Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Boris Johnson: let the poor pay, not the rich

Kick the poor in the teeth. Make it more expensive for them to go to work. But ask millionaires to contribute a bit more and it's like "Stalin's assault on the kulaks".

Shock. Boris Johnson thinks the 50p top rate of income tax will be a "disaster" for Britain.

Proof of that, he says, are the threats to leave the country made by a handul of millionaires such as artist Tracey Emin, former Formula One boss Eddie Jordan, and actor Michael Caine. Wow.

Suspiciously similar to the good old days when "the top talent" at RBS, Northern Rock et al routinely claimed they'd leave the country if bonuses were to be cut (if only they had).

So just picture what a national disaster it would be if Tracy Everyone-I-Have-Ever-Shagged Emin upped sticks and took Her Tent to France. Devastating, right? You can just imagine people up and down the country crying their eyes out.

Of course, instead, the Mayor of London thinks it's perfectly fair to impose fair rises of up to 20% upon ordinary citizens. They can be milked and kicked in the teeth at will.

They can have bus passes, tube fares and Oyster cards increased savagely year-on-year, because, even if they fancied the idea, they wouldn't be able to "do an Emin" and bugger off to France, would they? How could they, without the cash to shoot off and buy a villa outright on the Côte d'Azur.

Unfortunately for Boris Johnson and the Daily Express though, the majority of Britons are of the opinion that a 50p tax rate for high earners is a good idea.

And anyway, Boris, what are you moaning about? For all your wailing that the 50p tax is like "Stalin’s assault on the kulaks", that cosy payrise you gave yourself last year, from £137,579 to £143,911 (h/t Tory Troll), should cushion you nicely.


Ben E said...

While not entirely in agreement with Boris I really don't think that the 50p tax rate is a good idea. Not because it will drive the rich away, but because it's just damn unfair. The super rich won't give a flying monkeys as they can easily evade anyway (the big 5 firms make a lot of money helping them to do exactly that) - this is more likely to affect SMEs and freelance contractors who already have plenty of HMRC rules to deal with (S660, IR35, etc).

I don't really see why people should be penalised for success or hard work. Of course there are those who have their money or status through inheritance and patronage, but we shouldn't hammer everyone for the sake of a few spoilt rich kids.

If it's social fairness you're after then I think we should discourage multiple home ownership as that has done far damage than any of Thatcher's other legacies. It drives up the cost of housing, which necessitates families where both parents have to work, which both excludes communities and exacerbates the effects of job instability.

As the CSA has proved, the problem with any system that is so unfair (as the 50p tax rate) is that it incentivises the normally law abiding to make the effort to circumvent it.

It's Essex Cleansing, honest said...

What a dirty bastard, comparing Stalin's envy-manipulated genocide of peasants/farmers to a tax rate, in weasel words.