Whose Money Is It?

We conservatives tend to suspect that liberals in government believe that our money really belongs to them, and they allow us to keep part of it on sufferance. In the United Kingdom, that way of thinking may be about to become official: “UK Proposes All Paychecks Go to the State First”:

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.
The proposal by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.
Currently employers withhold tax and pay the government, providing information at the end of the year, a system know as Pay as You Earn (PAYE). There is no option for those employees to refuse withholding and individually file a tax return at the end of the year.
If the real-time information plan works, it further proposes that employers hand over employee salaries to the government first.

It appears that the issue is being debated in the UK as one of efficiency, with doubts being expressed as to whether the government has the technical ability to pay, in effect, all salaries and wages. The more fundamental question would seem to be whether any people can regard themselves as free who can be paid for their labor only by the government.

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