Oh dear Polly

There is plenty of national wealth to pay for everything: last week the ONS reported more household wealth than ever, up 15% in the two years to the Brexit vote.

Using wealth to pay for current spending is, in Harold MacMillan’s phrase, known as “selling the family silver.”

It’s not a sustainable solution.

27 thoughts on “Oh dear Polly”

  1. The Unused Testicle

    I do hope Polly reads that before she melts down all the family treasures and gives the proceeds to the, er, Treasury.

  2. But the GDP belongs to government , hence all the data tables referencing government debt to GDP – GDP being their tax base.

  3. Yeah. But selling somebody else’s family silver’s OK with Pol. As long as it’s not Toynbee silver.

  4. Polly doesn’t understand that the moment the State starts stealing that wealth it isn’t going to be worth quite as much.

  5. Rob

    “Polly doesn’t understand that the moment the State starts stealing that wealth it isn’t going to be worth quite as much.”

    She understands this perfectly well, she just doesn’t care. Never forget the mess in Venezuela is not the failure of policies that Polly promotes, but rather, their success. That is the desired outcome for Polly.

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    I understand that houses in Umbria are worth quite a bit.

    Perhaps Polly might like to make a donation?

  7. Smfs

    Did she ever have one? I believe she claims not to have one now, though not sure if that’s a denial she ever did.

  8. The denials I’ve seen are only denials that she now has a house in Umbria (maybe it was Tuscany).

    She carefully hasn’t said that she doesn’t any longer have a house elsewhere in Foreign.

  9. I would LOVE Corbin and Johhny Mac to openly campaign on the abolition of vehicles like ISAs, Inheritance tax relief, removal of R&D tax incentives and all of that. I think they will unquestionably get rid of all that but if they followed her playbook and openly said they would it might harm their chances of being in a position to do so.

  10. This gem hidden as well..

    ‘You might wonder why charities get almost £2bn in relief, so every £1 in a tin for donkeys or indeed the Odinist Fellowship gets 25% added by the treasury, willy-nilly. Instead of scatter-gun reliefs, a charity council might better allocate taxpayers’ money.’

    Bang goes any thought that even people giving money to charity might be able to do so without the ‘cold,dead hand’ of the state interfering. I lack the eloquence of Mr. Ecks in saying just how chilling the kind of mindset that would politicise giving money to charity is, but that is the reality of Corbinite Britain. A place where life is nasty, brutish and short….

  11. Instead of scatter-gun reliefs, a charity council might better allocate taxpayers’ money.

    “Instead of every charity getting this relief, a ‘charity council’ packed with Leftist activists can ensure charities we don’t like miss out, while our friends get nodded through”.

  12. Rob

    Your habitual eloquence hits the nail on the head – exactly what the likes of Toynbee actually mean to say!!!!

  13. So Much For Subtlety

    MyBurningEars – “Did she ever have one? I believe she claims not to have one now, though not sure if that’s a denial she ever did.”

    Was there ever a question she didn’t have one? Perhaps domestic help has got too expensive in Italy and she has upped sticks to somewhere more affordable?

    I hope she paid the appropriate taxes on the house when she sold it.

  14. I wonder why Polly thinks equity release is tax avoiding. Basically it’s a loan secured on your home on which you pay interest.

  15. Polly’s comment is infinitely more stupid than Tim actually points out.

    How much of the high level of national wealth she refers to is wrapped up in property? I would imagine a huge amount of it is. This gives rise to the question: how could the government possibly release or realise its value and use it for the various purposes Polly and her ilk would prefer? Answer: the government cannot do so.

    While an individual property owner could release the value of his property and put it to other ends, he could only do so by selling it to someone else. There is nothing that could be done nationally or by the government to release the value since any property will just be transferred from one person to another and the ‘wealth’ wrapped up in it remains, stubbornly, in the property rather than the government’s coffers.

    Of course there are policies that could be pursued such as taxing property owners on the basis of their net wealth, but doing so is likely to have a corresponding impact on the value of the property held, reducing it rather than making it generally available for the government to splurge.

  16. @NK: spot on, which rather shoots the Land Value Tax fox stone dead, because as I constantly point out an LVT would have to be paid out of income not capital, as the capital would (even if it could be liquidated) soon be used up.

    An LVT is an income tax, just one that taxes your income by ensuring you can only live in a house that your income can afford to pay the LVT on. Low income, have to live in a low value house. High income, can afford the LVT on a nicer house. In both cases your LVT bill will be roughly proportionate to your income.

    The LVT would also have the effect of making property values directly related to the income distribution of the population, as buying an expensive house with capital but a low income would no longer be possible. So a lot of the capital values at the top end would disappear overnight.

  17. I can’t spend my wealth, I’m living in it!

    Which is actually a valid point. I have no children, I will die with that wealth, it would actually be of more use to me if I *could* spend that wealth. I’d be able to pay my mortgage for one.

  18. Jim, you obviously do not understand how the LVT is a veritable panacea for all economic ills. It’s all we need to do.

  19. Just made the mistake of checking whether I could put a large bet on Labour to win next election in order to hedge massive loss in my/all household wealth only to find that they are odds on to win the most seats.
    Ok that’s not the same as forming a government, but I am seriously sh!tt!ng myself now.

  20. I read the Polly article this morning. Stunning stuff. State control of wealth and how it is spent. The point often made here is that she thinks the state owns and generates the wealth so should control what happens. Scary stuff. Freedom comes from the state not taken by the state.

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