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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

A  DEBT-CHARGE SUPERTAX         225

is, that it should be imposed on the individual tax-
payer direct. So that what we want is an extended,
reformed and better graduated form of the super-tax
brought down so low that every one who is not
merely rich but comfortable should pay his share,
For example, any single man or woman with any
excess over ^500 a year of unearned income, or over
800 a year of earned income might well pay super-
tax on that excess. The exemption limit might
well be raised by 50 per cent, for married couples (if
their joint incomes are still to be counted as one),
and by ^100 a year for each child between the age of
five and twenty-five. But all these figures are mere
suggestions, and the details of the scheme would have
to be worked out by Inland Revenue officials, whose
experience and knowledge of the practical working
of such matters qualifies them for the task. The
broad principle is a special tax for the debt charge
to be raised direct from individual incomes with
skilful differentiation, according to the circumstances
of the taxpayer, in the matter of the number of his
dependants, and also according to the source of the
income, whether it is being earned by exertions which
illness might terminate or received from invested
funds, and therefore beyond the reach of the " slings
and arrows of outrageous fortune/' That portion of
the tax that is required for Sinking Fund might be
made payable, at the option of the taxpayer, in
Government securities at prices giving some advan-
tage to the holder. This form of special debt-charge
supertax would enable the ordinary income tax to
be reduced considerably at once. Mr Edward Lees,