Last week’s Looking Back section featured the lives of two outstanding local citizens and their families. John Flavel in the 19th century and Thomas Oken in the 16th century (‘150 years ago’) both founded successful long lasting businesses and used their time and money to improve the living conditions and facilities for local people.
On the opposite page there were family photographs of the Earls of Warwick from about 100 years ago. No doubt these and other Warwickshire-based aristocrats have enriched life in Warwick district by, for instance, putting some land and buildings at the disposal of local organisations. In addition I assume that, from the 20th century, they will also have paid Inheritance Tax when their estates passed from one generation to the next.
On the other hand, at the national level there is widening inequality of both incomes and wealth between rich and poor. Add together the good works of the rich and the taxes currently levied on them and the government is still short of the revenue needed to finance the welfare state.
This shortage could be met, in part, by higher income tax and council tax rates (by increasing the number of bands) and even an annual wealth tax for the very well off, without necessarily causing a reduction in the voluntary and charitable activities that help to make the district such a pleasure to live in.
Nick Hoten, Rouncil Lane, Kenilworth