The gap between the poor and the rich

MilibandE3I don’t suppose you would expect me to feel any liking for Ed Miliband and you are right.  In fact, I feel complete horror that he might end up as this country’s next Prime Minister.  The reason is simple.  Miliband has characterised the country’s population as fitting into two categories: “the rich” and “the poor”.  I am neither.

Miliband’s perception of “the rich” clearly encompasses what we would think of as the “super rich” with a net wealth of many millions, if not billions and an annual income in seven figures or more.  Well I do not fit into that category.  If I had continued my career in the private sector, I might have got nearer to the bottom end of that category but spending a quarter century in public service ensured I would never be counted among the super rich and nor would I take a different route if I had my time again.

Miliband would have us focus on bankers and  PLC chairmen as he vents his ire on “the rich”.  Of course, also included in this category are pop stars, film stars and footballers but I suspect he would not wish his audiences to reflect on this too much!  Very few people seem to worry about the absurd wages paid to people who can apparently kick a football with skill but are incapable or uttering a coherent sentence.

At the other end of the scale are “the poor”.  I am certainly not poor. I have never drawn a penny in state benefits and never will.  I own my own home and have my pensionable income in place.  I managed all of this through my own hard work and am proud of it.

The result is that I sit between Miliband’s “rich” and “poor” and that frightens me because I would be invisible to him if he – God forbid – were Prime Minister.

Miliband plans to hit “the rich” with more taxes on income and property and they will mainly emigrate and we will lose their wealth-creating skills.

Miliband will support “the poor” and, for me, that means more benefits for the workless and those seeking to come to the UK as well as some possibly deserving causes.

Miliband leaves people like me in a desert in which we simply do not feature, except I am afraid we do.  We, the people in the middle, will continue to be the squeezed middle.  The hard working middle class who will have to fill the gap between the exiting super-rich and the newly-found poor citizens who will enjoy Miliband’s patrimony.

What is most worrying is that I suspect I and my like are most likely in the majority.  We are a burgeoning middle class who will be taxed beyond endurance and see those taxes allocated to people who could and should work but who choose not to.   If we do not use our votes in the 2015 elections we will pay the price.

About Keith R Mitchell CBE

Qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1967. Pursued a successful career in financial training and publishing until selling his interests in 1990. Elected a County Councillor for the Bloxham Division in 1989. Leader of Oxfordshire County Council 5 November 2001 to 15 May 2012. Chairman of the South East England Regional Planning Committee July 2002 to July 2005. Chairman of the South East England Regional Assembly July 2005 to July 2008. In HM the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours, appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of services to local government.
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