March 05, 2004

Empty Pockets - Bulging Coffers

Given that much of life over the last month has revolved around death, Mrs H and I changed the topic tonight to taxes.

The basic rate of income tax is 22%. The usual rate of national insurance tax for an employee is 11%. There goes 33% before anything goes in the bank. But don't keep it in the bank too long. Savings are also taxed at the same rate as income tax (this is directly debited by the Inland Revenue). I mentioned a few days ago that they are taking up to 50% on certain kinds of income that Mrs H and I aren't in a position to enjoy.

Spend the money that's left and 17.5% percent of every purchase is tax. This includes our phone bill. Except petrol, of course. I filled up my tank yesterday at a cost of $70.00. 80% of that was tax. Every time I fill my tank, I gove the Government another $56.00 or so. I fill up my car about once a week. That means I pay the Goverment over $200.00 in tax each month. That doesn't include the road tax for the car of $320 per year.

Then there is council tax. The normal rate for our tiny rented property is about $176 per month. Then for the privilege of having a TV we pay $18 per month. That's only to watch the five broadcast channels with the aid of a aerial. Even if with had digital or cable or satellite, we would still have to pay the TV license on top of those costs (which would be again taxed at 17.5%).

Those are the taxes we could think of off the top of our heads. We realised that it is amazing that we (or anyone else in this country) still has any money.

Posted by david at March 5, 2004 11:10 PM | TrackBack