The Uber Rich
As this is the Speccie, this is all quickly related back to how a 50% tax will ‘wreck Britain, drive away all wealth creators and generally cause the sky to fall’.
In light of last week’s announcement, the most pertinent entry of the Sunday Times Rich List 1989 is probably that of packaging mogul Hans Rausing (4th in 1989, 5th in 2009) which read:
“Few millionaires flee to Britain to escape higher taxes elsewhere but that is what the Rausing brothers did in 1982 when they left their native Sweden.”
Such a move may soon look like a relic from a bygone era. We shouldn’t only fear a hemorrhaging of Britain’s rich from our shores; we should also be aware that fewer foreigners will choose to come here. From April, only three other countries in the world will have higher top rates of tax than us (Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands). Britain is surely going to look a little less appealing.
I’m Sure the Rausing would be a huge loss to Britain and drastically reduce our tax take. Or maybe it wouldn’t:
Dr Rausing is non-domiciled for tax purposes and an analysis of his affairs, published five years ago, revealed clever, but entirely legitimate, tax avoidance. This analysis claimed that while Dr Rausing does pay tax on part of his income, he manages to save millions by being non-domiciled.
I mean seriously – how does one respond to the argument that ‘if we have a 50% tax rate then lots of wealthy foreigners who don’t really pay us any tax anyway will leave’ ?
Going back to my favourite issue of the moment, how should we balance the books post-recession – is the existence of 1,000 in Britain with a collective net worth of over £250bn not a great argument for a low, but fair, wealth tax as used in France?
The 2009 tax bands are
– to 790000€ 0%
– 790,000 to 1,280,000€ 0.55 %
– 1,280,000 to 2,520,000€ 0.75 %
– 2,520,000 to 3,960,000€ 1.00 %
– 3,960,000 to 7,570,000€ 1.30 %
– 7,570,000 to 16,480,000€ 1.65 %
above 16,480,000€ 1.80 %