Wealth tax now

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From immigration to the economy, Curtis Daly busts some of the most harmful myths propagated by right-wing politicians, pundits and the media.

Video transcript

Boris Johnson has broken his 2019 manifesto promise by proposing to increase National Insurance to pay for social care. The increase will be 1.25%, estimated to bring in around £10bn a year. The prime minister said that he won’t ‘duck the tough decisions needed’ to fix the broken social care system.

When a politician says they are making tough decisions, what they really mean is that the majority of us will suffer, whilst they and their rich mates remain unscathed.

The National Insurance tax system is completely broken. The richer you are, the LESS you pay. Completely at odds with the progressive yet still unfair income tax. National Insurance drops from 12% to 2% on any earnings over £50,268/year.

The increase to national insurance won’t go toward improving social care for an estimated three years as £30bn will be spent on rising NHS waiting lists caused by the pandemic. 

This tax hike is essentially workers funding tax breaks for the wealthy as the increase in National Insurance is likely offsetting any tax hikes on the rich. Is this fair? Do we have another way of raising cash for public services such as social care? Of course we do!

Read on...

Wealth Tax

The Wealth Tax Commission produced a report of a one-off tax on the wealthy. The report looks at a tax of 1% on those that have a net asset worth of £500,000, and couples with £1m. The report concluded that the government could raise £260bn, more than enough to fund social care and many other public services.

To put into context, a 1% one off tax of half a million is only £5,000, an incredibly small amount of money in comparison.

The model of the system the commission proposed would be the one-off tax to be paid over the course of five years, meaning every year the government would still bring in £52 billion. This would more than cover the proposed £10bn needed for Social Care. 

There are many other forms of wealth taxes, such as a Financial Transaction Tax – dubbed the Robin Hood Tax – a tax on capital gains, or taxes on second homes.

Corporation Tax

Why don’t we increase corporation tax?

The current rate stands at 19%, which is the lowest in the G7. In 2010, it was cut from 28% to 21%. This was only two years after the financial crisis, a time when we needed to raise funds not give corporate handouts. 

Even if we proposed to bring it back up to 28%, that wouldn’t be a tax increase but an end to a tax cut. 

The point here is that there are multiple ways of raising funds before we put any burden on the majority of society who are already struggling. Most proposals are around 1% – a number which those at the top would barely notice, but would cause an incredible amount of harm to those at the bottom – especially after a £20 Universal Credit cut.

The Tories were arguing among themselves on whether to increase National Insurance because they were worried about what the voters thought and conscious of the manifesto pledge. What’s funny is that not a single Tory considered raising taxes on the rich….why would they? They’re in it together.

The plans to increase National Insurance is another war on class. Even when the Tories want to increase funding, they will never look to those with the broadest shoulders – only those with the broadest burden.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Instead of attacking ‘the wealthy’ why not go and ask several low paid workers if they’d like to be rich and I think you’ll not find many who would say no. And what’s more I doubt many would tread the route Dyson did, 2nd mortgaging his house, taking out loans to become a business success. But many given the temptation of extra money would act like hedge fund managers and market manipulators. And why? Because they’ve been inculcated into believing that a ‘good life’ means aquistion of stuff and to do so means having loadsamoney – it doesn’t. I’ve managed a better life when times were hard from what’s between my ears than in my pocket. And that’s where today’s poor fall down, they don’t have the knowledge I picked up living hand to mouth when I was young. How, with a little effort a pound not a fiver is necessary, without the knowledge, and wanting a life that is fankly unafforadble usually requires the fiver and there’s still dissatisfaction.

      There is one sector of society that needs attacking and high wage earners in general aren’t the right place to start. The financial system that we presently live under is a far cry from the capitalism I lived under before Thatcher came to power. It is the financial world which literally does make all the money out of thin air and it is that sector which need a root and branch reform.
      Socialism doesn’t have all the answers and to ignore or ridicule all right wing dogma is not only irrational it’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Self reliance and taking responsibility for one’s welfare (when being able bodied or having no severe cognitive problems) is something the left should address, not just wealth distribution as a sort of panacea. I could easily live on a state pension because I live a frugal lifestyle and have no problem doing so. Consuming less helps save the planet, climate change, etc.
      But as I retired earning £50k+ p.a. after a career as a design engineer it started with an apprenticeship, college and then a BSc and I was worth every penny and you dare to call me ‘wealthy’ as if I’ve done nothing to improve my lot in life. In 2007 I graduated with a BA Jt Hons in Ethics and Social Welfare. Not bad for someone who is from the lumpenproletatriat. I wasn’t ‘lucky’, etc. No silver spoons where I came from, just think gas lighting in 1963 in a two up two down terraced slum (we lived downstairs)
      The greatest escape was not from the now non-existent slums of 1970’s London where I was born but from being bogged down by political dogma and seeing the world, especially the Western consummerist part of it for what it is, constructed and corrupt.
      I’ve lived on state benefits when unemployed, which happened a lot after our manufacturing base was decimated and the only difference between me and a lot of unemployed people I met was that I had the knowledge from the slums on how to stretch a pound into a fiver. Ditto for a lot of today’s poor, simply throwing money at them won’t instill knowledge and intellect, the ability to think critically.
      A.I. should be replacing many menial jobs, life is for living, work is for robots. But until we change ownership of the means of production which is problematic as (in the UK as most productive capacity is foreign owned) we import most of our goods manufactured elsewhere around the globe. We have based our economy on a self funded consumerism where weekly wages or monthly salaries are usually all spent into privately owned businesses which ends up being our next month’s salary, etc. with a bit already being creamed off the top in surplus value. Apart from that robots and A.I don’t pay taxes or consume goods an services, it’s why we have so many BS jobs as the late David Graebner explores. And as Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle explains we have become alienated from the possibilities of life by the myriad of distractions that surround us in our inauthentic lifeworld, from fashion to funfairs, the entertaiment industry in general (see Theodore Adorno’s ‘Culture Industry’). Distractions which use up all our work free time and prevent us from thinking about and opening discourses about how the world works and how we could make it fairer. Neither being poor nor ignorance are sins but throwing money at people won’t cure the latter and it is the latter any democracy requires, a well educated, well informed electorate capable of critical thinking. And I don’t see this happening until people start admitting they ‘don’t know’ and start waking up to the fact that personal preference and subjective truths are poor substitutes for objective truths,

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