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Press watch: ‘50% tax rate is damaging economy, warn 500 business leaders’

printer Mail

‘In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, the bosses of small and medium sized firms across the country say the levy has meant they have not expanded their firms and taken on more workers.

‘They accuse George Osborne, the Chancellor, of putting “populist politics before sound economics”. Calling for it to be scrapped, they add that the ongoing imposition of the 50p higher rate of tax has left “wealth creators” in a “very awkward position”.

‘The intervention is likely to alarm the government ministers as those who have signed today’s letter represent the “bedrock” of British industry, whose future success is key to the economic recovery. It is the first time that these ordinary business owners have set out the damage caused by the levy.

‘Public criticism of the 50p rate had been largely limited to the heads of multi-national businesses and international entrepreneurs.

‘In today’s letter, the 537 businessmen say: “Given the current state of the UK economy, we urge the Chancellor to urgently consider scrapping the top rate of tax in his forthcoming budget.”’

Daily Telegraph, 1 March 2012