I read an article by Peter Wilby in Public Finance magazine a couple of days ago (see here) . What I really liked about the article is that it summarises in a few hundred words that the UK tax system is not ideal, the main things wrong with it, and why there is no realistic prospect of it being fixed. Perhaps it takes a cynical view about politicians but I would rather regard it as a realistic view. We have to recognise that all political decisions involved gainers and losers and politicians will inevitably take them into account. They might all see how a totally different system would be better for citizens and the economy but who would use their (relatively) brief period in power to achieve it?
When I was the finance director of a council one of the issues I faced was how to get proper engagement from the public about the proposed budget. Each year we would try something different and each year we would receive very little back from the public. My colleagues and I would then conclude that the public were either not interested in what the council did with their taxes or too apathetic to tell us what they thought. Having watched this TED talk by Dave Meslin perhaps we should have spent more time thinking about the barriers that made it difficult for individuals to engage with us. I could say that I was too busy with other things to spend the time and energy to break down the barriers, but perhaps I was just apathetic about it.
This talk comes from www.ted.com. Visit the site for access to hundreds of interesting talks on all manner of subjects.