We make a life by what we give....
No apologies for the quotation.
Taxation is a necessary evil.
The current low quality political discussion makes any kind of sensible solution to a problem almost impossible to advance.
There is an imbalance of incomes across our society. We have too many people earning way too little and we have a small number of people earning obscene quantities.
We have a continual argument within our society about this 'unfair' state of affairs. One side complains about the 'Tories', the 'corruption', the 'cronism'; the other side complains about 'benefit fraud' and a system that is 'thoroughly wasteful'.
The truth of the matter being that both sides are a little bit right and a little bit wrong. But as the argument is, for the most part, between politicians, they are incapable of seeing the others point of view nor of accepting the flaws within their own argments.
I think something that might make a small difference would be to separate out any additional taxes that might be levied on the very wealthy.
We can keep in place the usual structure of taxation, up to the top rate of tax of whatever is prevailing, 45%. And from that we should be paying for all of our normal running costs as a society. The same set of rules applying to 'everyone'.
But then we create an additional tax for those earning over an specific amount. £200k maybe? And on that we ask for a not insignificant quantity, 10-15%.
But the major difference is that we put these tax earnings into a separate prosperity fund. And we ring-fence that fund to.be used for specific infra-structure and development projects. Items that are quite obviously for the benefit of the society as a whole. And you make it visible.
Why? Well if you are earning that kind of money your motivation comes from the upper part of Maslow's triangle of needs. Self actualisation is much more important than another shiny bauble. This would help satisfy that need and give them the bragging power of 'giving'.
And why is not supporting those that need the help through the general taxation the same thing? Because this would change the spin and remove the arguments of waste, squandering and mismanagement.
The sad thing about it would be the realisation that there would be an element amongst us that would resent that those who were giving more should get any kind of recognition at all. Which is precisely the wrong reaction because we should be doing as much as we can to improve the motivation to accept the increased taxation. And if that has them feeling better about themselves then it is hardly much of a price to pay.
I have no idea how much money this might earn for the country, but surely it would be a partial solution to a problem that will not go away on its own.
P.S Could something similar be done with corporation tax ?