HM Revenue & Customs published new data on venture capital trust investment yesterday.
VCTs are quoted companies that raise money to invest in start-up and early-stage companies. This is supposed to be good for the economy. And because of the supposed risk investors can get tax relief, upfront, on 30% of the cost of their investment. Because of the esoteric nature of the investment, and the five year time commitment, only those already wealthy tend to invest in this way.
Last year (2018/19) £716 million was invested by 18,890 people.
That's £37,903 invested by each person.
In other words, on average each saver invested considerably more than the UK average income.
And they got an average of £11,371 of tax-saving each, which is more than the vast majority of universal credit claimants will get each year. Basic single person universal credit is £3,813 a year.
So, I have a simple question to ask. It is why are these wealthy people so much more worthy of state support than those in real need?
Try as I might I can find no reason at all to subsidise the savings of the already wealthy in this way. VCT relief would be high on my list fo tax reliefs to get rid of.