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Time for a wealth tax to pay for the costs of the pandemic?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Morninglover, May 29, 2020.

  1. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    The already existing levy on business profits is corporation tax. Tax on share dividends would be avoidable by not paying any dividends and retaining the (already taxed) profit until a more suitable date.
    An avoidance free punishment of profitable business is difficult to implement.
    Kandahar likes this.
  2. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Eh? Why do you use the word punishment? It's about all being in it together rather than some excusing themselves from contributing because they can get away with it.

    To me the important aspects are:

    Everyone shares the burden in some way.
    Those who are most able to pay should pay more.
    No-one should make an unfair profit from what has happened when so many have lost.
    Individual incomes and jobs should be prioritised over the profits of companies.
    The good of the country should be prioritised over companies and super-rich tax dodgers.

    Of course it will be difficult and unfair in places and won't work out perfectly, but we can at least try to do the right thing rather than letting some get away with doing the selfish thing. We probably have a wave of job cuts to come too.

    Anyone can sit on the sidelines sneering "that won't work" as already seen in this thread.
    LiamD likes this.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I can't find a single post where anyone has said that anything won't work. Which post numbers did you have in mind?

    Plenty of posts disagreeing with what you think would be fair, but that's not the same as "sneering".
    Kandahar, phlogiston and needabreak like this.
  4. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    Already that calculation has become difficult.
    And now we have to define fair and unfair profit.
    Companies with no/low profits tend to cut jobs.
    The good of the company and wealth creating enterprises is a difficult equation to balance of even define.

    Whatever that is.

    I understand your generalities but translating them into a solution that works without unintended consequences is difficult and complex.
    Kandahar and needabreak like this.
  5. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Do you not recognise "try to do the right thing"? You have to start somewhere or anarchy and selfishness wins. Maybe you don't worry yourself with such matters.

    Of course, I haven't said any different, and there will be mistakes and some will gain unfair advantage, but we should at least try.

    Still I see no alternative suggestions of how best to pay for this.
  6. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    And as a member of the EU we could veto any such plans. Not now, of course.
    phlogiston likes this.
  7. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Kandahar and dumpty like this.
  8. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    I'm not rich enough for that to affect me, but I see your point. Plus a lot of the people who would pay the tax have not benefited from being paid to sit at home and do nothing. There are many people who are angry that some have been paid to go and sit on beaches and spread Corona, while they are working very long shifts trying to look after those who are ill with it. To make them pay, while those who have been on holiday while they've worked so hard, might upset them-in the same way most teachers are upset that some people have expected them to work all summer to 'make-up' for the time they've been 'off'.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  9. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    The benefits of sitting at home doing nothing are variable with all the warnings over the mental health consequences for a great many. Those of us who stayed at home as asked have helped to not spread the virus and are in the majority. An enforced break at home was not sought nor probably considered positive by many people, it seems to me the majority would much preferred to have been working rather than taking a "holiday" as you put it.

    Very few had a choice in what their role was in the lockdown period and while people may have variously made the most of the relative freedom of still going to work and others made the most of staying at home, I think it very invidious to suggest people:
    Those who have carried on working have been earning as normal, those who have been furloughed or not able to work may have received little or no money. Despite the suspicions of many in the ruling and managerial classes, the majority of workers would prefer to be working and earning. Instead they have stayed at home to prevent the spread of disease at not inconsiderable personal cost.
    phlogiston and lexus300 like this.
  10. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Whatever the commission might want, they could not force the change through if a member (& a major member like the UK at that) said 'no'. At the end we could have stayed outside a 'EU VAT zone' (should one be created) just as we did the eurozone if those countries in favour went ahead with it (which seems unlikely to me).
  11. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    The problem with all taxation is that it never solves the problem the tax was created for. For as long as Governments use virement with tax monies The problem will never go away.
    Perhaps the solution is that every adult pays a straight percentage of their income to cover all taxation? One payment, that is it. The wealthiest pay more but still the same percentage, no exemptions if you wish to keep your citizenship and or right of abode. Plus, full transparency as to where the money is spent.
  12. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Why shouldn't those with a higher income pay more? Otherwise the income tax is regressive, like a sales tax such as VAT.
  13. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Many pensioners already pay income tax along with all the other taxes. The only pension exempt from taxation is the state pension which is always below the tax threshold of £12500.
  14. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    35% of £10,000,000 is more that 35% of 100,000 is more than 35% of 10,000..........
  15. adultsocialcare

