The news that senior Liberal Democrats in the Coalition have set their faces against cuts in the top rate of income tax will dismay senior Right-wing Tories.Like, presumably, the editor of the Telegraph who might just be in the sort of £100,000 + pay bracket which attracts the 50% tax rate. And Norman Lamont, and millionaire Boris Johnson.
We've just seen the Tea Party Republicans hold the entire global economy to ransom with their idiotic insistence on tax cuts for the richest paid for by stopping valuable help for the poorest - and, thankfully, Barack Obama stood firm and refused to give in to such nonsense. Giving the richest more money to spend on luxuries while the poorest struggle to afford the basics is an obscenity no Liberal Democrat should countenance.
It's fair to say that Danny Alexander is not the most popular person amongst Liberal Democrat activists, but he got this 100% right:
“The Government’s first priority in tax reductions will be tax cuts for people on low and middle incomes – those very families who are working hard to make ends meet.
“Anyone who thinks we are going to shift our priority to reducing the tax burden for the wealthiest, they have got another think coming.”
Abolishing the 50p rate “cannot be the right priority for the country at this time. We are going through very difficult circumstances,” he said.
“We have got real financial pressures on people and we are going to stick to our priority that says tax reductions we can push through will be aimed at those on low and middle incomes.
“We are going to lift the threshold to £10,000. That was a major Liberal Democrat commitment at the election. That is our first income tax priority. That is what we have to stick to.
“The idea that we are going to shift our focus to the wealthiest in the country at a time when everyone is under pressure is just in cloud cuckoo land.”This is another example of how the Liberal Democrats are taking the sting out of the Tories. And they are showing that they can do it without the Party Conference telling them to.