Absolutely shocked, swerving across the M6, I find myself agreeing with Freddie “far-right” Forsythe and Ken Clark when they lecture Labour minister Angela Utter Fucking Twitface Eagle – on Radio 4’s Any Questions – about the government’s new tax rules. For her part, Twitface is so breathtakingly supercillious, snotty and arguably downright dishonest in response, she deserves everything she gets.
There’s no question they’re robbing from the poor to give to the upper-middle. But I think there’s another group of people who’ll lose out from the killing of the 10p base rate, who haven’t been mentioned or had any publicity so far: this tax change penalises people who choose unconventional non-mainstream career / life paths, eschewing profit-motive for moderate comforts and “small success”.
Exactly the kind of thrifty, low-key, untrendy, Presbyterian types you’d imagine Gordo might’ve been looking out for.
For example, on Any Answers (yeah sorry, I know I should’ve switched off what is usually a proto-fascist ignoramous talkshop but I was trying to recover my driving skills), two separate callers, both losing out, described unconventional lives: one bloke makes a moderate living in a high-end, low volume craft industry (for some reason I imagined he was a carpenter making chairs, no idea why) and the other has a bit of land and tries to live self-sufficiently, only generating a small cash income for stuff that *needs* to be bought. Both of them are getting slammed by the new taxation.
And that made me think: what about artists, craftspeople, sole traders? Often these are people who have a moderate fiscal income, although they’d tend not to think of themselves as ‘poor’, simply because their needs and aims are simpler and less grubbily corporatised. Outsiders. Mobile communities. A tax increase for the different. It’s a pity Dimbleby Jnr didn’t make a connection between the two callers, because it’s worth exploring this idea of “small profit” ideals being victimised by legislation.
I’ll lose out myself of course, because in real terms I only make small profit as a pop musician and a high proportion of my income falls into that lower tax bracket. Now I’m totally pro paying taxes (and I hate the avoiders and moaners) but this takes the rank piss. I might as well go and find a coke-addled 40k City type and give him £200.
Funnily enough, Rifa stands to gain from the changes because she brings home a lot more than me. How we laughed.