Sunday, 11 March 2012

Daley's contradictions..

Really sloppy piece from Janet Daley in the Sunday Telegraph highlighting contradictions in Coalition policies. Usually one of the best writers, she argues that Cameron contradicts himself by supporting both gay marriage & ethnic minorities (who are all apparently homophobic and bigoted) and then goes on to suggest that any taxes on high value property would be disastrous for aspiration because people living in these £2m+ homes are cash poor and would have to move. Just like Sunday Telegraph columnist Janet Daley. Personal prosperity (sometimes called “existing wealth”) goes from being a desirable outcome of economic life to a form of original sin to be penalised into extinction she argues. Well despite the sizeable earnings of a Telegraph columnist, she should understand that anyone who owns a property in excess of £2m is wealthy and needs to contribute more than someone living in a property one tenth of that value. That indeed is fairness. Particularly if they are non-doms paying little or no tax from earnings.

I certainly don't think we need a new mansion tax as Vince Cable is advocating. But a complete revaluation of council tax bands with extensions up to and beyond £2m we most certainly do.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Republican dream ticket..

I really havn't been interested in the Republican primaries in the US, but one commentator last week suggested that Mitt Romney appeals to white collar workers, whilst evangelist Ric Santorum to blue collar. The problem for republicans was the lack of candidates that appealed to both. So why not put them together? Sounds like the dream ticket to me...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Why a tax on wealth would be fairer..

At the other end of my street and just around the corner lies a different world. A world of multi-millionaires. We see their spotless Range Rovers whisk demanding children in and out of school. We see houses so huge they need staff to maintain them. We see homes boarded up for more than half the year whilst they 'winter' in the Alps or 'summer' at some other exotic location - as if doing so were as normal as a hairdressing appointment to you and me. We live in a different world.

And among those mansions lies one which, at the moment, is covered in scaffolding. Where once there was a garden, a deep concrete hole with four feet of rain water now stands. The builders tell me it is the foundations for the new swimming pool being built in the basement.

We live in a different world and what makes that world so different, is that we pay taxes. You see, officially, a wife and her daughter live in this house. No husband, because he lives in Monaco. Except at weekends. Then he lives in London with his wife and daughter, flying back to manage a hedge fund for the working week. That way, he pays no income tax in this country. Only council tax and VAT. In fact, his staff will pay more tax than their multi-millionaire employer. Nice that. The tax he should be paying is being spent on a swimmimg pool. Just for him.

And on that council tax - the one tax that they do pay in this country - because the highest band starts at £320,000 (a rather modest price for a house in an inner London borough) and despite the fact that we live in a modest basement flat, we both of us pay the same amount in council tax. How fair is that.

Patients first..

According to even cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood - David Cameron's most senior civil servant - now wants him to scrap the Health Bill. And his reason? This new top-down reorganisation will take away whitehall's (top down) control of the health service. Yep, that's right. The biggest vested interest of them all - the civil service - wants the bill scrapped because it takes away their powers to control the health service and puts it into the hands of those the health service is supposed to serve - patients. You could not make this stuff up. People simply wouldn't believe you.