There are plenty of alternatives, for a start, there is no reason that any of us should be paying national income tax or into a national insurance scheme, we already pay local tax.
Well it seems that the author of my favourite blog, Stefania Harris, is now turning socialist, labelling the Welfare State a fascist invention and saying that we do not need to pay income tax! Brilliant idea, assuming of course that no one in the UK ever becomes ill, as a large portion of the national insurance that we pay, ends up funding the NHS. That and of course, the army, navy and air force, the police force (although some is collected by council tax), incapacity benefits, pensions and more. Council tax would have to increase by a staggering amount to cover the £290 odd billion that we need in taxes each year.
The problem with only having local government raising taxes without any central government is that the well off areas will do just fine and dandy; whereas the poor areas will be even worse off without the subsidies from central government. I am sure that Stefania Harris would do quite well out of such a plan, however the poor people from the Pakistani/Bangladeshi communities, who are the poorest in the UK, will not be able to raise enough council tax to cover their costs; you see you don’t pay council tax when you are unemployed and these areas also have the highest rates of unemployment in the UK.
This is the problem with people like Stefania Harris and others like her, they are well off and doing well. They don’t see why they have to subsidise the people that aren’t doing so well, like the poor, the disabled, the ethnic minorities and the elderly.
As I said to Stefania Harris though (before she deleted my comment!) I think that the answer lies in true democracy. Voting should be compulsory and easier, with the Internet, TV and telephone voting on issues both locally and nationally should be a straight forward process that anyone can do at any time. People should have more say where their money goes, whether it be spent by the local council or on reforming the NHS. Rule by the people could actually mean that once again, rather than rule by an ‘elected’ elite who decide what is best for everyone else. That will substantially bring down the tax bill, that and allowing the general public to vote on how much MPs should be paid, rather than them deciding for themselves.
She did, almost, make one good point though:
Also the Welfare State offers benefit to the long term unemployed for an indefinite period, a local government should have zero unemployment, if people are capable of work there is always work that the community requires on community owned property, so instead of paying unemployment benefit, everyone who is out of work could be employed by the local government doing genuine and necessary work for the community.
Quite similar to some of the things that I have suggested in the past. Hmm, has she been reading my blog?