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  • FIRST POST
    Former MSE Lawrence
    'Do you think you get good value from paying tax?' poll discussion
    • #1
    • 11th Jan 11, 9:39 AM
    'Do you think you get good value from paying tax?' poll discussion 11th Jan 11 at 9:39 AM
    Poll started 11 January 2010:

    Do you think you get good value from paying tax?

    We pay tax as a cost of living in the wider civil society, so that all the functions it requires, both for us and others are met.

    Yet if we were (probably wrongly) to think in purely selfish terms, do you feel you gain more than you lose?

    Total you pay in: Income tax, VAT, council tax and others
    Total you receive: Benefits, tax credits, NHS treatments, police, national security, council services etc
    Which of these do you think best reflects your situation?

    I receive much more than I pay in
    - 345 votes (4 %)
    I receive more than I pay in - 349 votes (4 %)
    I receive a little more than I pay in - 213 votes (3 %)
    It's roughly the same - 383 votes (5 %)
    I pay in a little more than I receive - 438 votes (6 %)
    I pay in more than I receive - 2,240 votes (28 %)
    I pay in much more than I receive - 3,899 votes (50 %)



    Voting has now closed but you can still click 'post reply' to discuss below. Thanks


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    Last edited by Former MSE Lawrence; 18-01-2011 at 2:55 PM.
Page 1
    • Empty pockets
    • By Empty pockets 11th Jan 11, 10:10 AM
    • 1,048 Posts
    • 587 Thanks
    Empty pockets
    • #2
    • 11th Jan 11, 10:10 AM
    • #2
    • 11th Jan 11, 10:10 AM
    I chose I receive MUCH more than I pay in.

    I've never claimed any kind of benefit.

    I am a 40% taxpayer.
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 11th Jan 11, 11:01 AM
    • 8,116 Posts
    • 42,310 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    • #3
    • 11th Jan 11, 11:01 AM
    • #3
    • 11th Jan 11, 11:01 AM
    I chose I receive MUCH more than I pay in.

    I've never claimed any kind of benefit.

    I am a 40% taxpayer.
    Originally posted by Empty pockets
    In that case I hope you voted I pay in MUCH more than I receive?

    Have i badly drafted the poll or is this a typo?
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
    • RacyRed
    • By RacyRed 11th Jan 11, 11:19 AM
    • 4,520 Posts
    • 9,254 Thanks
    RacyRed
    • #4
    • 11th Jan 11, 11:19 AM
    I pay in much more than I receive
    • #4
    • 11th Jan 11, 11:19 AM
    I voted I pay in much more than I receive.

    The system seems to be skewed in such a way that you are either a contributor or a beneficiary of the tax system.

    And proportionally, those on low to middle incomes are by far the greatest contributors. The tax system makes it easy for those on substantial incomes to invest in such a way that their net tax contribution can be massively reduced.

    I'm so glad I'm no longer having to advise bankers on how to reduce the tax due on the bonus payments they are promised before they even begin to work for their banks. It would make me physically sick to have to do that this year.
    My first reply was witty and intellectual but I lost it so you got this one instead
    Proud to be a chic shopper
  • rob5110
    • #5
    • 11th Jan 11, 11:28 AM
    • #5
    • 11th Jan 11, 11:28 AM
    I chose "I pay in much more than I receive"

    I have only been to the doctors 3-4 times in my life, i earn between 30-35k, and put in 8% of my salary to pension, so probably wont get anything when i retire.
    i even go to the tip every couple of weeks because of the terribleness of the refuse collection service.
    I've never been on benefits.
    I own a car which is just a tax magnet.
    I phoned the police once, for a car break in - they did nothing. I got a leaflet, and that's it.
    I've never been caught speeding, or been spoken to by the police for any reason.
    I can't think of any council services i've used recently, apart from street lights, refuse collection, gritting etc.

    I suspect most people will believe that they pay in much more than they recieve, but that's one of the problems with having a poll on this site - it natuarally would attract the more sensible, tax-paying sector of society.

