Tax, privacy and the state


In Norway, an extreme intervention in privacy has become a deadly threat to respected and peaceful citizens, their families, children and spouses. This weekend a number of Norwegians received blackmail letters threatening them to hand over large sums of money to the offenders.

The offenders have used the publicly available tax database to pick out their victims. Each year the Norwegian government publishes all Norwegian citizens’ tax information on the internet for everybody to look at. From this database you can find out the income, paid tax and wealth of all Norwegian people and Norwegian companies. Offenders have picked out those most likely to be able to pay. The publishing of the databases was stopped for a short period, but reintroduced when the present social democratic government came into power.

The same danger is faced by Swedish taxpayers, where the government, like in Norway, exposures citizens’ private lives and incomes. The Danish government does not perform this kind of policy at the moment, but the Socialistic Peoples Party has proposed to introduce this legislation, if a social democratic government comes into power after the next election. The reason they give for this is to make it possible for people to keep an eye on each other to ensure everybody pays tax. Essentially they are encouraging people to spy on each other.

When facing absurdities like this the people of Scandinavia really need to ask themselves how much they really want to expose their private lives to public inspection. They also need to consider if it is proper that self-justifying politicians are able to give what should be private information to the world without asking first?

On a related matter, the ASI have an upcoming event entitled "Tax Competition: Economic Freedom and National Sovereignty". Click here to find out more.