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If you could start from scratch, what philosophical principles would you want to underpin our taxation system?

(103 Posts)
GrannyTwice Mon 13-Apr-15 18:58:37

anyone interested in having a discussion on this?

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 13-Apr-15 19:00:46

Gordon Bennett! Haven't we been here and done this? hmm

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 13-Apr-15 19:17:02

Actually, I wouldn't let philosophy have a look-in. Economics is what is needed.

Let people choose their own philosophy in life.

GrannyTwice Mon 13-Apr-15 19:18:16

Thank you JBF for that helpful thoughtful contribution - I'll wait to see if a grown up wants to play

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 13-Apr-15 19:20:09

Righto then. grin

Mishap Mon 13-Apr-15 19:21:04

Have you been away jings?

durhamjen Mon 13-Apr-15 19:29:07

Fairness, in tax and wages, for all who use any services in this country.

A living wage so that all are able to pay basic tax and therefore see they have an investment in society.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 13-Apr-15 19:38:46

Yes I have Mishap. Had a few days in Rome. Very nice too. smile

rosequartz Mon 13-Apr-15 19:41:36

'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes'.

When you have died you can't argue so we can tax you at 40%

Is that fair?

janerowena Mon 13-Apr-15 19:48:56

No, I think that's the unfairest of all taxes.

But what seems fair to one person does not to another, it seems.

Jomarie Mon 13-Apr-15 19:55:33

I'm with Durhamjen! Problem solved.......

soontobe Mon 13-Apr-15 19:58:34

If it was at say 35%, I wonder whether some of them would not shout quite so loud about those who dont pay any income tax?

annodomini Mon 13-Apr-15 19:59:22

From each according to his/her ability; to each according to his/her needs. Which apparently makes me a Marxist! I still think it's an excellent principle, but has it ever been made to work satisfactorily?

Ana Mon 13-Apr-15 19:59:24

Yes, that would work, provided there was no unemployment, sickness, disability etc...hmm

Ana Mon 13-Apr-15 20:00:14

(to Jomarie)

durhamjen Mon 13-Apr-15 20:01:48

It covers unemployment, sickness and disability. What do you think needs are?

soontobe Mon 13-Apr-15 20:03:57

A living wage would be great.
I dont see why that is unachievable for any of the political parties.
[I wouldnt care if that made some companies stop trading in the UK]. Having now written that, I suppose I might?

durhamjen Mon 13-Apr-15 20:05:00

People who are sick, disabled or unemployed could still have a living wage, i.e. enough to live on.
It's the Schumacher principle of sharing work and responsibility.

Ana Mon 13-Apr-15 20:10:30

Sounds like a Green Party manifesto promise to me!

whitewave Mon 13-Apr-15 20:20:03

jen Schumacher there is a blast from the past!!

Jomarie Mon 13-Apr-15 20:28:58

Ah well - I suppose we haven't really moved on much have we? - a snail's progress at best. The philosophical approach probably is just that "ah well - que sera sera"....... Am opting out of this thread now!

durhamjen Mon 13-Apr-15 20:39:51

Yes, whitewave. Even more relevant now, I think. It's called Practical Action now, but still run from the Schumacher Institute.

durhamjen Mon 13-Apr-15 20:46:51

That's the problem, Jomarie. Most people are not prepared to look at the taxation system as a whole, just how it suits themselves and their families.

Same with any other system, really. I do not believe we all have a selfish gene. I think people can cooperate, particularly in wages and taxes.
Unfortunately, Thatcher's idea of there being no such thing as society is becoming even more obvious these days.

Jomarie Mon 13-Apr-15 21:06:54

I'm still with you Durhamjen. Unfortunately I have a very cynical element to my personality now, probably derived from being a daughter of a staunch conservative mother and a labourite father. I chose liberal - Jeremy was my hero back in the day. No more from me, I promise........

janeainsworth Mon 13-Apr-15 22:31:30

Unfairness creeps in when taxation is not used simply to raise money to provide services and benefits for all members of society, but is used as an incentive to make people, or some people, behave in a certain way.

To give a simple example, a tax allowance or rebate may be given to new start up businesses, because the government wants more people to start up new businesses.

But the tax allowance may be seen by existing businesses to be unfair because they are having to pay higher taxes than the new business.

The perception of unfairness leads to perverse incentives and efforts to avoid paying tax.

So perhaps a starting point could be to stop using taxes to change people's behaviour, and concentrate on the primary function of raising money.