TAXING THE VERY WEALTHY; A LABOUR POLICY

“Under Labour’s plans, 95 per cent of taxpayers will be guaranteed no increase in their income tax contributions, and everyone will be protected from any increase in personal National Insurance contributions and VAT. Only the top 5 per cent of earners will be asked to contribute more in tax to help fund our public services.”

Labour 2017 Manifesto

I am a big labour supporter in the 2017 election and I’ve been supporting them ever since Corbyn started leading the party in 2015. I’d previously aligned more with the Lib Dems but after I voted for them in the election that caused the coalition, I like most others lost all faith in the party (they basically bent over and took it from the Conservatives.)

I love Corbyn and I love the Labour Manifesto which is tagged with the line “For the Many, Not the Few.” I’m considering buying a Corbyn RUN DMC style top and I’ve even been singing along to the ode to Corbyn by Riot Grrl band The Menstrual Cramps (Called JC is Our Saviour) – go find it on Spotify.

I’m a firm believer in the welfare state, distribution of wealth and funding for public services and the Labour Manifesto really supports this. One of their very talked about policies in this election is the one quoted above- a plan to keep taxes for the majority the same but to increase the tax percentage for the top 5% of earners who in my opinion are the ridiculously wealthy. A lot of people argue that this policy is flawed because people in this bracket have worked hard for their money therefore deserve to pay the same tax as those who earn less.

In my opinion they don’t…

First of all; the rich are often rich through systematic wealth. They were born wealthy therefore had a top education and constant financial support from wealthy family which allowed them to get where they are. Obviously this isn’t the case for all the very rich but the vast majority of wealthy Brits are from wealthy backgrounds. Fact.

Secondly; who the hell needs that kind of money? Various studies on wealth and happiness show that salaries over a certain bracket (between £30-40,000 per year) no longer make any contribution to wellbeing or happiness. It’s very apparent that past a certain point is pure greed.

What about distribution of wealth? Imagine we’re living in a more basic society, let’s say a small self sufficient village. You were born into the family of a blacksmith who taught you their trade and you went on to be a blacksmith yourself. You earn enough to feed yourself and your family and buy more luxuries than you could ever need. There are another person in the village who you used to play with as a child. Their mother got sick and was unable to teach them a trade of their own so instead they are desperately trying to train as a carpenter. But as they are too busy caring for their sick mother they cannot. They have ended up begging in the street nearby your home and you pass them on your return from work. Would you walk by them and ignore their plea for help or would you stop and distribute some of the money you don’t actually need. 

This is capitalism on a small scale. Instead of the community helping out the poor carpenter in the first place they are now in a position where they are desperate. But the wealthy blacksmith could have helped the carpenter either on an individual basis or by contributing some of the wealth they did not require to the community in general thus creating a welfare system.

I get that the entire economy isn’t as simple as a local blacksmith helping out a struggling carpenter however in principle, distribution of wealth is about helping those less fortunate. It is about not being selfish and understanding that you don’t deserve to live a life that is ignorant of the world around you just because you have worked hard. The carpenter worked hard too but life is often unfair and difficult to the best of people.

I can imagine the type of people who are against this policy are the same people who walk past homeless people every day on their way to their home without even an acknowledgement that they are real human beings in need of help. They block out the reality of how the other half live. They live a life of greed, ignorance and privilege.

What do you think of the policy for higher taxes on the very wealthy?

 

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7 Comments

  1. I have a few feelings on this. Firstly the super wealthy/greedy people that you refer to often don’t hold their money in the UK, if you spend enough time out of the country per year it’s not even tax avoidance so it wouldn’t apply to them.
    Secondly the biggest problem is not individuals not paying their share, rather large companies. And again if they are American companies, for example, that just happen to trade here, it’s very hard to force them to pay up.
    It’s a nice idea in principle but I just don’t think it’ll actually do what it says on the tin. The people who will be affected by it will be the likes of surgeons and consultants who, in my opinion, deserve to hold on to every penny they earn. Your elite bankers etc are not going to allow themselves to fall in to it.

    V ❤
    http://sirvikalot.wordpress.com

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  2. I agree with some of the theory, but I actually disagree with raising the income tax. Income tax is just that- tax on income. When you’re talking about the super wealthy, most of their net assets aren’t income. Income tax doesn’t address assets- primarily land, overloaded pensions, shares etc-and that is how the super rich becomes and stay that way, not income. Raising income tax won’t solve problems with the disproportionate welfare state whatsoever. The Guardian had a great article on it that explains so much better than I ever could! X

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    1. I see where you’re coming from but it’s still only the people who earn over £80,000 who will be taxed more and those people don’t need that income because they have all those assetts. My dad falls in this bracket and is voting labour himself. I’d love to read the Guardian’s take on it though, are you able to find the article? xx

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  3. I wrote a comment out and tried to empathise with the wealthy people who are having their earnings taken away from them, but then I deleted it all. You’re 100% right with what you’ve said!

    Just to add: I am 100% a labour supporter and never once considered the Tories (nor will I ever), but I just like to try to see all sides of the argument. This time I tried and realised there is no strong, nor weak, argument against this. 😛

    Hannah
    hannahinternational.co.uk

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