The Ultimate in Nanny-Statism! UPDATED

Productive citizenry, diligently earning its allowances

The Ultimate in Nanny-Stating: UK wants to take paychecks and give citizens an allowance!

That’s basically what it comes down to. “While we’re ‘modernizing’ our systems, why don’t we just take all that messy tax-calculation off everyone’s hands?”

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.

Then they’ll tell you what time you must be home from your play-dates and they’ll have warm milk and jammies ready for you.

Now wonder binge-drinking has become epidemic in England. Doesn’t do much to enhance one’s sense of autonomy and dignity when the state has you by the belthoops, might as well drown the resultant feelings of disappointment and self-hating impotence.

Socialism does not work. No matter how well-intentioned it may be at the start, eventually it runs roughshod over the people and destroys both the understanding and the nature of liberty, drive, and personal dignity; mediocrity born of depression is all that follows.

Methinks Benedict made his visit to the UK just in time, to remind people that they are meant for freedom!

Bookworm calls this going in through the backdoor

A Primer on Gangster Government

Public Unions vs Gentry

UPDATE: Kim Priestap takes a more thorough look at this story.

About Elizabeth Scalia
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  • James Swetnam

    The undersigned is wrapping up 51 continuous years in Europe. Europe, of course, has much to teach the U.S. But I have had enough of Statism and look forward to return to my native U.S.A. where subsidiarity has been more than a word. Check out “subsidiarity” in The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Worth pondering.

  • DWiss

    Well, I dunno. Uncle Sam gets first crack at my paycheck, always has. I get what he doesn’t take. What’s the difference?

  • kelleyb

    The difference is that I am given the wages I earn from my employer. I write a check to the IRS. I have earned this money and can do with it as I please, including writing that check or going to jail. My money- my choice. I do not have to go to Uncle Obama and ask for spending money-money that the Government sees as ‘theirs’. This is how I see the difference.

  • DWiss

    In your case that IS a difference. But my employer withholds my taxes and I have nothing to say about that. So my comment was really to say that whether my net pay comes to me from my employer or the government matters only a little.

  • kelleyb

    That “matters only a little” phrase is the difference between freedom and subservience. It matters.

  • Joe Odegaard

    What a set-up taylor made for the abuse of power.

  • kelleyb

    I am not a writer. I create with a brush. So I am not sure that I can express myself adequately. I believe if I applied Dwiss’ “it matters only a little” to my spiritual life I would damn myself eternally, because the details matter. I also believe that if we applied that “it matters only a little” phrase consistently in our society, without processing its implications, we will unwittingly be transformed into a socialist ‘utopia’ or worse with our benevolent betters dictating every aspect of our lives.

  • Klaire

    If you think this is bad, it’s already in the works for OUR goverment to take over our 401K’s, and give us “annunities”, or something. Beware, it’s coming, as it’s the only way to pay for all that we can’t afford. They will make it a “tax” if they have to, but one way or another, Uncle Sam is coming after our 401K’s.

  • Joe Odegaard

    kelleyb -

    There’s a famous architecture phrase, “God is in the details.”

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  • Jeff

    As Justice John Marshall once said, the power to tax is the power to destroy. That is what is happening.

  • Tom Bielejeski

    In more ancient times this was known as serfdom.

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  • Bill

    ‘If you think this is bad, it’s already in the works for OUR goverment to take over our 401K’s, and give us “annunities”, or something. Beware, it’s coming, as it’s the only way to pay for all that we can’t afford. They will make it a “tax” if they have to, but one way or another, Uncle Sam is coming after our 401K’s’

    What is your source? Many things are introduced as legislation or policy and never pursued.

  • Jeff

    First the Clinton tax-hikes will be reinstituted by Obama.

  • craig

    I think Reagan had the right idea.

    He once said there should be no automatic tax withholding: everybody should have to write the IRS a check one time each year, so they will know exactly how much Uncle Sam is taking from their livelihoods, and the deadline for sending in that check should be the week before Election Day!

  • dry valleys

    So you oppose the coalition then, do you?

  • The gold digger

    But my employer withholds my taxes and I have nothing to say about that.

    Of course you do. You decide how much to have withheld every pay period by the number of allowances you claim.

  • Jeff

    Yes mandatory withholding is where the nanny state meets America. Withholding keeps employees from really having a sense of how much the federal and state governments are taking from them. If employees had to write a check instead, I guarantee you that Obama would not be president and the Congress would not be democrat.

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  • c matt

    Of course you do. You decide how much to have withheld every pay period by the number of allowances you claim.

    Only to some extent. If you claim too much, and your taxes paid at the end of the year are more than 10% of the total owed (I think that’s the current threshhold), you may have to pay penalties for not whithholding enough. in other words, you have to withhold within 90% of your tax liability or you get penalized. You really didn’t think they were going to let you skirt it that easily, did you?

    And they withhold not just your income tax – other employment taxes are also withheld (paid up front as you earn) that you get no say over. So, what is the distinction of this difference between the US taking up front, and the Brit proposal?

  • DWiss

    Gold Digger- changing my withholding amount mostly determines whether I get a refund or I owe in April. My point is that taxes are withheld; I have no choice in the matter.

  • Martha

    I don’t think this can be quite correct. I do know that there is a movement to electronic transfer of funds (i.e. having your wages paid directly into a bank account, instead of the employer issuing you a cheque or even the old-fashioned pay-packet with the notes and coins) but this is more for efficiency and cutting down expenses for the business.

    I have no idea about the American taxation system, nor even the U.K. one, but going by the Irish experience (which is broadly similar), taxes and social welfare contributions are deducted at source – PAYE (Pay As You Earn) for tax and RSI (Revenue and Social Insurance contributions which go towards unemployment payments, state pensions, national health system, etc.)

    So when you are issued with your pay slip, all these deductions are listed off, you have your gross wages, and your net wages. Your allowances (which have now been converted into a tax credit system which is too complicated to go into here) and the rate of tax you are charged (depending on your tax band, i.e. the gross yearly income from all sources, over a certain limit you incur a higher rate of tax) off-set the amount of tax you owe so the end result is: Tax on gross pay – Allowances = Tax deducted; gross pay – tax and prsi = net wages you get into your hand (or bank account).

    I imagine this move is less to do with Big Brother is Watching You and more to (a) move towards the “paperless” model (cutting down the writing of cheques by business for each employee/each employee then cashing cheque or paying it into bank account) (b) to curb any tax dodging on the part of businesses (they’re supposed to deduct and pay the tax/welfare contributions, but there have been cases of companies pretending to do so – that is, deducting them from the employees’ payslips and not paying the full wages, but holding on to the money and not forwarding it to the Revenue Commissioners).

  • Elaine S.

    In the US, employer withholding of income taxes as we know it got started during World War II for two reasons: 1) the government needed lots more money, of course, and 2) paying taxes this way made people less likely to complain about how much they were being taxed. I think when it was first introduced it was called “pay as you go.”

    My mother always did our family’s income taxes by herself. She was in the habit of having my father take extra withholding out of his paycheck to cover the taxes he would otherwise owe on money he made doing roofing and other odd jobs on the side. That way, she didn’t have to fill out estimated quarterly tax forms plus we always got a refund.

    I picked up this habit from her and for years claimed fewer exemptions than I was entitled to in order to get a refund, until I heard someone describe it as giving an interest-free loan to Uncle Sam every year. Now I take every exemption I am entitled to. And if I owe taxes at the end of the year, so be it.

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