Tuesday 23 March 2004

How to abolish tax

The IEA's John Blundell wants Edinburgh City Council to pay us a dividend instead of charging council tax. This would be achieved through mass privatisation of city services. This seems to be an excellent idea. Even I would concede that the Blundell plan would give us a small government:
My ideal local authority would have no more than three employees: A manager to put everything out to tender; a lawyer to check the contract details and a book-keeper to pay the dividend out to every citizen.
Once we get down to three bureaucrats we can look for further cuts. Surely the legal and the bookkeeping functions can be contracted out?

I do have one little quibble with Mr Blundell's article:

Edinburgh City Council has a budget of £790m to service the 450,000 population. But only 91 per cent of citizens pay this tax, and 96 per cent of businesses.
Maybe 91% of citizens send cheques to the City Council, but that doesn't mean that they have all paid "tax". No one who lives on welfare or who works for the state pays tax: it's merely a bookkeeping entry. I'd be surprised if the true level of taxpaying in Scotland extends to much beyond half of the population.