AN EMERGENCY tax should be implemented on Britain’s wealthiest people to help the country cope with the continuing economic difficulties, claims Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
The Sheffield Hallam MP and Liberal Democrat leader said the tax would fall on assets rather than income and he is not proposing any change in the reduced 45p top rate of income tax.
But Chancellor George Osborne said he had already taken steps to ensure the UK’s highest earners pay more and insisted it was vital to hang on to entrepreneurs who would fuel the economic recovery.
Mr Clegg said: “If we want to remain cohesive and prosperous as a society, people of considerable personal wealth have got to make a bit of an extra contribution.
“In addition to our policy on things like the mansion tax, is there a time-limited contribution you can ask from people of considerable wealth so they feel they are making a contribution to the national effort?”
Mr Clegg said he is trying to persuade Tories in the coalition of the need to ensure rich people help shoulder more of the burden while tackling the crisis.
But Mr Osborne, a Conservative, said: “We have to be careful as a country we don’t drive away the wealth creators and the businesses that are going to lead our economic recovery.”