I cry censorship!

Over at Ritchie\’s.

Of course, it\’s not censorship. His blog is his blog and thus his property and comments are published or not at his discretion. But I would just like to make one point, which, given my banning from his comments section, I can\’t make there.

The Adam Smith Institute copies a US right wing think tank in publishing a ‘tax freedom day’ for the UK. They claim it is on 2nd June.

But that’s a very selective view of ‘tax freedom day’. That happens to be the day when, they say, a taxpayer on average income, including indirect taxes, local taxes and National Insurance contributions, has paid all their taxes for the year, their remaining earnings being theirs to spend as they then will.

Indeed, we do publish such a statistic.

But there’s a major problem in that calculation. Not everyone pays tax at the rate a person on average earnings pays. Far from it in fact.

This is also true and is one of the inevitable results of using an average (that\’s not a subjective thing of course, that\’s simply a mathematical identity).

The message is clear: tax freedom day for some arrives on the first day of the year. For the poorest in our society it arrives last. They have the highest tax burden of all – at almost 50% of their income. Their tax freedom day is at the end of June.

So let’s stop the nonsense of discussing tax freedom day, and let’s ask the real question, given that the wealthiest are now, without doubt, the greatest beneficiary of government largesse as the economic bail out proceeds. Let’s ask instead about the justice in the way tax liabilities are distributed, and make sure that 2009 is the year that progressive taxation is put firmly back on the agenda. Nothing else s acceptable in the current economic climate.

Fine by us at the Adam Smith Institute I have to say. We\’re the folks who called for the personal allowance to be raised to £12,000 a year to take the poor out of the income tax net. We\’re the people who have long argued for a high personal allowance flat tax system. One that would in fact be more progressive than the current system.

But then pointing out such things would be subjective, wouldn\’t it, might even threaten that democratic debate which is so important.

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