Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Why are the British Super-rich so Bloody Mean?
I feel so impotently angry about the arguments regarding the fat cats. We are told by economists and politicians on the right that we must keep the top rate low otherwise rich folk won't live here, spend all their dosh and benefit our economy. So therefore don't whinge but celebrate the fact that Sir Philip Green has signed over nhis company to wifey whose lives in low tax Monaco so that his hugely profitable retail empire avoids the kinds of taxes the rest of us mugs have to pay.
And in addition to all this we learn that, while other super-rich people like Warren Buffet and a number of French billionaires, are asking to be taxed MORE! The excellent Bagehot in The Economist made some telling points to make on this:
THE Royal Mail is not what it was, so perhaps that joint letter from British billionaires, volunteering to pay more tax, is stuck in the post. The absence of such a letter has certainly been noted. British politicians and commentators have pointed to America, where the investor Warren Buffett has fretted about being “coddled” with low tax rates; and to France, where plutocrats last month wrote an open letter offering to pay more to the state. In a challenge to Anglo-Saxon sniffiness about tax-shy southerners, the British press even carried news of civic sacrifice from Italy, where the chairman of Ferrari, a carmaker, said those earning several million euros a year should pay a supertax. It was almost a relief when British newspapers reported that Italy’s star footballers were threatening to strike rather than pay a wealth tax
If rich people are going to leave the country should they be forced to contribute a widow's mite or two from fortunes which they have not the time to spend, should we worry overmuch? I find it hard to.
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