rip-off britain?

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  • rip-off britain?
  • LHS
    Member

    It’s just not embedded in the UK culture to differentiate the different between product cost and tax cost. It’s just different, the US is very orientated on product cost versus taxation charged by the government, hence why federal, state, city taxes are all different and designed for competition.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    if you factor in alcohol (which is more expensive)

    Beer’s more expensive, spirits are dirt cheap.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Factor in that really you want to have private health insurance in the UK as well as free NHS

    You do?

    What percent of people in the UK have private health insurance?
    And of those, how many would bother with it if they didn’t get it as a benefit from their employer?

    I think you’ve won this one LHS.

    People in the UK aren’t aware that they’re paying taxes.

    Unlike in the good ol’ US of A.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    But if all the taxes are the same, does that not put fucus on the cost of the product, as thats the only variable?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I remember being outraged (internally at least) when the product (chocolate bar or somesuch) that I was buying had 5% sales tax added at the till.

    What irks me is that the prices don’t show it so you can’t have exact money ready. I always come back from the US with enough pennies in my pockets to make me walk like ED-209. Never really understood that, it’s not like some people don’t pay the tax (AFAIK anyway).

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Beer’s more expensive, spirits are dirt cheap

    Especially if you buy them from men with 4 teeth in dungerees, and they sell it to you in jars 😉

    LHS
    Member

    I think you’ve won this one LHS.

    People in the UK aren’t aware that they’re paying taxes.

    Unlike in the good ol’ US of A.

    Good debating skills. It’s not about winning, maybe it is for some, it’s about pointing out the differences.

    bencooper
    Member

    People in the UK aren’t aware that they’re paying taxes.

    Yes, because people in the UK never moan about paying too much tax, how much stuff costs “the taxpayer”, stuff like that?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    it’s included, you don’t see the price without sales tax, therefore you don’t truelly see the cost of the product versus the cost of the taxation.

    Casting my eye over the invoices on my desk from wiggle, CRC and Amazon I see that they all have itemised prices showing cost before and after VAT.

    So it’s not quite as stealth as you suggest.

    And as others pointed out, the US only makes a point of highlighting that one sales tax.

    They (obviously) don’t itemise all the other background taxes which still have an effect on the cost of an item (e.g. corporation tax, business rates, import duties, fuel tax, etc etc).

    It’s not about winning, maybe it is for some, it’s about pointing out the differences.

    And haven’t you done it well.

    I previously would have thought that most people in the UK are fully aware that the VAT rate is 20%, but you’ve convinced me that it would be “something that would be very enlightning to most”.

    Aren’t people in the UK stupid !

    munrobiker
    Member

    I think, ernie, you’re trying to have an argument that doesn’t exist. He’s not saying that people in the UK are unaware of the VAT they pay, they just perceive it and the associated value of goods differently.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    By the way, the reason sales tax isn’t included is that it’s different in different states and even towns (there’s state and city taxes), and by leaving it off it allows fair comparison of prices between retailers.

    LHS
    Member

    Ernie is just looking for an argument, sad.

    Ernie, it’s about making you think. If you go to a till and buy something for £100 and it rings up at £105 or £120 because sales tax is 5% or 20%, you stop and think about the relative value of goods versus tax. If the price you see on the shelf is what you pay at the till, most people won’t go through that thought process.

    mogrim
    Member

    By the way, the reason sales tax isn’t included is that it’s different in different states and even towns (there’s state and city taxes), and by leaving it off it allows fair comparison of prices between retailers.

    How does that work, then? If you buy interstate online what taxes do you pay?

    munrobiker
    Member

    How does that work, then? If you buy interstate online what taxes do you pay?

    The taxes in the state you are in IIRC.

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    Where you live.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I don’t know, I’ll ask my wife. I’m guessing you pay the tax in the place where the online store is physically located. Isn’t that what we do when buying from another EU country?

    EDIT oops I guessed wrong 🙂

    Ernie, it’s about making you think.

    Yeah I understood that with your comment :

    “It is also interesting in the UK that for most items you don’t see the cost before and after sales tax is added, something that would be very enlightning to most.”

    People in the UK don’t think.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Ernie, it’s about making you think.

    Think what, though?

    “I’d rather pay £20 less for those cranks and that there was no cancer treatment available on the NHS because *I* don’t have cancer and therefore it’s not a priority for me”

    ?

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    LHS – Member
    Ernie, it’s about making you think. If you go to a till and buy something for £100 and it rings up at £105 or £120 because sales tax is 5% or 20%, you stop and think about the relative value of goods versus tax. If the price you see on the shelf is what you pay at the till, most people won’t go through that thought process.

    Why is this thought process necessary for every purchase?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    It’s not about making you think. It’s about comparison. Trust me, most people do not consider politics when they buy their groceries. It’s pretty similar in most places anyway – 4-6%

    b r
    Member

    I don’t know, I’ll ask my wife. I’m guessing you pay the tax in the place where the online store is physically located. Isn’t that what we do when buying from another EU country?

