Ask the people what taxes they’d like

As you may have spotted we’ve been running a project where we ask the profession what demands or pledges they would like to see in a manifesto from the profession.
It’s been a fascinating process seeing the diversity of concerns that there are out there.
One of the most interesting suggestions that came up though was a proposal to ask people what they believe should be taxed. Democracy in fiscal action, I think that would be.
Taking that idea on a step, why don’t we ask tax advisers what area of business they think should be taxed? Or even company directors. It would be one way of getting their buy-in (a factor executives and managers love to talk about) when it comes to paying what would otherwise be unpopular taxes. They would have no room to complain if it was their idea.
Politicians would argue that they are mandated to make these decisions for us when they are elected.
But the thing is no party’s election manifesto is detailed enough to cover all topics and issues. Few really get into much detail. In a sense therefore, you could argue the mandate is not as all encompassing as politicians might like to think.
But I think this process could only work if it was fully transparent – we could see the proposals and how much support they gained. We would have little choice but to work with policy derived in this way. That said it would be costly to administer, which would be a major argument against its implementation.
A fascinating thought exercise though to wonder how such a proposal might work and what results it would produce.
By the way, if you want to send in your manifesto proposals you still can. Email them to and write Manifesto in the subject box.
We plan to produce a long list and then ask the readership to vote of them so we can work out a top ten to present to the new government.

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