I think this might be enough, don\’t you?

Today the TaxPayers’ Alliance has released new research which shows that the average family pays £656,000 in taxes over their lifetime.

That tax payment is around and about equal to the amount which, if saved over the years, would put said household into the top 10% in terms of wealth (850k in net assets).

And while there are some things that must be collectively, tax funded, provided, there\’s an awful lot of things that government does currently collectively provide which wouldn\’t have to be so if we were all as rich as that.

7 thoughts on “I think this might be enough, don\’t you?”

  1. That’s the *current* top 10%, which is a strange comparison since less tax would make everybody richer – except those tax inspectors and collectors, who’d be out of a job.

    The redistributional effect of the current system merits some study. How much provides benefits to taxpayers (that they might otherwise pay for), how much succours those unable to earn a living, and how much is lost to the friction of state apparatus operating for its own sake?

    The public is hard to get interested in the first category, neither opportunity cost nor the possibility of getting better value when you spend your own money, don’t seem to be commonly grasped.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    It is a pity that governments are always spending money they do not have. Instead of saving up in some sort of sovereign wealth fund.

    Imagine how different Britain would be if every family was *given* £656,000 for as long as they lived, to be invested in the British stock market, and handed back when they died.

  3. What bonkers analysis. You might as well note that people send £ x00,000 in their lifetimes on money that simply goes to corporate profits.

    I like Guy’s point that people are too stupid to realise they would be better off spending their own money.

    SM4S – Could you flesh out this plan? Would the money be borrowed?

  4. “there’s an awful lot of things that government does currently collectively provide which wouldn’t have to be so if …”

    We didn’t need them at all. My current favourite is the (ring-fenced) Department of Health and its “healthy recipe” initiative. They’re going to print and distribute millions of healthy eating leaflets! They’re going to set up a healthy recipe website!

    Now, which Minister, when presented with this proposal, did not immediately turn to his or her laptop, hit Google, and type “healthy recipes” (ooh! it’s in Google Instant, does that mean anything?), see “About 46,700,000 results (0.44 seconds)” and say … NO! What were you thinking? Back to bedpans for you! Etc.

  5. Guy’s “friction of state apparatus” cost actually covers both his first and last examples.

    If you buy it yourself, you have a fair chance of actually getting what you want, not what some bureaucrat has tried, but probably failed, to buy for a generic set of people with requirements loosely grouped with yours. Therefore you are likely to end up with some features you simply didn’t need and without some that would have been valuable. Accordingly there are potential efficiencies in being able to have your own choice – although this may well come with inefficiencies of due to your limited bargaining power. However, as many corporates are now doing with a wide range of supplies, you could make an informed selection from (analogy warning) a reasonably expansive menu rather than simply having to accept today’s canteen special.

    Then there are the costs of it being done by the government – dead weight costs of tax collection itself; the inefficiencies that come from operating in an command rather than market system; the additional bureaucracy required to ensure that provision is “fair” – whatever that happens to mean at the time and the transitory (if unfortunately often expensive) costs of the current political fads and meddling.

  6. Timmy, your £850k figure is the average for the top 10%.

    The IFS says in 2005 you needed less than £400k in assets to break into the top 10% which Hasan wants to tax at 20%


    page 12

    So almost anybody with a medium income job who has been financially responsible for 25 years or more. You know, the REALLY wealthy types, teachers, office workers etc…

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