Taxing Top Earners For Being Too Rich and the Poor for Not Being Poor Enough

So you’ve spent your entire life building up a company, working your way from the very bottom wrung til you’re in the position you currently preside in, top dog, King/Queen of the Company. You don’t work for a bank, you drive a sports car because you can and sure, you’re mansion has a maid, but you need one for while you’re tending to the horses.

Well, says the government, seeing as your property is worth quite a bit more than the average British home and you’ve spent your entire life working to be able to afford such luxuries, I’m afraid we’re going to have to ask you to give a little more of that back… in taxes…

Liberal Democrat Logo

It is not difficult to see why the proposed Lib Dem “Mansion Tax” is not being best received. Business Secretary Vince Cable said on Monday 24th at the Lib Dem Party Conference of the tax that:

“It terrifies the Tory backwoodsman but it is popular and right. The super rich can’t move their chateaux to Monaco or Switzerland so let’s get on with it and tax them here.”

Vince Cable, Business Secretary

Consider his implication here; not only are politicians across the board happy to be taxed on properties they most likely bought as they could get a ridiculously good deal on them from not being taxed, he was outright stating that members of the public found this appealing as well. One thinks he might need to get out of the office, because it seems more likely that these “supporters” are in fact also known as “imaginary friends”.

Benefits and taxes. Bored already? Not surprising! But it’s an issue of extreme contention in the UK right now because of the extremely erratic handling of it we’ve seen here since the coalition take-over. They whole system is under immediate review, but there is very much a tug-of-war situation between the Torys and Lib Dems as each side fights for maintain their own parties integrity, solve the real problems at hand, as well as pander to the favour of the public in efforts to keep voters.

One of the long term plans of the government to cut public spending is to “refine” the welfare and benefits system by £10B – in other words, they want to catch out all those cheats that are continually slipping through their nets with utterly ridiculous claims that are somehow legitimate due to legal loop holes that need closing. However, they also plan to raise foreign aid by £12B. How on earth do they think these kinds of numbers balance!? On what planet do those sums make sense? I would say a few quid could be saved in sacking whoever is producing that kind of arithmetic anomaly.

To make these cuts they have decided upon two courses of action – tax top earners to the point where a doctor might as well be making the same as a brick layer, and catch the cretins who are quite simply, at it.

At least they have realised that the real fraudsters are not people who claim disability or incapacity benefit for an illness that some people (usually a vast minority of sufferers) are able to hold down work with. They have finally come to the oh-so-astonishing realisation that it is the families who claim things such as, “We simply must have this £34,000 worth of benefits per year, because there is just no other accommodation suitable for our three kids in the area that is affordable and, of course, it would be just cruel to ask them to share a bedroom, I mean, they are each and entire year apart in age, and they all have their little friends at school and they’re ever so close to them… yes they are only five and six and the little four year old – bless her- hasn’t started yet but see, they’re just so rooted in this are of middle-class suburbia…”

True story, by the way – neither parent in that household had worked in several years and both had claimed some form of incapacity benefit for a period of that time (funnily enough, it was long enough for them to not have to go out and find a job and instead claim job seekers allowance over that period… hm. Funny that, eh?) So while their neighbours were working 40-50 hour weeks and struggling to pay the mortgage that accompanies rural England and the 2.4 kids lifestyle, they were luxuriating in… utter luxury.

Lawyers are now claiming that the same private schools that were once the utopia of our countries great thinkers and legal minds are now out with even their reach. Considering barristers are amongst our countries top earners it would not be silly to find this concerning.

For example, with fees of over £20,000, only 6% of the population are thought to be able to legitimately be able to afford all boys private domain Harrows School and only 7% of children in the UK now attend a fee paying educational facility.

Harrow School

Yet, despite this irrefutable information, as well as statistics showing over a 30% decrease in private school enrolment from the past 20 years and more than 54% of current entrants now coming from millionaire families, the government still feels that an appropriate way to crack down on the benefit fraudsters is to tax the top earners.

I am in no way in favour of those who play the corporate game at the expense of the grafting public, but when those big earners become the ones who also suffer, perhaps after decades of building personal wealth through genuine hard study, that is when we should begin to see an issue of balance.

Because there is a pool of money does not necessarily mean the government should be dipping into it; this seems to be something they do not quite seem to be grasping. Especially when it comes to the fact that it is not actually their money to be slicking their palms with.




