Fraser Nelson Fraser Nelson

Labour’s new big lie: millionaires and tax cuts

Ed Miliband is, for all his faults, fairly honest – as politicians go. So why did he tell an outright lie in his conference speech? Andrew Neil has just confronted Douglas Alexander on a claim that Miliband made last week. Here’s what was in the speech:-

Next April, David Cameron will be writing a cheque for £40,000 to each and every millionaire in Britain. And here’s the worst part. David Cameron isn’t just writing the cheques. He is receiving one. He’s going to be getting the millionaires’ tax cut.’

Now, there are 619,000 millionaires in Britain. To claim that “each and every” one of them will get a cheque is not an exaggeration, it is a lie. Even Alexander admitted that there are only 8,000 people who declare more than £1 million of earnings (and contribute vast amounts of tax) – they are the only group that will be better-off by £40k. And while there are 305,000 who earn more than £150,000 – so will be getting a tax cut – the average sum will be far less than £40k.

So how does Alexander trying to wriggle out of this? He tried to concoct a special definition of “millionaire”: someone who earns more than £1m. It’s worth listening to.

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I suspect that neither Miliband or Alexander came up with this strategy – it sounds like an Ed Balls special.

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