Labour won't hit £80,000 earners with immediate income tax hike, says Corbyn

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BRITAIN-ELECTION/

Labour would not hit people earning more than £80,000 with an immediate 5% income tax hike but it will be raised during the next five years if the party wins the General Election, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

The Labour leader plans to raise £6.4 billion from the top 5% of earners by lowering the threshold for the 45p rate of income tax from £150,000 to £80,000 and introducing a new 50p rate for earnings above £123,000.

But Mr Corbyn said he would not immediately lower the 45p threshold to include everyone paid more than £80,000, instead favouring a phased approach over the course of the next parliament, which will end in 2022.

Asked about the 45p rate for £80,000 earners by Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2, he said: "I'm not saying how much they are going to actually have to pay straight away, we will put it up during the parliament."

Mr Corbyn defended his tax plans, which include a guarantee of no hikes in VAT, personal national insurance contributions or income tax for 95% of workers, and insisted it was "reasonable" to look to raise money from the highest earners.

"If you are earning at the very top end I think it is reasonable that you make a slightly larger contribution to our society's needs," he said.

"What we have said is the majority of our funds we want will come from corporate taxation and will come from dealing with the issues of tax evasion and placing profits in convenient tax regimes where very little tax is paid."