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Taxation is a tricky business really..

I mean, take Tracey Emin, who is threatening to leave the country because she's so distressed by the fact that, as a person who earns in excess of £150,000 per year, she's liable for 50% tax on all earnings over that level. And my gut reaction is to say "fuck her", because seriously, it's not like she's going poor here.. Hell, a fair amount of public money goes into the arts, without which you knows whether she'd even have a profession?

But unfortunately, she's got a point.

See, I'm lucky in the way that I'm taxed. It comes out of my pay before it hits my account, and I never even notice it. Back when I was on £12,375 per year, I knew that really I was only going to be making £800 per month, even though that's only about 10k. When I got my payrise to £17,750 I knew that it was only £1,200 per month, which is only 14k per year. And now, I totally get that if I receive a pay rise of 18k, I'll only actually see about 12k of that. It's just how things are.

The problem is when it comes to people who actually create.

See, while I don't think much of anything that Tracey Emin has created thus far in her life, it does challenge the "fairness" of tax that she can create a piece of work which is valued at £X, but if she sells it she can only receive half of that value. She is in effect creating value that she can never actually obtain.

It's just a little more difficult to reconcile the government's "right" to a percentage of the money that is being created entirely by a single person's creativity, and is derived from the sale of such creativity to a private individual.

PAYE takes a lot of the sting out of tax, and I do have sympathy for people who have to pay tax effectively out of their own pockets after being given the gross amounts rather than net.. It's probably not all that fair. But it's sure as hell better than any alternative that I can conceive of, and that's good enough for me.

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I'm still stunned that anyone who earns in excess of 150k would bother living in this country at all.

Live in monaco and commute by jet every morning. It'll work out cheaper in the long run..

I'm quite in favor of progressive taxation (speaking as someone who has earned both very little and quite a lot, although not 150K UKP lots...).

On the other hand, if she doesn't like it, it's certainly her perogative to do (legally) something about it; and if that's leaving the country, go for it.

Or, like, create less. :P

This reminds me of when discussions of Obama's new tax plan in the US, which raised tax rates for the rich, there were newspaper articles about people who were going to stop earning money when they got to the (new) threshold (say, $105k or so, for argument) rather than pay the higher tax. I'm not entirely sure these people really understand marginal tax rates (which they really should if they earning that much...)

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