Skip to main content

Mansion Tax - Vince is Wrong

My previous post about why a mansion tax would not only be wrong but impractical, seems to have persuaded most of the government together with all sensibly-minded folk, but not, apparently, the unconvinced Vince. From the Guardian today:
Cable did not rule out new, higher council tax bands on multimillion-pound properties. "There are vast numbers of extraordinarily valuable properties now around the south of England netting very large gains for their owners – many of whom come from abroad, incidentally – and it's not taxed at all," he said. "Basically, you get people with multimillion-pound properties paying exactly the same council tax as somebody in a three-bedroom semi. So the system doesn't work."
What does he mean "netting very large gains for their owners"? Is he under a delusion that by sitting in an expensive property people are somehow making money from it? Quite apart from the obvious point that a bigger property costs more to run (maintenance, heating, lighting, gardening, cleaning etc), is he suggesting that someone living in a larger property in some way costs councils more, so they should pay more? Surely the opposite is true. Wealthier people need less council services than poorer ones, so actually cost their councils less. Doesn't this mean, taking his logic of fairness a step further, that they should therefore pay less for what they actually receive? It's a little like arguing that people who pay for the best education they can afford for their children should also pay more to help state-educated kids. Whereas the truth is that private education lightens the burden on the state by not requiring it to educate those children, whilst at the same time freeing up seats in overcrowded state classrooms. "Thank you private education parents" I (don't) hear Vince cry. Is this what he means by "So the system doesn't work."?

Of course wealthier people should pay for the less fortunate in our society. No-one would disagree with that. It's why percentages were invented. 10% of something big is proportionately and fairly bigger than 10% of something smaller. It's wrong to make people pay disproportionately more by using nonsensical and misleading statements related entirely to the size and location of their property, and especially without understanding a) whether they can personally afford to pay more (since they are already paying higher ownership costs than people who live in smaller places), and b) how they came to be wealthy (or not) in the first place. Go on Vince.. Give job-creators a good kicking. Let's see how hard you can kick them before they decide there's little point staying in the UK.

And so we come to the final Vince delusion "...and it's not taxed at all". This really made me see red. How was the bloody mansion purchased in the first place, Vince?  Their owners are not all lottery winners, African warlords and dodgy Ruskies. Most 'mansions' that aren't owned through inheritance by destitute 'church-mice' were bought with money on which tax had already been paid! The more that was paid, the more tax that person originally paid. Not taxed? Come on Vince. Why peddle this misleading nonsense?...

I know why, of course, because this is politics and popularity is everything. Why ruin a popular argument by using truth, logic and fairness?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Phillips screws - yes I'm angry about them too

Don't get me wrong. They're a brilliant invention to assist automation and prevent screwdrivers from slipping off screw heads - damaging furniture, paintwork and fingers in the process. Interestingly they weren't invented by Mr Phillips at all, but by a John P Thompson who sold Mr P the idea after failing to commercialise it. Mr P, on the otherhand, quickly succeeded where Mr T had failed. Incredible isn't it. You don't just need a good idea, you need a great salesman and, more importantly, perfect timing to make a success out of something new. Actually, it would seem, he did two clever things (apart from buying the rights). He gave the invention to GM to trial. No-brainer #1. After it was adopted by the great GM, instead of trying to become their sole supplier of Phillips screws, he sold licenses to every other screw manufacturer in the world. A little of a lot is worth a great deal more than a lot of a little + vulnerability (watch out Apple!).

My gromble is abou…

Introducing Product Relationship Management - it's what customers want.

Most businesses these days have Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems which store and process vasts amounts of information about us. They use this information to generate communications, amongst other things, which target us to buy their products and services. CRM is all about how a business relates to its customers: Past (keeping them loyal through aftersales and service), Present (helping them buy through bricks and clicks channels) and Future (prospecting).

Most businesses will at some stage have declared themselves 'customer-centric'. They will probably have drawn diagrams on whiteboards that look something like these:



But there's a problem with this whole approach of keeping the customer at the centre of your world and the focal point for everything you do.Is it what the customer wants? Of course companies who ignore their customers eventually go out of business. And those who treat their customers well, tend to thrive. But is it really in the best interests …

The Titus Trust Deceives British Parents to Brainwash their Kids

I have a son who went to a well known preparatory school (7-13) in Surrey. He came home one day clutching a leaflet for fun activity holidays that the school promoted every summer. The Titus Trust operate several camps around the UK where they organise fun outdoor activities for youngsters. Something caught my eye in the leaflet hidden in a paragraph in one of the sections describing the holidays. They used the word Christian. It was the only place in the whole leaflet that the word was used. My suspicions raised, I hunted around the leaflet for more clues and found the imprint which said something like 'A Titus Trust Charity' (the name of the camps was on the title of the leaflet). I dug deeper and found some disturbing evidence of who was behind these 'fun' camps. This is what I wrote at the time to the headmaster:
Dear Headmaster

XXXX came home the other day extremely excited about an outward bound camp next summer that he and his friends had been told about by a rep…