Ed Balls has dismissed claims that Labour's plan to reintroduce the 50p top rate of tax is part of an "anti-business agenda" and said the move would be temporary.
The shadow chancellor said the move was a fair measure which would help reduce the country's "huge" deficit, the BBC reports.
Speaking on Sunday morning, he told the BBC that people earning more than £150,000 should pay more tax but overall taxation should fall. He also said the maximum would not rise above 50p.
The previous Labour administration created a 50% tax band in 2010 for high earners, but the coalition government moved it back down to 45% in April last year, the report said.
Balls told Andrew Marr the coalition's decision had been "foolish" and had created resentment during austerity.
The shadow minister said the 50p rate would only be in place while Labour cleared the country's budget deficit. Which he said would happen by 2020 if they party got to power.
Despite criticism of the Labour policy from business leaders, Balls said: "This is not an anti-business agenda, it is an anti-business as usual agenda."
He added: "It is absolutely not back to the 80s and 90s. The reality is we are in very difficult circumstances and because of George Osborne's failure in the last few years these difficult circumstances will last well until into the next parliament."
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