Worse Off Wednesday

Today the 40% tax rate kicks in at £35,000 above the personal allowance. The tweaking, down from around £37,000, is expected to raise just £500 million this year. Given we are spending £120m every day on our debt interests, it’s not worth the pain. The £500m could have been found through other savings rather than whacking wallets.

The top-rate of tax hits 52p with Labour’s rise in National Insurance also kicking in today. “An exploded tax-bombshell designed to go off under the future economic recovery” as Osborne put it in 2008. But he’s hardly done much to ease the pain, there’s not even a little retail therapy due to his choking rise in VAT. This is not a growth strategy.

UPDATE: It was pointed out to Guido that the gift of £600m that Cameron pledged to Pakistan yesterday is more than the tax take from this squeeze on middle-earners. But it’s ok he’s sure they are very grateful.




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Quote of the Day

Nick Timothy on George Osborne’s latest:

“Evening Standard editorials will soon be shortlisted for the Booker Prize.”

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