Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Pinch the nostrils, head back, tap the throat...

...say, me me me meme, meme...It has often been said that one of the more important functions of blogs like this is to get 'memes' (or ideas, as I prefer to call them) started and then spread around virally. In the spirit, I think it behoves us to begin spreading this idea: that people who work in the public sector should be exempt from having to pay tax. All tax.
And, no, I am not proposing to do them a big favour, though expect that many in the public sector will see it as a favour and that is all for the good. No, what I am proposing is the stripping away of a fig-leaf that disguises the very important distinction between tax-payers and tax-consumers. Currently, only those who earn their living in the private or voluntary sector are tax-payers and while public sector employees do file tax returns and, on the face of it, pay their taxes too, this is a mere bookkeeping fiction. They are the recipients of tax, adding nothing to the public purse. The number of people who fail to understand this distinction, holding instead that "we are all taxpayers" is alarmingly high. By forcing the public sector to lead tax-free lives, we make their true status not just clearer but undeniable.
It is high time that we made it crystal clear as to who bears the burden of taxation and who enjoys the benefit; who produces the wealth and who gets the wealth handed to them. It is a cheap and easy means of dramatically changing the dynamic of all economic and political debate. If you like this idea, then tell someone else. Let's start spreading it...
this sedition comes from Samizdata... I like the concept, on the precondition that civil servants (and technically I'm one) lose their vote and have to wear an identifying uniform. (Many do anyway, police, defence personnel, schoolteachers etc.) Oh, and productive tax payers get 1.5 or perhaps 2 votes each...

9 comments:

KG said...

brilliant!! Yes!

Mark Brentano said...

Like it. Can I suggest a refinement? When tax revenue drops - as it is currently doing in the UK, at least - public sector wages drop with it, index linked. The public sector has to look less like a huge feather bed and more like a reflection of the economic climate.

Brett_McS said...

Paying no tax, they would then - as per the Poll Tax - not get a vote. Agreed.

No one who works for, or receives benefits from, the government should have a vote. There's too much 'positive feedback' potential otherwise.

Of course this means the military do not get a vote. This would be in any case a necessary trade off to give the idea any chance of getting up.

Ayrdale said...

It would work well I think, and have a self-levelling effect. The appeal of no tax whatsoever would draw people to the serving professions, nursing, teaching, defence, and the productive taxpayers would exert a braking influence on the ever growing power of the unproductive.

Why not ?

Anonymous said...

Schoolteachers don't wear uniforms.

Ayrdale said...

Yes they do. You can spot them miles off. Beards, pipes, harris tweed jackets, big shoes (and that's the women.) The blokes are usually in shorts and cardigans.

Anonymous said...

Leave off men teachers. They are a rare breed and we need more of them.

Ayrdale said...

You're quite right. No disrespect to them, in fact all but one of my teachers was male, and although 2 of them strapped me severely (Messrs Lane and Jelley) they were excellent teachers. Sorry guys.

Attractive female teacher says to her class..."An abstract noun is something you can see but not feel or touch. Can you give me an example ?

Please miss, your tits."

MK said...

What makes you think that the wider public out there will give a shit if some bureaucratic scumbag is not paying any tax. If i'm not mistaken, more than half the populace is getting more from their fellow citizens than giving back. Why would they give a damn, as long as these bureaucrats just jack up taxes elsewhere to cost the shortfall.

I understand your point, but i have little confidence that the public out there will figure it out.