Boris Johnson tells George Osborne the top rate of tax "needs to be looked at"
By Matthew Barrett
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Ah, Boris. The Mayor comes to the end of his trip promoting London in India, and has ended on another note that might not be appreciated in Downing Street. Mr Johnson has performed a number of u-turns over the last week, on Europe, immigration, and spending cuts.
The Autumn Statement will be delivered next week, and it is considered more likely to recalibrate the Government's deficit reduction plans than to contain any radical reductions of the top rate of tax. However, Mr Johnson said in India that the Chancellor of the Exchequer needs to "look at" the top rate.
The Daily Telegraph reported this morning that during an interview with an Indian television programme, Mr Johnson said:
"You’ve got tax rates here of only 30 per cent – a point George Osborne might like to brood on. ... One businessman said to me this morning that he loved London, he loved the quality of life in London. But another businessman asked about making London more attractive in terms of tax and regulation and certainly the tax regime. As I have said many times before, that needs to be looked at."
Mr Johnson also reiterated his opposition to the Government's immigration plans, saying:
“The Government has been trying to deal with a particular problem that was caused by the lax immigration policies of the last Labour government in 2004. It has been a blunderbuss approach that has hit and caused a lot of uncertainty and confusion in the vital markets like India. Although it is true that the numbers over previous years are up, we are worried that the numbers this year are down.”
> Tim Montgomerie on ToryDiary: Boris points in all directions at once