Ritchie\’s perfect tax system

An efficient tax system is:

1. Comprehensive – in other words, it is broad based;
2. Complete – with as few loopholes as possible;
3. Comprehensible – it is as certain as is reasonably possible;
4. Compassionate – it takes into account the capacity to pay;
5. Compact – it is written as straightforwardly as possible;
6. Compliant with human rights;
7. Compensatory – it is perceived as fair and redistributes income and wealth as necessary to achieve this aim;
8. Complementary to social objectives;
9. Computable – the liability can be calculated with reasonable accuracy;

All of which facilitate the chance that it will be:

10. Competently managed.

In combination these are key attributes of a good tax system.

Comprehensible, Computable…..these both mean that it must be the letter of the law, not the spirit, which is obeyed.

Well done Richard, you\’ve just undermined one of your basic points.

13 comments on “Ritchie\’s perfect tax system

  1. He wants the tax system, rather than the benefit system, to redistribute wealth. So he thinks that the UK should be more like the USA and less like Sweden.

  2. Bloody Hell, I thought I was in danger of agreeing with him for a minute. Then, after I’d got past point five it all went to hell in a handcart of standard fayre lefty buzzword-bingo. Point 9 made sense but the punchline “Competently Managed”, such a sublime oxymoron in all affairs tax related, gave the game away.

    It was then that I realised that all of these ideas refer to collecting money. Not a single point about spending money ‘coherently’ or being ‘circumspect’.

    Perhaps ‘cock’, is too strong a word (although I can think of at least one ‘C’ word that is a lot stronger) so I’ll suggest ‘clod’, ‘clown’ or ‘cretin’ instead.

  3. Instead of trying to make everything start with a C, and adding in some redistribution he could just take Adam Smith’s principle of Tax which are far better:
    Equity, Certainty, Convenience and Efficiency

  4. Perfect tax system:

    Dear DocBud,

    We note that you have earnt oodles of money this year, we should most humbly appreciate it an esteemed favour to Her Britannic Majesty if you would send us what you consider to be a fair recompense for all the wonderful benefits you receive from Her Benign Govermint such as wars against muzzies, subsidies for useless renewable energy sources, subsidies for Jocks and pointless Taffies, and grants to all manner of groups who could not exist without your generous, “voluntary” support.

  5. Strikes me he is arguing for a flat tax system with the tax free allowance set around £25,000.

    Comprehensive – as it catches everybody with income higher than the average wage (or does he mean everybody has to pay tax no matter their income),

    Complete – no loop holes, ’cause its simple enough for him to understand

    Compassionate – nobody below average wage pays tax

    Compact – all individual earnings are taxed above the threshold

    Compliant with human rights – what does that mean?

    Compensatary – the government is not robbing the poor of 20% of their earnings

    Complementary – the poor are richer – see above

    Computable – simplicity makes it so

    Competently managed – simplicity makes it easier to manage

  6. @Dave B: it struck me that a flat rate tax system seemed to tick most of the boxes.

    One suspects there might be a small explosion in Norfolk if that was proposed though….

  7. The minute you see someone babbling about “human rights” during a discussion of tax policy, you know you’re dealing with a moron.

  8. He doesn’t seem to address the conflicts within his tests.

    Two demand a simple, borad-based system:
    1. Comprehensive – in other words, it is broad based;
    2. Complete – with as few loopholes as possible;

    Three say that you could pay different amounts of tax depending on your circumstances:
    4. Compassionate – it takes into account the capacity to pay;
    7. Compensatory – it is perceived as fair and redistributes income and wealth as necessary to achieve this aim;
    8. Complementary to social objectives;

    That might be reasonable, but it isn’t comprehensive or complete.

  9. bilbaoboy: 9, too.

    Well,it ought to have everything to do with running a tax system; of course, it rarely does. The most denuded goose is invariably the most bamboozled.

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