By George, something not right here!
So, the millionaire Chancellor of the Exchequer is not paying top rate tax (BBC News 22 March 2012). How come?
- A very, very good accountant – exemplifying “getocracy” – them what has, gets – if you are rich you can afford a very good accountant to minimise your tax bill. Or:
- The tax system looks as if it is penal to the rich, but in point of fact is not – for them that knows. Dividends and Capital Gains are charged at rates sometimes less than the rate may of the rest of us pay on our income. Or:
- He is incompetent and cannot get a decent return on his wealth.
None of the above options is particularly reassuring (and I don’t like to think of further alternatives).
Whilst I believe that most people in public life are entitled to a degree of privacy, I do think the likes of the chancellor who have such an impact on our taxes and poverty/wealth (delete as inapplicable) should have to declare for each year:
- Their declared income analysed according to the way it was taxed
- The tax paid on that income
- A statement of Increase in Net Worth.
Might Danny Alexander set an example – I am sure that Ed Balls would be only to keen to?
Such declarations might help us understand that, like the Titanic, whilst we are “all in it together” some have access to the lifeboats – and others don’t.