The Coalition is soaking the rich anyway

 Great news for people who want to soak the rich. Anyone on 52% Income Tax and NI is paying much more when you take into account  tax on their typical purchases.

       The following are the marginal rates of tax if a well paid person wants to pay for something,as well as paying the income tax –

Normal purchase of an item carrying 20% Vat:                    61.6%

Purchase of petrol or diesel                                                           84.0%

Purchase of BBC licence fee or Council car park ticket    100.0%

Payment of Council Tax                                                                100.0%

                 Indeed, arguably the marginal tax rate in the case of paying other taxes is much higher. In order to pay £1 of Council Tax the higher earner has to earn £2.08 gross to make the payment: a marginal rate of 208%.  If a higher income person has to pay £2500 a year of Council tax on their executive home,  they need a gross income of £5200 just  to pay the tax. Tax is usually by far the biggest item in any higher earner’s budget.

               A higher earner using a car might  pay £3000 in petrol tax and car tax, with perhaps another £1000 in congestion charges and state parking fees. That would be another £8300 gross income needed  to pay those taxes.

               The UK tax system makes sure the better off pay much more, by taxing and taxing again.

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  1. Gary
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    The rich may be getting taxed more, in theory, but in practice the poor saver and pensioner, who cannot afford to pay the financial consultants to avoid tax, are being hammered by the tax called inflation.

    This govt and the BoE have chosen the immoral option.

    • Robert K
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely disagree on your first point. The “rich” pay the substantial majority of tax in the UK. But I agree with your second point – inflation is taxation in disguise. The more people who remember and repeat that phrase the better. So all together now: “INFLATION IS TAXATION IN DISGUISE, INFLATION IS TAXATION IN DISGUISE, and so on…”.

  2. Simon
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Firstly, a marginal rate of over 100% makes no sense for any definition of ‘marginal rate’ I learned in my economics degree, unless your post tax income _reduces_ for every extra pound you earn.

    If you have to earn £3 extra before tax to pay for a £1 item, your marginal rate is:

    £3 / (£3 + £1) * 100 = 75%

    So… to your substantive point: somebody at the highest marginal rate of tax i.e. those earning earning £150,001, giving a take home pay of £90,600 – four and a half times the national average (mean) take home pay – might buy an expensive car, might have an expensive house, might drive into London sometimes or park in a station car park.

    After paying for their council tax, and petrol tax, VED, the would only be left with:

    £90,600 – £2500 – £3000 – £1000 = £84,100.

    or four and a quarter times the national mean take home pay (at 7% tax on take home pay).

    Meanwhile, our average earner, with an average car, and an average house, who parks in the Oracle car park once a fortnight, would be left with:

    £19900 – £1250 – £1500 – £50 = £17100.

    (14% tax on take home pay)

    So all those extra taxes are regressive, hitting average earners harder than high earners.


    • uanime5
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Good to see a poster with some sense. Someone needs to stand up to politicians who only support the rich and deliberately lie to the public.

      • Robert K
        Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        This comment is getting close to troll territory.
        If there is any deliberate lying on this site, I have yet to see it from JR. Quite the reverse.
        If you have a point worth making, please try to make it without using unsubstantiated abuse.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 9, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          Would deliberately mislead be better?

        • Electro-Kevin
          Posted October 9, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

          Worse is the intimation that the rest of us ‘posters’ have no sense.

          Uanime5 frequently says things that don’t stack up but we don’t get nasty with him/her about it.

          • uanime5
            Posted October 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

            Can you provide some examples please.

          • Electro-Kevin
            Posted October 10, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

            How about this thread for a start ?

    • Tim
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      All taxation is immoral and legalised theft by successive Governments. The system needs root and branch reform after the 14 years of sneaky introduction of numerous stealth/green taxes. We are taxed at every turn to pay for a bloated state. Taxed when we earn it, spend it, invest it, save it. Some of it is tax on top of tax (petrol!). Tax revenue raised in line with RPI, pensions by CPI!
      No Government can ever spend our money more wisely than ourselves as too many politicians have massive egos and think it their right to keep taking money from us for non priorities e.g. foreign aid/EU contributions. £25 billion raised (borrowed) to give away to foreign causes.
      There should be legislation banning politicians from spending beyond what is raised in taxation.

