Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Someone’s Got To Pay The Taxes Even If Labour Councils Don’t Collect From The Favoured

If we’re going to have government that swallows a significant portion of everyone’s incomes – and some vast chunk like one third of everything everyone does – then non-collection of taxes from certain favoured groupings is going to mean more tax being paid by everyone else. This seems obvious enough. And of course this is an argument used over there on the left. That if the rich don’t pay their “fair share” then everyone else has to dig deeper.

The point being that the left aren’t pure and sin free on this point either. They just have a different favoured group within the same argument:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Homeowners are having to pay higher council tax in Labour-controlled areas because up to one in ten bills is allowed to go unpaid, new figures show. In the worst-hit areas Labour councils have unpaid council tax bills of up to £100 million, the equivalent of £439 for every household. It means that people who do pay their bills are being forced to subsidise those who do not, as councils have to increase council tax across the board to make up for the shortfall. The 10 local authorities with the worst council tax collection rates in England are all Labour-run, as are the 10 councils with the biggest cumulative council tax arrears. [/perfectpullquote]

There’s a certain amusement here at who that favoured group is. Time was when Labour saw themselves – hell, they were – the champions of the respectable working classes. The proletariat to use the language of those a little further left than Labour. They were as horrified at the idea of people just refusing to work because of welfare as anyone else. These days they’re rather the party of the lumpenproletariat, no? Those using the state as a lifestyle choice rather than a safety net. But that’s just an observation as an aside.

The real lesson here is that even those Labour run councils think the tax burden is too high. No, really, think through it. The most obvious sign that the peeps think taxes is too high is a mass refusal to pay those taxes. Revealed preferences and all that. Tax dodging is that very proof of the views of the people. When the people charged with doing the collecting agree with that estimation then they’ll not be harsh in doing the collecting.

So, what is it that we’ve got here? Some significant section of the population refusing to pay a legal levy. That is proof that that section think the levy is too high. Labour run councils aren’t being harsh – the law is such that it is indeed possible to squeeze council tax out of people if you are prepared to squeeze – enough to collect the sums owed on that legal levy. Those not doing the squeezing must think that the levy is too harsh.

The unpaid council tax bills are proof that even Labour councils think taxation is too high. At which point the answer is obvious, no? We should have less taxation and thus less government.

No, really, think on it. If all agreed that we had only the just and righteous amount of government there would be no tax dodging, would there? Nor anyone allowing it. The existence of unpaid tax bills is thus proof perfect that taxes are too high, we’ve too much government.

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Andrew Carey
Andrew Carey
2 years ago

There is some incompetence at play too. If you hire poor staff, or don’t train your staff well, then you won’t get the right people registering for Council Tax promptly and claiming discounts they’re entitled to ( e.g. if a student doesn’t claim their exemption, and absconds without paying, it counts as uncollected tax ). We also have the evidence from the Council Tax support people that getting people on JSA or equivalent to pay more than 20% of the charge is counter-productive. You just don’t get the revenue to cover the extra costs of collection. And then there’s the… Read more »

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