Monday, 16 August 2010
What is the alternative to austerity?
'The total personal wealth in the UK is £9,000bn, a sum that dwarfs the national debt. It is mostly concentrated at the top, so the richest 10% own £4,000bn, with an average per household of £4m.
The bottom half of our society own just 9%. The wealthiest hold the bulk of their money in property or pensions, and some in financial assets and objects such antiques and paintings.
A one-off tax of just 20% on the wealth of this group would pay the national debt and dramatically reduce the deficit, since interest payments on the debt are a large part of government spending.
So that is what should be done. This tax of 20%, graduated so the very richest paid the most, would raise £800bn.
A major positive for this scheme is that the tax would not have to be immediately paid. The richest 10% have only to assume liability for their small part of the debt. They can pay a low rate of interest on it and if they wish make it a charge on their property when they die. It would be akin to a student loan for the rich.'
Read more at Deficit crisis: let's really be in it together (Greg Philo at Comment is Free).
More on cuts and resistance:
Comedian Mark Thomas says stand up against the cuts (The Sauce)
A howl for humanity (Though Cowards Flinch)
Resisting Cameron's Big Lie (Kevin Blowe at New Left Project)
Why Tories are attacking good governance by axing audit commission (Liberal Conspiracy)
How do you cut the deficit without a double dip? Tax the rich (John Grieve Smith in The Observer)