Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Monday, 3 March 2008

OK, I'm Listening...

Those of you who were with me in early January will know that I was distinctly unimpressed with the launch of the Libertarian Party. I'd been hoping for something a bit further advanced that a couple of web pages. Like a few policies, for example. And some evidence that they would be different. Well, now we've got it.

The first policy proposal is the abolition of income tax. Now, before you all write this off as lunacy, consider this. Apparently income tax raised £143bln in 2006/07. Total government expenditure in the same year was 534bn, which constituted a rise of £156bn from the levels of government spend seen as recently as 2001/2. And can anyone around here identify any specific benefits that have accrued from that hike ?

I remain to be convinced about this idea. I'd be concerned that it may be overly regressive. The article I link to above argues that it would help the poorest taxpayers and encourage work by increasing the benefit of paid employment over-and-above welfare payments. I haven't done the maths and I'm not going to. I haven't checked the taxation and expenditure figures quoted above, and I'm not going to do that, either. And the idea that this can all be done within two years seems a trifle optimistic.

What I do know is that government expenditure - and hence taxation - is at a ridiculous level and the ever-increasing influence of the State carries profound risks for our prosperity and freedom. There is a seemingly endless ratchett effect at play and no one in "maintstream" politics has the will or the imagination to do anything about it. Something has got to change, and it needs to be radical. This is radical. Interestingly Iain Dale has kindly given it some free publicity on his own blog and has slated it, without raising one coherent argument against it. In the comments a number of other Conservative Party sympathisers have done the same thing. That in itself should tell us something.

Anyway, the Libertarian Party has done one thing if nothing else; it's got my ear.

1 comment:

Shades said...

...but has it got your Tenner?