Thursday, March 11, 2010

Death and taxes.... and more taxes

I do enjoy a good ad temperantiam fallacy to wake me up in the morning and Andy Burnham's latest on social care is a classic. We've come to call this sort of thing "triangulation" too, but it is essentially the falsehood of the middle ground argument, and I'll be very surprised if we don't hear someone from Labour use the term "middle way" or "middle ground" to argue in favour of their latest wheeze.

The wheeze itself is a new plan on social care for the elderly which will basically slap another tax, on death, on people's estates to the tune of 10%. This will be on top on Inheritance Tax (40%) in order to provide free residential care and home help for all. In other words, they're going to tax you on your money, you're going to spend your taxed money and save your taxed money, then, when you die they're going to tax you some more.

Who benefits most? Well that will be the people who don't save anything at all and sit on their fat lazy arses safe in the knowledge that people who work hard to buy their own home will be funding their personal arse wiping services until they shuffle off to the great Dole queue in the sky.

Of course, it wasn't always 10%. No. Originally it seems there was an idea of having a flat rate £20,000 tax on death for anyone with an estate that could pay such an amount. This led to the infamous poster that got spoofed and caused a "row". Now though, Andy Burnham has "ruled it out" and saying this about the new idea,
"This is not a flat fee and would enable people to protect 90% of their homes and savings"
See the way he frames it in how much of your already taxed money you'll be allowed to let your beneficiaries keep? They're so generous aren't they?

However, I digress. What we have here is a shift toward a middle ground so that Labour can say, "look, we've rejected the £20K idea as a bit unfair. The Tories are offering a voluntary scheme that is unfair to those who don't take part. We're in the middle of both positions though, we're moderate, and therefore our position must be right".

Triangulation; ad temperantiam; appeal to moderation, false compromise, call it what you will - it's still bollocks.

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