Tuesday, March 06, 2012

 

Things To Remember About Labour #4

Labour sucked up to the super-rich, took bribes from the super-rich, and slashed taxes for the super-rich. While doubling tax on the lowest-paid.

Tony Blair’s Labour outspent the Tories getting elected, with the amazing coincidence that every single person giving Labour a million pounds got a peerage or knighthood in return. Labour now pretend they’d tax the rich more (see Things To Remember About Labour #1).

But they introduced their totemic socialist policy of the 50p tax rate… One month before their thirteen years’ absolute power ended. That makes the LiberaTory Coalition 22 times more socialist than the Labour Government, and counting. That’s if you’re kind, and just compare one month with 22 months that each Government has had a 50p tax rate on top earners. If you look at the proportion of the time each Government’s been in power, then Labour had a 50p tax rate for one month – 0.64% of their time in office – but not for the other 155 months. The LiberaTory Coalition has kept this rate in place for 100% of their time so far, even though when Labour introduced it was not only in an Augustinian ‘We’ll make the rich pay more, but not yet’ to come in only for the next government, but time-limited to one year. The Coalition Government has already held it for much longer even than Labour planned for them to do.

Labour Today – Still Labour Mañana

Voted out of power, with all their millions now coming from the unions rather than super-rich donors, it’s another amazing coincidence that Labour claim to be tough on the super-rich (as long as they only have to say it, not do it). If you have several millions to hand, you too can buy a Labour policy U-turn (and a peerage). Perhaps they might become more Blairite again if Tony Blair were to give them some of the twelve million pounds he doesn’t pay tax on, thanks to Labour’s lax policies on super-rich tax-dodgers?

But even now, Labour’s policy is nothing more radical than ‘Me too!’ or ‘We would have more, honest… Just try to forget than in thirteen years of absolute power, we did so much less.’

The LiberaTory Coalition is raising far more money from extra charges on bankers than Labour ever did – again, even Labour’s small charges, too little, too late, were only to last a year – but Labour still say, ‘It’s not enough! You’re wrong and evil because, er, you only get much more off the bankers than we did, and not much much more!’

Labour slashed Capital Gains Tax, so lots of the super-rich could pay a lower share that way than their cleaners did in income tax. Despite the Tories not wanting to do it, the Liberal Democrats insisted that one of the first things the LiberaTory Coalition do was to raise Capital Gains Tax so that more of the super-rich pay their fair share. And Labour says… ‘Cut it again!’ (Er, some mistake, surely?)

And while Labour doubled income tax on the lowest-paid from 10p to 20p in the pound, the LiberaTory Coalition is following the number one Liberal Democrat commitment at the last election and taking the lowest-paid out of paying tax altogether, while also giving a tax cut to low and middle-earners generally.

Bye-Bye, 50p?

I don’t know how much money the 50p rate brings in. As Duncan writes, there’s a lot of argument about that – and the Government should simply publish the facts. And I’d rather it was kept in place anyway, because it’s very popular, and it’s difficult to make people trust the tax system if it looks like the super-rich are getting a big tax cut, again, like Labour used to. If there were to be a change to the top rates, I’d rather it was to smooth out the tax mess for people who earn a lot, but less than enough to pay the 50p rate… Because, as Millennium writes, they actually pay more. And I’d like the people who pay the biggest share to be the people who earn the most.

But I’m prepared to look at the facts, as well, and if it turned out that a tax on vastly expensive property – say, house values over two million pounds, the “Mansion Tax” the Lib Dems have also been calling for against the wishes of both Labour and the Tories – was harder to dodge than the 50p rate, and brought in more money than the 50p rate, I’d be prepared to make a choice on the facts.

So just remember. If the 50p tax rate does happen to go, after more than double the time Labour wanted it for, and the alternative brings in much more money from the super-rich… When Labour pretend to be shocked and call for the 50p rate to be kept instead, remember that it was so important to them that with all their absolute power in Parliament – more than either the Tories or the Lib Dems today – this policy was so important to them that they had it for one month. Out of thirteen years. And that, depending on whether you count months or percentages, even if you completely ignore all the greater money from the “Mansion Tax” (and they will), Labour will be pretending to be shocked that the LiberaTory Coalition was ‘only’ either 25 or a 160 times more socialist in taxing the super-rich than the Labour Government was.

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