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Just how progressive should paying for social care be?

Summary:
We look upon the current row about spending for social - by which everyone really means old age - care with a certain wonderment:Sir Keir told MPs in the Commons that his party would support taxing wealth: “We do need to ask those with the broadest shoulders to pay more, and that includes asking much more of wealthier people, including in respect of income from stocks, shares, dividends and property.” The Prime Minister and Chancellor’s plan to raise the dividend tax rate by 1.25 percentage points, another pillar of the Government’s package, amounted only to “tinkering and fiddling”, he claimed.A tax on dividends is a tax upon income from stocks, shares and dividends Sir Keir.But that’s just snark over a small part of the issue.The current system is that those with wealth pay for their own

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We look upon the current row about spending for social - by which everyone really means old age - care with a certain wonderment:

Sir Keir told MPs in the Commons that his party would support taxing wealth: “We do need to ask those with the broadest shoulders to pay more, and that includes asking much more of wealthier people, including in respect of income from stocks, shares, dividends and property.”

The Prime Minister and Chancellor’s plan to raise the dividend tax rate by 1.25 percentage points, another pillar of the Government’s package, amounted only to “tinkering and fiddling”, he claimed.

A tax on dividends is a tax upon income from stocks, shares and dividends Sir Keir.

But that’s just snark over a small part of the issue.

The current system is that those with wealth pay for their own social - old age - care. Those without wealth are subsidised from the general tax pot. A pot that is largely filled by those with both higher incomes and also wealth. Which, we submit, is a pretty progressive manner of funding that social - old age - care.

That is, if it’s a progressive system to pay for care that is desired then that’s what we’ve already got before any changes. So, why change it?

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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