Lord Myners appears to have caused confusion with his clumsy comments yesterday about how much revenue will come from the new 50p tax rate.
The City minister said: “We have made adjustments for the behavioural consequences of the new higher rate of taxation and have accordingly significantly reduced the anticipated tax take.” The new tax on those earning more than £150,000 will kick in in April.
But did Myners really mean that the Treasury is being forced to cut its forecasts for the new levy (estimated last autumn at £1.1bn in 2010 and £2.5bn in 2011)?
Apparently not. The Treasury are insisting that the minister was trying to say that behavioural economics – people seeking to dodge the new tax – had already been taken into account in the estimates. He may want to be a bit more explicit next time.