Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The Audacity of Change

Devil's Kitchen covers a piece by a former minister in New Zealand, but how they slashed socialism in the seventies with a series of 'bold, strong moves' ('bold and strong'?). Other bloggers have been showering the Kitchen with praise over this.

Blogoir highlights a few lines of the piece:-
...for every dollar we were spending on education, 70 cents was being swallowed up by administration.


...we immediately eliminated all of the Boards of Education in the country...


We converted 4,500 schools to this new system all on the same day...
Why can't that sort of thing happen here? Cos no one is audacious enough.

Well, the Libertarian's policy of abolishing Income Tax is an order of magnitude more audacious, but they/we're a few elections away from a landslide.

So what of the main parties in Westminster right now? Nothing.

Sure, three years ago there was George Osborne mooting the abolishment of Inheritance Tax. But that was a different world, that was before the recession.

Here, this is one of my favourite pie charts in the world:-

It shows projected tax receipts for 2008-2009. God knows how it turned out in reality, but going by that pie chart, Inheritance Tax brings in 2% as much as Income Tax, which is within the margin of error of how much Income Tax actually brings in. The UK could get rid of Inheritance Tax completely and no one would miss it in the great heap of taxes, its that insignificant.

The only people who'd miss it would be those involved with collecting it.

Elsewhere on the internet, Mark Wadsworth is using the phrase "white heat of techology" a bit more than strictly necessary.

The Tories are tinkering around the edges of National Insurance in an effort to help small business.
Mark Prisk, the shadow minister for trade and industry speak about the changes that the Conservatives will make if they win the coming general election. They will give small businesses a one-year break on national insurance contributions for their first ten employees. This should go some way to encouraging start-ups to hire employees again.

Alternatively Mark Wadsworth suggests:-
Thinking on, if they want to 'incentivise entrepreneurship', why not just scrap capital gains tax, which raises bugger all in the grander scheme of things?

Looking back at the wonderful pie chart of destiny, Capital Gains Tax gets us £5billion, that is 3% as much as Income Tax, still a margin of error level of money. The only people who'd miss it would be those whose jobs was collecting it. Capital Gains Tax is piss in the wind, its a rounding error. Its as much money as a project coming in on time on budget or late and over budget, the latter happening more often than not, so why not just get rid of Capital Gains Tax and make life more attractive.

I think my point is that abolishing taxes completely is far better than tinkering round the edges. The Libertarian's abolishment of Income Tax is a fine thing, but then the state would still be collecting dozens of other less significant taxes, employing people to and cocking it up as much as humans generally cock things up.

Abolishing taxes completely makes the state apparatus smaller, which is a good thing.

So please, please can some political party likely to gain seats, Labour, Tory, LibDem, UKIP and the regions, please, please just abolish some of the minor taxes.

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