The government will increase its top rate of income tax to a higher than expected 50 percent from next year, Chancellor Alistair Darling said on Wednesday as he delivered the government's annual budget.
The tax band had originally been due to rise to 45 percent from 40 percent in April 2011 as Britain seeks to claw back lost tax revenue caused by a deep recession.
The 50-percent rate will apply to any income above 150,000 pounds.
"In November, I announced a new rate of income tax of 45 percent on incomes above 150,000 pounds -- the top one percent of taxpayers," Darling said in his budget speech.
"In order to help pay for additional support for people now, I have decided that the new rate will be 50 percent and will come in from next April -- a year earlier."