4 thoughts on “Taxing Top Earners For Being Too Rich and the Poor for Not Being Poor Enough

  1. Biggest problem with taxation methods is exactly this: to combat those that exploit the system, be it at the high-end of the tax spectrum or the low-end benefit claimants, a lot of collateral damage is going to happen. Lots of hard-working top-earners, and lots of people who genuinely need support from the state, are going to find themselves in a very difficult position in the near future when the government brings in more changes.

    For instance, one in six of all ‘fit to work’ decisions for people claiming for incapacity benefit are proved incorrect after appeal – these people who are not fit to work are already being let down by the state. It’s only going to get worse, particularly for sufferers of mental health problems, which can lead to real difficulties in the work environment and that the benefits system is already incredibly ignorant about. I think that’s why I feel more for those who depend on the state and will be cast aside than those at the top level – the ‘mansion tax’ will make people’s lives tougher, certainly, but it’s unlikely to lead to anywhere near as many deaths or strains on the NHS in comparison to the fallout from making the benefits system tougher.

    I think the biggest problem that governments face, when deciding upon tax/benefit reforms, is that those who exploit the system will just find another way around it. High earners who already cheat the tax system will get their accountants to find a new way of dodging it, and state scroungers will find another way to exploit support for the less fortunate.

    That said, my biggest beef with the coalition is what they’ve done to the education system. They’re going to let down a whole generation of our country in the name of promoting elitism.

    • First of all, can I just say thank you so much for that comment. When I started this blog and started posting things about politics I was so sure that no one would actually take any notice of what I was saying or that it would spark the kind of thought I had hoped it would.

      Now in response… 🙂

      I agree with you. There are people out there who are being let down by the system because it is being over worked and strained in directions it needn’t be – namely in that claimants are having to be assessed and re-assessed so many times to filter out genuine from false claims. It disgusts me that there are people who we have the resources and systems in place to make their lives so much better at no extraneous cost to the UK, yet they are being marginalised and ignored because of the selfish and lazy sixth you mentioned.

      This was really a follow up to one of my previous posts on this similar topic. Kind of a “rich people suffer too, we just don’t really think about it that often” sort of response.

      I heard about some of the people who were likely to suffer – there was obviously a story to be had so the source had a spread. There were some politicians and stuff who were obviously at it and had bought the properties abroad knowing full well it couldn’t be touched by UK tax laws (they probably helped make those damn laws in the first place) but then there were some truly inspiring people who had worked their way through hard times, brought themselves and their business from the ground up, transformed peoples lives for the better as well as their own, and now they were being screwed over for their success. Again.

      Again, thanks for your opinion. I like the banter you can get from people who seem to genuinely give a crap about the country we live in. Too few people, especially young people, seem to get that everything has an effect on everything else. 🙂

  2. If I was of age I would vote for Romney this is one of the reasons. Obama says lets tax the rich! As if the rich get their money from a money tree. They worked hard to get it, it is not fair. Meanwhile, there are smart homeless people sitting on their butts doing nothing and going on welfare that the rich have to pay for, with taxes. Obviously, Obama wants everyone to go on welfare so that everyone can rely on the the government and then he will get all the votes. I could go on and on about how Obama is a bad president but I think I made my point. 🙂 good article, please make sure to stop by my blog too!

    • gemgemgoesglobal says:

      that’s a really interesting perspective you have there, i never really considered it from the side of the Americans 🙂 maybe i’ll do a reflective piece on that, thanks for the idea.

      i’ll be honest, i’m an Obama supporter. I’m not 100% up on ALL of his policies, as i’m not in the US, but i generally like his sincerity and the fact that he;s trying for the reform of a country that had a very similar way of going about it’s business, regarding the running of key aspects of the constitution such as healthcare, for such a long time.

      The UK has seen a lot more overhauls in big things, like health, education, tax, benefits and what have you because we have conventions rather than a constitution – meaning basically that what you have is set in stone whereas we can make changes with a lot more ease – we only agree to things we thing are morally right AT THE TIME but in actual fact we can change that at any time.

      Obama has faced extremes and i think he’s faced the fire and done what he can. not so many could. not been perfect but after Bush, c’mon, that man was out of his freakin mind, you would have been lucky with a mute raised in a forest by chipmunks as a replacement to him! 😀

      thanks for your in-put i’ve reallly enjoyed this, let me know what you think. i’ll go check out your blog for sure 🙂

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