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Press watch: Clegg draws line at 45p rate of tax

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‘Nick Clegg ruled out any cut in the top rate of tax and took on David Cameron over green energy as he issued Liberal Democrats with their 2015 election orders …

‘[He] slapped a red line on any further cut in the top rate of tax this side of an election. After George Osborne’s controversial decision to cut it from 50p to 45p in this year’s Budget, Mr Clegg said: “There can be no question of reducing it further in this Parliament.” The only personal tax cuts he would agree to had to help people on low and middle incomes, he said.

‘Mr Clegg told Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne of his intention in advance. Senior Tories insisted that they were “relaxed” and that a further cut was not an immediate priority. However, Mr Clegg’s decision effectively writes a key part of Mr Osborne’s next three Budgets.’

Roland Watson, Political Editor
The Times, 27 September 2012