Sunday, May 30, 2010

I’ll have whatever Ian McWhirter’s having.

Tackling free lunch culture is Cameron’s toughest challenge

Is there any group in society more jealous of its privileges, more militant in defence of its perks, more determined to avoid paying tax than the “hard-working” British middle classes? The howls of anguish at the proposal to tax capital gains as income, part of the ConDem coalition agreement, illustrates how difficult it is to tackle what is called the middle-class welfare state. People who complain about welfare scroungers and benefits tourists see nothing morally wrong with ­avoiding tax.

Posted by laurag @ 08:16 PM (1111 views)
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6 thoughts on “I’ll have whatever Ian McWhirter’s having.

  • tenant super says:

    As I’ve said elsewhere… enforcing the CGT laws that exist would be a start. I’m an agorist/ geo-libertarian and have no moral problem with people avoiding income tax or VAT, but in the absence of LVT; CGT is the next best thing to aid the Lockean proviso of leaving anough land in common.

    I know someone who has 4 investment properties, has just sold one at a £250k profit. Has no intention of paying CGT and has never paid a penny in tax on the rental income from their 4 rental properties over the last 6 years. Getting the information to recoup the tax does not require Poirot-esque skills of deduction but in reality, the chances of her being caught are less than 2% and the chance of prosecution is about 0.15%

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    “in the absence of LVT; CGT is the next best…”

    True, but it is a distant second best.

    reCaptcha: rebuttal concern

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  • tenant super says:

    I agree but until such time as the Joe Public is amenable to discussion on LVT, the rise in CGT (and an imporvement in enforcement) is a start. To use an analogy, a lot of people are against abortion from a philosophical (not religious) point of view, but agree that it is worthwhile campaigning for lowering the gestation limit ( a distant second) whilst we are in a collective societal mind-set that would not be ready for a ban.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    TS, as to abortion time limits, even for an atheist like me, the upper limit seems to be set distastefully high.

    But we are looking at the wrong end. The key to this is to make it as easy as possible to get an abortion in the first few weeks, preferably on a no-questions-asked basis – the less you muck people about, the less likely it is they will be having “late” abortions.

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  • tenant super says:

    again, I agree with you. But my point was, if something you believe as a moral or practical ideal is not going to be accepted in the immediate future, then next best scenarios are still worth fighting/ arguing for. Keep the LVT argument plugging away steadily in the background but also make the case for ‘next bests’ in the foreground.

    That said, I think Merryn S-W made the point that any government that has to sort out the current mess is going to be deeply unpopular or at least make deeply unpopular choices so why not make the right deeply unpopular choice (ie LVT). I think there exists the potential for such catastrophe due to the bailouts and reflation of the property bubble that there might exist a window of opportunity for a permanent fix.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    TS, I think the “next best” after LVT is just having more Council Tax bands, all the way up to Z if need be, and reducing Whitehall grants to local councils accordingly.

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