Adair Turner: We need to tax property more heavily

You Live & You Learn: Adair Turner, ex-chairman of the FSA, says it's unfair that the tax on his house in Kensington is the same as a smaller property.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 04 Jul 2014

I would rather there wasn't a world financial crisis, but it was very satisfying to have been involved in something that is definitively important at a global level. I was working 90 hours a week, but if the adrenaline is pumping that is, at times, almost frightening, but fascinating.

The Monopoly-money nature of wholesale financial services is an invitation to low ethical standards. But this crisis was not caused by trading scams. Dodgy bankers are the flotsam and jetsam, although it's very important that they are aggressively punished.

We certainly have to tax property somewhat more heavily. I'm paying £2,500 a year on a very nice house in Kensington, which is hardly more than somebody with a much smaller property.

The public policy jobs I am interested in are very few and far between. I'm 58 and I intend to work full-time until at least 70. There's plenty of time.

An element of me is fundamentally shaped by my 13 years at McKinsey - I believe that one should analyse facts, but I don't assume the world can be completely McKinsey-ised. It's not a technocratic exercise.

Most people who knew me when I was 21 assumed I was going to go into politics. I just can't do the party loyalty thing. When I hear what I consider is a good argument from the other side I'm unwilling to shut up about it.

My mother influenced me hugely. She had been to St Andrews and was fascinated by ideas. She died of cancer aged 50. In an incredibly lucky life, that's the unlucky thing that I deeply regret.

The phrase middle class is often misused to describe the person I have become. Although we were never working class or poor, we came from a different class from the one into which I just walked by the time I was 22.

My brother is in Afghanistan working with refugees. He has given his life to people in extreme circumstances. I've tried to be honest and do useful things, but that's a moral commitment that I haven't made. I've always made sure I earn enough to have a very nice lifestyle.

I don't find hard work hard, because I've had the opportunity to work hard on things that I find interesting. I have two daughters, whom I am fanatically devoted to. I'm a very happy person.

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