• The Chancellor will cut higher rate income tax from 50p to 45p next year
  • He told a summit of CEOs that a cut to 40p was difficult if they didn't stand up for the Coalition
  • The 'politics of envy' and 'anti-business sentiment' could win, he said

By Martin Robinson


War of words: The Chancellor George Osborne last night told big business to back him or face not getting tax cuts

War of words: The Chancellor George Osborne last night told big business to back him or face not getting tax cuts

George Osborne has told big business to back the Government or he will not cut the top rate of income tax for Britain's biggest earners to 40p.

The Chancellor warned that he and the Coalition 'are putting their necks on the line' to help them prosper but not enough are speaking out to support them.

In a speech to businesses leaders yesterday he slammed their 'near silence' when at the last Budget in March he agreed to cut the top rate of tax from 50p to 45p, to the anger of many Britons.

And he added that the 'politics of envy' and 'anti-business sentiment' could end any idea to cut the rate back to 40p - if they fail to back him.

'If your voice is not heard then elected politicians are going to find it very difficult to put together pro-business packages because you leave the space open for everyone else,' he told The Times CEO summit.

‘If you are not out there, engaged, in those arguments, then you are going to leave the field open to those people who want to fill that space, and who argue that companies have got to pay more tax.

'At the moment we are having a pretty big argument about the size of the State and who should be taxed and what are the right levels of taxation are. If we don't get much voice from  the business community then that is more difficult,' he said.

Business leaders had to do more to counter the hostile public mood, he said. ‘You just see, otherwise, the politics of envy coming in and the politics that says it’s perfectly acceptable for the state to take half of all national income.’

Temporary: The Treasury has admitted the 45p rate will not be permanent, allowing for a further cut

Temporary: The Treasury has admitted the 45p rate will not be permanent, allowing for a further cut

The top rate of income tax will be cut from 50p in the pound to 45p next year for those earning over 150,000.

The 50 per cent level was introduced by Gordon Brown in April 2010.

George Osborne risked a political backlash by announcing that he would scrap the highest tax rate because he said it would raise five times as much in other tax raids targeted at the richest.

Critics said he and the Government had bowed down the the bankers and their giant salaries and bonuses.

The Treasury also said the change was 'temporary', leaving the Chancellor with the chance to cut it back to the 40p rate later. 

In the same speech yesterday Mr Osborne accepted the March Budget, which caused him to do several sharp U-turns since, had led to 'lots of bad headlines' but added he was doing his bit to make Britain's economy more competitive.

He added that in the 1980s Margaret Thatcher had won the argument that high-earners should pay less tax, because big business had backed her.

In the same speech he said Angela Merkel may be willing to sacrifice Greece in order to persuade German voters to bail out the euro.

The Chancellor suggested Germany may ‘require’ the crisis that would follow a Greek exit to convince its voters to take the unpalatable steps needed to rescue the single currency.

‘I ultimately don’t know whether Greece needs to leave the euro in order for the eurozone to do the things necessary to make their currency survive.

‘I just don’t know whether the German government requires Greek exit to explain to their public why they need to do certain things like a banking union, eurobonds and things in common with that.’

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Politics of envy? grow up Gideon, all we want is politics of fairness. This includes not taxing to the hilt the elderly, motorists, and every consumer item you can get away with. Business will do better when the working public has enough income left to buy their products and services. If the only qualification you have is a dodgy history exam it's no wonder your making a hash of running a country. The class war was supposed to be over, not stoked by an Eton toff who insists everything is envy, your supposed to work for the public who voted you in.... whilst you have the chance.

And what did OSBORNE do to give these tax cuts, taxed the pensioners more. Typical of a " couldn't care less " tory government. As for this being bribery it is more like BLACKMAIL. But what can one expect from hypocrites who haven't a clue as to how to run the country. NUMPTIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This story proves once and for all that the Tories are not interested in helping the Elderly or working class people.

What a man !!!!

-Rollin The North .It seems to me its more like alleged Blackmail than bribary whatever it still means the rich will be better off if they do as Osborne says.

Since when have big businesses paid a fair rate of tax in this country? The little man has his pocket picked before he gets his money; yet the big boys get away with it.

Staggering arrogance backed up with immense incompetence that's our Gideon for you.

Is this not bribary? is this not illegal?

You jest sir. We are in the banks that have failed not one person. Re capitilisation of the banks will not help. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla There is bigger number lurking in the back ground.

There are sound fiscal reasons for reducing the top rate of tax, not least it cost more to collect than it gathers in. The high level was imposed by Dr Brown's government in their last budget purely as a political move. A man of principle, unlike Dr brown, would have removed it at the first opportunity regardless of complaints. Mr Osbone's plea of "back me or I'll have to put it back up" marks him as a weak man and unfit to make the necessary decisions to improve the nation's finances.

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