British budget to be unveiled with focus on income tax

The Houses of Parliament are seen in central London, on February 26, 2012. Income taxes are about to change in the country.

Stacey Vanek Smith: Congressional Republicans unveiled a budget proposal that would create just two income tax brackets -- you'd either pay 10 percent or 25 percent. Today, the British government unveils its budget -- which focuses on tax brackets, too.

From London, Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: A former British finance minister once threatened to “squeeze the rich until the pips squeak." That won’t be today’s message. The current finance chief's expected to lighten the load for those earning more than a quarter of a million dollars a year. Their top rate of income tax will likely be reduced from 50 to 45 percent -- and even further in the future.

Emma Boone of the Taxpayers Alliance welcomes the move.

Emma Boone: If you cut high levels of tax down to a more reasonable level then more people will pay it and your tax revenue will increase.

But to counter the charge that he’s only favoring the rich, the finance chief is expected to cut the income tax rate to zero for anyone earning less than $14,000 a year.

In London, I’m Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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