Thursday, September 20, 2012

Do you think the rich should pay their fair share of tax?

It's probably a bit of a no brainer.

Most people, except the rich, think it's perfectly reasonable to ask those who have vast stocks of wealth to pay their fair share in tax. At a time when most people on average earnings are struggling, haven't had a pay rise for years and see their wages buying less and less, the rich bleating about their tax burden is bound to grate. If you earn £40k, you'll pay some tax at 40%. If you are so rich that you pay capital gains tax on your multi million pound stock of assets, you only pay 28% - up in recent years by 10% because of the Liberal Democrats. If you are a billionaire, you can legally organise your affairs so that you pay minimal amounts of tax.

The idea that  you should pay a bit more if you live in a house worth over £2 million shouldn't be controversial to most people. That's enough to give you a very comfortable standard of living even after a modest tax.

Making the tax system fairer is a key aim of the Liberal Democrats and, in Government, we have shown that, even when we were only left with a couple of quid and half a packet of polos in the kitty by the last government, we can still cut taxes for the lowest paid. By next April, basic rate taxpayers will have had their tax cut by over £500 a year. What could you buy with £500? Four and a half months' season ticket on the train between Livingston and Edinburgh, a year's car insurance, a month's rent? School dinners for a couple of kids for the year. It's a significant amount of money. Nobody feels that they've just been given £500 because it's effect is spread out across the year and because they're struggling anyway, but they have been.

The Government has already started to tax the rich more, but there is much more that could be done.

A new Liberal Democrat campaign has been launched with a petition calling for fairer taxes.

It's making a big push for a Mansion Tax, saying:
All we want is for everyone to pay their fair share, so we're campaigning for the introduction of a "mansion tax" on property worth over £2million. This tax would effect only 0.1% of the population but would raise nearly £2billion a year. 
This would be much harder for the super-rich to dodge. After all, you can't hide a house offshore.
If you agree, you can sign here.

From a geekery point of view, it's interesting that the party seems to be using the same Nation Builder campaign software as the Yes Scotland campaign do. Although we are playing fairly and not implying that everyone who follows the campaign on Twitter supports it like Yes Scotland did with me.  

1 comment:

Douglas McLellan said...

I have a big issue with things like the term "fair share". What does that mean exactly?

Everyone paying a fair share could mean an equal share. All paying the same % of their income in tax. What is more fair than paying the same & as everyone else.

Or does fair share mean some arbitrary differing % on some arbitrary scale that is politically acceptable to the majority of voters.

I agree that the entire tax system is a mess and needs reform, clarity and fairness built in. A mansion tax on houses worth more than £2m strikes me as, again, a tax designed to be appealing to the majority of voters as opposed to a valid tax on economic activity.

What I don't get is how taxes are levied at every stage of economic cycles. I earn money and it gets taxed. I spend money and I am taxed. I save money and I am taxed. I invest money and I am taxed. I die and what wealth that has not been taxed gets taxed.

A fair tax system looks at what we need and looks to raise it from a wide and fair base as possible. Not asking those with more money to pay more just because they happen to have more.


Related Posts with Thumbnails