News Column

PMQs: Cameron Refuses To Rule Out Tax Cut

January 29, 2014

The Labour leader asked Mr Cameron three times if the Government was planning to cut the 45p rate to 40p for people earning more than 150,000. In his first attempt, Mr Miliband said to the Prime Minister: " Can I ask you who said this just before the election, and I quote: 'Showing that we're all in this together means showing that the rich will pay their share, which is why the 50p tax rate will have to stay'?" Mr Cameron responded: "The fact is, under this Government, the richest will pay more in income tax in every year than any year when you were in office. That is the truth. "I want the richest to pay more in tax and under this Government they are because we are creating jobs, we're creating growth, we're encouraging investment. "And what we heard from Labour over the last 48 hours is they want to attack that growth, they want to attack those jobs, they want to attack those businesses. "We now have in Britain an anti-business, anti-growth, anti-jobs party." The 50p - or 50% - "additional rate" tax, which is payable on income above 150,000, was cut to 45% in April last year. Mr Miliband then tried again, telling Mr Cameron that Labour's plan to lift the rate to 50p had the "overwhelming support of the most important people of all, the people of Britain ". He said to the PM: "You are obviously rather coy in telling us who said it - well, of course, it was you in 2009, just before the election. "It was him that said that the 50p tax rate was a symbol of us all being in it together and now it's gone. "Now could you tell us whether you rule out cutting the top rate further to 40p?" Mr Cameron said Chancellor George Osborne set out the Government's priorities on Tuesday, adding: "We want to cut taxes for the lowest paid and for middle-income people. "I'm not surprised you didn't hear the Chancellor because, like the rest of the Labour Party , you weren't here yesterday. "They left (shadow chancellor Ed Balls ) all on his own. "And while we're in the business of who has said interesting things in recent days, who has said interesting things in recent days, let me ask you this." As Mr Cameron tried to find a quote from Mr Balls in his notes, the cheers from the Opposition increased with Labour MPs pretending to pass him pieces of paper. The Prime Minister found the quote but had to sit down when Speaker John Bercow intervened to tell Labour MP John Robertson (Glasgow North) to calm down. Mr Cameron continued to Mr Miliband : "While we're on the subject of interesting quotes, who in the last 48 hours said this: 'Do I think the level of public spending going into the crisis was a problem for Britain ? No I don't, nor our deficit, nor our national debt'. "In fact, he even said 'In some areas we would spend more'. That is ( Mr Balls ). "We were talking earlier about our children. When our children in future turn to the dictionary and look up the definition of denial it'll be right there - Balls, Ed." Mr Miliband then poked fun at the PM. "It's hard to remember but a long time ago I asked a question and the Prime Minister failed to answer it," he said. He then tried Mr Cameron again: "Let's give you another go. Do you rule out - and the Chancellor should keep quiet for a second - do you rule out giving another tax cut to the richest in society by cutting the top rate to 40p ?" Mr Cameron stood up at the despatch box to reply, although the Labour leader had yet to finish. Mr Miliband continued: "Calm down, calm down... to 40p, yes or no?" Mr Cameron replied: "There's so much good news I can't wait to get up and tell it. "Our priority is to cut taxes for the lowest paid in our country. That's why we have taken two million people out of tax. But let us look to the reaction to your 50p announcement. "Businesses have said it would cost jobs, Labour ministers that you served alongside have queued up to say it's economically illiterate, and the IFS (Institute For Fiscal Studies) has said it would raise hardly any money. "It has been an absolutely disastrous policy launch from a disastrous Labour economic team." :: Watch Sky News live on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.


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Source: Sky News (UK)


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