Income / Wealth Tax Simplification
I once wrote a mod for Quake that allowed fiends to run along walls and ceilings in the manner of aliens in the Alien Versus Predator game. The code worked pretty well, apart from one part: how to decide which angle to draw the fiend facing.
That bit of code was a nightmare. I threw everything at it - I hacked and hacked and hacked, adding tweaks here, taking away angles there, guestimating everywhere. It was a total mess, an utter botch job, with lines cancelling each other out, doing the same thing twice, with arbitrary decisions taken as to where and when which angles should be set how. It worked, after a fashion, but not very well, and really not very efficiently.
Is this reminding you of anything yet?
You probably know already that there is more tax law in the Commons library than one person could read in a lifetime. This strikes me as a little bit silly. Combined with the vast number of different means-tested (or not) benefits available, it seems that the current tax and benefits system is much like that fiend drawing routine.
Here's an idea: let's tax everybody at two simple rates - one on income, and one on wealth. Since the basic rate of income tax is 20%, and NI is ~10%, let's have a flat rate of income tax of 30% on all income between £5k and £500k. To pull a second number out of my arse, let's have a wealth tax of 1% on all assets between £50k and £5m.
Combine that with a Citizen's Income of £5k, paid as per my earlier post about children and stakeholder grants, and then abolish:
- National insurance
- Inheritance tax
- Capital gains tax
- Council tax
- Jobseekers' allowance
- Housing benefit
- Council tax benefit (obviously)
- Incapacity benefits (and make lots of services for the disabled available free on the NHS, such as care and transportation services)
- Child benefit
- Public funding for universities (perhaps excluding the Open University)
- Student loans
- There are surely more...?