Jobs will be lost because bosses have to pay a bit more tax? How does that work? They're going to shut down factories, lay off staff, because they have to pay a bit more income tax? I don't think so.Investors will tear up their business plans because they feel sorry for UK chief executives with fewer pounds in their pockets? Why on earth would they? It simply makes no sense.
Pension relief is one of the most common (and government-sanctioned ways) to avoid tax. Limiting it (especially if other exemptions and loopholes were also altered) could lead to further knock on gains for the public purse as higher earners find fewer simple ways to avoid taxation at their disposal.
So let's stop living in a theoretical world where Big Society is what happens when a subsection of those with surplus try to help those in need but don't have enough to meet all the need, and let's start living in the real world where the body best placed to be Big Society and to make Big Society work is you.
The Chancellor's Autumn Statement recently announced that increases in business rates will be capped at 2% in England, instead of being linked to inflation. Business rates were set to rise by 3.2% in 2014, based on September's Retail Prices Index measure of inflation but as a result of the cap businesses are expected to save up to £3,375.
The UK House of Lords EU Subcommittee on Economic and Financial Affairs this week came out railing against the financial transaction tax (FTT), which would place a 0.1% tax on trades in shares and a 0.01% tax on derivatives trades. George Osborne described it as "economic suicide". He is wrong. Not adopting an FTT would be economic suicide.
This Thursday the Chancellor gives his Autumn Statement. With the economic upturn shaky at best we can expect little in the way of good news and plenty more squeezing of budgets. Except, that is, for one thing. It appears that the Chancellor has £700million to spare on a measure that even its supporters claim won't any difference. So what's the truth? Are we in the grip of a near permanent austerity? Or do we have some cash to burn?
Reverse the Tory trend towards equalising corporate tax rates for small and big businesses, push rates back up for large companies and lower them for smaller ones, and slash VAT to boost the high street. It's time to move to a basic principle of a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. It's time for a mandatory living wage.