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Letter in the Evening Standard on Wealth Taxes

September 25th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized by

Wealth taxes were much in the news this week after they were made the central platform of the Liberal Democrat autumn conference. Wealth Taxes are a really bad idea for a whole host of reasons – not least that they simply exacerbate the problem that government taxes and spends too much.

The following is the text of my letter to the Evening Standard, which they kindly printed in Monday’s edition (sadly not available on line):

AFTER the 2010 election, Lib Dem members in Birmingham voted almost unanimously to participate in the job of fixing the mess left over by Labour. This was always going to be a long and difficult task. Neither the Lib Dems nor the country as a whole is going to find salvation in returning to the errors of the past.

Everybody wants fair taxes, but “Wealth” taxes risk hitting ordinary people who have saved for their pension or own a family home in many parts of the UK.

Rather than trying to squire more out of  the top 1 per cent, 10 per cent or 100 per cent, Liberals in government should prioritise reducing tax rates for everybody while reducing the regulatory burdens facing entrepreneurs.

Vince Cable wrote in the Orange Book that no-one on the income distribution scale should pay taxes of more than 50 per cent — something that he and Clegg seem to have forgotten since they got into Government.

– Tom Papworth, Lib Dem group leader, Bromley council; member, Liberal Vision

This does appear to have made me Conservative Home’s favourite Lib Dem councillor, a cross I will have to bear.

Avoiding paying the Mansion Tax will be easier for oligarchs than Lord Oakeshott realises.

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