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Do the rich pay a 'fair' amount of tax? (POLL)

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  • View Poll Results: Do the rich pay a 'fair' amount of tax?
    The rich pay far too much tax
    69
    19.66%
    The rich pay slightly too much tax
    85
    24.22%
    The rich pay a fair amount of tax
    53
    15.10%
    The rich pay slightly too little tax
    48
    13.68%
    The rich pay far too little tax
    96
    27.35%

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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Wait, so you're not even arguing that the individuals worked, merely that their families did and that somehow that means they deserve it through the huge skill of being born into a rich family?

    And once more in this thread, I see these same naive/idiotic (not sure which, it probably changes from person to person) argument that's in every thread about tax. It basically goes:

    'The rich shouldn't pay tax because they've earned their money. You can't question that they've earned their money.They MUST have done, otherwise they wouldn't be rich. All rich people always totally earned all their money, guaranteed.'
    Why should the individual have to have earned it? There is nothing wrong with inheritance, it provides people with a motivation to work hard to try and ensure they can help their children by leaving them a sum of money or assets.

    It is a fair assumption that will be true in upwards of 90% of cases I imagine. Even so, does it matter whether they earned it, inherited it, won it on the lottery, or however they came to possess it, provided it is through legal means?
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    (Original post by Astronomical)
    Why should the individual have to have earned it? There is nothing wrong with inheritance, it provides people with a motivation to work hard to try and ensure they can help their children by leaving them a sum of money or assets.
    Of course there is. Namely here, for example, it destroys the entire basis for the rich not being taxed, i.e. that they earned it. It's a lot easier to make a lot of money when you already have a lot of money.

    It is a fair assumption that will be true in upwards of 90% of cases I imagine. Even so, does it matter whether they earned it, inherited it, won it on the lottery, or however they came to possess it, provided it is through legal means?
    Who says the status quo of the law is always correct? I don't think everything that can be done legally is just and I'm sure most people don't consider the law to be totally just either.

    I'd say it's false in >90% of cases, because the vast majority of the rich are so because they are bankers, business owners, hedge fund managers etc who 'earn' money from what other people have produced. They're the real parasites.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)

    I'd say it's false in >90% of cases, because the vast majority of the rich are so because they are bankers, business owners, hedge fund managers etc who 'earn' money from what other people have produced. They're the real parasites.
    Well I wouldn't go quite that far. They are a necessary component of a capitalist economy, as necessary to the workings of the system as the water or telecoms companies are. The only difference being of course that executives and shareholders in the private utilities don't milk the system for all its worth and then cry about the free market. Actually, no hold on a minute they have and still largely do...

    If you are talking about the specific example of the banking system then quite frankly it really has gotten far too big for its boots. Finance enables the market, it should not run and set the rules for the market, and because of that is why we are in the situation that we are currently in, a complete lack of adequate regulation basically...

    More generally though what is blatantly unfair is that someone earning a great deal of money can pay less tax than someone earning a fraction of their income due to various tax breaks. And likewise two people earning the same amount can be paying different levels of tax due to the way that they earn their money might differ.

    Income is income, and all these tax break, loopholes and ways of avoiding paying tax need to be clamped down on and removed in their entirety. No sane person can possibly argue that it is in anyway fair for someone earning £120,000 to be paying less income tax than someone that earns £55,000...
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    (Original post by Bohedie)
    average for a couple with one child is £40,000 and family's on this STRUGGLE to make ends meet.

    Our income is around the number you suggested. take away tax we get closer to £50,000. minus mortgage repayments and bills closer to £20,000, minus food £18,000. more like £15,000 when you've got through insurance and council tax. We have to pay for my little brothers school bus so that's another £3000 so now we're at £12,000. so that's £1,000 a month or £250 a week. And there are five of us so if we were going to split that money equally that's £50 a week per person. Someone on the dole would get more so is this really a 'ridiculous' amount of money? really?
    £100,000 wage a year is quite a lot money and that's for one person so you could have £200,000 wage a year for a family and seriously how can you get £30,000 a year in bills?The average wage is £26,000 and that's a good job and you shouldn't be able to get much more than that.
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    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    £100,000 wage a year is quite a lot money and that's for one person so you could have £200,000 wage a year for a family and seriously how can you get £30,000 a year in bills?The average wage is £26,000 and that's a good job and you shouldn't be able to get much more than that.
    my family live in the most expensive county for housing in the UK that figure includes mortgage repayments.

    also whether it's 'a lot of money' is relative. In the north of England yes £26,000 may be a lot but everything where you come from is a lot cheaper (currently studying in this area so don't tell me I don't know what I'm talking about). And in London and where I come from £26,000 is the starting salary of a rather ****ty graduate job and the only rent you would be able to afford would be a total crap hole- most probably a house share.

