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British chancellor underpins tax hike in interim budget report


11:06, December 06, 2012

LONDON, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- British chancellor, or finance minister, George Osborne on Wednesday said the coalition government would collect 7 billion pounds more in tax than the last government to tackle tax evasions and loopholes.

The government will invest about 77 million pounds to ensure multinational firms to "pay their fair share," the chancellor vowed in his interim report of the annual budget.

Giant multinational firms like Starbucks, Google, Ebay, Facebook and Ebay have been found to contribute very little or even nothing after years of lucrative operation in Britain through transferring profits to other low-tax countries, he said.

Meanwhile, the government will cut corporation tax rate further by 1 percent from April 2014, in a bid to boost investment in business, while banks' levy rate will be increased to 0.13 percent next year as the lucrative banking sector is urged to contribute more to the society.

The chancellor raised income tax threshold by 235 pounds in 2013, which means personal incomes under 9,440 pounds are exempted from tax. Those who earn more than 41,865 pounds a year would apply to the 40 percent income tax in 2014, and 42,285 pounds in 2015, while the current threshold is 41,450 pounds.

Osborne also said to abandon the original plan of increasing fuel duty by 3 pence a litre from January next year.

The interim report reaffirmed the British government's austerity policies and further extended the plan to 2018 due to sluggish economic recovery. (1 pound= 1.6 U.S. dollars)

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