Taxation without representation

Since 1967, Value Added Tax (VAT) has been an obligatory element of the tax system for all nations in the EU. It is intended to be a tax on almost everything in daily use. Thanks to the careless way in which our politicians have signed away the rights of the British people, we are now faced with a situation where the tax, which affects virtually every aspect of our lives, from cot to coffin, is controlled by EU directives that override British law.

At present, we in the UK have zero rating on a number of items but the drive for tax harmonisation across the EU will ensure that before long we too will pay VAT on:

Once VAT has been imposed it cannot be removed, only reduced to an agreed figure, as we saw when the Labour government was unable to abolish VAT on fuel, merely reducing it to the permitted level of 5 per cent.

Why on earth was this most complicated of taxes ever adopted?

In 1972, a French Finance Minister explained to the House of Commons:

French people do not like paying direct taxes. It is politically inexpedient to be too strict in collecting them, so VAT was devised. A simple Sales Tax was rejected because it would be too easy for the people to understand

In other words it was a system deliberately created to hide the fact that people are being taxed on all goods and services. So much for democratic accountability.


Virtually every day we hear tales of the frauds that result from the operation of this insanely complex tax. The less well off in our society are being penalised by this most regressive of taxes. They are forced to finance a vast army of accountants and meet the huge cost of the administration it generates, while those who know how to cheat the system are stealing enormous sums, thanks to the incompetence of Brussels.

Taxation must be under democratic control

Throughout history, the right of the people to have a say in the taxes they are asked to pay has been the driving force behind major social upheavals

And yet, without the agreement of the electorate, successive British governments have agreed to the imposition of VAT. The levels and the revenues obtained from VAT will eventually come under the full control of an unelected bureaucracy in Brussels

This transfer of taxation from direct (income and profit) to indirect (consumption) means that the burden is transferred from the well off to the poorer sections of society. However, even the wealthy should remember that VAT is the first stage in the creation of a unified tax system, which will inevitably control direct taxation of income. Eventually all decisions on taxation, and the use of its revenues, will be removed from the democratic control of the British people, making it impossible for our government to direct economic policy in our the interests of our nation

Say NO to VAT, the Eurotax, and NO to membership of the European Union

(April 2003)