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Speculation mounts over future of 50p tax rate

There is growing speculation over the future of the 50p income tax rate after the Prime Minister signalled that the rate is unlikely to be scrapped during the course of the parliament.

Speaking to the BBC, the PM indicated that the top tax rate, which is levied on incomes of more than £150,000, will remain in place until 2015.

'When you're taking the country through difficult times and difficult decisions, you've got to take the country with you,' said Cameron. 'I think that means permanently trying to make the argument that what you're doing is fair.'

Cameron also suggested that the Budget would not contain a ‘mansion tax’ on high value properties.

However, with business leaders and Tory backbenchers expressing unease over the top rate, Cameron later insisted that he does not view the 50p rate as a ‘permanent measure’.

He told Sky News: 'It is temporary. We don't want high marginal rates of tax. We have also got to look at the evidence of the 50p tax. Is it raising a lot of revenue? If it isn't then clearly there will be question marks over it.’

HMRC is currently examining its data to assess whether or not the 50p tax rate is generating revenue. According to recent press reports, the review is expected to show that the top tax rate has led to a ‘surge’ in tax receipts.