    adultsocialcare Occasional commenter

    I certainly agree there should be a wealth tax. The first thing that should happen is that anyone paid more than the PM in a publicly funded body like an academy or the BBC should be taxed at 100%. I'm disgusted that the Linekers of this world are STILL paid so much, millions,bythe public. Massive annual tax increases should be levied on all homes except the first, main home. All income should be taxed if you are a UK citizen, so the end of tax exiles like Branson should stop. Salaries and bonuses should be capped at a million a year, or suffer punitive taxes. Law enforcement for tax avoidance should be needed up with minimum five year jail time sentences.

    It will never happen though. The Tories are like Trump, quite happy to say one thing then betray the public the next. Just look how they voted in lower animal welfare and food standards last week, after all the hype about keeping standards better than the EU!!

    Just look at the repeated promises made over adult social care. Broken promises after broken promises. Consultation after consultation. Endless kicking the can down the road.
  16. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Out of interest how much does the PM get paid?
  17. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Well we might as well since if these threads are anything to go by no one is happy with the progressive income tax system we have and everyone wants someone else to pay more. Its great, I'd like you all to pay my bills too, even though I'm currently capable of doing so myself, but I don't have as much as some of you so give me your money while you're at it.
  18. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    The current basic salary taken by PM is £150,402 (although PM is entitled to more but doesn't take it). However that isn't the total remuneration of the post. It doesn't, for example, include the value of free housing provided. The Hutton review on Fair Pay in 2011 quoted a figure of just under £600,000 as the full "remuneration package", if you like. [Hutton Review of fair pay in the public sector]

    Back at the start of the Coalition government in 2010 comparisons with the PM's pay was weaponised to attack, in particular, the pay of LA chief executives. This stopped after Hutton concluded that such comparisons were fundamentally flawed and invalid because the PM's pay is not set according to market forces. Essentially there is only one PM post, there is no 'competition' or appointment process for it, and (although this wasn't his phrase) even if the post was totally unpaid ambitious politician's would still kill their grannies to get the job.

    Hutton's recommendation was accepted and comparisons with the PM's pay disappeared from the media: "...the Government should refrain from using the pay of the Prime Minister or other politicians as a benchmark for the remuneration of senior public servants, whose pay should reflect their due desert and be proportional to the weight of their roles and their performance"

    Hutton's conclusion is at para 1.26 in the report

    ...there is a trend to compare the salaries of all public servants with that of the Prime Minister which makes matters worse – and feeds the narrative. This measure has the advantage of simplicity, but is profoundly flawed:

    • Firstly, it does not capture the Prime Minister’s total remuneration – not least because David Cameron has chosen not to take the full salary to which he is entitled (£198,660). If the value of the Prime Minister’s living arrangements and allowances are included, his total remuneration would be significantly greater than even this higher salary: one estimate put it as over £580,000.

    • Secondly, and more importantly, the Prime Ministers’ pay is not objectively linked to the value of his job, or to the need to recruit and retain individuals. The rate is determined by politics more than by responsibility, (hence Prime Ministers are prepared to accept a considerable ‘political discount’ to their salary). The Prime Minister’s salary has no relation to labour markets. There is not a shortage of applicants and no job specification and there is no market or recruitment process for Prime Ministers. Hence any comparison with a job for which pay is set by reference to a need to recruit and retain in a market is an invalid one.
  19. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Many thanks, that is a very comprehensive response... I had no idea.
  20. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Thanks, and for the avoidance of doubt quoting Hutton does not mean I approve of MAT CEOs earning £400k or Lineker earning £2m or whatever the numbers are, as I was accused of last time I cited Hutton on this subject!
    needabreak likes this.

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