"Richest in the UK should pay much more tax to restore post-pandemic economy," says caller

15 May 2020, 12:39

This caller told Nigel he does not think taxes should go up to restore the economy after pandemic - instead he said millionaires and billionaires should foot the bill.

The caller James referenced 25 year old Duke of Westminster who donated £12 million to the NHS: "He's sat a bed of £12 billion, it's the equivalent of me donating a fiver.

"I don't see why the working class and the middle class are once again bailing out the country when we have so many millionaires and billionaires who don't seem to be doing anything."

Nigel countered that those billionaires have paid many hundreds of millions of pounds in tax on their way to becoming billionaires: "The top 1% of tax payers pay about 30% of all taxation so you could argue that those that make absolute fortunes do prop up and pay a huge amount."

James said, "They're not suffering like the rest of us. It gets to the point where it's pure greed. Who needs £12 billion?"

Nigel responded that in the case of the Duke of Westminster, this is inheritance and out of his control, and giving £12 million to the NHS is positive.

James agreed that he'd like to see tax for high earners going up significantly, although did not know which percentage they should be charged: "I just think for the working class out there who are already really struggling, and they're not entitled to furlough schemes...it's just incredibly frustrating."

Nigel pointed out that in 1979 the top rate of income tax was 83%, "because of it, many of our brightest best young people, surgeons, business people, scientists, left this country, went to Australia, went to America...whilst you want a fair society, if taxes become too high you lose some of your best people."

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