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Labour defends 50p tax plans after business backlash

Labour has defended its plans to bring back the 50p top tax rate, if its wins the election in 2015, after the idea was attacked by business leaders and some party donors.

Labour defends 50p tax plans after business backlash

Labour has defended its plans to bring back the 50p top tax rate, if its wins the election in 2015, after the idea was attacked by business leaders and some party donors.

The 50p top tax rate of income was introduced by the last Labour government in 2010 for anyone with income of more than £150,000.

The coalition government since reduced the rate to 45p. The Conservatives have questioned whether the tax brought in extra revenue for the government.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls (pictured) unveiled Labour's plan during a speech at the Fabian Society on Friday. On Sunday, he hit back at criticism of the plans from business leaders, telling the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that the tax would be temporary and was not anti-business.  

Balls suggested the 50p rate would only be in place while Labour cleared the budget deficit, which it aims to do by 2020. He also ruled out raising it further.

A number of business leaders have attacked the plans, with 24 company bosses signing a letter to theTelegraph in which they called the plans ‘a backward step’, arguing it would impact the economic recovery and jobs.

10 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Graham Barlow

Jan 27, 2014 at 10:43

Typical bull...t from this man. He is so dangerous to the British economy, any self respecting Party wouldnt have him anywhere near the treasury. He and Brown presided over the biggest BUST in our economic history. Brown paid the price and was sacked, but Balls is still there lurking in the wings. He alongside many of the other MPs have just not a clue about business , and the major reactions to their follies that follow. I would Ban all Politicians from this post unless they had had at least 20 years at the Coal face in managing a large business

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Jan 27, 2014 at 17:00

It's always been the problem with democracy; to make it work politicians have to buy our support. Labour has only one tune based on ignorance and envy and Balls knows how to play it to maximum effect.

The galling thing about this latest proposal is that he claims he wants those who saved his arse last time, the job creators, to save him again from his inevitable continuation of the same folly; namely the rebuilding of the vast, unsustainable deficit Labour built up during their 13 years in office.

Balls is a bullying thug just like his former master, the politicopath Brown. There is no way in this world any rational electorate should ever let Balls anywhere near power but I fear that we're not that rational and that's precisely what will happen.

UKIP deprived the Tories of 22 seats in 2010 most of which went to Labour by default and I think they will increase that in 2015. Labour will return to power with a 20 to 50 seat majority.

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Jan 27, 2014 at 17:09

Quite right GB

Vince Cable and George Osborne know what they're doing even if DC doesn't.

Although I don't disagree with the 50p proposal for £100k and above and while we're at it 70p for £250k and above.

But the KEY thing is not about revenue raising it's about COST cutting and efficiency drive. Whitehall just hasn't got the message! There is so much fat, inefficiency and job protectionism in public employment and procurement it just beggars belief! The most wasteful processes, procedures and HR policies beyond belief!

Having said that it's all empty gestures if a genuine lead doesn't come from our elected representatives both central and local, who just seem to become more corrupt by the week!

If you've been in business you'll know it's absolutely critical to keep the overheads in check!

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Jan 27, 2014 at 18:58

When Labour first introduced the 50p rate it was meant to be a temporary measure for 1 or 2 years. In fact it lasted 4, and the rate was still kept at 45%. Of course, with NI on top the true rate of payroll tax is far higher, but few people understand that employers pay more NI than they do.

All Labour's sound bites are made to impress the ignorant, and Balls knows full well that he is deceiving the public. He is far too interested in his own ego and not safe to be anywhere near any financial role. All his populist ideas would raise peanuts and totally deflect the pubic from the serious state we are in. Hard decisions need to be made, including a good haircut to the NHS - our largest cost with overpaid GPs, too many managers and inefficient organisation.

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andrew sutherland

Jan 27, 2014 at 19:13

Typical Labour, tax, more tax and a bit more to make sure the economy is killed. The idiot (Balls) shouldnt be given a pen let alone a calculator

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John B

Jan 28, 2014 at 14:49

Well done Ed Balls. Agree with Philmoco - why not make 60p or 70p for those earning more than 250K?

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Jan 28, 2014 at 15:11

@ John B

Why stop there? If you want to punish those who create jobs through their brainpower, energy and innovation why stop at 70p? Why not charge them a premium? Let's have a tax rate of 110%; that'll teach the bastards.

Aux grottes, comrades! Aux grottes!

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Jan 28, 2014 at 15:39

@ Briesmith

Don't be silly - you sound like L wing politician flapping and worrying the IMF's going to run out of cash!

It's not a punishment - it's an old biblical concept : "From those who have, according to their means, to those who need, provided they're willing to put some effort in." [Otherwise they can sod off!]

I agree innovation and effort should be rewarded but would suggest the ratio of current reward extremes is obscene. This generation's nouveau riche have no conscience and greed has become the norm. There is need to impose tax since they won't curb their own excesses! Where on earth do people get the idea that they're entitled to such a large slice of the crust? Simply because they can? Or because we stupid Brits sit back and let them, same as we let HMG and LA's, QUANGOS waste our hard earned with frivolous notions and expense?

Give us a break! We're not blind! We're just victims of the party political system which basically herds us into 1 of 2 camps both of which are populated self interested preservationists with no intent of representing their constituents, only the party machine!

Rant over!

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Graham Barlow

Jan 28, 2014 at 18:20

Briesmith to a degree you are right when it comes to grotesque greed on massive salaries like Footballers and some Bankers and other top execs, but the shareholders should be forced to vote on the levels of these pay cheques, and other means of curbing them should be used. Not the Labour confiscatory Tax which they impose whenever they can with alacrity. Full of envy and spitfulness. The 50p Tax plus NI is a blunt instrument which will stop enterprise. There are 1000s of small business people hoping to build income to a £100000 plus after years of risk and sheer hard work. Balls would deny them their just reward whilst he wrote out his unearned expenses and extended his future gold plated Pension for doing precisely nothing.. Tax is inflationery. Tax is a disincentive, Tax is always unfair, Tax is the opium of the Political classes who become wasteful spending junkies with NOTHING to show for it.

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Jan 28, 2014 at 22:39

Sorry, GB and anybody I confused. I was being ironic. I've no time for any tax that destroys enterprise, takes away rewards and saps business energy.

And re Balls never forget the surely illegal (for everybody else) shenanigans he and his wife got up to re their annual returns and declaring which of their homes was their family or primary residence.

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