Hear, hear

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There are those who are honest about the 50% tax rate. This is part of a letter in the FT. Read it all:

Sir, Like Tim Elster (Letters, April 28), I am in line to pay the new 50 per cent rate of tax. I read that high earners are apparently depressed, demotivated and planning to leave the country. Public spending on health and education has apparently been worthless, while public sector workers are self-evidently overpaid by comparison with your earlier correspondent.

Then I think of the exhausted, heavily pregnant hospital doctor who saved my son’s life at 3am after 19 hours on duty. I also think of the nursery teacher at our village primary school who spends Sunday evening at school, unasked, lovingly preparing activities for the children.

I have been in the investment business for some 20 years, during which time I have seen just how many lunches, clay pigeon shoots, tickets to the rugby and nights at the opera come between the average pensioner and his pension, or between a charity and its investment income. Don’t tell me the private sector hasn’t been wasting my money like it grew on trees.

Let’s get real about this: £150,000 is not a small amount of money. I would like to see the complainers explain exactly what items they will have to give up as the result of the 50 per cent tax band. Let’s put them on the table and we can all have a good laugh.

Surely it’s time for a more grown-up attitude to this. Possession of large amounts of money doesn’t allow people to cut themselves off from the rest of society. Society has a habit of paying you a call in one way or another, taxation being one of the more innocuous.

I will be interested to know where the emigrants are planning to end up, and whether they plan to remain perpetual outsiders in their host country.

Simon Hallett,
Peaslake, Surrey, UK

Sorry FT – this is too socially important not to use.