Giving into greed? I’d prefer fairness

Scan22Neil Monnery has temporarily stopped writing about his love-life to direct his attention towards Cllr Ian Gilbert and myself. Ian has two letters criticising him in yesterday’s Echo, which brings to mind that Oscar Wilde quote about there only being one thing worse than being written about.

The other letter, from former Labour councillor Denis Garne, demonstrates that Lib-Con accord is not just found at Westminster; Denis now kisses cheeks at Tory HQ in east Southend.

Whatever, I digress. Neil is vexed by my reminding voters of the tax cut for millionaires enacted by his Government. Neil’s argument mentions not a jot about fairness; he prefers to concentrate on tax take.

This, in itself, is illuminating. Are Liberal Democrats now abandoning the pretence of doing what is right in favour of what generates the most income?

However, his letter (admittedly it could have been hacked about by a sub-editor) is wrong in its essentials. The 50% tax band has been in place throughout this Parliament (up till this April) and so his comparisons with last year are not valid.

However, I am less interested in pedantic arguments about which years Neil was alluding to than to the principal of fairness. For me it is “from each according to their ability”. If this means that some millionaires’ loyalty to the UK is bounded by their unwillingness to pay their share then to them I say good riddance to bad rubbish. I suspect, though, that most will see the fairness in having those with broader shoulders bearing a bigger load.

After all, we are in this together, are we not?

2 Responses to Giving into greed? I’d prefer fairness

  1. Pingback: Cllr. Ware-Lane

  2. From the letter:

    Figures show 6,000 people paid the 50p tax rate, raising £6.7billion. In the previous tax year, when the rate was 40p, 16,000 people paid, raising £13.7billion.
    It isn’t rocket science. It is common sense and basic economics.

    Now of course higher rate tax payers tend to have good accountants and work for companies that know how to play the game. In the year before the rate went up, a lot of people took their bonuses early and got taxed at 40%. With the conservative announcement of the rate going down, in the year that the rate was 50% a lot of people then postponed their bonuses to the following year to get taxed at 45%.

    This sort of dodge is not rocket science – it’s “conman sense”. It is also greed and manipulating the system. If the rate had been left at 50%, they would eventually have had to have their bonuses taxed at 50% – or do without their bonuses.

    The figures quoted surely tend to indicate not people going abroad but people dodging tax. In the long-term though we might be better off without them. I doubt that many standard rate tax-payers have brought down a bank or driven a company into receivership (or subverted a parliamentary selection procedure!).

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