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The whingeing wealthy

May 28, 2010, 04:18 AM
Authors : Mike
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Post date : May 28, 2010, 04:18 AM

Right, that's it. I've had it with the whingeing wealthy complaining about a return to income tax rates for charging capital gains.

The last straw was the City AM campaign 'Why Cam must axe the cap gains hike'.

Quite apart from its awful down-market red-top headline, where almost every word must be abbreviated to no more than four letters, it doesn't even preserve the fig-leaf of a pretence that this is anything other than a plea for the rich to be undertaxed.

There is one brief mention of 'small shareholders and buy-to-let investors'; the rest of the complaints are from, and in defence of, those with a lot of money to invest.

I am all in favour of capitalist principles, and people investing their money to make more money. But when they do, they should expect to shoulder their appropriate share of the tax burden.

When their cleaners are paying increased National Insurance to pay for the costs of the financial crisis, and face a combined tax, NI and credit withdrawal rate of 70%+ on any wage increase, financiers should stop moaning that they might be taxed on their capital gains at income tax rates.

After all, that was the system for many years under the well-known Trotskyist clique of Thatcher and Lawson.

By all means talk about the possibility of reintroducing some indexation relief, and some protection for entrepreneurs.

But to claim that a short-term gains tax would work is ridiculous.

It didn't before, and if any tax adviser reading this can't think of half a dozen ways to cover the risk and get the money out of an investment whle still leaving it technically owned by the investor, s/he isn't thinking hard enough.

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