      • Robert K
        Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        If you look at the evil history of taxation, its roots are in state-sponsored violence, i.e. warfare. The big early jump in income tax was to fund the First World War. It was kept at wartime levels after 1918 and jumped again after the Second World War. I have come to regard the welfare state as the direct consequence this thirty-year period of vicious and readily avoidable conflict. Having wrecked national prosperity, having led millions to slaughter and having allowed the population and fabric of the country to be ripped to shreds, it seemed the only moral thing to do was for the state to step in to rebuild in a new and moral way. In fact, the reverse was true. Without that conflict, who knows what liberty and prosperity we would be enjoying now.

      • DBC Reed
        Posted October 9, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        The old tax is theft number and we could spend it better ourselves.Really? Most tax is payment for services: defence;roads;education etc.Do you really want to drill every month and spend weeks on manoeuvres with a local militia in order to defend yourself and your country?Or mend the road outside you house? Or home-school your children?Not only do you get huge economies of scale with the State ,what you are charged is strictly proportional to what you can afford(Unlike private-sector prices which are invariant: Warburtons bread cost the same to the rich man in his castle and the poor man at his gate.)

        • Single Acts
          Posted October 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          I would not have to drill myself, or mend the road myself, or home school my kids. Similarly, I don’t grow my own food currently.

          Economies of scale with the state? You are seriously arguing the state is efficient? Really?

          As for the proportional stuff, I buy what I can afford and don’t expect anyone else to subsidise my occasional stupid behaviour.

          And if it comes to national defence, I would feel a lot more comfortable with a Swiss style ‘gun-in-every-house’ than the current disarmed populace. Ever wonder why the Nazis didn’t invade Switzerland in WW2? Too difficult.

    • Single Acts
      Posted October 10, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Is it worth mentioning Mr High Earner is paying £59,000 in tax whilst Mr Average Earner is paying £13,000?* Should we also include 11% Employers NI (just a hidden tax on emploees of course) HE pays another £16,500, where as AE pays £3630 bringing their totals to £75,900 and £16,700. HE paying nearly £76K and you argue he is undertaxed??

      Now if you make the point that people should be taxed once rather than twice (ie pre or post income not both), we can probably agree, albeit if less is better, wouldn’t zero be best of all?

      (The figures are not entirely correct as one has to take into account that various starting points for 40% tax etc. It is hard to work out exactly the tax you pay. This is not coincidence)

    • sm
      Posted October 10, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Consider the numbers if you have very small interest income declining capital and no state benefits.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      I did some calculations of my own. If someone is on a low income they would pay the 20% rate of tax and 12% NI, or 32% tax in total. This means they need to earn £1.67 to pay £1 of Council tax. Thus if you pay taxes at 52% everything is 23% more expensive than if you were paying taxes at 32%.

      Of course given that most people who pay taxes at 52% earn about 4 times (300%) the salary of those who pay the 32% rate they are significantly better off than those who pay the lower rates of tax.

      So 23% more cost for 300% more salary. It seems that the rich are not being taxed too heavily after all.

      Reply: there is Council Tax benefit for people on low incomes

      • sm
        Posted October 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        Council Tax benefit is available if you have low family income and family savings <£16k.

  3. lifelogic
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Indeed even at the 20% & 40% + NI bands effective rates are very high. Some expenses needed in order to work such as child care and travel to and from work are not tax allowable.

    Someone might spend £50 per week getting to work (often mainly petrol and VED tax)and £100 per week getting some childcare (again taxed as income). They then need to earn perhaps £250 PW just to cover these essential cost of working. So perhaps half the week worked for no benefit at all. The council tax, BBC tax, over high water rates and energy taxes and the rest all still to pay.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      The average worker pays perhaps £7K in NI and income tax. I would put a cap on this of perhaps £100K. So if you pay £100K PA to the government you have to pay no more – you are already paying more than 14 times the average and probably pay for private schools and medicine anyway. £100K is quite a lot just to have your bins emptied 25 times a year. Also no need to do a tax return just post in your £100K cheque to HMRC.

      I would also put a cap on inheritance tax say £200K or allow people to pay an agreed sum in advance to cover potential liabilities.

      This would make the UK the place to be for the rich and would benefit all as a result and generating thousand of jobs.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 9, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        So the rich get a tax cut and everyone else gets a high rate of tax. Your level of greed really is astonishing.

        You’re also repeating the lie that rich people bring jobs. Companies bring hundreds of jobs, the rich only want people to look after their gardens.

        Reply: if you tried listenign to other people occasionally, you would kinow that I want lower income tax rates for people on lower incomes, or wish to take them out of tax altogether.

