Wealth tax

A windfall tax would only hurt our weakened economy

The calls for tax hikes is ramping up. Last December the Wealth Tax Commission recommended a ‘one-off’ 5 per cent levy on the assets of Britain’s wealthy to pay for the growing costs of Covid-19. In January Oxfam followed suit, using its yearly inequality report to call for big taxes on wealth and high incomes. Now, it’s the International Monetary Fund’s turn, recommending not only a temporary income tax hike for high earners, but also a windfall tax — that is, a tax on ‘excess profits’ — on businesses that faired well and profited during the pandemic. The concept of wealth taxes on individuals is bad enough. Over the past

If austerity is off the table, how do we pay for Covid-19 costs?

What is the true cost of Covid-19? No one knows – yet. But it’s not going to be cheap. The Treasury has revised its borrowing plans for May to July up to £180 billion, four times what it planned to raise and over £20 billion more than it planned to borrow all year. So how are we going to pay for all this spending? Policies at the heart of the government’s Covid-19 response, like the furlough scheme, are surpassing all estimations for uptake, and have been granted a limitless price tag by the Chancellor through to the end of June at least. As the economy contracts in a way that

Boris’s leaked tax plans suggest a truly radical Toryism

‘You want the dowry, but you don’t like the bride’ is how Israeli prime minister Levi Eshkol summed up his colleagues’ wish to keep Judea and Samaria but not the Arabs living there. I feel much the same about right-wingers losing their shizzle over a report in the Sunday Telegraph about new taxes being mulled by Downing Street. Christopher Hope has two sources who say the Prime Minister and Chancellor are contemplating a ‘mansion tax’ (either in the form of an annual wealth tax or a higher council tax band) and cutting pension tax relief on those earning over £50,000 from 40 per cent to 20 per cent. ‘Had we