Do you love paying Tax? I don't. Only yesterday I wrote an extremely large cheque to the inland revenue to pay my self assessment. I've had a good year financially and January is the month when such things come back and bite you on the bum. Of course it is none of your business how good a year it's been or how exactly how many digits are on that cheque, but between you and me it was enough to bring a tear to my eye. However, yesterday I was not whinging about it. I had more pressing things on my mind (or should I say the bit of my anatomy that has done most of my thinking for me over the last 40 years). I was having a catheter removed following treatment for prostate cancer. There is a myth that the NHS is free. It isn't. The large cheque I wrote yesterday goes towards paying for my treatment. I've no idea how much HIFU treatment actually costs the NHS. In the last year, I've had two biposies under general anaesthetic, one MRI and one HIFU procedure. I'm guessing, although I am not sure that this year I've actually come out of the deal up.
If I lived in the sort of country many Conservatives seem to want, we'd have no NHS. When you see them hinting at this on TV (none of them are stupid enough to say outright that they want to end the NHS) we hear talk of "insurance". I find this highly dishonest. Who would ensure me? I am as bad a risk as you can possibly get. I have an early stage cancer that needs lots of monitoring and potentially more treatment for decades on end. I may be a complete moron, but I know a little about insurance and you don't have to be Einstein to know that no one would insure me.
Of course this year has been a rather expensive year for me Most years, the NHS would have done rather well out of me. Does this bother me? Do I begrudge all of my less well off friends and family, who my taxes have subsidised? No, there is nothing more noble than dipping your hand in your pocket to help your nearest and dearest. Then we hear about all of these "hordes of migrants" coming to scrounge on the welfare state and ponce on the NHS. Do I begrudge paying tax to support them? This is a more complex argument. Why have most of them come here? Well lets look at how hundreds of years of colonial rule "helped" sub saharan Africa? When the European powers had empires, we exploited the natural resources of these nations. Did we use the wealth it created to build schools, universities, railways, hospitals and healthcare systems for the subjects of our empires? DId we convince them that we had their best interests at heart? Or did we simply nick everything we could lay our hands on until they wised up and kicked us out? If a thief robbed your Grandad and then built himself a mansion with the proceeds, how would you feel when your grandad had his will read and their was nothing in it for you? How would you then feel when the robbers grandson drove past your slum in his Rolls Royce and said "look at these disgusting people, why can't they take care of themselves?". And sadly that is what we in the the rich western european states are doing when we turn our back on refugees. Helping them is the decent thing to do. For those from Iraq and Afghanistan we are even more culpable as our taxes have funded the military campaigns which have wrecked their countries and created the hell like climate in which they have to suffer and eventually flee.
If I had the choice, yep I'd fund the migrants (after all, just about everyone I met in the last week working in the NHS is a migrant). But I do resent paying some of my taxes. I resent paying for Trident, which is a complete waste of money. I resent subsidising wars in countries where we have no business. I resent subsidising tax breaks for the mega rich. I resent paying for research into germ warfare. I resent paying huge amounts of taxpeyer funded subsidies to rail companies to pay to share holders in profits.
So yes I have my beefs. But my biggest beef is that I get no choice. I simply have to pay what are my dues, whilst mega coorporations simply seem to be able to pay a pittance. I run a company that provides jobs for 11 people. I get no choice. My staff get no choice. 99% of what my staff earn is ploughed back into the local economy. What percentage of profits of multinationals, which is generated in the UK is ploughed back into the UK economy?
I have a cunning plan. Maybe if I changed my name to Mr G. Oogle, I'd be able to get away with paying the square rtoot of bugger all. Or maybe I couldn't live with myself for being a scumbag. That is the problem with the ordinary people of this country. We are too nice and too honest for our own good.