Are the TPA marking the Government too harshly on taxing the super rich?
So the Government has scored 47% in its interim performance test, based on its first three months in office. Who needs Alan Budd and the Office for Budget Responsibility when you have the kind of independent rigorous analysis kindly provided free of charge by the Taxpayers’ Alliance.
As an ordinary taxpayer I should probably take their analysis more seriously, though I shudder to think that anyone in the Government does.
The stand out finding in this analysis is the Government’s woeful performance – 0 out of 5 – for its lack of progress in scrapping the 50p tax rate. Is a tax rate applicable only to those earning over £150,000 – the top two per cent of earners – really an issue for ordinary taxpayers? I can’t imagine I’ll ever earn anything like that figure, though of course if I did the first I’d hear about it would probably be from a Taxpayers alliance press release.
To be fair to the Government, I think they deserve more than 0 out of 5 on this performance target. In these tough economic times, with subsidised childcare schemes, free school meals, school rebuilding programmes and job guarantees for young people out of work all being cut, the Government has still found time to launch a consultation on pension annuities that would only benefit the super-rich. That’s surely worth a point.
My favourite finding however is the section on transparency. The TPA is of course right to call for more transparency in the Government’s decision making. I’d be particularly interested to see the Treasury conduct and publish a distributional impact analysis on its spending decisions – a Fairness Test if you like. I’m sure ordinary taxpayers would also to find out more about how their money is being spent on Private Finance Initiatives, though I doubt the TPA would support this call, given where their funding comes from.
But can there be a better example of the pot calling the kettle black than a secretly funded think-tank such as the Taxpayers Alliance campaigning for transparency?