Monday, 4 March 2013

Even wondered why....

In these times of austerity I often wonder:

1. Why a young family on a below average wage pay additional taxes so my wealthy in-laws can have a free TV licence, winter fuel allowance and 'free' bus travel?

2. Why do my wealthy in-laws have to donate the value of these benefits to their Church because the state doesn't allow them to return the value of the Exchequer?

3. Why the British state runs a broadcasting company and taxes people to watch it, regardless of whether they do so or not?

4.  Why so many hard working families are bringing up children in cramped and unsuitable accommodation whilst down the road a single retired pensioner lives alone in two or three bedroom social housing, with his/her rent being subsidised through the taxes paid by the over-crowded family along the street who cannot afford to move?

5. Why people think taxpayers, many poorer than them, should subsidise their parents care / nursing home bills so they can inherit their property?

6. Why do I pay additional tax to subsidise my brother and sister-in-law's child benefit, when my brother-in-law earns four times what I do?

7. Why, if we can charge tourists for the food they buy in the shops, can we not charge them for the treatment they receive in our hospitals?

8. Why do we pay stamp duty when we sell a home which has been paid for out of taxed income?

9. Why is the newly introduced benefit cap of £500 pw still higher than the average working-family earns in Chatham ?

10. Why does the government think higher tobacco tax reduces the desire to smoke, but does not think the same applies to income tax's effect on the desire to work hard.


  1. 11. Why does the government give tax breaks to Buy to Let landlords but does not extend the same treatment to owner occupiers, then subsidise those landlords again through the housing benefit their tenants get?

  2. Ah because the landlords are their friends. The cost of private social housing far outweighs the cost of council houses. BUt then we know who started all that..

  3. "Why do my wealthy in-laws have to donate the value of these benefits to their Church because the state doesn't allow them to return the value of the Exchequer?"

    They can. Send a cheque to "The Accountant", 2 Horse Guards Road, SW1. Include a covering letter giving some idea of what you would like the donation to be spent upon. Not necessary, but possible.

    Last time I looked up the numbers (back in 2007 for a piece in The Times) 5 people had done so the previous year. 4 from estates and one donation from a live person.

    So not a particularly popular thing to do but it most certainly is possible.

    1. Exactly. In my days as civil servant cgeues could be made payable to "the consolidated fund". Quitewhy the myth that the Treasury does not receive donations has gained such currency is a mystery

  4. Number 8 is a rant against all indirect taxation right? Why do we have to pay VAT when we buy things out of taxed income?

    Presumably you'd like to abolish VAT alongside stamp duty?

  5. On 4. Yes it all sounds very reasonable except that uprooting pensioners is likely to be very unpopular with said pensioners (who vote) and their families. Add to that the reality that in many boroughs immigrants tend to have the largest families and the appearance will be that you are adding to the "white flight" which is obvious in London, at least, by moving immigrants into white pensioners houses. Not likely to go down very well either. It may or may not be good economics to move people, but it looks like lousy politics.