While readying words to accompany this Nugget in a Nutshell on taxation I turned up the clearest most concise piece I have yet to read on the subject, by Dominic Frisby, who seamlessly combines his career in financial journalism with that of stand-up comic.
Taxation – in a minute
Did you know that the UK tax code is ten times longer than the complete works of William Shakespeare? I sum it up in a minute on the video, as what it has always been – a funnel shifting wealth from the many to the few.
Why we need to simplify our tax code – Dominic Frisby
Back in August I took a show to the Edinburgh Festival all about tax. Not perhaps the most fertile subject for comedy – HMRC’s cock-ups aside – but I’d concluded that the dearth of media about such an important subject needed to be put right.
Tax is and has always been power. Whether kings, emperors or governments, if they lose their tax revenue, they lose their power. The aim behind every conquest in history has been to take control of the tax base. The purpose of every revolution is pretty much the same. Every war has been funded by some kind of tax, either before or after the event.
Tax permeates everything that we do. It’s as much a part of our lives as eating, drinking or sleeping. Can you name me an activity – apart from breathing – that doesn’t involve taxation in some way?
I know what you are thinking. All you’re doing by that is creating future taxpayers.
The way that a society is taxed speaks volumes about that society. In the UK taxes are taken at source, by stealth, by force and without choice. So, there’s a relationship between taxation and freedom, as well.