Cut 50p tax rate to stop brain drain and boost economy, warns think-tank

Tim Wallace
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HIGHLY skilled workers are being driven away by the UK’s high income taxes, research released today from the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) warns.

The UK suffers from the highest emigration levels in the OECD, accounting for almost 20 per cent of emigration in the 34-strong group of developed nations. The ASI believes this is damaging at a time when a boost to economic growth is needed.

In particular, the research says that more workers are needed to support the UK’s aging population.

The report warns that official figures suggest the proportion of the population not working, “and thus dependent on those employed,” will rise by 75 per cent over the next 40 years – in large part because of the aging population.

“Britain will have to attract about 270,000 migrants each year between 2005 and 2050 to avoid a pensions crisis,” the report said.

And to attract migrants, according to the report, requires a competitive tax structure.

“International competition very highly skilled workers is becoming increasingly intense,” the report said. “In order to attract and retain the most productive workers the government must abolish the 50p rate and reduce taxes across the board.”

“Of all the factors influencing migrants’ decisions, taxes are the only one which governments can control directly.”