Why I signed the letter to scrap the 50p tax rate

In some quarters the entrepreneurs supporting this cut are being painted as the villains of the piece who want to avoid tax. That is categorically not the case. I believe in paying tax, last year I paid more than £500,000, and am happy to keep doing so.

However, the more I have to pay the less I have to put back into my business. Anyone who thinks we are just trying to fill our pockets totally misunderstands the nature of entrepreneurs.

I have grown my business from something that just about supported my family in 1979 to one that employs 200 odd people. And that is something I am proud of, but that’s not enough for me.

I want to expand more, and to do that I need to be able to operate in a fare tax system that doesn’t leave me with nothing to re-invest.

I also believe that the higher you tax people psychologically there is a point where business owners will start to think that it’s not worth working for such a small share of the proceeds of their labour. With the 50p rate, plus all the other direct and indirect taxes we are subjected to, I am suggesting that this is the tipping point.

With 500 entrepreneurs signing the letter to the Telegraph, I am not alone in thinking we’ve reached a tipping point.

We will be in a position where companies will be taken out of the UK or completely disappear if entrepreneurs decide to throw in the towel. And then, of course, there are those who may be considering either starting a new venture or brining investment forward.

We all know that if you tax too little, you can’t pay for schools, hospitals and rubbish collection. What I’m arguing is that if you tax too much, you will end up in the same boat as we’ll not be able to afford the public services we all need.

Essentially, this whole debate is a huge political football, because it definitely isn’t an economic argument. How can it be since indications are that tax take is more likely going to be less with it in place than from the old 40p in the pound rate?

Labour brought it in to buy votes, and as a result of the Lib Dems being involved in the coalition the Chancellor is hamstrung in to not being able to easily scrap it.

And, because Danny Alexander wants it to stay, for more political reasons, we end up stuck with a tax that is unpopular with businesses and extremely bad for business.


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