Miliband goes on top rate tax attack

November 27, 2012 9:47 am

Today Miliband and Balls are in Stevenage holding a Q&A today ahead of next week’s Autumn Statement (which is being held in December, so should it not be a winter statement?). Both men will be stepping up their attacks on the 50p tax cut, with Miliband set to say of the government:

They don’t understand that you build economic success not from wealth trickling down but by rewarding and supporting working people. Earlier this year I highlighted the millionaires’ tax cut. I said David Cameron would be giving a £40,000 tax cut to every person earning over a million pounds a year.

But new figures we are publishing today show it is even more than that. The Government is about to give an average of £107,500 each to 8,000 people earning over a million a year. Not £40,000. But £107,500. To 8,000 millionaires. David Cameron and George Osborne are giving them this money. But it’s coming from you. You are paying the price of their failure and them standing up for the wrong people.

  • SR819

    Always the reference to “working people”. We saw the same with Yvette Cooper’s question time performance. She was opposed to the changes in the benefits system not primarily on ethical grounds, but because it would cost the “taxpayer” more.

    We need to stop this deification of “taxpayers” as if they’re the only group who matter. The people really struggling are the unemployed and those on benefits, and no political party is willing to represent them. Everyone’s representing the “strivers” and the “squeezed middle”, which is fair enough, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that the real victims are the long term unemployed, failed by an economic and social system that simply doesn’t value them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.crowder2 Jim Crowder

    Does he know what he’s talking about? People on benefits are given money by the government, not millionaires like Ed Milliband, Ed Balls and Margaret Hodge. Taxpayers pay money to the government.

    On the other hand, if your idea of government is one that takes all your money and gives back to the worker what it chooses not to keep, then he’s right. Is this the image we want?

  • Hugh

    “I said David Cameron would be giving a £40,000 tax cut to every person earning over a million pounds a year.”

    Well, no, strictly speaking you said he’d be “writing a cheque to each and every millionaire in Britain for £40,000″, which wasn’t true.

    • aracataca

      Slightly pedantic isn’t it Hugh? Those earning £1,000,000 per year such as Tory zealot Nick Buckles from G4S will pay £40,000 per year less in tax.

      • Hugh

        Number of millionaires in the UK: c.600,000
        Number of people earning £1m or over a year: 8,000

        Not really that pedantic is it?

        And, no, people like Nick Buckles are not likely to pay £40,000 less in tax; they’ll pay £40,000 less in income tax. Overall, the tax burden on the most wealthy was increased by the last budget.

        • aracataca

          But the government is going to reduce the income tax levels of those earning £1,000,000 a year by £40,000 a year – correct?

          • Hugh

            Yes, correct: and this is not faintly the same thing as cutting taxes by £40k for every millionaire in the country – or for that matter even cutting taxes by £40k for every person with an annual income over £1 million.

            Correct?

          • aracataca

            Look people will make their own judgements on whether the proposal to reduce the income tax of those who earn £1,000,000 per year by £40,000 per year is fair or not. The substantive point that EM is making remains clear and unequivocal.

          • Hugh

            Well, it’s a lot clearer since he stopped being deliberately misleading in his rather individual use of the term “millionaire”. But would most people still inadvertently conclude that the wealthy are net beneficiaries from the last budget? I think they would. Is that Ed’s intention and, if so, is it honest? People will make their own judgements.

          • aracataca

            Even if that were true was it not colossally incompetent for a Tory Chancellor to announce this measure given the obvious embarrassment it would cause and the opportunity it would offer to his political opponents?

          • Hugh

            Which part don’t you think is true?

            And, yes. In fact, I don’t support the cut being made while it’s still entirely unclear what the impact is on the tax take, and it was politically stupid. Unfortunately, the vacuous dishonesty offered up by Miliband is not an attractive alternative.

          • Winston_from_the_Ministry

            Not really.

            £40k x 600,000 = £24 million

            £40k x 8,000 = £320,000

            That’s quite a difference.

          • aracataca

            Of course most people understand that it’s people earning over £1 million a year who will benefit from this measure.

          • Winston_from_the_Ministry

            If you say so.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Out by three zeroes (£24 billion versus £320 million), but the point remains valid.

            If the average income tax saving for these lucky 8,000 individuals is£107,000, then the real question is has this measure changed any behaviours (whether domicile, not moving companies abroad, investment decisions or anything else the Government thought they may not do if the 50 pence rate remained in force) that end up benefitting the country by more than £856 million? That is the cost of the income tax saving. I really have no idea how that could be measured or proven, but if it could, it is the only test that matters.

            (The possible logic is that the tax rate cut may also attract additional very high earners to come to Britain. If France is imposing tax rates of 75%, then there is a significant differential, and the Eurostar train seems very rapid to Paris. No doubt some enormously intelligent set of Treasury people and a very expensive computer are modelling all of these sorts of variables)

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Out by three zeroes (£24 billion versus £320 million), but the point remains valid.

            If the average income tax saving for these lucky 8,000 individuals is£107,000, then the real question is has this measure changed any behaviours (whether domicile, not moving companies abroad, investment decisions or anything else the Government thought they may not do if the 50 pence rate remained in force) that end up benefitting the country by more than £856 million? That is the cost of the income tax saving. I really have no idea how that could be measured or proven, but if it could, it is the only test that matters.

            (The possible logic is that the tax rate cut may also attract additional very high earners to come to Britain. If France is imposing tax rates of 75%, then there is a significant differential, and the Eurostar train seems very rapid to Paris. No doubt some enormously intelligent set of Treasury people and a very expensive computer are modelling all of these sorts of variables)

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Out by three zeroes (£24 billion versus £320 million), but the point remains valid.

