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Stealth taxes

14 comments to Stealth taxes

  • William H. Stoddard

    Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?

    (Bertholt Brecht, “Die Lösung,” 1953)

  • Paul Marks

    Yes William Stoddard – even Mr Brecht could sometimes (rarely – but sometimes) get it right. When the Marxist Soviet puppet regime in East Germany crushed the uprising in Berlin in 1953 he (Mr Brecht) made his ironic comment. Although – that did not stop him being a Marxist and continuing to accept money and perks from a Marxist regime that had shot down unarmed workers in the streets (Bertholt Brecht was an expert at having-it-both-ways).

    As for Stealth Taxes – of course Dr Madsen Pirie is correct, taxation should be open and clear. For example the British practice of including the Sales Tax (VAT) in the price of goods on the shelf is quite wrong – the sales tax should be added at the till (as it is in American States) so that people can see that high prices are the direct result of GOVERNMENT POLICY.

    The same should be true for fuel and electricity – with government taxes clearly itemised.

  • Joseph S

    Imagine itemising the cost of petrol and diesel at the pumps…product + Duty + VAT = £x.xxx per litre.

    Probably why it’s not allowed.

  • llamas

    Interestingly, in the US, retail fuels are not sold this way – pump and marquee prices are “all-in”, including all taxes. The only price breakdowns offered are for cash vs credit, and that is (IIRC) not lawful in some states.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Derek Buxton

    Excellent article Sir, it certainly wanted saying. I just wish the rather stupid government we have would listen! Not a chance, I fear, they will just add more.

  • Philip Scott Thomas

    Next time you shop at Tesco, have a good butcher’s at your till receipt (you have to ask for one; Tesco quite sensibly prints receipts only on request). Each item is given a code letter, and at the bottom is a key explaining the VAT rate charged for that item. It also show the total amount of VAT paid.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Arguably, the real “Stealth Taxes” are the ones that are not even called taxes. Think about Health & Safety Regulations, building regulations, compliance costs, insurance costs for businesses which could get caught in some kind of regulatory morass. All of those “overhead” activities cost money — and in the end, they are all paid for by the man in the street.

    It is tough to get reliable estimates of the costs of all the excessive regulation. It is even harder to find reliable estimates of the cost/benefit ratio of all those regulations. Some regulations do make sense and are worth paying for; but other regulations simply create well-paid office jobs for the Political Class and their hangers-on.

  • Gavin:

    They’re also taxes on time, which are the worst tax of all. In theory, you can make more marginal dollars (or other currency). You can’t make more marginal time.

  • Phil B

    Then there is this:

    http://theferalirishman.blogspot.com/2018/06/read-weep-print-and-keep.html

    It’s an American take on the subject but I doubt that any Western nation is markedly different.

  • Runcie Balspune

    The suppression of the non-taxable limit in line with inflation is the cruelest stealth tax of all, and particularly hypocritical of a government banging on about minimum wage and inequality, how can you keep a straight face and demand a person should be earning a minimum amount … and then take some away from it?

    The only criticism of the video was the “rich people should be paying it” comment, well, if only there were enough truly rich people to cover it all, and there are not, well, not enough who’d be stupid to sit around in the country for very long, the problem is that “rich” becomes a subjective definition and because the sums never add up, a person on lower-middle income becomes “rich” enough to ramp up their tax rate.

    The problem is not tax distribution, the problem is tax – full stop.

    Stop spending so much f*cking money and you wouldn’t have to find it from us. Stuffed snakes and all that …

  • Eric

    The suppression of the non-taxable limit in line with inflation is the cruelest stealth tax of all, and particularly hypocritical of a government banging on about minimum wage and inequality, how can you keep a straight face and demand a person should be earning a minimum amount … and then take some away from it?

    I think there’s an excellent argument to be made that everyone should pay taxes, even if only a token amount. For one thing, people who don’t pay taxes don’t see any reason taxes shouldn’t go up to fund ever more services.

  • Runcie Balspune

    I think there’s an excellent argument to be made that everyone should pay taxes, even if only a token amount.

    Yes, it’s called consumption tax, but that is not a tax on income.

  • jsallison

    ” llamas
    you

    Interestingly, in the US, retail fuels are not sold this way – pump and marquee prices are “all-in”, including all taxes. The only price breakdowns offered are for cash vs credit, and that is (IIRC) not lawful in some states.

    llater,

    llamas”

    Exactamundo, you woolly herbivore, you. If we spelled out how much goes to who, electoral heads would roll. Can’t have that now, can we?

  • jsallison

    ” Runcie Balspune
    June 26, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    I think there’s an excellent argument to be made that everyone should pay taxes, even if only a token amount.

    Yes, it’s called consumption tax, but that is not a tax on income.”

    See fairtax.gov

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