The TUC calls to tax the rich – refuses to call General Strike

RMT leader MICK LYNCH (fourth from left) joins the picket line outside Euston Station on Saturday morning

On the eve of its Congress, the TUC has called on the government to equalise capital gains tax with income tax which could raise over £10 billion – and it has supported a bigger windfall tax on energy companies.

Recent TUC analysis set out options for taxing the wealthiest 0.3% with wealth over £3 million, £5 million and £10 million, excluding pensions.

It found a modest wealth tax on the richest 140,000 individuals – which is around 0.3% of the UK population – could deliver a £10.4bn boost for the public purse.

The TUC warns that huge inequality has ‘become the norm’ in Tory Britain.

The ONS’ (Office for National Statistics) analysis of its Wealth and Assets Survey shows that the richest 1% of households had wealth of more than £3.6 million, and the least wealthy ten per cent had £15,400 or less.

Of financial wealth, the ONS say the wealth held by the richest 1% of households was greater than for the entire bottom 80 % of the population.

At the same time, CEO pay is booming, with the bosses of the UK’s 100 biggest listed companies collecting an average £500,000 pay rise last year.

City bonuses have been at a record level for the past two years. And banks and energy giants have been registering record profits too.

The TUC says working people are suffering the worst pay crisis in 200 years, which is contributing to the rampant wealth and income inequalities blighting every corner of the country.

Fifteen years on since the financial crisis, real pay is still down £360 this year compared to 2008. The average worker has lost out on a total of £21,600 since 2008, compared with wages just keeping pace with inflation.

And pay is not expected to return to 2008 level for at least another two years.

If real wages had continued to grow at the average pre-2008 rate of 2.3 per cent each year, the average worker would now be £280 per week, or £14,600 per year, better off.

The TUC is calling for an economic reset after years of Tory failure.

TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said: ‘It’s time to end the grotesque inequality of the Tory era.

‘As households across the country have struggled to put food on the table, energy companies and banks have registered eyewatering profits, and CEO pay has skyrocketed.

‘The wealthiest have feathered their nests while working people have suffered the worst pay crisis in two centuries.’

• The Labour Party opposes a wealth tax.