Scrap 40p rate of income tax to win votes, says No. 10 policy advisor

The Conservative party should consider cutting its 40p rate of income tax in an “iconic” bid to win voters, a policy advisor to Number 10 has suggested.

On Wednesday David Cameron moved to quash calls for a higher threshold for earners paying the tax. The Prime Minister said he would instead focus on tax cuts for low income workers. His comments provoked outrage from Tory MPs, who say that more middle-class workers are paying the 40p rate of tax as wages have risen.

According to the Telegraph, Nadhim Zahawi, who is a member of the Number 10 policy board said that it was time the government had a “serious debate” about its policy surrounding tax brackets.

His remarks followed proposals from Renewal, a right-wing pressure group that seeks to abolish the 40p tax rate entirely, thereby reducing tax by £2,000 a year for 2 million middle-income earners.

At a speech at Policy Exchange, a Conservative think-tank, Zahawi said: “It is a welcome development that Conservatives have started to seriously debate where next for income tax.

“Labour have the 50p, the Lib Dems have the mansion tax, we need our own iconic tax policy. I think Dave Skelton’s [from Renewal’s] contribution, and his suggestion that we abolish the 40p rate and pay for it by lowering the 45p rate was a great way of starting the conversation.”

Zahawi added that it is unlikely the proposed cuts would be seen in next week’s Budget.

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