"Chancellor Alistair Darling is due to announce in his pre-Budget report he intends to raise the top rate of income tax in the future, the BBC learns.The rumoured increase is thought to be planned not to start until 2010, after a general election and the BBC helpfully point out that Nick Robinson said:
BBC political editor Nick Robinson said the move would break a Labour pledge held ever since Tony Blair came to power in the 1997 election.
He said sources suggested that after the next election a new 45% rate could apply to incomes above £150,000 a year. "
"This would allow Labour, if it wins the election, to claim it has not broken its 2005 promise and it had a new electoral mandate"Of course this is all spin, increasing the top rate of tax from 40% to 45% for people earning over £150,000 will hardly dent the government's tax shortfall but it does throw a scrap of raw meat to the left-wing of the party at a time when many may be moving to the BNP; the Labour policy "wolf-whistle" is being played.
There has of course been no mention of National Insurance contributions, this government still sticking to the lie that National Insurance is in some way different from Income Tax but as there is no National Insurance pot the only difference is that there is an upper limit for Employee National Insurance contributions (currently a 1% rate is paid for earnings over around £35,000). I would expect the announcement of "an evening out" of this inequity and the upper rate being increased from 1% to 5%.
So "tax them until the pips squeak", probably not; but until the juice flows freely, yes.
Of course this could be the usual Labour spin put out by the faithful BBC and their increasingly tame Labour government pet, Nick Robinson. If this is the case, then the tax increase will be less than the 12.5% suggested, for a rise from 40% to 45% is not a 5% increase but a 12.5% increase, so as to make the high earners think that they have got of lightly. It all depends upon how brave Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are feeling and how bad the economic situation really is.
Another way of look at this "tax cut" is that it is a way of making the Conservative party even more unpopular amongst the Labour party's client state. If the Conservatives oppose the cut in VAT they are seen once more as the "nasty party" and if they have to increase the rate once elected back to 17.5% or even increase it to 22% so as to pay back the massive levels of debt that they will inherit then you can expect the full fury of the Labour/BBC party to be unleashed. Once again is Gordon Brown about to change tax policy in attempt to subvert democracy?
I have previously referred to the possibility that Gordon Brown is deliberately pursuing a "scorched earth" policy of wrecking the economy and massively increasing debt so as to force an incoming Conservative government to take massively unpopular decisions? If this is found to be the case, could there be a case for charging Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and others with treason?