One of the things that me and some right-wing bloggers would agree about, is that not enough is done to boost the income of the lowest earners.
Their solutions revolve around income tax cuts that involve either a cut in public services or a politically unlikely shift of the burden of taxation from the wealthiest to middle earners. This is the flat tax that Tim Worstall, the Adam Smith Institute, George Osbourne and David Cameron would love to inflict on us (while it does simplify taxes and potentially save on administration, without a corresponding redistributive measure such as a Citizen's Income it would be a financial disaster for the lowest earners).
There are a lot of myths surrounding the 'tax cutting' days of Thatcher. In fact Thatcher only managed to cut taxes for the wealthiest earners. Taxes for the lowest earners were increased just as the services that benefited these low earners (healthcare and education they couldn't otherwise afford) were cut back. This was the double whammy of Thatcherism - cutbacks in public services and the move to more regressive taxation. The increase in VAT from 8% to 17.5% and the extending of VAT to fuel utility bills, the move from property Rates to the more regressive Council Tax (via the politically impossible Poll Tax) and the cutback in the sorts of public expenditure that benefited the poor. That is the Tory record.
Thatcher hardly reduced the overall tax burden at all (it stayed around 40% of GDP), she just shifted the tax burden onto the poor and was forced to up expenditure (and debt) to pay for the large unemployment, rising civil unrest and crime caused by these policies. That is the real record of the Tories that Cameron would take us back to. If Cameron has changed his position, where is the evidence of that in terms of policy commitments? The hints of policy we have so far from Cameron confirm his position as still the same as Margaret Thatcher - tax cuts and less public services, an expanded voluntary sector (that could never replace even a fraction of what the public sector achieves), more road building and less public transport, and most important of all the promise to 'simplify' taxes. When a Tory makes this statement that is the most worrying of all. Thatcher herself only promised to 'reform' taxes, which considering her failure to cut the overall tax burden, it was a truthful claim. What the Tories mean by 'tax cuts' (whether they are open about it or not) is tax cuts for them, which excludes most people. Taxes for most of us will rise under the Tories, I have no doubt about that.
So what is the answer to improving the income of low earners?
Well I would prefer the administration saving, poverty trap avoiding, Citizen's Income (and curiously so would a few bloggers on the right - Devil's Kitchen, Stumbling&Mumbling etc. Although some of them miss the point by wanting it to be means tested). This Labour government has preferred the more administratively complex Working Tax Credits and also a National Minimum Wage set at quite a low level. These policies have still managed to help millions in a very effective way but they have many problems I believe a CI would avoid.
Whatever you think of Labour's policies in these areas, it has made work more attractive by providing a more livable wage. The Tories would take this incentive away by freezing the minimum wage and scrapping tax credits.
To conclude, if you are lucky enough to pay tax at the highest rate (only 11% do) and don't care about the problems caused by rising inequality, a Tory led government won't concern you. To prevent this Cameron nightmare, you need to support Labour.