The fiscal matter of whether the top rate of tax should be cut or not is a diversion from the moral perspective of David Cameron’s ‘we’re all in this together’ mantra.
Essentially, what is being said is that the 50p top rate of tax merely deters the wealthy from being based here and thereby loses the exchequer money rather than increasing it. The argument is, to say the least, a bizarre conundrum politically because the very people who have the most influence over the state of the nation’s finances, the top 1 per cent of earners, seem to be excused from the pain that Cameron says we should all feel.
Remember that the disabled, those below the poverty line, the frail, the elderly – anyone that you can imagine who might be classed as vulnerable – all are suffering from cutbacks to their services and benefits. Those in a stronger position, that large swathe of ‘middle-England’ as it is described, those working and earning above average salaries are also being made to pay. Notwithstanding all of that, the argument here is that because the rich can simply boycott the UK and thereby reduce our tax-take, the richest in the country should be excused any pay back at all. This dichotomy will doubtless make the reasonable majority believe that the richest people in the UK are both uncaring and selfish and it could impact badly in terms of civil unrest. The latest political heavyweight to add his voice to those demanding that the top rate of tax is cut from 50p in the pound is Lord (Dominic) Lawson, though why anyone would take any notice of Lord Boom’n’bust on the economy is beyond me.
The saddest fact out of all of this is that it is those on the lowest incomes who are paying proportionately more from their disposable incomes. That, because of a rescue of banks and finance houses, is morally repugnant.