Thursday, May 26, 2005

Boris won't pay to be abused by the BBC

The BBC licence fee is a tax. The worst thing about taxes - as this story neatly illustrates - is the amount of State power needed to enforce them. Once you have income tax, the State needs to know private details about your life in order to check you are paying the right amount. If every house with a TV must pay a TV tax, as in Britain, then the State must have powers to force entry to your home.

Simplification of taxes is not just a matter of saving money (although it is a fact that a portion of our national income is wasted enforcing complicated taxes). It is a matter of liberty. If income taxes were abolished and replaced by purchase tax, the government would need to know nothing about us at all. They would simply need to know the turnover of every retail business. Thousands of tax inspectors could be released from drudgery to perform socially useful activity. Since the richer one is, the more one spends the tax would be fair as well as simple. It would also encourage saving and investment - all without the need for the Government to look over our shoulders or harass us as it is currently harassing Boris.

The BBC licence fee is a simple problem. It should be abolished and the BBC permitted to advertise. Better yet, this antiquated leviathan of broadcasting should simply be closed. There is no need for a state enterprise to produce crap TV. There are plenty of private companies adept at this.

Telegraph | Opinion | I won't pay to be abused by the BBC

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