Labour leadership hustings
Do you think that 50% is the highest personal income tax rate that should be applied? Or would you support higher, and possibly broader, taxation bands for high-earners, to support the welfare state?
Andy Burnham: It is right to impose a 50% rate of tax for the highest earners, but it has to be reviewed, alongside the rest of the tax settlement.
David Miliband: Increasing some taxes is a necessary part of our deficit reduction plan – and it's right that those with the broadest shoulders take the greatest burden. We should keep the 50p rate during this Parliament. I also support a Mansion Tax, on properties worth over £2m, as a way of raising revenues in a fair way.
Ed Miliband: I do think 50% is the highest tax rates should get, but I also think the 50% rate on those over £150,000 should become permanent, not just a temporary tax. I think that's important for a fairer tax system. If there is room to cut taxes in the future, I would do it for those on middle and low incomes, not the most affluent. I would also increase taxes on the banks to protect the benefits that many ordinary families value, like child benefit and the winter fuel payments for the elderly. David Cameron said they would be protected in the TV debates during the election campaign but they are now under threat. I'm offering a clear, fair alternative.
Ed Balls: I think the 50p top rate of tax should start at £100,000, not £150,000 - it's much fairer than raising VAT, which hits the poorest families and pensioners hardest or cutting tax credits for families on modest incomes. There are other taxes on the very richest which I support, like the bankers' bonus tax and the wealth tax on the richest estates which David Miliband has proposed.
Diane Abbott: I think 50% is probably as high as income tax should go. But it should start at £100,000.
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