Wealth gap 'widest in 40 years'

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Bear said:
I suppose in that case it costs the same to live on the dole as it does on £50k Its a rediculous metric as people have other commitments, it may be factually true buts its a nonsense statement, after all who on £50k would live like they were on the dole

Except we're talking about going into the 40% tax rate here, not the dole. When I moved up into the upper tax band my rent didn't increase, my weekly shop cost the same. I just got more money, and became able to pay the higher tax rate.
 
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scorza said:
Just a minute, doesn't that violate your criteria for fairness and equality as well? Taxing people at different rates because the earn more. Surely according to you the only fair tax rate would be if every started paying the same tax rate from the first pound they earn? Why should those who earn above minimum wage be "penalised" as you'd put it?

If you prefer, we can use a negative income tax model...

And no, a flat rate with a high personal allowance is fair, because everyone pays the same percentage of their wages above the fixed personal allowance and is subject to the same allowance. What's unfair about the current system is that different people pay a substantially different percentage of their income in taxation based on the idea that money is worth less if you have more of it. If you really wanted to do away with the personal allowance, we could, but then you'll moan that tax hits low earners disproportionately...
 
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scorza said:
Except we're talking about going into the 40% tax rate here, not the dole. When I moved up into the upper tax band my rent didn't increase, my weekly shop cost the same. I just got more money, and became able to pay the higher tax rate.

You didn't become able, you were forced. Important distinction ;)
 
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Dolph said:
If you prefer, we can use a negative income tax model...

And no, a flat rate with a high personal allowance is fair, because everyone pays the same percentage of their wages and is subject to the same allowance. What's unfair about the current system is that different people pay a substantially different percentage of their income in taxation. If you really wanted to do away with the personal allowance, we could, but then you'll moan that tax hits low earners disproportionately...

I'm quite happy with the current system, I think its fair. What would be the rate of flat tax in this country given levels of current expenditure? How much tax would someone pay if they earned say, £25k under that flat tax system? I bet it would be more than they do under the current system, while someone on £125k would pay less. Explain to me again how that is fair?
 
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scorza said:
I'm quite happy with the current system, I think its fair. What would be the rate of flat tax in this country given levels of current expenditure? How much tax would someone pay if they earned say, £25k under that flat tax system? I bet it would be more than they do under the current system, while someone on £125k would pay less. Explain to me again how that is fair?

With regards to fairness, both pay the same percentage on their taxable income, how is that unfair? The higher earner pays more in absolute terms than the lower one, just not disproportionately more.

You forget I also want to see large cutbacks in government responsibility and expenditure... Proposing a flat rate tax without addressing the horrific inefficiency and massive bloat in our government would be stupid.

I want to see our government fundamentally overhauled to one that's small, efficient and fiscally responsible. As such my taxation policies are based on that idea. If you want some sort of state monopoly ridden, expensive inefficent socialist hell, then obviously the same taxation ideas won't work.

I don't believe the state (any government, not just the current one) is capable of running things efficiently when they create monopolies then manage them, I don't believe that the people of this country are best served by giving money to the state and asking them to sort it out. It's abdication of responsibility that's so prevelant in modern society. Few people expect to have to think about much, especially the poor, the ill etc, they want to abdicate that responsibility to someone else.
 
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scorza said:
Yes but I wasn't forced to pay anything I wasn't able to.

But that wasn't taken into account. You would still be forced to pay it even if you didn't have it. Legalised theft doesn't take into account whether you can spare it or not, it's simply compulsory to hand it over.
 
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cosmogenesis said:
That is not what the conversation is about, it is about taxation and poor and rich.

People earn different amounts and because of that people can spend it how they see fit. Education if they like for their kids or even paying for private health care if they so wish. Thats what earning different amounts of money is all about. If it sounds bad to you (I said no such thing btw) then I cannot help you paranoia can I ? It does not take pressure off of the NHS does it as it is performed by the NHS in many respects. Many private operations are done by the NHS as they have the main expertise and equipment.

What we are taking about is paying the right amount of tax, it would seem that the more you earn the less overall tax you pay because a accountant who knows the system can get you off of paying your dues to society.

