Monday, April 02, 2007
Taxing Rich Only Way to Compensate for Effects of Globalization
Globalisation is used by those at the top to explain both why they should be paid more (talent is mobile in the modern world) and why their workers should be paid less (the disciplines of the borderless world).
Poverty is calculated at 60% of median income- the level which bisects income distribution- meaning that with the latter at £362 per week the former is £217 but 1.5 million hover above that, only £10 a week better off. The problem is about to become more severe. To achieve his object of halving child poverty by 2010 Brown will have to bite the bullet, says Elliot, and tax the rich more severely. He suggests increasing the top tax rate by 1% over the next three years would raise the necessary £4bn to achieve his poverty reduction goal.
Since 1997 Brown has redistributed income substantially. The two poorest tenths of the population have benefited by 12% while the richest tenth have lost out to the tune of 6%. But the rich are still doing very well out of New Labour and can clearly afford to pay more. Tax increases are never popular even when the rich minority are being squeezed but to any doubters I'd say this: if the Conservatives get in in 2009, instead of inching ahead, inequalities will soar and the redistributive achievements of this often unfairly slated government will soon be destroyed.
The Economist weighs in this week with its own analysis[page 40- I can't afford to subscribe to the online version]. It sums up Blair's 1997 strategy as: 'The rich can get as rich as thy like, so long as the poor are getting better-off too.' It concludes that the position of the poor has deteriorated to the extent that taxes may have to be looked at again: 'The 20 year old settlement that Mr Blair so eloquently summed up is now looking increasingly shaky.'
I don't ever hear the poor(if there are any of those in Britain any more, and I doubt it) complaining about the "gap in wealth", rather I hear them complain of their poor absolute living standards.
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