Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Not too taxing

I sat through the whole tax debate and was pleasantly surprised by the ease with which the commission's proposals were agreed. This was clearly not just a deference vote, but reflected the greater substance of the speeches in favour of the unamended proposals.

However appealing higher tax rates for higher earners may sound, at some point one has to face the reality of diminishing returns. The punitive tax regime of the pre-1979 Labour government simply meant that tax exile and avoidance was more common.

Nigel Lawson used to boast that by reducing tax rates he increased the tax take, because it became less cost-effective to avoid paying tax. All this puts me in mind of George Orwell's comment that 'some things are true even if they are printed in the Daily Telegraph'.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe the ultimate originator of this expression to be Augustine of Hippo, who said 'The water of life is the water of life though it flow from the mouth of a dead dog', or words to that effect, during the Donatist controversy. Orwell's version is admittedly snappier.