As spotted by the Lib Dems, but completely missed by David Cameron, Alistair Darling today announced that income tax thresholds will be frozen for the coming year. Because of the rate of inflation, that means that we will actually be worse off in coming months.
In contrast, the Lib Dems will raise the income tax threshold to £10,000 a year - meaning that you pay no income tax at all on the first £10k of earnings. That leaves more money in the pockets of pensioners and very low earners and makes everyone who earns more than £10k better off by £700 a year.
Everyone accepts that there will have to be cuts in central government spending - although the Lib Dems will avoid huge cuts until the economy is strong enough to take them. But if central services have to be cut, then at least people should have more money in their pockets as compensation.
The tax cuts measure - funded by a mansion tax on those whose houses are worth more than £2 million - is sure to be front and centre in the Lib Dem manifesto and I think will be a great vote winner - particularly in North Cornwall which has been identified as being in the top 10% of areas with the most low earning households.
Incidentally, the Conservatives still won't say where their immediate and huge public spending cuts will come. In contrast, the Lib Dems have been honest and open and said that we will not replace Trident like with like, we won't go for phase two of the biometric passports, will scrap ID cards and will abolish tax payer funded child trust funds.