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Higher taxes are coming

Taxes in the world’s wealthiest countries are rising. In this unprecedented COVID-era debt surge and according to some investors, even a good thing if it helps close the wealth gaps the pandemic has exacerbated. Tax rises got the headlines recently. This is when Britain GDP, upped taxes on workers and employers, which is around 12 billion pounds. Democrats proposed to raise tax rates for companies and those on annual incomes above $400,000.

Taxing higher incomes won’t be welcomed by rich individuals. Goldman Sachs reckons S&P 500 earnings-per-share would be 5% lower. Most investors and economists appear unperturbed. Targeted tax hikes that reduce burgeoning inequality will benefit markets in the longer-term. A return to the austerity policies adopted after the 2008-9 crisis is unlikely. Britain’s 2016 Brexit vote are often blamed on those tightening years. Investors note so far, has efforts to raise personal taxes in major Western economies.

Britain’s 1.25 percentage-point National Insurance increase for instance. A dividend tax hike will deliver a mere 100-pound annual hit to people earning 10,000 pounds a year. Kleinwort Hambros Chief Investment Officer Fahad Kamal sees no political appetite to slash pandemic-era spending program. This kept the lights on and backstopped everyone. He also said that the fact that there is clearly some plan to address the huge increase in debt. Michele Napolitano, head of Western European Sovereigns at Fitch Ratings, said that the efforts to start paying down debt were part of the rationale. And that is for stabilizing the negative outlook on Britain’s AA- credit rating this year. In a conference recently he stated that what they are seeing across Western Europe shows there is not a willingness to keep public debt levels rising forever. The reason for the government to get worried is also known.

Global indebtedness such as government, household and corporate and bank debt, sits at a record of nearly $300 trillion. According to a Janus Henderson study, the Debt rose $9.3 trillion in 2020. This is more than the combined borrowing of eight previous years. European Union rules capping government borrowing remain suspended. The effectiveness of targeted spending can be, pandemic aid program cut U.S. poverty rates. For policymakers who seek to raise funds, this wealth is low hanging fruit. Kiran Ganesh, head of multi asset at UBS Global Wealth Management, said that given the role central banks play and where interest rates are, there is no real pressure from markets for governments to pay down debt. It is more because of inequality.

According to one Congressional estimate, tax code changes would cut tax bills for Americans who earn less than $200,000 annually. Tom O’Hara, a portfolio manager at Janus Henderson Investors said that one outcome is that wages for less well-paid. U.S. Jackson Hole conference posited from a study that income inequality exacerbated downward pressure on bond yields.

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