But this does not mean a scrip tax does not make sense: it does. The reason why is that it gives us all a stake in these businesses in a way that is not apparent now. Even those with pensions have not a clue in the vast majority of cases in what companies they have an interest. A sovereign wealth fund would hold that interest very tangibly, and should be actively engaged with companies to protect stakeholder rights.
This is why such a fund is important. It would say to companies that their arguments on shareholder value are wrong. Shareholders would then, very obviously, include real people who have real interest in tax being paid; who want public services and who abhor tax abuse, gender pay gaps, casualised working practices, anti-union attitudes and executive pay that abuses the whole system of market capitalism.
So, err, we’ll be managing a sovereign wealth fund in a more personal and tangible manner than we do our own pensions then, will we?