May 2012 24

WE ALL know the moral arguments for taxation: it pays for police, roads, hospitals and other vital services. But there is a moral case against taxation too – and a surprisingly strong one.

First, while most of us would happily make some voluntary contribution to essential services, it is only the threat of prison that makes us stump up taxes at today’s eye-watering levels. Tax is extracted by force – and the use of force is an evil we want to minimise. That puts an awesome responsibility on governments to ensure that every penny they extract through coercion is spent wisely. Waste and bureaucracy are not just a drain on the economy – they are a moral outrage.

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Britain's independent grassroots campaign for lower taxes

  • Blarg1987

     I agree tax payers money needs to be spent efficently and there needs to be a culture change of social responsibility.

    However the alternative you are suggesting is people choose what services they want and pay for it, this would not work.

    What woukd happen is people would see a service like health care and think I am young and healthy therefore I do not need to pay, they carry on this mantra for most of their lives then one day they are diagnosed with cancer, they will have to pay for this themselves, since they can not afford it they are kicked out of their home and live on the streets then die.

    Now if we are all as long term thinkers as some people may suggest would we have privatised our utilities and rail companies, and under invested in public services for years only to have to pay substanatially more to bring them up to scratch? I think the ansewer is no.

    Some people need protecting from themselves and that is what the tax system does to an extent.

    On another note, most of the technology you are using was probabaly paid for by tax payers R and D which led to the private sector to innovate. A company will not invest if there is no profit in it, in whcih case I get the feeling our whole societry would slowly stagnate.