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Most ‘taxes’ in South Africa fall outside of the control and oversight of parliament. Reuters/Schalk van Zuydam

How South Africans fork out billions in ‘taxes’ collected by stealth

South Africans spend billions of rands paying for services that should be provided by government, thus making the tax burden considerably higher than what appears in official tax data.
We might be ambivalent about taxation because it challenges our sense of ourselves as individuals – and we may not trust governments to spend it properly. Shutterstock

The politics of taxation – or how to convince people to part with their money

Many of us are happy for governments to increase spending on public services, but we don't like the idea of higher taxes. There are some good reasons for this.
The study found most residents have positive attitudes toward local government. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Communities love local councils but not private service delivery

A new study of more than 2000 Australians has found we care deeply about local councils, and overwhelmingly want governments -- not private contractors -- to deliver local services.
Recent surveys have highlighted a deeper malaise in the public’s faith in its core institutions and leaders. AAP/Lukas Coch

What can governments and leaders do when trust evaporates?

The 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer points to an “evaporation of trust” in institutions and leaders worldwide. The annual survey finds a decline in trust overall, with more countries classified as distrusting…
Pulling the plug on services will be costly. AMA via Shutterstock

Austerity cuts to local leisure services is a false economy

Public sector workers have been taking to the streets protesting the below-inflation pay rises and austerity. The Trades Union Congress hoped this would send a clear message to the British government…
Whichever way you look at it, tax cuts cause losses for all. PA Wire

How Cameron’s tax giveaway will end up costing you more

One of the Conservative Party’s major promises to emerge in its party conference was the promise of tax cuts to reduce the burden of government on hardworking families who do the right thing. Many critics…
The draft report of the Competition Policy Review elevates consumer choice above all other considerations.

Harper review would reduce us from citizens to mere consumers

Are we consumers or are we citizens? Clearly most of us are both. In a capitalist economy people get much of what they need through competitive markets. Yet we also live within a society and have reasonable…

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