Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tax and the Top 1%

Danny Dorling (photo), who attended our last discussion meeting, has just published a "no-nonsense guide to equality" - see here for details and for a video of Danny talking about this key topic. He has also posted an important item on the "Left Foot Forward" Web-Site about tax and the top 1%. The following is taken from its introduction.

One of the greatest myths that was regurgitated in the aftermath of the budget was the claim the tax take on the rich rises the less they are taxed.

It was said this occurred when Nigel Lawson was chancellor in the 1980s. What actually happened in the 1980s was that as the rich took a greater and greater share of national income the share of income tax they paid went up.

The richest 1% now pay more than a quarter of all direct income tax. This is not because of the 40%, 45% or 50% top tax rate, but because they now take home such huge salaries and bonuses (and incomes in other forms).

Today the best-off 1% take home a greater share than they have done at any time since directly after the First World War.

Allowing the richest 1% to take home more and more income and pay less tax does not create wealth and jobs. Employment levels have been highest in Britain in the years when the richest 1% had their lowest shares of national income, from 1945 to 1979.

The richest 1% didn’t pay a great absolute amount of income tax then because they were not taking such a high and unfair share of all the monies paid out in wages and salaries nationally.

Hat Tip : Jon Williams.

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