The genius of 'Assigned Taxation'
The income tax that we pay could go directly to the department of Citizen Welfare. Then, each worker would feel assured that everything they are paying in they would be getting out in their pensions, during spells of temporary unemployment and in the form of help and support from Social Services whenever they needed it. It would also stretch to pay for the upkeep of the politcal process too.
Our National Insurance Contributions could cover the costs of our Department of Guardianship including all Police, Military, Emergency Services as well as a new Peace Corp addition to our services.
The VAT that we pay would more than pay for our Department of Health & Wellness so much so that the excess would be able to pay off the national debt within 12 to 15 years. Then VAT could be charged at four different levels 0%, 10%, 20% and Duty (as in cigerattes and alcohol). The rate of VAT paid would depend on how healthy food is as how locally sourced the food and goods are. The benefit to this is that people have the choice what they wish to eat but that choice can be steered a little by the price having that little surcharge on if they choose to eat unhealthily. The extra pays for the health services who are more likely to be used if a person's eating habits are unhealthy. It is the medical community who would then be deciding what is healthy and what is not and effectively surcharging the unhealthy option. This would change the dynamics of shopping choices, salads and purer foods, including subsidised foods would have a 0% VAT rate while the more unhealthy foods...you get the idea.
Business Rates could be paid directly to a localised fund which in turn gets to be used by The Department of Infrastructure on things like transport and communications. The business could then demand that they recieve their taxes back as a service to help them bring their goods to market or their customers, their workers or their raw components to their door. The two subjects a re directly negotiable. Community Charge paid by residents would, as it is at the moment go towards the costs of local government and, just as it is now, the residents will complain directly if they see their hard earn contributions mispent or unaccounted for. Residents may form Not-For-Profit work groups to save themselves money by clearing and recycling their own rubbish etc. The people can decide what their money gets spent on locally. Capital Gains Tax, Land Tax/Stamp Duty and Inheritance would go directly towards The Department of Culture & Heritage. I'll leave you to decide all the reasons why.
When people understand that every piece of tax they pay is going towards something they can know and understand it makes the burden that much lighter and it makes the citizen more supportiive of society. Then the people are directly in control of their collective decisions, 'shall we pay more VAT to have a better health servcie or are we recieving a reasonable deal for what we are paying?' The decision does not have to have a comparison, 'if we were not paying for Trident then we could have more nurses'. There is currently a whole heap of confusion over taxes and budgets and this would sort all that out.
Government Departments then would know what they are likely to get year on year and could budget accordingly. Every penny would be directly accountable and its spending justified as is it transfered into services from tax.
This is where the genius of this idea starts to happen. Every tax department, eight of them. Would need its own bank, a national bank. They would have assets that belong to that department. They would have an income from tax and they would have specified objectives to meet. It then becomes a simple administrative duty of good housekeeping. Where that department might have to make an investment it would borrow money based upon its assets, repaid by future income and justified by what savings and efficiencies it would deliver. Each department could get closer to their objectives the more they run their department efficienctly too. One of the current problems we have is that money borrowed from the private sector is paid back with interest which comes from peoples tax but does not go towards a service. In this case the money owed to the central bank would also bear interest but that money would then be used in one of three ways, either to increase the level of services OR lower the amount of taxes needed to be raised next year OR both.
The idea of assigned taxation is that we pay each of our different kinds of taxation towards a different department of government. We, the people, should recieve back our taxes in the form of governmental services from the state to the people. At the moment all of our taxes are pooled and then our chancelor rolls up and divides it out as he sees fit into each of the departments of government. There is nothing democratic about this process. Usually the allocation towards different areas of society makes the chancellor more or less popular with the person on the recieving end of the advantage or disadvantage of the tax increase or decreases as well as the monies poured into to certain services. IN a more democratic system, where each area of government is working towards a specific social objective we need to have a better method of allocating budgets and this needs to be something that we can appreciate directly by the taxes we pay.
So, as you may have read in the MagnaSocia section, there are 12 Pillars of governance ie 12 governmental departments. Each has a social objective according to the constitution and each has a committee of specialists working on behalf of the people to steer towards these social aims. Now imagine that each department has their own budget that is raised by their own form of taxation. For example, all the Corporate Tax on the profits made by business should go towards The Department for Education & Progress. Those companies can then critise that department and ask 'what are we getting for our tax paid?'. Of course the answer is 'an educated, open minded, inspired and innovative workforce thanks to your taxes'. Paying the tax or avoiding it then becomes a directly moral issue. Those avoiding tax are literally denying children their education. The naming and shaming would surely be too much to bare. Those companies who have avoided paying their tax through a complication of offshore subsidiaries would be socially pressured into coughing up with something and if it was not in the form of tax then it could be in the form of philanthropy in order for them to save face. Business might then take a direct interest in school funding, sponsorship and support regionally as well as nationally.