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

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

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

General Election 2015: The SNP and an SMC (Salmond-Murdoch Conspiracy)

Matthew Norman
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station  

General Election 2015: Despite all the seeming cynicism, our political system works

Ian Birrell
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk