Miliband: A million pound baby
Asset millionaire Miliband poses as a Bash Street Kid who is going to sock it to the “toffs”. But it is Miliband who is the toff and it is the strivers that he will hammer
From the Labour Party’s perspective, Ed Miliband’s response to the 2014 Budget was worse than a disgrace, it was a mistake.
Miliband ignored the content of the budget entirely, and instead indulged in a student union-style rant about millionaires, bankers and the Bullingdon Club – an appeal to the prejudices of the already converted rather than a measured response to the Chancellor’s plans.
It is bigotry or bust for Miliband Junior in May 2015.
Miliband’s attack on “tax cuts for millionaires” is a reference to the 2012 budget announcement that the marginal income tax rate for those earning £150,000 a year or more would be cut from 50p to 45p in the pound.
That tax cut was justified and in the national interest, and those of us who believe in free enterprise and private wealth must make our case or Miliband’s populism will prevail and beggar the country.
First, some obvious points. Miliband’s policy is flawed because he uses a static rather than a dynamic analysis. He assumes that the national cake is fixed in size and it is the role of our betters (himself!) to slice it up and share it out according to some never defined formula.
But over time the cake can be made bigger if work and investment are rewarded rather than punished. Lower tax rates reduce tax avoidance, keep entrepreneurs in Britain, and place income at the disposal of creators rather than wastrel politicians.
Miliband refuses to understand behavioural economics: if he read more widely or opened his eyes he would see that West Germany was richer than East Germany and Singapore is richer than China for a reason; namely, economic liberalism.
Anyway, Miliband’s outrage is fake. He knows that Brown raised the tax rate from forty pence to fifty in the dying days of the Labour Government precisely so that Labour could cry crocodile tears when a wiser government cut the rate.
But there are a slew of other reasons to be appalled at Miliband’s anti-success narrative.
Miliband’s desire to punish the creative classes is inefficient. For the self-employed, their pay packet is also the company’s money. Taking money from a software engineer or a builder simply means an investment deferred, a worker laid off, a contractor stood down. All this damage inflicted in order that Labour can “invest” the money in their various daydreaming schemes. Where is Miliband’s track record in successful investment?
His high tax ambitions are also unjust. Many people who hit high pay only do so after years of hard work, low pay, no holidays, and many risks. When they reach late middle age they might be on a good salary, but from that salary they might have to provide for their retirement. Not everyone has a pension scheme and a nice payoff for failure, as do ministers and MPs.
Miliband’s money grab is philistine. High incomes lead to accumulated wealth. And when people have wealth they can invest in businesses, or cultural ventures, or charity, or religious causes, or whatever they damn well please. They can experiment at their own expense. That’s why London “swings” while socialist capitals are always drab. Leftists gab endlessly about “vibrant and diverse” communities, but in their view the culture has to be dominated by the state.
Miliband’s pence envy is also self-serving. Let me engage in a spot of millionaire bashing of my own for a moment. Miliband has his large house in fashionable North London, no doubt with more floors than most people have bedrooms. In large part I suspect that he owes that wealth to inheritance. And his first job was photocopy boy to the late Tony Benn, a post gained I further suspect through the jobbery of Daddy’s connections.
If someone without an inheritance or social connections wants to buy a similar house, they will have to earn a shed-load more than £150k pa to afford it. But what does Junior care? He has his wedge and you are just being “greedy”.
And that’s where Ed’s millionaire bashing gets nauseating. Like a self-hating homosexual who joins the clergy, he preaches virtue and yet ogles the choir boys. Asset millionaire Miliband poses as a Bash Street Kid who is going to sock it to the “toffs”. But it is Miliband who is the toff and it is the strivers that he will hammer – because he says it is wrong and “unfair” to want what he, Miliband, already has.
The next election could be decided by how well this act of Miliband’s works. Will he fool the British people that he is “one of us”, or will the electorate perceive that Miliband is a vindictive and destructive spoilt little rich kid from Primrose Hill.
Andrew Gibson is an occasional contributor to The Commentator
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