No, I’m not talking here about the seemingly endless information published about reality TV stars but the recently announced government measures to tell taxpayers how their money is spent.
I’m all for a bit of transparency here, afterall, without it we’d still be funding MP’s duckhouses, but not only is the sending out of millions of letters extremely wasteful in these austere times (let’s hope it’s on recycled paper) but why do I need to know how the thousands I pay every year in tax are actually spent?
I don’t have the ability to, for example, say you know what, I really don’t want any of my hard earned cash to be spent on the EU this month or I think I’ve paid more than my fair share into the NHS which won’t treat my thyroid problem as I need it treated so can you divert a bit into turning the street lights on for a bit longer at night because it’s now party season and I’ll be home a bit later than usual.
With knowledge often equating to power my BIG fear here is that this information will be misused to stir up all kinds of problems:
Massive spending on overseas aid = press stories on how certain states who receive this aid can afford x,y,z and a call for a cut back to all foreign aid because, well, its foreign.
We’ve spend gazillions on the welfare budget = cue a whole load of people who quite rightly deserve a helping hand going through all sorts of stress to prove they need it.
You see where I’m going with this?
Too much of this sort of information with, as I expect, very little detail behind it can be inflammatory as we are all likely to have a very personal take on this.
I’d prefer to see something which tells me what VALUE has been created from the tax take….give it a feelgood factor?
We all work hard so surely it would be better to see what good has been done?
What do you think?