    For example my fiance's mother has a small three bedroom house in Sheffield (nothing fancy just a 1970s terrace) which costs around £100,000, me and my fiance have just started proceedings on a 2 bed flat in London, about a quarter of the size? Yeah that's going to cost us £280,000. And if you wanted to buy that same three bedroom house she has where my family live it would cost you around £400,000 to £500,000.

    Moving onto the cost of living, petrol is slightly cheaper where you are, supermarkets charge slightly less for food as income in generally lower, public transport is far cheaper etc. And it has to be said up here I have come across 'nettos' and three other money saving stores that do not exist in the south east or along the south coast.

    You can't argue a point you clearly don't understand whether a family is rich or not depends where they live, how much it costs to live and how many people that money has to fund.

    You have no idea what 'rich' is. My family has a higher than average income but the way that money has to work means we aren't rich. You are deluded if you think that someone bursts out of uni and makes £100,000 a year. people who make those salaries have to have been working a career for around 30 years to get there and in that time they will have faced being with financial mess and barely being able to afford to live so why can't they work harder to make their lives a little easier?

    How dare someone like you who has clearly never worked insult people who are simply being rewarded for years of hard work? How would you feel if all you were 'allowed' to earn wasn't even enough to ever buy your own house let alone have a family?
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    (Original post by Bohedie)
    How would you feel if all you were 'allowed' to earn wasn't even enough to ever buy your own house let alone have a family?
    Well it would certainly sort out overinflated house prices wouldn't it?

    In all seriousness a lot of what you say is true and many others have aluded to it. Wealth is relative, I wouldn't say that my parents were ever 'rich', but they've managed to retire to a nice big house in Tuscany with a pool, and a rather small cottage in Whitstable for the summers. I think the highest my dad's salary ever got was maybe £65k

    There is always someone 'richer' than you. My brother in law is senior tax partner at a magic circle law firm. I have no idea what he earns right now, but its certainly well into seven figures and they have a I think five bedroom house in Hampstead that's on the edge of the Heath which I think they bought for around £5m...

    Basically there is always someone richer than you, so how can you be rich if that is the case?
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    (Original post by Stomm)
    Well it would certainly sort out overinflated house prices wouldn't it?

    In all seriousness a lot of what you say is true and many others have aluded to it. Wealth is relative, I wouldn't say that my parents were ever 'rich', but they've managed to retire to a nice big house in Tuscany with a pool, and a rather small cottage in Whitstable for the summers. I think the highest my dad's salary ever got was maybe £65k

    There is always someone 'richer' than you. My brother in law is senior tax partner at a magic circle law firm. I have no idea what he earns right now, but its certainly well into seven figures and they have a I think five bedroom house in Hampstead that's on the edge of the Heath which I think they bought for around £5m...

    Basically there is always someone richer than you, so how can you be rich if that is the case?
    I agree with you I think if people work hard no one has the right to remove half of it.

    I think rather than emitting this ridiculous childish jealousy we should focus on ensuring that everyone is contributing what is fair. People at the bottom should pay little enough tax so they can afford to live and people at the top should pay more. definitely. Just why should the people who are making more money for the economy be punished? 45% is fine.

    Just make sure they actually pay it then quit whinging xD
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    (Original post by Bohedie)
    average for a couple with one child is £40,000 and family's on this STRUGGLE to make ends meet.

    Our income is around the number you suggested. take away tax we get closer to £50,000. minus mortgage repayments and bills closer to £20,000, minus food £18,000. more like £15,000 when you've got through insurance and council tax. We have to pay for my little brothers school bus so that's another £3000 so now we're at £12,000. so that's £1,000 a month or £250 a week. And there are five of us so if we were going to split that money equally that's £50 a week per person. Someone on the dole would get more so is this really a 'ridiculous' amount of money? really?
    I'm on your side on this (as I don't agree with the maximum-wage and maximum-money-in-bank that the person suggested, certainly not at the relatively low amounts he stated).

