Alan H wrote:Interesting srticle in The New Statesman:
Considering the author considers himself to know economics, I'd say this was ignorant, rather than interesting. For example on his website, it says
STURDY BEGGARS are completely non-profit-making. All proceeds go towards future productions.
What it actually means is "STURDY BEGGARS tries to make a profit on each and every one of its productions, and uses those profits as capital to inject into future productions". We also are not told how much, if at all, the actors are paid, nor the structure of the company, but any payments they receive are indeed a distribution of profits, or else they are just another am-dram group (though there's nothing wrong with that). Their tax returns would reveal all.
, as well as hard work!
Stop weeping about the £600,000 you take home every year shrinking by a few thousand. It is offensive to the people who survive on a hundredth of that, says Alex Andreou.
The whole point of the tax reduction is to promote growth and jobs for the whole of society. The previous Labour government were "extremely relaxed" about it, and did not tax it for 13 years. They also promised no more boom and bust. Whatever happened to that?
What about actual figures? Let’s talk numbers.
I will be extremely generous. I will make the assumption that we live in a world where a talented, expensive accountant cannot create a dozen shell companies in exotic places to hide income.
You are not being generous, but mendacious. Hiding income is tax evasion and is illegal.
I will accept every assumption made
by John Redwood MP – the self-appointed chartered accountant of this Borg collective. I will use 2009-2010 confirmed HMRC figures
to avoid charges of manipulation or error.
The total number of taxpayers in the UK is just shy of 30 million. The top 1 per cent is, therefore, 300,000 people. Total income declared across the UK was £870bn. Of that, £121bn was made by the top 1 per cent. The total income tax received was £145bn, of which £40.5bn was contributed by this top-earning 300,000 people. This yields an effective average personal tax rate of 33.5 per cent.
So where is the other apparently missing 6.5%? Some of it reflects part of one's income charged at lower rates. The remainder largely represents government policy used to encourage certain actions. Eg Investment in job creating start-ups, or charitable giving. All approved or indeed created by the Labour government.
This leaves the top 1 per cent with an average annual personal income, after tax, of £268,000
. Over a quarter of a million, on average, each year. It might be “chicken feed” to Boris Johnson
, but it is a lot of money to most of us.
The additional insidious suggestion by David Cameron
, the cause of much mirth at Tory Conference, was that by choosing to tax this top slice less he was not gifting them a tax-break, because “when people earn money, it’s their money”.
Quite right. It is their money. Note that Cameron did not
say that they did not have an obligation to pay tax. He was responding to the menacity of Ed Miliband used outrageous spin to try to mislead the electorate. Being a millionaire himself (though he's never been in the commercial world.... ) he should be receiving his £40,000 cheque, shouldn't he? He just ducks all the journalists questions. Grrr!
The implication being that this money was not made using the work of low-paid people forced to claim benefits to supplement their income;
I would suggest to you that the vast majority do not, as this sentence implies, derive their income by effectively pinching money from other people by underpaying them. They may be fortunate, but they are not deriving their income by depriving others of theirs.
not made using the roads, airports and ports we all pay for;
Those roads also provide a livelihood to the millions of other people too. Everyone would suffer without roads. The rich are already paying a much larger proportion of the income in tax to allow the whole nation to prosper. And airports and ports are not funded by taxes, are they?
not made by all of us buying their goods and service; not made under the protection of the same police, fire and health services we all paid for.
Except that we don't all pay for them, do we? There is a sizeable proportion of people who pay no effective income tax at all. And this extends to many who earn above the national average. If the wealthy depend on the less wealthy to work for them, the less wealthy depend on entrepreneurs for their jobs. It works both ways.
No. This money magically came into existence out of the very same anatomical orifice of these “doers” and “risk-takers” out of which the sun, evidently, shines. A result of their entrepreneurship and get-up-and-go; nothing else.
If you don't have an argument, turn to pathetic and inaccurate analogy.
