Chancellor rejects stealth tax claims
Gordon Brown yesterday tried to dismiss claims that he was planning further taxation by stealth with a levy on child benefit for upper income families.
The Conservative’s accused Brown of secretly planning the tax for as part of a reorganisation to begin in 2003.
Shadow social security secretary David Willetts said the chancellor had long wanted to tax child benefit, and has openly said there was ‘a case for higher rate taxpayers paying tax on it’.
‘Labour are trapping them in ever more complicated means-tests and ever more onerous stealth taxes,’ said Willets.
But Brown hit back accusing the Tories of a ‘smear’ which had backfired.
He said he had looked at the possibility of the tax for his 1999 Budget and had ruled out the plan then.