Clegg clashes with his party over ‘tycoon tax’

A CALL by Nick Clegg for the introduction of a “tycoon tax” to require the rich to pay a minimum rate of tax on their earnings has been criticised by some colleagues in the Liberal Democrat party..

The deputy prime minister told the Telegraph over the weekend that he has uncovered evidence that hundreds of millionaires are paying a tax rate of less than 20 per cent on their earnings by using an “army of lawyers and accountants”.

Clegg told the newspaper that he is willing to support the scrapping of the 50p top rate of income tax provided that millionaires are “properly” taxed in Britain.

A wide array of tax loopholes and reliefs are exploited by the wealthy to reduce their tax bills, leading to them paying overall rates on annual earnings beneath those faced by ordinary workers, Clegg said.

He believes that a specific minimum rate of tax should be written into law to ensure people are “paying their fair share” and not “massaging” the system.

The deputy prime minister said he decided on the need for a tycoon tax after Mitt Romney, who is expected to be the US Republican presidential candidate, disclosed he was paying just 13.9% tax on his multi-million-dollar earnings.

Lord Oakeshott, a Lib Dem peer close to Mr Cable, publicly denounced Mr Clegg’s tax plan as unworkable, the Telegraph reported.

Vince Cable, the business secretary, was said to be unhappy at being left out of Clegg’s planning of the new tax.

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