A truly great line from Fraser Nelson* here:

high taxes redistribute people, not wealth,

Such a great line that it’s worth making sure you all see it and remember it.

The background is of course the way in which every generation seems to need to learn the same lesson all over again. That if you raise taxes too high then people and companies are going to high tail it over the horizon in order to avoid those high taxes. Currently the exemplar is France with their 75% top rate leading to the French language schools in London being beseiged by parents who have fled the impost. Decades ago it was people leaving the UK as the 83% income tax and the 98% investment income tax rates made actually being successful at anything in this country a mug’s game. Ang further back through history we can see all sorts of similar reminders.

We see much the same with companies as well: at least one advertising company has left the UK and come back again as the tax rates changed across Europe. And it’s really not a surprise that Ireland has the European HQs of so many tech companies given the attractiveness of the tax regime.

High taxes redistribute people, not wealth. Yes, good one Fraser and we’ll appropriate that for future use, thank you.

*No, this isn’t a freelance writer sucking up to the editor of a magazine. They’ve already fired me once so I don’t need to do that.