        • uanime5
          Posted October 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          I was replying to lifelogic, whose £100K cap would have been a tax cut for those who pay more than £100K in taxes. I felt this was greedy.

          • Robert
            Posted October 10, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

            No , just the politics of envy!

      • Bazman
        Posted October 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        The rich will generate thousands of jobs? Care to specificity tell us how? By cleaning their yachts and tidying their gardens? How many jobs have been created by Russian oligarchs in London? Not many I bet. If you understand these people you will know they do not want share anything. Another point is that many became rich and stay rich because of Britain’s infrastructure and stable government. Why do you think there is so many wealthy Russians here and so many wanting to come here?
        You are basically just an apologist for the rich and I suspect believe what these wealthy people tell you. 99% of the population have no say or lobbyists for their cause. The rich having many politicians fighting their corner. A large number of rich people see themselves as hard don by because there is richer people. This is real envy and not the childish envy many on this site talk about.
        Inheritance is getting money for nothing and is a very fair tax supported by the majority of people who will never be fortunate enough to pay it.

        • Robert K
          Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          The bit that your logic misses is this: the money owned by other people is theirs, not yours.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 9, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

            All property is theft. And of course it is.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 9, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        The rich (with my plan above) would be paying 14 times what the average worker pays for probably fewer services – is that not enough – I want lower taxes and more jobs all round for everyone.

        • Robert K
          Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          Good answer

        • uanime5
          Posted October 9, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          I trust you also want the salaries of the rich capped at 14 times that of the average worker. If they’re only going to pay 14 times the tax they shouldn’t get more than 14 times the salary.

          • Robert
            Posted October 10, 2011 at 10:36 am | Permalink


          • lifelogic
            Posted October 10, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

            Why taxes should be to provide services they pay far more that the average and in general use fewer state services.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 9, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

          Lower taxes equals more jobs? Explain?

          • Bazman
            Posted October 9, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

            I’m a fat F09ker heavyweight.I can’t help it! I Like me bitter. So tell me how this is possible?

          • lifelogic
            Posted October 10, 2011 at 8:18 am | Permalink

            Simple the less tax a business pays the more they have to invest in their businesses and the less tax their employees pay the more they are willing to work at rates at which still work to expand the business and for the employee.

            The alternative gives more to the state less to the business or workers – it produces almost nothing of value perhaps one or two jobs for paper pushing parasites, a few more pointless wars, the pointless HS2, or silly PV cells on people roofs.

          • alan jutson
            Posted October 10, 2011 at 8:56 am | Permalink


            Seems like you keep barmaids/staff employed then, also brewery delivery drivers, those who brew beer, those who print the invoices, those who clean the offices etc

            See how it works if you keep more of your own money to spend. We could all keep more people in work doing productive things.

            The state also gets its share as well in the form of taxes (vat, income tax) on all these services and peoples earnings, to spend on the sorts of services we all want and like.
            In addition we have: beer duty, diesel duty, road fund licence, Council tax etc

          • Bazman
            Posted October 10, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

            This argument is simplistic pants. How many peo0le think. Oh! I won’t do anymore overtime as I have to pay more tax? Assuming they want to do overtime and the rate paid by the employer makes then want to do it? Many employers do not pay time and half so can ram it, as far as I am concerned. What makes you think they will invest in the company more. They may just take the profits and pay poverty wages as many do.
            As I have pointed out before parliament would be just a talking shop if there was no state officials to uphold the laws passed and to say the state in itself does not create wealth is just plain wrong and simplistic too. State workers pay taxes too and provide vital services. Your fantasy church was pretty much burned down by the banking scandal. Blaming the state and the countries workforce is an old Tory trick and a lie.
            The inequality in this country is immense and tax cuts for the rich will do nothing to change this and to get a tax cut you have to have some income. You are waiting for Santa if you believe the rich will solve all our problems.

  4. alan jutson
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    The simple truth John.

    The Tax System is designed and meant to be confusing, with different rates on different things, with different allowances, for different people, different businesses, it makes it but almost impossible to calculate a true rate of Tax.

    Fla rate tax is a good argument against complication.

    The simple fact is that Tax is too high, costs far too much to collect, and thus much is wasted on redistribution with even further complicated rules and allowances.

    Without running a simple cash book for a complete years expenditure, listing every item purchased and its tax rate, no one knows exactly how much tax they pay.

