Azara Blog: TUC general secretary wants "rich" people to pay more tax

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Date published: 2007/12/28

The BBC says:

A union leader has called for greater equality in society, saying the "soar-away super-rich" are becoming cut off from the rest.

Low pay for public sector workers could also cause "simmering resentment", TUC general secretary Brendan Barber warned in his New Year message.

He urged more help for workers "at the bottom", faster progress on ending child poverty and fairer workplaces.

Mr Barber said tax loopholes should be closed so the rich pay a "fair share".

He said the "super-rich" took advantage of tax loopholes, and their lives were "cut off from the rest of us".

"This is not just bad for social cohesion, but distorts the economy.

"If the super-rich and big companies are not paying their fair share it means that the rest of us - including small and medium sized businesses are paying too much, that public services are not getting the growth they need and that we do not have the resources to end child poverty," he added.

"No-one particularly enjoys paying tax but it is the price tag for a civilised society, and it's about time that we had a proper debate about whether those who can afford it are paying their fair share."

What is a "rich" person? Well, of course, it's someone who earns more money than you do, since nobody ever thinks they themselves are rich (except the odd billionaire). Being the head of the TUC, Barber himself is no doubt in the top 10% (and perhaps even top 5%) of UK earners, and you could easily deem that to be rich. It's unfortunate that in modern life there is never any "proper debate" about tax. People like Barber always want more money to be spent on government services but never want to pay for it. Indeed, the "price tag for a civilised society" seems to be that other people should pay for the services that you want, and that the only "fair" tax is one paid by someone else.

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