Sunday, December 01, 2013

Boris Johnson encounters Leftist hate

Boris is the Conservative Mayor of London, known for his outspokenness

Last week I pointed out that the rich paid a much greater share of income tax than they used to.

When Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979, they faced a top marginal tax rate of 98 per cent, and the top 1 per cent of earners contributed 11 per cent of the government’s total revenues from income tax.

Today, when taxes have been cut substantially, the top 1 per cent contributes almost 30 per cent of income tax; and, indeed, the top 0.1 per cent — just 29,000 people — contribute fully 14 per cent of all taxation.

That is an awful lot of schools and roads and hospitals being paid for by the super-rich. So why, I asked innocently, are they so despicable in the eyes of decent British people?

Surely they should be hailed like the Stakhanovites of Stalin’s Russia who half-killed themselves, in the name of the people, by mining record tonnages of coal?

I proposed that we should fete very rich taxpayers and decorate them and inaugurate a new class of tax hero, with automatic knighthoods for the top 10 per cent.

Hardly ever have I produced so frenzied and hate-filled a response.

People aren’t remotely interested in how much tax these characters pay. That does nothing to palliate their primary offence, which is to be so stonkingly rich.

After five years of recession, people rightly or wrongly care about inequality and pay disparity.

It seems to me, therefore that though it would be wrong to persecute the rich, and madness to try and stifle wealth creation, and futile to try to stamp out inequality, we should only tolerate this wealth gap on two conditions: one, that we help those who genuinely cannot compete; and, two, that we provide opportunity for those who can.


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