Sunday, December 17, 2006

Not-so-stealthy Taxman

The phrase "stealth tax" has become well-worn over the last few years. I really like the idea of a flat tax in principle where everyone is taxed just once on their money (rather than on income, then stamp duty and on savings when it is invested and then VAT when it is spent and finally inheritance tax.) However there are significant problems in trying to introduce such a system to a mature economy like the UK. In lieu of this, a flatter tax system will do. People have no idea how much tax they pay. Gordon Brown in particular has complicated matters beyond belief. Lord Saatchi has proposed a Bank Holiday on "Tax Freedom Day". This is a symbolic day calculated by the Adam Smith Institute to show what proportion of the year you are working for the Government to pay your taxes.

So in 2006 all of our income from New Year's Day until 3rd June went to cover our tax bill. The rest is ours to decide what we want to do with our own money. In 1997 it fell a week and a half earlier on the 25th May. The definitive tax guide Tolley's Yellow Tax Handbook has increased from 4555 pages in the 1996-7 edition to an accountant's shelf-breaking 9050 pages in the 2005-6 edition.

Anyway the video above is a Republican advert. Typically American but the point is clear.

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