One of my favourite songs is called “I can’t stand up for falling down” and that certainly seems to be the position that the Coalition holds with at least some sections of the BBC. (I suppose even the very word “Coalition” has a certain significance for the BBC has a disturbing tendency to allege that this is purely a Conservative government, thus giving the Lib-Dem element a degree of helpful cover when it comes to certain policies. Furthermore even if the Lib-Dems DO get dragged into the discussion, Saint Vince is sure to be given an easy ride as that wise sage that people really should listen to!)

Anyway, the topic here is tax. The BBC has been to the fore in suggesting that this is a Government for “the rich” what with that reduction in the 50% top tax rate. Naturally any reduction in tax rates is guaranteed to produce howls of leftist outrage and the BBC has been quite prepared to indulge and advance these. The Government then tries to re-balance this by ensuring that “the rich” can’t hive up some of the income to charities and thus reduce their tax bill. Cue howls of outrage from charities and the BBC rides in. Did anyone catch the 8.10am interview with Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke MP? He was given a pretty rough ride by a viscerally hostile Naughtie (a bit like being savaged by a sheep though) and all because the Coalition was trying to close off a tax avoidance loop hole. Zac Goldsmith was deployed as the voice of reason, and of course Saint Vince was given an honourable mention! The Government can’t win. If it reduces tax for the wealthy, that is an outrage. If it closes off tax loopholes for the wealthy, that is an outrage! Is there a way forward?


Earlier @ 7.23am the BBC ran an item on the French Presidential election with a decided nod in favour of the Socialist candidate Francois Hollande. You can tell they are dreaming of a victory for the man who has declared that if elected he will impose a 75% tax rate on those pesky “top earners”. If only the Coalition would follow such a path to fiscal wisdom.

PS I was also intrigued to hear Naughtie declare that a socialist victory in France would be interesting against a background of centre-right European governments? Huh? Since when did the Big State big Spending EU become “centre right”?

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7 Responses to TAXING AFFAIRS

  1. Backwoodsman says:

    OT: (possible classic ?)
    Richard Black explaining that glaciers in the Karakoram are actually increasing in size !
    “Why this should be is not clear, though it is well known from studies in other parts of the world that climate change can cause extra precipitation into cold regions which, if they are cold enough, gets added to the existing mass of ice.”


  2. GotItAboutRight says:

    At one point on the Today programme I heard Evan Davis referring to the “restrictions on charitable giving” which had been in the budget. That is the misrepresentation they are giving out and which as ever the Conservatives are useless at dealing with. There is no restriction on charitable giving, and these “philanthropists”, many of whose innate love of doing good for their fellow man appears to be intricately linked to getting tax relief for it (which is ultimately funded by other less well-off taxpayers) can continue to pay money to charity.

    And of course right at the end of the programme they did read one e-mail out from someone vaguely along these lines. Except that what clearly appealed to them about the e-mail they read out was that it went on to be an attack on the charitable status of “posh public schools”.


  3. nath9091 says:

    At best the tax thing is disingenuous, at worst it’s active bias in favour of Labour. Why? What was the top rate of income tax from 1988 to Brown’s last budget? Yep, you got it. 40%. Then Brown decided to either try and raise some revenue or screw over the following Government and raised it to 50%. Coalition drops it to 45% and suddenly BBC and Guardian run stories on how members of the Cabinet will benefit and how the Tories are benefiting their rich chums. Short memories dudes.

    Charity tax thing is extremely dodgy too. For high incomes the £50k cap is meaningless as above £200k pre-tax income the cap is 25% or a quarter of pre-tax income. For example, if you earnt £1m in pre-tax income the cap would be £250k or five times the supposed ‘cap’ in tax relief. And you can back-date gift aid to the previous tax year allowing a total tax relief sum of 50% of pre-tax income or £100k. Seems reasonable enough. In effect it might encourage more regular giving rather than showy large gifts.


  4. Span Ows says:

    ‘Pump it up’ was better and could be a hit now it sounds so fresh. Also appropriate: the BBC always pump it up but only when it suits their agenda.


  5. chrisH says:

    A seamless shift in narrative from the BBC isn`t it?
    At what point on the BBCs spin cycle did “fat cat greedy bankers and top earners” become “philanthropists frustrated at the Governments heartless attempts to prevent their charitable donations”?
    Safe to say that the BBCs gobshites have an awful lot of partners less than civil about any threat to “cheridees”…the ones that employ the green, do-gooding and Islamic types of course…not the old and wrinkly ones!

    Speaking of which, I hope that the Parkinsons bloke forced into the studio to tell Evan Davis that “stress makes his condition worse” will be suing the heartless and ever-patronising BBC.


  6. Deborah says:

    6 pm news on Radio 4. The Treasury has released figures that show 73% of top earners paying tax at 50%. From this Preston concludes there was no need for George to reduce the tax rate to 45%. For me this is a non sequitur. Opinion presented as news.