minister's stance on income tax saying:
“They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I am delighted that the Prime Minister has responded so hurriedly to UKIP’s tax-cutting agenda.
“Last week I called for the other parties to come to a consensus with UKIP about lifting the personal allowance to the level of the full-time minimum wage. To hear the Prime Minister agree just five days later can only be welcomed. It only now remains for Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband to come into line and this can be a comprehensive consensus across the political spectrum to take into the next parliament.
“And our offer in UKIP to do something radical for those who have been dragged into the 40p tax rate has also provoked a positive response from the PM. His motivation for this is a bit more puzzling as he has previously endorsed George Osborne’s approach of actively reducing the 40p threshold.
“But one must welcome a sinner repenting, so long as he turns out to be sincere. Taken together the personal allowance policy and the 40p threshold u-turn amount to dramatic evidence of the impact UKIP is having on British politics. We are championing the rights of hard-working and responsible families up and down the land.
“Of course, there is still one big tax priority that the Prime Minister failed to address – the iniquitous and hated Inheritance Tax. But I am confident that so long as voters keep responding positively to UKIP’s messages on tax, that Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne will have to address this before the general election too.
“Many voters will remember Mr Osborne promising seven years ago at a Tory conference that only millionaires would pay Inheritance Tax. I note that the Inheritance Threshold has been stuck at £325,000 during his stewardship of the Treasury. UKIP would scrap this tax altogether and I now challenge the Conservatives to respond to our initiative in this area too. Millions of voters are watching very closely.”