A savings tax! Having anything to tax would be a miracle

An empty piggy bank looks anxiously at the camera, hoping for its first deposit as a tape measure is wrapped around its body. Th

If you have any savings at all stashed away its more than likely they're earning a less than pitiful rate of return so it will come as a shock to savers that a savings tax could be one of the measures used to drag Britain into a recovery.

A new paper by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has scorned western countries who think they can chip away at their huge debt mountains without having to resort to what is seen as low-end, credibility-ruining tactics employed by less well off countries.

These include 1930's style write-off, known in banking lingo as debt restructuring, higher inflation which means everything becomes more expensive, and 'financial repression' which is defines as 'an opaque tax on savers' - gulp!

That does not sound like a good mix for a comfortable life for anyone, least if all savers.

But maybe we, and our politicians, have to face up to the fact that the recession is only just starting. Yes, we saw growth in 2013 and the idea if a double-dip recession poo-pooed but the future is a mighty scary place.

Our debt mountain, according to the IMF is the highest it has been for 200 years.

What is particularly scary is that the government is encouraging increased household debt by subsidising the housing market. There have been 6,000 people apply to use the Help to Buy scheme in its first six months and the government is happily mortgaging people up to their eyeballs. But what happens when interest rates rise, which they will do?

Interest rates are predicted to start ticking up in 2015 and people in their 20s and 30s taking out mortgages, (myself included although not through Help to Buy) don't know what it's like to suffer the wrath of 15% mortgage rates like homeowners in the 1990s did.

How will we pay for the mortgages that are being so merrily doled out now?

I'm not trying to absolve homeowners who make the mistake of borrowing beyond their means but the fact is mortgage payments eat up 29% of first-time buyer's wages, put rising utility bills on top and you have a recipe for disaster.

When interest rates rise and 29% increases to 50% then we'll see real problems. Many households may be forced to execute their own debt restructuring plans and you can bet there will no savings on which to levy any type of tax.
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