Monday, September 17, 2007

The hammer of the rich

Ming Campbell, leader of the misleadingly named Liberal Democrats, has pledged to raise taxes for the better off:

The Liberal Democrat leader made an unashamed pledge to "redress the balance" and impose new taxes on households earning more than £70,000 a year. About two million households would be affected under the plans.

The Lib Dems stress that the tax rises, many of them to be debated today by the party's conference in Brighton, will fund tax cuts for lower and middle-class people.

The Lib Dems' Treasury team also released a YouGov survey suggesting that 64 per cent of people supported higher taxes on the rich, with only 25 per cent against.

Asked whether millionaires and people who earned more than £100,000 paid their fair share of tax, 57 per cent said they did not while 32 per cent said they did.
There's a surprise - when polled, people said they wanted to be given more of other people's money. There's more:
In surprisingly robust language, he insisted that the wealthy had done "too well" under Labour, and it was now time to "redress the balance".

"I think it's right that people on lower and middle incomes who have suffered so badly should be allowed some redress, and the people at the top end in this country have done very well — indeed they have done too well.

"Because, extraordinarily under a Labour Government, the gap between rich and poor has become greater."

Sir Menzies stressed that nine out of 10 people would be better off under the plans.

Asked if this meant "hammering" the other 10 per cent, he said: "Yes."

Later, Ed Davey, his chief of staff, confirmed that household income of about £70,000 was the "break even" point above which people would start paying more tax under the plans.

Taking 4p off the basic rate of income tax and scrapping council tax would benefit the "vast majority" of people in the South-East — where incomes tend to be higher — as well as the rest of the country, he claimed.

However, the "super rich" should expect to be hit hard.

"They will pay more under a Liberal government. They will pay an awful lot more," he said. "We will be the party of tax cuts for the many. The Tories will be the party of tax cuts for the few."
While we have a culture - political, media and individual - that reacts to people who have made money through merit, innovation and hard work by wanting to take from them the fruits of their labours, we're doomed to steady decline.

Instead, we should admire their efforts and their successes, and seek to emulate them.

That's the recipe for am energetic, forward-looking, successful country.


Anonymous said...

But wasn't it a rousing success last time you guys taxed the rich into obvlivion? Or into exile, whatever.

Peter Risdon said...

Yes, you can see why the Illiberal Plutocrats are trying to revive it.

Anonymous said...

It's not so much that the rich have got richer, because both rich and poor have done so. The difference is that in the case of the poor their income and social housing provision have been squeezed by competition from newly arrived immigrants. But it's easier to blame the rich than to acknowledge the truth of what has really happened.