Wondrous, just wondrous

Tax has six roles

Raising representation in a democracy – which is why taking those on lowest incomes out of tax is not a benevolent act but one that means that they, almost literally, do not count

Blimey. Someone working part time on minimum wage must pay income tax because otherwise they won’t have the vote.

Interesting concept really. And more interesting: if companies don’t have the vote then why can we tax them?

27 thoughts on “Wondrous, just wondrous”

  1. Meanwhile, Murphy has got himself in a right muddle about KPMG’s tax.

    He’s claiming none of the tax KPMG have detailed that they pay as a firm is paid by the partners. Quite clearly in the figures Murphy gives himself is a figure of £231m as partners’ tax.

    He seems incapable of examining even the simplest information.

  2. I sneeze in threes

    Be interesting to see how many people would give up their representation if it meant getting out of income tax.

  3. But please note IanB, the Murphy has made it clear that VAT does not raise representation in a democracy as Income Tax does. This is because we don’t see it. (Presumably therefore Sales Tax in US states does increase that representation). No; we must SEE the government take our money from us to be properly engaged in the democratic process.

    Similarly, using publically funded services doesn’t do it for us either. Sitting in a long queue at A&E or on an NHS waiting list for months on end or stuck jams caused by roadworks; none of these increase our engagement in the democratic process

    No, it seems the only way the low paid can be engaged is by money to be taken from their hard – earned small pay packets and for them to realise that it’s gone to a better place than them and their families. And then they should be grateful to the Courageous State for its benevolence. Or else!!!

  4. The flip side of this wondrous logic.was provided.by Jolyon Maugham QC. He worried that the tax burden (we should.say opportunity in this context! ) was falling too much on the rich. Thus they were getting too big a say in our democratic processes. He wondered what to do about this.

    Easy says I: a zero tax rate for the rich. That way there undue advantage is entirely removed from them. Up the workers!!!!

  5. So voting for some smarmy bastard on a jack-of-all-trades manifesto that will be largely ignored until the next election is healthy democratic engagement. But driving government to make it’s tax law coherent and manageable by patiently explaining the loopholes you’re intending to exploit is the worst parasitism imaginable.

    Apparently.

  6. On the other hand, no one properly values that which is free.

    Government revenue expenditure is around GBP10k per person, expenditure being even more than that.

    Imagine for a moment that we all had to pay the full amount for what the government provides us. Obviously, wages would have to reflect this. (Ignore the possibility of jobs moving abroad, etc, for now).

    Lower earners, I think, might well take a very different attitude to “free stuff” promises from politicians, and Dave might even have to close some of those Quangos after all.

    It’s one thing for the government to spunk a few billion on a failed IT system under the current system. Is that even news?

    Quite another when it’s a 100 quid each and the rents due.

  7. Ironman said:
    “But please note IanB, the Murphy has made it clear that VAT does not raise representation in a democracy as Income Tax does. This is because we don’t see it.”

    Excellent, so PAYE doesn’t make us democratic either, and we have to return to every taxpayer sending money to HMRC.

    Perhaps we could combine this with his union-funded campaign for more tax workers, and make it compulsory for everyone to hand-deliver a cheque (no cash, he doesn’t approve of that) to a local HMRC office every week.

    I think we should support this – if people actually saw their tax payments every month, there would be a tax riot.

  8. There is a paper somewhere finding a correlation in the developing world between whether people pay tax (in a visible way so they are aware they have done so) and the extent to which they give a monkeys about how they are governed and how public money is spent.

    Seems plausible and even intuitively obvious, but am not sure it is the same thing as it raises democratic representation, nor a good enough reason to reduce the disposable incomes of the low paid.

    Ritchie wants to help the poor, but not by allowing to keep the money they earn.

  9. “Raising representation in a democracy – which is why taking those on lowest incomes out of tax is not a benevolent act but one that means that they, almost literally, do not count ”
    If we assume that to be true, could one not argue (I wouldn’t) that if you do not pay net tax (more than you get in benefits) you should not have the vote?

