10 comments on “Raise the personal allowance!

  1. Quick skim suggests its – what’s your phrase — ‘idiotarian’? It even relies on Uswitch’s numbers to argue that personal disposable income was at its lowest level in a decade in 2007.

    Also it ends with that wonderful ‘it’ll all be paid for by cutting government waste’.

  2. Tim, until very recently, I would have agreed without thinking further. Completing people’s tax returns, then calculating what they had to pay the Revenue, all before they make a dignified living wage, became greatly irritating. Helping them apply for “tax credits” increased the level of dudgeon.

    And yet. Is there not an argument that those who do not pay tax, but who vote, are in effect spending other peoples money?

    Not that I would tax the low paid remotely heavily: a 5% rate to start with should not be punishing, but in theory at least, they are taxpayers and so earn a real say.

    One could, I think with force, argue that taxing people who are in effect in poverty is a destructive exercise, and the question of personal allowances must remain open.

    Can anyone help me clarify my thinking?

  3. Jeff,

    Even without paying income tax, the poor are still paying national insurance, VAT, council tax, tobacco duty, vehicle excise duty, alcohol duty, petroleum revenue duty and betting and gaming duty.

  4. Jeff,

    I agree wholeheartedly with you. Not paying tax removes you from a key part of the democratic process. It is easy to demand more spending if you are confident you won’t be paying. My solution is a citizen’s income instead of a tax allowance and a flat tax on all earned income.

  5. OtC – equally, the reasoning that people who pay income tax should vote would mean that any foreigners working legally here should get the vote (not a concept I have any problems with as it happens, but probably not one that you’d go for)

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