Brewer's Droop #198

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HANDS UP EVERYONE WHO PAYS THEIR INCOME TAX

How do you get a prostitute to pay tax on the money she makes?



Well, it’s actually not as difficult as it seems. While the rest of us (actually we’re a very small percentage) are being screwed by the taxman she (or he) is doing it the other way round.*



And that bloke selling illegal fags on the street corner? I bet he’s not paying any tax either.



In fact, just about everybody dealing in cash probably “forgets” to mention most of their income.



And I’m not giving into temptation by starting a rant about those bastards who make a fortune out of showing people how to avoid paying tax. What I will say is that they should all be locked in a room with Jeremy Clarkson and forced to listen to him speak his mindless drivel endlessly for 24 hours a day.



South Africa relies far too much on the few of us who DO pay. They may be trying to expand the number but that idea will also fail – because income tax is so easy to avoid. The numbers vary but, essentially, out of around 18 million people who work only about 5 million pay income tax.

Even if this gap were closed significantly it’s an inherently bad idea for any government to promise a wealthy country in exchange for increasing amounts of taxation on income.



As Winston Churchill famously said: “A nation trying to tax itself into prosperity is rather like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the bucket handle.”



But the solution is SO simple that I’m amazed it hasn’t been done before.



So, for all those politicians reading this (I know you do because Brewers Droop has been mentioned in Parliamentary debates before) just repeat the following words several times a day until the idea finally sinks in.



Ready?



Abolish ALL earning tax (PAYE) and increase spending tax (VAT).


Then EVERY person will be paying tax to the government and its coffers will fill very quickly. The reason is simple – it’s a million times more difficult to fiddle VAT than PAYE.



Of course some items will be zero rated (like bread) but VAT on a new Merc will be 100% (and car dealers mustn’t worry because sales will go up! A high-earning person not paying income tax will have loads of cash to spare).



You don’t have to thank or reward me, it’s my gift to all mankind.

[* Actually there have been many cases of prostitutes being forced to pay income tax despite their earnings being illegal. In America even an embezzler was ordered to pay tax on the money he’d stolen!]

YOU GOT TO KNOW WHEN TO FOLD EM

It seems to have been rather a rough time lately for some of the businesses which our government controls – specifically SAA and the SABC.

At the time of writing Carol Carolus (chairwoman of SAA) and 7 other board members resigned – putting our national carrier at even greater risk.

Meanwhile Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba expressed, through a spokesman, some “surprise” at what had happened, adding that the Company Secretary had not yet received their resignations in writing. Well, he was just waiting for the postman first and then planned to deal with the crisis later I expect.

But he did move rather quickly when the story broke. He appointed an acting chairman in the meantime while announcing Vuyisile Kona will be the new chairman. (In fact he reacted SO quickly – almost indecently fast – that I hope he gave enough thought to the matter). Although I suppose it doesn’t really matter who’s going to continue this monumental cock up.

And following on from what I said in the last Droop (#197) the 2011 financial results for SA Express (another government initiative) have been delayed until next year because of “accounting errors”, which is hardly surprising since that’s happened every year since 2008. Sigh.

By the way…SAA has also invited proposals from “suitably qualified service providers” to tender for “Global Advertising Services” – that should get some interest going amongst a few agencies I would think. If you’d like a copy of it then email me and I’ll send it to you.

ANOTHER NATIONAL DISASTER

Meanwhile, on the other side of Johannesburg, the knives are out (again) in the SABC boardroom. Directors are running around the corridors shouting “corruption” and accusing each other of dysfunctionality.

Allegations regarding corruption and maladministration surround chairman Ben Ngubane (who has been described as having an ‘abrasive’ character).

Chief Financial Officer Gugu Duda has already been suspended over allegations of irregular procurement procedures.

Now they want to get rid of Cawekazi Mahlati because she’s apparently been suspected of doing something naughty too – although she says it’s all just a cover-up to hide evidence of corruption (someone else’s).

In both the cases of SAA and the SABC the respective histories of both businesses are surely sufficient evidence to prove once and for all that government should NOT be involved with big business.

In the meantime it seems that watching eTV and flying BA are some serious options. But as Chris Moerdyk so eloquently phrased it, those of us who pay tax are actually paying to watch SABC and fly SAA whether we like it or not. (Which is why the hooker and the man selling illegal cigarettes are smiling – they’re so much smarter than we are.)

Oh well, it’ll soon be Christmas when we can all be jolly again and pretend we have a corruption-free society. (Mind you, it’s taking increasingly more merlot to get me thinking like that these days).

Chris

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Comments

  1. Another cracker! Well done, Chris!

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  2. Well said! The SABC and the SAA are a national disgrace. I bet they have even got the NEXT lot of directors all lined up just so that everyone gets a chance.

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    • Mike. Why stop at SAA and SABC?

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      • Ian, I don’t think there is enough room on this site to do a full list!

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  3. Listened to Dal Thambo saying on SAfm today that the ANC has many, many of member politicians brimming with talent and ideas and wondered whether, after all, decent education would help this country now.
    I wanted to ask: ‘Name five,’ but I was driving at the time.

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  4. Gosh, what a surprise! Corruption and mismanagement at SAA and the SABC is still going on! With so much ‘talent’ waiting in the wings I am sure we can look forward to many more years of the same!

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  5. Thanks! Well said…

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  6. I AGREE WITH YOUR NEW TAX SYSTEM, HOWEVER, WHAT CONCERNS ME MORE, IS WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE TAX MONEY. I THINK THE TREASURY NEEDS A FORENSIC AUDIT BY AN OVER SEAS FIRM…PRONTO!

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  7. No man Chris………. the Jeremy Clarkson comment was not called for – a droop too low perhaps?

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    • Guy, Jeremy Clarkson is a brilliant writer and that’s where he should leave it. There’s only so much man-to-man gibberish about pistons and torques a sane person can take!

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      • I wish we had more crits like JC – at least he talks the torque and steers clear of being PC.

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    • AND he’s a chauvenist pig!

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      • He also hates caravans………………..that’s what makes him entertaining!

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        • Does anybody like caravans????

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  8. Partially agree about Clarkson’s drivel – however, it’s not completely mindless on his part; he knows exactly to which audience he’s playing. Yes, the mindless, who hang on his every word.

    While agreeing completely on VAT, it will never fly in this country as the great unwashed will then have to pay SOME tax, rather than bugger-all as they are presently doing.

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  9. Hip Hip Hooray! Chris. I look forward to every issue. Why stop at SAA and SABC. The banksters have it coming surely – why even NEW ERA is having a class action go. Wont hold my breath at their chances – but its a go nonetheless. Check out http://www.newera.org.za/class-action-lawsuit-against-the-banks/

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    • Super brave Chris – and super cool of you not to have “moderated” and to have opened to your readers. I hope we can develop an informed discussion around this – as it affects all of us!

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  10. Hell! – would love to read your “take” on the issue. That would be a blast!

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  11. Sell SAA to Richard Branson and see how quickly he starts making profits!

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    • Johan, read Droop #197 where I asked the same question.

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  12. It seems that since I left S.A. aviation and media are going backwards – from worse to worst. Do I need to come back and straighten things out? Chris, I love your ‘droop’ keep them coming mate.

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    • Thanks Peter!

      No need to come and sort it out, my neighbour’s six-year-old has already offered.

      What we have to do is to be patient and just wait until everyone’s had a go (and taken their bonuses obviously) and then let someone in who actually CAN do the job(s) take over.

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