Them and Torfaen

George Osbourne proposes to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million (for couples) – clearly believing this to be a big vote-winner. So I thought I should check how many people in Torfaen might benefit.

A quick search of estate agent websites revealed that our average house price is around £150,000 and barely any sell above £800,000. So, in reality, fewer than a dozen Torfaen electors might benefit.

In trumpeting this as great news, George Osbourne seems genuinely unaware of the huge divide between the haves and have-nots in Britain. Raising the inheritance tax threshhold to £1 million may buy votes in London and the shires – but this will not benefit anyone in Torfaen.

There’s a similar divide with respect to incomes. Average income in Torfaen is half that of London and the South East and an even smaller proportion of the highest earners in London. So the Green Party pledge to raise the top rate of income tax to 60p (from 45p) will ‘hurt’ some in London but hardly affect us.

George Osbourne’s policies are to keep the rich rich (100 FTSE 100 chief executives receive ~£4.3 million/year and they won’t be happy with a 60p/£ higher rate tax – this would ‘lose’ them over £600,00/year). But I doubt that anyone in Torfaen is paying the higher rate of tax bracket (OK, there may be – but very few).

Tax avoidance costs the UK £120 billion a year – by collecting all this we could transform our public services. So I am (and the SLP is) committed to closing 100% of tax avoidance loopholes and instituting a simpler tax band structure:.

  • Income under £15,000 per year                      No tax payable
  • Income between £15,000 – £30,000                20 per cent
  • Income between £30,000 – £55,000                30 per cent
  • Income between £55,000 – £80,000                40 per cent
  • 5 Income between £80,000 – £100,000          50 percent
  • 6 Income between £100,000 – £200,000        60 percent
  • Income between £200,000 – £300,000           70 per cent
  • Income over £300,000                                          90 percent

In 2014 Britain’s banks recorded over £20 billion of profit – having been bailed out a few years earlier with public money when their incompetance caused them to make huge losses. By taking these banks into public ownership we could invest that money for the good of society.

There really is no problem ‘balancing the books’ – unless (like George Osbourne) you rule out all measures that take money from the rich.

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