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Both sides know that the top rate of income tax is mainly symbolic

Portugal increases higher tax rates

The Portuguese government plans to introduce temporary extra tax rates for high-earning companies and households to help to meet budget-deficit goals under its €78bn (£69bn) bailout, its Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar said yesterday.

Leading article: An idea worth exploring

The Tory party in the 19th century was pre-eminently the party of those in possession of a good many rolling acres. Matters have evolved since then but it is still not surprising that the party once led by Disraeli and Lord Salisbury is reluctant to countenance even for a second the Liberal Democrat proposal for a new tax on land. The very phrase "land tax" does indeed have an old-fashioned socialist whiff about it, bringing back memories of the Labour programme of 1945. But it would be a shame if that were to become an excuse to dump the idea without even considering it.

Consumer rights: I need a tenant but want to avoid lettings agents

Renting out a property involves a multitude of time-consuming duties. If you are short of time and confidence it can pay to bring in the professionals

Cut VAT, not top tax rate, Labour urges Tories

Labour last night called on George Osborne to consider a temporary VAT cut to stimulate the economy – rather than scrapping the 50p tax rate.

Osborne plans to cut 50p income tax rate

David Cameron and George Osborne are discussing plans to cut the 50p rate of income tax after being told that it is generating only marginal returns for the Exchequer.

Leading article: A lever that the Chancellor would be unwise to pull

However it is dressed up, a tax cut for the wealthy is still a tax cut for the wealthy

Coalition splits emerge over 50p top rate of tax

A Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister stoked up Coalition tensions yesterday as he ridiculed calls from the Tory Right to scrap the 50p top rate of income tax for the highest earners as "cloud cuckoo land".

Guru Sai Baba's legacy: Death threats and scandal

The passing of the Indian holy man has left a spiritual hole and an even bigger controversy. Andrew Buncombe reports on the struggle to regulate his earthly affairs

David Prosser: A VAT cut is worth it – even for those who worry about the deficit

Outlook For those who believe the deficit is the absolute priority for economic policymakers, the call by Ed Balls yesterday for a temporary cut in VAT was never going to play well. Predictably enough, within hours both David Cameron and Nick Clegg were rubbishing the proposal in terms with which we are all now familiar – "maxing out the nation's credit card" and so on.

Salmond rises in Scottish poll as opponents flounder

After four years in power, the SNP looksset to make gains

Government hits back at financial squeeze claims

The Government today hit back at claims that families were facing a financial squeeze as a result of Chancellor George Osborne's tax and benefits changes, insisting the overwhelming majority of households would be better off.

<i>IoS</i> letters, emails &amp; online postings (27 March 2011)

The Budget was yet another blow to women. Lone parents and single female pensioners, already among the poorest citizens in Britain today, will suffer most from the Chancellor's harsh cuts to public spending. By 2014/5 the average household will lose public services worth 6.85 per cent of their cash income; for single female pensioners that figure is 11.7 per cent; for lone parents it is a whopping 18.5 per cent. This Budget did nothing to put that right. Even its small concessions to income-tax payers and motorists will help women less than men, since fewer women pay income tax or own cars.

Income tax: Help for the poor now - and for the rich in time

Lower tax threshold raised but Osborne indicates 50p tax rate will not survive
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Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
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Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

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JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
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Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

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On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
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Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

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Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker