Boris Johnson's office has released a press statement condemning the 50p tax rate as "an assault on London". Research by the Greater London Authority says that 145,000 Londoners will be hit by Darling's "banker taxes". That 145,000 includes those earning £100,000 and affected by changes to allowances.
Boris Johnson believes that London already pays more than its fair share of UK tax revenues and is unhappy at this extra tax burden:
"Our capital is the engine room of the UK economy, generating 17% of the UK’s GDP each year and yet our figures show that the Government’s plans for high earner taxes will hit London four times harder than the rest of the UK. Penalising high earners with higher taxes could undermine London’s competitive edge. It runs the risk of driving highly skilled workers away from and deterring others from coming to our great city – which is a real concern to me."
Anthony Browne, Head of Policy in the Mayor's office, warned that the extra taxes could push higher earners to other countries without bringing in revenue for the Treasury:
"Far more than the rest of the UK, London has an internationally mobile workforce, and its success depends on being a global magnet for talent and business. Having a competitive tax regime is a key part of that, but we will now have the highest income tax rate of any major economy in Europe, or any global commercial centre. This new barrage of taxes on high earners comes on top of the government’s assaults on non-doms, which is also a largely London phenomenon. It sends out a message that high earners are not welcome, when they are not only welcome in London, but an essential ingredient in London’s success. This isn’t about defending the rich, but defending the economy. If high earners either stop coming here, start leaving, or simply work less, it would be a real setback for the London economy. The government will have achieved a real double-whammy – it will have failed to raise much extra revenue, and at the same time strangled the economy. The government must not kill the goose that lays the golden egg."
In this morning's Telegraph Mr Johnson implied that a failure to oppose the 45p tax band had encouraged Labour to introduce the 50p tax band: "If we keep schtum, they will simply do it again. Why not 55 per cent? Why not 60 per cent? Why don't they go right the way back to their childhoods, and start echoing Denis Healey's 83 per cent top rate of taxation?"
A YouGov poll for the Evening Standard finds the Conservatives 12% ahead of Labour in the nation's capital.