Bruce Lawson’s personal site

Dear Tracey Emin

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The Sunday Times reports that modern British artist Tracey Emin may leave the UK as she doesn’t want to pay the 50% tax that rich people (those who earn £150,000 a year) must pay.

Desperately poor Emin, who ekes out a living making personalised neon signs at £65,000 each, says

The taxes are too high, there aren’t enough incentives to work hard, and our politicians have put me off. We’re paying through the nose for everything.

It’s a shame when someone who has been the beneficiary of so much tax money for education, health care and funding of the galleries that buy her work should now be so churlish about an extra 10% of tax above an already-comfortable level of income.

It smacks of ingratitude and selfishness. But if that’s the way she feels, Britain will just have to soldier on without her contributions to art or the exchequer.

Emin herself once said,

Being an artist isn’t just about making nice things, or people patting you on the back; it’s some kind of communication, a message.

So I’ve made a neon message for Ms Emin:

piss of to a tax haven with your Tory mates

Have fun with the footballers and investment bankers, won’t you?

14 Responses to “ Dear Tracey Emin ”

Comment by Morgan

Its hard to imagine Picasso or Matisse complaining about tax rates and looking to relocate to more favourable tax havens. Maybe this is the price you pay for supporting the arts…

Comment by BARTdG

Nice one, Bruce. Never heard of this so called artist anyway. I am glad rich people pay loads of taxes in Holland too, so she won’t come here. Phew.

Comment by Nick Fitzsimons

I notice that Ms Emin has chosen to speak out at exactly the time that she has a new money-making venture to promote, as mentioned at the end of the interview – though far be it from me to suggest that such a gifted and self-effacing individual might say something controversial in the hope of getting a load of free publicity…

Comment by Enlightened

I can’t stand artists like her but it is immoral to tax that high no matter what the threshold. As for your dig at the “Tories”:

1. Labour spend and tax too much.
2. Country gets in terrible debt, rich move away.
3. Labour loses election, Tories win.
4. Tories forced to extreme measures to pay back Labours debt.
5. Tories get blamed, by the ignorant, for said extreme measures caused by Labour’s debt.
6. Labour win election, Tories lose.
7. Go back to stage 1.

It is a cycle that keeps repeating in the UK. By the sounds of it you would be happy to go back to the above 90% tax rates for the rich Labour had in the 1970s, making any type of entrepreneurship pointless.

Comment by bruce

By the sounds of it you would be happy to go back to the above 90% tax rates for the rich

Not at all. But going from 40 to 50% above a high threshold doesn’t seem unreasonable.

it is immoral to tax that high no matter what the threshold

At what rate is taxation “moral”?

Comment by Enlightened

To you, going from 40% to 50% isn’t much of a leap, then in a couple of years it could go from 50% to 60%, and so on, until we end up with the aforementioned 90%+ tax.

Taking half of someone’s money is like mugging them. If the government can’t function on more than 20% tax then they are too big and are doing too much. Governments should only do the essential things and then get out of the way. People should be able to decide themselves on what to spend their own money on.

Comment by Enlightened

The government should only do what the people can’t do for themselves. Military and NHS are two examples of what they should be doing, although both are doing too much like the military should not be doing things other than defending the country and the NHS should not be helping people who are not ill.

The military should not be getting involved in other countries affairs or getting involved in overseas wars. Nuclear weapons cost too much. IVF is one example of the sort of things NHS should not be wasting taxpayers money on. You may not believe this but the NHS does plastic surgery on people who are not deformed or injured.

The banking crisis is mainly the fault of Gordon Brown himself. He was the one who created the Financial Services Authority and dismantled the supervision by the Bank of England. The crisis was helped along by the problems in the US with the idiot Bush government, but if Gordon hadn’t of messed it up, and if he would of kept the government out of debt we would of been in a lot better position.

At the moment Labour has created a huge government debt. The amount of interest paid on the debt each year is higher than the yearly military budget, higher than the yearly education budget and will soon grow higher than the yearly NHS budget. Debt costs money.

