Fairer Taxes - End Waste of Taxpayers' Money

Taxation

Fairer Taxes

- No income tax on the first £10,000 of individual income ,gradually increasing the amount which is not taxed towards 15,000 when economic conditions allow.. Currently people going into relatively low-paid jobs lose their benefits and face an incredibly complicated tax credits system. It would be simpler and fairer and save on administration costs to not tax the first £10,000 of income. (EDIT - While I still think it's right to increase the starting rate for tax to income over £10,000 per year, I was wrong inbelieving tax credits should have been abolished. It turns out that the abolition of tax credits by the Coalition government has left people who had them worse off even when the increase in the amount people can earn before paying tax is taken into account (see this article and this one) Tax credits also went only to those who needed them most while a rise in the starting level for tax gives everyone a tax cut - even the wealthiest. So i believe tax credits should be restored.)

- A 50% rate of income tax on individual income over £150,000 (this would not be 50% of all income, but 50% of any income over £150,000 – e.g someone earning £200,000 a year would be taxed half of the top £50,000 or £25,000)  

- A 60% rate of income tax on individual income over £300,000

- A 70% rate of income tax on individual income over £500,000

- A local income tax to replace the Council Tax - Income taxes are the fairest taxes. The Council Tax is a strange cross between the unfair rates and income tax.

Crack down on tax evasion and avoidance by billionaires and big firms by co-operating with the rest of the EU and the OECD to close down tax havens. If they refuse to co-operate, ban all transfers of money to and from them and the UK and EU and ban all tourism to them until they agree to minimum EU and OECD wide tax rates. This tax evasion is estimated to cost the UK up to £85bn a year.

 

End waste of taxpayers’ money

If cuts in public spending are required they should be in areas of massive waste which the main parties refuse to consider cutting as companies donating to their party funds profit from them. The current costs of these dwarf any supposed “efficiency savings” that could be made.

No new PFIs/PPPs and look for breaches of contract to end existing ones – PFIs and PPPs are pushing up taxes and resulting in service cuts. Experts in NHS finance like Professor Allyson Pollock have shown that PFIs and PPP funded projects cost between two and dozens of times as much as financing new hospital and school capital projects from taxation or by taking a loan from the private sector at 3 to 5% interest rates would.

While PFIs and PPPs’ costs are not counted as debt this is a mere accounting trick which covers up the vast costs over decades under PPP and PFI contracts. The complexity of consortia with many sub-contracts also results in ridiculous delays in maintenance.

Staff say not even a light bulb can be changed in a PFI or PPP hospital without filling out forms and waiting for firms to haggle over who has the right to replace it (at several times the ordinary cost). It’s vital that the maintenance aspects of the contracts be renegotiated as soon as possible and that government lawyers be put on the lookout for any breach of contract by PFI consortia so that these disasters can be ended.

 Under Brown as Chancellor and Prime Minister local councils have been given no option for funding any capital project except to accept a PFI or PPP – if they refuse the Treasury has refused them them funding. Smaller firms which are sub-contracted by the consortia of larger firms given PFI contracts are also often short-changed and paid late by the larger firms.

- A typical PFI/PPPP hospital replaces existing hospitals rather than being an additional hospital - and has roughly one third less beds and staff than the hospital it replaces due to the massive cost of PFI contracts which involve payments over up to 80 years. Source - research by Professor Allyson Pollock & others British Medical Journal 17th July 1999 and British Medical Journal 18th May 2002 and British Medical Journal 26th April 2003

South Lanarkshire Council have given the largest school PFI contract in the UK to a consortium led by AMEC construction - the same firm that got the contract to build Cumberland Infirmary on a PFI contract. Staff there say cardiac patients ended up covered in sewage from burst pipes, there were power cuts in the middle of attempts to ventilate patients , equipment was left broken , maintenance wasn't carried out properly due to engineers being sacked and the hospital has less staff and 90 fewer beds than the hospitals it replaced - while the health authority has to pay the AMEC consortium £11 million of rent annually. Does this make you trust AMEC's InspirED consortium to build our schools ?

- PFI buildings usually have inferior lighting, temperature regulation and acoustics as well as less space for beds or tables for pupils. SourceAudit Commission cited in The Guardian

- PFI contracts earn firms involved 3 to 10 times the profits of a standard contract – costing the taxpayer considerably more as a result. SourceMajor Contractors Group quoted in The Guardian

 

End Export Credit Guarantees for arms exports – These are a waste of taxpayers’ money as they effectively subsidise arms sales to dictatorships and occupying forces

 

No more public subsidies to privatised rail companies who take profits while taxpayers pay most of the costs of new investment