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    I just wanted to ask something. Reading the statement below from SOYMB was kind of revelatory for me and I kind of feel stupid saying this. I always knew the Party maintained that the burden of taxation fell on the owning class rather than the workers but I never knew how. I genuinely thought workers paid tax…albeit less than the capitalist class. So can I use this argument whenever the people I work with start harping on about "their taxes" paying for "scroungers". Can I genuinely turn round to them and say that in real terms they don't pay tax at all?

                     Being a "Self Employed" musician I actually do pay something at the end of each year after submitting my short tax return…money that I always begrudge having to fork out. Are workers in the same position as me (Self Employed) the only ones in the world of work who actually pay real tax out of their earnings or am I imagining that as well? Do I even pay tax? Sorry but I am a bit confused by all of this.



    This recent statement by the gas company Centrica is tacit confirmation of the often disputed position of the Socialist Party that taxation is the burden of the employing class and not of the workers.

    "The report also claims that Centrica provides £4.2bn in "total tax payments" including its own payments to HM Revenue and Customs of £1.1bn, national insurance and PAYE contributions from its staff and tax paid by consumers on their bills."

    They could also have included the VAT they collect and pass on to the government in those figures. Centrica does actually pay workers' National Insurance contributions and PAYE income tax directly to the government without, as we've always pointed out, these ever even passing into the hands of the workers. With these particular payments it should be clear to everyone that workers don't pay them even in the literal sense. They do of course pay from their wages some taxes (eg council tax) but not these.

    Young Master Smeet

    The argument is that the burden of the tax falls on the employers.  Workers can, and do, physically pay the taxes (that is hand over the cash), but the operation of the market is on our net/take home real pay.  If our take home pay falls below the level at which we're willing/able to work, we force them up (where we can).  This means that if a tax increase would reduce our real take home pay, we'll try and pass that burden on to our employer (if we fail, that was a sign that the market was ready to impose a pay cut anyway, and the tax man has taken the cut of profits that would otherwise have gone to the employer).  That is, we push up cash wages in order to have the money to pay the tax, and that puts the burden on employers.Self employed workers obviously try to push the burden of taxation onto their customers, in much the same way (obviously, the category of self employed is nebulous, the String Fellows lap dancing club tried in court to maintain that its dancers were self employed, to try and avoid some of the tax and other on-costs, but they lost.  The Point is a lot of 'self-employed' workers are only nominally so, often for tax reasons).

    The report also claims that Centrica provides £4.2bn in "total tax payments" including its own payments to HM Revenue and Customs of £1.1bn, national insurance and PAYE contributions from its staff and tax paid by consumers on their bills.

    This admission by Centrica (which owns British Gas, AA and other businesses) that PAYE deducted from workers' gross wages is really a tax paid by employers is important as there's an ideological battle going on to convince us that we are all "taxpayers" with a common interest. That's why the media always talk about Lloyds and RBS being owned mainly by "the taxpayer" when they mean the government. In the past they never used to talk about British Rail and the National Coal Board being owned by the taxpayer.They still don't talk about the tanks, warplanes and battleships of the armed forces being owned by the taxpayer, which would be just as (il)logical, but then this is government spending they want people to look on favourably. And they never call on the Taxpayers Alliance to give "balance" when they are discussing arms spending as they often do when discussing with trade unionists.Actually of course Lloyds, RBS and the armed forces are owned by "the taxpayers" but the taxpayers are the employing class not us.

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