I’m fairly certain that Liam Fox is not a regular reader of this blog but I was struck by the similarity of thinking between last week’s piece on taxes and today’s call for the Chancellor:
“Although the coalition agreement may require the chancellor to raise personal tax allowances, he should use the proceeds of spending reductions to cut employers’ national insurance contributions across the board.”
Just because Liam Fox is a standard bearer for the right doesn’t mean Labour should dismiss this call. Cutting the employer’s contribution reduces the cost of employment. The employer can either increase the workforce, invest or bank the reduced costs to increase profits. Corporation Tax will take a share of the increased profit, but if it’s increased workforce or investment these have to be good for the economy. I’d love Ed Balls to join Liam Fox in finding cause; (as long as we resist emphatically any call for relaxation of employment regulation).
Another press article catching my eye was this piece on the culture that prevails amongst the Banking elite:
These are extremely well-educated and multilingual professionals. Many are in mixed marriages with kids who have lived on two or three continents. These people don’t belong anywhere and don’t feel beholden to any national project. They want to pay as little in tax as they can, and they want to be safe.
This chimes with my own view that pursuing these people around the world to tax their income is likely to prove ultimately futile. In Dickens’s ‘Great Expectations’ the clerk, John Wemmick places great importance on ‘Portable Property’. The electronic age has given the means to move and dissipate ‘Portable Property’ around the world in the blink of an eye. The most that the tax-collectors can aspire to is to be a nuisance to these super-rich; unless, of course we tackle ‘Fixed Property’ (Land and Buildings).