The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has called for a new higher-rate tax bracket for those earning over £100,000, putting it on a collision course with Conservative leader David Cameron.
The TUC’s statement, made in advance of its annual conference which begins tomorrow in Brighton, contrasts sharply with a newspaper interview given by Cameron at the weekend. The Tory leader pleased party veterans with a promise that a Conservative government would seek to cut taxes to reward “those who put their backs into the economy”.
But the TUC will use its conference to highlight the gulf between the super-rich and poor, which it says is wider than during the Victorian era.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber branded extreme wealth “socially divisive and morally objectionable” as the organisation suggested imposing higher tax rates on earnings from £100,000 to £150,000, and over £200,000. And Barber said placing curbs on measures used by the well-off to slash their tax bills could raise £5bn.
In a vicious attack on financial institutions, he cited profiteering from sub-prime mortgages as an example of the “financialisaton” that has led to an increase in the number of extremely wealthy people,
He said: “Those suffering from the impact of the credit crunch should know that it was caused by the superrich taking risks with other people’s money, pocketing the profits and passing on the inevitable losses.”
However, Barber backed tax cuts for people on low to average incomes, as well as an increase in the winter fuel allowance and greater pay rises for public sector employees.