The 50% rate raised a fraction of what was expected, which is why we are reducing it to 45% from April 2013. Maintaining the 50% rate would accrue an extra £50 million on top of what is expected in 2013-14, rising to £100 million a year once the impact on self-assessment receipts is included. However, any additional yield could be offset by reduced indirect tax revenues, and as such it may raise nothing relative to the 45% rate.
I think the Minister has somewhat deliberately obfuscated matters. What I wanted was a figure. It has been estimated that the 50p tax rate could have raised £3 billion in future years when there was not a forestalling effect. Have not the Government made a deliberate decision that they want tax cuts for millionaires as opposed to money being put back into the pockets of hard-working people?
It is worth pointing out that this £3 billion figure that the shadow Chancellor and others recite suggests an entirely static process. Nobody believes that a 50p rate has no behavioural impact whatever, but that is the Labour party’s ridiculous position. That was not its position when in government, and it is not a position that any credible economist would support.