When it was discussed that the 50p tax rate should be dropped, the argument put forward was that it hardly brought in any revenue so its adverse effect on entrepreneurship meant that it should be dropped.
This demonstrates an absolute misunderstanding of fairness. It really doesn’t matter how little revenue such a tax generates, the element of fairness is that people earning six figure salaries are paying a larger amount into our country’s community coffers. It is seen to be fair.
It has been said that if we try to tax huge bonuses, the people will move out of the UK. Perhaps some will, but there is always new talent rising out of the masses and if they want to throw over jobs which pay huge bonuses and think they can do better in Germany or Brazil, frankly we should let them go. If the UK leads the way, others will follow.
Entrepreneurs who build businesses worth mega-millions will have had to risk their own money and, often, had to stake their homes to succeed. I have no problem with the Dyson’s of this world earning millions upon millions each year. Dyson, Gates and others have thrown their all into building their empires and we all know that enough businesses have failed over the years leaving similar geniuses bankrupt. It is the risk that makes it fair that they should benefit from their achievements. I know from experience. We were on the verge of great things when it all went wrong in 1990 recession and we almost lost everything. The luck of the draw, really.
BUT, when a salaried employee at, say a bank or supermarket chain, is paid two or three million a year it really is obscene. The heads of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Royal Bank of Scotland etc. have never risked any of their own resources in building the businesses for their shareholders! Yes, they should get a fair and proper salary, perhaps it could be half a million a year, but surely not an amount larger than some of the largest lottery wins every single year that they stay in their jobs. Even when RBS was going great guns, what gave Fred the shred the right to a pension pot that would pay him about a million a year for the rest of his life? Somehow he even managed to retain that pension pot when he bankrupt the company. HE LOST NOTHING!
The big shareholders, the people who look after pension funds should be stopping these huge salaries. The trouble is that the type of person who represents, say Norwich Union, at the Tesco AGM is also on a megabuck salary. These guys are voting themselves an upward spiral of income beyond all common sense.
Government has the ability to stop these spiralling salaries using the tax system. Salaries between £100k and £200k should be taxed, as now, at 50p, but then it needs to accelerate. If your company wants to pay you a million a year, then it will be taxed at 75p, two million at 85p, three million at 95p and so on. The companies would soon stop the escallation.
Remember that this is salaries and does not hurt the entrepreneur who will probably get most of his income from dividends. The Dyson’s, Sugar’s and other successful entrepreneurs of the country can earn their millions … and good luck to them.
Does this mean all the best people will leave and take jobs elsewhere? Many will, but it is a fact of life that every chief executive of a large organisation has a whole team of top and middle managers just dying for the opportunity to step into his shoes. Give it a year or two and the whole thing will have evened out.
We need to ask whether Fred the Shred was an irreplaceable genius or whether he just appeared to be the best of the bunch when he rose to the top. Believe me, if he had been hit by a bus the week he became chief exec of RBS, someone else would have stepped into the job. Also look at Tesco. What an incredible job the CEO did building it the last few years, but what happened in 2011? So, what a surprise, Clarke was not infallible, so why was he paid as if he was? Others, great retailers, coming from within the company or from other companies could have stepped in and, perhaps, done even better. There is ALWAYS someone to step into the boss’s shoes, ALWAYS!
Am I advocating some sort of communism? Of course not, I am asking for a government of this country to not just give lip service to fairness, but to actually take action to achieve it. The escalating tax system need not be introduced in a single measure, but could build up over say two or three years.
Frankly, the people more interested in personal greed will leave the country. See how they do overseas. Do we really care as long as people who deserve the promotion end up with good salaries over several hundred thousand a year by stepping up into their shoes? It takes a genius to build their own business, it just needs skill and ingenuity to run a large corporation.
The tax system will also, of course, stop the obscene bonuses in the city. The edge will be taken off a one million pound trader’s bonus if 70 or 80% of it is going to disappear in tax!
The problem in this country currently is that there is no sensible socialist party. There is the current labour party who are not only scared to be so radical, but also incapable of grasping the opportunity to jump on the fairness bandwagon, and then the radical socialist groups who, frankly, would be a disaster if ever they got any power.
We need a new social democrat party and there is no one out there to deliver it?
What can you do? If you think some of what I say is on the right track then please share this post with as many people as you can. Social networks have great power – just look at the middle east. Can it cause a new political party, The Fair Party, to be formed? Please share if you even hope it can.