A recent survey (so usual caveats apply) suggests that Britons are becoming increasingly intolerant of the previous 13 years of tax and spend by the Labour government – and appears to be continued by the present one.
Britons are less willing than ever to pay higher taxes to support the National Health Service, schools or the environment, a new survey suggests.
Now two things interest me in this story. The first is that if this is true, then there is hope yet. People really do see through all the leftist bollocks about high taxes being a good thing. Perhaps, just perhaps, the populace really have seen the light and notice that hmg merely takes huge wads of cash from our back pockets to piss it up the wall – or, as mentioned in a throwaway comment on Garrow’s Law this week – a politician cannot manage the public purse without siphoning some of the cash into his own. Ahem…
The other thing that interests me is the BBC’s stance on reporting it. Whereas I – and possibly you – see the reluctance to be mugged by the government as a good thing, the BBC puts a whole different spin on it. Indeed, their headline says it all:
Britons ‘less willing to pay for taxes to help others’
It’s got nothing to do with “helping others”. Taxes are taken by the government and spent without recourse to the donors. When we see it spent on frippery then we become understandably angry. When we see it sent abroad to be siphoned off by the local kleptorcacy, we are understandably annoyed. When Mark Easton talks about a move towards more self reliance and personal responsibility, this is a good thing – even if he doesn’t think so.
Not according to everyone, though:
Penny Young, chief executive of the National Centre for Social Research, said: “In a time of economic austerity and social unrest, the big question coming out of this year’s report is whether we really are in it together, or just in it for ourselves?”
I work to support myself and my own. I do not do it to support the hangers on. They can go out and do as I have done, frankly.
“An emerging sense of self-reliance may take the government some way toward its vision of a more responsible society, but an emphasis on individualism, not Big Society collectivism, may present as much of a challenge as it does an opportunity.”
There speaks the collectivist. The idea of Big Society Collectivism send a chill down my spine that would freeze the South Pacific. The enterprise and hard work of the self-reliant must be used to support the feckless and lazy, to pay for government propaganda programmes to lecture and hector us about our chosen lifestyles. That more of us are waking up to what is happening and don’t like what we see is an anathema to the collectivist. Individualism is a good thing. Society consists of individuals. That we don’t like the idea of rampant state theft does not make us selfish, nor does it mean that we do not care for those less fortunate.
One of the comments on the piece echoes my own experience from earlier this year when I needed help following my unemployment:
When I was working, I was happy to pay my share of tax in the mistaken belief that it was going to support those less fortunate. Now that I have been made ‘redundant’ and need that support, I find it is not there. Once I am working again, what incentive will there be for me to give money away when the government does not meet its duty of care to citizens, the sole thing it’s allowed to tax for?