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Rethinking tax?

Tax is a touchy subject for many. Raising taxes is unpopular but some see it as necessary to fund government services. Others believe tax is simply the government taking what is not theirs and spending it as they see fit regardless of consequence. How could the UK find a way to make taxes more fairer and transparent than the way we have it now?

Firstly we have services that the government spends our taxes on. Services such as the NHS, Justice and Education to name just a few.

Then we have an enormously complex tax system that even the experts will struggle to explain and understand how it affects every individual.

So how can we simplify this?

Firstly, a simplistic tax system is an absolute must. If you need an accountant to work out your tax, then it's too complicated. A six year old should be able to understand a new tax system and work out how much their parents owe or it's not worth discussing.

Secondly, the very basic rule of buying something (such as a product or service) means that it has to be paid for, so let us make the connection direct:

When the government wants to buy something, it has to raise the tax directly for it.

No more borrowing cash. Tax the people directly.

How could this work in the real world then?

Let's take the NHS as the example. When the annual budget comes around and the directors of the NHS ask for cash, let them have it. Every last penny they ask for. Simple. If they say that's what they need, then they can't come back and tell the us that it's the government's fault...

THEN the government simply adds the bill to the taxpayer's balance or account. If the NHS costs £3000 per year per person, then that is what each person is then liable for. Nice and simple.

"But what about the poor???"

Unpaid balances at the end of each year simply accrue interest at the same amount as the government might need to borrow to cover for that year's costs. The person behind on their tax payments due to unemployment could simply defer the payments until they are working again.

Disabled people who rely on the state to survive, if we choose to continue with a welfare state in liu of a better system replacing it, would be a departmental expense in itself, thereby being a tax bill that's added to everyone else's accounts.

Unemployment insurance is available to purchase currently in the open private markets so those who become unemployed in the future could have their own insurance cover. For those without, the government could supply a six month emergency coverage of basic expenses and defer any tax payments. If someone is still unemployed after six months then they don't need unemployment handouts - they need social service intervention.

Transparency with itemised bills.

Essentially, every single government department could issue an itemised bill every single year to every single person.




Fire Service


Politician's salaries, and so on...

Everything itemised, costed and billed.

Nice and simple.

Everything gets the money the department asks for - making them liable for their own decisions.

Everything is paid for by the tax payers.

Debt interest is paid for by those who don't pay in time.

How very quickly would we see things change after that?

Guest writer

Stephen McNamara

Political Consultant

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