Today's crazed loon idea


So, we know very well that the government is spending very much more than it is raking in in taxes. There should be some solution to this at some point. At least we hope there will be. But perhaps not this solution:

What might be fairer would be to treat capital gains in houses just like any other financial asset and tax it at 28pc.

Given the turnover of the UK housing market and the gains built into it, it isn’t fanciful to think that, in a good year, the Government could raise £20bn to £30bn a year alone from this source.

For those inflamed by the inequities of the North-South divide, they will be pleased to know that the bulk of anything raised in this way would hit the south east of England hardest.

How wonderful: increase the taxation of the most successful part of the economy. And it's worth pointing out that the SE already pays much more tax: because the higher salaries earned there are taxed under national income tax rates, not regional ones. but then this is just mad:

As far as pension funds go, a simple 1pc levy on the value of schemes would be easy to administer and collect. This would raise an additional £20bn each year and given that pension fund contributions are subject to income tax relief, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to pay some of those investment gains back to the nation.

We specifically grant income tax relief because we want people to save for their old age. So now we're going to charge a wealth levy on people who save for their old age? Even knowing that wealth taxes have much larger deadweight costs than income taxes (or consumption ones)? Meaning that if you think pensions savings are undertaxed then it would be more economically efficient to simply reduce the income tax benefits of doing so rather than instituting a wealth tax.

Of course what's really interesting about the proposals is that no one at all believes that government could ever just curt back its spending to the amount of tax revenue that it has available. Sadly.