    Maybe older people who use the NHS more might consider their answer though - the question doesn't make it clear if you mean in your whole life, or in the last 12 months or today.

    I think the 'system' is set up so people pay more tax when they are working, then claim that back with increased social care (pensions, NHS etc) when they get older.
    Plus, if you work for the civil service, or a teacher or whatever, surely your whole salary is coming from the tax pot anyway?

    Anyway, it's going to be interesting to see the results. I predict a heavy swing to the 'i pay far more than i get' option!
  • Gareth_Lazelle
    • #6
    • 11th Jan 11, 11:37 AM
    • #6
    • 11th Jan 11, 11:37 AM
    The system seems to be skewed in such a way that you are either a contributor or a beneficiary of the tax system.
    Originally posted by RacyRed
    That would seem to be the point though, right?

    There wouldn't be much point in everyone coming out even after tax... The idea is that we all benefit from communal facilities (roads, hospitals, police, etc) and that the poor are assisted (i.e.: are net beneficiaries).
    And proportionally, those on low to middle incomes are by far the greatest contributors. The tax system makes it easy for those on substantial incomes to invest in such a way that their net tax contribution can be massively reduced.
    Originally posted by RacyRed
    That I would agree with. And the catch there is that we're constantly told that we are in effect "competing" for the wealthy tax-payers (even assuming that the wealthy residents who do stay don't squirrel away savings anyway),

    There is some truth in that, but really it just goes to show that perhaps we need to look at taxing the rich from a global perspective, in order to make simply moving away a non-solution.
    - GL
    • RacyRed
    • By RacyRed 11th Jan 11, 11:56 AM
    • 4,520 Posts
    • 9,254 Thanks
    RacyRed
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 11, 11:56 AM
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 11, 11:56 AM
    That would seem to be the point though, right?

    There wouldn't be much point in everyone coming out even after tax... The idea is that we all benefit from communal facilities (roads, hospitals, police, etc) and that the poor are assisted (i.e.: are net beneficiaries).

    There is some truth in that, but really it just goes to show that perhaps we need to look at taxing the rich from a global perspective, in order to make simply moving away a non-solution.
    Originally posted by Gareth_Lazelle
    You have picked me up well on that point. I had thought of expanding my post to take the point further -

    "The system seems to be skewed in such a way that you are either a contributor or a beneficiary of the tax system..." And heaven help you if, after decades of being a net contributor, you find yourself in a position where you need to be a net beneficiary.

    As the guy in the adverts says, "It doesn't work that way" And that is why I think the current system is heavily skewed. Everyone gets trapped within a category.

    I agree about global taxation, that is well overdue. But there are many ways of reducing a tax bill without having to leave the country.
    My first reply was witty and intellectual but I lost it so you got this one instead
    Proud to be a chic shopper
    • ennui
    • By ennui 11th Jan 11, 12:30 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    ennui
    • #8
    • 11th Jan 11, 12:30 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Jan 11, 12:30 PM
    I wouldn't have a clue how to calculate it. I feel like a contributor - I work full-time, pay council tax and don't get any benefits or use any council services other than those everybody does (refuse collection, street lighting, roads etc.). However, I have a chronic medical condition and get free prescriptions. Plus my earnings are fairly low, so my income tax contribution isn't that high. Then there was the relatively cheap higher education I received.

    All in all, I suspect I'm more of a burden on the system than it feels like when I groan at the deductions on my pay slip!
    • minerva_windsong
    • By minerva_windsong 11th Jan 11, 1:23 PM
    • 3,765 Posts
    • 8,672 Thanks
    minerva_windsong
    • #9
    • 11th Jan 11, 1:23 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Jan 11, 1:23 PM
    I voted 'pay in a bit more than I receive' as whilst I don't get any benefits or tax credits, I don't pay council tax either (I live with my parents) and on top of income tax and NI I'm also paying back my student loan, which to me feels like a tax as it comes out of my wages, but for a service I've already received. (I'm also still trying to get HMRC to talk to me as they've got me on the wrong tax code and I'm overpaying, but I'm choosing to ignore that for the purpose of the poll.) So apart from what I'd get anyway - the NHS, police, roadworks, rubbish collection etc - I don't get much, but I'm OK with that.
    "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

