And do remember that you don’t pay for any of that spending anyway. That spend comes to £802bn, but revenue looks like this
(revenue pie chart)
That comes to £744bn. So even if you find savings in the first chart there is no way that they will necessarily reduce your tax bill because (as I have long argued) tax does not actually fund government spending. That’s paid for by (metaphorically) printing more of these
The promise to pay printed on there is fulfilled by accepting such money in settlement of your tax bill, which only exists precisely because the government spent in the first place and has to tax some, all, and on occasion even more than that spending back only because if it did not there would be inflation. Its decision on how much to tax to control inflation then leaves a surplus, balanced budget or deficit, but it does not mean tax pays for the spend: that’s paid for by the Bank of England extending the government credit against its promise to pay, in exactly the same way as all other money for spending is created.
It’s just the wondrous manner in which he moves from a particular accounting elucidation – money creation – to the more general statement – no one pays tax.
It’s still true though that we do pay tax.
GDP is everything done by everyone in the year in the economy. Government claims some 35% or so of that to be deployed as government says it will be deployed. That means that everyone has only 65% of everything done by everyone to deploy as the people doing the doing decide they’d like to.
That’s a tax. Cannot be anything else.
Now, it’s most certainly true that some amount of this government decided deployment is more than worth it. I too think that the existence – even if I quibble with certain parts of it – monopoly on military violence, or a criminal justice system, are worth more than the amount skimmed to make them happen. I’m very much less convinced by some other areas of said deployment.
But it is still true that resources are abstracted to pay for government – that’s tax being paid, the relinquishing of those real resources. Even for those items that are undoubtedly worth it, there’s still that abstraction, that tax.
But, you know, why not start off the new year with the delusions of idiot sodding stupidity?