Thursday, 1 December 2011

Toffs and tax

Having been on the public sector workers' pensions demo in Manchester yesterday, I watched the BBC2 programme Your Money and How They Spend It more out of interest than any expectation of it being very incisive.

My low expectations of the programme were borne out as the presenter, ex-national chairman of the Young Conservatives Nick Robinson, interviewed former Labour and Conservative Chancellors of the Excheque who all basically said: "People want decent public services but won't vote for higher taxes".  Needless to say, the obvious point that rich people and big companies could pay more, or in many cases even start paying tax, was not put to them.

The most interesting part was where Robinson walked round a racecourse asking people who they thought "the rich" were, how much "rich people" earned and how many of them there were.  Unsurprisingly, the richer people are, the higher their bar for what counts as rich.  No one admitted to being rich themselves even when they clearly were and estimates of how many people earned the same as them were also way off with people guessing that 25% of the population earn over £120,000 rather than the actual figure of 1%.

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