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‘Why I think it is right wealthy pay more tax’
Mr Haddon, who wrote international bestseller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, says he and other wealthy residents could save others from being hit by spending cuts.
The comments were made in a letter to his MP, Oxford West and Abingdon’s Nicola Blackwood, and made public this weekend.
The letter read: “I’m a wealthy person.
“Austerity measures introduced by the coalition have caused real suffering to many people, but my comfortable life hasn’t changed in the slightest.
“Why have I, and people like me, been asked to contribute nothing?”.
A person earning more than £150,000 a year currently pays 50 per cent tax on earnings over that amount.
Anyone earning under £34,370 pays 20 per cent income tax.
Talking yesterday, Mr Haddon, who lives in North Oxford and attended Oxford University , said: “As has become increasingly obvious over the recent months there are plenty of wealthy people who think that they should pay less tax while benefits to the poor and disabled should be cut.
“And those people are, in my opinion, beyond contempt.”
He added: “For all those who suggest that I simply send an extra cheque to the HMRC are missing the point.
“I am talking about a systematic, moral and political problem, not personal feelings of guilt.
“And, in point of fact, I do send an extra cheque but I send it to Oxfam.”
Oxfordshire MPs gave a mixed response to the author’s ideas yesterday.
Wantage and Didcot Conservative MP Ed Vaizey said: “I think a balance has to be struck. We want to reward people who are successful as entrepreneurs and create jobs and wealth for the country that way.
“We want to attract inward investors and keep taxes at a reasonable rate.”
Oxford East MP Andrew Smith said: “I think people are a bit sceptical about wealthy people saying they want to pay more tax.
“But he is right on the need for greater fairness in the tax system.”
The tax system came under scrutiny earlier this year, when celebrities including Jimmy Carr and Gary Barlow were revealed as using legal tax avoidance schemes.
Miss Blackwood said: “Of course it is right that the wealthiest should contribute the most. “That is why I have supported measures taken by this Government to introduce progressive taxes by, for example, increasing stamp duty on high value property. “It’s also why I support measures which will take two million people on the lowest incomes out of tax altogether, and, of course, it’s why I support measures to tackle abuse of the tax system so that everyone, including the wealthiest, pays their fair share.”
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