    One thing is for sure, some of those countries with a low percentage rate of tax take of GDP seem to be doing rather better, and growing rather faster than us at the moment. Is that a clue ?

  5. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    If only we could find a government that stopped spending too much of other people’s money, these arguments about tax would be less divisive. Unfortunately, it is clearly evident that there is not one of the major parties that has any intention of so doing.

    • Bob
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      One more reason not to vote for the major parties.

  6. Bruce
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    It’s not 52% including NI at top rate of tax, there is also Employer’s National Insurance paid by the employer at nearly 14%. Add another 14% taxation to these figures.
    At the top rate out of £1 you keep around 34% and then spend 20% VAT so you actually buy 80% of 34p or around 28p of goods. the government get the 72p. So a company making fluffle valves and selling them at £1 has to sell around 4 before its employees can afford one.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Wrong. Only those who earn over £150,000 need to sell 4. The lower wage employees will be paid at the 20% tax rate.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 9, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        20% income tax but plus NI for employees and employers of about another 22% approx in total.

  7. lola
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Quite. And the ratios are no less dire for 20% rate taxpayers. In effect a tax rate of 50% + equates to a real rate of 100% as you have spend double the time earning a living just to pay the tax. Is it any wonder that the UK has been spending its capital to maintain its standard of living?

  8. Damien
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Ideally I would like to see a simplified tax regime based on flat taxes for income and corporation tax with no exemptions and other devices to reduce the agreed rate. The arguments for this are well rehearsed but it would need political will and a complete rethink on how public services are paid for. The public would overwhelmingly support lower tax rates.

    Senators McCain and Hogan are promoting legislation that would allow US corporations to repatriate $1.4 trillion off-shore profits back to the US at a nominal rate of 8.75% as opposed to the current rate of 35%. This would be even lower than the usual rate of corporation tax in Eire of 12.5%. The US is also looking at a simplified tax code.

    Is there any possibility that we could have lower taxes and a simplified tax code and at the same time have a balanced budget?

    • uanime5
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Wouldn’t it be better require US companies to pay tax on their offshore profits to discourage them from offshoring in the first place, rather than let them pay taxes at a lower rate?

  9. Gary
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    For me, this short article was the most understandable explanation of the cause of this crisis, that had not yet become apparent then. When I read it ten years ago, Kasriel was predicting what was to come in the economy and he was almost alone.

    It contains the lessons that we should have learned long ago, and will hopefully learn now. Unfortunately , there is a powerful elite who will do anything , including inflate away our money, to preserve the status quo of their monopoly institutions.

  10. Nick
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    You’ve forgotten the big one, capital gains tax and corporation tax.

    It’s the something for nothing government that you’re part of that’s the issue.

    You want 50% of the profits, but take none of the risks or do any of the work.

    Then even with what little is left, you take a huge slice of the rest as inheritance tax.


    How are you getting on with those debt figures that you promised? How much does the government owe on the state pension?

  11. Francis Irving
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Would be much more interested in these calcs allowing for rate of flow of money. It isn’t a fixed pool, it is the speed and nature of consequential activity that matters. Private vs public is a very dated argument. Both can be good or evil.

  12. Mark
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Sir James Mirrlees calculated that the effective marginal rate on top tax payers inclusive of indirect taxes on their spending such as VAT and duties averages 63.7%.

  13. Acorn
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    The OECD has a 2008 paper on trying to come up with a “total tax wedge”. That is combining the income tax wedge with the consumption tax wedge. It is a bit heavy but worth the read.,3746,en_2649_34533_44993463_1_1_1_1,00.html .

    The bit you want in the list is “Consumption Taxation as an Additional Burden on Labour Income (pdf, 230kB).

    You have to pay for the “Taxing Wages” report, but the press release has some snippets.,3746,en_21571361_44315115_47822637_1_1_1_1,00.html .

  14. uanime5
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    What utter rubbish. Everyone has to pay the same for VAT, petrol, and licences fees. Thought the unemployed don’t have to pay council tax everyone else does.

    Another example of the rich trying to convince everyone how hard up they are because they only have a disposable income of £80,000 after taxes.

    Hey John why didn’t you show what percentage of a person’s income is spent on taxes for someone on minimum wage and someone who earns £200,000 per year? Could it be because someone on minimum wage would spend a greater part of their income on taxes?

    Reply: On the contrary the rich rightly pay much more of the VAT, and a b igger proportion of their income, as there is no VAT on the basics which form a larger share of budgets of people on lower incomes.