            If the average income tax saving for these lucky 8,000 individuals is£107,000, then the real question is has this measure changed any behaviours (whether domicile, not moving companies abroad, investment decisions or anything else the Government thought they may not do if the 50 pence rate remained in force) that end up benefitting the country by more than £856 million? That is the cost of the income tax saving. I really have no idea how that could be measured or proven, but if it could, it is the only test that matters.

            (The possible logic is that the tax rate cut may also attract additional very high earners to come to Britain. If France is imposing tax rates of 75%, then there is a significant differential, and the Eurostar train seems very rapid to Paris. No doubt some enormously intelligent set of Treasury people and a very expensive computer are modelling all of these sorts of variables)

  • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

    I like Ed, more and more, I just don’t like this approach. I could just about understand it if there wasn’t this pretence in the Labour movement that there is an ideological link to the 50p rate. We were in Government for 13 years and introduced the 50p rate the month before the 2010 election, and we did it solely as a political trap for the Tories so that we could hit them like this if they tried to scrap it. Labour’s view on the 50p rate has always been political strategy, not economic strategy, and it’s very much the ‘old’ kind of politics Ed has promised to scrap.

    • Hugh

      Would that be the old kind of politics that Brown promised to scrap when he took over? Or the old kind of politics that Blair was meant to be scrapping when he swept in in ’97? Or the old kind of politics the coalition signaled the end of in 2010?

      Promises to scrap the old kind of politics are the the new old kind of politics.

      • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

        No doubt you are right. But it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

        • Hugh

          No, quite right.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

      Perhaps Ed actually agrees with it?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZPXYLRVP4XOIGGDJWAL6HUO7U4 David

    I am intrigued how we “know” they will say this? Is there going to be a planted question which allows them to say this? Perhaps they will simply use any question which remotely covers this topic to make this pre-determined speech, regardless of whether that covers the questioner’s area of interest?

    To be honest, neither option offers very positive connotations for the honesty of interplay between the parliamentarian and voter, and both options support the cynical view many “ordinary” people increasingly take of politicians and politics.

  • Timmo111

    Labour sent young men and women to war with no body armour and unsuitable equipment, why no tax rise then ?
    Labour borrowed like there was not tomorrow and was addicted to PFI, why no tax rise then?
    Labour gave a contract to ATOS to retest every single person receiving disability benefits, before the financial crash, why no tax rise then ?

  • David B

    Why is he not highlighting the tax avoidance of The Guardian Newspaper Group or the tax avoidance of the company in which Mrs Hodge is a shareholde!!

  • Andrew Ben McKay

    I’m warming more to both Ed’s every day.

  • sdrpalmer

    It is an autumn statement because winter begins at the solstice.

Latest

  • News Seats and Selections Miliband’s greatest quality is that he’s willing to have a “bloody good think”, says Dobson

    Miliband’s greatest quality is that he’s willing to have a “bloody good think”, says Dobson

    Last week, Frank Dobson announced his intention to stand down as MP for Holborn and St Pancras after 35 years. Today, The Guardian have a candid and, at times, touching interview with the former Health Secretary. In a wide-ranging conversation with Owen Jones, Dobson sounds optimistic about the current state of the Labour Party: he’s “very confident” Labour will win next year’s election and is pleased that the Party has avoided going “a bit 1979″. Ed Miliband has ensured that […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Is the NHS in crisis? What is going on with our health service, explained

    Is the NHS in crisis? What is going on with our health service, explained

    Monday’s front-pages would have made for pretty grim reading in Number 10 and Jeremy Hunt’s office. “Critical: NHS in crisis as budgets cut”, said The Sun.  “Millions shut out of doctors’ surgeries”, added The Times. Headlines about the NHS are exactly what the Conservatives don’t want ten months out from a general election.  Talk to our strengths, not our weaknesses, says Lynton Crosby.  However, as Monday’s headlines showed, this is difficult to pull off in practice. But, behind the headlines and […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured The Nasty Party’s nasty campaign has begun

    The Nasty Party’s nasty campaign has begun

    Three days ago a group of prominent Tory women warned that the Lynton Crosby led negative campaign the Tories are running risks re-contaminating their party and damaging their electoral prospects. But since when did the Tories ever care about women and their uppity opinons? Yesterday (30th July 2014) before 11pm, @CCHQPress – an official Tory Twitter account tweeted 62 times (including retweets). That seems fair enough, with all that’s going on in the world. Guess how many tweets were about […]

    Read more →
  • News Reynolds: re-elect the Tories and average house prices could be 13 times the average wage

    Reynolds: re-elect the Tories and average house prices could be 13 times the average wage

    Emma Reynolds – Shadow Minister for Housing - will today warn voters that another five years of a Conservative government could be disastrous for Britain’s housing crisis. The fifth instalment of The Choice, the Labour leaderships’ series of speeches over the summer, Reynolds will reveal new figures that show if current trends that have emerged under the Tory government were to continue until 2020, a housing gap the equivalent of three cities the size of Birmingham would open up and the average house […]

    Read more →
  • Comment As the PPC in Iain Duncan Smith’s constituency, Ed has taught me two important lessons

    As the PPC in Iain Duncan Smith’s constituency, Ed has taught me two important lessons

    Ed Miliband has tackled the issue of his perceived image problem. Rather than embarrassingly excuse himself or convince the public he is something he is not, he has embraced his own persona, accepting it in order to extinguish the ongoing media analysis of who he is rather than what he stands for. This move shows courage, political prowess and most of all, it’s set the stage for next year’s election to be about policy rather than personalities. I cannot tell […]

    Read more →