The Art Newspaper has this funny interpretation of the new UK tax bracket that takes 50% of income:
The UK budget announced by Chancellor Alistair Darling on 22 April should have very little direct effect on the art market, according to Christie’s tax expert Susan Johnson. She said the market could conceivably suffer from April next year, when Britain’s high-rate taxpayers move into a new 50% tax bracket, reducing discretionary spending on items such as art. But this effect was far less important than the success—or otherwise—of British and international policies in returning the global economy to steady growth.
In other words, if the economic crisis continues much longer, there’s going to be very little for them to tax nevermind spending it on art.
UK budget: no major effect on art market predicted (The Art Newspaper)