The cry goes on.
I read an article by Paul Johnson, a director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, something I’ve been subscribing for a number of years, where he ridicules our system of taxation and quite rightly. It is both complicated and unfair. But what chance and how long will it take for the system to actually be put right.
Well there has been two reports, one was the Meade Report again published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies in 1978 and the Mirrlees Review in 2011. In fact, Mr. Johnson was a contributor to the Mirrlees Review.
Now, the Meade Report dealt mainly with direct taxation and most of the recommendations made by the learned professor have been adapted by governments at various paces and times.
The Mirrlees Review actually deals with indirect and direct taxation and tries to cover the whole board, so to speak.
I’ve been passionately aware that the tax system is both, as I say, unfair and complicated. I have pushed time and time again for a simpler tax system.
Well it was 30 years between the reports basically or thereabouts before further information, again pushed by the Institute of Fiscal Studies – much to their credit – that there are further proposals to consider, but I fear it may be another 30 years before we actually get the benefit of those recommendations.
A number of years ago a meeting took place at Cambridge, again set up by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, to discuss the proposed Keith Report.
We were appalled at the proposals put forward and the powers being given to HMRC which today are quite normal, so one can soon get used to what appears to be quite outlandish a few years ago to becoming normal today.
My problem is, unfortunately the poor cannot wait because year by year the unfair tax system is persistently propped up by people who cannot really afford it but the time it takes for the various recommendations to be even discussed let alone put into action is abominable.
I have included the link to the article by Paul Johnson below.