Skip to main content

The poor pay more tax than the rich

In my last post I wrote that the rich should pay more tax. The balance of the tax burden in the UK is unfair on the poorest. The poorest 10% of households pay eight percentage points more of their income in all taxes than the richest – 43% compared to 35%.  Yet, when we talk of tax it is the wealthy who scream the most.  They have become the untouchables. We can't increase tax else they 1) won't pay it (increase in tax avoidance) and 2) it is a disincentive to the 'wealth creating' rich. And so it is that the poorest have shouldered the greatest burden of the recession and it is the poorest who have payed in taxes and cuts in benefit. Is that fair? No.  Does it feature in any of the key messages from the major political parties? No. This also is the problem.

We need to bring back into focus social justice at the heart of measuring outcome of economic strategy. To grow the economy is not in itself sufficient to ensure social justice. The rich simply get richer. Of course growth is important, but we must all have a stake in that growth. Currently the poorest do not.

More than one in four children is growing up in poverty in the UK today - 3.5 million children. But in some areas of the country it is between 50 and 70%.  Two-thirds  of children growing up in poverty live in a family where at least one member works.  This is unacceptable. But does any political party put it at the top of their strategy for dealing with the economy? Sadly, they do  not.

Labour has something to shout about. During the last Labour government child poverty fell. Child poverty reduced dramatically with 1.1 million children lifted out of poverty. This reduction is credited in large part to measures that increased the levels of lone parents working, as well as real and often significant increases in the level of benefits paid to families with children.  The recession and austerity has reversed that trend. The poor are getting poorer. It is an unfair prospectus and it is time we had a party speak up for them.

The current focus on tax avoidance by the richest is a good thing, but only if it now translates into a movement for fair taxation.




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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hummingbird exposure to pesticides

Many have responded to the campaigns to stop the use of pesticides killing bees.  Bees are not the only animals affected.

Hummingbirds are noted as a species of conservation concern by Partners in Flight, and their populations are estimated to have declined by 60% between 1970 and 2014.



New research reveals that hummingbirds and bumble bees are being exposed to neonicotinoid and other pesticides through routes that are widespread and complex. The findings are published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry.

To measure exposure to pesticides in these avian pollinators, investigators made novel use of cloacal fluid and fecal pellets from hummingbirds living near blueberry fields in British Columbia. They also collected bumble bees native to Canada, and their pollen, and blueberry leaves and flowers from within conventionally sprayed and organic blueberry farms.

The researchers detected pesticides and related compounds in cloacal fluid and fecal pellets of hummingbirds revealing…

Bad trade kills the planet.

One problem with the financial crisis of 2008/9 is that it focused attention on the banking system as if it could be separated from global economics.  It fostered the notion that all that was needed was to reform the banks and all would be well.  The underlying assumption was and is that global economics didn't and doesn't need fixing.  Everything works well but for the financial system.  Let's all keep calm and carry on.

Yet, the focus on a bad banking system hides an underlying economic malaise,  The economy depended on banks lending, and growth was predicated on debt, debt and more debt.  This was not simply a problem of the banking system.  It was, and remains a problem arising from the mythology of economic growth.

Politicians have long fostered the mythology of growth.  Growth became a  mantra.  Growth is good.  Good is growth.  Let's grow! Growth as and is presented as a miraculous cure.

Let's call this the first neoliberal myth.  The second neoliberal myth…

Brexit won't save the planet

Brexit isn't an ideal. It might break the cosy economic and political illusion that all growth and trade is good. But there is little thinking behind it. It won't lead to better trade. It won't save our planet.



No plan for Brexit The UK is  now just months away from leaving the European Union, yet still the government has no plan for Brexit. Sector after sector of British society are registering their concerns about the consequences of a 'no deal' Brexit.  The country is in the dark about what the future might hold.  Key issues remain unresolved, yet it is as if it doesn't matter.   Brexit, remember, means Brexit!  
Whether we are for or against Brexit we should be concerned that the government can't agree on what kind of deal they want with our biggest trading partner - the European Union.  
There is no idealism behind Brexit, and no vision for the future.  Instead, there is a blind hope that it will be 'alright on the night'.  That somehow a…