After last month’s proposal of an 80% tax rate for bankers, Ken Livingstone has come up with another ingenious idea - tax people who go on holiday more than once a year! Cos they must be filthy rich, innit.
He made a speech at the Travel Convention in Malta this week (a nice paid gig if ever there was one), declaring that overseas holidays were "a class issue". He went on to say that he would like to see a tax imposed after the first outbound holiday of the year. He has clearly never heard of the word 'aspiration'.
Overseas holidays are certainly not a class issue in the 21st century. When you can get a £30 return to Rome with RyanAir you can hardly claim these holidays are to do with class. Taxing people to go on more than one holiday a year is a fatuous idea based on outmoded notions of what constitutes being rich and affluent. People should be free to go on as many holidays a year as they like. We are already taxed to the hilt when we abroad and don't need to be faced with even more charges.
Anyway, how on earth would it be policed? What constitutes a holiday?
We all know plenty of people who go abroad to visit their families. Does that constitute a holiday? These hairbrain ideas just show how out of touch Ken really is with modern day Londoners.
With policies like these, Boris had better watch out. Not.
We already tax holidays. Have you seen the taxes loaded on to flights these days? They're grotesque.
Doesn't Red Dave want to do the same?
There are plenty of reasons for taxing overseas holidays. The notion that everybody is entitled to an overseas break in the twenty first century is symptomatic of our economic downfall. THe trend towards "stay-cations" is part of our economic redemption. The UK, like the US, faces twin trade and budget deficits and taking steps towards addressing the trend towards overseas breaks would taking steps towards addressing those deficits. It would also take steps towards addressing the environmental concerns that arise out of excessive air travel (which formed part of the environmental component of most parties' manifestos).
However justifiable a policy is in principal though this one would be completely impossible to enact (for the reasons Iain gives).
Also, instinctively, sounds like an unpopular policy so I agree with the final sentiment and can't quite work out why Ken would propose it. Taxes levied per aircraft rather than per seat are a politically and practically better policy in every way. They reveal the true cost of a ticket when comparing travel options and encourage operators only to schedule flights which they are very confident can be filled.
If Labour get elected in the next few years you can expect this sort of extra tax as they re-start to fund their client state.
You seem happy to twitter and post about silly little stories how about the IFS story ? no ? didn't think so.
An organisation the Tories and Liberals used to priase before the election are now frightening people. How times change ! A respected think tank is only that until they disagree with you.
Tough times in the UK. But if there is one politician who definitely need never worry about the devotion of the electorate it is the Mayor of London.
How is he going to tell if people fly off on a holiday more than once a year? Yes if it's charter via a travel company - get them to do the goverment's work with extra paperwork. But what if people go on holiday using scheduled flights? How do you differentiate between people who fly on business and those who fly for pleasure. What about those people who fly to Australia (say) to visit relatives? Are they on holiday.
Pure left new-thought - as in all ideas and politics and no thinking it through.
presumably cuba, china and n korea were exempted? wouldn't want to stop the workers from visiting ideal democracies now, would we? ken is senile. which is a good thing.
I disagree. On the face of it the philosophical prinicpal of taxing holidays more is reasonable as the UK struggles with trade and budget deficits.
If you believe in aspiration then why not believe in people aspiring to bear the full costs of their actions. These include not only the straightforward economic costs but also environmental ones which formed such an important part of all parties' manifestos.
The problems however lie with the implementation as Iain points out. This is clearly impossible and the arbitrary limit of one holiday per year seems a bit ridiculous too.
There are very reasonable ways of solving the issues of addressing all these issues and more; namely raising the rates of tax on air travel and applying them per aircraft rather than per traveller. These would help consumers compare the total costs of their holiday and travel plans too.
The Conservative policy of vetoing further expansion of UK airports will have a similar impact however by restricting supply rather than taxing demand the increased cost of air travel will go to operators rather than the public purse.
I assume that he'd want an exemption for his supporters flying off to visit their family in africa, to spend time in a madrassa, to partake in protests against globalisation at the next G20 summit, or to collect all the postal voting forms from the subcontinent at the next election. So how to exempt them, but still tax the banker flying off to visit their family in New York?
Perhaps its time we started to make welfare benefits into a class issue, and for taxpayers to rise up against the oppression of being forced to support the feckless and idle.
Everything is already taxed. Holidays are taxed already, fuel and "green" taxes add to that. The Tories have increased even more the tax on holidays and most other things with the rise in VAT to 20%.
What we need are fewer politicians of ALL colours. We need a tax on politics
wv = o rants I kid you not
There also the length of the holiday. Being self-employed, I usually take a week's holiday and then some three or four long weekend's over the year.
So if Ken has a way a 2/3 week holiday is tax free but I've blown my holiday allowance by a week in Criccieth.
Come to think of it, how does he police holdays in the UK at all?
We should tax the plane loads coming from India (I sya India because thats factually where the vast majortity of the large numbers come from) on ICT visas (outside the cap) working for the outsourcers and subcontracted into British business for less than a Brit can afford to work for. Even by the governments own analysis there is no shortage of IT or Telco workers in the British workforce and yet this is the skills of the vast majority of these visas. We should not give them tax dispensations as we currently do, not it the current economic emergency. We should push the visa price right up and cap them at a very small number. We dont need hundreds of thousands of Indian nationals here primarily engaged in moving British projects to India, it will lead to civil unrest if it is allowed to continue in this way.
