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In the debate, which took place on Sky News, Jones told Jamie White that taxation is “the subscription fee you pay for living in a civilized society.”
He pointed out to that far from being theft, taxation benefits not just individuals being taxed but also society as a whole, paying for the education service, law and order, and also giving billions of pounds back to workers because employers “don’t pay their workers properly.”
Jones rebuffed his opponent’s ludicrous statement that increasing the pay of teachers and nurses is not “affordable”, pointing out that the wealth of the richest 1000 people in society doubled during the economic crisis.
Still White refused to see eye-to-eye with Jones, claiming that taxation is “not asking” for money, but rather “forcing” it away.
In the clip, Jones also stated that he wants corporation tax to rise back to the levels it was at in 2011, which was still “lower than many industrialized advanced economies” at 25%.
At time of writing corporation tax in the UK is at an all-time low of 19%. Not only is this almost 10% lower than it was during Labour’s last year in office, under Theresa May Britain’s corporation tax could soon become the lowest of the world’s top 20 wealthiest countries.
And it shows – between 2017 and 2018, the government will be claiming only £52 billion from corporation tax, but £175 billion from income tax – over triple the amount collected from companies.
While this tax money will go toward vital services, it is an affront to charge corporations so little and individuals so much.
Elsewhere in Europe, Belgium and France are amongst the countries with the highest corporation tax rate at above 30%. In the last year, Italy also suffered a dramatic drop in corporation tax, from 31.40% to 24%. And under the new 2017 French Financing Act, corporation tax in France is also set to fall for companies earning over €500,000.
Writing about the British system of tax in 2014, Owen Jones wrote that “Socialism lives in Britain, but only for the rich”, noting that massive private contractors pay next to no corporation tax.
The Autumn Budget is to be released on the 22nd of November this year.
You can watch Owen Jones’ forensic deconstruction of Jamie White below:
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