Thursday, July 12, 2012

12/7/2012: Wealth taxes - coming up next to Europe near you...

And so wealth taxes (on those who are not all that wealthy, in fact) is a matter of EU-wide policy now, thanks to Schauble: link here and here. Note, the idea is to tax property assets in excess of €250,000 - with an additional one-off levy of 10% on top of other taxes and presumably, as per talk in one of the links about 'capital taxes' other assets can be included. And the original source for the grand idea is here.

Thus, the logic goes, you've saved for the retirement (which requires at least as much in provisions as the tax bound) and you are not a drag on social pensions system. Off you go, pay up...

One question - what happens if two years from now property values drop and your property 'wealth' declines to below €250K... do you get a refund?.. Question two - what happens when tax is levied and as the result, property markets go into further contractions, forcing question one above to the forefront?.. Question three - what happens in the long run when taxes have depleted not only disposable (investable) incomes, but also investable (and largely illiquid) wealth - do pensions provisions go up?.. do Governments step in to provide cheap capital for investment?.. does Schauble and his friends drop their own pensions demands to compensate economy for €230 billion they've sucked out of investment pool?..

Idiots squad has never been so much enforced in Europe as today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Given the way people "save for retirement" in Germany and some neighbouring countries (state redistribution and prepaid annuity-like schemes), the savings don't really have an obvious capital value, and would most likely be excluded from a wealth tax should it ever be considered seriously (and may already excluded from the DIW measure). Main residences would also be probably excluded. So really the impact on regular pensioners should be pretty minimal.

Anyway it's a pretty academic debate, the political acceptability of such a thing as presented is pretty close to zero.