A letter from the Morning Star 16/02/12
There is a very simple way to deal with the bankers' "bonus culture" that nobody seems to be talking about. Tax it!
In the 1970s, for taxable incomes over £20,000 (equivalent to around £170,000 now) we had a tax rate of 83 per cent. On "investment" income (that is from gambling on the capital markets) it was 98 per cent.
If employers really think their executives are worth it, let them pay these obscene bonuses, but let us at least tax them so that the rest of us, upon whom their businesses depend, will get a cut in the form of more money for public services.
Of course, there is no way that this government will take such a step, but that does not mean we should not talk about it.
Of course, if we had a government that took such a measure there would be the usual cry that all these fantastic "experts" will migrate.
Good riddance, I say. Nobody is indispensible. There will be always be people who can grow into the jobs that need to be done, who will not demand bonuses for the jobs that they are already being paid to do.
Update 17/02/12: YouGov poll shows how popular more redistributive tax would be:
- 62% feel that taxes on the wealthiest people in the UK should be increased ... only 5% feel they should decreased
- 68% say that George Osborne should not abolish the 50p rate of income tax for people earning over £150,000, 19% say he should abolish it
- 66% of Britons would support a new tax upon people with houses worth more than £2 million, while 19% are opposed to this 'Mansion Tax'