  10. “if people actually saw their tax payments every month, there would be a tax riot”

    Quite. Is the tax system aligned with human nature?

    Those that don’t pay income tax, or receive it back in credits if they do, become unwitting dependents of the state, and politicians can bribe them with their own money.

    However, if Mr Lowerskill is earning the amount currently required to run a British human, and is then paying 80% tax on it, he’s likely to turn into Mr Lowerskill of Tunbridge Wells.

    If nothing else, we’d rapidly find the true market value of outreach coordinators. .

  11. Adrian

    Yes, it might well have the effect of.making people care more about how their money (oh sorry, there is no such thing as taxpayer’s money) is spent. And no doubt that’s exactly what Murphy means – he wins.

    So let’s abandon this outdated free-at-the-point-of-delivery tax – based health provision and go to personal health insurance. Murphy will be delighted to see people enjoy greater engagement with their health provision won’t he. Will he fuck!

  12. Ritchie wants to help the poor

    Citation, please.

    If a person doesn’t pay tax because their income is in the form of grants from political ‘charities’ to do political activism, should that person have the vote?

    If I pay twice as much income tax as Murphy, do I get two votes?

  13. I love these articles from Murphy. There is the statement, followed by a warning of the number of reasons why (at least three), followed by each reason.

    By reason four he’s already blundered into some massively contradictory position but refuses to retreat but trudges onwards into the mire.

    They are the gold standard.

  14. I do rather like the ideas of

    – a gummint-issued ‘basic universal wage’ that all legal residents get. The amount varies, say year by year, depending on how well the state is doing. The amount is never subject to income tax.
    – one vote per legal resident plus one vote per (say) 10K of tax paid. The amount necessary to buy the extra vote increases at the same rate as income tax upon income grows (so your 20th vote could be quite expensive)
    – an obvious extension wherein you can literally buy votes for yourself by paying more tax. This will have the benefit of impoverishing all lefties (who would of course contribute the max practical at all times)

    We will not discuss here whether being able to vote for the sort of candidates one sees in the USA is the sort of investment one might willingly make.

  15. “lefties (who would of course contribute the max practical at all times)”

    They certainly would, and do, in theory.

    But no, no they wouldn’t.

  16. Further to the truly excellent ideas expressed here – inspired jo doubt by Jolyon Magham QC – I would prose a genuinely redistributive vote-buying system. If one has a few spare quid and a desire to engage more fully in the democratic process one can purchase the vote of a impecunious and -one hopes – thick bastard, preferably one living in a marginal constituency.

    That way money leaving your pocket really does get yoy to engage in the democratic process – which Ritchie says he wants, direct democracy ensures that money passes from.the rich to the poor – which Ritchie also says he wants. What is there not to like?

  17. Rob, I once suggested to him that if there were no company tax, there would be no company tax avoidance for him to worry about, freeing himself to do other more productive things. I asked what he would do with all that spare time.

    He said: help fight poverty, help fight for the NHS, and a third thing which I can’t remember.

    Yet he still wants to hang on to corporation tax for some reason presumably unconnected with money and getting himself of the telly.

  18. I like the idea of votes being for sale. It would certainly engage the 35% or so who can’t be bothered, and encourage them to register.
    It’s also a beautiful counterpoint to politicians buying votes ( triple-lock for pensioners anyone, keeping farm subsidies Jim! cutting council tax Boris! ) to have a system where voters can sell votes. If something can be bought, then it should also be sold.

  19. He said: help fight poverty, help fight for the NHS, and a third thing which I can’t remember.

    There, another bloody list.

  20. I wonder how many people would pay to vote, even a nominal fee like £5, if you did have to pay? Very few, I would imagine.

    Is our democracy worth a fiver?

  21. “Help fight poverty”. If we don’t need tax to pay for gov’t expenditure (and it isn’t on his list) hem how does taking money off anyone help reduce poverty?

    Come to think of it, if banks can create money “out of thin air” (as Ritchie insists they can) they how can taxation be only paying the gov’t back it’s own money?

    Christ, Ritchie is to economics what Joseph Fritzl was to family planning.

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