Who To Tax – Scotsman Article – 29 July 2021


Coronavirus is going to come at a price. For sure its been shown that governments can print money and old orthodoxies or even mantras have been exposed as false. Much of what Corbyn was accused of, not just profligacy but apparently economic insanity, has been done. But still there’s financial challenges, and taxes’ll have to rise. It’s whose to bear them that’s in dispute not whether we need to have them.   

The proposal currently being floated by the Tories is to increase National Insurance Contributions. But why? It’s a tax on jobs. Its not me that usually says that or others on the Left. Its more often from the supposed party of business but their current plans would load the cost of meeting Social Care in England on it. 

Now I’m not opposed to NIC but it’s not as progressive as income tax and its paid from work not unearned income. It was also loudly condemned by Baron MacPherson, formerly of Her Majesty’s Treasury though now also ensconced as a Scottish Government economic advisor. Now I’ve met the Baron and he’s pleasant enough and obviously highly capable. Whether that makes him appropriate for Scotland’sneeds I’m not convinced and the optics for the Scottish Government are awful. They might as well convene under a portrait of the Duke of Cumberland for good measure.  

But that aside funds are needed but they shouldn’t come from earned but unearned wealth. It’s offshore assets and other income even here that isn’t earned that needs taxed. That and getting big corporations to pay their whack. 

Whilst many have suffered financially not just in health from coronavirus, a few have benefitted substantially. Money begets money after all and yet again the rich have got richer and the poor have paid the price. 

So, this time it shouldn’t be workers that foot the bill. They’ve been bearing the cost of the pandemic in reduced earnings and increased dangers.  It’s not increasing NIC or even income tax that needs to rise. Its widening the tax net so those that have, actually pay what they’re rightfully due.