There was an interesting article on the Politics Show yesterday, in which Profesor Greg Philo of Glasgow University (about 1hr:29 mins into the programme) argued that the state deficit could be abolished by a one-off tax on the wealthiest 10% of the population, rather than through the cuts agenda that almost all politicians of all stripes seem to be seeing as inevitable. The Profs' ideas are promulgated on the Glasgow Media Group's website.
Because I believe that government interferes too much in the life of the individual, I would support some state spending being reduced even if the government had zero deficits or even if it made a healthy profit.
I have some doubts about the practicality of taxing the best tax avoiders in order to raise revenues! There would have to be a series of preliminary laws to tighten tax avoidance and the donations made to political parties by massive tax avoiders, before any collection of such a tax could be practical – something that neither Labour or Conservative recipients of tax avoiders largess will support!
And there is the perennial problem of taxing success. Untaxed money can go back into business and wealth creation, creating better businesses and more wealth (and more taxes in its wake). Taxes tend to get swallowed up in bureaucracy and bumf and administration rather than in economic growth.
On the other hand I don't want to see my local school close, fewer police on the beat; monthly bin collection, or my aged parents' old age pensions slashed either. If a one off tax on the super rich can avoid those then I'm all for it!
Whatever the merits or the faults of Prof Philo's proposals, it is good to see an alternative to the cuts agenda offered by most parties in the last election. The Glasgow Media proposal should have been offered as an alternative to voters during the election by a major party. Agree or disagree a party proposing and another party opposing would have given the electorate a real choice!