Labour: we’ll keep 50p rate

LABOUR will continue to tax high earners at a rate of 50p for at least five years – despite a previous pledge that the measure would be temporary.

When chancellor Alistair Darling introduced the 50p rate for those earning £150,000 or more, he said it would only be kept in place until the economy started to recover.

But yesterday he conceded that the tax would remain in force until at least 2015 if Labour wins the next general election, which is said to be planned for 6 May.

The admission was contained in a dossier published by Labour on Tory tax and spending plans, claiming there was a £34bn funding gap in the Conservative’s pledges.

Darling said that the Tories had made spending commitments worth some £45bn, but had only identified £11bn of funding to pay for them.

Within hours of its publication, the Tory party dismissed the dossier as “lies” and “junk”. But the party would not be drawn on when they plan to reverse the 50p tax rate.

And in more bad news for the City, Conservative leader David Cameron reiterated a pledge to fund cuts in inheritance tax with a levy on non-doms, wealthy foreign nationals living in Britain but domiciled elsewhere.