Friday, March 18, 2005

The "undeserving rich"

In a recent letter to Gordon Brown, Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, Treasury Spokesman for the Liberal Democrats questioned the Stamp Duty exemption on commercial property transactions in deprived areas as follows; "Can you please tell me why the taxpayer is handing out £8.6m to the undeserving rich by exempting the buyer from stamp duty on the purchase of this second hand Holborn Office Block?". Following the budget, such "loopholes" have now been closed, but what disturbs me is why the rich are deemed to be "undeserving"? If they have worked hard, studied, taken advantage of opportunities as they present themselves, then why are they "undeserving". It could just as well be applied to the "undeserving" poor who have done and will do nothing to better themselves in life yet expect everyone else to subsidise them.

Update In this week's New Statesman magazine, it points out that the top 10% of high earners pay over 50% of all income tax receipts. It seems to me that they are far more deserving than most to receive some benefits, and dare I say, some thanks for paying for the rest of us!! As the other 90% of us pay the other half, is there a case for massively simplyfing the tax system, increasing allowances and reducing the Inland Revenue headcount?

1 comment:

Jon Malcolm said...

Im personally infuriated by the current situation in Britain in which otherwise intelligent people treat wealth and aspiration as being dirty and against the order of things.

If we denegrate all those that have made a success of themselves then can we be surprised when their is such an atmosphere of low aspiration and sneering?