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Autumn Statement 2013: What George Osborne should have said... by Dominic Frisby

Tom Winnifrith
Wednesday 11 December 2013

This is a great piece by my pal Dominic Frisby. It is bang on the money:

Our tax code is 11,000 pages long. That is too long. By about 10,990 pages I'd say. Its size and complexity make blunders and fraud inevitable. 

But it's worse than that.  Our system of tax is immoral, it is inconsistent and it creates inequality. 

So I am simplifying it. Here's how. 

Why should the individual worker pay more tax than the company? Why should the multi-national corporation with an army of accountants employed solely to deal with the taxman receive better treatment than the local small businessman? Why should any group receive special favour? That is not capitalism, that is not socialism, it is not social democracy - it is crony capitalism. 

From now on, in the name of equality, simplicity and efficiency, individuals and corporations will be taxed at the same rate. We will have a simple flat rate of tax across the board. 

Excess taxation creates three Fs - Fight, Flight and Fraud, as Charles Adams notes. We have all three in abundance. We have Fight, Flight and Fraud, because we have excessive taxation. 

So the flat rate of tax will be just 15 per cent. 

People spend and invest their money better than governments do. We restore people's moral right to keep the profits of their endeavour. 

People are happier to pay tax when they perceive it as fair. Overseas investment will flood here - to benefit from our talented and newly motivated workforce. And government revenue will actually increase with these lower tax rates. 

Meanwhile, government obligations will fall. With more money in their pockets, people will be able to buy for themselves the services for which they now depend on government. 

There shall be no more quantitative easing, I have told Mr Carney. We do not need to print money and give it to banks to lend out to get the economy turning. This is just giving banks special favour - more stuff of crony capitalism. Instead we let people keep the money they have earned. Their own spending and investment will grow the economy. And the growth will be genuine, not built on bubbles, finance and malinvestment. 

We live on just 7 per cent of the land. Only 2.5 per cent of land is actually built on. A decent house can be built for less than a £100,000. Yet over fifty per cent of young people believe they will never own a house, and the average age of the first-time buyer in London is now over 40. He or she'll be a pensioner before they can start a family. What insanity is this? 

We abolish this nonsense that is Help to Buy. Or, as we like to call, it Help to Debt. 

And we introduce a simple land value tax. We do not tax their labour, we tax people on the land they use. We do not tax production, we tax consumption. If you are one of the 1 per cent who owns 70 per cent of the land in this country, you will pay tax on that land. If you do not wish to pay tax on it, then sell the land pass to someone who will. 

The unearned wealth that is the land shall be distributed fairly and equally. And people will be able to build houses for themselves. 

The administration of this tax will be simple. It is transparent and honest. 

We have drawn from the example of Singapore, whose tax rates are low and simple. It ranked the second most competitive country in the world, and it has the highest rank in terms of trust in politicians. It has the third highest GDP per capita, after Qatar and Luxembourg. 

Low tax, flat tax, simple tax and land value tax. Why on earth has it taken us so long to get here? 

I thank you". 

 Life After The State the new book by Dominic Frisby was described by Tom Winnifrith as a "thoughtful analysis of our road to destruction and a blue-print for alvation...and it is very funny indeed" The book is available at Amazon. An audiobook version is available here.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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