Skip to main content

Labour is right on taxation

The opinion polls give the Tories a significant lead over Labour.  A big question is whether Jeremy Corbyn can reconnect with voters during the general election campaign.  Some might argue it is Boris Johnson's to lose, but Labour has a case if it can get its message across.

Whether Labour can win or not, it is right that the party should challenge the richest to make a fair contribution to society.

The Tory media attack Labour's tax policies, but their difficulty is they cannot now attack Labour's spending programme.   The Tories have also offered more public spending.   That has to be paid for.

The Tories offer tax cuts to the wealthiest; Labour is more honest.  Spending plans have to be paid for, and the budget deficit dealt with.  Labour is right to target inequality.

The UK has a very high level of income inequality compared to other developed countries.  Yet, the poorest are the ones who have paid for the greed of bankers.

Poverty in the UK has risen with over 4 million children living in poverty; social care is in crisis; the NHS is underfunded.  Our schools are crumbling; we have a shortage of nurses; in-house NHS services are being outsourced.

There is something obscene in the concentration of wealth, particularly with the impact of a decade of austerity. 

While the top fifth in the UK has nearly 50% of the country's income and 60% of the country's wealth, the bottom fifth has only 4% of the income and only 1% of the wealth.  
 
Inequality is the elephant in the room.  Nobody dared speak of it.  Instead, politicians focused on the idea of trickle-down.  If the rich get richer, then the poorest will also benefit from the crumbs. 
 
The Tories branded the poorest and needy as 'work-shy' and cut social support to force them into poverty wages. 

The UK has a very high level of income inequality compared to other developed countries.

The Tories will boast that median income has been rising by 2.2% on average for the last five years.  But this is a distortion.  

Most of this is accounted for by a 4.7% rise in average income for the wealthiest fifth. The poorest fifth, on the other hand, have seen incomes fall by 1.6%.  The poor are poorer, the rich are richer after a decade of austerity.  Labour's case is that the wealthiest must pay their fair share as their incomes have risen.   

We need fairness and social justice.  That is why Labour is right to address this through taxation, and it is why we should call the bluff of the wealthy who say they will leave the country if Corbyn wins.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

A time for every purpose

All life moves. Or, more precisely, all life moves purposefully.  This is true even for trees and plants.  Movement is essential for maintaining life.  Animals migrate; plants disperse.  Some form of migration is an ingredient of all life.  For many organisms, it is a key function of reproduction.  We don't reproduce merely to create a new organism, but also to disperse the population - finding new fertile ground, or resources. Reproduction is a form of migration. Reproduction isn't merely to replicate. Reproduction produces change and diversity.  While we may have strong resemblences in families, we also have differences.  Creating a difference is how evolution works.  In this sense, nature is a continuous exploratory process, finding what works best.  Nature senses change and responds.  Some of this is immediate and physiological or behavioural; some of it is over generations.  If we look at a forest over long periods of time, we would see that it shifts. There is a movement

A weaver's tail - the harvest mouse

Living in the grass is a tiny mouse: the tiny harvest mouse, with a wonderful scientific name that sounds like the title of a Charles Dickens Novel,  Micromys minutus.   It is the only British mammal with a prehensile tail. It uses its tail to hold on to the slender grass stems, at the tops of which it builds a nest. Photo: Nick Fewing These tiny mammals (just around 5 cm long) build a spherical nest of tightly woven grass at the top of tall grasses, in which the female will give birth to about six young.  In the fields, we see cows and horses brushing away flies with their tails; often they will stand side-by-side and end-to-end, and help each other.  Two tails are better than one!  In nature, tails are put to good use.  Just as a tight-rope walker uses his pole for balance, so for some species, a tail provides balance. When running, a squirrel uses its tail as a counterbalance to help the squirrel steer and turn quickly, and the tail is used aerodynamically in flight.  But many anima