Wednesday, 23 October 2013

London`s economic apartheid

Economic apartheid, with cleaners, teachers, nurses and doctors bussed into the capital every day, is the not-so-long term inevitability facing London, unless something changes. (London can become home only to the rich, 20/10/13) With "many of London`s citizens becoming involuntary exiles", following the government`s policies encouraging "economic cleansing" of the areas of London the rich deem suitable for them to invest in, and perhaps inhabit, new policies are urgently required. The recent attempts by Osborne and Johnson to allow "Chinese banks to trade in London through branches" (George Osborne in China-wide-eyed, innocent and deeply ignorant, 20/10/13) will only lead to yet more London property falling into greedy, foreign millionaires` hands.
Your editorial`s tax proposals make sense but don`t go nearly far enough; even the IMF opines that this country`s rich have escaped lightly during recent austerity years, and Britain is clearly seen by the world`s rich as "easy pickings". Indeed, the "unsayable" needs to become "sayable" not only about privatisation, but about tax rates, and it`s Labour who needs to be doing the "saying"! If energy prices are deemed "freezable" for twenty months, why not house prices and rents? Compulsory purchase of empty properties should be considered too, as should a new sliding scale of income tax, starting with a new band of 45% for £75-140,000 earners, 50% 140K+, 60% 180K+ etc. ( Similar variations could apply to corporation tax, with the lowest rates for companies paying correct amounts to HMRC, and living wages to their workforce, viable apprenticeship schemes etc).

For a city mayor and government to allow such a situation to develop in London is shameful, but hardly unexpected, given their backgrounds and ideology; for Labour to fail to respond now would be a disgrace! 

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