Yes! This will do it! Labour is saved and there will indeed be a fourth term!
A supertax on high earners should be considered as part of Gordon Brown’s autumn fight-back, a minister says today….. Last month a former minister, Chris Leslie, called for an extra 10p in the pound tax for earnings above £250,000, the threshold Lewis is believed to favour. The Treasury estimates this would yield £3.5 billion a year, about the same amount as it collects from inheritance tax.
£3.5 friggin\’ billion? Out of a governmental spend of £600 billion or so? That\’s a rounding error, not a masterly political stroke.
Look, the rich (the top 1%) have annual incomes of the order of £90 billion. They already pay some £30 billion of this in tax. Their nett incomes are thus, in aggregate, £60 billion. We could take all of this in tax, every last penny, and it really wouldn\’t make much difference at all. Well, OK, they\’d all leave, but we could do it once maybe. And get 10% of the amount the govt spends each year. Once.
We\’d cover the PSBR: no, not the national debt, just the amount it increases by, with some change left over… some 3% of this year\’s spending. Maybe 1.5% of GDP, once.
This is the thing that so many people seem to find it so hard to understand. There really aren\’t that many rich people and they really don\’t have all that much money. Leave aside all that Laffer Curve stuff for a moment and get your head around the facts. You cannot run a large State simply by taxing the rich. There just aren\’t enough of them and they don\’t have enough money.