On the anniversary, an Allende policy I agree with

In addition, the exemption from general taxation was raised to a level equivalent to twice the minimum wage.

Sounds about right to me. The income tax allowance should be £20k or so, around and about median wage.

25 comments on “On the anniversary, an Allende policy I agree with

  1. So half of the earning population (hence much more than half of the voting population) have every incentive to keep voting to bleed the productive even dryer than they do already.

    No, that’s not a good idea.

    Tim adds: Yet when we had the tax system like this in the UK government was a smaller portion of the economy…..

  2. James adds: that was also (mostly) the time when the majority of the population had no vote.

    And then costs would have exceeded revenue to hunt down every farmhand and lady’s maid for income tax so the ruling classes had no interest in doing it.

  3. In a democracy the majority of people will always have a net incentive to support more money being taken off other people and given to them.

    Just an observation, not a condemnation of democracy per se. And one that correlates rather well with British history.

  4. Why would taxing low income people make them less likely to vote for government largess? It could be argued that less take home pay would make them more ready to seek handouts.

  5. OK, square the circle like this: you only get the vote if you’re a net contributor to the exchequer. On the dole or disability, public sector worker – no vote for you. I suppose you could carve out an exemption for serving members of the armed forces, although they’re not conscripts.

  6. I would certainly agree with no taxation, no representation, or possibly some hideously complex weighting system.

    Why should the vote of an 18-year-old school leaver be worth as much as a bloke who has worked and paid in for the last 30 years?

    (I’d have said the same as an 18-year-old, by the way.)

  7. It’s economically rational to vote for a party that will tax you at 0% and everyone with €1 more than you at 100%. And we observe something tending towards what is practically achievable in that direction in most democracies (progressive taxation with a maximum).

  8. If only those who pay into the system get to vote then we have the same (supposed) problem, only reversed.. we have a minority ruling who would have every interest in taking benefits away from the majority in order to lower their own tax bills*. Their only ‘check’ would seem to be the threat of violent and bloody revolution (whereas those who presently consider themselves over-taxed by the non-contributing majority do, at least, have the option of fucking off.. and they, more often than not, exercise their free choice not to.

    (* I know that lots of people wouldn’t see that as a bad thing)

    “Why should the vote of an 18-year-old school leaver be worth as much as a bloke who has worked and paid in for the last 30 years?”

    Because the 18-year-old hasn’t yet had a chance to work and pay in for 30 years.. because he is 18… and this sort of thinking leads to the tryany of the elderley who get to say ‘I’m alright Jack and shape policies that mean that said 18-year-old will never get the chances that Mr 30 years had. There are those who claim this is already what’s happening.. but that’s a different argument. If it is happening it’s because the 18-year-old can’t even be bothered to exercise the vote that he has.. and so I have no sympathy for him.

    Anyhooo.. Tim’s argument that we shouldn’t tax the working poor is patently a good one. It’s usually only opposed by control-freak lefties who don’t really want the working poor to spend their own money in case they spend it wrong. We can safely disregard their arguments. What we don’t want is other people using it to get into the whole ‘no representation without taxation’ thing. And it would be a bit ‘off’ really..

    “Oh HAI poor person, good news.. we’ve stopped taxing you.”
    “Wow, thanks.. that’ll really help”
    “Yeah, but now you can’t vote and the politicians don’t give a fuck about you so we’ve taken away all your state services. Lolz”

  9. Why should the vote of an 18-year-old school leaver be worth as much as a bloke who has worked and paid in for the last 30 years?

    (I’d have said the same as an 18-year-old, by the way.)

    Well, if you go that way then the people who pay the most get the most say. Which some might agree with, but even I can see the problem there which is that they then have the opportunity to arrange the system in such a way so as to allow them to get the most, continue to pay the most, and continue to have the most say.

    But frankly it depends on the 18 year old. There are 18 year olds I’d trust to make sensible rational voting decisions, and a lot of people my age I wouldn’t give the vote to.

    That said, I still reckon raising the voting age to at least the mid 20s is a good idea (or, failing that, to a certain number of years worked).

  10. Rather than tinkering with the voting age, how about we give children the vote? Only because they aren’t yet 16/18/21 and thus not wise enough to wield their vote sensibly, we let the parents cast additional votes on their behalf. We’d eliminate TTG’s issue of gerontocracy. Any takers?

  11. ‘this sort of thinking leads to the tryany of the elderley’

    Not really. Most people have kids, grandchildren etc. They’re unlikely to vote to screw everyone them all.

    All voting is – to me – is a question of who gets to spend our money, how and where, in what quantity.

    It doesn’t seem unreasonable if the people who pay in the most dosh get the biggest say on these matters.

  12. All citizens should pay tax.

    How much, what proportion, sliding rates etc are matters for discussion, but we should all pay if we earn. If you gross 180 pw for 30hrs cleaning then should see a tenner (or whatever) docked, its important that citizens see their contribution in their payslips.