    But - £100,000, even after income tax, council tax, and national insurance, etc., is a lot of money. There's no denying it.

    Your reductions of mortgages, food and bills are a bit redundant for two reasons.
    1. You do have less money once you've spent it. The mortgage is high because your family has chosen to live in a big house, that someone on £20k would not be able to afford.
    2. Then you claim that £50 per person per week is less than what people on the dole get. The difference is that you have already paid for food, bills, housing, and the school bus. That's £50 excess per person per week, to throw around and have a party with.
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    (Original post by lightburns)
    I'm on your side on this (as I don't agree with the maximum-wage and maximum-money-in-bank that the person suggested, certainly not at the relatively low amounts he stated).

    But - £100,000, even after income tax, council tax, and national insurance, etc., is a lot of money. There's no denying it.

    Your reductions of mortgages, food and bills are a bit redundant for two reasons.
    1. You do have less money once you've spent it. The mortgage is high because your family has chosen to live in a big house, that someone on £20k would not be able to afford.
    2. Then you claim that £50 per person per week is less than what people on the dole get. The difference is that you have already paid for food, bills, housing, and the school bus. That's £50 excess per person per week, to throw around and have a party with.
    we don't have a massive house we have a 4bed for a family of 5. it's the area we have to live in for my dads job it's just what it costs. He gets more money because it costs more to live. and he was worked hard and worked his way up the company over many years so why doesn't he deserve to earn a bit so he can save in the 5 years or so he has left before his retirement? He has only been on this high an income for... 4 years I believe.

    I think for 39 years of working to only be receiving a high income for 4 of those he isn't exactly the root of all evil.

    and the basic amount someone on JSA can claim is just over £58 (due to have a rise soon) then on top of that they will be given extra for rent (paid directly to the landlord mostly) and for heating etc if needed.

    Yes they need it and I'm not bitter about it all I'm saying is that we aren't so much better off than some people on JSA so stop hating because we aren't extravagant people or anything like that :/ we definitely don't have a mansion or a yacht or a pool. We don't even own our family car it's a company one.

    People seem to think we're millionaires when we aren't we only live like normal people :s
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    (Original post by Bohedie)
    we don't have a massive house we have a 4bed for a family of 5. it's the area we have to live in for my dads job it's just what it costs. He gets more money because it costs more to live. and he was worked hard and worked his way up the company over many years so why doesn't he deserve to earn a bit so he can save in the 5 years or so he has left before his retirement? He has only been on this high an income for... 4 years I believe.

    I think for 39 years of working to only be receiving a high income for 4 of those he isn't exactly the root of all evil.

    and the basic amount someone on JSA can claim is just over £58 (due to have a rise soon) then on top of that they will be given extra for rent (paid directly to the landlord mostly) and for heating etc if needed.

    Yes they need it and I'm not bitter about it all I'm saying is that we aren't so much better off than some people on JSA so stop hating because we aren't extravagant people or anything like that :/ we definitely don't have a mansion or a yacht or a pool. We don't even own our family car it's a company one.

    People seem to think we're millionaires when we aren't we only live like normal people :s
    I'm not against people being on those kind of salaries. If your Dad has a job that demands the salary of ~£100k, then good for him. I'm not for a moment suggesting that there is anything wrong with the salary.

    I'm just saying it's a lot of money. He chose to have three kids, for starters, and I'm assuming your mum doesn't work? Lower-income families have to have both parents working, or the second parent working at least part-time, or they cannot make ends meet.

    On the housing issues - yes, a 4 bed is always going to be expensive. A person on a lower salary would have a 2-3 bed, and have people sharing rooms. So the point still stands: it looks like a lot less money once you've spent it.
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    (Original post by lightburns)
    I'm not against people being on those kind of salaries. If your Dad has a job that demands the salary of ~£100k, then good for him. I'm not for a moment suggesting that there is anything wrong with the salary.

    I'm just saying it's a lot of money. He chose to have three kids, for starters, and I'm assuming your mum doesn't work? Lower-income families have to have both parents working, or the second parent working at least part-time, or they cannot make ends meet.

