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Press watch: ‘Lib Dems ready to ditch 50p tax rate, says Cable’

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‘Liberal Democrats are prepared to see the 50 pence top rate of income tax abolished in return for a tax on property, Vince Cable said today.

‘The statement by the Business Secretary, who was for many years the Lib Dems’ main economic spokesman, is a bold and public contribution to the backroom debates raging in Cabinet over the content of this month’s Budget. “My [Lib Dem] colleagues are not ideologically wedded to the 50 pence rate,” Dr Cable told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “If it were to go it should be replaced by a tax on wealthy, as wealthy people have to pay their share in a time of economic difficulty. The mansion tax is actually a very economically sensible way of doing it, but there are different ways of approaching it.”

‘Dr Cable’s entry into the Budget debate will provide fresh food for thought George Osborne, the Chancellor, two weeks before he is due to present his package of fiscal measures to MPs and the country.’

The Times, 6 March 2012