Q&A: Return of the 50p top rate of income tax?

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Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has promised to reintroduce the 50p top rate of income tax for people earning more than £150,000 if Labour wins the next election.

The previous Labour government increased the top rate from 40p to 50p in 2010, but the current government cut that to 45p with effect from April last year.

So what is the 50p tax rate, and why is it such a central issue for politicians in the run-up to the next election?

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