Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Labour should promise to tax the rich

       According to a report in the Guardian, Mandelson has voiced his support for Balls`s economic plans, and is confident he will not "give the Tories the economic ammunition they want to base their election campaign on". We have already been informed that some on Labour`s front bench, including the shadow chancellor, are very close to the corporate sector in the City, and such approbation would suggest the rumours are true. Mandelson`s scaremongering , as in the Blairite years, is based on the fallacious idea that Labour will lose the election if they upset the rich! It`s like saying they must avoid annoying the Tories, in case Cameron goes red and calls Miliband "red Ed"!
      Labour must, apparently, not fall into the Tory trap of threatening a "tax bombshell", as if any idea of wealth distribution was the last thing the electorate wants. The Labour leadership will hopefully have learnt from the surge in support for them after the "energy freeze" announcement, and know that radical proposals which are aimed at protecting the consumer, and making the rich pay more, go down well amongst ordinary people who`ve had to endure the impact of austerity policies rather more than the well-off. Income tax increases are necessary if Britain`s 28th position in the equality league table is to improve, and there`s little reason why they should not be accompanied by a Tobin tax on financial transactions and a bank levy.
    Do the vast majority of voters object to the return of the 50% rate for earnings over £150K? Of course not, so why would they object to 45% being paid by those earning  over £100K, or 43% over 75K, not to mention 60% over £200K, 75% over £500K, and 90% over£1m? When the average earner takes home £25K or thereabouts, such temporary measures will attract electoral support because of their fairness.
   Closing loopholes, so tax avoidance becomes less of a problem, must be easier than the coalition`s half-hearted attempts would suggest, starting with tightening up laws, so it becomes illegal to devise, partake in, advertise, recommend, sell or make profit from, schemes which entail the correct amount of tax, according to the spirit of the law, being avoided.
 The opportunity for Labour politicians to form a government does not come often, so why "tinker" when a possible alternative is "transform"?

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