There have been many terrible terrible thing's that have been said of late about social security and those in receipt of it. And there are many people doing a valiant attempt to refute them in the rhetorical war exploding around us. However there is a phrase that I keep hearing that is not being challenged which is 'Taxpayers money'.
Is it just me or does this phrase not make sense. If I pay taxes then the money that I pay to the treasury is by definition no longer mine but belongs to the nation. Now I have a democratic duty to hold the government to account for how they administer our collective resources, but it is not my money it belongs to all of us as a collective.
The problem with referring to it as taxpayers money implies that as a taxpayer I somehow have greater right to decided how it is spent than those who currently are not paying tax, and by inference the more tax you pay the more decision making power you have. There is something inherently undemocratic in that.
I am also fed up of being told what upsets me as a tax payer. There are things about social security that upset me, but not the ones the government tell me are upsetting me. It upsets me that there is such a thing as working tax credits and that people can work a 30 -40 hour week and still not earn enough to survive. I fundamentally think the purpose of social security should not be to subsidies the private sector; they should jolly well pay decent wages.
It upsets me the amount of housing benefit people need to claim. Which is the result, not of too many children or people scrounging of the state, or living in Kensington. It is the result of unscrupulous capitalists, decades of daft housing policy and an obsession with private ownership. It upsets me that the tax system isn't such that it curbs the behavior of such empire builders.
But what upsets me more than any of this is that while friends and love ones are being squeezed to live on what is not possible to live on, while the price of everything is going up and life is getting tougher for almost everyone I know. I take a walk round central London and see wealth oozing out of the city. When I pass 6 Starbucks on a street and get sent links via amazon. When I see an add for a bank that the country bailed out with amounts of money I can't even conceive of, offering me an app to help me budget better. Then I get really really mad. That is what Tax payers are upset about (well this one at least).