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Time to tax

19 September 2015

8:00 AM

19 September 2015

8:00 AM

From ‘The coming budget’, The Spectator, 18 September 1915: At present the large majority of householders and electors pay no direct taxation of any kind. They know nothing of the Income Tax collector’s demand-note, and they never receive a call from the rate collector. This system is not only fiscally but politically unsound, and a Cabinet which includes both parties in the State ought to take advantage of the present opportunity to remedy one of the worst features of our Constitution. The simplest method of dealing with the problem is to require employers to collect the Income Tax on wage-earners at the source, exactly in the same way that bankers collect at the source the Income Tax on dividend-owners. The experience of the Insurance Act shows that this can be done with certainty and without great expense. Nothing stands in the way but the fear of politicians that the measure might be unpopular.


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