Breakingviews: UK needs a permanent, property-based wealth tax

 
Published by Reuters on Wednesday, 29 August 2012
By Ian Campbell
 
The UK deputy prime minister’s call for an emergency wealth tax has a whiff of political opportunism: things are tough, let’s get those fat cats.
Yet Nick Clegg is partly right. But a tax on the wealthy needs to be fair and predictable, not the quick grab that he advocates. Property tax is the way to do it.

Taxing the wealthy is tricky. The government reduced the top rate of income tax from 50 percent to 45 percent in the budget. George Osborne, the Chancellor, claimed on shaky evidence that the higher rate didn’t raise additional revenue. Clegg’s statement may be his political response. Furthermore, disappointing fiscal numbers are another spur. In the first four months of the tax year, government borrowing was 11.6 billion pounds higher than a year ago. The deficit is rising, not falling.

There is scope to raise more …


Tags: government, housing, tax, wealthy

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