In the spring of 2009, Alistair Darling made one of the most significant changes in British economic policy of the last decade. He broke the taboo on pushing up the top rate of income tax, increasing it to 50% for high-earners from the 40% that Margaret Thatcher’s chancellor, Nigel Lawson, had set two decades earlier. Five years later, despite a Tory-led coalition, it is still at 45%, and shows little sign of coming back down.
In his heart of hearts, Darling probably knew he was presenting the last Labour budget for some time. His party leader Gordon Brown probably knew [...]
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