The top rate of tax: three questions to remember

One for Labour: so if the 50p tax rate is so important, why did you only have it for 36* days out of 13 years in power and why won’t you promise to reintroduce it?

One for anyone who doesn’t like the idea of the 5p rate going: if the 50p rate were kept but tax allowances for the richest increased, stamp duty on expensive properties cut and tax breaks for pension contributions from the most well off raised, would you say ‘That’s ok. After all, the only thing that really matters is the 50p rate’? If so, fair enough – also judge any reduction in the 50p rate in isolation from other changes. If not – then don’t.

One for Liberal Democrat party managers: what were you doing with a motion supporting the 50p rate tax at party conference at the same time as the party was agreeing a deal (a good one, it seems, given the number of Liberal Democrat policies secured in return) to remove it?
* UPDATE: Various different numbers have been quoted online about how many days the 50p rate was in force for. I’m calculating it on the basis that the rate started on 6 April 2010 and Gordon Brown stood down as Prime Minister on 11 May 2010.

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