Giving evidence to the Treasury Committee

At 2.30 pm I shall be giving evidence to the Treasury Committee. The hearing is on wealth taxes. Answer, no.

It will take 2 hours to get through that I understand.

There is presumably some method of watching this on Zoom but quite why you might want to I’m not sure…..

22 thoughts on “Giving evidence to the Treasury Committee”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    When I saw that in my Feedly feed I expected it to be a Ragging on Ritchie story, ice to hear the grown-ups are getting a go:)

    I look forward to the reports.

  2. Would they hit a civil servant pension – using the what is would cost to replicate that pension in the market for the valuatoin?

    And no

  3. @PF
    Thanks – watching now and it’s enlightening and terrifying in equal measure.

    @ian parkinson
    Ah – hahahaha. No, because reasons.

  4. Just had a little look. I haven’t the time to watch the full thing, and alas there don’t seem to be any transcripts; but the snippets I saw look solid.

    On a technical note, your video blurs quite a bit every time you move your head. I think it’s a bandwidth problem rather than a camera problem. Others on the stream didn’t have that problem.

  5. Tim:

    Thank you very much for getting involved with this.

    It’s a mighty strange way of getting something done.

  6. It’s worse than you think. They asked me. They even asked that I submit evidence. And yes, it’s a strange way of doing it.

  7. Tim,

    There was an element of the mad professor to it (just the one). Blurring in and out of focus, lights frantically glistening off the glasses, “interesting” moustache, a certain eccentricity… You might want to review the “studio” arrangements before the next one.

    Good fun. I was with Justin to start with – thought that that Robert chap was from another planet – but it seemed to calm down and the good guys seemed to win: mostly a bat shit crazy idea. Some of them were quite good, Steve Baker seemed to enjoy himself.

  8. I love the way that “populist” in a democracy is democracy in a derogatory sense, when you can only be elected by being “common”.

  9. I watched most of it, not right to the end. Two things struck me (apart from the general poor understanding of the issues)

    – much talk about ‘wealth inequality’ but their solution seemed to be to take money from this who had some and……?? Seems to me that they are more concerned with making rich people poorer to narrow the inequality gap.

    – your point about retrospective taxation being akin to theft was not commented on. I got the impression that all the others don’t see that s a problem.

  10. A wealth tax at low rates isn’t really a wealth tax, it’s simply an additional tax on investment income, albeit notionally if the assets aren’t actually generating a regular return.

    0.5% annually for example, if one expected assets to generate an average return of 4% is simply the equivalent of an additional 12.5% tax on the income (whether actual income or notional).

    Hence, the real effect of this would be to bring pensions and PPR houses into tax, as they are currently excluded (although divs since Brown?). They also form a large chunk of normal wealth and hence it’s material. Could be done by changing the odd rule here or there on houses and pensions – and they’re done, if they are so keen on the idea.

    To act as a form of genuine wealth distribution, as the socialist (Robert) proposed, would require a whole lot higher % rate to be applied. Let me guess, a progressive wealth tax? They never learn…

  11. @Max
    “your point about retrospective taxation being akin to theft was not commented on. I got the impression that all the others don’t see that s a problem.”
    Spot on. That’s what I got from it as well. I could almost sense their eye rolling when you said that.

    Additionally, I think they also all missed the point about taxing pensions.

    I think on the whole Tim you did a good job there, and I really felt for you when that blonde woman cut you off:
    “Sorry – I haven’t got time to listen to that” your visible deflation following that was quite funny (sorry) and I really empathised with you.

    As PF said, I think you need to work on the overall visual presentation (better kit, especially video lag) and tone down the fervancy (the “mad professor”). I know you think about stuff, but you need to convey that.

  12. I actually found aspects of the discussion very interesting and i thought you Tim, the tax lawyer and the ex HMRC perm secretary spoke with most clarity and balance. The tax justice kid looked out of place. The whole holistic picture (wealth, property, pensions, IHT etc) is an absolute minefield which makes wholesale changes in the near term hard to envisage

  13. I was somewhat worried that a person who once rose to the position of head of HMRC could believe that the Laffer curve did not apply to Capital Gains.

  14. I thought Tim was excellent and I don’t share the gripes about quality of stream etc. I would say that Arun and the TJN feller are particularly dangerous (and bonkers) people and EC flip flops on the issue of introducing a wealth tax. How anyone can think this is a sensible idea staggers me.

  15. Tim,

    You said something else which I thought was very important. Pensions are not really a form of wealth anyway. They are simply advance income.

    Ie, start working at 20, die at 80. You can work evenly for 60 years; or work hard for 40 years (while you can) and relax for 20 years. The fact that you have a pot of wealth at the age of 60 is not wealth in the sense having more than someone else. It’s simply advance income as a result of choices of when to work hard/not so hard.

    Yes, one can argue that any left over at death is a form of wealth, but that’s it.

    Hence, if wanting to change the incentives on pensions, it would make more sense to focus on areas such as allowances for inputs, tax on income earned within the pension pot, and inheritance.

    And of course you can apply this concept not just to pensions but to most wealth for the majority of people who get to retirement age, who are intending to use their accumulation at that point to get them through retirement. A rental property rather than a pension pot would be exactly the same argument, prior to death.

    A thoroughly bad idea all round, even at minimal levels acting as a proxy notional investment income tax – because once introduced, the socialist fruitcakes (Robert et al, as freely admitted in his bit) then have the tax on the books and will play with the rates so that it really does redistribute/de-incentivise/destroy etc.

  16. Not sure anyone would ask me to do that. And if it were to be done with any regularity I’d need to live in England….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *