It can be nicer, and also a lot smarter. The government is planning a VAT increase. Some taxes only serve to bring in a lot of money for the government. Other taxes actually ensure a desired change in behavior among calculating citizens. What's smart and what's stupid?
Every year, the government spends a lot of money on all kinds of things that politicians consider important, ranging from jet fighters to development aid. While many of these are questionable, some expenses, and thus taxes, remain necessary. Suppose the Dutch tax system were to be redesigned from the ground up, which taxes would be best to abolish or introduce?
Stupid taxes and retarded tax breaks
The taxes in this group stimulate undesirable behavior that is harmful to the individual and the Netherlands. While some are a necessary evil, they should really be kept as low as possible.
Tax on labor.
These taxes, the main source of income in the Netherlands, punish productivity. No wonder that less and less work is done as the taxes on works increase. As Jan Marijnissen rightly pointed out, in this country more is earned by speculating than by working. In short: it couldn't be more stupid.
Even more damaging is the 100% tax on legal work by welfare recipients. This keeps them in the poverty trap; it is more lucrative to do nothing with social security benefits or to do black jobs than to look for work. Solution: a basic income.
Mortgage interest deduction.
This tax pushes people into deep debt and drives house prices absurdly high. This oversight to brokers and bankers is the main cause of the house price bubble in the Netherlands. This makes quick abolition of this an excellent plan.
Airline ticket tax.
Stupid, because this tax does not distinguish between fuel-efficient aircraft and noisy kerosene guzzlers. Consumers avoided this tax en masse, as a result of which Schiphol lost many customers. The Germans now repeat this stupidity of the “guide country” of the Netherlands.
State aid to underprivileged companies
Outdated companies teetering on the brink of bankruptcy are best off quickly. State aid, such as tax credits, is out of the question, unless it is to split off promising parts or to have retired entrepreneurs transform them into an innovative hotspot.
Tax exemption for religious organizations
Many religious organizations, such as Buddhist monasteries, churches, the Ahmadiyya mosque associations or Hindu temples, are de facto charities and should be treated as tax-related. Religious organizations where norms and values are proclaimed (or who surrender to practices) that cause problems for Dutch society, such as certain mosque associations, some churches and sects, must become liable to tax or even be charged an extra penalty.
It is better to be directly subject to the recipient's income tax. Simpler and fairer.
Grants and tax deductions for childcare
This stimulates parents to start frequenting the already overburdened commercial childcare. The consequences can be guessed. Of course it is much smarter to let parents find a solution themselves and to increase their financial space for this, for example through a child allowance to enter.
Subsidy for living alone.
There is a remarkably simple explanation for the ever smaller households. Living alone is rewarded, cohabitation is punished. This while it has been scientifically proven that cohabiting people are happier and healthier and also participate better in society.
Smart taxes and crafty tax breaks
The taxes in this group ensure that the Dutch behave in a more productive way.
Contrary to what so-called economists try to fool you, consumption in itself is not that good for the economy at all. By consuming you consume, so you become poorer. Investing, on the other hand, produces new wealth. Some consumables provide reproduction: people's ability to create value. Think of food, certain health care and educational resources. Other consumer goods are neutral or have disadvantages, such as fast cars and boats, unhealthy food and the like. On all consumer goods that reduce energy consumption, improve their knowledge, understanding or person or promote health, the VAT must be included in the low rate. The rest in the high rate. An extra high VAT rate must be introduced for harmful items.
Excise duty on fossil energy carriers, alcohol and tobacco.
Fossil energy carriers such as oil, coal and natural gas are becoming scarce and cost billions a year in scarce foreign exchange. This excise duty must therefore be increased significantly, if possible in a European context.
Excise duty and VAT should also be levied on aviation fuel. This is currently tax-free. This is only possible in a European context.
Excise duty on newly extracted raw materials
Industry must be encouraged to use raw materials as efficiently as possible and recycle them as much as possible. A heavy import tax on raw materials and semi-finished products. In proportion to the amount of raw material and energy used, as well as the social and environmental damage, it prevents severe environmental pollution and devastating civil wars in resource-producing countries. This is only practical in a European context. It also prevents dependence on foreign countries.
Excise duty on non-biodegradable disposable items
Litter is a growing problem. Manufacturers must be encouraged to develop biodegradable packaging. The best way to do this is to impose a high excise duty on non-biodegradable packaging. This is also a good excuse to impose import duties with impunity.
Import duties protect the domestic industry but provoke retaliation from abroad. In this way, the domestic industry also learns not to compete against foreign countries. Import duties, however, can be useful to protect a new growth technology for a few years, the Japanese example proves. If some domestic (or European) competitors compete fiercely with each other, prices will naturally fall and the tariff walls may fall after a few years.
Excise duty on soft drugs and hard drugs
At the moment, the tax on this is zero percent. The government is committed to protecting this lucrative market with police raids and severe penalties. As a result, it is a lucrative growth market. Obviously it is much smarter to legalize drugs and to set up a substantial excise duty here.
By child discount working parents are also given the opportunity to have children at a younger age. This helps against aging and also prevents health problems. Naturally, the number of children must be capped at two. Mega stables, common practice in black stockings of all faiths, are bad for people and the environment.
A dead person has little use for his or her money. There is also no incentive for next of kin to behave as a better person because of the sweet sum they inherit. Spoiled wealthy heirs are a well-known phenomenon in society circles. Instead, let the elderly donate during their lifetime.