Chief Secretary and Liberal Democrat, Danny Alexander, has said there will be no cut to the top rate of income tax before the next election. He has claimed it will only happen before the 2015 general election “over my dead body”.
There have been recent calls from the Tory party for the rate to be cut to 40p for those paying the most income tax. At this time, no official proposal has been put forward to make any changes. Alexander has said 45p is the “right place to be.”
Boris Johnson has said he would not want to see the demise of his political colleague: “The last thing I want to see is pointless sacrifice from the Liberal Democrats, let alone the dead body of Alexander.” When suggested to him that the rate could not be lowered due to Alexander’s comments he replied: “Who can say what will happen to Danny Alexander?”
Labour, on the other hand, have promised to increase the top rate if they’re to win next year’s election. They want to see it brought up to 50p instead.
Questions have already been raised about Alexander’s sincerity or, at least, his influence. In an article for the New Statesman, George Eaton pointed out the Chief Secretary’s strong opposition to the abolition of the 50p tax rate back in 2011. Eight months later the he was thoroughly ignored, while the Liberal Democrat’s plans for a mansion tax never came to fruition.
There is the suggestion that Alexander’s corpse may not be enough to stop Tory plans.