    There are apparently parts of Canada where they still shoot at revenooers, but such freedom does not apply here.

    Govts take too much of our money, for sure, but we should all pay something into the commuanl pot, even if what we pay is mostly a nominal contribuition.

  13. 18 year olds should have the vote because the government claims jurisdiction over them, will under some circumstances take their possessions and liberty, and the vote is the only thing that can possibly legitimise this. All else is tyranny, however ‘nice’.

    It would be perfectly reasonable to have a democracy with no taxation at all, though it’s hard to imagine what it would be for, but as our colonial friends reminded us a couple of hundred years ago, the reverse is not acceptable.

  14. “Not really. Most people have kids, grandchildren etc. They’re unlikely to vote to screw everyone them all.”

    Why not? If they’ve got the tax bill to entitle them to vote then they’re invariably covering the cost of their own kids already.. plus a share of the cost of the kids of the non-voters. It might seem entirely rational to get all that tax back… they’ll be able to look after their own kids as they please.. and they can keep the change.

  15. @PR ’18 year olds should have the vote because the government claims jurisdiction over them’

    The government claims jurisdiction over 17-year-olds, too – should they have the vote? 16? etc

    Concomitant with my great plan, the govt would have less control over us all.

    Which, funnily enough, I think would be more likely to come about via older voters than younger, who don’t seem to see the many infringements on their liberty.

  16. @TTG ‘Why not? If they’ve got the tax bill to entitle them to vote then they’re invariably covering the cost of their own kids already.. plus a share of the cost of the kids of the non-voters. It might seem entirely rational to get all that tax back… they’ll be able to look after their own kids as they please.. and they can keep the change.’

    Before the confiscatory state, there was all sorts of stuff done for the less well off by the better off.

    I don’t want to see people on the street, I just want to have more of a say where the tens of thousands of pounds in tax I hand over each year goes, than via the charade of ticking a box once every five years.

    There are actually a bunch of things I’d cut before welfare, and this is true of most people I know.


  17. johnny bonk September 11, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    All citizens should pay tax.

    I think you’ll find that the entire world (except the US and Eritrea, but the former has criticised the latter entirely without a hint of irony on this point) run a residency based system.

    Otherwise you end up with richibollox ideas like taxing people who’ve left, or who have never even lived in the country just cos mummy or daddy passed on citizenship to them… just like the vile and vicious US policy.

  18. “Why should the vote of an 18-year-old school leaver be worth as much as a bloke who has worked and paid in for the last 30 years?”

    Because you don’t pay in to a pot, it’s a pay as you go system. You’ve spent 30 years paying for the older generations and now you need those 18 year olds to pay for your pension and health care.

  19. “Before the confiscatory state, there was all sorts of stuff done for the less well off by the better off.”

    Absolutely. Which is why I see the growth in foodbanks as a good thing, not the national disgrace that it’s being painted as.

    I’m all for people using their own money to directly help others, rather than subcontracting it all to the state. I don’t think the state does an especially good job.. but if we’re going to shift the balance one way or another then I think everyone gets a say. Including the recipients.

    There’s already too much power in the hands of those with wealth. It doesn’t take a rabid lefty to see that.

  20. Pretty much everyone would still pay taxes if income tax was abolished overnight for everyone. Vat, fuel duty, stamp duty, council tax, beer duty, tobacco duty etc.

    This “people would vote for endless freebys if they didn’t have to pay income tax” idea is just daft – people tend to vote for people who promise them freebys anyway (so it’s hardly that anything will change there), and I see no evidence of the rise of a large totally untaxed class anyway.

  21. Simon, I think having paid in, and having thus contributed to educating and otherwise supporting the young for (say) 18 years before they start work, entitles you to put your feet up for a while afterwards.

    TTG, it’s not really a right left issue, to me anyway, it’s a we’re broke because they keep wasting our money issue. All I want is people with actual skin in the game to have more of a say than those with none.

    I wouldn’t die in a ditch for it, mind, it’s idle pissbaggery, that’s all.

  22. …are you talking about all taxes that directly impinge on the individual – eg VAT, IPT, income tax, CGT, council tax (which tends to fall directly on the head of the household), various stamp and excise duties etc?

    What would be the funding shortfall? Do you know?

  23. I don’t think an ‘only taxpayers vote’ system would result in the elimination of benefits. There are still going to be a large number of people on the margin who pay tax but get more back in education and health than they pay. I do expect the practice of paying people more in benefits than they could ever hope to earn would stop, though.

  24. The rot started to set in when the House of lords lost its veto over money bills.

    Let the commons pass whatever laws it likes, but tax and spending should be subject to the views of those who will gave to pay for it.

    Reform the Lords so it broadly reflects who pays tax, restore the veto, and job done

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