It isn't often that I applaud a rise in taxes. But if tax is going to rise in modern day Britain, then it is best that the burden is spread fairly. VAT is a tax on expenditure, equivalent, I believe, to sales tax in the US. There is no VAT on books, newspapers, food (unless from a restaurant or takeaway) or children's clothes, so no real hardship incurred by a VAT rise. The alternative to raising VAT is to tax so-called "high earners" like me directly through income tax, as if I don't pay enough already into a system that gives me nothing. VAT, on the other hand, is also paid by so-called "poor" people.
Note the inverted commas - quotation marks to Americans - and the "so-called". In the UK "poor" people are cossetted by welfare, while "high earners" (defined as 40% taxpayers) work extra hard to cosset them, and are fleeced for their pains. Now read this comment by "Monty" at Harry's Place, where there is much bleating about a £400 per week cap on housing benefit, introduced by the Tory-LibDem coalition:
That’s £20,000 a year. If an average taxpayer wanted to rent a place at that level he would have to be earning upwards of £30K just to pay his rent, tax and stamp and nothing else. £50K minimum if you include council tax, subsistence, utility bills, insurance, running a car or paying fares, pension contributions, a modest lifestyle.
If you have no-one in your household bringing in a wage to pay the rent and bills, you shouldn’t be allowed to choose to live in an area with astronomical rental costs and pass the burden onto taxpayers who could never afford for themselves, what they are giving to you.
People who support their own households and pay their taxes, generally accept that their wish list has to be reconciled with their means. They travel many miles to and from work so they can live in an affordable area. Their children have to share a bedroom. They might not have a garden, or a car, or a holiday. Many would like to add to their family, but can’t afford for the Missus to give up her job. When the kids grow up, they downsize to a smaller house or flat so they can clear the mortgage and maybe set some money aside for savings/pension. They dread being laid off, but they have calculated exactly what their severance payment will be, and whether it will be enough to clear their overdraft. They can’t afford early retirement, but when they do retire, their pensions will be taxed. Many HP’ers will recognise this. It’s normal.
So long as you don’t ever lift a finger to help yourself, you can expect to be cossetted on Cloud Nine Street in Mayfair, while the bin men Salford and the dinner ladies of Workington get their pay docked to support your “needs”.
That’s not a safety net. It’s a state sponsored extortion racket.
Quite so. "Poor" people, having everything paid for them, can afford the latest flat screen telly, the latest trainers and the latest mobile phone without lifting a finger. If they have to pay 20% VAT, rather than 17.5%, all well and good.
Another matter, touched on in Monty's comment, is that workers, as opposed to "poor" people, must limit the size of their families. Why doesn't the Government introduced a limit on taxpayer-funded breeding - in other words, "poor" families should get two children's worth of benefit and no more? That would limit the growth of layabouts and Muslims, many of whom are one and the same.
"Poor" people, the party's over. Deal with it. And here's a thought - get off your backside and work.