Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Lib Dem Minister makes a fair point

From the BBC:

[Stephen Williams] also took issue with his department's insistence that authorities raising council tax by more than 2% must hold a referendum to get public backing.

"A referendum on tax rises is absurd," he said. "If we had it for income tax, VAT, then the country would probably grind to a halt."

What sort of pseudo-democracy is it where people have a veto if the council wants to increase their council tax by more than £20 or £30 per household per year (thus indirectly voting for corresponding increases in other taxes), but weren't even consulted when the government increased their VAT bils by an average of £300 - £400 per household per year or their National Insurance bills by an average of £600 - £800 per working household per year?

Clearly, his concluding remark about the country grinding to a halt is nonsense, but there you go.


Ben Jamin' said...

Prop 13 stuffed California.

Even so, not even the most dastardly Republican would have come up with the Poll Tax/Council Tax.

Mark Wadsworth said...

BJ, if we had a fair and well-informed referendum on raising the same fixed amount of tax (be that a large or a small amount) and the choices were:
- Poll Tax
- Income Tax

and everybody simply voted for the tax which gave him the lowest bill, then LVT would win.

That's not to say that everybody would pay less under LVT (in the short term), but for more than half of people, LVT-only would give them the lowest tax bill.

That's basic maths and has to do with skewness of distributions and so on.

Lola said...

MW - and people like me who undertstood LVT and how it would massively benefit me and mine in the medium to long run would also vote for LVT

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, I don't expect too many people to vote against their own interests i.e. voluntarily choose a system where they and their families end up worse off. The nice thing is that LVT benefits the vast majority, and almost certainly you.

Bayard said...

Mark, Yup, if we had democracy, we'd have LVT.

Lola said...

LVT has two clear factors to hasten its adoption. It is hated by the government and by landowners/homeownerists. And for the same reason. It is transparent and in yer face. All in all, that has to be a very big reason to adopt it.