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Budget 2012 - Measures unlikely to keep wealth in UK

Thursday 22nd March 2012

Chancellor George Osborne is offering high earners a carrot by reducing the 50% higher rate of income tax to 45% in the Budget but is beating them with a stick by increasing the stamp duty levy on house purchases over £2million from 5% to 7% (at least £40,000 extra).

These measures are unlikely to do much to appease increasingly discontented millionaires and prevent wealth being moved offshore.

A new study of millionaires in the UK shows that a third (34%) have seen their finances shrink over the past 12 months. This has led to a drop in the number that say they have confidence in the Government's economic policies, falling to less than half (49%) compared to over half (55%) when the first survey was run in June 2011.

This discontent about the Government's economic policies continues to fuel a desire to leave Britain for just under half the UK's millionaires.

Graham Bentley, Skandia UK's head of investment said: "Economic policies that attack the UK's higher earners echo those of the Labour government of the late 1970s, and are fuelling their discontent about living in Britain.

"Mr Osborne has rightly admitted that 45% of a great deal is better than 50% of nothing but by charging people at least £140,000 to buy a property worth over £2million he is hardly encouraging the wealthy to stay within these shores."

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Mike Jones

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