The system only works for those at the very top and those at the very bottom, non-taxpaying non-workers both. Richard Littlejohn used to say that in his Daily Mail column in the Major years. He was right in those days. And Ed Miliband, now saying the same thing, is right today.
We need to ensure a permanently higher rate of corporation tax on the banks and the utilities, with the money spent on reimbursing employers’ National Insurance contributions for workers aged 25 or under and 55 or over, and with strict regulation to ensure that no cost is passed on to workers, consumers, communities or the environment.
We need to mutualise the banks and to return the utilities to public ownership, while safeguarding the United Kingdom by opposing any relinquishment, either of central government’s preference share in any corporation that included the Bank of Scotland, or of central government’s controlling interest in the Royal Bank of Scotland.
We need to make the supermarkets fund investment in agriculture and small business, determined in close consultation with the National Farmers’ Union and the Federation of Small Businesses, by means of a windfall tax, to be followed if necessary by a permanently higher flat rate of corporation tax, and in either case accompanied by strict regulation to ensure that the costs were not passed on to suppliers, workers, consumers, communities or the environment.
We need to ban any company from paying any employee more than 10 times what it pays any other employee, with the whole public sector (including MPs and Ministers) functioning as one for this purpose, with its contracted out blue-collar work brought back in-house, with its median wage then pegged permanently and by statute at the median wage in the private sector, and with an absolute statutory ban, across the entire economy, on paying anyone more than the Prime Minister.
We need to require every public limited company to have one non-executive director appointed by the Secretary of State for a fixed term equivalent to that of other directors, and responsible for protecting the interests of workers, small shareholders, consumers, communities and the environment, with the voting rights of a shareholder made legally dependent on having held the shares in question for at least 12 months.
We need a unified system of personal tax allowances, benefits, pensions, student funding and minimum wage legislation, so that no one’s tax-free income falls below half national median earnings.
We need to give every household a base of real property from which to resist both over-mighty commercial interests and an over-mighty State.
And we need to abolish non-domicile tax status.
That would be a start, anyway.