"去年 11 月，我宣布新的所得税收入150,000以上英镑-45%的比例给顶尖1%的纳税人。为了现在帮助人民支付额外的支撑，我已决定新率将为 50%，明年 4 月将开始实施，（比预计的）更早一年"。
Labour's decision to tax those with relatively high incomes caused controversy throughout the general public, the media and the political world. The government's move to increase income tax to a milestone 50% was a surprise to many, largely because it broke one of Labour's key manifesto pledges made in 2005, not to increase the top rate of tax. Because of this, and because of the nature of the policy, Labour has faced huge opposition to this particular area of The Chancellor's budget.
In order to understand the introduction of the policy it is first important to understand the context of which it was introduced. In January 2009 the United Kingdom was officially in recession for the first time since 1991, according to government statistics. This is based on two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth, which economists generally consider the defining feature of a recession.
The economic climate has heightened government spending, and meant that it is necessary for the government to recoup some of this money from the taxpayer. With the UK economy set to shrink by over 3% in 2010 The Chancellor attempted to draw clear dividing lines between Labour and the Conservatives.
Mr. Darling also announced the intention to introduce a ￡1.7bn job creation scheme funded by the increased income tax. In doing this, The Chancellor is rekindling Labours socialist routes and 'taking from the rich, to give to the poor', a move that would contrast the traditional Conservative right wing view.
Political commentators were quick to question the government's move, with most pointing out that the projected revenues from this measure were small, in the context of the ballooning size of the public deficit. Another integral part of criticism related to the great symbolic nature of the 50p tax rate, with income tax alone meaning that the taxpayer's salary will be divided equally with the government. However, with national insurance and other contributions included, the taxpayer holds an unequal partnership with the state, with the government in fact taking home more than the taxpayer.
Opinion polls carried out after the Budget found widespread public support for the new 50p rate. The Times reported on a poll by 'Populus' showing 57% of respondents welcoming the change, with 22% against. However, with the new rate only effecting 350,000 people, and with the rest of the public hoping to benefit from the change, it is easy to see why this would be the case. It is therefore necessary to look how effective the change will be, and how the public may benefit from the move.
The Chancellor announced that the new 50p income tax rate will raise ￡1.13bn in 2010-11, rising to ￡2.52bn in 2011-12, however much of the criticism that the budget brought about was directed at these forecasts. Political commentators argued that Mr. Darling's budget would not boost government's income as expected, with an article in the Times the day after the budget commenting;
"The decision to raise the top rate of tax to 50 per cent will punish some bankers, but will simply send others scurrying to Geneva. The vast majority of the 350,000 people earning more than ￡150,000 will, of course, stay in the UK. They will not complain. They will call their accountants" (The Times, 23 April 2009)
Avoidance of taxes has always been an issue for the government, and a problem which was sure to be intensified by the new tax policy. The article above predicts many of those affected moving abroad in order to avoid the high rate of tax, something which appears to have become true "The number of directors of British businesses registered as living in the low-tax centres of Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man has risen by almost 500 to 6,729 in the past 12 mon