Rich in UK glum over tax hike

LONDON: Why does Michael Caine get up at six o’clock in the morning? He is 76 years old and, according to the UK’s latest ‘Rich List’, has made about £45 million ($66 million) from his Hollywood career. He has worked very hard, done very well and surely deserves to take it a bit easy in his old age. But no, by his own account it is at 6 am that he rises in order to go to work — and he does this not for himself, but in order to help the disadvantaged.

That sounds very public-spirited of him, but he has a less-than-generous way of putting it. “The government has taken tax up to 50 per cent, and if it goes to 51 per cent I will be back in America,” he said this week in an attack on the recent tax rise in the UK for the highest earners.

“We’ve got 3.5 million layabouts on benefits, and I’m 76, getting up at 6 am to go to work to keep th-em. Let’s get everybody back to work so we can sa-ve a couple of billion and cut tax, not keep sticking it up.” Well, yes, it would be nice to get everybody back to work. We would all like that, especially of course those who are out of work. But in the meantime the number of ‘layabouts’ is rising relentlessly throughout the world.