“A declaration of instinct”
Important finding in the small print of YouGov’s poll for The Sunday Times today highlighted by Anthony Wells:
On the 50p tax rate for those earning over £150,000, the subject of disagreement between Miliband and Alan Johnson, 37% agreed with Miliband’s view that it should be permanent as it is a question of fairness and values; 46% thought it should be a temporary measure to tackle the deficit and eventually be reduced to 40p. This is an unusual finding – after all, we are used to most polling showing high levels of support for higher taxes on the rich.
Tony Blair tells in his memoir of Gordon Brown and his adjutants repeatedly pressing for a 50p rate of income tax, backed up with opinion polls that Blair dismissed as “nonsense”:
Tagged in: 50p tax, alan johnson, ed miliband, income tax
For me, top-rate tax was not about top-rate tax … I knew if we put up the top rate of tax it would be seen as a signal, a declaration of instinct, an indicator whose impact would far outweigh its intrinsic weight. When Gordon suggested it prior to the  election and I was given the usual opinion-poll guff showing 70-80 per cent in favour of it, I put in a complete nolle prosequi ['An entry made on the record, by which the prosecutor or plaintiff declares that he will proceed no further'].
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