It’s time to take a stand against Britain’s shameful inequality

And this involves taxing the wealthiest more


You need look no further than the past week’s news for evidence of the shameful levels of inequality in Britain today.

In the same week that the Trussell Trust, Britain’s largest food bank organisation, announced that the number of food bank users has increased by 19 per cent since last year – bringing the number forced to turn to emergency food-aid in 2014-15 to almost 1.1million –  the Sunday Times Rich List revealed that the collective wealth of Britain’s wealthiest has more than doubled in the last ten years. The most well-off 1,000 individuals and families now have a combined fortune of just over £547bn, more than the poorest 40 per cent of households combined.

Not only does the media fetishise and idealise the wealth of these billionaires, but it also demonises and vilifies those who are struggling. A report last week investigating changing attitudes to poverty illustrated how increasingly these viewpoints are becoming endemic within our society – encouraging people to vilify those most in need.

The media and politicians are cultivating cruel attitudes – condemning the poor as lazy and incompetent and heralding extreme wealth as an emblem of success. They forget that people who are in poverty or struggling on low incomes are there because our economy is rigged against those with the least. Social mobility in the UK is falling. Those born wealthy are likely to remain so, while those born into poverty are finding it harder and harder to make their way.

It does not have to be this way.

We don’t have to live in a society which allows the poorest to bear the brunt of a financial crisis they played no part in creating, or which we tax the bedrooms of some of the most vulnerable members of our community. It is time to take a stand and create the kind of society – the kind of Britain – that we want. A society and an economy that works for the benefit of all.

We are not afraid to say this involves taxing the wealthiest more. We will increase taxation on the wealthiest individuals and largest corporations, taking the most from those more able to pay to fund the services from which we all benefit. We pledge to introduce a wealth tax of 2 per year on the top 1 per cent. We will invest in HMRC to ensure it has the resources required to collect the tax that is owed. We will increase corporation tax from 20 per cent to 30 per cent (small businesses would remain on 20 per cent). We will raise the top rate of income tax to 60 per cent.

With this money we will invest in social security and public services to create a society that supports the needs and aspirations of us all. We will immediately end health service austerity, and increase the NHS budget by £12bn a year. We will provide free social care for the elderly, to ensure everyone has access to the care they need. We will abolish tuition fees for higher education and introduce free universal childcare.

We want to create a Britain that cares. We can rebuild our economy to ensure that nobody’s future is defined by their postcode, or the profession of their parents. But to do this we need to be brave, and we need to be bold. That’s why I’m proud to be leading the Green Party into this election – with a promise to the British people that Greens will always fight for an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.

Natalie Bennett is the leader of the Green Party. Follow her on Twitter

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25 Responses to “It’s time to take a stand against Britain’s shameful inequality”

  1. Gerschwin

    What is inequality? Nobody knows.
    What does it look like? Nobody knows.
    How do you measure it? Nobody knows.
    What does equality look it? Nobody knows.
    How do you know when you’ve fixed it? Nobody knows.

    But in the meantime it’s the perfect excuse for the purveyors of hate and division, resentment and apathy, greed and sloth to steal from the rest of us.

    Flights to Australia start at around £400 one way, that’s in low season – get out of my country and go back to yours (I’ll even chip in if you like).

  2. steroflex

    Completely agree. Take the money off the rich and give it to the poor. So let us look at the poor. In Sierra Leone, Somalia, Ethiopia and now Nepal, there are people without houses, without food, without medical supplies and without even water.

    We ought to bring these people up to equality by taxing ourselves across the board at 75% of income and possessions. We ought then to send it to these poor people and bring them up to our own very rich standard of living. Bedroom Tax? Mansion Tax? Of course. And toilet tax? Bathroom tax, kitchen stove tax? Garage tax? Naturally we want to help the poor with sanitary provision and culinary protection.

    That is why I am voting Green – with a promise to the British people that Greens will always fight for an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.

  3. Faerieson

    Is this an attempt at a poem?

    There are lots of things we don’t know but thank the heavens that we never stopped searching. “What does starting a fire look like? Nobody knows.” And, we do sort of have a taste of what inequality is like. Perhaps you should broaden your reading a touch, or watch one of the many news channels on offer, or talk to new people…

    As for ‘greed and division,’ suddenly you’ve remembered exactly what it’s like. Well done, you! But, your’s is a very skewed image. So, I’m guessing that you’re not really that interested in broadening your understanding.

