My Tax Return


An American supreme court judge – I think 19th century vintage – once said “I like paying tax – it’s the price of civilization”.

Well I’ve just filed Francesca’s and my returns – perilously close as ever to January 31. My head hurts and my wallet too. I see what the judge was trying to say but it is hard at this moment to share his enthusiasm, although the online self-assessment software does take away the horror of tax calculation. I have always been scrupulous about paying tax – and making sure people that do jobs about our house are paid on a tax inclusive basis.

But I just wish I had more involvement in where the money went – it’s hard to be enthusiastic when I see our local health service going backwards, potholes like volcanic craters in the roads and pavements, and billions being spent on an illegal war in Iraq which my party never supported.

If parliament had a vote on going to war and if services were run at a much more local level where we could see the whites of the eyes of those accountable for running them, I might just echo the American judge’s sentiments. But I guess paying tax will never be a bundle of laughs in what is anyway supposed to be the most depressing week of the year.


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