Cleaners, gardeners and housekeepers are losing their jobs because of the 50p tax rate

January 27, 2012 12:34 PM

Simon Heffer is into shooting. Last year, his shooting club noticed that its members were booking fewer shooting days, thereby reducing the club's income. When asked why this was, the members replied that they now had 50p income tax to pay. One gamekeeper lost his job.

My neighbour in Kent has a ramshackle garden and wood of about 12 acres. He can’t maintain it himself, as he works on average 60 hours a week. When he bought the property, he had planned to employ a part-time gardener to maintain it. As a result of the 50p he is holding back. His house could also do with a cleaner – who is also not employed for the same reason.

I have heard similar stories about window cleaners, house cleaners, chauffeurs, gardeners, housekeepers, child minders and painters-decorators. In other words: punishing 'the rich' has meant that people who do not earn a lot have lost their jobs.

A person with an income of £500,000 now pays £50,000 extra in tax since the 50p rate was introduced. A full time live out nanny-housekeeper in London earns, on average, £20,000 a year. Guess which savings are made first?

Sometimes the full-time position is tuned down to part-time day work, often cash-in-hand instead of fully legal. A number of the freshly fired may end up on welfare, paid for by the same state which is so eagerly hoping for extra cash from the 50p.

As a story, these job losses remain largely under the radar. They are held by people who have no loud public voice, and who are usually not unionised. The right hold back from pointing it out, as they fear the left’s accusation that they only care for the rich. Observe that it is not the 'rich' person who loses his job in the process.


The jobs lost because of the 50p rate are often held by people who have no other employment options. They are pushed off the lowest rung of the job ladder by greedy government. Often they are women; sometimes the sole breadwinners or single mothers.


Many on the centre right have claimed that the 50p would bring in less money, rather than more, as those targeted by it would move money abroad, move abroad themselves, or pay extra for good tax advice to avoid it. Back in November Chief Secretary to the Treasure Danny Alexander poured cold water on the clamour to scrap the 50p, claiming it raised "hundreds of millions of pounds" for the Treasury. John Redwood MP pointed out that the Treasury’s own figures show that income tax fell by 8% in the year to September 2011, and that most of the reduction came from the top income scale. I doubt whether the report will also report on the extra welfare paid as a result of the 50p.Simon Heffer is into shooting. Last year, his shooting club noticed that its members were booking fewer shooting days, thereby reducing the club's income. When asked why this was, the members replied that they now had 50p income tax to pay. One gamekeeper lost his job.

My neighbour in Kent has a ramshackle garden and wood of about 12 acres. He can’t maintain it himself, as he works on average 60 hours a week. When he bought the property, he had planned to employ a part-time gardener to maintain it. As a result of the 50p he is holding back. His house could also do with a cleaner – who is also not employed for the same reason.

I have heard similar stories about window cleaners, house cleaners, chauffeurs, gardeners, housekeepers, child minders and painters-decorators. In other words: punishing 'the rich' has meant that people who do not earn a lot have lost their jobs.

A person with an income of £500,000 now pays £50,000 extra in tax since the 50p rate was introduced. A full time live out nanny-housekeeper in London earns, on average, £20,000 a year. Guess which savings are made first?

Sometimes the full-time position is tuned down to part-time day work, often cash-in-hand instead of fully legal. A number of the freshly fired may end up on welfare, paid for by the same state which is so eagerly hoping for extra cash from the 50p.

As a story, these job losses remain largely under the radar. They are held by people who have no loud public voice, and who are usually not unionised. The right hold back from pointing it out, as they fear the left’s accusation that they only care for the rich. Observe that it is not the 'rich' person who loses his job in the process.


The jobs lost because of the 50p rate are often held by people who have no other employment options. They are pushed off the lowest rung of the job ladder by greedy government. Often they are women; sometimes the sole breadwinners or single mothers.


Many on the centre right have claimed that the 50p would bring in less money, rather than more, as those targeted by it would move money abroad, move abroad themselves, or pay extra for good tax advice to avoid it. Back in November Chief Secretary to the Treasure Danny Alexander poured cold water on the clamour to scrap the 50p, claiming it raised "hundreds of millions of pounds" for the Treasury. John Redwood MP pointed out that the Treasury’s own figures show that income tax fell by 8% in the year to September 2011, and that most of the reduction came from the top income scale. I doubt whether the report will also report on the extra welfare paid as a result of the 50p.

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