Among the recent clamour of the American and European wealthy to be taxed more, one country’s billionaires have remained resolutely silent: Britain’s
Among the recent clamour of the American and European wealthy to be taxed more, one country’s billionaires have remained resolutely silent: Britain’s.
Warren Buffett wrote in the New York Times that ‘my friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice,’ while L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt signed a public letter asking for an extra 3 per cent tax for those earning above €500,000.
But a quick survey of the CEOs of Britain’s leading private banks has produced no evidence that Britons will be writing cheques to HMRC any time soon. One CEO said that he thought this was because French and American taxes are a lot lower than British (Buffett said he paid 17.4 per cent). Another said that none of his clients had expressed any such sentiment, with an added exclamation mark.
Hedgehog’s feeling is that the wealthy who are calling for extra taxes already have much-reduced taxes: if your lawyers and accountants have lowered your bill beyond what you would normally pay, then why should you mind paying a little more if it still doesn’t take you to that level?