Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Over 70% support tax crackdown on wealthy

The British organisation Compass has published new research:

"The results reveal that 77% indicated they agree that the government should do everything it can to close this £15 billion gap lost through personal tax avoidance."

(Something different, but similar, is going on in the United States.) And, more specifically:

"71% agree with a new wealth tax on earnings above £250,000;
- 61% agree that the Government should break its 2005 manifesto commitment not to increase any rates of income tax and immediately introduce a new top rate of income tax for all those earning above £100,000 per year;
- 52% agree with a new tax on all bonuses above £1000."

But for those living in or near London, the following is crucial:

"This Wednesday from 6pm Compass (with the support of The Fabian Society, Tax Justice Network UK and The Other Tax Payer's Alliance) will stage a major Tax Justice rally held at the TUC."

The rally will take place at the TUC, Great Russell Street, London WC1. Speakers include: Treasury Minister Angela Eagle MP, Jon Cruddas MP, Kate Green of Child Poverty Action Group, Richard Murphy of Tax Justice Network UK, the TUC's Adam Lent, PCS Deputy General Secretary Hugh Lanning and the Fabian Society's Tim Horton.


Blogger Fred Fry said...

funny how the approval rate goes down as the amounts get smaller. This is because they are all in favor of taxing the other guy.

This would be like having a poll asking UK Citizens living and working in American on whether or not it is a good idea to raise UK domestic income taxes (That they don't have to pay) to a flat 50%. since it won't directly hurt them, I bet the results will be skewed.

9:15 am  
Anonymous min said...

A crackdown on tax evaders or avoiders, yes, by all means.

But why a crackdown on the wealthy? What have they done wrong?

7:23 am  
Blogger Fred Fry said...

Min, 'Avoiders' are not doing anything wrong.

If you have two choices on how to get something done and one is more expensive than the other, how often do you choose the more expensive option?

Not for anything but very legitimate business decisions are being call tax avoidance. Eventually someone is going to demand that corporations act in a certain way to maximize tax revenue. Tax dividend declarations. when a corporation earns a profit it pays tax. A portion of what is left over is distributed to the shareholders as a dividend. The shareholders are taxes again on this money. However, a corporation can decide to retain some or all of the profit. No dividend, no dividend tax.

This may result in a rising share price as each share becomes worth more due to the retained profit. The taxman however does not get any more tax money until the shares are sold.....

1:23 pm  
Blogger Henry said...

Min - the wealthy have done nothing wrong that they haven't been allowed to.

Whether they should be allowed to is another matter, but any judgement on that must not be clouded by envy.

2:56 pm  
Anonymous TJN said...

Read the latest:

New Data from Citizens for Tax Justice Shows that Many Survey Respondents Saying Income Taxes Are Too High Will Pay No Income Taxes for 2008

A recent Gallup poll found that 61 percent of respondents felt that the federal income tax they will have to pay this year is "fair." When asked about the specific amount of federal income taxes they pay, just over half felt they pay the right amount or too little.

Fewer than half of those polled said they thought their federal income taxes are "too high." It appears, however, that some of these respondents are basing their answers on the right-wing, anti-tax propaganda they've heard rather than their own income tax liability. A new report from Citizens for Tax Justice finds that many of the respondents who say they pay too much are likely to owe no federal income taxes at all, suggesting that education about the tax system could change their views.

12:46 am  
Blogger Robin Smith said...

You have to define and agree what wealth is first before you can decide to confiscate it or not.

Trouble is most people are in a sea of confusion around the term wealth. Especially economist, lawyers, accountants. I think most normal humble people have a better idea, particularly the impoverished.

This is particularly important if your aim is to deliver an advance in society through economic production. Tax the wrong thing and you will see a decline in that society. Look around you?

Anyone want to have a shot at defining what wealth might actually be then?

2:03 pm  
Blogger Henry said...

This is the best definition of wealth I have come across

"natural products that have been secured, moved, combined, separated, or in other ways modified by human exertion, so as to fit them for the satisfaction of human desires"

Note that land titles, money, share certificates and other tokens of ownership are not wealth but documents relating to claims on wealth.

8:10 am  

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