Personal Income Taxation and the struggle against inequality and poverty | by Dick Forslund

by Nov 13, 2012All Articles

Tax is a most personal matter. It seems that the more rich one is the greater is the resentment about ‘my’ hard-earned income being taken from ‘me’ to pay for ‘them’. For the majority, on the other hand, tax is indirectly experienced in the increasing poverty of the level of public services, be they health or education, or housing, transport or water. The service delivery protests that are now a daily part of South Africa more than 18 years after the end of apartheid are also a very personal statement of the indirect experience of tax; of how the government gets and spends its income. From the government, which likes to see itself as a neutral arbiter between these two contending positions, we get the recurring cry of: ‘We have no money’ to do all the things we wish to do. They say that the people must be patient.

This report shows that a huge amount of money is available but that the government has chosen not to use it; a choice, moreover, that costs the government more money.

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