Exclusive: Heseltine says removing 50p tax rate “wrong politics”

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Exclusive: Heseltine says removing 50p tax rate “wrong politics”

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Michael Heseltine predicts the rate will stay in Budget 2012

Michael Heseltine has defied the Conservative right by saying that removing the 50p top rate of income tax would be “the wrong politics” while people are “suffering” in the recession and predicted it will not happen in the forthcoming Budget.

Lord Heseltine, the former cabinet minister and confidant of David Cameron, said that even though the 50p rate, applied to those earning £150,000 and over, “doesn’t actually raise significant sums of money, I just think the politics are wrong.”

Speaking to Prospect ahead of the Budget on 21 March, Lord Heseltine said of the 50p rate: “I think it will go; it was a Labour trap at the last election—they said it was temporary and so it should be, but I don’t personally think it will go in this Budget and I wouldn’t press for it to go in this

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James Macintyre
James Macintyre is Prospect's politics editor and co-author of "Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader"