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Tax.... what is everyone’s problem with it?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by eviled, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. Angilion

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 5, 2003

    Posts: 16,600

    Location: Just to the left of my PC

    That "problem" is easily solved by reducing disparity in income. Full on idealistic hyper-communism with everyone paid the same income would result in everyone paying the same tax. I doubt if that would be popular amongst the wealthy who complain about a sliding tax scale.
     
  2. Angilion

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 5, 2003

    Posts: 16,600

    Location: Just to the left of my PC

    Which is what is actually happening with PAYE.

    That's because you're not psychologically committed to what is effectively just a score in a game of comparative status. The fact that it is just a score is demonstrated by the disconnect between it and actual income that you refer to. To someone who doesn't see it as a score, a way of measuring status, their actual income is what matters. To someone who sees it as a score, a way of measuring status, their score is what matters. Even though it's not real. To them, (2000-500) is more than 1500 because 2000 is more than 1500. It's silly, but homo sapiens is often not very sapiens. Anyone who is employed isn't actually paying any income tax at all - their employer is paying it. The employer just adds the tax they pay to each employee's score to bump it up for bragging rights.

    I don't even know how much income tax my employer pays and adds to my score. It's not my money. I have no interest in claiming status based on it, so I don't care.
     
  3. martin363

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 18, 2012

    Posts: 453

    Location: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

    Without reading the whole thread - The problem with (UK / Western) tax is that the tax burden on the UK citizen is huge compared to many other countries. This tax burden is compounded by the reality that Western (UK) approaches to tax make the 'established' western countries uncompetitive in the global markets, so they actually have to take more tax (on annually declining GDP expressed as a global %) to continue to maintain services (eg NHS), and it has created a race to the bottom for the UK.

    The reason that the UK, US, EU etc. get so wound up about everyone paying tax globally is because in many other countries citizens don't really pay tax, which means they can take home more of their pay packet (and often more than the UK take home) whilst companies effectively pay them less. The net result is that the UK and West continues to remain entirely uncompetitive when it comes of global manufacturing and many services. The UK is trying to level the playing field by insisting tax is paid globally (via attacking big corporates, off shore accounts, trade agreements etc)., but this is a minority position globally.

    This will no doubt be derided as nonsense by some, but having lived and worked in Asia for the last 15 years I can state that many skilled workers (by no means all, but many) in Asia now take home more for the same jobs as individuals in the UK, but are effectively 'paid less'. This maintains the competitivity of the Asian country / workforce in the global market. Taxes are raised by other means, eg. taxes on corporate profit, the take of which is much higher as a result of much greater local profitability, but is still levelled at a similar or lower % than western markets, so everyone locally wins and maintains competitive attractiveness.
    Additionally a lot of western tax take goes to funding western debt, often to Asian countries (who further profit), so the net is that the Asian countries need less tax take, but have a cash surplus every year, whilst the western countries are floundering and borrowing more and more which inevitably requires a larger % tax take from the individual to maintain 'standards'..... big issues and a long term downward spiral for the UK.

    In Vietnam (where I live currently) when we have beer conversations many Vietnamese are astonished by how little the average annual UK take home pay is, and how much tax UK workers pay, and yet the UK is ridiculously expensive to live in. VAT is 10% here as another example of tax disparity and petrol is about $0.9 per litre. Successful countries don't have to tax the population heavily to deliver services and growth, but declining economies have to tax the population harder to maintain standards...

    The UK isn't in recession, but its economy is globally underperforming, and has been for 40 years. This is why the tax take is so extreme on the UK citizen, and there is an ongoing struggle to maintain services, which will only get worse. Wars used to happen for oil, now they are happening for economics.

    I would have to earn maybe 50% more for the same job in the UK, to take home what I do here, but I pay all my taxes. I can then choose what services and insurances I want to spend my income on.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  4. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 65,209

    I would say that is only half the picture - a lot of those countries simply don't have the level of services we have in the UK and can be more competitive in things like manufacturing because the level of lifestyle someone can afford for their take home pay is comparatively much less.
     
  5. martin363

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 18, 2012

    Posts: 453

    Location: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

    I actually disagree with this. In the UK you are 'forced' to pay for services you may never use or need. In many countries the skilled worker can choose what insurances and services they wish to cover themselves for, and take responsibility for this if the choose not to. The burden of responsibility is on the individual, not the state as in the UK. the ironic thing is via the tax system the UK has become the state controlling government they always derided in the cold war, and has to be paid for by the worker.
     
  6. Efour

    Caporegime

    Joined: Sep 8, 2005

    Posts: 25,147

    Location: Norrbotten, Sweden.

    I completely agree with all of this.
    I don't think many, or not enough to really be an issue, begrudge paying. What most dislike is avoidance and corporations with loopholes and hideous wasted and miss spending of the bottomless pit of money.
     
  7. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 65,209

    The problem for me with that model is people that don't fit in nicely with the mainstream profile(s) end up falling down the cracks - you rarely see the people in real desperate situations like you do in other countries in the UK (for all some people have it tough in this country). I would many times rather pay for services I don't use than live in a society where people suffer through no fault of their own.
     
  8. martin363

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 18, 2012

    Posts: 453

    Location: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

    But the real point is this - the UK system of taxation and services for all is unsustainable. This is why the UK tax burden on the individual is so large (and necessarily growing), and why longer term it is unsustainable. What you wish to avoid, people suffering though no fault of their own will be unavoidable and extreme in the UK in the future. The system is unsustainable and must either change to align with other less costly models, or ultimately collapse. No one really believe the NHS will continue to exist as it does in another 50 years.
     
  9. Bear

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 24, 2002

    Posts: 12,419

    Location: Bucks and Edinburgh

    I don't have a problem with paying tax and wouldn't mind paying more if we got better services up to a point. What gets my goat are people that generally pay the least in are most vocal about avoidance and people paying their share and yet, if they get a sniff that they could receive a nice inheritance, all of a sudden it's unfair.
     
  10. theone8181

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 27, 2013

    Posts: 3,707

    As someone who doesn't earn as much as some of you on here, i.e. i'm in the 30-40K bracket, i don't think tax is that much at all really. I did find it frustrating when i was made redundant a decade ago and i couldn't even get my mortgage paid for as my wife works, but if we rented then it gets covered, but other than that its a fair system. I do live in yorkshire so unlike you southerners, housing is pretty reasonably priced:D.
     
  11. eviled

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 25, 2016

    Posts: 601

    @martin363 not sure that Vietnam has a comparable standard of living compared to UK, while it is an improving economy but you only have to look at health life expectancy, child mortality and the number of people who leave the country to access medical care to realise that their model too isn’t sustainable.

    Having lived and worked briefly in sub Saharan Africa I can tell you that in general you might not pay any tax but then don’t necessarily have roads, stable basic services, fire, police, basic safety.

    Other European countries operate successful healthcare systems so I don’t agree with you that ours isn’t sustainable, we even have the most efficient health care service in the world
     
  12. martin363

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 18, 2012

    Posts: 453

    Location: Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

    Agree generally with you first paragraph - though Vietnam (and Asia) is growing and developing services rapidly, and making a GDP surplus, whilst the UK isn't.
    The UK is trying to maintain services of ever increasing cost (NHS, benefits system etc.), with an ever increasing tax burden and debt mountain and unfortunately a poor GDP growth.
    The tax burden on the UK individual, and the UK tax system as a whole and the general (un)competitiveness of the UK (which is only going to get worse as wages rise and the UK becomes more insular) is a problem.
    The UK services are generally bloated against the UK economic reality, and in reality barely affordable to the country in their present form and likely unaffordable in the future.
    You cannot increase taxes, and increase debt forever with out some change, or seismic shock, unless the country undergoes rapid economic growth, which again seems unlikely.
     
  13. moon man

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 17, 2003

    Posts: 2,577

    Location: St Breward Cornwall

    ,
    oh i really am at the bottom of the pay scale on gd ,think i earnt around 17k last year (i dont have mortgage ,bought for cash after moving down from yorkshire in 2014) ,made redumdant late july but went to spain for 6 weeks (32 days doing camino)
    dont think i will pay tax this year (or will get it refunded April) im on with an agency as jsa is such a joke while i look for a job i want. (with hours that dont interfere with my surf time)
    just want to say that alot of low earners with kids dont pay any tax as the effectively get it back in tax credits and usually more than they put in
    edit /as for council tax ,i have to walk to the bottom of a very steep hill with my bin bags and,pay for own private road 1/4 mile maybe to be repaired including any pipes
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  14. Kemik

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 7, 2005

    Posts: 4,798

    Location: Widnes

    I'm not sure you understand the difference between avoidance and evasion. For example, how do you want HMRC to chase people avoiding tax by contributing to their pension?

    Per my earlier post, HMRC often takes a different view to the taxpayer for complex areas of legislation. That is why the tax legislation is so lengthy. In some cases HMRC and the taxpayer take a different view to the EU! (See CFC State Aid investigation).
     
  15. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 30,354


    I have thought about this as well. If salaries were all listed as net then I thik the stigma would go away. Selfish people are far to focusedd on what they imagine the state is taking away rather than the actual increases in their salary as they earn more.
     
  16. ANDARIAL

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 6,061

    Location: Woolyback Country

    BEST post in this thread imho :D:D:D
     
  17. Juicy Jama

    Gangster

    Joined: Sep 3, 2019

    Posts: 137

    Coming from South Africa I have no issue with tax. Back there we got +- the same amount coming off of our salary, however the difference is we never saw any benefit of it, everything ended up in government pockets.. Whether you use the public services or not. In SA you pay for it and get nothing. Here you pay for it and if you would like to use it you have the ability to do so.
     
  18. Rossi~

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 5, 2010

    Posts: 19,444

    I don't mind taxes, would happily pay more, providing the system scaled better with income, business paid in more fairly and they were used correctly/efficiently in the end.
     
  19. Pudney

    Soldato

    Joined: Sep 6, 2005

    Posts: 5,466

    Location: Essex

    Sunday is American Football night, this is a long thread already for half a day...

    I partly agree with Kemik, I have no problems with our tax system, particularly the progressive rates. I rarely hear a good argument from those paying higher tax rates why they shouldn't have to (and I get to hear a lot of reasons). Increased simplicity would be good though, as it would make the whole collection/enforcement process a lot easier.

    The most irritating part of our tax system though is when you see HMRC chasing other government departments for money (obviously they have to as they need to treat all taxpayers equally). That is literally our government spending money to get money from another branch of itself. The net cash is zero (generally it is anyway), with staff on both sides having to spend time on it.
     
  20. Quartz

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Apr 1, 2014

    Posts: 9,425

    Location: Aberdeen