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The difference between giving and taking

January 1, 2013

There seems to be a confusion in the current political dialogue which needs to be cleared up. 

When politicians refer to tax – they are talking about taking from people, without the requirement of consent and if necessary by force with threat of imprisonment.

When politicians refer to benefits – they are talking about giving money to people they have collected from tax payers.

The idea that tax cuts can be considered as giving is wrong. Those politicians who re-state this (Ed Balls, Ed Milliband etc.) are either confused by what is going on or lying.

Note the use of Ed Ball’s language in his conference speech of 2012:

“A Chancellor who in six months’ time will raise taxes for pensioners on the very same day he cuts the top rate of tax for the very richest – a £3 billion tax cut, giving £40,000 a year to a millionaire.”

We must insist on clarity in political debate, otherwise it can lead to poor outcomes. Ed Balls is expressly stating that the Chancellor will be giving £40,000 per year to millionaires, the reality is he will be taking 45% of their income as opposed to 50%.

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