Showing posts with label government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label government. Show all posts

29 May 2018

Tax Freedom Day

Did you know that today is Tax Freedom Day?

Tax Freedom Day was a term originally coined in 1948 in the US as being the number of days the average worker would have to work to pay off his/her taxes.  This year, calculated by the Adam Smith Institute in the UK; that day is today, three days later than last year.

HM Revenue & Customs are due to collect £724.9 billion this year which is roughly 34.3% of the national income.  The burden of tax on families in the UK is now the highest in over 20 years.  The last time the tax burden was higher as a proportion of the GDP was when Harold Wilson was in power to give you some perspective (1969/70).

All the public services that we have such as the NHS, welfare and education have to be paid for of course, either by way of taxation, or by borrowing; which in turn imposes further taxing on the next generations.  But is the way we current tax people a fair system?  Are the poor suffering whilst the rich remain unaffected?

As a single, solvent woman with little debt and no children, the taxation system does not affect me adversely.  Indeed, the raise in the tax threshold each year actually benefits me.   I am not rich, I am not poor, but the system benefits me in a similar way that it does not adversely affect the rich.

So why do I care?  Because it is precisely because the changes in tax, tax reforms and cuts in benefits do not affect me that I should.  The Government does not listen to the poor.  If the people who are not affected do not speak up, who will?  Not the rich.  They in large do not care.

Disabled people are committing suicide and dying under the current level of cuts.  The two child limit on benefits is set to push another 250,000 children into poverty by 2020.  The number of people visiting food banks has risen to an all time record with over 1.3 million people receiving emergency food supplies.

Talk Tax is a great service which also provides those hard to reach HMRC contact numbers to get the information that you need, help required and just as importantly, where to raise any issues that you may have.

There are resources, charities and sites set up precisely for the reason of helping people under the current tax and benefit reforms.  It is just a shame that in this day and age, as one of the richest countries in the world, that we need them in the first place.

10 December 2012

Not Very Taxing

Say you went into a shop.  You were looking to buy a television.  You see one that you want and it is priced at £799.00.  You call the assistant over and he proceeds to tell you that if you fill out a little extra paperwork, you can get the television for £550.00.  What do you do?
Well personally, if that was me, I’d fill out the extra paperwork and get the cheaper television.

Although Jimmy Carr was the scapegoat, there are many celebrities who have been using a scheme in order to avoid tax.  This is perfectly legal and is a loop hole in the tax laws.  If I were a millionaire and had been told by my accountant that I could save a fortune, would I do it?  Of course I would.

The same can be said for the large companies such as Starbucks, Amazon etc who are also avoiding paying tax to the UK.  They found the loop holes, they are using them.

I don't see the point in people saying that they are going to boycott Amazon and co until the tax situation is resolved.  What is actually the point?  For the very small amount of people that will actually boycott, not including the "I will boycott, but actually are just saying it" people, the effect to the large companies will be barely visible.
What we need is for the Government to completely redo the taxation laws.  Considering we are in a complete economic crisis, this only makes sense.    There are millions upon millons of pounds there for the taking if only the Government firmed up taxation and closed the loop holes.
The times for the Government protecting their friends and their own interests has to come to an end.  In the age of Twitter, Facebook and blogging, people have found their voice in a number never seen before. 
It's time the Government were held accountable by the people that it serves.   This will only happen if we realise who are the people that are accountable.  It's the law that needs changing, not your coffee provider.