First draft Sunday 29th August
NB Work in progress - I'm happy to take comments and incorporate positive ideas!
It's summer 2022 and most people accept that we are heading for a financial crisis. The price of energy, fuel, food and consumables is rising fast and predicted to continue rising. Inflation is forecast to be in the teens soon and is also rising at an alarming rate, For some families and individuals this is already a major issue.
Many are already taking strike action, in fear of their income not meeting their outgoings. A summer and winter of discontent is forecast. There are plenty of reasons why all this is happening but I'm leaving those reasons to one side because, like many I'm fed up with hearing journalists, politicians and pundits describing the problems and arguing about, “Why this is so”. I want to hear about what steps we, as a nation, a society, might take.
I think I understand the problems but I’m not hearing anything convincing about solutions. The candidates for Prime Minister are bickering now and, understandably, if frustratingly, only trying to appeal to their membership, that relatively small and niche group who will put them in power over all of us.
Worse, our current, failed PM, and his cabinet seem to have lost interest and have already abdicated, passed the buck and are limping off stage right. We are in limbo, purdah….
What might happen next? I have some fears about that too but we really must stop moaning about the problem and start discussing, debating possible solutions….
I want to discuss raising taxes. But, oddly, I can find no one, in the media, or politics, suggesting, that income taxation should be raised on those who have a clear ability to pay more. Why is this so? OK some say because it’s not popular and the Tories, the rich, won’t vote for it…. I’m asking why not?
I’m puzzled because, for conservatives, it seems a sensible, caring and excellent manifesto fulfilling “levelling up” suggestion. For Labour it seems a great act of socialism. And…surely, for anyone with a sense of society, community, fairness and morality, it should be a sound idea. At least it’s a reasonable discussion to enter?
My own morality, ethics (ie politics) suggest we could become a fairer, more civilised and less financially polarised country if we thought, in more detail about taxation and how, properly focussed, it could help us deal with the dire consequences of the financial crisis.
Let me try and place the first stepping stones of my ideas…
Years ago I wrote four descriptions for individuals and families to help them judge their level of Financial Wellbeing. This was part of work on a “Health and Wellbeing iAbacus* - I was thinking finance, along with health and relationships was a key factor in happiness..
The Four levels of Financial Well-being:
1. We/I have insufficient income to meet our basic needs. We have no assets or savings.
2. We have sufficient income to meet our basic needs. We have some assets and little, or no savings
3. We have sufficient income to meet our basic needs and have some to spare for luxuries. We have some assets and modest savings.
4. We have more than enough income to meet all basic needs and chosen luxuries with disposal income to spare. We have significant assets and savings.
Working from these levels I just want to discuss with a significant someone, somewhere in politics, or punditry that two, interlinked, policies could be introduced to ameliorate the the dire consequences of the financial crisis, before we approach some kind of societal breakdown, when matters, as they will, get worse.
First, we need an increase in taxes, modestly for those at level three (above) and significantly for those at level four, to provide support, and create circumstances, for any at level one to progress, at least, to level two.
Second this should be accompanied by a policy that taxes companies and organisations that take excessive profits out of their business, unless and until they pay their staff reasonable wages in line with a national formulae related to directors’ and shareholder remuneration and benefits compared with the lowest paid staff, in their setting.
That’s it… a work in progress, shared to spark, at least a discussion about fairer taxation and wealth distribution.
Please explain why this would not work…
Suggest ways to improve my logic.
*iAbacus.com our on-line self-evaluation and strategic planning tool that turns your judgement, on any issue of concern, into an action plan to help remove that concern, or improve the situation.