Wednesday 8 May 2013

It's a taxing time
FRENZY by Mark King
ISBN 9781846248771

It's a taxing time of the year when you are self-employed and have to complete your yearly returns. It happens to everyone around the world who is in the same situation and people generally fall into two camps when it comes to taxes, and the issue of who should pay, and how much too. Just like Marmite you either like it or you hate it.

Tax really is nothing more than legalised theft. If a stranger held a knife to your throat and demanded half your money because they said 'I need that money more than you do' you would go straight to the authorities for justice! 50% might seem higher than most people pay, but that's the clever way our noble leaders hide these things. By the time you add in Income Tax, National Insurance, Council Tax, V.A.T, Capital Gains Tax and all the other little hidden gems, from fuel duty, beer/cigarette duty to paying to park at your local hospital right through to paying the T.V licence. It soon adds up, and you are nearer to 50% than you are to 20%.

The thing is tax is needed! Some people can't or won't provide for there own needs. The point was perfectly shown in a recent political broadcast for the Liberal Party. There leader Nick Clegg was claiming credit for raising the tax threshold, and had members of the public on screen explaining what they would do with the extra money. They all said they would spend the few extra pounds on little luxuries like holidays, cars, treats for the children etc; not one said they would put the extra money into their pension, or help to pay off any debts, or even save it for a rainy day.

So tax is needed, but too much can be as destructive as it can be helpful and our masters can get just as excited by our money as the people in the broadcast, and the many ways they can spend it.

If only the tax payer had a say in how it's spent?  Well the politicians claim we do every four years or so when we can decide if we want a party of the right or a party of the left. Well I would like a say every time I send in my yearly returns, and it could be simple to do!

Amalgamate them all into one tax (with no tax breaks) and the revenue raised should be shared 50/50 between the national and local government. Spending should then be split into five categories, health, eduction, military/security, welfare, and government administration. Then every year you can tick four of the five choices and your tax paid will then be split four ways to go towards paying for your four choices. Anyone who can't be bothered or who just doesn't care don't have to vote, and then the government can spend their money how they see fit.

Radical but Simple.

What better way in a free democratic capitalist country is there for keeping departmental spending under control other than open competition between departments for our money. They would have to persuade us why we need their product, and then provide the best service at the most efficient price possible. It works for Google, Apple, Microsoft or for Ford, Toyota, BMW etc,etc,etc. Let our rulers live by what they preach.

As your life changes over the years so will your needs, and wants, and thus so will your choices.

The other thing I would do is make it illegal for the government to borrow money unless it's under a state of emergency, and then only after the amount requested to cover this emergency has been passed by a public vote. Because debt is just tax in another name, but one that not only all of us will have to pay, but also our children, and our grand children, and most likely our great grand children too.

Of course there is another debt we all have to pay and that's our personal debt to humanity. Now this is one thing we all have a choice in what we do.



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