Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/797/18106
From The Socialist newspaper, 5 February 2014
Labour taxing the rich? Balls
Labour's shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, has incurred the wrath of the super-rich with his timid proposal that an incoming Labour government would increase the top rate of income tax for those earning over £150,000 a year from 45% back up to 50%.
Almost immediately after announcing this policy Balls was backpedalling, saying the 50p rate was only temporary and a maximum, in order to reassure the wealthy that he and Labour were not "anti-business" - as if anyone was in any doubt!
Meanwhile, Chancellor George Osborne revealed he has no qualms about supporting the mega-wealthy by hinting that the richest income earners could see their tax bill cut again under the Tories, from 45% to 40%.
Business experts dismiss the efficacy of Ball's proposal by saying the tax take will be minimal. But this is because it represents a tiny rise in income tax as opposed to a comprehensive and progressive wealth tax.
Moreover, the super-rich employ an army of accountants to avoid paying billions, often using offshore tax havens.
Many of these gaping tax loopholes were left open by previous Labour governments and are being maintained by Osborne and Co, despite Prime Minister Cameron's much vaunted G8 summit pledge last year to tackle international tax avoidance.
Labour's timid tax measures will not provide the resources to lift millions out of poverty nor provide long-term increased funding for public services.
To achieve that a socialist plan of economic production would be needed through the nationalisation of the major corporations and banks, under democratic workers' control and management.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
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In The Socialist 5 February 2014:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Bedroom tax beaten in Scotland
Who's robbing our NHS?
Trade unions - time to break Labour link is now!
Labour taxing the rich? Balls
Them & Us
International socialist news and analysis
Sochi winter Olympics - -breaking all records!
Ukraine: battling forces no friends of working class
Reports and campaigns
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition conference
Socialist Students: Preparing for struggles to come
Cameron's cruel cuts hammer the homeless
Floods: fully-funded environmental planning needed
Stop £98 million cuts in Worcestershire
Fleetwood: MP tries to evade hospital campaigners
Building the Socialist Party
Socialist Party workplace news
Stop the tube cuts: Support the strikes!
PCS: Re-elect fighting, campaigning leadership
NUT national executive agrees date for national strike
Yorks ambulance workers strike again
Preparing action in Lewisham
Royal Opera House workers win living wage
Future Directions dispute settled
Tebay: RMT rally
Who supported the 1984-85 miners' strike?
Pete Seeger - Sound of US protest movement
Osborne claims recovery - super-exploitation is reality
The Socialist 5 February 2014 |
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