Sunday 19 August 2012

Budget Regard - Going Cheep

How about this for a radical idea: Instead of government deciding what it wants to do, producing a ridiculously under-estimated budget, going ahead without proper consultation, going ten times over that budget and then increasing our taxes accordingly to pay for it all, how about WE decide how much tax we're going to pay and the government has no choice but to spend within its means. How about that, eh?

In my dreams, I know...

When William Pitt introduced income tax to pay for the Napoleonic wars it was levied at tuppence in the pound (Old pounds. So it started at 1/120 - for the modern scholar, that's less than 1%) ) rising to 10% for those with an income over £200 a year (about £17k at today's rates, but with none of today's modern fripperies to pay for). It was abolished in 1802, only to resurface once more between 1803 and 1816.

Sir Robert Peel brought it back for good in 1842, since when it has been up and down like the proverbial yo-yo and a constant source of tension between government and the governed. As government ambition has soared and spending risen through the ceiling, successive administrations have found ever more inventive ways of taxing you to the hilt. If you die without leaving any realisable assets - that's most of us - you have, effectively been taxed at 100% of your life's income.

So here's my plan. Reduce income tax to a 20% flat rate and cut the fuck out of public spending (for real this time, not pretending to, like they are at the moment). Then, if they want any more, ministers have to personally come to the door of each and every tax payer and explain nicely what they want it for.

Then, they have to stand still for a full minute while you laugh in their face.

Comments are always very welcome.


  1. I love the idea of them having to come cap-in-hand to my door....talking of caps let me try out that damned CAPTCHA thing for you..*did ya see what I did there..didya didya?* ..I'll get my coat and my cap of course....

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  3. Nice idea - but some of us got this idea months ago.........

    Tried googling 'referism' or 'harrogate agenda'?

    Just asking.......

  4. I've been saying something like this for about forty years!

  5. All well and good but where do you think they're going to cut? It won't be their rich mates oh no. It's the poor and those reliant on the welfare state that will get battered. People like me. No thanks

  6. Ah. Did you not read my byline? There will be no 'poor', only subjects. But, in any case, it is utterly wrong for anybody to depend entirely on the state - you should adjust your numbers accordingly.