Hating on the Ferrari-buying classes is a mistake
More Ferraris are now sold in Britain than anywhere else in Europe, the luxury car manufacturer announced this week.
Despite a hike in prices, due to production caps, a record number of cars – costing a minimum of £151,000 – were sold in the UK in 2013.
In a statement Ferrari confirmed that 677 bespoke vehicles were delivered to Britain last year, overtaking Germany as the firm’s biggest European market.
This is great news, right? Isn’t it another clear sign that confidence is growing and that the UK’s economic recovery is gaining real traction?
Well, yes, of course. But not that you’d know that if you read many of the reports in the British media following Ferrari’s announcement. Indeed, there’s been a barrage of misplaced anger. Most of the anger centres around the fact that real wages are still not going up – although they are predicted to start very soon – yet an increasing number of people in Britain are spending six times the average UK salary on a car.
Of course, I am in full support of helping the genuinely in-need and poorest in our society, and political measures, such as more affordable housing and transport subsidies amongst other policies, need to be moved up the priority list.
However, I simply fail to see how singling out those who buy Ferraris and other luxury goods – usually the highest earners and top achievers – for a ritual beating will help. It won’t.
If those who are ranting in the press are serious about wanting to help the poor, they should be championing the wealthy, rather than berating them for being successful. They should want them to become richer in fact. Why? Because is these people’s taxes that prop up the entire system. The highest earners in the UK contribute nearly 30 per cent of all income tax, and 7.5 per cent of all taxes. It is their taxes that contribute significant amounts of funding to the NHS, the welfare system, roads, police, schools… Their contribution to the Exchequer is considerable and vital – and directly benefits the less well-off sections of society perhaps more than those who are better-off.
It’s not just about tax contributions either. The Ferrari buyers are, typically, wealth and job creators too as they have huge spending and acquisition power. Their cars – to take this one extremely narrow example – will need fuel, need to be maintained and serviced and so on. This will, obviously, boost economic activity and increase employment.
As such, those who are bashing the wealthier in society in a misguided defence of the poorer are shooting themselves in the foot on almost every level.
Nigel Green deVere Group
Blog written 21st Feb