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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Taxpayers Against Poverty — the common good or oppression

From Revd Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty

A TAP letter published in The Observer on Sunday 10 August is about the Byzantine complexity of central government paying benefits and local government taxing them. I suggest it is better to tax the wealthy another £1.2 billion which could pay the council tax of the poorest citizens with some left over for the common good. 

The Observer 10 August 20

Taxation: a 50p tax rate would do so much for the common good

The conventional wisdom that says a 50p rate would be mainly symbolic is wrong
There is a question missing from your leader on tax ("On tax, our politicians are just too cowardly", Comment). It should be asked of every member of parliament elected in 1979 and since. How did this nation arrive at a byzantine system of national government paying social security, intended to secure the lawful survival and shelter of the poorest citizens
and then allowing local government to tax it? A national administrative army pays a very inadequate £72.40 a week jobseekers' allowance to individual adults; then the local army taxes it an average of £149 a year council tax.
Unsurprisingly, given that £72.40 now has to pay some of the rent and that other laws have reduced its value, while the prices of food and fuel rise, there are late and non-payers of council tax. 
Byzantium expects a third army of magistrates, court and council enforcers to be paid for, even by the poorest citizens, by charging up to £125 on top of the arrears and more for the private army of bailiffs
Sadly, you subscribe to the conventional wisdom that raising income tax to a 50p rate for the highly affluent and an additional £1.2bn a year from a mansion tax is mainly symbolic.
Not so; £1.2bn would pay all the average £149 a year council tax of the 2.3 million working-age families claiming social security, saving them £348m a year, with £852m left over and saving admin and enforcers' costs.
It was estimated in 2009 that a 50p tax rate above £150,000 a year income would raise a further £1.3bn in 2010/11, rising to £3.05bn in 2011/12. Think what that could do for the common good.
The Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty

The Tablet 8th August 20

93 Campbell Road, 
London N17 0BF
0208 3765455
07961 177889
also at www.z2k.org 

Please sign our petition celbrating Martin Luther King
Parliament is asked to debate the speech made by Martin Luther King 50 Years ago in Washington USA on the 28 August 1963 and to note that it can be applied to circumstances in Britain in August 2013. He said “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

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