Thursday, 12 February 2015

The rich should pay more tax

The rich should pay more tax. That would be fair. From the reaction of  business exectutives in recent days you would think that Labour were bent on some kind of socialist revolution.  "Red" Ed is said to be unfriendly to business. It is symptomatic of the vice-like grip the business world has on politics. You would think that the much needed redistribution of the balance of power and privilege in the UK was about to become a major political issue. It isn't. It will hardly feature in the election and the differences between the economic policies of the main political parties will be nuanced. That is not to say those nuances are unimportant, but they are hardly radical.

So what are these business executives screaming about?  Once again they hold politics to ransom, and British politics suffers as a result.  We cannot address the real issues of law pay and unfairness in work contracts - 'Anti-business' the top executives will cry, and Lord Mandelson will come out of the woodwork to 'warn' Labour to behave itself. Debate is stifled once again.

We cannot address the real unfairness in the tax system that taxes the poorest more than the wealthiest - 'Anti-business' they will cry, and Lord Mendelson will 'ride to the rescue' of Labour once again advising it to put forward a more positive 'business friendly' message.

A straight road has been defined and the political parties mustn't stray from it. We are locked into the politics of austerity with the three main parties signed up to some version of it.  The SNP has broken ranks to suggest that austerity should be abandon as a strategy. Most in the Labour party agree with them. I agree with them too. Of course it is opportunistic game play by the SNP, particularly as it plays for the wobbling Labour vote in Scotland. Labour should have been the anti-austerity party but that would be too much.

It is time we have a proper open debate about the unfairness in our society - the inequalities of opportunity that start at such a young age.  It is time we had a proper debate about taxation and how we make the rich pay their fair share. Perhaps with the revelations about 'dodgy' banking and tax evasion we may get it. The rich should pay more tax, the poorest should pay less.  But I don't hold my breath.

 

Read Ray'a Novel: It wasn't always late summer 

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