If you look at Spain, their banks are regulated properly and they didn’t have a banking crisis. In fact their banks are looking to buy up our banks while the prices are low. If you look at Australia, they saved money and didn’t get into government debt. They avoided recession because they had plenty of saved up money to cushion the impact. In fact the UK is the only major economy in the world which is still in recession at the moment.

When the banks have failed what do we do about it? I don’t think money should endlessly be pumped into banks without return, although failing banks would mean doom so there seems to be little choice. Now the government owns some banks the government owned banks should not pay huge bonuses, it is a waste of tax payers money. Gordon Brown has failed to legislate against this. All the wasted billions add up to huge amounts.

Hopefully the banks can be sold off and the money repay some of the debt, but seeing Gordon Brown selling the British gold reserves at an all time low price to fund his spending addiction before the recent gold price boom doesn’t give me confidence that the banks will be sold off at a good price.

Anything to do with culture, religion, heritage or sport is a waste of money. If a theatre, opera house, museum, art project, religious establishment, olympic games, etc. is not economically viable then they should not get a handout of taxpayers money. Also, religious schools should not be funded by taxpayers money.

The TV license should be abolished and the BBC charter abolished. One single low-cost public service channel would be sufficient.

The surveillance system is both a infringement of liberties and a waste of money. We don’t need CCTV, speed cameras, speed humps, ID cards, drugs squads, vice squads. Drugs and prostitution should be legalized, regulated and taxed.

A large percentage of alcohol and tobacco consumed is illegally imported. A large reduction of the ridiculous rates of alcohol and tobacco tax would stop this happening while keeping most of the tax income from negating untaxed sales. The fuel tax is also too high.

The bureaucracy burden for business has hugely increased since Labour got into power. Not only is it stifling business and hindering the prospect of them employing more people, but it also costs the government money to keep track and enforce it.

New stealth taxes are being created all the time. The amount of taxes need to be drastically reduced into a few simple taxes. Politicians need to be upfront about tax not try to hide it and the cost to administer and enforce tax could also be reduced.

Every week I hear of new strange new tax ideas Labour are dreaming up, they pay large amount of government money to think tanks whose purpose it is to think of new tax ideas. These future tax ideas include a tax for owning a patio, window tax for each window in your house, bed tax for each bed in a hotel, second home tax and absentee tax for second home owners, insulation tax for not having home insulation, obesity tax applied to food, garden debris tax, airline tax, dormant bank account tax where they take the contents of peoples bank accounts if they haven’t used them for a while, bin bag tax, planning permission tax, nuclear tax added to electricity bills to help pay for nuclear power stations, and even a tax on homeowners with gas and electricity.

If you think your gas and electric bills are high now, wait till some of their new taxes are introduced. If you think some of these taxes sound far fetched, just have a look at what they have already implemented. If they win the next election those taxes will be just the start.

The european union is a huge waste of money. The entity should only focus on making trade easier between the countries not adding new expensive tiers of government.

Regional assemblies are another tier of government which are a waste of money and they also make it so the regions with assemblies, like Scotland and Wales, get more money per head than those without (England). This inequality should be addressed. If NI, Scotland and Wales decide to become independent then let them, but if they want to be in the UK then they should go by the same rules as everyone else.

Each tier of government costs many billions every year and as the country could function fine without them they are a complete waste of money.

I could go on forever, and I have not even gone into civil liberties, but it would take too long. Although I only touched upon a few things I sound like I am making a manifesto here and I am not even a member of a political party. My view is no political party is good enough but the party whose ideals are nearest is the Conservatives.

Liberal Democrats have no economic ideals, they change from year to year so can’t be trusted to run a country. Their policies do look more appealing since Clegg started leading them but you never know if they are going to completely change direction tomorrow or not.

The Labour party is the complete antithesis of freedom, personal responsibility and common sense in every aspect of politics.

Comment by Yogi-TheBear

Gosh….the Lauke-family lived&worked for over 17 years (!!!) in a small european TAXHAVEN (!!!) at the shores of Lake Lugano at the swiss-italian border!(only ca. inhabitants!)
BRUCE…it’s very comfortable….believe ME!
PS: When I parteicipated in Henry Kelly’s “GOING FOR GOLD” in 11/1992 the whole BBC-staff was indeed very much interested in!
PPS: It saved a hell o’ money!

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