Monday, 27 January 2014

Predictable objections to 50p tax

It`s noticeable that all the objections to Labour`s proposal to raise the top level of income tax are coming from people who will actually have to pay it, and that the objections themselves are mostly absurd. Take for instance the objections made to the proposal, by the 24 company leaders in their knee-jerk letter to the Telegraph:  it is a "backward step" and will "discourage business investment in the UK". Didn`t we hear almost exactly the same words when they were faced with paying their employees a minimum wage? What is more disappointing, therefore, is Balls`s reaction; rather than standing up to such alarmist nonsense from the obscenely rich, he meekly admits to the rate`s temporary nature. 
    Why not point out that, as Labour Chancellor, he would address the disturbing fact the Britain is currently 28th out of 34 in the inequality league table, by not only increasing taxation on the income of the rich, but on their property and land too? Whilst on the subject, he should be promising to tax unearned income, especially that of profiteering landlords, whose rent increases have hurt not only the tenants but the Treasury as well, through increased pressure on the housing benefit bill.
     Rich tycoons are quick to object when faced with a small increase in their tax bill, but see nothing wrong in paying wages so low their workers have to claim benefits to make ends meet. Most of them, it seems, see nothing wrong, either, in hiring unscrupulous accountants to devise scams to ensure the payment of the correct amount of tax is avoided. Even in Thatcher`s day the top rate of tax  was 60%, and with today`s state-owned health, education and transport provision in need of extra resources, Labour should have had the bottle to pledge such a level this time.

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