Investors must accept share of the tax burden


We all want good public services but none of us believe that any of the burdens for paying for them should fall on us. That this is the everyday person’s view is to be expected. That it should also emanate from supposedly sophisticated wealth and investment managers is jaw-dropping.

I was surprised to see the proposed marginal increase in tax on dividends described as “a kick in the teeth” for investors (Report, September 8). 

In the past year, the FTSE 100 index has gained 20 per cent in value and is approaching pre-pandemic levels. Nasdaq and the Dow Jones index are now 58 per cent and 20 per cent above pre-pandemic levels respectively. This windfall for investors has been significantly fuelled by central banks’ monetary policies. Investors have got significantly wealthier while others have lost jobs. Asset owners have benefited disproportionately, further driving wealth inequality. 

Efforts by the government to start the long and arduous job of getting the public finances on to a sustainable footing while repairing public services are to be welcomed. It will, hopefully, stimulate the economy with potentially further benefits yet to come for investors. In these circumstances, statements by investment houses that investors should not make any contribution to the necessary increase in the tax burden should be treated with the disdain they deserve. Especially since none have seen fit to offer any suggestions for viable alternatives. 

If the clients of investment houses are unable to afford a modest increase in their dividend tax burden, the blame should lie firmly with those investment advisers who have failed to make their clients significantly wealthier while capital markets have performed. 

Joe Zammit-Lucia. RADIX, York, UK

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