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In support of socialist policies; FEEDBACK.

CLAYTON Jones (Feedback, February 6) attacks Labour's new 50p income tax policy for those earning more than PS150k, instead arguing for progressive, indirect taxation on luxury items.

He uses the same tired excuses the Tories relentlessly blurt out. It will cap aspiration, will drive business overseas and will cost jobs. Similar arguments were made by big business before the introduction of the minimum wage. The scare stories didn't materialise.

Let's be clear about it, the super rich have got away with not paying their fair share for too long and measures to redeem extra revenue from those with the broadest shoulders should be encouraged by any left-of-centre party.

That's why I find it a bit strange that Clayton Jones, as a Plaid Cymru representative, would vehemently oppose Labour's 50p tax proposal just as much as the 300 or so Tory MPs in Westminster.

He indicates that Labour reintroducing the 50p rate would somehow make the UK an economic pariah. He should be reminded that other OECD countries, such as Denmark, Sweden and Belgium, have higher rates at 60.2%, 56.6% and 53.7% respectively. Introducing a 50p top rate of income tax isn't extremist. It's quite commonplace in Europe.

I believe further, more radical proposals are needed to help reduce the huge gulf between rich and poor. Yes - higher VAT on luxury goods could bring some money in and should be looked at. So will the introduction of a financial transaction tax, windfall taxes on the privatised utilities and a proper clampdown on tax avoidance.

These policies, if enacted, would not only gain the support of the public, they could help to pay for the introduction of a living wage so workers don't have to claim extra benefits to top their income up.

A house building programme that properly meets the needs of the people is needed so that those on the waiting list are spared the misery of overcrowding.

More money could also be earmarked to local government so local services people depend on can be spared the axe.

Perhaps Clayton Jones should be advocating these proper socialist policies instead of constantly looking for an opportunity to have a go at a Labour Party which is beginning to turn the corner on the Blair years which turned many traditional Labour voters away from the party.

Councillor James Pritchard Labour, Morgan Jones Ward, Caerphilly
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 19, 2014
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