The system is a contradiction. People with money do not use state services and even avoid them. The poor pay for the poor as the rich never have. The rich create poorly paid jobs for the poor so that taxation can be paid by the poor for the poor.

There you go you copped out again I'll quote you again

The more you earn the more you should contribute back into society as the more society has out into you in many ways

Why should you contribute more into society when it had little to do with certain peoples financial circumstances ?? Can you actually answer the question ??

Of course private takes the pressure off the NHS, even if the proceedures are done at NHS hospitals, there is part of the payment to the system that ensures the money stays in the NHS pot where as an NHS user will use that money regardless.
 
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Dolph said:
With regards to fairness, both pay the same percentage on their taxable income, how is that unfair? The higher earner pays more in absolute terms than the lower one, just not disproportionately more.

Its unfair because the low paid pay the same proportion of income tax as the high paid, where there could be a higher rate for the higher paid, freeing up disposable income for the most vulnerable people in society.

Dolph said:
You forget I also want to see large cutbacks in government responsibility and expenditure... Proposing a flat rate tax without addressing the horrific inefficiency and massive bloat in our government would be stupid.

Fair enough, but I've yet to be convinced that its actually possible to do this, without seriously affecting vital public services. I seem to recall that to cut taxes, the last conservative government (including Mrs T's) often ended up cutting school budgets, cutting hospital budgets and our armed forces budgets (with almost disastrous consequences for the Falkland Islands).
 
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scorza said:
Its unfair because the low paid pay the same proportion of income tax as the high paid, where there could be a higher rate for the higher paid, freeing up disposable income for the most vulnerable people in society.

Fairness goes hand in hand with equality. Everyone paying equal proportions of their taxable income is equality and fairness. Declaring that some people are more equal than others and so should pay more isn't fair. Do you not see?

Fair enough, but I've yet to be convinced that its actually possible to do this, without seriously affecting vital public services. I seem to recall that to cut taxes, the last conservative government (including Mrs T's) often ended up cutting school budgets, cutting hospital budgets and our armed forces budgets (with almost disastrous consequences for the Falkland Islands).

What are your vital public services, and how would you have them run? I don't see the NHS, in it's current form, as being necessary for example. There are other, more efficient ways of providing free at point of use healthcare if that's what is desired. (I'm thinking a Swiss style system, with mandated minimum insurance levels and all hospitals being independant entities in competition with each other for custom).

Most problems with state run services are not caused by a lack of money, but by incredible mismanagement and complancency because they don't have to perform to satisfy shareholders, customers or well anyone really. There is no reason to improve or get better when you get handed money and are an effective monopoly.
 
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Dolph said:
Fairness goes hand in hand with equality. Everyone paying equal proportions of their taxable income is equality and fairness. Declaring that some people are more equal than others and so should pay more isn't fair. Do you not see?

Do you believe people are all equal? I don't. Allowing society to regress back into a class system with a de facto elite is something we should try hard to avoid imo.

I certainly wouldn't call the low paid as being "more equal" than others, after all, no-one who pays the 40% income tax is going offer to swap places with someone who isn't.

Dolph said:
What are your vital public services, and how would you have them run? I don't see the NHS, in it's current form, as being necessary for example. There are other, more efficient ways of providing free at point of use healthcare if that's what is desired. (I'm thinking a Swiss style system, with mandated minimum insurance levels and all hospitals being independant entities in competition with each other for custom).

Most problems with state run services are not caused by a lack of money, but by incredible mismanagement and complancency because they don't have to perform to satisfy shareholders, customers or well anyone really. There is no reason to improve or get better when you get handed money and are an effective monopoly.

Well again thats another topic. I certainly see that education, health, security should probably be the biggest issues for any government, probably in that order.

It would certainly be interesting to compare other health systems to ours. Unfortunately the debate often seems to be between our NHS or a US style healthcare system, and for me the NHS wins that argument every time. I don't really know enough about the Swiss system (or any other European system for that matter) to comment on it.
 
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OK, being publically spirited perhaps or the strong not victimising the weak or just because things cost a lot of money and the not so well off can't afford to pay for all the things they need so the rich need to cought up as well.

