IN his letter (The Yorkshire Post, October 21), Dr Cameron refers to the omissions in the BBC’s airbrushing of Gordon Brown’s time in office as Chancellor.
There were other ruinous disasters which the BBC also chose not to mention in their presentation of Brown’s tenure. Prime among these is surely his decision to sell roughly half the UK’s gold reserves in 1999-2002 when the price of gold sank to its lowest for 20 years. It has been estimated that the sale cost UK taxpayers around £7bn.
Another huge mistake was his distribution of billions to such as health and education to huge acclaim a but without any requirement for those departments to show accountability of where it all went. Neither was mention made of his gift to the over-75s of free TV licences the year before the 2001 general election, with no end in sight of the problems of its unaffordability now.
Fair’s fair, though. The documentary did mention how he kept us out of the Euro.
From: Michael Meadowcroft, Former Liberal MP, Waterloo Lane, Leeds.
I SEE that the concept of a wealth tax is again being peddled, this time by Jon Trickett MP (The Yorkshire Post, October 21). It is an enticing concept which provides the prospect of vast income from tapping the immense wealth of the filthy rich. I am all in favour of individuals paying into public funds in proportion to their wealth but, alas, a wealth tax as such is a mirage.
First, it is actually a further income tax in that it can only be paid out of income, unless the capital asset is disposed of in which case it is a one-off payment which defeats the object of the tax. Second, wealth is exceptionally difficult to value and those possessing great wealth are particularly adept at avoiding paying any tax. If such individuals put their wealth into great works of art or Ming vases how does one value them for tax?
In terms of maximising income from taxation, it is largely a pragmatic issue in that one raises rates of income tax up to the point at which it produces diminishing returns when individuals take to the golf course rather than enhancing their income.
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