16 Jun 2010

Don't let wealthy avoid paying their share!

The campaign group 38 degrees has just sent one of their campaign emails to me that I want to share with you. I would ask that you consider signing their petition...

Photo: The Sunday Times Rich List showing how the super rich get ever richer

Next week, George Osborne will announce his first budget. Right now, a battle is raging over the contents. The coalition had planned to close a loophole that lets multi-millionaires pay lower tax rates than their cleaners - by raising Capital Gains Tax to a similar level to Income Tax. But hardliners in the media and the Conservative party are fighting hard to stop the rise. There's a real risk George Osborne could lose his nerve and the new, fairer tax rate could be scrapped or watered down. We need to prove that opponents of a fair increase in Capital Gains Tax don't speak for all of us. If George Osborne get thousands of messages in favour of the wealthy paying their fair share, we can balance the debate and persuade the government to stick to its plan for a rise.

Please take one minute to e-mail George Osborne and tell him to stand up for a fair rate of Capital Gains Tax now:

Civil servants tell us that around £1 billion is lost a year through tax avoidance thanks to low Capital Gains Tax rates. If we get the coalition to close this loophole, we can help make sure the richest pay their fair share of tax at a time when the rest of us are facing big cuts to public services.

As I've noted before Britain has become one of the most unequal societies in Europe. It is not just the poor who suffer from the effects of inequality, but all of us. For example incidences of mental illness are 500% higher in the most unequal societies. We also see more drug abuse, alcohol abuse, obesity, teenage pregnancies, more consumerism, shorter lives, less well educated children, less patent applications, more crime and more people in prison. Anyone who doubts the key role inequality plays should read 'The Spirit Level' by Wilkinson and Pickett. Even richer people are happier in more equal societies! We must ensure that Britain does not become even more unequal.

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