One issue Ive been meaning to comment on is the current flap about the 50p tax. To the right wing its a silly well meaning socialist tax that costs the country more money than it earns. Chancellor George Slimy sorry! George Osborne ;D says he has it under reviewand thinks its temporary. Reading between the lines I think the Tories would like to ditch it as a concession to their Eton buddies for going into coalition with a load of fluffy liberals. Unfortunately those fluffy liberals would likely walk out of government rather than sign up to such an agreement. Currently the Treasury has a review on-going to try and work out how much revenue the 50p tax actually raises and its promised that the Torys position will be based on this reviews outcome.
My position is that yes if it comes out showing that it raises sod all in tax, yes maybe we should get rid of it…and replace it with something stronger! The top 10% of the UKs wealthy own 50% of the nations wealth and the top 1% own 21% of it, so clearly we just aren’t taxing them enough.
Now, as I stated in prior article, we cannot tax ourselves out of the current economic predicament. Some rise in general taxation, some austerity measures across the board are all part of the package of measures. But certainly, getting the rich to pay more tax is an important part of the solution. A higher supertax for wealthy individuals is one option, or a simple wealth tax would be another idea. More importantly, the key argument the Tories put forward is that if you tax the rich too heavily theyll flee abroad (Question, Can we pick the country they flee too? I propose Somalia, they’d like it there, nobody pay’s taxes…tho they do have to pay for the AK-47’s and body guards :D). Phil Greed (sorry typo there its Green :>> ) already runs Top-shop, and many other UK stores from Monaco and dodges maybe a billion or so a year in tax. Again there is a simple solution here, tax such non-doms more rigorously. Require that anyone with a British passport (which I assume includes Phil Green, and if he doesnt why is tax dodging foreigner a government advisor?) has to file for income tax in the UK regardless of where he lives. Or than anyone regardless of where they live or work who earns more than, say £0.5m a year in the UK also has to file for and pay income tax (based on his UK based income).
Similarly most of these tax havens where tax dodging is performed form are UK dependences. i.e. you the British tax payer help support the very regimes that are helping billionaires dodge British tax. That needs to change. Only the brits would allow this to happen. If all the Irish billionaires moved out to the Arran Islands and set themselves up to pay no tax, wed have the Irish army (both of them!) the Navy (see our flagship here) and airforce in like a shot. The UK needs to make it clear that they want to remain part of the UK or commonwealth they have to get with the program, else London will simply wash its hands of these islands, cease to support them in any way (insist that they pay for coast guard support, policing, health care etc., let it be known they UK no longer feels obliged to protect these nations from invasion or attack (so theyll have to pay for an army), nor their many flag of convince cargo ships from pirates), and begin to make it difficult to do business (a penalty tax from the UK on anyone who holds assets in these tax havens, ineligibility for government contracts, or employment (like Green!), forbid sponsorship or participation in major national events, etc.) from these Islands. This would eventually make it harder for these states to maintain they’re low tax environment and make it more difficult for tax dodgers to take advantage of the situation.
Even those tax dodgers here in the UK will often have an army of lawyers working for them finding loopholes in the tax law. A simply heavy penalty tax to punish these guys when the lawyers screw up (which inevitably they occasionally do) and as the lib dems suggested today more rigorously inspecting the tax returns of the rich will go along way towards increasing the taxes raised by HM treasury.
Either way, as Ive stated before its in the wealthiest peoples own interest to pay more tax, as they have the most to loose in the even of a major financial crisis resulting from a sovereign debt crisis. There will be no bail out this time!