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

Palm Oil production killing the planet

Bad trade and bad products are killing our planet. We have said this before on The Thin End. There is no better example than that of palm oil. It is used ubiquitously in so many products, and its production is a major factor destroying rainforests and threatening precious species.

Demand for palm oil is 'skyrocketing worldwide'. It is used in packaging and in so much of our snack foods, cookies, crackers, chocolate products, instant noodles, cereals, and doughnuts, and the list goes on.
Bad for the planet So, why is this so bad for the planet?

The oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil palms native to Africa. It is now grown primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia, but is also expanding across Central and West Africa and Latin America.

Palm oil production is now one of the world's leading causes of rainforest destruction, and this is impacting adversely some of the world's most culturally and biologically diverse ecosystems. Irreplaceable wildlife species like t…

Nicotine exposure in pregnancy linked to cot death

Nicotine exposure during pregnancy, whether from smoking cigarettes, or nicotine patches and e-cigarettes, increases risk of sudden infant death syndrome – sometimes known as “cot death” – according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology.

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexpected death of an infant under 12 months of age occuring typically while sleeping. Failure of auto resuscitation, the ability to recover normal heart rate and breathing following gasping caused by lack of oxygen in the brain, has been recorded in human SIDS cases.



Smoking increases risk for SIDS Over the last decade, use of cigarettes has declined significantly, however, over 10% of pregnant women still smoke during pregnancy. Over recent years nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine patches or e-cigarettes, have been prescribed to women who wish to quit smoking during their pregnancy. However, nicotine replacement therapies may not protect infants from SIDS. 
With inc…

Maternal depression can impact child mental and physical health

Maternal depression has been repeatedly linked with negative childhood outcomes, including increased psychopathology.  Now, a new study shows that depression in mothers may impact on their children's stress levels,  as well as their physical and mental well-being throughout life.

In the study, published in the journal  Depression & Anxiety,  the researchers followed 125 children from birth to 10 years.

At 10 years old, the mothers’ and children’s cortisol (CT) and secretory immunoglobulin (s-IgA)—markers of stress and the immune system (see below)—were measured, and mother-child interaction were observed.
Psychiatric assessment  The mothers and children also had psychiatric diagnoses, and the children's externalising and internalising symptoms were reported.



Internalising disorders include depression, withdrawal, anxiety, and loneliness. They are often how we 'feel inside', such as  anger, pain, fear or hurt, but may not show it.  In contrast, externalising symptom…