We thoroughly approve of Westminster's voluntary tax idea

Westminster council has decided to ask the richer among its residents to provide a voluntary top up to the tax revenue:

Officially, it’s not a guilt tax. Westminster council prefers the term “community contribution” to describe the idea that its millionaire residents might like to make a voluntary donation on top of council tax. It is, they say, merely a chance for the wealthiest to “invest in their neighbourhood”.

We thoroughly approve for it aids us in working out who is prepared to really walk the walk.

For it's really not difficult to find those who will talk about the desire, even necessity, for more taxes. It's rather less common to find people who will cough up. It was one of us, back in 2005, who first got the numbers out of the Treasury for those who had voluntarily paid extra tax in the previous year. 5 - and 4 of those were dead. Those numbers haven't changed greatly in the intervening years.

This is the difference between expressed preferences and revealed. What people really think is found in what they do, not what they say. And as we have found, and as we expect this new initiative to find, there are very many fewer people willing to pay more than the number who will call for more to be paid.

After all, even those who call for very much higher tax rates do still fill out tax forms to work out how much they must pay, rather than scribbling a cheque for some randomly large amount, don't they?