With gentle persuasion tried and failed, the government needs to change tack. It should introduce an emergency “revival levy” on cash-rich corporations. This could then be used to finance an immediate payment to those most likely to spend it – those in receipt of tax credit. This would represent a one-off, direct redistribution from the main winners of the 2008 crash and its aftermath to the biggest losers.
A 10% levy on the largest corporations would raise around £10bn, enough to pay each household in receipt of tax credit – a mix of the unemployed and those on the lowest earnings – more than £2,000 (or a smaller amount to a wider group of benefit recipients). This level of demand injection would help break the current economic deadlock.
Of course companies would complain. But an emergency situation requires emergency measures. And there is a clear precedent. In 1997, the incoming Labour government imposed a windfall tax on the privatised utility companies, raising £5bn to finance a job creation programme for the unemployed.
Sigh. So he wants to raid our pensions to shovel money to his client group.
Quite apart from the fact that the part of corporation tax that doesn’t fall on the shareholders falls on the wages of the workers. In the UK’s case more than 50% of it actually. So he’s also arguing for lower wages for those who currently have the low wages that he thinks need subsidising.
Is hanging enough? Do we need to draw and quarter as well?