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Ed Miliband Defends Targeting David Cameron's Wealth In 'Millionaire Tax' Attack

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Ed Miliband has defended his claim that David Cameron will personally benefit from the cut in the top rate of income tax.

During his well received speech to the Labour Party conference yesterday, the Labour leader attacked the coalition for giving a tax cut to the wealthy by reducing the top rate from 50p to 45p, and singled out the prime minister for personal criticism.

"Here's the worse part. David Cameron isn't just writing the cheques. He is receiving one," Miliband said.

"He's going to be getting the millionaire's tax cut. So next week maybe Mr Cameron can tell us how much is he awarding himself in a tax cut? How much is that tax cut he is awarding himself? For a job I guess he thinks is a job well done.

Miliband added: "How many of his other Cabinet colleagues have cheques in the post from the millionaire's tax cut? And how can he justify this unfairness in Britain 2012."

Defending his remarks on BBC Breakfast this morning, Miliband said he was "not making an issue of David Cameron's background or worth".

He added: "What I am saying is when you are making a tax decision as the prime minister, if you are cutting taxes for a very small section of the population and you are one of them, then actually you have a bit of a responsibility to come clean about that.

The Labour leader has also been accused of lying over how much tax millionaires will have to pay as a result of coalition plans.

"What do the government choose as its priority? A tax cut for millionaires, a tax cut for millionaires. Next April, Mr Cameron will give a tax cut of £40,000 to each and every millionaire in Britain," he said.

"Not just for one year but for each and every year. That is more than the average person earns in a year.

From next year the top rate of tax will be cut from 50p to 45p, for people earning one million pounds a year will save £42,295 a year. A change that Miliband used to hammer home his message that David Cameron had lurched to the right and abandoned the 'One Nation' Tory tradition.

But is it true? Many commentators on the right have acknowledged the strength of Miliband's speech, however the "tax cut" claim has provided them with a line of attack.

The Labour leader said "every millionaire" would receive a large tax cut, which is technically false as people who have £1m in the bank but only earn a fraction of that in income will not be getting a £42,295 tax break.

Fraser Nelson, the editor of The Spectator, quickly called Miliband on the claim, tweeting: "Okay, a lie: Miliband claims Cameron will be "writing a cheque" for £42,000 to each millionaire."

And Iain Dale, the Tory blogger turned LBC radio host said: "No Ed, only to people who EARN £1 million - not to EVERY millionaire. Can't stand this loose use of language, designed to hoodwink people."

The Labour Party has yet to respond to a request for clarification on the tax line in Miliband's speech.