Mansion tax: It always seems to work out that taxing the rich is pointless, doesn’t it?

If this is the politics of envy, you can count me in

Share
Related Topics

The reason, it turns out, we can’t have this Labour proposal of a mansion tax on homes worth over £2m, is that it would cost too much to calculate.

George Osborne has said: “It’s very costly to implement. You have to send inspectors round the country valuing all homes, not just those worth over £2m.”

I suppose that’s right, though in some areas it shouldn’t take all that long. For example, inspectors sent to a council estate in Runcorn ought to get round fairly briskly, unless they’re really diligent and go: “We’d better check inside each flat, in case the kitchen is made of panda fur or the toilet’s been painted by Picasso. I had a mate inspecting a bedsit in Sunderland last week, went in the bedroom and there was the Sphinx. The kids were using it as a slide, took the value up to two million and twenty quid so you never know.”

Maybe other institutions will adopt this attitude, and decide that money isn’t worth collecting as it takes too long to work out how much to charge. Supermarkets will announce that as it’s such a palaver going round every block of cheese and packet of Weetabix thinking of prices and mucking about with bar codes, it’s easier all round if everything was free.

Luckily, it must be far simpler to go round the house of everyone who’s on benefits, and work out if they have a room that isn’t slept in every night, and if so force them to move to somewhere smaller. This means the bedroom tax can be implemented, and that’s bound to raise far more money than the odd shilling that can be afforded by people like Roman Abramovich.

It always seems to work out that taxes on the rich are pointless, because they’ll take their money abroad or find a loophole; or the rich have antique money which you can’t collect because it’s all crumbly; or they might be footballers who will kick their money round the garden so, to get it off them, you’ll need two proven international central defenders whose wages will be more than you’ll collect.

In any case, as one columnist insisted yesterday, a mansion tax is simply “the politics of envy”. So if you feel that the cuts to libraries, services, parks and the disabled ought to be balanced by a tax on the wealthiest, who so far in these times of austerity have had their taxes cut, not only are you economically stupid, you’re committing one of the deadly sins.

It was the same when slaves complained about slavery, or medieval peasants moaned about starving in a ditch while the baron had a nightly banquet, just envy, envy, envy – and where does that get you? 

That’s why the money has to come from the poor, as taking it off them can’t be envy, because no one envies them. 

So we should be grateful to George Osborne. Not only is he helping the economy, he’s saving all our souls.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The law is too hard on sexting teenagers

Memphis Barker
 

Obama must speak out – Americans are worried no one is listening to them

David Usborne
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game