Daniel Radcliffe, the Harry Potter star, is quoted in the Huffington Post today:
“I think, if you make a lot more money than most people — like I do — you should pay more tax and subsidise people who work just as hard as you, but don’t earn as much,” Radcliffe said.
He joins a growing list of extremely wealthy people, like Warren Buffett, who are saying similar things. And good on them. Funnily enough, Harry Potter’s creator, J.K. Rowling, said something important about tax that was rather in the same vein. It’s powerful stuff:
“I never, ever, expected to find myself in a position where I could understand, from personal experience, the choices and temptations open to a man as rich as Lord Ashcroft. The fact remains that the first time I ever met my recently retired accountant, he put it to me point-blank: would I organise my money around my life, or my life around my money? If the latter, it was time to relocate to Ireland, Monaco, or possibly Belize.
I chose to remain a domiciled taxpayer for a couple of reasons. The main one was that I wanted my children to grow up where I grew up, to have proper roots in a culture as old and magnificent as Britain’s; to be citizens, with everything that implies, of a real country, not free-floating ex-pats, living in the limbo of some tax haven and associating only with the children of similarly greedy tax exiles.
A second reason, however, was that I am indebted to the British welfare state; the very one that Mr Cameron would like to replace with charity handouts. When my life hit rock bottom, that safety net, threadbare though it had become under John Major’s Government, was there to break the fall. I cannot help feeling, therefore, that it would have been contemptible to scarper for the West Indies at the first sniff of a seven-figure royalty cheque. This, if you like, is my notion of patriotism.”
On this evidence, I think it’s fair to say that Harry Potter thinks the rich should be taxed more, or at least taxed properly. The rest of this J.K. Rowling interview is behind a subscription wall, but you can read a bit more of it here.