We have always known that this was a government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich. But a striking confirmation of this has come from research by the GMB drawing on data from the Electoral Commission and the Register of Members’ Interests. It shows that a quarter of the 1,000 ultra-rich persons in Britain are Tory donors who have donated a total of £83.7 millions to the Tory party. These 248 Tory donors have wealth totalling £114bn, including many in banking and finance. Since the bankers caused the crash and since the ultra-rich have been wholly exempted by the Tory government from making any contribution to dealing with the mess they caused, it rather perfectly kills two birds with one stone by making them, not their victims, pay up.
Since the richest 1,000 persons, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, made gains of £155bn in the last three years of austerity for everyone else, why not charge them capital gains tax at the current rate of 28% which would yield £43bn, more than enough to fund the public investment to create 1.5 million jobs within the next 2 years? That would at last be putting Tory bankers to some good use.
The list of Tory donors reveals those who are trying to use their money, big money, to make sure Britain is run in a way to serve their own interests. Lord Ashcroft (with assets of £1.2bn and business services as his main source of wealth) has contributed £6.1m to the Tory party since 2001, Bamford (construction equipment, £3.2bn) has contributed £4.7m, the Getty family (media, oil and inheritance, £330m) has contributed £5m, Rowland (finance, £630m) has given £4.5m, Spencer (finance, £510m) £4.9m, Hintze (hedge fund, £580m) £1.7m, Farmer (hedge fund, £120m) £3.9m, Lord Fink (finance, £120m) £2.8m, Lord john Sainsbury (supermarkets, £520m) £1.2m, Lord Edmiston (property and car sales, £400m) £4.2m, Peter Cruddas (finance, disgraced Tory Treasurer, £750m) £1.1m, Fleming family (banking, £1.5bn) £1.4m, Lord Laidlaw (conferences, tax exile, £745m) £4.5m, and so on and so on – endless dosh for the posh boys.
And from this Tory government they’re getting exactly what they wanted: repeal of the 50% income tax rate, a watering down of the Vickers’ bank reform proposals which were already weak and ineffective, the repeal of Labour’s ending pension tax relief at the higher rate, exemption from having to make any contribution to pay down the deficit caused by the bank bailouts, the rejection of any mansion tax, and the protection of the City of London from a Tobin financial transactions tax.