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Old 09-14-2011, 04:30 PM   #24 (permalink)
Arragonis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thymeclock View Post
Not everyone has income, so the question is not universally relevant...
I'm confused - maybe.

This could stray into politics though, I'm trying to steer it away but apologies if I don't.

Here (UK - Scotland) I pay income tax which varies with the amount from 0% to 20%, 40% and ultimately 50% of my salary (I don't earn enough for the last 2 BTW). I don't see the tax money as it is taken before I actually get any money. It's called PAYE, Pay As You Earn - a nice, friendly way of uk.gov taking my money bit my bit.

ON TOP of that I also pay National Insurance - actually so do my employers for the benefit of employing me - which is supposed to pay for the NHS and my state pension. It actually goes to pay the pensions of people who are getting them now. And anyway some of my income tax also pays for that as NI is not enough - older population nowadays.

I also pay VAT (sales tax) of 20% on most things I buy - some exceptions include food and childrens clothes, up to age 12 I think - which is just odd. Also oddly I don't pay VAT on takeaway food but I do on food when I eat in - so if I go to McDonald's and take my food out it is 20% cheaper than if I sit in. Actually thats not too bad a deal But as I eat at McD's once a decade maybe not.

VAT is also charged on domestic bills so thats phone, internet, gas, electricity. For fuel specifically (diesel and petrol) I pay a "special" fuel tax which more or less doubles the price, oh and then I pay VAT on the total including this tax - double bubble for uk.gov. Again that pays for the NHS and so on.

I also pay a property tax of around 1500 a year which is for the local council, and in Scotland includes some other charges such as water supply and waste removal (sewers). In some places water charges are based on usage (i.e. a meter) but here in Scotland we still have a government owned national water supplier.

My local taxes are also supposed to pay for all local services such as fire, police, education etc. but of course there isn't enough so actually councils get about 75% of their money from the government, i.e. my taxes. Less of course the cost of administering the millions of ways councils can get money. There is also a second hit on this "administration" because the uk government collects all taxes and then passes the scottish bit to the McGovernment which then passes it to councils.

I wish I had trained as an accountant - seems a secure number to me.

As many people from history have suggested, the only things we can rely on happening to us are birth, death and taxation. Taxation seems an established (there are records of it circa 5000 BC) required evil of living in civilisation of any kind so I don't begrudge the idea of taxation itself.

What level it should be and what it should be paying for is a debate - here I like the NHS but in the US this is not as popular - that is a difference, as is the argument about whether people without kids should pay for education - I think they should and I did before I had any children and before I planned to.

What we can agree with is that we all want our taxes to pay for the services that are required and for nothing more - the cake but no icing. In the US that means the examples Frank gave, and others no doubt - here it is expense claiming MPs and public sector union bosses on 0.5m a year renumeration, and council cheifs earning more than the prime minister that make me wonder where it is all going.

And thats before I start noting the additional charges on things like my energy bills to pay for "green stuff" which is usually useless, or like domestic recycling - even though it would be more efficient (and cost less) if we just dumped waste in a bin and let the waste collection companies sort it out.

Same sh*t, different continent.
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