Great Britain has instituted a 50 pence tax assessment on incomes and it failed to generate the expected revenue.
The Treasury received £10.35 billion in income tax payments from those paying by self-assessment last month, a drop of £509 million compared with January 2011. Most other taxes produced higher revenues over the same period.
Senior sources said that the first official figures indicated that there had been "manoeuvring" by well-off Britons to avoid the new higher rate. The figures will add to pressure on the Coalition to drop the levy amid fears it is forcing entrepreneurs to relocate abroad.
The self-assessment returns from January, when most income tax is paid by the better-off, have been eagerly awaited by the Treasury and government ministers as they provide the first evidence of the success, or failure, of the 50p rate. It is the first year following the introduction of the 50p rate which had been expected to boost tax revenues from self-assessment by more than £1billion.
So it only missed its target by 50%. Not bad for government work.
The same thing happened in Illinois and New York when they raised taxes on the supposed rich. The result was less revenue than they expected. And in the case of New York, the flight of thousands of millionaires to friendlier climes.
When will they ever learn?