    Married my best friend 1st November 2014

    Loose = the opposite of tight (eg "These trousers feel a little loose")
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    • brizey47
    • By brizey47 11th Jan 11, 3:24 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    brizey47
    I pay more for now
    Yes at the moment I'm sure I pay more than I receive, I claim no benefits and pay full tax NI and council tax, rarely visit the doctor, haven't even spoken to police in ages, my wheelie bin is never more than half full every 2 weeks so0 yes I do pay in more than I receive BUT from March 2012 I will be 65 and I will probably retire then I'm sure I will receive more than I pay in though for how long even I don't know.
  • angelizz
    The level of tax in this country makes me feel sick. Personal tax, corporation tax, VAT, road tax, council tax, business rates, stamp duty, my god they'll even tax me when I die. And what do I get - bins emptied once a fortnight (or once a month if it snows), potholes the size of Lancashire in the road leading to my house (causing damage to my car), blocked drains which caused flooding to my garage (which the council promised to address within 21 days - that was in September). I've had enough, I really have.
  • zierisaver
    I have worked hard all of my life and now find myself paying 50% tax on all of my earnings. Yes, those earnings are quite high, but I feel that by taxing high-earners so much we are in danger of removing the aspirations of those who want to do well and earn money. I'm not talking about greed here, I'm talking about those who have grafted, worked their way up, promotion after promotion, put the hours in and then see half their earnings taken on pay day.

    Then I see Jeremy Kyle and I understand where it all goes.

    So no, I don't think I get value for my taxes.
  • bigjimmer
    I voted 'A little less', i was going to vote 'a little more' as i/my wife get Child Benefit and Tax Credits. But me and the wife both work (me full-time, her part-time) and earn a working class wage which when put together equals the national average before tax, and when i think about how much tax i pay, income, n.i., road, petrol, vat, council, it all adds up. I even pay 5% on my dogs pet insurance for crying out loud!

    Might i add though, that it is the younger generation (i'm not quite 30 yet) that is paying all this tax to keep the older generation, but at the same time having to save alot more of our own than the boomers were encouraged to as we will be expected to fund ourselves when the time comes. Which is ironic really considering the boomers are/were the richest generation ever, but they don't like to share, just try for more.

    I'm not sure how much that has to do with this vote, but it's why i believe we are all in a tight squeeze.

    Oh and, i didn't ask for these benefits, and we will be better off when the wife can go back full time.
  • FATBALLZ
    This poll is useless without providing more information about how much these public services actually cost to provide. I'm sure I've read that only the top few percent are actually net contributors to the tax pot, so many of those who are on decent salaries and think they pay in a lot actually do not, and gain more from public services than they actually pay in.

    My household (2 adults) pays in comfortably over 25k a year in various taxes but even I wouldn't be sure we are net contributors - there are so many things - police, roads, council services, libraries that people forget tax provides for them and don't realise they are benefiting from when they use. We had a baby last year how much would that cost the NHS to deliver etc?
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 11th Jan 11, 8:20 PM
    • 8,116 Posts
    • 42,310 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    This poll is useless without providing more information about how much these public services actually cost to provide. I'm sure I've read that only the top few percent are actually net contributors to the tax pot, so many of those who are on decent salaries and think they pay in a lot actually do not, and gain more from public services than they actually pay in.

    My household (2 adults) pays in comfortably over 25k a year in various taxes but even I wouldn't be sure we are net contributors - there are so many things - police, roads, council services, libraries that people forget tax provides for them and don't realise they are benefiting from when they use. We had a baby last year how much would that cost the NHS to deliver etc?
    Originally posted by FATBALLZ
    It quite deliberately asks "do you feel" not "do you" for this very reason.

    Its the perception of taxation I'm interested in. Of course the answer is likely to be calculated by ONS. Yet this is about what people feel - its indicative of the difficult of taxes in genreal.

    Of course few really factor in the cost of safe streets or the armed forces, availability of ambulances and how much we'd need to pay in insurance to get all the same if the state didnt provide it.

