Letter: Tax and poverty

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Successive British governments have paid and continue to pay untold billions to force millions to sit idle watching daytime television, to encourage farmers to produce uneatable beef, to distort the housing market, to destroy irreplaceable scenic beauty with redundant roads, and to buy seemingly inexhaustible numbers of nuclear missiles (which, one fervently hopes, will never be used).

If Lord Plant, chair of the Fabian Society Commission on Taxation and Citizenship, (Comment, 1 September) or anyone else, wishes to persuade taxpayers that the Government needs more of our money (and I am agog at Lord Plant's apparent belief that government money is not taxpayers' money - or is it an official Fabian Society tenet that money grows on trees?) then first of all the Government should make sure that it properly uses the money it already gets.

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