Boris Johnson used his “chickenfeed” £250,000-per-annum column in the Daily Telegraph today to lobby for lower taxes for millionaires. With Ed Balls pledging a 50p top rate of income tax for those earning more than £150,000, the alumnus of Eton and the Bullingdon Club thundered:
“[Balls and Miliband] don’t understand that our whole economy and society … depends entirely on the willingness of a relatively small number of people to put in the back-breaking hours that will create the companies and drive the innovation that will employ the people whose payrolls yield the taxes that pay for the whole damn caboodle.”
But that’s not all. Boris wants George Osborne’s current top rate cut to 40p:
“Confounded by the recovery, Balls is floundering badly. The Government should open up some more blue water, and cut the top rate back to 40p.”
But what seemed to be missing from the piece was a declaration of interest: Boris is a top rate payer.
As London mayor he earns £143,911. This is topped up with at least £250,000 per year from journalism and other outside interests, bringing his gross annual income to a minimum of £394,000. £244,000 of this will be taxed at the “additional rate” — currently costing him about £109,800.
The exchequer would see an additional £12,200 from Boris if Labour rolled back to Osborne’s old 50p rate. But the mayor’s proposal to reduce it to 40p would save him £12,200.
Doubtless Boris would claim this is a ‘poultry’ sum.