Devillish silly plan

The Devil does good ranting, but really does know fuck all about economics or people.

He smacks down an article pointing out that introducing flat tax would do nobody any real good, through the convincing counter-argument that under UKIP, flat tax would cut everyone’s tax bills, and we can all live in a magical fairy castle in the sky with no smelly foreigners.

Of course, what UKIP actually plan to do is massively cut taxes (hence why everyone would pay less tax under their scheme) without a corresponding hit in public services, paid for by a) reducing public sector inefficiency, from which nobody has actually ever managed to make significant savings b) pulling out of the EU, which costs us fuck all anyway [*] and c) magical new money that tax cuts will generate by massively stimulating economic growth, which they never have [**].

On the people side, presumably because he’s a self-employed IT contractor, he assumes people want to be self-employed and want to fill in tax returns. They do not. Generally, they don’t give a shit about taxes, beyond the occasional pub moan – just like they don’t give a shit about the EU apart from enjoying the convenience of the Euro when they go abroad and tutting when their tabloid of choice makes up a new lie about Eurocrats Gone Wild.

Fortunately, because UKIP are a mad bunch of cranks who care passionately about tax systems and bent bananas and other tedious things, they stand no chance of being let anywhere near anything vaguely resembling power any time soon, or indeed ever.

[*] assuming EU membership brings us no benefits, which is a stupid assumption, it costs us a couple of billion a year in transfer payments out of £500 billion government spending. The only studies that claim the EU carries greater costs are hopelessly rigged; they need to pretend that all business regulation carries no benefits (possibly true) and only or primarily happens because of the EU (certainly untrue) to get beyond a £1-2 billion figure. UKIP’s scheme would require the government to save £34 billion.

[**] when you have marginal tax rates at 1970s levels, it can be a different story. However, the recent US example, where the tax cuts have only had a positive effect on the economy because they’ve been combined with crazily unstable spiralling in government borrowing – is typical of their impact in medium-tax economies. Especially when, as in UKIP’s plan, the majority of benefit goes to the rich, who don’t spend as high a proportion of new income as the poor.

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