This article is from the March issue of Total Politics
There’s an obsession with the balance of the tax burden. It’s an obsession that should beg the question: what is the role of tax in the modern society? Many on the left (and across the spectrum) believe tax should be used for social engineering, to ‘redistribute’ money from the wealthiest to the poorest.
Tax should be used to pay the government’s bills and that’s it. When devising taxation schemes, the people at the lower end of the income bracket in our country should be shielded from a burden that’s too high. But beyond that, everybody else should pay a similar proportion of their earnings in return for operating, living and making money in the system that we all own.
The ideal proportion of income to tax is something for experts and politicians to decide, but proportionality is fairer than so-called ‘progressive’ taxation as everybody knows that they will pay a fair share of their income into the kitty.
Besides, proportional tax (or you could call it flat tax) still puts a higher burden of taxation on the richest. If somebody is earning a lot more than an average wage-earner, their 25 per cent tax (for example) will be worth a lot more to the state than the 25 per cent of the person at the bottom end of the income bracket.
The British tax system is notoriously complex and loophole-ridden. It needs sweeping reform and it needs it soon. The political leaders should keep in mind that their job is to pay the country’s bills, not to punish the rich for success. So long as the poorest in society are getting the help they need to get on up, and all of our other bills are paid for, we should resist pick-pocketing people just because we can.
Luke Bozier blogs at lukebozier.co.uk