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Income Tax

Volume 563: debated on Tuesday 14 May 2013

Q3. What estimate he has made of the value of the reduction in the additional rate of income tax to 45% to a person earning £1 million a year. (153850)

The cost of reducing the additional rate of income tax to 45% is estimated at around £100 million per year. That is set out in table 2.2 of Budget 2013. We have not broken down the impacts of income ranges because a significant behavioural response is associated with the additional rate of income tax. The behavioural response is estimated in aggregate and reflected in the costing.

I am grateful for the Minister’s answer, but I can give him the answer to the question I asked: millionaires will get a cut of £42,000 under this Government’s policies. Does he think it right that those in receipt of tax credits are making a bigger financial contribution to the country’s coffers than millionaires?

Of course that is not true. As the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown, the biggest contribution to reducing the deficit is coming from the wealthiest 10%. The hon. Gentleman might also wish to ask himself why, when his party was in office, it had a top rate of income tax of 40% for all but 36 days out of 4,758.

The Minister will be aware that in 1978-79 the top 1% of taxpayers paid only 11% of total income tax. That is now nearer 30%, which shows that the Laffer curve works and we are better off with lower rates. May I therefore encourage the Government to cut rates further?

I note my hon. Friend’s representation. It is worth pointing out that in 2010-11, the year in which the Government came into office, the top 1% paid 25% of income tax receipts: this year it is forecast that the top 1% will pay almost 30% of income tax receipts.

The Government should listen to people such as the deputy chair of Harlow Conservatives, who has said:

“The voters are disillusioned with Cameron…They don’t like the fact that he didn’t keep the 50p tax. That has really grated and people feel here that he is not working for them, he is working for his friends.”

No wonder the Conservatives in Harlow lost so many seats to Labour last month. Will the Minister explain again, for the people of Harlow and elsewhere, just why the Government have prioritised a tax cut for those at the top while ordinary taxpayers are struggling?

This is the Government who have raised the personal allowance that has taken millions of people out of income tax and resulted in tax cuts for some 26 million people. A tax rate that does not bring in revenue is a flawed tax rate, which I assume is why, despite everything we hear from the Opposition, they will not commit to returning to a 50p rate of income tax. They know that it does not raise revenue.

Q25. Can the Minister confirm whether, all things considered, the richest people in this country are paying a greater or lesser proportion of their wealth in tax than they were under the previous Government? (153872)

They are paying a greater proportion of their income. If we look at what the Government have done across the board, including stamp duty, capital gains tax and the cap on reliefs, we see we are ensuring that the wealthy are paying more. The reality is that there are better ways to ensure that than the 50p rate of income tax, which was uncompetitive and failed to raise revenue.