The timing of Nick Clegg’s suggestion yesterday that a temporary “emergency wealth tax” should be instituted so “the rich” can help fix the economy was comical.
There’s only one “n” in wining
On Tuesday morning, the City AM newspaper revealed that a top financial sector recruitment agency in London has seen a 51% increase in French-speaking jobseekers looking to abandon France to avoid Francois Hollande’s 75% tax on high earners. As expected, the 75% tax rate will bring in 0% tax from a great many high earners who are simply taking their money elsewhere.
Like council tax, Clegg’s “wealth tax” would tax people on the value of their assets and not their income and hence ability to pay. Council tax is calculated on the value of your house in 1991 and whether you’re a millionaire or a retired couple who bought their house at the “right” time, you are expected to pay the same tax. Clegg’s “wealth tax” would apply the same flawed logic that says if you own something expensive then you must have money. It isn’t a tax on income, which can be spent, it’s a tax on the ownership of valuable things which can’t.
The suggestion that Clegg’s “wealth tax” would be temporary is as comical as his timing. Income tax is a temporary tax, introduced in 1798 to pay for the Napoleonic Wars. Once they get their hands on the money they won’t want to let go of it and we will be stuck with this unfair and counter-productive tax which is driven entirely by jealousy and political opportunism.
To fix the economy requires bold tax cuts, not ill thought out tax increases. Cut tax and put more money in people’s pockets and they will spread that money around, creating jobs and reducing the drain on the welfare state which means less tax is needed to support public spending. Big tax cuts will boost the economy and pay for themselves, big tax rises will drive the wealth creators out of the country and damage the economy.
Nick Clegg has told the Daily Telegraph that it is right English students should have to pay up to £9k per year to go to university while Scottish students should study for free.
He said that under devolution it is right that there should be differences in the two nations and he’s absolutely right – the whole point of devolution is that we have different needs and priorities but the problem is that we don’t have devolution, Scotland does. The master of hypocrisy said:
There’s no point in having devolution if you don’t have devolved and different policy outcomes and that’s precisely what we have in higher education.
You either believe in the Scottish nation, as I do, and that you have Scottish solutions to Scottish issues or you don’t.
We believe that it is quite right, as longstanding supporters of proper devolution and indeed further devolution, that you have different solutions in different parts of the country.
Interesting choice of words from Cleggover – he believes in the Scottish nation and Scottish solutions to Scottish issues but he believes in the break-up of the English nation and British solutions for English issues.
I’ve sent the following email to his office:
In yesterday’s Daily Telegraph you are quoted as saying “You either believe in the Scottish nation, as I do, and that you have Scottish solutions to Scottish issues or you don’t”.
Do you believe in the English nation? Why do you campaign for the break-up of England into regions we don’t want?
Why do you believe that you should have Scottish solutions to Scottish issues but British solutions to English issues? Why do you believe that British MPs elected in Scotland, Wales & NI should vote for increased tuition fees in England but tuition fees in Scotland should be decided by members of the Scottish Parliament?
7 out of 10 people want to either stop MPs not elected in England from meddling in English affairs or a devolved English Parliament. Why do you believe they shouldn’t have what they want but the Scots, Welsh & Northern Irish should have just that? It seems to me the Liberal Democrats should be renamed the Illiberal Hypocrites because you are neither liberal nor democrats.
Click here to contact Cleggy.
The election is almost upon us and it’s time for a prediction I think: Nick Clegg will be Prime Minister.
Now, don’t get any silly ideas about the Lib Dems winning the election because they won’t. The Tories will win the election with most seats but they won’t have a working majority and Cameron would rather go without than share power. The newspaper ads and constant talk about how terrible a hung parliament would be confirm that Cameron is out for absolute power and nothing less.
There will be no shortage of offers to form a coalition with Cast Iron Dave but they will be rebuffed. The party faithful will be told that it’s better to let a LibLab coalition limp along for a few months before collapsing and then the Tories can romp home to victory in a snap election. Most of them will fall for it of course and those that don’t will accept it for the greater good.
So that just leaves the Lib Dems and Labour. The Lib Dems will come second on Thursday, relegating Labour to third place. Clegg will want a coalition of the left which rules out the Tories and whilst the SNP and Plaid will make gains at the election (the former more so than the latter) they won’t have enough lobby fodder for Clegg to see off the Tories so it will be a LibLab coalition with Clegg as Prime Minister.
Whether El Gordo will manage to cling on as leader after the election remains to be seen. Mandelson is already leader in all but name and I expect him to take over the reins from El Gordo at some point after the election. Clegg says he won’t work with Brown but once he smells victory he’ll soon change his tune.
And what about the non-LibLabCon/celtic nationalists? Well, UKIP will come out with a handful of MPs – I think between three and five. The BNP will retain some deposits but they won’t win and seats. The English Democrats will spring a few surprises but won’t win any seats. The Greens will come worryingly close to winning a seat but won’t quite make it.