Time to take the squeeze off the people in the middle – by Edward Leigh MP

The Government’s own figures show that the number of top rate tax-payers has nearly doubled since Labour came in 11 years ago. There are now almost 4 million people in the 40p tax band; in 1997 there were 2 million. This is because the level at which the top rate kicks in has not kept up with wage rises. 

Some of the hardest hit include police officers, nurses and higher grade teachers.

In my view, just as I have often said in the past that the poorest earners should be taken completely out of income tax by raising the threshold, so I can only agree with the Tax Payer’s Alliance that the higher rate should be increased by £5,000  (from the current allowance of £40,800), to match the hike in salaries.

On top of soaring prices at the petrol pump, the supermarket and for household fuel, this is an intolerable burden.

A tax whose pain is mitigated for the genuinely wealthy with the help of their accountants, falls without relief upon millions of hapless middle income households.

Both morally and politically they deserve a break.

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