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Monday, January 16, 2012

I agree with Chris Huhne

Yesterday's Telegraph reports that the Liberal Democrat Cabinet Minister with the sharpest elbows, Chris Huhne has hailed David Cameron’s decision not to scrap the 50p higher rate of income tax before 2015 as a victory for his party.

The Energy Secretary is reported as saying that the junior Coalition partners had “won the argument” over reducing the tax burden on the rich at a time of austerity. Chris Huhne added that it was an example of how the Conservatives still needed Liberal Democrat support “if they want to get anything else through”.

Interviewed on the Pienaar's Politics programme on BBC Radio 5 Live, Mr Huhne indicated that the 50p rate was set to stay, remarking: “I think we've won that argument.”

He said that this was “partly, I think, because people simply realise that this is not an appropriate moment to send out a signal that we're going to tax well off people less”.

While insisting it had been a collective decision, he nevertheless suggested that pressure from the Liberal Demoracts had forced Mr Osborne’s hand.

“The Conservatives don't have an overall majority, so they need, if they want to get a finance bill through, if they want to get anything else through, they need to have Liberal Democrat support in the House of Commons and that's absolutely crucial,” he said.

Apparently, a report by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, which is due to be delivered next month, is expected to show a "surge" in revenues totalling hundreds of millions of pounds from the first year. It is expected to defy predictions that top earners would find ways to avoid paying the 50p rate.
Not on point, but...

Welsh Government achieves the unenviable 'goal' of back-to-back zip Welsh universities in the top 100 world university rankings for 2011/12 whereas Scotland has three (Edinburgh, Glasgow and St. Andrews). Same ‘goal’ achieved in 2010/11.

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