The Sun Says:
Axe, not tax
The Tories will be playing with fire if they bump up council tax to keep Nick Clegg happy. Council tax is already crippling.(1) And the Lib Dem argument for an increase is deeply flawed.(2)
Higher property valuation bands would hammer many working families (3) and retired people (4) who do not see their ordinary semis and terraced houses in the South as mansions.(5) Instead of raising taxes, let the Government cut overseas aid, reduce Whitehall overmanning and axe quangos.(6)
Who cares about keeping the idiot Clegg happy anyway? The Sun doesn’t.(7)
1) Outright lie. The total taxes raised from the productive economy are about £400 billion a year, borne mainly by fewer than 20 million working households; the overall effective tax rate on earnings is at least fifty per cent. Council Tax raises £25 billion-odd from 27 million households and is not income-related so does not discourage people from working (although Council Tax benefit probably does). No business has ever shut down because its customers or employees paid higher council tax - or are you more likely to get made redundant if you get a promotion and move into a nicer house in a higher council band?
2) No it's not. Their argument is quite sensible: "You can't take land abroad or hide it from the taxman."
3) Outright lie, see (1).
4) The interests of working age are completely at odds with the interests of retired people. If you're on the side of Poor Widows In Mansions, then you are quite maliciously acting against the interests of working age people. And the interests of landowners and bankers in 'the South' are diametrically opposed to the interests of the rest of the country anyway.
5) So what? The Queen probably thinks that Balmoral is a modest holiday cottage. A tax on rental values is a tax on rental values; for these purposes, a home on a large plot in a cheap area is equivalent to a home on a small plot in an expensive one. Market prices and market rents tell us this.
6) True but irrelevant. That's the spending side, not the tax raising side. It's like a school pupil going to the careers advisor and asking him whether he should spend his future earnings on cars or holidays.
7) Neither do I, but occasionally even Nick Clegg is right.
Monday, 19 November 2012
The Sun Says:
My latest blogpost: Killer Arguments Against LVT, Not (251)Tweet this! Posted by Mark Wadsworth at 14:00