Richard Murphy

This is a new meaning of the word “expert”

Wealth tax rise could raise £174bn to tackle Covid-19, expert says

Which expert is that?

UK taxes should be central to debate on paying for pandemic, suggests Richard Murphy


The government has the potential to raise up to £174bn a year to help cope with the Covid-19 crisis if it taxed wealth at the same rate as income, a UK tax expert has said.

Aha. Actually, Ahahahahahaha.

Taxing wealth at 45% annually ain’t gonna work you know.

Richard Murphy, a professor in political economy at City University in London, said income was being taxed at almost 10 times the rate of wealth – and that the disparity should be central to any debate about who should pay for the pandemic.

Well one is a stock, the other a flow. So, yes, different tax rates are about right, justified, certainly.

In an analysis of the period from 2011 to 2018, Murphy said income had been taxed on average at 29.4% while wealth – generated mostly from rising house prices and the increased value of personal pensions – had been taxed at 3.4%.

I never know with Larry Elliott. At times I think he actually writes down what Murphy says, without correcting for the obvious errors, just so that people can see how ridiculous the claims are.

“This has massive implications for the forthcoming debate on who, if anyone, should pay for the coronavirus crisis. What is clear is that the only fair answer will be that those on the highest incomes, and those with wealth, are the only people who could afford to pick up that bill. If anything, everyone else needs a tax cut just to help them survive. Any politician with any concern for tax justice will have to understand this.”

A Richard Murphy

But tax doesn’t pay for government spending. Or is this Thursday, so it does?