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Tax Poverty

Whereas fuel poverty is defined as "spending more than 10% of your income on fuel", "TAX POVERTY" is "spending more than 10% of your income on tax". Now that's interesting, because fuel is traditionally regarded as something that you get value for, for example to keep yourself from freezing to death because of the climate. Tax, on the other hand, is regarded as something that you don't get value for. If most of the tax money went on such things as public libraries, free hospital care, filling in holes in the road, emptying the dustbins, and providing every child with a Linux-based EEE-PC, it would be more forgivable. However, instead, most of the tax goes fighting futile wars which have been started by other belligerent nations, and on bureaucracy (of which there is a heck of a lot), nationalised money wasting, and on various measures to clamp down on personal freedom on account of overbearing laws and restrictions which have been imposed.

In terms of measuring how widespread TAX POVERTY is in the UK, it has to be considered that income tax is between 20% and 40%, and that VAT is 17.5%, and there are numerous insidious "stealth taxes" which have been calculated to be equivalent to an additional 7% of income tax on top of the already extortionate rate. In a survey in 2008, an average family was found to be paying 38% tax, much more than the 25% they imagined they were paying. This is higher than "tithes" (10%) that peasants had to pay in the feudal times.

Fuel poverty is generally alleviated by solving the "poverty" part of the problem, ie increasing people's wealth, but with tax poverty that doesn't work because the government charges them even more tax.

Now with fuel poverty, there are some practical solutions which everyone can try. Such things as installing economy lightbulbs, and putting insulation in the loft. These things are also ecological as well as economical. However, with tax poverty, the main problem is the government, and that's more difficult to get rid of. The main options for solutions to this are revolution or emigration. Revolution has its own problems, not least of which is that it's tricky to get started considering the amount of apathy which is endemic in a dispirited downtrodden society. Plus, even if a revolution is successful, it usually requires an immense cleaning-up operation afterwards, as well as making sure that any new system of government or non-government has effectively to sign a "Magna Carta" type agreement such that no extortionate taxes will be levied in future, and that the freedoms of the individual will be guaranteed.

Emigration is the easier option, and can be done unilaterally rather than having to gain a huge following based on the immense undercurrent of unrest. In other words, if you can afford to emigrate, you can do so. The trick is to move to somewhere which is actually better, and this is where choosing a country to move to is important. From some perspectives, tax havens are worth considering, but there's a lot more to it than that. There are cultural aspects to consider, and matters of personal taste which make different countries more suitable for different people. So, choose wisely!

As well as some countries having much less tax, (some to the point where there is almost no tax-poverty), there are some other countries where although the tax is high, people perceive they get better value-for-money. For example, there are Scandinavian countries which have ridiculously high tax rates, but where folk consider the money is well-spent.

There are also countries where there's almost no tax, so no tax-poverty. This tends to mean that if you want to live there, you have to provide for yourself rather than relying on the state.

Sadly for the UK, it seems to got it wrong both ways, by having too much tax (so, endemic tax-poverty), and yet somehow failing to afford to run the economy properly. It's a shame, because the UK has many good things about it, and it's sad to see it in such a mess. Incidentally, it's no good trying to solve it by voting for politicians, as they are all very similar to each other, resulting in a fake democracy. Instead, it's far more powerful to vote with your feet.

Incidentally, I have voted with my feet, and I have emigrated!