London Mayor Boris Johnson called on Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to cut the top rate of income tax to 40 percent in his budget Wednesday, the first by a majority Conservative government since 1996.
“There are plenty who think this would be a good idea,” Johnson wrote in Monday’s Daily Telegraph newspaper. He said former Chancellor “Nigel Lawson has recently argued that the top rate should go back down to 40p and many Conservatives agree. I am among them.”
Taxable income above 150,000 pounds ($233,000) is currently taxed at 45 percent in the U.K. A cut in the rate from 50 percent, announced by Osborne in 2012, took effect a year later. The Conservative manifesto for the 2015 general election didn’t pledge to reduce it further.
Asked about a cut in the top rate on BBC Television’s “Andrew Marr Show” on Sunday, Osborne said that “my priorities are to deliver the promises upon which we were elected.”
Johnson, who steps down as mayor next year, returned to the House of Commons as a Tory lawmaker in May’s election. He is favorite with bookmakers ahead of Osborne to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron as Conservative Party leader before the next election in 2020.