Earlier this week a journalist highlighted the fact that a certain ‘Martin Taylor’ has donated nearly £600,000 to the UK Labour Party over the past two years and that the identity of this person – my having such a common name that it defied the powers of Google – was an apparently newsworthy ‘mystery’. There is no mystery. This ‘Martin Taylor’ is me. I am a born and bred Londoner, who also happens to be a Hedge Fund manager. And I am proud to support the Labour Party.
This may seem a bit odd to many people. It is commonly believed that everyone in the financial sector supports the Conservative Party, in a quest to pay ever lower levels of tax. So why do I support Labour? There are several reasons.
Firstly, I believe very strongly that everyone should contribute to society and that those who are lucky enough to earn a lot should contribute more than others. This principle has become particularly important since the global financial crisis in 2008 threw Western economies into recession, reduced living standards and sparked a wave of cutbacks in government spending; cutbacks that have hit those with the least hardest. When times were good governments endeavoured to reduce taxes for everyone and also increase spending on health, education and the elderly.
But now in harder times the current government has cut taxes for the richest by reducing the top rate of income tax from 50% to 45% while cutting spending elsewhere to fund it. This means damaging the most vulnerable in society - such as the disabled for instance, who have disproportionately suffered at the hands of the ‘bedroom tax’ - to directly benefit the better off. I believe this is not fair. Labour’s commitment to both reverse this tax cut for the wealthiest and abolish the bedroom tax will right this wrong.
Secondly, I believe policies that will benefit society as a whole need to be properly funded. Labour will do this. Nothing better symbolises the common good than the NHS. It has suffered from enormous financial strain over the past few years and vital improvements, such as reducing GP waiting times, are needed. These do not come for free. That’s why I support Labour’s proposed ‘Mansion Tax’ which will be levied on the owners of houses worth more than £2 million.
The owners of such houses have experienced a massive inflation adjusted tax cut over the last thirty years as their annual property taxes have fallen in real terms since local rates were abolished in the late 1980’s. These owners have also been the primary beneficiaries of the house price boom that has taken place since then. I therefore believe it is only fair that these lucky households (myself included) now pay a little bit more to help the NHS in its hour of need.
The final reason I support Labour is my family history. My dad was a local Labour councillor in Lewisham, South East London for over thirty years and my mum rose to be the head teacher of a Comprehensive school. They taught me daily about fairness.
That is why, as someone who is lucky enough to be paid very well for doing a job I love - and who has always been UK domiciled and fully pay UK tax on all of my income, whatever its source – it is natural for me to support the political Party and the party leader, in Ed Miliband, who are patently committed to this principle.
The views expressed above are the personal views of Martin Taylor and do not represent the views of Nevsky Capital LLP which has no political affiliations. The donations have been made personally by Martin Taylor. Nevsky Capital LLP does not make any political donations.
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