Daisy Cooper

St Albans MP uncovers Tory ‘stealth tax’ that will hit Herts hard

A parliamentary question tabled by Daisy Cooper, MP for St Albans, has revealed that Hertfordshire will be one of the areas that an income tax freeze will hit the hardest - with St Albans earners set to fork out an extra £10.8m a year by 2026.

The government is freezing the higher rate of income tax at £50,270 until April 2026, instead of increasing it in line with inflation, dragging thousands of middle earners into paying the higher rate over the coming years.

Now new analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed that Hertfordshire is in the top areas set to be hardest hit by the stealth tax. The research is based on figures uncovered by Liberal Democrat MP for St Albans Daisy Cooper through a parliamentary question, showing the constituencies in the UK with the largest number of higher rate taxpayers.

An estimated 36,900 middle earners will be dragged into the higher rate of tax by 2025-26, the analysis shows. This will bring the total number of higher rate taxpayers in Hertfordshire up to around 164,000 by that year.

The move will lead to an estimated ‘stealth tax’ of almost £90m a year by 2026. St Albans will see a tax hit of £10.8m, Hitchin and Harpenden £11.4m and South West Hertfordshire £10.7m.

Daisy said: “Conservative MPs across the South East are hitting the squeezed middle harder, with years of stealth taxes, on top of soaring energy bills and rising mortgage payments. It is an insult to families who’ve worked hard and paid their taxes. 

“The Conservatives are taking voters in Hertfordshire for granted, hiking up their taxes after having wasted billions of pounds on Covid fraud and unusable PPE.

“People are worried sick about how they will cope with the rising cost of living bills.  The Chancellor could choose to help them, by scrapping these tax hikes that are coming at the worst possible time.”