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Tax and benefits

So its the rich that get the pleasure and its the poor that foot the bill. That seems to be the way of things. Not only under this government but it was true in the Blair/Brown era too.

The wealth of the twentieth richest people in the UK has increased over the last year by about a billion quid.

The Guardian recently reckoned that the richest 1000 people had seen the wealth increase by a staggering £155b during the time that austerity was the one word for the rest of us.

Austerity ain’t going to hit the rich anytime soon. It looks as if the good times will continue for the rich. All earning over £1m an year will get a bung of £42,000 in tax cuts courtesy of George Osborne’s next Spring

Now there has been a great deal of anger against the bonus culture and the complex ways companies and the super-rich avoid paying tax.

Anger there may be. But there’s little sign that its having any effect on policy. The Starbucks, Vodophone and Amazons of this world continue to cream it. They continue to avoid paying  a proper tax on profits. Profits made at our expense.

It was a fine mess that the City slickers got us into. But are they paying for it. Not a bit. It’s the other end of the social scale that the burden falls.

A catologue of cuts have ensued.

Health in Pregnancy payment of £190, abolished. Child Trust Fund, gone. No new applicants for Educational Maintenance Allowance. Child benefit rates frozen for three years. Major changes to housing benefit that amount to significant cuts. And this is only the start.

Treasury wants to continue to swing its axe to the welfare budget until it knocks off £18b of the budget. £18b out of the pockets of the poor. £18b of spending power from the economy.

Strange that there isn’t the same determination to clobber the rich tax dodgers.

Charlie Elphike a Tory MP and a tax lawyer reckons that nearly 20 American multinations operating in the UK are only paying an effective rate of tax of 3% on profits made here. The rate should be 26%.

Its reckoned that Treasury is shortchanged by about £120b each year. This is done by the various tax wheezes and yes, by downright tax fraud. Where’s the urgency in tackling this. You can take £18b from the poor, but God forbid that you should collect tax from the rich.

It’s been said you can’t take money off the rich because they’ll lose any incentive to invest. Strange isn’t it that the poor have their money cut in order to give them an incentive to work. One rule for one, me thinks.

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