Thursday 30 August 2012

I disagree with Nick. Again.

Nick Clegg’s latest proposal, that the most well-off should pay more in taxation at a time of constraint, is confused and confusing – as well as looking to be calculated to upset his coalition partners.
He has the germ of a point in there somewhere, which is about the inequality of the current economic system.  What he fails to explain at all, however, is why his proposed solution should be “temporary”.  If inequality is a problem – and income and wealth inequality have been steadily growing under successive governments – then why does it only start to become a problem at a time of financial constraint, and cease to be a problem at a time of growth?
The only way that I can see of answering that question is that people “feel” the unfairness more when they are under pressure themselves – which means that what he is really proposing has more to do with changing perceptions them with changing reality.  He is no more serious about really getting to grips with inequality than his coalition partners – or their Labour predecessors.  He just wants us to think that they might be thinking about doing something about it.
The fact that he’s not really proposing any reduction in inequality hasn’t stopped the Tories from responding as though he were.  Their response – “if you tax we rich folk more, we will go elsewhere” – is as entirely predictable as it is lacking in any hard evidence to back up the assertion that a fairer society will drive rich people to move elsewhere.  They make it sound as though we should be grateful for the inequality which allows a few to have hugely greater access to resources than the many.
Labour’s response isn’t much better – the best they’ve come up with is a “yah boo” comment about who voted for what and when.  It’s accurate, but irrelevant.  It’s more again more to do with the perception that they wish to create than with any serious proposal to tackle inequality.  But given the way that inequality increased under Labour, why would we expect anything different?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The most absurd reaction from Osborne was that this policy would endanger the recovery. Are his officials so much in his thrall that they present him with figures that defy reality, or is he just stupid and in complete denial of the facts?