Keep the 45p Tax Rate, Clamp Down On Evasion

MoneyTaxation has to be progressive – that’s without doubt.  The UK is doing better than some other countries, but we’re by no means ‘there’ yet – not by a long stretch.

But the key element missing from the debate, in times of austerity, whilst tensions are running high is some common sense.

The more you earn, the more you should be taxed – the UK’s income tax system is comparatively progressive when compared with the awful Value Added Tax (VAT).

The answer though, I’m afraid, is not to tax the rich to death – but to ensure that they pay their fair share.

Now there are some in Labour who are currently putting forward the reinstatement of the 50p tax band – I’m not opposed to this on the whole.  However, I would be opposed to Jeremy Corbyn’s promises of a rise to the 50p highest rate of tax as ‘just being the beginning’.  Having said that, I don’t think there is a need currently to raise the top rate of tax to 50p if we’re willing to deal with the elephant in the room – tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.

Progressive politics is not communism.  Communism doesn’t work.  And there’s no reason why we should campaign for anything even remotely close to this.  Don’t get me wrong, capitalism isn’t perfect and our implementation of it is far less perfect than the idea.

We need to keep capitalism, but we most certainly need to reform our implementation of it.  Going back to the days of class based politics is not an option – and nor should we want to return to a stance of rich vs poor.

On the highest rate of tax at the moment, my policy is that we should keep the 45p tax rate where it is for the moment and clamp down – and I mean seriously clamp down – on tax evasion and agressive tax avoidance.

The UK has, for too long, under both Conservative and Labour governments been too relaxed about multinationals and wealthy individuals shirking their responsibilities are refusing to make a contribution to our country – a contribution that most businesses and workers make on a daily basis – this inequality is not fair.

By clamping down on tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance we can ensure that we can deal with the deficit responsibly and fairly and ensure that everyone contributes to the society that we want to live in.

Tory austerity is a largely failed project – and in the long term, the ideological shrinking of the state is just going to lead to more division and more resentment at a time when we should be trying to heal the rifts in society and become closer and stronger as a United Kingdom.

By ensuring that tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance is dealt with once and for all, in a fair way, we can work towards eliminating the structural deficit and giving fairness to basic, upper and higher rate tax payers by holding the levels of income tax where they are and ensuring that UK taxpayers, in all bands, aren’t paying more than they need to due to a small minority of corporations and individuals failing to pay their contributions to the Treasury.

Fairness on tax isn’t a one way street downwards – for sure, the people at the bottom have it the hardest and it’s where we need to do most of our work.  But in making progressive changes so direly needed by the working class we do not need to ‘punish’ any taxpayer who is doing the right thing.  Progressive taxation, boosting low pay to a living wage and holding the upper rate at 45p are not mutually exclusive objectives.

Fairness can and should be across the board.