Sooner or later, there will have to be a reckoning. As the recession drags on, more and more debts will simply become unpayable, whether the government and creditors like it or not. We can either wait for this to happen, and brace ourselves for the economic and social chaos it will bring with it; or we can act now to rebalance the burden.
Calls for wealth taxes and debt write-downs must be seen in this context. They are not about the well-off making sacrifices to help the less well-off. The point is that the least well-off are already making eye-watering sacrifices to maintain income flows to wealthy creditors. If this does not change soon, the UK’s recovery will be slow and painful. Tackling growing inequalities between those who own assets and those who owe debts is no longer simply a matter of justice: it is an urgent economic necessity.
Keynes – sensible chap a lot of the time – and MMT both say that raising taxes in a recession is not a good idea. Even if it is to beat inequality….
Christine Berry is a researcher, writer and consultant
The Lord save us from The Guardian’s economics, eh?