Hehir on UK Labour’s tax plans

February 6th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

writes in the Manawatu Standard:

The United Kingdom’s Labour Party recently pledged to lift Britain’s top marginal rate from 45 per cent to 50 per cent.

The reaction was interesting because it illustrates the way people in politics sometimes talk past one another in political debate.

The policy has been partly framed as a deficit reduction measure and partly as an effort to create a “fairer” economy.

In critiquing the proposals, detractors have focused on the first of these, pointing out that the analysis of Her Majesty’s Treasury is that the higher tax rate only accounted for an additional £100 million in tax revenue.

In isolation, that seems like a lot. Given that the UK Budget deficit exceeds £116 billion, however, the proposal would not meaningfully contribute towards putting Britain’s public finances in order.

It’s a rich prick tax. Would plus the deficit by 0.1% only. They’re doing it to punish.

There are other factors at play, too. In a modern, globalised economy the transnational elite can easily shop around for competing jurisdictions in which to base their economic activity.

The best way to get more companies to pay tax in NZ, is to have lower tax rates.

American President and liberal icon John F Kennedy recognised this when calling for the slashing of the top income tax rate in 1962. Kennedy, no rabid Right-winger on domestic affairs, opined that: “. . . tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now”.

Yet left parties in NZ are promising to increase tax rates.

Polls show that large majorities of the British public would support the move. About 40 per cent would do so even if it raises no revenue.

An envy tax.

For the current generation of progressive leaders, stiff marginal tax rates are not exclusively (or even primarily) a means of raising money for the government to spend. Decreasing the wealth of the rich is considered a legitimate end unto itself – even if nobody else benefits.

That is so sadly true. This is what many proponents of reducing income inequality want – less rich people rather than less poor people.

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12 Responses to “Hehir on UK Labour’s tax plans”

  1. Manolo (13,519 comments) says:

    Unfortunately, many of the Poms who fled to our shores share the same envious attitude and desire for higher taxes.

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  2. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    The Brits could introduce a law requiring all foreign banks to disclose their records about all British citizens or former residents or entities controlled by them regardless of whether they live in Britain. Then they wouldn’t be able to avoid the “envy” tax by hiding it in or by living in other countries. DPF would be ok with this, since he said so in the 7am post.

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  3. Odakyu-sen (577 comments) says:

    Envy is a way of directing on to others your feelings about your own failings. It’s a way of escaping from having to do something to improve your own situation.

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  4. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Left-wing envy is a real problem, they being the ones that do the majority of breeding, bludging, and voting. Take a look at the contributors to this post of a left persuasion, all they post is based on envy, self entitlement, and an acceptance of their personal failures. Labour/Greens champion some real losers.

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  5. David Garrett (7,009 comments) says:

    “fewer” rather than “less” DPF…fewer rich people..(sorry, it’s the pedant in me…)

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  6. Southern Raider (1,800 comments) says:

    I always cringe when they interview a union rep on TV and they have a pommie or US accent. It’s bad enough having native born socialists, we don’t need to import them as well.

    That pommie twat who represents the Unite Union has to be the worst.

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  7. Harriet (4,800 comments) says:

    The real and only people who generate nearly all tax in NZ are private sector employers and employees.

    Yet national is paying the private sector to do more for the government – employment placement providers are an example – which then drains the private sector of resources to actually ‘make’ money from exports, tourism ect[so much for increasing national productivity] It also leads to massive inflation as wages and costs start to go up, and there is further shortages of workers – and to solve that the government then allows further immigration which adds to residential land scarcity – and further inflating house prices.

    Increasing GDP and immigration by those means just delays the problem being fixed – less fucken government.

    Bill English better get his act together with regards to tax because the current way he is spending it with a surging economy is going to create problems throughout the entire economy. He needs to slash taxes and slash half the services that government provides or pays for. The private sector will only then provide the goods and services that new zealanders actually need or want.

    Everyone’s wealth resides on how Bill English spends money – and he currently acting like a commie!

    A party vote for the Conservatives will keep National and English on their toes while the economy is surging – and will keep all private sector workers more financially secure.

    The left can keep attacking him for all I care – more National voters will then vote for the Conservatives. :cool:

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  8. dime (9,805 comments) says:

    Imagine going through life feeling that way. Sad, bitter fucks

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  9. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Southern Raider: The only things Poms ever brought to this country were unions, gorse, rabbits and rats.

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  10. OneTrack (2,988 comments) says:

    What tax rates does the Labour/Green/Mana coalition of envy have in mind for the workers of New Zealand. 45%? 50%? When will they start cutting in – 60k? 50k?

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  11. PaulL (5,954 comments) says:

    The even more important fact is that it won’t actually reduce the number of rich folks. The reason that the envy tax doesn’t raise any more money isn’t because rich folks suddenly become poor. It’s because they structure their affairs so that their money isn’t visible to the tax man. In short, it means that we can’t see the rich people any more, but they don’t stop existing. Of course, for most people that’s what they want anyway – they don’t want to see rich people or hear about them. If rich people exist but you don’t know about it, then it doesn’t create an inequality problem (most of the problems stated for inequality basically boil down to “I know other people are rich and it makes me feel bad / makes me steal stuff / makes me give up wanting to live”, so if we just hide the rich people then no problem).

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  12. slijmbal (1,227 comments) says:

    “Unfortunately, many of the Poms who fled to our shores share the same envious attitude and desire for higher taxes.”

    Like F**k we do – there is a very small subset of unionist exports who do – the rest of us left to get away from mother England to a less constrained and regulated environment with nicer people (the average Kiwi is a nicer person) and lesser populated.

    Emigrants are generally not at all like those from the home country – they generally made a really scary (to them) decision to go and move to a foreign country for strong reasons.

    I must admit to some surprise when I arrived in NZ and found it was more left of centre than the UK was when I left it. NZ is still quite leftist but the UK became very so and we can see this by this type of policy – talking to friends from back home the country is f**ked.

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