Theo Paphitis is an interesting case study – held up perpetually as an example of that archetype. A few months ago, he was asked on Question Time what motivates him. He said it was the will to create things, to grow his companies, to employ people, to make his mark. Ten minutes later the panel was discussing the top rate of tax. He said that if personal tax was increased on those making more than a million, he would up and leave the UK.
So, which is it? Pick one, Theo.
The fact that you can't reconcile these two factors shows how inadequate your analysis is. Go back to "shouting in the evenings" and leave economic policy to those who have some idea what they are talking about.
I don't speak for Theo, I can see exactly what he means. In common with many self-made people, he no longer needs to earn any extra money. He is (as it were) terminally wealthy: he won't ever spend all his wealth. Many such people are very generous, giving away large amounts of money. But it is altogether a different matter to create jobs and employment in a new business, only to have a disproportionate proportion taken off you.
You may be more saintly, but get a grip: we live in the real world, and your airy-fairy waffle will not raise more tax to fund public spending.
You cannot claim the mantle of wealth-trickling sainthood, while clinging on to every obscene penny with bony, Scrooge-like fingers, under threat of imminent departure for Barbados. You cannot claim that your wealth is the result of your hard work alone, while consistently calling it “my kids’ inheritance” on Dragon’s Den. What will they have done to deserve their share of your £170m estimated worth, when you’re no longer around?
If he wants to give his own money to his children, then that's up to him. He does, however, raise considerable amounts for charity. The tax collector is already going to take 40% of his money. It's not your money. Go out and make a fortune and then give it all the HM Treaury- I'll even give you the address. But nobody does. Voluntary tax paid is a few thousand a year. Where are all your altruistic socialists who have had a lucky break? They might give it away to charity (Lord Sainsbury, say) but they don't give it to the Government. Why should they? Why would they?
None of us, including Cameron or Paphitis, would look at a couple in which one partner said “you’re at home raising the kids – no more hand-outs, you leech” with anything other than disgust. None of us would look at a wealthy family which refused to pay for its kids’ education or kicked out granddad when he became ill and think “bravo – tough love”. All of us admired how a community came together, took time off work, with no thought for their own self-interest, to look for a missing six-year-old.
At what point, precisely, do these qualities of selflessness, compassion and solidarity cease to be attractive? At what point do the rules change and we go from individual, couple, family or community to UK plc? Tax is simply the state’s expression of these qualities. A recognition that a big fortune is built, at least in part on good fortune, be it of birth, education, health or position.
This just pathetic. The State does not have a personality of its own. All you are saying is that you want someone else's money spent on something you want to happen. And Theo Paphitis, like the other Dragons, did not build their fortunes because of their birth, education, health or position. If anything, they succeeded in spite of having none of those supposed advantages (except, like most of use, good health.)
The idea that everyone’s tax pays for a tiny percentage of benefit scroungers, is not only manifestly absurd, but damaging to the nation and destructive to one’s own morale. Isn’t it better to assume that your tax bought a wheelchair, educated a talented but disadvantaged kid, saved a diabetic, paid for a great teacher – which it does the vast majority of the time?
Certainly public spending is necessary, but wouldn't the best lesson to draw be that a large proportion do not buy into your socialist dream? And to think creatively how one might work with the grain, rather than against it?
So, stop moaning about percentages. Stop weeping about the £600,000 you take home every year shrinking by a few thousand. It is offensive to the people who survive on a hundredth of that. Count your blessings and help those who have not had such good fortune; not to the tune of whatever percentage you consider fair, but as much as you can. Do the right thing. It is the only meaningful way to “make your mark”.
So here we have it: the socialist solution: To each according to their need, from each according to their ability. Socialism has failed the world over. To ignore his achievement in creating or maintaining thousands of jobs, by providing millions of people with the goods and services they want, besides millions of pounds for the Exchequer is myopic. The trouble with socialism, is that you soon start to run out of other people's money. Thank goodness your hands are nowhere near the levers of power.