Thursday, September 23, 2010

No-Longer Great Britain: UK Totalitarianism In Training

Those wacky Brits just love their statism.
The UK’s tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.

The proposal by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.

Currently employers withhold tax and pay the government, providing information at the end of the year, a system know as Pay as You Earn (PAYE). There is no option for those employees to refuse withholding and individually file a tax return at the end of the year.If the real-time information plan works, it further proposes that employers hand over employee salaries to the government first.

“The next step could be to use (real-time) information as the basis for centralizing the calculation and deduction of tax,” HMRC said in a July discussion paper.
So what's holding them back, some lingering respect for liberty, some vague collective memory of the Magna Carta? No, it's just that total confiscation is just too expensive:

"[T]he cost of implementing the new system would be "phenomenal," Bull pointed out."

If the Brits had any balls, they'd do what we did to their government 235 years ago. Then again, if the majority of Americans today had any balls, they'd do it to the American government. We'll see what the testosterone level is come this November.

[Hat Tip Jonah Goldberg at NRO.]

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