What is it about the Liberal Democrats that makes me feel sorry for them - I can't quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it's because the Scottish libdem bloggers are a pleasant bunch and are quite a cohesive force in their criticisms of Scottish politics.
However, today's announcement that the 'rich' are to be taxed much more in order to take 300,00 poor out of the tax bracket is just so ludicrous it makes the libdems look like they desperately need a lesson in economics.
Vince Cable, their Media Celeb, has recently admitted he was wrong about the Lloyds TSB/HBOS takeover and I'm sincerely hoping he'll admit to being wrong about this, although listening to Nick Clegg on radio, I 'hae ma doots' that Vince will break the party line.
The proposal is a property tax which targets properties over £1m, on the assumption that the owners are 'rich'.
"We have seen the super-rich pouring their money not into job creating businesses but into acquiring mansions,” he said, as he turned his fire on bankers, businessmen and the Shadow Cabinet’s former members of the Bullingdon Club.
Yes he has a point there, but what they should be proposing is a complete overhaul of the banking system to stop banker's recent behaviour ever happening again and he should be proposing a new taxation system as the present one allows certain big business companies/people to avoid taxation.
But to go for people who own homes valued at £1m and over is telling those who can afford to live in such a property that it will cost them more. Running a large house is expensive and those who can afford to own one are, in many cases, preserving buildings which may well either be sold to developers or demolished to make way for another concrete tower.
I know people who have homes in this bracket and the value is usually because they live in areas which can demand, what I consider, silly prices. My friends are certainly not 'rich' but what is termed nowadays as 'asset rich'. Paying a few thousand pounds more a year to stay in their homes (which they have worked hard for all their lives) could see them having to sell up and moving to a smaller property. Why are people like that being forced to make such a choice? I thought the libdems were all for choice, but this proposal leaves no choice. Well that's not quite true; the choice is pay up or move to a cheaper home.
Why didn't the libdems support IDS's paper which was issued last week? That makes sense to me. Raise the non-tax level to £12,000 and have a standard rate of tax for everyone. Easier to collect and calculate and then perhaps the Inland Revenue could spend more time investigating the big boys who avoid tax, but at the same time encouraging those who have the ability to earn larger salaries that they are welcome in the UK.
Who make the laws that allow tax avoidance? You're right - politicians. Governments have created a layer of tax accountants because of the complex system and never ending new legislation and regulation.
So libdems, this proposal makes me pleased I'm not a libdemer because all it's going to do is discourage people from buying larger properties, unless they are filthy rich of course, then a few thousand pounds is petty cash and at the same time make the older generations of this country feel very insecure because many know they cannot pay more out of their pensions.
Doesn't do a lot for today's pensioners does it? Those pensioners who have worked all their lives and managed, through many sacrifices to to achieve a comfortable home. Now the libdems want more money from them when their pensions pots have been raided by pathetic Westminster legislation, which dare I say, there was little if any protest from the libdems during debates against the measures.
Pity they couldn't support the tory proposals or even suggest they would have talks with the tories. You can read IDS's proposals here. I'll be accused of being a real right-winger with this post but I make no apologies for supporting Ian Duncan Smith's paper. It just makes sense along with the SNP's policy of taxation based on income not the size or value of your home.