UK Parliament - Millionaire Row
UK Chancellor George Osborne will have a busy month.March is Budget time in the UK. With high unemployment, banking bonus and tax issues, extortionate fuel prices, public sector cuts and more the Budget will not be easy. Predicting any growth in the UK will depend on so many outside influences. World economies are volatile right now and it is fair to say that many people are far from happy with the situation.
One issue for the UK is the 50p tax rate. Of course it is only that famous, or should that be infamous,1% of the population who fall into the 50p tax band but they are not happy. 500 of the top UK earners have written to Osborne in an attempt to get him to rethink or even abolish this high rate of tax.
It is certainly a tax that divides opinion. If you are one of the select few you will no doubt be able to air many reasons why the 50p tax has to go. These could be that it stifles business or that it encourages the wealthiest in the UK to move elsewhere. Many have tried to say that this tax is disproportionate and that the 1% are being it unfairly targeted. It is worth remembering that the 50p rate of tax only kicks in once you have earned £150,000. The full UK tax allowances and rates are here for you to read and assess.
Osborne inherited the 50p tax and it will prove a hard one to resolve. If he simply gives in to the 1% he will alienate many voters and for some confirm their worst predictions. The front bench of the Coalition government has been called Millionaire Row by many. Changes to the 50p tax rate then will simply confirm to some that Osborne is looking after his own and his cronies.
There are many unfair taxes in the UK, such as the whopping 20% Value Added Tax. This was hiked up to 20% by the current government and has hit many people hard. The 1% who feel unfairly attacked should perhaps consider this. After all you pay 20% of a purchase price whether you earn £6 and hour or £600. This to some extent is true of the Council Tax. Linked to the value of your property it bears no relation on a person's wealth or lack of it.
In the last few weeks we have had UK PM David Cameron considering a tax break for working women who may want to hire a person to clean their home yet we have also had the Chancellor refusing to say that he will increase personal tax allowances in a away which would help the poorest paid in the UK.
For this blogger all of this simply shows that the Tories are running true to form. The LIberal Democrats have shot themselves in the foot by throwing their hand in as part of the Coalition government. Conservative supporters maintain that if Mr Osborne is a brave Chancellor he will scrap the 50p "rich tax.." However with so many financial woes in the UK this should not be a priority. Surely it is a change for making in better days?
Of course it could be that Mr Osborne has more disposable income to play with than he is openly admitting. If that is the case and he does not ease the tax burden and austerity measures hitting the poor it will be a shame. If that is the case and he simply helps the 1% it will be a disgrace.
Watch this space. Wednesday March 21, 2012 will be Budget Day in the UK.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog