Guardian leader on taxation

As usual, they\’re wittering along without paying a blind bit of notice to the real world outside their windows.

Houses are taxed too little


Property tax as a percentage of total tax collected by the country.

Showing latest available data.

Rank Countries \"\" Amount \"\"
# 1 United Kingdom: 11.9%
# 2 Japan: 10.3%
# 3 United States: 10.1%
# 4 Canada: 9.7%
# 5 Australia: 8.9%
# 6 Switzerland: 8.1%
# 7 France: 6.8%
# 8 Ireland: 5.6%
= 9 New Zealand: 5.4%
= 9 Netherlands: 5.4%
# 11 Italy: 4.3%
# 12 Sweden: 3.4%
= 13 Belgium: 3.3%
= 13 Denmark: 3.3%
# 15 Finland: 2.5%
# 16 Norway: 2.4%
# 17 Germany: 2.3%
# 18 Austria: 1.3%
Weighted average: 5.8%

So property is taxed too little in the country which taxes it most then, eh?



…ask the self-employed to start paying their fair share of national insurance.

Note that last word: insurance. A goodly part of the NI payment is insurance against becoming unemployed. As the self-employed cannot claim dole then they should, of course, be paying less for the insurance which does not provide them with dole if they become unemployed.

There was a time when I thought that those who write these sorts of pieces, the leader writers, the editors guiding their young bright minds as to what to say, were pushing the party line, regardless of facts.

Now that I\’ve done a stint in London, mixing with the Lobby, trying to get our party line into the papers, talking to the sort of people who write these pieces, I\’ve changed my mind.

No, they\’re not evil or manipulative, they\’re simply ignorant.

They just do not know what is going on in the world around them.

6 thoughts on “Guardian leader on taxation”

  1. Yeees ….Having said that if you put taxes collected in the UK against capital gains then it would be another view at least.
    The development of housing and the concerntration of capital is not just a left wing problem Worstall. Education and mobility have to be addressed and if it is not to be by redistribution in some way then what ?

    What what what ?!”!!!

  2. “the self employed cannot claim the dole”

    I think the self employed can claim “job seeker’s allowance” and housing benefit – do this questionnaire, a describe yourself a self-employed working less than 16 hours per week:

    should you being paying N.I. if you can claim that stuff?

    [I’ll refrain from saying anything about ignorance]

    Tim adds: If you’ve been working full time self-employed and then the work dries up, no, you don’t get dole. You will, after some gap, get support, true, but not immediately as with those who are employed.

  3. “So property is taxed too little in the country which taxes it most then, eh?” Logically possible, as Wadsworth will doubtless explain soon.

  4. I think it will be apparent to many that what the Grauniad is getting at is that the profit enjoyed on the sale of people’s homes is not taxed, i.e., no capital gains tax. By extension, they appear to be saying that the said profits should be made subject to CGT and that the rate of CGT should be the same as income tax on earned income.

    The first, but not the second, point is not new and some, who would not align themselves with the paper, have been saying the same thing for a while now. If the taxation policy on homes had been properly managed in the past decade, I doubt we would have many of the problems we have currently.

    As such, the paper’s gist is fairly mainstream and inoffesnive, but badly put as usual.

  5. @ Dearieme.

    1. That list misses off Taiwan, Hong Kong, Harrisburg, various Channel Islands etc.

    2. That list shows property tax (A) as a percentage of (B) total tax. I know for a fact that government spending (B) in Australia is much, much smaller as a % of GDP, so it’s quite possible that property tax (A) in Australia (as a % of GDP) is higher than here.

    3. If it were up to me, I’d increase the UK’s % of tax raised in property tax by keeping property tax constant (i.e. replacing all property taxes with a flat % of property values, like in a lot of places in the USA) and reducing all other taxes by about half.

    4. Property taxes are, IMHO, ‘too low’ in nearly every country, and taxes on income and production far too high in nearly every country. The fact that the other countries are worse is irrelevant.

    5. The figures to which Tim W always links do not net off covert subsidies to property (i.e. the tax-free growth in value that arises from restrictions on supply); interest rate subsidies that have been in place since late 2008 (about £30 billion per annum, which comes straight out of the pockets of savers) or the fact that Council Tax only pays for a small fraction of ‘local services’.

    PS, Business Rates, taken in isolation, look ‘about right’ to me.

  6. . I know for a fact that government spending (B) in Australia is much, much smaller as a % of GDP,

    About the same as far as I can see but property costs so much less it is still regarded as a low tax destination.
    This difference in the value of property also makes your point about “Some places in the USA” a bit silly .

    Some places where property values are close to zero ? There is more wilderness in the US than in Africa -tough comparison to make meaningfully .
    Having said all that I think there is a core truth in what you say and it is an especially difficult one here . Sadly with taxes its never or , its always “and “

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