Taxation and Incentive

Taxation and Incentive

Taxation and Incentive

Taxation and Incentive

Excerpt

This book has been written in considerable haste, in order to provide a more complete background to the proposals for the reform of the Income Tax system which have been put before the Royal Commission on the Taxation of Profits and Income by the author than is possible in a short memorandum of evidence. It represents an endeavour to set out, however inadequately, some of the thoughts which lie behind the proposals themselves, since there has been a tendency to consider them in isolation from the events and circumstances which appear to have made changes of this kind inevitable.

It has proved impossible to do more than sketch in many of the principal ideas; but some of the suggestions, in particular those relating to the importance to Britain's economy of maintaining full employment through an expansion of trade in non-dollar areas, are based upon more carefully prepared material originally submitted to the European League for Economic Co-operation.

It will be evident that the actual proposals put forward in Part II represent only a small part of the large-scale changes, not only in taxation but in the whole conduct of industry and of government, which will be required if the diagnosis of the present situation which is contained in the following chapters is correct.

In recent years changes have been introduced into the theory and practice of public finance and taxation which can rightly be described as of momentous importance. Many of these changes were inevitable at the time they were made, owing to the stress of war conditions, and some are undoubtedly valuable; but it is suggested that there has not been sufficient examination of the philosophy upon which others are based, nor a full enough realisation of the devastation which any long continuation of the present methods must cause to the whole basis of our traditional civilisation. The grave and difficult problems involved have been discussed, inasmuch as they have been discussed at all, in the context of political theory rather than of economic fact, and they have therefore become to some extent the football of party controversy. It seems . . .

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