The Conservative Party has committed itself to a radical new tax policy in which wage earners only have to hand over as much money to the exchequer as they think is appropriate. Inspired by today’s innovative release of Radiohead’s new album ‘In Rainbows’ for which music fans can choose their own price, the Tory front bench believe they have really hit upon a vote-winning economic policy.
‘We’ve done the sums and they definitely add up’ said Conservative leader David Cameron. ‘We reckon that people will probably choose to voluntarily surrender around thirty per cent of their income, which should be enough to run all the schools and hospitals and everything.’
‘Obviously some people might opt to pay no tax at all,’ conceded George Osborn, ‘but we’re confident that lots of other people will decide to pay much, much more than they are paying at the moment. What’s so thrilling is that it really involves ordinary people in decisions about setting their own tax thresholds!’ added the excited shadow chancellor.
On the streets of Britain’s marginal constituencies, voters responded positively to so-called ‘Radiohead Economics’; ‘Let’s see now; I’ve got two kids at state schools, I use the local hospital, then there’s all the other stuff like my parents’ pension, the lads in Iraq, the arts and everything…’ said one taxpayer. ‘So I reckon I would probably hand over about, er, nothing. Yeah that sounds about right.’
However a number of economic analysts have slammed the ‘pay what you want’ tax plan. Professor Jenny Grover of the London School of Economics said ‘Under our estimates the total Gross National Tax Revenues for the next financial year would be £0.00.’ By coincidence this is exactly the average price paid for the new Radiohead album.
Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling slammed the tax plan as ‘insane and completely unworkable’ before going to the House of Commons to announce the idea as official government policy.