Terry Arthur: Taxation: Presumed Innocent

September 18, 2008 3:23 PM

In The Financial Times of 15th September Associate Editor Philip Stephens writes:

“The bigger problem for the Tories, however, lies in an assumption that the fruits  of economic growth can be readily shared between higher spending on public  services and a rebate to taxpayers.  Even in good times, this formula assumes that  public services take a progressively smaller share of national income.  These are  not good times”.

What an amazing presumption in favour of government!  Two, in fact.  One is the implication that in good times public services should take a higher share of national income.  The other is that in bad times the same principle applies with knobs on.  Of course the dice is first loaded with that word “rebate”.  In other words all money belongs to government in the first instance, to decide how it should be distributed.  And the Tories, of course, love that just as much as the rest of the pols – all of whom ignore or just don’t get the fact that economic growth is strongly and inversely correlated to government expenditure (see for example here on 7th April).


Such myths are rapidly becoming received wisdom, and will certainly be given due emphasis in a government-determined National Curriculum, complete with “Citizenship” and other pro-government nonsenses. 


Indeed, Philip, these are not good times.


Terry Arthur is author of a new book, Crap: A Guide to Politics.

In The Financial Times of 15th September Associate Editor Philip Stephens writes:

“The bigger problem for the Tories, however, lies in an assumption that the fruits  of economic growth can be readily shared between higher spending on public  services and a rebate to taxpayers.  Even in good times, this formula assumes that  public services take a progressively smaller share of national income.  These are  not good times”.

What an amazing presumption in favour of government!  Two, in fact.  One is the implication that in good times public services should take a higher share of national income.  The other is that in bad times the same principle applies with knobs on.  Of course the dice is first loaded with that word “rebate”.  In other words all money belongs to government in the first instance, to decide how it should be distributed.  And the Tories, of course, love that just as much as the rest of the pols – all of whom ignore or just don’t get the fact that economic growth is strongly and inversely correlated to government expenditure (see for example here on 7th April).


Such myths are rapidly becoming received wisdom, and will certainly be given due emphasis in a government-determined National Curriculum, complete with “Citizenship” and other pro-government nonsenses. 


Indeed, Philip, these are not good times.


Terry Arthur is author of a new book, Crap: A Guide to Politics.

Latest Blogs:

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

The sugar tax and the public finances

6:00 AM 05, Dec 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Working for the taxman

6:00 AM 26, Nov 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Further thoughts on the Autumn Statement

4:56 PM 24, Nov 2016 James Price

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Have we had too much austerity?

10:57 AM 23, Nov 2016 Alex Wild