JEREMY Hunt is mulling a shock tax raid on the rich that would see tens of thousands of extra high earners slapped with the top rate.
The Â£150,000 threshold at which the additional rate of income tax kicks in could be lowered and that rate of 45p in the pound even raised.
It would mark a spectacular change in direction just six weeks after Liz Truss tried to reduced it to 40p and would break a key 2019 Tory manifesto pledge not to raise income tax.
The Chancellor is currently planning to freeze all current tax rates for at least two years – which alone would raise around Â£7billion as more workers would be dragged into paying more.
But last night insiders refused to rule out going further for the wealthiest.
Mr Hunt is scrambling to find Â£25billion of tax hikes to help fill the monster Â£60billion blackhole – as well as hiking benefits and pensions by double digit inflation.
A Treasury source said: âThe sums donât add upâ.
Another Whitehall insider said ministers were now having to make âgrim decisionsâ and it was time to âthink the unthinkableâ ahead of next Thursdayâs Autumn Statement.
A range of options have been drawn up by the Treasury as they plan tax hikes of up to Â£25billion alongside spending cuts that could hit Â£35billion.
Ex-Cabinet minister David Jones said: âJeremy Hunt has to be very careful that he doesnât kill incentives to come to this country.
âHe has already reversed the previous decision to take the top rate down to 40p.
âWhat we donât want to be doing is increasing the tax burden for wealth creators.
âWe donât want to become an uncompetitive country.â
It comes on top of Mr Hunt raising taxes by an eye-watering Â£32billion just days after entering Number 11 to calm fears after Liz Trussâs mini-budget that spooked the financial markets.
The Treasury have warned in recent weeks that those in society with the broadest shoulders will bear the greatest burden of any tax rises.
However, they have also warned that everyone in the country will pay more tax.
Mr Hunt could also hit shareholders by reducing personal allowance without paying a dividend tax to just Â£1,000.
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