  15. Derek Green
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    A detailed examination of the effects of all forms of taxation on “Mr/Mrs Average” will show just how ridiculously misguided many of the electorate are to support any form of socialism. It is such a parasitic philosophy.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, it is not even in the interest of the poor, but it is maintained by Labour/Liberals and even some Tories, the BBC, some charities, some lawyer and many unions. Exploiting people’s base emotions – mainly envy – for their personal interests.

  16. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Tax raises an awful lot of philosophical questions:

    1. What is it spent on? Or in other words, what is tax for? Everyone is agreed that defence, police and personal safety are OK. Let us be generous and include the National Health. Also the law courts based on criminal and civil common law too. Administrative costs should be level with those of Oxfam or the Tear Fund. Her Majesty sets a really good example here.

    2. Why should I care about the people who are without stuff? Nobody is asking, let alone answering this question. Massive taxation is most certainly NOT based on some kind of muffled Christianity where St Paul is completely definite, for just one Bible writer: “If a man does not work, neither shall he eat.” Widows should not be put on the roll until they are 60. Otherwise they will go about chatting and stirring up trouble. Rich or poor, it is all the same to me. God and Mammon. Without Christianity, though, what is the motive? (Muslims pay NO TAX AT ALL in Dubai).

    3. The State is the last organisation to engage in entertainment. It is hopeless in the sphere of education too. Hopeless. Public Parks and so on are excellent. But the Council Officials who run them are simply taking the mickey with their local taxes (Christopher Booker in the Telegraph today).

    Far too easily people leap to the Moral High Ground on this one. Let them answer the questions above please before they steal any more of our money.

  17. REPay
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Until we get a grip of the cost of the public sector we all need to pay ever more taxes or run up more debts which will squeeze the economy. One place to start – though not surprisingly the recent pension review missed it – is capping public sector pensions at 60k – a manifesto promise! I read that 30% of all new money going into the NHS is merely to make good pension liabilities…

  18. dropout
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    if you are on a lower income of say £1000/per month net,(£1250 gross) a greater percentage is paid in council tax say £80/month which is a regressive tax so that is an added 6% in tax on top of your 20% income tax which is unfair. Subtract fares, NI , morgage /rent you have £400 left; then take off £ 100 for gas,electric, phone bills, and then another£ 40 car insurance, road tax you are lucky to have left£250 /month out of which you have to buy food and clothes and make a credit card repayment as you havent got enough to live on and you cant afford to have any children. However the actual quantities richer people pay rather than the percentages should be contemplated Say you are a very high earner on £100,000 then you pay tax of 20% of 40,000= £8,000 plus 40% of £60,000 which is £24,000 so you are paying £32,ooo tax in total (a vast amount) leaving you £68,000 roughly out of £100,000 per year or £5,600 per month Out of this take off NI and council tax ,roughly another £1,300 you are left with £4,3000per month, then subtract a possible £400 for train or petrol c0sts, then after your mortgage you are lucky to have £3000 left for utility bills, car insurance/roadtax using up another £160/month leaving a paltry £ 2,840/month change to pay for food andclothes and all the other pleasures in life(entertainment,holidays etc )which boosts demand and keeps the economy going and out of which you pay all the hidden taxes All the extras are vastly underestimated if you have dependents

  19. Richard
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Good article.
    Beyond a certain rate, taxes end up bringing in less money that they do with efficently set rates.

    There are those who say the rich should pay more.
    Well, the rich already do, because if you earn £200,000 per annum you pay a lot more tax than someone on £20,000 per annum. So what they really mean is disproportionately more, and just what is fair about that?

    “Tax the rich until the pips squeek” as was once famously said, although this effort ended in abject failure.
    The rich actually paid more taxes under Mrs Thatcher. Which is something you won’t hear said on the BBC!
    What we need therefore, is loads more rich people paying loads of tax and you are not going to get that happen if simply penalising the rich and social engineering is your agenda.

    Russia collapsed because an enormous bloated State demanded such high tax levels from its citizens everyone worked out ways to avoid payment and the result was a thriving black economy and a reduced tax take.

    Sound familiar?

    • uanime5
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      The rich also paid more taxes when the tax rate was 98% so what exactly is your point? That the tax laws were harder to avoid/evade in the past?

