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Congress discussion: tories and wealth tax

by Paul Brown

The Tories predictably do not want a wealth tax and they do not like inheritance tax either. The problem with these taxes as existing or proposed is that they draw no distinction between wealthy people like James Dyson of vacuum cleaner fame who have created large businesses and offered employment to thousands of people in this country and abroad and those who have treated financial markets as an enormous gambling casino to extract wealth from people who work for a living and give that wealth to the non-working wealthy.

If our country is ever to recover some manufacturing industry we need to stop the Tories sending in the asset strippers to any big business and destroying it for their own benefit.

An obvious example of a company wilfully destroyed by the Tories was the Metro-Cammell company which at one time built the trains for London Underground and around half of the capital’s supply of buses. Over the years that the company had existed it had accumulated a lot of value in land, buildings and plant and machinery. The badly managed privatisation of the bus and rail industries provided a perfect opportunity to destroy the company and all of the working class jobs that went with it and line the pockets of the Tory property developers.

In another form of business the Debenhams department stores were a more recent casualty of the Tories. Of the high street chains Debenhams were the one with the most competent management of the business on a day to day basis. Unfortunately having existed for many years Debenhams had been owner of many of the shop premises which they occupied. This was a golden gift to the Tory asset strippers.

Let me explain what happens. A group of wealthy investors with access to millions buy up the company, pay the cost of purchase off by selling the fixed assets and divide any remaining money between themselves and their friends – here’s fifty million for you and fifty million for you and fifty million for you too. Then they sell what remains of the company on to the next set of wealthy Tories who repeat the process until the business collapses. The high street will never be the same without Debenhams as the focal point of city centre shopping. I would suggest that the government should be required to fund the reconstruction of the company as a partial means of saving what remains of city centre shopping.

The other related issue where Tories should face a wealth tax is where they have been collecting extortionate rents for domestic property, a situation which continues to get worse.

So my suggestion for Workers Party policy is for government to fund the rebuilding of companies which have been illegally destroyed and for supplementary capital gains taxes to be levied on those who have collected the money.

Fortunately for us most financial transaction are recorded on computers and computers have long memories unless information has destroyed so the means to pursue the criminal destroyers of British business exist. It is also worth pointing out that the Tories have always claimed to be the party of business but in fact they have been the destroyers of good British businesses.

To demand that government spends some money on repairing damaged businesses would really stir up the political debate and give people a good reason to vote for a party which has specific plans to do what they say rather than being like Starmer who could talk in slogans and soundbites until the next millennium without offering any real policy changes to benefit the working classes.

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