Lib Dems dismayed by proposed cut in 45% tax rate

by Calum Fuller

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05 Feb 2014

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Danny Alexander

ANY CUT in the top rate of income tax has been dismissed out of hand by the Liberal Deomcrats' most senior Treasury minister.

Danny Alexander claimed the current 45% rate was "the right place to be", and moves to slash the rate further would be made "over my dead body".

The Liberal Democrats had initially opposed the cut from 50% to 45%, although the party leadership was agreed in return for the bigger than scheduled rise in the amount people can earn before paying income tax.

No cut to the rate has yet been put forward, but senior Conservatives, including mayor of London Boris Johnson, have expressed a desire to lower the rate closer to 40%.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Johnson said: "The last thing I want to see is pointless sacrifice from the Liberal Democrats, let alone the dead body of Danny Alexander.

"Sooner or later there will have to be a new Conservative manifesto and I can't believe we are going to go into an election on a manifesto to keep our tax rates higher than our competitor countries."

Johnson was responding to an interview given by chief secretary to the Treasury Alexander to the Mirror, in which he said: "I wouldn't go to cutting below 45%. I would say that would happen over my dead body. It's clearer and simpler and better to say we are going to stick where we are. We have the 45p rate and that's the right place to be."

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