Has the time come for a wealth tax in the UK? | Richard Partington

Taxing the rich will address inequality and secure the welfare state’s future. It’s a Tory peer’s call, and he’s right

Tax may as well be a four letter word. Politicians have found little public support for raising taxes over the years. Think of the poll tax riots, the furore over Ed Miliband’s mansion tax or George Osborne’s “omnishambles” budget and the pickle he was in over the humble pasty.

Usually the most resistance is reserved for wealth taxes, not least for their doom-laden names given by the media: no voter wants to pay for death tax or dementia tax. Denis Healey, the Labour chancellor misquoted for wanting to “squeeze the rich until the pips squeak”, came closest, with a 1974 election wealth tax pledge but was forced to backtrack. The pips would have squeaked a little too loud for comfort.

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