Tim Worstall writes for ConservativeHome

There’s no problem with the youth of today having a few demos: not only is there no problem, it’s rather cheering, realising that we’ve not quite, despite the education system, managed to raise a generation of entire dullards. However, there is a problem with what UK Uncut is actually demonstrating about, which seems to be their ignorance of how the tax system works and how even the Platonic ideal of one would or could work.

Take, for example, their whining about Vodafone. Their argument is that a company which makes money in Germany, selling phones to Germans from German shops, should pay tax in the UK. That in itself is fine, we can tax companies where their domicile is, no problem. But then they whine about Boots, arguing that a Swiss company which makes money selling things to Britons, from shops in Britain, should pay British taxes. This is making the opposite argument to the Vodafone case: that tax should be levied where the economic activity takes place. We can indeed tax on the economic activity basis: but we cannot tax on both, domicile and activity. Not, at least, if we’re to avoid simply taxing any and everyone just because we can which isn’t quite the logical base for a socio-economic system that we might want.

Our education system might not have left the young without ambition but it does seem to have left them uninformed. It is thus the duty of us crumblies, tottering towards our graves, to do what the state has not managed to do, inform them. And thus the report released today by the Institute of Economic Affairs, UK Uncut Unravelled.

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