Wealth gap 'widest in 40 years'

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/your_money/6901147.stm

The gap between rich and poor in the UK is as wide as it has been for 40 years, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has said in a report.
The JRF found that households in already wealthy areas had become "disproportionately" richer compared to society as a whole.

But the number of "poor" households has risen over the past 15 years.

Looking at wealth patterns over the past four decades, the JRF found that the gap between rich and poor actually narrowed in the 1970s.

But during the 1980s and 1990s inequality had increased as a "polarisation" in British society had occurred.
 
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dirtydog said:
What are we debating? ;)
Just what people generally think of the widening rich/poor divide I guess, especially given that our current government claim to be socialists!

I see the gap did narrow under our the "real" Labour government in the 70s.
 
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There was a report on the news last night about how London is suddenly the place to live for the world's super rich, so I guess that would have an effect on the figures which may make it not entirely accurate as to the real wealth gap.

Secondly, yes lets increase taxes on the rich - specifically private equity companies (which as I see it wouldn't even exist if the tax loophole they exploit didn't exist), and the grotesque city bonuses paid out to *some* city bankers.
 
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This report when much deeper into the rich poor world citing some quite deep stuff relating to rich and poor ghettos and telling us that if you live in the north moving south is nigh on impossible (whilst keeping your living standards as high).

It was essentially saying that the redistribution of wealth can only be done through inheritence tax as a lot of wealth is not by income but by inheritance when you are worth 500K to 1M.
 
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scorza said:
There was a report on the news last night about how London is suddenly the place to live for the world's super rich, so I guess that would have an effect on the figures which may make it not entirely accurate as to the real wealth gap.

Secondly, yes lets increase taxes on the rich - specifically private equity companies (which as I see it wouldn't even exist if the tax loophole they exploit didn't exist), and the grotesque city bonuses paid out to *some* city bankers.
And the non-domicilie loophole that the government keep refusing to close.
 

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cosmogenesis said:
It was essentially saying that the redistribution of wealth can only be done through inheritence tax as a lot of wealth is not by income but by inheritance when you are worth 500K to 1M.

Inheritance tax is another silly idea - work all your life to make something of yourself (being taxed whilst you earn it) so that you have something to pass on to your kids and then they'll be taxed to hell again when they receive it.

The answer simply isn't "more tax" - the answer is to increase social mobility, via access to higher education and increasing the quality of public funded schools (especially in poor urban areas).

The problem is, at the very bottom of the scale - what are the people doing so that they are living in "poverty"? Does real poverty exist in the UK (not being able to afford basic housing, food, clothing), or are we talking about people that don't have PS3s?
 
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The idea of the wealth gap is pointless and based on jealousy. The real issue should be whether everyone has enough money to live on (assuming they spend it sensibly), something that the UK does not really have a problem with.

Why punish the rich for being rich?
 
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Based on jealously, maybe but Governments need to seemingly make things appear fair. Why should the rich pay little tax when much less off people pay it in full ?
 
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Its called society but political philosophy has narrowed in recent times and the two main parties do not differ that much on wealth creation and distribution these days.
 
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anarchist said:
And the non-domicilie loophole that the government keep refusing to close.

...also known as the remittance basis of tax as referred to by another poster, and one of the least well understood points I've come across.

It's not a loophole - it is a deliberately designed policy with a clear aim. Now, I'm happy to debate whether it is a good idea, but I take issue with calling it a loophole given it was specifically enacted.

The non-domicile basis of tax provides that, if your permanent residence is outside of the UK, then you ONLY get taxed on income and gains arising in the UK, not on the income and gains arising in the rest of the world. That's right, you are still paying full tax on all of your UK earnings and profits - it's only a relief for profits arising from outside of the UK (i.e. interest on French bank account, profit on sale of US shares) and only then to the extent that you don't take any of the profits / interest back into the UK - this is the remittance referred to above.

The rationale for it is that, if your permanent home is outside of the UK, then the odds are that you are mobile. Therefore, the relief is designed to encourage you to come to the UK and spend money here to generally benefit the economy; without this relief, the reasoning is that you'll disappear to another jurisdiction which has a more favourable treatment (i.e. Ireland / Jersey / Monaco etc). I'd have to say that I think the relief should remain - it's ultimately a relief on non-UK profits anyway, so the taxpayer doesn't have to worry that leaving the UK will disrupt his or her ability to generate those profits.

Incidentally, the same logic is being used by the private equity lobby to say that if their relief is abolished (effectively a 10% tax rate for capital gains), then they are also mobile and willl disappear to another jurisdiction. I'd have to say that I'm more sceptical in this case, since their ability to generate these profits depends on them having access to a financial centre with proper capital markets and contacts, with really is London, New York or Tokyo.
 
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I'd say corporations that use tricks to effectively pay ZERO corporation tax, are who we should go after ... before we go after hard working middle/working class people ONCE AGAIN to fund a layabout society.

I believe in capitalism and free enterprise (and the rewards it brings), but it takes ALOT of hard working people and families to make up the same amount of tax that a single insurance company with 'skilled' tax accountants does ;)

Non domicile tax laws are a good place to start - some of the richest people in this country pay NOTHING (Phillip Greene pays no tax does he?)
 

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Moses99p said:
don't the really fortunate people have a duty to help the less well off in some way?

No, they don't have a duty at all.

The wealth gap is unimportant, what matters, as Dolph has already said, do the poor have enough to live on? If not, why not? And what can be done to improve that.

Forced wealth redistribution is effectively robbery, however the government can get away with it. I don't fall into the higher tax bracket but I still think it is daylight robbery to take 40p in every £1 earned as tax.
 
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RDM said:
No, they don't have a duty at all.

The wealth gap is unimportant, what matters, as Dolph has already said, do the poor have enough to live on? If not, why not? And what can be done to improve that.

Forced wealth redistribution is effectively robbery, however the government can get away with it. I don't fall into the higher tax bracket but I still think it is daylight robbery to take 40p in every £1 earned as tax.

Poverty is relative. Even the conservatives say so.

Personally I think everyone has a duty to help those less fortunate than themselves. "The rich" should be paying taxes so that "the poor" can have access to better education, health, mobility - not just so that they can live at the bread line. Going back to the days when children went down the mines at 11 are not the way forward :rolleyes:
 
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Dolph said:
The real issue should be whether everyone has enough money to live on (assuming they spend it sensibly), something that the UK does not really have a problem with.
I think the large number of homeless people in the UK might disagree with you on that. OK they are alive, obviously, but that's not what anybody would call a living.
 
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RDM said:
I still think it is daylight robbery to take 40p in every £1 earned as tax
But the £1 earned is a bit arbitrary (which might be like a bit pregnant - but I know what I mean!). Salaries are set, and requested, taking into account the 40p tax bracket.
 
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achitophel said:
but I take issue with calling it a loophole given it was specifically enacted.
So why and when was it specifically enacted?

achitophel said:
The non-domicile basis of tax provides that, if your permanent residence is outside of the UK...
"Permanent residence" is just more than 183 days per year though isn't it - so that person can live in the UK for almost six months, using UK public services, but not pay any UK tax to fund those services.

achitophel said:
you ONLY get taxed on income and gains arising in the UK
But "gains arising in the UK" should (but doesn't) include profits on companies that actually operate in the UK - if that company itself is registered overseas, I believe?
 
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