Friday, 28 September 2012
The French twist on fairness
They have been announced after being long trailed as France tries to get it budget deficit in order. Interesting that France is of course running a deficit only half of the UK's; however, starting with a high debt level means that in many ways our positions are fairly similar at a macro level.
75% tax on earnings over a million euro's is not going to lose you many votes, I guess that is the calculation. As in the UK, if it was applied to salaries of over £750,000 then hardly anyone would be hit. Very few work for PAYE wages at this level - oddly, mainly professionals I would imagine like top doctors and lawyers. Most owners at this level would pay themselves dividends in any event in the UK and so avoid that tax in any event. Private Equity earners and Hedge Funds who mind have all legged it to Switzerland already.
Which leads me to wondering why 75%, its such an arbitrary number, why not 100%? If you are going to go down a socialist road like this the 100% income tax level makes a lot more sense, especially at the incredible sum of 1 million euro's a year income and above. Certainly key socialist goals such as levelling societal incomes would be greatly enhanced if you enforced a single, 100% tax on all income over such a level. After all, 75% leaves you with not much anyway given there are sundry taxes to pay as well as this. 100% would be in many ways fairer to society.
And if you were really a serious socialist, you would also impose 100% death duties on all but the family home. That way you could ensure that there was no inter-generational advantages generated, people would spend all their money and so boost the current economy. This would boost fairness measurebaly in society.
Mr Milliband has said how much he admires Francois Hollande - I hope to see some of these ideas in his conference speech.