    I think that’s right, or at least use to be as a company I worked for bought our software from HP through a specific state as they had the lowest levels of tax on that product – could have been Deleware, but could be wrong.

    mogrim
    Member

    It’s not about making you think. It’s about comparison. Trust me, most people do not consider politics when they buy their groceries. It’s pretty similar in most places anyway – 4-6%

    It’s only really about comparison with out-of-state shopping, though. Not a great deal of use when it comes to comparing your two local supermarkets.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    No but if you are buying a car or a TV you could have a choice of retailers in different towns, or in different states. Not all states are big, and in any case you may live close to the border with another.

    cheekyboy
    Member

    Think what, though?

    “I’d rather pay £20 less for those cranks and that there was no cancer treatment available on the NHS because *I* don’t have cancer and therefore it’s not a priority for me”

    ?

    What a truly bizarre thought process.

    Theres nowt better than a bit of cancer to emotionalise an argument eh !

    novaswift
    Member

    And all because I thought the trainers were cheap

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    That’s STW for you 🙂

    Premier Icon phinbob
    Subscriber

    Groceries are not cheaper, at least not in California.

    Tax burden is about the same plus you pay for health insurance and you pay at the point of delivery.

    I’m not knocking the place but it’s not hugely less expensive for many things.

    novaswift
    Member

    Interesting to see how different areas have their own taxes

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Last time I was over there, in New York, it was pretty much the same cost as the UK for everything (food, clothes, drinks, etc).

    b r
    Member

    Interesting to see how different areas have their own taxes

    You really had no clue about the US did you?

    In fact, here’s a recent post just for you:

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/survey-shows-british-public-wrong-about-everything

    Thing is, when you pay VAT here, you pay the same rate no matter whereabouts in the UK you are (not sure about IoM, Channel Islands, etc) so what’s the point in putting price minus the VAT on display? The only place I see this is in builders’ merchants, tool stores where most of the customers will be VAT registered – so they’ll be claiming it back anyway. Comparing prices minus VAT would be pointless as each retailer has to add the same % tax anyway. 😕

    johndoh
    Member

    Spent 3 weeks in California over Christmas – on balance I thought everything was similarly priced.

    Oh and nobody’s mentioned tipping yet. Now, there’s a bloody stealth tax. 🙂

    Premier Icon Coyote
    Subscriber

    Isn’t it though! 🙂

    LHS
    Member

    Comparing prices minus VAT would be pointless

    It may seem pointless if you’ve not experienced anything different, but having the before and after price makes you think a lot more about the cost of goods versus the cost of tax weighted goods. To be honest the average joe probably couldn’t care less, embedded tax and seeing only one price is just part of the culture in the UK.

    If you have ever done a tax return in the US versus the UK you will understand that overall you pay significantly less tax in the US.

    It may seem pointless

    Yes, because it is.

    LHS
    Member

    Yes, because it is.

    for those who are happy to not understand it.

    Understand what? What understanding will increase with this new pricing system you’d introduce?

    Oh and…

    If:

    If you have ever done a tax return in the US versus the UK you will understand that overall you pay significantly less tax in the US.

    Then I’ll happily pay more for the society we have here, unequal as it is at times.

    …..having the before and after price makes you think a lot more about the cost of goods versus the cost of tax weighted goods. To be honest the average joe probably couldn’t care less, embedded tax and seeing only one price is just part of the culture in the UK.

    How about putting up signs on roads detailing how much per mile they cost to maintain ? Or a police car could have its price tag clearly visible, or nurses could have labels on their uniforms stating how much per hour it costs to employ them, and so on.

    After all, if it isn’t constantly pointed out to him throughout the day so that he can clearly see how is average joe going to appreciate or understand where his taxes are being spent ?

    LHS
    Member

    As I said before, I think people make the mistake when they try and do a straight comparison between the US and the UK as a country, more the US and Europe as the differences from state to state are very profound, down to taxation, cost of living, laws etc. The main comparison here is California which if you take San Francisco as an example is probably comparable to living in London from a cost of living point of view. If you took Georgia as an example, this would probably be the equivalent of Spain or Turkey.

    LHS
    Member

    or nurses could have labels on their uniforms stating how much per hour it costs to employ them

    I think it would make a huge amount of sense for people to be told how much it costs them at point of use for the NHS even if you aren’t actually paying at point of use. At the moment in the UK you blindly pay tax into a large bucket each month without any true knowledge of what the public services cost. For example, if you went into hospital to have your appendix removed and at the end you saw the cost for how much that operation cost, it would make you think / appreciate more the cost to the taxpayer to keep the NHS running. I have seen it first hand for the cost of cancer care using private BUPA facilities, it would be good for everyone to understand that.

    lodious
    Member

    Oh and nobody’s mentioned tipping yet. Now, there’s a bloody stealth tax.

    It’s a PITA, I tipped 15% in a restaurant a few months ago and totally ignored (as in, would not serve me) the following night by the waitress.

    If you have ever done a tax return in the US versus the UK you will understand that overall you pay significantly less tax in the US.

    How much does your medical insurance cost? Quite a few people I love who could not afford medical insurance are alive today thanks to the NHS, which is a big deal.

    I have seen it first hand for the cost of cancer care using private BUPA facilities, it would be good for everyone to understand that.

    I’m sorry, how does understanding how much “private BUPA facilities” cost help us here ?

    Are you suggesting that it will help us to understand what fantastic value for money the NHS offers us, and how we should protect and defend it, and just how unlucky Americans are with their unhealthy obsession with taxation over health provisions ?

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