      Russia had an bloated state because of Communism. Interestingly they had a very poor welfare system because they forced companies to hire anyone who applied to them, then make the companies pay for the welfare of their employees. It’s interesting that the US promotes the same system; that welfare should be provided by companies and not the state.

      Reply: When the UK had a 98% tax rate the rich paid much less tax, there was a brain drain and the Uk was a lot poorer.

  20. Electro-Kevin
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Of course those on £150k plus aren’t always in the wealth creating sector. Frequently they are in the wealth obstructing sector – many are employed by the state too.

    They also employ the best accountants and are able to take part in tax avoidance schemes.

    This is a generalisation of course and I see the harm that high taxation does – especially where the money is spent on activities inimical to the running of a fair (as opposed to ‘equal’) society.

  21. Andrew
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    I do not see the BBC Licence fee as a “tax”. It is a flat rate charge. As such it is regressive, as those on middle and lower incomes pay the same amount as those on higher incomes. Moreover those on higher incomes— may, — derive more benefit in return as of course a TV Licence enables one to buy and enjoy various channel “packages” from providers over and above what the basic channels provide.

  22. Rebecca Hanson
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Ah diddums.

    I find it’s best to lose everything so that we learn appreciate what we’ve got.

    Which includes the society to live in – personally I’m very grateful to live here. I prefer Warren Buffett’s reasoning to this plea for pity.

    And if they feel this world is so awfully unfair they’re welcome to come and visit and I will introduce them to some of my gifted and dedicated teaching assistant friends who are struggling to work out what they heck to do when their pay is being cut by 20% and they therefore can’t cover their costs of working so are going to have to give up their jobs and go on to benefits. But then I suppose they still won’t understand why it’s so hard to leave the kids that you have such a strong bond with and who trust and depend on you. It would do them good to try though I think.

    Reply Mr Buffet pays a much lower tax rate than UK people, and is of course free to send in much more money to the US Treasury if he feels he should. I want to get more tax out of the rich – your preferred method of higher rates will do the opposite.

  23. uanime5
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    I decided to calculate how different tax rates would affect purchasing power. The Earning Gross is the amount you would need to earn to spend £1.

    Tax: 10%
    Earning Gross: £1.11

    Tax: 20%
    Earning Gross: £1.25

    Tax: 32%
    Earning Gross: £1.47

    Tax: 40%
    Earning Gross: £1.67

    Tax: 45%
    Earning Gross: £1.82

    Tax: 52%
    Earning Gross: £2.08

    Tax: 55%
    Earning Gross: £2.22

    Tax: 62%
    Earning Gross: £2.63

    Tax: 70%
    Earning Gross: £3.33

    Tax: 75%
    Earning Gross: £4.00

    • Rebecca Hanson
      Posted October 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      The Earning Gross is the amount you would need to earn to spend £1.

      What absolute garbage. You’re totally neglecting that people have basic costs to cover before they begin to get any real choice about how they spend their money.

      If you have a young family and you’re in the squeezed middle you are lucky if you have anyone money whatsoever to choose how to spend beyond the choices like – shall I buy the kids clothes second hand off ebay or from a charity shop and basic choice regarding foodstuffs.

      If you’re a top rate tax payer you have freedom of choice over how you spend large chunks of your money. You can choose which holidays you’d like to go on, which nice house you’d like to live in, which luxuries you’d like to purchase, which interests you’d like you and your family to pursue, which schools you’d like your kids to go to and so on.

      I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT TOP RATE TAX PAYERS ARE NOT SUFFICIENTLY MATHEMATICALLY CLUED UP TO SEE THE VERY OBVIOUS REALITIES HERE. And neither can the rest of the country who are having to do the sums time and time again to work out how to cover their basic costs.

      Any whose basic maths skills genuinely aren’t up to the job should feel free to get in touch with me and I will give them some tuition.

      They could start with reading ‘The Audacity of Hope p188’.

      • Rebecca Hanson
        Posted October 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        And neither can the rest of the country is a typo.

        I think the rest of the country can see it.

        • Rebecca Hanson
          Posted October 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

          or maybe not a typo. That’s what happens when the kids are climbing on your head and demanding to be on the computer.

          But, in short, I am deeply concerned that this government is still trying to focus on building sympathy for those who earn over £150,000 and is showing no interest at all in the reality of everyone else.

          Do they not understand that to the rest of us it just looks like they are obsessed with the themselves and their friends and not remotely interested in reality?

          That’s not a good image to project when they should be trying to avoid a general strike.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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