Its not “green” to import tens of thousands of workers filling jumbo jets up from India when we already have the skills in this country.
And, of course, politicians (like Ken's trip to Malta) would escape because their holidays would be 'fact-finding' missions or 'cultural exchanges' etc.
It would be better to start taxing such free-loading as benefits in kind.
We have not been able to afford a holiday at all for the last two years. But taxing those that can is utter bollocks. What is the colour of the sky on the planet this guy lives on? Well with Ken it must be bright red. He's a complete tosser.
Sorry about the language but this just beggars belief.
Good ole Ken, still on that ole class warfare chapter.
It makes for good propaganda aimed at the hard left but for everyone else its a big yawn.
I'm sure that the Maltesers and the holiday industry we're truly happy, if not ecstatic and in raptures to hear Red Ken knock their business.
Ken needs to leaern basic economics and realise that holidaymakers already pay swinging taxes, one of which is APD, which is a per person, per travel tax.
Word verification FERAL, which is such a good descriptive for Ken.!!
How about a tax on all the champagne socialists (eg La Toynbee) that own property abroad?
God, I hate that sonofabitch. Tax this, Ken!
Ken! What a complete numpty of a toss pot tw@t.
As said holidays are taxed already.
The IFS goldenballs? Get a life; the cuts are there because of labours massive deficit.
This is what the IFS's Carl Emmerson said (see Coffee House) - "This is not to say that [the Spending Review] is unfair ... "
"It goes back to a culture of how you measure fairness that took root under Gordon Brown's time, where fairness was seen through one prism ... which was the tax and benefits system. It is a complete nonsense to apply that measure... People do not live only on the basis of the benefits they receive. They also depend on public services, such as childcare and social care. All of those things have been airbrushed out of the picture by the IFS."
BTW labour MEPs voted to INCREASE the EU budget; Tory MEPS voted to freeze it. How does that square?
How 'fair' is that?
Tell us goldenballs what you would cut
Oh and 'sadbut...' How will he tell? He will use the extra money he raises to employ an army of TravelStasi to spy on us. That the socialist way.
With policies like raising our bus fares by 44% since he came to power, maybe Boris should watch out.
Wasn't David Cameron making similar noises a few years ago?
Just booked a second holiday now...so up yours Livingstone!!!
"When you can get a £30 return to Rome with RyanAir"
Not if you wish to travel during the school holidays when £200+ is more likely. Which of course raises the interesting issue as to why those with children should continue to cross subsidise those without who are able to go on holiday during term time.
Or are we only against using the tax and benefit system for cross subsidies when we re the ones paying. Fair for all?
Just ignore the twat. If no-one wrote about him, he would disappear. To Venezuela, with any luck. For good.
Deny him the oxygen of publicity.
Following my earlier post and having a bit of thinking time; I've just been to the library and managed to get hold of a copy of "The Road to Serfdom" by FA Hayek. I am going to curl up on the couch and start reading, but before I do I want to ask one question. Why can't these people, (Livingstone, Brown, Balls, Milliband- both of them- et al) just bugger off to Cuba or similar and leave the rest of us to get on with our lives? I am getting totally pissed off with the constant interferance in how we want to live our lives. So what if someone can afford to go on holiday twice a year, whats it to do with you.? I am seriously thinking of going "Off Grid" as soon as the youngest is in Uni.
I don't know how Red Ken can even imagine that he should be London's Mayor again. Delusional isn't the word.
If I could photograph my jaw dropping to the floor after reading that I would.
Just imagine it, and I think you have the public's reaction across all classes, socio economic groups and other divides.
We have the bizarre situation that the current tax paid on air fares is probably more then the profit that the airline makes. Nice work for the taxman that.
i@jbw October 22, 2010 4:51 PM
HMRC takes 17.5% (20% in the new year) which is a profit margin I can only dream of. Then there is the profits tax, payroll taxes, business rates, insurance premium tax and fuel duty on top of that (actually the VAT is on top of the fuel duty).
Taxation has gotten out of hand and needs to rolled back.
What happened to the "Workfair" idea?
I don't think you understand how VAT works - businesses are usually able to claim VAT back on their costs, so in effect they only pay it on their gross margins. The real burden of the tax is borne by the consumers - which of course is why it is popular among Tories who believe in regressive taxation.
"I don't think you understand how VAT works..."
Actually, my business is VAT registered and I prepare my own VAT returns, and pay large amounts of this tax to HMRC.
Of course it's the final consumer that foots the bill, and that applies to all my costs, otherwise I wouldn't have a business, would I?
My point is that the tax take on goods and services far exceeds the margin what I, as the supplier, can expect to earn from my efforts.
What do you think of Workfair?
Then we will need two million snooping police with 24/7 monitoring for evader who might nip off to Calais. And given we have a land border with Ireland pray how does Mr Livingstone hope to enforce this? Then there's the small matter of a breach of the EU Treaty on free movement etc etc
So why say this nonsense? I can only assume he had a stand up gig in Malta, couldn't be bothered so knocked out a back of fag packet speech like this.
I thnk the term stay-cation is somewhat misunderstood, it means having a holiday from your own home, not having one in this country which millions of us have always done anyway.
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