    And, I think I might just have picked up on a touch of ‘hate’ here, as well. You either want it, or you don’t! Decide!

  4. Gerschwin

    Think you’ll find if you buy some matches and paper you can get a pretty good idea what starting a fire looks like. Give it a whirl.

  5. Leon Wolfeson

    You don’t know, because you refuse to see anything surrounding it. And yes, thief, you do as you admit, clearly, purvey “hate and division, resentment and apathy, greed and sloth”. Banker.

    And that’s nice, thanks for asking people to leave Monaco.

  6. Leon Wolfeson

    Well, arson at least makes a change from murder as an obsession for someone with your views.

  7. TN

    How about lowering corporation tax on small business if you care about them so much, Natalie?

  8. TN

    “We want to create a Britain that cares. We can rebuild our economy to
    ensure that nobody’s future is defined by their postcode, or the
    profession of their parents. But to do this we need to be brave, and we
    need to be bold. That’s why I’m proud to be leading the Green Party into
    this election – with a promise to the British people that Greens will
    always fight for an economy that works for everyone, not just those at
    the top.”

    In Green party terms that would be to tax people out of existence ironically making the low paid worse off (lowering of the personal allowance), and here’s the best part – a flippin’ basic income for all…even the rich! All at an astronomical cost. But don’t worry, the Greens will plant 10 magic money trees, rant about bankers and Natalie will parrot her usual lines about “business as usual politics” and start every sentence with “what we’re trying to say/do/achieve…”

  9. TN

    I don’t think Toby Abbott or a lot of Aussies will take to this commie that well. She should move to Venezuela and see first hand what her utopia looks like in practice.

  10. Leon Wolfeson

    Oh right, further enabling a small class of people to have even lower tax.

  11. Leon Wolfeson

    No, tax does not kill people. Unlike being able to eat or have shelter. As you ignore the point of a basic income, and don’t understand it, or why it’s not actually that expensive.

    As you deny a fiat currency exists, Banker.

  12. Leon Wolfeson

    Venezuela is an example of a Dear Leader. Like UKIP.

    ANY time a party with one gets into power, it ends badly. No matter what ideology they espouse.

  13. JohnRich

    Tax tax tax… Lefties are all the same.

  14. Cole

    Ditto Murdoch. Stop interfering in my country, you right wing creep.

  15. Cole


  16. Cole

    Abbot is another example of a nasty evil right wing jerk. Fortunately the Aussies now hate him.

  17. Faerieson

    So, again you miss the point! ‘Fire’ and ‘matches’ too! To labour a point, these things can only be taken for granted because someone didn’t stop looking for answers. Inequality has been thoroughly researched and many of its consequences well documented.

    You see, there are things we know about, even you!

  18. Gerschwin

    Rubbish sweets. It’s artificially invented left wing tosh that’s wonderfully unsolvable, an equitable society is by definition impossible, so that vermin can steal from the successful in life and wrap state sponsored theft in moral masking tape. Filth, like anything from the left. Pinochet knew how to deal with you lot.

  19. Faerieson

    ‘Vermin,’ you delightful old soul! And a fan of Pinochet too! ‘Filth,’ why it’s almost like poetry. Hitler in there anywhere? I think you’re rumbled. It’s IDS, isn’t it?

    And thanks for the lesson. We must all be more focused in our endeavours. Remember to inherit more successfully, gamble other people’s money more astutely, pick our parents with greater care, tick the perfect health box, choose to be hatched in a society where the inconvenience of shared human dignity is verboten. Of course, voting won’t be an issue in your ‘perfect’ world, that’ll already have been taken care of.

    Happy hunting!

  20. Gerschwin

    Too easy.

  21. Faerieson

    Too simple!

  22. Gerschwin

    Yep, that too.

  23. Leon Wolfeson

    More poverty More poverty More poverty Bankers are all the same.

    Your slur.

  24. Leon Wolfeson

    Right right, you keep making excuses for looting, as you talk about your love for murder and torture, You – vermin – are indeed dedicated to stealing and theft.

    You went right back to from arson, sadf.

  25. Faerieson

    Alas, ’twas you to which I was referring.

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