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Soft soaping envy into a cardinal virtue

Showing all the comic timing of the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the TUC has decided that a day on which it has been revealed that the number of 40% rate tax payers has doubled in 10 years is just the day to squawk about 'tax justice'.

In the same way that these days envy is called 'a burning desire for social justice', fiscal class war is called 'tax justice'. Despite claiming to offer the full figures from a survey on attitudes to tax, the TUC does not, so I will have to tease out what I can from its press release. And there are some truly fabulous leaps in logic:

"The polling...shows that only seven per cent of people think that 'Britain's tax system gets the balance right between the amount of tax paid by the rich, the poor and those in the middle'. Even among those with household incomes of more than £100,000 only 13 per cent think the balance is right". And in TUC-think, that means that 87% think they are paying too much. Yeah, right.

And there's more:

"Three quarters of those polled (75 per cent) agree that 'it is too easy for very rich people to get out of paying a fair level of tax' (including 43 per cent who strongly agree)."

This conflates knowledge that tax can be avoided with a moral stance on it.

"The public also thinks it is too easy for big companies to get out of paying tax and thinks that the Government is wrong to reduce tax on large companies".

The public suffers from a less than full understanding of commerce, and does not seem to have twigged that taxing companies is not some manner of fiscal free lunch and would lead to increased prices, lower wages and all sorts of other things they would not like at all.

And what does the TUC want to happen?

This: "Creating a fairer tax system does not mean a higher tax bill for ordinary workers. Instead, clamping down on tax avoidance and closing the loopholes enjoyed by the super-rich will put extra revenue into ordinary peoples' pockets or pay for our hard-pressed public services".

There is only response to the suggestion that the TUC would support tax cuts for Joe & Josie Average - come off it. One might add that Barber seems to think that the hedge fund managers, footballers and others that he wants to fleece will just stay in the UK. Maybe someone needs to send him the Ladybird Book of Laffer Curves or somesuch.

Anyway, the TUC has rounded up the usual suspects to 'debate' this subject, ranging from Polly 'my house is so big that if broken into flats I could solve the London housing crisis' Toynbee to the tin-rattling wings of the Left - Oxfam, War on Want etc etc - and sundry wonk groups - Compass, ippr etc. If all the people in attendance could be persuaded to leave the UK, permanently, this place would be improved immeasurably.

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Anonymous Neil Reddin said... 4:53 pm

I find it only mildly amusing that the Left talk about "fair taxation" when the concept of a "fair tax" is clearly an oxymoron.

Any tax, or level thereof, is only a point on a scale of less/more unfair.  



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