Friday, 30 April 2010

Vote Green and pay more tax?

“So” – asked Mark Denten, interviewing me for BBC’s Politics Show – “your manifesto says you would increase taxes to create a ‘fairer’ society. Are you telling people ‘Vote Green – and you’ll end up paying more tax’?”

Well – you can find out my response at the time when the show is broadcast on Sunday, but as they say ‘repartee is what you think of on the bus back home’ – so this is perhaps what I should have said:

“The Green Party manifesto addresses the recession, jobs, threats to public services, climate change and peak oil. We are trying to move towards a fairer, more equal, greener, lower carbon society. Our spending plans – centred on the Green New Deal – focus on this; where we propose cuts – they cut schemes and projects that do not contribute to these aims.
We are told that any government will need to introduce taxes equivalent to 6p on income tax – but while the other parties are taking an ad hoc, vote-garnering approach – but we propose to use the tax system constructively towards creating that greener, more equal society.

“So – yes, we will increase taxes – as would every other party – but we will be rehabilitating progressive taxation and Green taxes. The rich and those generating environmental damage will bear the brunt.
Our taxes to reduce inequality include:
• 50% income tax on earners over £100k
• abolish the upper limit on National Insurance contributions (and raise the lower limit)
• increase Corporation Tax to 30%, but reduce it to 20% for small firms
• base inheritance tax on the wealth of the recipient rather than the value of the estate
and – crack down on tax havens, tax evasion and tax avoidance”

That’s what I should have said – but then Mark asked two other questions, and I knew I only had 45 sec total time, so I think what I actually said was OK.

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