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Tax and Direct Democracy


The only way that citizens can make sure that politicians do not raise taxes over their heads it the introduction of facultative and/or mandatory referenda about any changes in tax rates or the introduction of new taxes. Taxation is (next to Liberty) the area where politicians can exert to most direct influence on citizen's lives. Not for nothing it was questions of tax that lead to the start of the American War of Independence. So if Direct Democracy should be involved it has to be in all matters concerning tax. The threat of citizen action will also be a healthy deterrent to ill-conceived spending plans and any tinkering with the tax system.


Including all duties, levies, direct and indirect taxes the average family in the United Kingdom (and many other 'developed' countries) spends more than half its earnings on taxes. Compared to the 'horrible' Middle Ages when farmers were supposed to be heavily oppressed by their landlords this is a staggering amount and could be termed a modern form of slavery.

The main reason for this sorry state of affairs is the lack of democratic consultation of the citizens and the centralisation of all fiscal decisions in a government where division of powers is unknown and lobbies and party bureaucracies are not accountable to the majority of affected taxpayers.
In addition, contrary to the constant affirmation of equal rights as the modern-day religion the tax laws are highly discriminatory and arbitrary.

The political establishment to the left and right admits that there is no willingness to reduce spending in the bloated public sector. The interests of their clientele come first and the taxpayer does not have a chance to have a say on this tax rise - or any other increase in taxes, fees or other forced contributions exacted by the rulers - as both dominant parties sing to the same
hymn sheet. Only explicit referendums on the introduction of taxes or changes in tax rates will prevent this abuse of democratic process.

Parties during election campaigns and Governments regularly use misleading and false tax and spending estimates to frighten the electorate. The only way to bring abusive election propaganda to a halt and reign in uncontrolled public spending is to give the voters final say over all tax and spending measures.

Voters should have the right to accept or reject each new tax or change in the level of tax that is imposed. All the proceeds of the tax should be earmarked - as much as possible - for spending on particular purposes.

If the citizens have the ultimate say about how taxes are raised, and at what level, the constant fight over the distribution of tax and spending proposals would be reduced and a more rational and objective way to reach spending decisions would be possible. Even on routine tax laws and spending decisions that were necessary for the running of government functions on a daily basis and unlikely to be controversial politicians would be more careful as there would always be the danger that the citizens would initiate a referendum if the interests of important segments of society are neglected.

Giving the Citizens the ultimate control over public spending would make it more difficult for politically well-connected or favored groups in society to channel spending their way.

The case of Switzerland shows that a system of direct democracy and competition between different levels of government and regions is a useful brake on excessive spending. All three levels of Government (Federal, Canton and Communities - i.e. towns or villages) set their own taxes at a level that they think is necessary to finance their spending. This way they bear the full cost of their decisions. Citizens add an extra brake on the natural tendency of politicians to overspend as they have the final say on all major spending decisions. Tax competition between the cantons and communities is an additional incentive to keep taxes and spending under control.

More on Tax and Public Spending


 

Why you should support
Dirdem:

Are you angry when people want to control your life?

Are you angry when people want to live off the fruit of your work?

Are you angry when people want to tell you what to think?

►If your answer is YES
to any or all of the above questions then you should support our Movement.



DIRDEM
is more than a traditional Political Party. We do not see this Cause as a career choice - or stepping stone leading to a lucrative career in the private sector.

DIRDEM
is not a Think Tank that publishes lengthy reports that are only read by a few insiders and later disappear in some library of filing cabinet.

DIRDEM
is not a Lobby or Special Interest Group that tries to gain advantage at the expense of other groups of society.

DIRDEM
is not a Religion or Ideology and does not try to make people believe in something except in the belief that no one should be allowed to rule our lives.
 

Decisions you would be able to influence:

By giving the reader examples of recent policy decisions we highlight the dramatic impact the introduction of Direct Democracy would have on the political life of all countries.

All the following decisions where taken without the participation of the affected citizens. Some - if not most - were highly controversial and have a negative effect for at least some major parts of the country's population.

The present system of government not only leaves the citizens powerless in the face of a never-ending tide of legislation, it also inevitably leads to inefficient use of taxpayer's money and a steady erosion of civil liberties.

See what decisions the citizens could influence directly in a proper democratic system

 

 

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