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Take less poison say smart people

 Well first let me introduce myself.  My name is Stuart Fairney and I shall post as Single acts of tyranny.  This is from the quote by Thomas Jefferson when he said “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing a people to slavery”  It is in no way an attempt to plug Amazon’s 584,000th most popular book.  So to the title of the post……

 

No this isn’t some more government health-nannying complaining that the indolent plebs are boozing or smoking or eating the wrong food or not exercising or using cars etc etc ad nauseum.

 

Nor is it the Daily Mash, it is in effect the pronouncement from the 2020 Tax Commission (http://www.2020tax.org/2020summary.pdf).  The commission is the love child of the institute of directors and the taxpayers’ alliance and on the face of it, the proposals seem more or less unarguable.  They include a single rate of income tax of 30% replacing the ponderous income tax and NI systems, the total abolition of transaction and inheritance taxes cutting state spending to a third of GDP and a raft of other changes which would boost freedom and economic growth.  So far so good and I don’t know many people who would disagree in principle at least with the concept. 

 

However there are two problems, first implementation.  These ideas are a million miles away from all three front benches at the moment.  The three parties have run aground on the rocks of leftist social democracy and I honestly think some of them actually believe that the leviathan state is a force for good.  Also less tax means less power, influence and relevance for politicians, less help for rent-seekers, fewer kickbacks, they might even mean less politicians.  Also the vast army of pointless tree officers, gender-equality outreach workers, climate-change champions, diversity officers etc may see the writing on the wall and may not fancy getting a real job much, so few votes there.

 

But on a more philosophical level, why fix on 30%?  If taxes are poison to the economy surely the lower the better.  Why not 20%?  Singapore has a maximum income tax of 20% (itself pretty easy to avoid) and a sales tax at 7%.  This is coupled with growth at a best-in-the world 17.9% and unemployment at 2.2%.  When did your hear any public figure in the West even aspiring to figures like these let alone getting anywhere near them?  By slashing the state and along with it taxes, regulations and the whole shebang, you could turn the UK (or even Greece) into the Singapore of the West.  Indeed, by having lower taxes than even some of the Asian economies we could gain more liberty and become far richer. 

 

All we need is the consent of our feudal overlords.        

10 Comments

  1. Lynne says:

    An excellent first post, Stuart. But it’s not we plebs that should be seeking consent. The idea is that the government overlords require our consent and they damn well need reminding of that.

    Welcome to the Kitty Counter Club. :D

  2. john in cheshire says:

    Stuart, Lynne, well said. I think 10% tax for the bare necessities of our nation is more than sufficient.

  3. Henry Crun says:

    Agree except for the last sentence. We need to be rid of our feudal overlords.

  4. Paul Marks says:

    There is something about Singapore that I have heard about – but do not know the truth of.

    I have been told that many (most?) people have to pay into a government pension plan.

    As the payment is compulsory it is a tax – and (unlike Chile) there is not even a choice – it gets “invested” by the state (and no one seems quite sure what it is invested in).

    Does anyone know the truth of this matter?

  5. RAB says:

    Ace opening post Stuart, welcome.

    Once, just once, in my lifetime, I would like a Govt to try a flat tax of 20 or 30% and see what happens. They can always put tax up again can’t they? Just like you could legalise drugs and see what happens, if it’s a disaster, what’s been lost? You just recriminalise it, and be back to the same mess we are in now.

    But of course they won’t because a socialist will jump up straight away and say… Why should an office worker pay the same tax as a billionaire? A billionaire should pay more cos he has more, simples! Even Billionaires like Buffett take that line. The socialists still think in the fixed size of pie economics, they don’t understand that wealth can be increased and destroyed, that it isn’t a finite thing that everyone can only get their allotted slice of.

    The very words Social Justice sends a shiver down my spine. As a trained lawyer there is only one Justice and that is the same justice for all.

    There is also the stuff about tax avoidence and tax evasion. I avoid as much tax as I possibly can, my accountant gets paid well to ensure that, but I do not evade tax. I will pay what I think is fair to a Govt provided it tells me what they want the money for. I’d like an audit and an invoice please. It is not a Govt’s god given right to steal more and more of my hard earned money to give to people who have never done a productive thing in their lives, and tell me it is for my own good, nay not my own, the Common Good! By the Common Good they usually mean their own venal self serving little bubble clique, of NGO’s QUANGO’s good etc.

    I watched some of Newsnight tonight. First roundel with Paxo discussed proposals for massive deregulation and cutting of red tape to make us more productive and competitive. The permission to fire useless bastards when they show themselves to be useless bastards on the spot etc. Whoops! the main ranter a LIb/Dem was going doolally. Can’t have that! besides deregulation makes no difference was the cry. Well they would do wouldn’t they? The only thing they have to do for a job all day is to regulate and wreck the economy and lives of ordinary people.

    The second roundel was on the Euro, and you can imagine how far into insanity that got. The great and good wise and wonderful pundits will be in a taxi now, sent home courtesy of our taxes, while we and the Greeks suck the asphalt for sustinance, sustained in the knowledge that those we are watching in silence through a Curry’s window, while chewing the pavement, will sort it out for us.

    Some hope!

  6. Sam Duncan says:

    “Singapore has a maximum income tax of 20% (itself pretty easy to avoid) and a sales tax at 7%. This is coupled with growth at a best-in-the world 17.9% and unemployment at 2.2%.”

    And yet Leftists will tell you with a straight face that low taxes not only won’t lead to growth or prosperity, but that they never have. There are other reasons to dislike Singapore, but turning one of the world’s poorest countries, with no natural resources to speak of at all, into one of the richest in little more than 30 years isn’t one of them. It shows it can be done.

    RAB mentioned the deregulation proposals. Richard North had a post about them over at EURef yesterday: of course, all they can do is cut employment regulation to the EU minimum – a 30-day consultation period on redundancy, instead of 90, for example – so that’s what they’re doing. It’s almost as if all the “gold plating” was deliberate, so that implementing the regulations as mandated would come as a relief, isn’t it?

  7. CountingCats says:

    All we need is the consent of our feudal overlords.

    But they are not. If they were feudal then the rights and obligations going each way would be know, and an effort made to address them.

    They are NOT feudal overlords, they are tyrants, out and out tyrants. Nothing feudal about them.

  8. John Galt says:

    @Paul Marks:

    I have been told that many (most?) people have to pay into a government pension plan.

    Yes. This is true. The Singaporean CPF is a combined fund used for tax efficient savings to cover that persons medical, housing and pension needs. There is a 16% contribution from the employer and a 20% contribution from the employee, so in effect this is a Social Security Tax of 36%.

    There is an upper limit on contributions of 85,000 SGD per annum (not quite as straight-forward as that but roughly).

    The CPF is however fully funded and the vast majority of the money is invested in Singapore itself. Given the annual growth rate and the security of the fund this means that returns on CPF accounts are quite attractive.

    http://www.kpmg.com/Global/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/taxation-international-executives/singapore/Pages/other-taxes-levies.aspx

  9. bonkers says:

    So am I right in thinking that an employee is taxed 20% income tax and 20% NI? So overall a 40% tax take on his salary? Though I like the 7% vat rate. Singapore may not have any natural resources but it’s geographical position is a huge advantage.

  10. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    Of course the NI is funded and not just spent and gone like in most Western countries.

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