Grayling says Labour and Lib Dems would 'clobber rich'

Chris Grayling Chris Grayling criticised Labour and the Lib Dems over tax plans

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A Conservative cabinet minister has attacked Labour and the Liberal Democrats over tax plans that would "penalise wealth creators".

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said both parties wanted to "clobber the rich".

He said his party was "on the side" of people who created jobs and those who "work hard and want to get on in life".

MPs from both Labour and the Lib Dems have suggested increased taxes for top earners in recent days.

"So what do Labour want? To penalise the wealth creators. Higher taxes for the rich. To pay for what Labour really desires - an ever bigger welfare state," Mr Grayling wrote.

"The Lib Dems do, too. One of the big themes of last week's conference was higher taxes. They too want to penalise the wealth creators."

'Privileged few'

According to Mr Grayling, Labour's tax policy would discourage people from working hard, and poorer people would be the "real losers" if that happened.

Rich people and the jobs they create would simply "go elsewhere" if Britain introduced "punitive taxes", he added.

Mr Grayling's comments come a day after Labour shadow Treasury minister Rachel Reeves said people who earn £60,000 a year are not "rich".

She indicated the party wanted to increase taxes for the "privileged few" whose income is more than £150,000.

Last week a Lib Dem memo inadvertently sent to journalists suggested the party wanted to increase tax for those earning more than £50,000 a year.

Aides to Nick Clegg denied there was any plan to "clobber" people on £50,000, insisting the party was focused on taxing wealth rather than income.

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