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Friday, December 2, 2022

UK Government U-turns on Plan to Cut Taxes on High Earners

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The U.K. government on Monday reversed a plan to scrap the top rate of income tax, after a public backlash and major market turbulence.

The new government had announced a swathe of tax cuts just weeks into its tenure, but they were poorly received by financial markets.

Taking the top rate of tax paid on incomes over £150,000 ($166,770) from 45% to 40% was seen as particularly politically toxic as Brits deal with a cost-of-living crisis.

In the days following their announcement, the pound dropped to an all-time low, mortgage deals were pulled from the market and U.K. government bonds began to sell-off at a historic rate, causing the Bank of England to begin a temporary purchase program to calm volatility.

On Monday, Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed that the government would be scrapping its plans to cut tax for the country’s highest earners.

“It is clear that the abolition of the 45p tax rate has become a distraction from our overriding mission to tackle the challenges facing our economy,” Kwarteng said in a statement.

“As a result, I’m announcing we are not proceeding with the abolition of the 45p tax rate. We get it, and we have listened.”

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