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.