An overwhelming majority of Brits believe those rich enough to live off their wealth should pay at least the same level of tax as others who go out to work for a living.
A YouGov poll commissioned by Tax Justice UK and Oxfam found that 69% of people felt people living off income from things like stocks and shares should pay the same level of tax as those who work for a living. A majority (52%) also agreed that the wealthy (net wealth over about £750,000) should be subject to a net wealth tax.
The survey demonstrates that far from being a revolutionary idea, the notion of wealth being taxed the same as income has substantial support across the political spectrum from Tories and Brexiteers to Labour and Liberal Democrat voters.
At the height of Margaret Thatcher’s reign in 1988 the same basic unfairness was ended when her Chancellor, Nigel Lawson, brought the taxation of capital gains into line with that of income from work.
A recent report by the Institute for Public Policy Research found that £90 billion could be raised over five years for public services by bringing capital gains and income tax into alignment.
This isn’t a policy that would hurt asset rich, but income poor, grannies. The IPPR found that 90% of capital gains currently taxable are received by people earning £100,000 a year. Getting rid of the low tax lifestyle enjoyed by these already wealthy people is doable without affecting pensioners.
This is now a no-brainer for any Government. Failing to back this policy wouldn't just be bad economics, it would go against the grain of public opinion too.
We need to put an end to wealthy hedge fund managers who pay a lower tax rate than their cleaners.
More details and a detailed breakdown of the poll findings are here.
All the figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,642 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd - 23rd September 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). The full results are available here.
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