There is an undercurrent in present political life that says the rich must pay their way at a time of economic crisis. There are indeed still all too many socialists who wrongly think that if they just put the tax rates on the rich up the money will come pouring in and all our problems are solved. They do not see the queues to go to live in Switzerland, to relocate businesses abroad and to hire better tax lawyers and accountants to find ways round the higher tax rates.
I have a modest proposal for the Conservatives. They should go out on a policy that they intend to make the rich pay more tax. After all, in the 1980s, Tory tax policy led to the rich paying much more tax, and paying a much bigger proportion of total income tax raised. That Tory government did it by cutting tax rates. More rich stayed here. More rich came here. More rich paid more tax here. More ventured their money, created jobs and businesses and paid more tax. That is what we need to do again.
I also think we need to cut back on the large number of very highly paid people in the puiblic sector. It would be a welcome cut of public spending to thin out the public sector rich list, to get rid of the phoney bonuses and the fancy jobs. There are too many quangos and quango chiefs, too many mega salaries in low risk public corporations, too many overpaid public sector bankers.
So here’s a great Conservative policy for enterprise and for growth, for deficit reduction and for social justice – let’s soak and sack the rich in a way which will make us all more prosperous. Let’s do it by cutting tax rates and quangos.