Showing posts with label tax. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tax. 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.

16 May 2014

A Dangerous Precedent

Now and again I will write an opinion piece on my blog about something that I feel strongly about.  Most recently it was my yearly post that I write about the Grand National. 

My aim was to create a bit more awareness regarding the number of horses that die as a result of horse racing.  I wanted to dissuade people from betting but as with everything, you can only present the facts and let people make up their own minds.

When I published my Grand National post this year I received a comment on Twitter asking why I bothered even writing it, as most would never read it and even less would change their minds.  My response was that I would rather speak up and put my opinion forward rather than keep silent.  Silence accomplishes nothing.

I know that mine is only a tiny voice, speaking out amidst a sea of other voices and opinions, but I would always rather say what I think than keep quiet.  Did I change anyone’s mind this year about horseracing?  I don’t know, but I’m still glad I wrote it.

So here I am today, with another opinion. 

UKIP.  When I see a party like UKIP, I truly get scared for the country.  You do not have to be a political genius to see that voting for them would send the country down a path going backwards in time and to places that are beyond our imaginations.

One of the problems however is that unlike the BNP and EDL who carry a thug mentality with them for which they are infamous for, UKIP have that most dangerous of things, an outwardly nice looking veneer.  The head of their party looks like Rupert the Bear.  Harmless.   The man standing for UKIP in my area is an ex local police constable.  Trustworthy.

I’m not going to give you the whys and wherefores about why you shouldn’t vote UKIP.  It is each person’s decision to vote for whom they choose.  All I really want to say is actually look into who you are voting for.  See what they stand for.  What their policies are.

I’m unfortunately from a place where the BNP always won seats and carried favour with many (absolutely not me).  The problem was, just as is the problem with people voting for UKIP now, is that people are seeing one particular point that they agree with, usually about immigration, and voted accordingly.  They don’t look at the bigger picture.

I was talking to someone recently who had decided to vote UKIP.  Their reason was purely because of their immigration stance.  When I mentioned other points that UKIP want to bring in, such as scrapping maternity pay and introducing a flat tax system, their face went blank.  This is why voting without research is dangerous.  

Whilst people need to vote and not simply give up on the system; they also need to think.

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.