His comments to James Macintyre on the 50p tax rate made headlines. The controversial Lib Dem talks about Nick Clegg’s survival, and strains in the coalitionby James Macintyre / September 21, 2011 / Leave a comment
Published in October 2011 issue of Prospect Magazine
Listen to James Macintyre’s interview with Chris Huhne here:
Chris Huhne opened a new rift in the cabinet when he told Prospect that scrapping the 50p top rate of income tax would be “just a way of helping the Conservatives’ friends in the City to put their feet up.” The attack made headlines, together with his threat that “there are simply not going to be the votes for it in the House of Commons” because the Liberal Democrats would help block such a move.
Huhne was careful to make a non-ideological, economic case against cutting the rate, not a moral one. He argued that it would have a “disincentive effect,” because those earning over £150,000 per year would “get extra income without any extra work.” But the Guardian noted that the “friends in the City” quote was Huhne’s most combative intervention against Conservative cabinet colleagues since he confronted them, including Chancellor George Osborne, over their aggressive “no” campaign against the alternative vote (AV) in May.