Voices

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.

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

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.

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.

Pensions: Simpler format marks a 'turning point' in benefit

A flat-rate pension that will pay about £140 a week will be simpler and most likely benefit women, many of whom are currently denied the full state pension after taking time out of work to look after children.

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