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High earners will foot the bill for bailouts and stimulus packages, says KPMG

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KPMG, the professional services company which helps obscenely wealthy clients find clever (and sometimes illegal) ways to avoid paying their taxes, claims that governments are planning to increase taxes on the rich in order to pay for economic stimulus packages.

In a bleating press release today, the company said that although the overage worldwide top-rate of tax actually fell by 0.3% between 2008 and 2009, it’s likely that this figure will increase in the near future as governments try to cover “stimulus funding”. The UK’s top rate increase from 40% to 50% next April is cited as an example of things to come.

So what’s the problem? The filthy rich bankers and captains of industry created the economic meltdown with their greedy and reckless pursuit of unsustainable profits, whatever the cost to stability, it seems reasonable that they should help pay for the bailouts.

Let’s face it, they’re still going to be rolling in money because a little tax hike isn’t going to make all that much difference to them. Ultimately, the most of the cost of their avarice will be paid for, as always, by those much further down the economic food chain.

Naturally, the press release trots out the tired old argument that higher taxes on the wealthy will make it harder for countries to recruit the best talent, as if all of the industrialised world’s overpaid bankers will suddenly decamp to some previously undiscovered capitalist paradise on an island somewhere in the Bahamas just because they have to pay a little extra tax.

There’s nothing more tiresome than the sound of rich people whining, especially when they’re whining about a mess they created in the first place.

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