12 April 2011

Delayed Post

This post was left a few days back, unfortunately only saw it today as it had gone to the spam folder. It was not deliberately withheld, but by way of recourse I am publishing it here for comment. It is not my own opinion, but I do think it is an interesting and considered argument and invite comment from other bloggers (and myself when I have a moment).

(From Anon)
The concept of a ‘fair’ taxation rate will always be subjective. The only objective method of taxation is to divide the cost of running the island by the number of its inhabitants, and then for everyone to make exactly the same contribution. The rational argument for this is that everyone is entitled to the same level of services and benefits provided by their taxation, so should pay exactly the same price for those entitlements.

If you are a higher earner (Which despite your rhetoric, does not necessarily exclude you from the ‘plight of being a hard working islander’), do you not think that paying an increasingly larger amount of tax for the same level of entitlements at some point begins to grate ? (Especially when a certain number of people are receiving those same, or in many cases through welfare provision, a higher level of benefits), without making any payment for those benefits themselves. 

Appealing to people’s moral responsibility is not a rational argument. It is an emotional one, and ignores the inequality between payment made and benefit received. Is it fair to ask somebody to pay more simply because they can afford to pay more ? Would you gladly pay five times the price somebody else pays for every product you buy simply because you earn five times their salary ? The reality is that higher earners are already doing this in the price they pay for the ‘product’ provided by the States.

Whether you like it or not, the ‘prioritisation’ of corporate greed actually enables this island to pay for its social needs, whether the taxation is derived from the companies themselves, or from their employees via higher income tax levels because of higher profit margins. (Every profitable business pays tax, even if they don't pay it locally) If you believe that this is wrong, then please ask the States to reduce your salary by the percentage of overall income the government receives, either directly, or indirectly, from the Finance Industry, and then at least you can carry on with a clean conscience, knowing the you are not living a lie by deriving a benefit from the very target of your criticisms.

I do of course understand your concerns and the reality is that there will always be social inequality, however those people paying the larger amounts of tax also see inequality between their contribution, and the level of services they derive, and your argument appears to be that this balance should become even more inequitable.

I hope you will publish this comment as understanding the other side of the issue is often helpful in developing solutions that will work for eveybody.


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