Maybe it should be left to peoples personal preference and conscience but then the Government would not know how much money it can afford to spend year on year I guess.

wealthy people seem to resent paying tax and NI. Rich people abhor it even more unless they get a fit of philanthropism such as Bill Gates has and the like. As the UK becomes more like the USA we can expect to see more behaviour in this direction. The lure of being rich which is sold to people even though only around 1% can be seems to be the edifice on which free market capatalism is based, well that and celebrity.
 
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scorza said:
Do you believe people are all equal? I don't. Allowing society to regress back into a class system with a de facto elite is something we should try hard to avoid imo.

So you don't just see tax as a means to pay for services? You actually want to redistribute wealth via the state, even though it doesn't really work?

I certainly wouldn't call the low paid as being "more equal" than others, after all, no-one who pays the 40% income tax is going offer to swap places with someone who isn't.

That's irrelevant though. We treat people differently, tax a different proportion of their income based on how large it is. Not how much they need, or anything like that, simply how large the income is. That's not fair.

Well again thats another topic. I certainly see that education, health, security should probably be the biggest issues for any government, probably in that order.

It would certainly be interesting to compare other health systems to ours. Unfortunately the debate often seems to be between our NHS or a US style healthcare system, and for me the NHS wins that argument every time. I don't really know enough about the Swiss system (or any other European system for that matter) to comment on it.

It's a difficult one to say whether it's another topic or not, given that in most cases taxation reform is directly linked to how it's spent, as that determines how much tax income needs to be raised.
 
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cosmogenesis said:
OK, being publically spirited perhaps or the strong not victimising the weak or just because things cost a lot of money and the not so well off can't afford to pay for all the things they need so the rich need to cought up as well.

Indeed, but it doesn't need to be taken by force.

Maybe it should be left to peoples personal preference and conscience but then the Government would not know how much money it can afford to spend year on year I guess.

Why does the government need to be invovled? Most things that the government do could be managed quite happily (and probably more efficiently) without their intervention.

wealthy people seem to resent paying tax and NI. Rich people abhor it even more unless they get a fit of philanthropism such as Bill Gates has and the like. As the UK becomes more like the USA we can expect to see more behaviour in this direction. The lure of being rich which is sold to people even though only around 1% can be seems to be the edifice on which free market capatalism is based, well that and celebrity.

I'm not wealthy, and I resent paying tax and NI. My money is taken by force, and spent poorly and inefficiently. I could do more good with my money than the state that takes it can. Therefore I want a small state with a minimal tax take, because I don't begrudge doing my part, but I do begrudge how I'm forced to give money to a bloated, inefficient system or I'm evil and don't care.
 
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How do you know it is inefficient ? That sounds like a political viewpoint Dolph to me.

As for why does the Government get involved sounds like the USA way to me, everyone needs to be plan and budgets allocated each year, if we all just gave what we wanted then chaos would follow surely.

You are not wealthy and you resent paying your tax and NI. Sounds like evil to me ;)
 
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cosmogenesis said:
How do you know it is inefficient ? That sounds like a political viewpoint Dolph to me.

Almost any viewpoint surrounding this issue has a political element to it, the bottom line remains that throughout the last hundred years, state run monopolies and economies haven't been as efficent or as successful as competative free market ones. Without competative pressure, entities stagnate, and without a link between the service provided and the money recieved, complancy sets in.

As for why does the Government get involved sounds like the USA way to me, everyone needs to be plan and budgets allocated each year, if we all just gave what we wanted then chaos would follow surely.

Does the state need to redistribute wealth? Does it need to run large numbers of hospitals and schools directly? Does it need to control everything?

You are not wealthy and you resent paying your tax and NI. Sounds like evil to me ;)

Why? I've given my reasons, namely that my money could be better spent helping people without the state taking their cut? That's the opposite of evil...
 
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Dolph said:
So you don't just see tax as a means to pay for services? You actually want to redistribute wealth via the state, even though it doesn't really work?

Nothing to do with redistributing wealth. I just think its 100% fair that high earners pay proportionally more tax to pay for the public services.
 
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scorza said:
Nothing to do with redistributing wealth. I just think its 100% fair that high earners pay proportionally more tax to pay for the public services.

Why? On what basis do you consider an inequitable system fair? A flat rate tax results in high earners paying more than lower earners anyway. Do higher earners consume more public services?
 
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