    That's part of the point of the poll.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • yorkshiremeat
    The results of this really made me smile!

    People seem to have the impression that THEY are the hardworking ones and its OTHERS who are robbing the state blind.

    Bloomin' lazeabouts... probably at home with their 7 kids, smoking weed, drinking stella and watching Jeremy Kyle. He he he. :-) I think people are much higher "users" of services than they actually realise.

    I am a specialist nurse in the NHS. I regularly have to cope with patients telling me that the NHS and/or "country" does nothing for them, "going to the dogs" etc etc etc.

    Please be aware these a wide range of people from all backgrounds, but the jist is generally the same, "paid my taxes all my life", "paid my stamp", "worked every day without a sick day for 40 years". Yes, you probably did (most of you, some I am VERY suspicious) and thank you very much, taxes are vital to the everyday running of our country and services, but they all seem to think that they have had nothing back!

    I did once have to gently explain to one gentleman affected by cancer (classic NHS bemoaner), that just ONE weeks supply of his pain killer (at his dosage).... cost just over 1100. This was ONE of SEVENTEEN medications. We could have treated his pain much more cheaply, perhaps 30 per week, but that would have given him lots of others undue side effects, nausea, tiredness etc. We did it because we wanted to give him the best quality of life, and I think that any tax payer in that situation would want the same.

    And don't forget, alright you might not get out, what you paid in (and why should you, its not a bloomin bank account) but you support a safety net for the sick, vulnerable and infirm in our society and I think the country really would "go to the dogs" if we didn't. We all could end up in situations which we didn't anticipate and need support that takes extra from the pot.
  • onlyme65
    its obvious
    The reason nearly 75% of the respondants to this poll on this site think they get less than they pay in is because most people on this site work for a living and need all the help and tips they can get to survive. Whereas most people who drain the system of money and get much more than they pay in is because they dont need mortgage tips as they get their houses paid for. They dont insure their houses so dont need insurance tips. They dont need travel advice as they get DLA allowances to get free cars. Am i just sceptical, but that covers a lot of the headings at the top of the page?
    So maybe it is the struggling masses that are trying to keep their heads above water that use this site most.
    Maybe I am just getting bitter as I see ordinary people becoming worse off as the government seem to bend over backwards to accomodate those that contribute nothing but take everything..
    Sorry,, forgive my rant.
    • Gordon the Moron
    • By Gordon the Moron 11th Jan 11, 9:37 PM
    • 1,461 Posts
    • 741 Thanks
    Gordon the Moron
    I voted I pay in more than I receive, I figure that I probably do as I have not used any NHS service in the last 9 years, I don't claim any benefits whatsoever and I work and pay income tax, I also pay VAT, fuel tax on my car (which I think more than covers my use of the roads !) and I drink regularly so pay tax on that too.

    I might be wrong but I can't think what I take out that could cost more than I put in, I'm not selfish enough to complain about that though.
    If you don't like what I say slap me around with a large trout and PM me to tell me why.

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    • jonesjw
    • By jonesjw 11th Jan 11, 9:57 PM
    • 201 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    jonesjw
    We have a high tax economy with too many spongers unfairly living off the efforts of others. Taxes and public spending need cutting hard and fast.
  • sunstarrr
    Personally I think the amount of council tax and income tax etc I pay is very good value for receiving so many public services. Reading the above comments it seems almost everyone is hung up on the fact that they don't claim benefits. But the "benefits" we get from paying tax go much further, they pay for the following...
    Schools
    Hospitals, doctors' surgeries
    Refuse collection and recycling
    Social services (old people's homes, meals on wheels, home helps, children's homes, social workers, day centres etc)
    Parks, leisure centres, swimming pools
    Village halls and community facilities
    Public libraries
    Public footpaths and bridleways
    Roads and street lighting
    Parks and open spaces
    Waste disposal
    Cemeteries
    Country parks
    Police, ambulance, fire services
    and much more besides...

    I think all this for what I pay is good value but then I seem to be in the minority!!
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