Should British citizens be allowed to donate to government departments? Watch

Margaret Thatcher
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This would in no way replace the taxation system. But, it would allow people to donate a certain amount of money to a specified government department anonymously.

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Aj12
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Could be interesting, I imagine many people would not want to donate to the government though. Plus it would seem pretty desperate.
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CandyFlipper
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Voluntary taxation then basically, sure why not. But most of the time theres a way for people to donate to a cause they believe in using some kind of private charity or group - but yeah this couldn't exactly do any harm, if nobody donated much we'd be no worse off.

I mean a lot of socialists want like 70% tax, so why not let them pay the extra voluntarily.
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Broderss
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JSA should be a loan (in effect).
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mathew551
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Maybe this could be part of the Big Society ideology Cameron is pushing through?
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Genocidal
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It has no real drawbacks so sure we may aswell.
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BeanofJelly
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Private donors --> Corruption

I think that's why this doesn't exist.

In the charitable-tax world of the future, government departments become dependent on private donors, who are not obliged to pay. I'm sure you can see the problem with that. Rich people don't need any additional political advantage methinks.
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Wednesday Bass
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It's an interesting concept, it could work.
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Peachz
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I agree with the corruption bit, like the whole smoking advertising ban and F1 there'd be so many like media things that expose it for specific policies. Most of which probably wont be related but the media'll make it seem that way.
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Flozza
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How about keeping th tax rate the same and allowing people what percentage of their tax goes to which section. For example, 30% to policing, 30% to defence... and so on.
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BeanofJelly
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(Original post by Flozza)
How about keeping th tax rate the same and allowing people what percentage of their tax goes to which section. For example, 30% to policing, 30% to defence... and so on.
You'd need a government department to sort out such a system, which wouldn't receive any funding because people wouldn't put their tax toward it.

Can you see where the problems with a scheme like that would arise? :p:

(sorry I'm being mean)
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Margaret Thatcher
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(Original post by BeanofJelly)
Private donors --> Corruption

I think that's why this doesn't exist.

In the charitable-tax world of the future, government departments become dependent on private donors, who are not obliged to pay. I'm sure you can see the problem with that. Rich people don't need any additional political advantage methinks.
The system would be anonymous to the government department receiving the donation.

It could be something as simple as an online donation - just enter your credit card details and specify the amount.

A hell of a lot of people would donate towards defence, considering the recent not enough tanks, body armour (and so forth) rhetoric.

I can see the NHS, the Civil List, Education, and so forth getting a good amount of donations.
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Master Roshi
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(Original post by Flozza)
How about keeping th tax rate the same and allowing people what percentage of their tax goes to which section. For example, 30% to policing, 30% to defence... and so on.
lol no, people are not knowledgeable enough for that to work
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Wednesday Bass
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(Original post by BeanofJelly)
Private donors --> Corruption

I think that's why this doesn't exist.

In the charitable-tax world of the future, government departments become dependent on private donors, who are not obliged to pay. I'm sure you can see the problem with that. Rich people don't need any additional political advantage methinks.
That's a very naive stance to take; that having private donors leads to corruption. Would you say the same for charities like Oxfam and Unicef? Fully funded by private donors.

If they set it up like any other charity, anonymous donations where people can donate as much or as little (or nothing at all) as they like.
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BeanofJelly
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(Original post by Margaret Thatcher)
The system would be anonymous to the government department receiving the donation.

It could be something as simple as an online donation - just enter your credit card details and specify the amount.

A hell of a lot of people would donate towards defence, considering the recent not enough tanks, body armour (and so forth) rhetoric.

I can see the NHS, the Civil List, Education, and so forth getting a good amount of donations.
Even anonymous donors are perfectly capable of showing their distaste or approval of changes in certain direction, for example.

Besides which, how would anonymity be enforced without literally following politicians around taping their conversations and reading their mail?

I think people here are severely underestimating how much of an ingrained problem corruption can become unless you are thinking all of the time about avoiding it. People are basically evil and selfish, if you let them be. At least enough of them are for it to be a major problem if the system even has a small window for corruption to take place. You don't even have to be evil and selfish - "good intentions" springs to mind. Those windows exist already without becoming doors :p:

I'm sorry but I think you're idea is naive Lovely as it might be, protecting democracy is important, and has to be kept in mind at all times because it isn't something that comes without considerable effort and maintenance.

(Original post by Wednesday Bass)
That's a very naive stance to take; that having private donors leads to corruption. Would you say the same for charities like Oxfam and Unicef? Fully funded by private donors.

If they set it up like any other charity, anonymous donations where people can donate as much or as little (or nothing at all) as they like.
Yes but Unicef and Oxfam don't decide our laws. They aren't democratic institutions. That's my point.

I don't have a problem with charity, of course, but you can't have a charity government, because all people are supposed (and I'm not even saying this is currently true, which it isn't) to have an equal influence (or rather, and equal chance at influence) - not one that is determined by their wealth.

Donations --> Influence there is no way around it.

If you don't think that people wouldn't use their money to try and run the country how they want, and succeed to at least a limited degree - you're the one with the naive stance. They already do, without it being virtually institutional.
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SciFiRory
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no, to easily open to corruption.

I go further than just no to this myself, all party funds for elections should come from the state, private funding of parties again leaves them far too open to corruption imo.
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Margaret Thatcher
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#17
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(Original post by BeanofJelly)
Even anonymous donors are perfectly capable of showing their distaste or approval of changes in certain direction, for example.

Besides which, how would anonymity be enforced without literally following politicians around taping their conversations and reading their mail?
I don't see how it is naive at all, I get the impression that you are attempting to conjure up rare 'what if?' situations.

The politicians wouldn't be involved in the process whatsoever. The best method would probably be a web-based system. People would be able to choose the department they wish to donate to, enter their credit card details and the Ministry of X simply receives the money, with no identification of the user whatsoever. Perhaps the bank might record the transaction, but that is all. In fact, this could be managed by an independent, regulated organisation who forward all monthly or yearly donations in one chunk, so the department doesn't even know individual amounts.

It could easily be regulated to prevent corruption. Any donations not sent through the required, anonymous system would be against the rules.
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L i b
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#18
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I think it would be better if people could donate to individual things rather than government departments: say, a new wing for a local hospital, or parents clubbing together to pay for a new library for a school.

I'd actually assume that the latter may be possible, considering that schools take donations of books and things like that. I really don't know though.
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DaveSmith99
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I would support this. I would rather it not be anonymous and the records be made publicly available to prevent corruption. People and businesses should not be able to buy influence like they can in the US.
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Quady
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(Original post by Broderss)
JSA should be a loan (in effect).
And reduce NI accordingly?
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