    On the housing issues - yes, a 4 bed is always going to be expensive. A person on a lower salary would have a 2-3 bed, and have people sharing rooms. So the point still stands: it looks like a lot less money once you've spent it.
    I'm not complaining or saying we should have more and I think the tax we pay is fair we have more so we can give more.

    and when I was younger both my parents worked to make ends meet I only had my older brother to look after me until I was in about year 4 and when I was born we lived in a one bedroom flat, all 4 of us.

    and my dad didn't actually ask for three kids my mum came with one but that's a completely different thing.

    but my point still stands that we live in an area with a far higher cost of living than others so if we were in the same situation in say Bradford for example and everything was relative then we would only be needing an income of 40 - 60k to live to the same standard :/

    it is a lot of money but it isn't worth as much here as it could be worth in other areas, which is something people don't understand.

    It's like an income of $50 a week would be worth a lot more to you in India than America because the cost of goods and property is cheaper in India than America.
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    (Original post by Bohedie)
    I'm not complaining or saying we should have more and I think the tax we pay is fair we have more so we can give more.

    and when I was younger both my parents worked to make ends meet I only had my older brother to look after me until I was in about year 4 and when I was born we lived in a one bedroom flat, all 4 of us.

    and my dad didn't actually ask for three kids my mum came with one but that's a completely different thing.

    but my point still stands that we live in an area with a far higher cost of living than others so if we were in the same situation in say Bradford for example and everything was relative then we would only be needing an income of 40 - 60k to live to the same standard :/

    it is a lot of money but it isn't worth as much here as it could be worth in other areas, which is something people don't understand.

    It's like an income of $50 a week would be worth a lot more to you in India than America because the cost of goods and property is cheaper in India than America.
    I'll agree with you that £100k in an expensive area is a hell of a lot less than £100k in a cheap area. There will be people on lower salaries in absolutist terms who make comments about those a little bit above them, who actually get less if you consider all the additional costs.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Of course there is. Namely here, for example, it destroys the entire basis for the rich not being taxed, i.e. that they earned it. It's a lot easier to make a lot of money when you already have a lot of money.
    And why should the people who have money be punished because of this? Yes, what you have stated is an obvious truth, but by no means is it a flaw with the current system. What incentive would there be to earn more money if it didn't help you make even more money? Perhaps people should stop complaining about things being unfair, purely out of jealousy, let's be honest, and try and make their own fortune.

    Who says the status quo of the law is always correct? I don't think everything that can be done legally is just and I'm sure most people don't consider the law to be totally just either.
    The law is quite blatantly unfair. How on earth could you ever consider a system fair when the people who genuinely work much harder than everyone else to get better jobs and so on, who get a larger salary as a result, have to pay more to prop up the less successful? A fair system is when everyone pays the same. A slightly less fair system is when everyone pays the same %rate. Our system, whereby the more you earn the greater percentage is taken off you, is ludicrous and quite obviously to appease jealous, cretinous people who cannot drive themselves to succeed in life.

    I'd say it's false in >90% of cases, because the vast majority of the rich are so because they are bankers, business owners, hedge fund managers etc who 'earn' money from what other people have produced. They're the real parasites.
    Bankers: nearly everyone uses a commercial bank. Businesses need to use investment banks to manage their assets. Banks allow people to set up businesses that they otherwise wouldn't be able to, and thus create jobs, etc. Why do you have a problem with banks?

    Business owners: create the jobs that people need to put food on their tables. How on earth is that a bad thing? Why should somebody who has put in the effort to set up a profitable company be punished with more tax then average Joe who couldn't be bothered to try to? It is simply unfair.

    Hedge fund managers: take care of investments for many, many people. Salary is pretty much proportional to the demand for services. Shouldn't be punished because he has a better job than average Joe, who is jealous he earns less. Again, it's just unfair to tax a higher percentage.

    Personally, and this is obviously controversial, but I don't see why we need, or indeed would want, a welfare state. It doesn't work; people are still complaining about being poor even when they aren't, relative to actual poor people (i.e. people suffering famine in Africa), the NHS doesn't work for those people who actually need it (expensive life saving drugs often refused, because the system is drained by alcoholics, obesity and chain smokers) and people are out of jobs because of the minimum wage which makes employing more people commercially unviable for companies whose budgets are tight at the moment. People should pay for what they use, not what everyone else uses as is currently the case.
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    (Original post by Bohedie)
    my family live in the most expensive county for housing in the UK that figure includes mortgage repayments.

    also whether it's 'a lot of money' is relative. In the north of England yes £26,000 may be a lot but everything where you come from is a lot cheaper (currently studying in this area so don't tell me I don't know what I'm talking about). And in London and where I come from £26,000 is the starting salary of a rather ****ty graduate job and the only rent you would be able to afford would be a total crap hole- most probably a house share.

