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The truths they don't want you to read....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New taxation powers

A Good Thing or A Missed Opportunity?

Well, I could tell you a lot more if the Inland Revenue had been paid to keep up the system maintenance and provide us with more information about tax yield by (easily, cheaply & crudely) flagging Scottish taxpayers.

That niggle aside, any form of reduced dependency has got to be welcomed, even if cautiously, as a step forward.

Assuming the Scottish Government is ready, willing and able to accept this.  Emphasis on able.

But let's look at the anomolies in the meantime.

Scottish tax liability can be determined by the postcode of the home address, so that (for example) pensioners are dealt with by a Cardiff tax office, but that tax yield can be attributed to Scotland.

The Chairman of the Lloyds TSB receives pay relating to a UK wide performance, but because he doesn't live in Scotland, none of that income is attributed to Scotland.

Now, these sums may just balance themselves out - although I suspect not - in the event of the Scottish tax rates increasing, then Scottish tax payers will buy a property in England or Wales and designate it as their principal residence (as required by the taxes acts) and avoid Scottish taxation.

Conversely, and this is known as the Laffer Curve, by reducing tax rates, more will 'move here' and pay lower rates but generate more for the Scottish Government, much like the Irish Economy (deceased) lowered Corporation Tax to attract Dell, Shire and a host of others to move to Ireland and fund the crazy boom and bust.

It's not about the powers, so much as how you use them.  If you are scared of using them - as opposed to consciously and deliberately not using them - then you don't deserve to be in power. Or is that 'in office'.

It's a big step forward; if our politicians can be trusted to use them appropriately.

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