Budget 2014: Tory MPs call for rise to 40p tax threshold


Budget 2009

Senior Tories have called on the Chancellor to reward the middle classes by raising the 40p tax threshold so it hits fewer workers.

Ahead of this month's budget, they have called for the higher rate trigger to be increased from £41,450 to £44,000 to stop people like teachers and police officers who "don't consider themselves even remotely privileged or rich" being hit.

The proposals were raised directly with the Chancellor at the backbench 1922 Committee and have been branded a general election "game changer" by some.

David Ruffley, who sits on the Treasury select committee, told the Daily Telegraph: "The people who are low paid have had tax reductions. Hasn't the time come to focus on people who are not rich but the striving middle? People who do not consider themselves to be remotely rich or privileged but now find themselves paying 40p in the pound? It could turn the political tide."

The number of people in the higher rate tax band has gone up to one in six from the one in 20 who were affected when it was introduced by former Conservative chancellor Nigel Lawson and 800,000 have moved into it in the last three years, the newspaper reported.

Tory backbencher Philip Davies described the threshold as "grotesquely unfair" and an increase in the threshold has also won support from Gerald Howarth, John Redwood and Nick de Bois.

Bernard Jenkin, chairman of the Commons public administration committee, told the newspaper:

"George Osborne has been right to take so many people out of tax, and we should take credit for that.

But we should allow this distortion of the income tax scale to demotivate so many people who are seeking to improve their lives."