11 September 2007

Measure to help the poor

Gordon Brown seems to want to present himself as a champion of rights for the low paid while running an aggressive form American capitalism in Britain. Yet three fisco-legislative measures would do much to help worst off relative to the rich.

First, increase both the threshold at which income tax is paid and the rate. Thus on say the first GBP 10 000 of income a year, the tax rate could be nothing. Why take money from the poorest people at all? On incomes over that amount the standard rate of tax could be 25 percent – hardly a high rate by European comparisons.

Second, the minimum wage should be increased to seven or eight pounds per hour. This would go some way to end the scandal of people in full time employment and living in poverty.

Third, tax the property of the rich. Whereas income can always be hidden, property cannot. All persons owning land valued at over GBP 400 000 would be required to pay say one percent of the property’s value in tax. Similar rules could apply to four-wheel-drives, yachts, etc.

Of course in reality Brown will do none of these things. While paying lip service to the poor, his loyalty remains not just to American style capitalism for Britain, but also to the rich who benefit from it.

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