Seeking a fairer system of taxation | Letters | Politics

Polly Toynbee’s suggestion that larger taxes for all are inevitable (The refusal to lift tax has turn out to be our nationwide illness, 6 November) ignores quite a few totally different approaches, adjustments in priorities and potential financial savings that would imply we will all take pleasure in larger ranges of funding in public providers with out elevating taxes or growing borrowing.

In September, AAT printed a brief report highlighting £27bn of annual financial savings that may very well be made with out elevating taxes or growing borrowing – by scrapping automobile tax and gasoline responsibility and changing it with a pay-as-you-drive system, by simplifying inheritance tax, and eradicating larger charge tax reduction for pension contributions, to call simply three of our proposals. Such adjustments may require politicians to inform some uncomfortable truths however, on condition that the result could be an easier, fairer different to elevating income, they’re truths the citizens could be extra prone to settle for.
Phil Corridor
Head of public affairs and public coverage, Affiliation of Accounting Technicians

It isn’t the case that the British taxation system has gone mistaken lately, because the headline on Polly Toynbee’s article proclaims. It has been undermined from the outset. In Adam Smith’s time it was envisaged that the state had the best to levy tax as a result of will increase in financial exercise resulted from its successes in maintaining the peace, suppressing epidemic outbreaks and doing nothing to stop residents doing enterprise with one another.

This may have the side-effect of elevating land values in order that it was, in accordance with Adam Smith, a easy matter of levying a nationwide land worth tax to lift the nationwide financial degree to beneficent heights. Naturally the landowners’ get together was not proud of being reduce out of the motion and through the years has succeeded in privatising the nationwide land worth uplift for the egocentric advantage of its members and hangers-on, though they’ve seldom achieved something to lift land values by enhancements.

Now spherical right here now we have unlovely nation villages the place younger {couples} try and deliver up kids in a low-wage space whereas paying £8oo a month in lease to greedy aged rentiers. These rentiers are diverting nationwide land worth uplift into their very own pockets whereas younger {couples} are disadvantaged of fundamental spending energy.
David Reed

Agreed that “the refusal to lift tax has turn out to be our nationwide illness”, however there’s a much more apparent and acceptable supply of untapped finance. Wage earners assist fund the well being service, and so on, by paying nationwide insurance coverage, but older folks like myself who usually profit most from such providers are, bizarrely, exempt, nevertheless nice their revenue. In fact, the ferocious NI regime imposed on working-age folks shouldn’t be utilized to pensioners, however impoverishment of these with decrease incomes may very well be prevented by setting the edge for contributions effectively above the higher restrict of state advantages. Nonetheless, I worry that no get together would dare embody such a good and wise proposal in its manifesto, on condition that it’s older people who find themselves most definitely to vote. How tragic.
David William Golding
Affiliate, Institute for Sustainability, and honorary chaplain, Newcastle College

Polly Toynbee requires taxes to be raised however doesn’t point out the huge fortunes not collected from tax evasion and avoidance. The final determine I noticed estimates this at £34bn, which might remodel the economic system of this nation. We haven’t scratched the floor of this unlawful and immoral business and we might begin by making it a felony offence to pay for items and providers into something aside from an accredited enterprise checking account and likewise to fail to subject a correct VAT or until receipt.
Ralph Jones
Rochester, Kent

I agree with Polly Toynbee that we should elevate extra tax. Listed below are some choices. Impose VAT on UK groceries (estimated to be value by 2021 £197bn) in accordance with their unhealthiness, not luxurious. This may incentivise wholesome consuming.

A government-run and -regulated hashish business (estimated to be value £7bn pa) could be safer for patrons and would save the £361m spent on its policing. The identical might be mentioned of different at present unlawful narcotics. In any case, such medicine are not any extra harmful and debilitating than tobacco and alcohol, that are already regulated and taxed. Prostitution (reckoned to be value near £5bn pa) could be safer for girls if carried out in authorities institutions offering right medical consideration and bodily safeguards.

The abroad help finances (at present £12.2bn) deserves our help. However why not take from it the £1.8bn spent yearly by the NHS on overseas guests? We’d know the cash was effectively spent.

All these ideas rely, after all, on dealing with life’s much less nice realities, and that’s as we speak as unpalatable and as unlikely because it’s all the time been.
David Hughes
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Polly Toynbee raises points of giant public significance, however I might recommend that the underlying subject is the dystopian first-past-the-post electoral system, during which the 2 main events try and bribe not more than 250,000 floating voters in the important thing marginal constituencies with guarantees they’ll’t hold, and, in a tax race to the underside, refuse to contemplate reforms to what has turn out to be a regressive tax system, for worry of not getting elected.

Council tax non-reform is a basic case of this. The argument for a totally proportional voting system is now pressing, given the dimensions of the issues about to face the UK and the necessity for considerably larger ranges of taxation required to help important public providers just like the NHS, social care and training, and to deal with the upcoming housing disaster brought on by many years of politicians pandering to middle-class voters in center England with false guarantees of ever decrease taxes. For eight years the Tories have tried to squeeze a pint out of a half-pint pot however have now run out of choices.

A totally proportional system would have the quick impact of nullifying the necessity for presidency to keep away from making the best choices within the nationwide curiosity, as within the current political gridlock it will virtually actually lead to a democratically elected coalition within the close to future, with a extra consensual fashion of presidency. Certainly, there was a powerful case for a Tory-Labour coalition Brexit authorities after the 2017 election. The truth that 42% of all staff at present have incomes too low to be liable to tax speaks volumes concerning the regressive results of 40 years of Tory/Labour financial mismanagement and is an indictment of the UK’s low-wage economic system. Of even higher concern is the truth that none of this was the apparent results of our membership of the EU and that Brexit is not going to change something.
Adrian Berridge
Clacton-on-Sea, Essex

With “a fifth of staff incomes beneath the £9 nationwide charge set by the Residing Wage Basis”, Polly Toynbee’s concepts for “most of us” to pay extra tax want a bit tweaking. Relying on common credit score ought to exclude many households from the next degree of revenue tax, however these with above-average incomes should pay extra.

It makes little sense for these incomes £49,000 to be paying the identical charge as these on £149,000, nor ought to these incomes £500,000 pay the identical as these getting £200,000. The Laffer curve was solely created to allow Ronald Reagan to decrease taxes so it must be discredited, and draconian measures launched to make sure that the wealthy, for the primary time in our historical past, pay their justifiable share. Let’s begin with a 90% tax on incomes over £1m.

All tax avoidance must be made a felony offence, as ought to giving recommendation to allow it to happen. And naturally, VAT must be imposed on private-school charges.
Bernie Evans

Polly Toynbee appropriately highlights the results of low tax charges. I can recall after I first began working 44 years in the past that the usual charge of revenue tax was 33%, so a modest rise of 1% or 2% could be no nice hardship for most individuals.
Ian Arnott

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