    For example my fiance's mother has a small three bedroom house in Sheffield (nothing fancy just a 1970s terrace) which costs around £100,000, me and my fiance have just started proceedings on a 2 bed flat in London, about a quarter of the size? Yeah that's going to cost us £280,000. And if you wanted to buy that same three bedroom house she has where my family live it would cost you around £400,000 to £500,000.

    Moving onto the cost of living, petrol is slightly cheaper where you are, supermarkets charge slightly less for food as income in generally lower, public transport is far cheaper etc. And it has to be said up here I have come across 'nettos' and three other money saving stores that do not exist in the south east or along the south coast.

    You can't argue a point you clearly don't understand whether a family is rich or not depends where they live, how much it costs to live and how many people that money has to fund.

    You have no idea what 'rich' is. My family has a higher than average income but the way that money has to work means we aren't rich. You are deluded if you think that someone bursts out of uni and makes £100,000 a year. people who make those salaries have to have been working a career for around 30 years to get there and in that time they will have faced being with financial mess and barely being able to afford to live so why can't they work harder to make their lives a little easier?

    How dare someone like you who has clearly never worked insult people who are simply being rewarded for years of hard work? How would you feel if all you were 'allowed' to earn wasn't even enough to ever buy your own house let alone have a family?
    Stop this greed now.You clearly stated that £100,000 a year is a lot more than you will get after leaving university if you find an average good job and £100,000 a year is easily enough to pay for your own house in any part of the country unless you can't spend your money reasonably.How dare you say that people who earn big salaries work harder than people who don't?-A lot of people put in 100% effort and don't get those kinds of salaries.I would also like to add that maybe the £100,000 a year is a bit low and maybe it could be changed to meet the location but the general idea is moral and correct.Money brings power and power brings evil and think of the money that could be saved because nobody needs any more than £100,000 a year and definitely not as much as some people are getting paid.Why would I mind if I couldn't get my own house?-I would just rent a house or a flat.
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    everyone should pay the same percentage of what they earn.

    And no, I am not rich.
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    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    Stop this greed now.You clearly stated that £100,000 a year is a lot more than you will get after leaving university if you find an average good job and £100,000 a year is easily enough to pay for your own house in any part of the country unless you can't spend your money reasonably.How dare you say that people who earn big salaries work harder than people who don't?-A lot of people put in 100% effort and don't get those kinds of salaries.I would also like to add that maybe the £100,000 a year is a bit low and maybe it could be changed to meet the location but the general idea is moral and correct.Money brings power and power brings evil and think of the money that could be saved because nobody needs any more than £100,000 a year and definitely not as much as some people are getting paid.Why would I mind if I couldn't get my own house?-I would just rent a house or a flat.
    The markets decide the value of labour.

    'Effort' is not important.

    What matters is the amount of people that are qualified and willing to work in a particular industry and the amount that the industry is willing to pay for that work.

    I'd like to know how you justify saying that money is inherently evil.

    Do you think everyone that is taller than you is evil as well?
    Everyone with a bigger car?
    Everyone with more pets?
    Everyone with more ties?

    Why on earth is someone evil simply because they have more of something than you?
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    (Original post by RedTiger)
    everyone should pay the same percentage of what they earn.

    And no, I am not rich.
    I wholeheartedly agree, and I am not rich either.

    It is the only fair system.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    I wholeheartedly agree, and I am not rich either.

    It is the only fair system.
    I cannot see how we have any other system.

    Being more successful should not mean you are penalised more.
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    I'm sure this has been said, but as you haven't defined 'rich' this is quite meaningless. Are you rich if you make 50k? Or are you rich if you own a jumbo jet?
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    (Original post by M1011)
    I'm sure this has been said, but as you haven't defined 'rich' this is quite meaningless. Are you rich if you make 50k? Or are you rich if you own a jumbo jet?
    I've intentionally left it up to the voters to decide.

    I didn't want to define it because there are massive variations in what people consider rich - for example, I would consider £2,500,000 or more per year to put someone into the 'rich' bracket. Some people (rather oddly, in my opinion) consider £100,000 to be enough.

    It's your call.

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