Saturday, October 02, 2010

Athens to audit kids in bid to raise tax revenue

Lydia, originally uploaded by Teacher Dude's BBQ.

The Greek government is introducing "tax cards" in the new year in order that children as young as seven years old have their financial transactions recorded electronically. As ludicrous as this sounds the Finance Ministry is all set on issuing 1.5 million cards to the country's primary, secondary and tertiary level students. The idea is that when young people buy anything there will be a record available for tax purposes.

It is a typical of the fact that faced with an IRS/Inland Revenue service riddled through with corruption and inefficiency the Greek state once more requires that every citizen police themselves. A less charitable comparision can be made with Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge who used children to gather information and evidence against their parents. Had the Khmer embraced technology instead of destroying it I'm sure they would have loved this idea.

On a more practical level every single retail business in the country will be obliged to buy card readers and keep records whilst 1.5 million kids/teens/young adults will be required to keep the card on them if they want to buy anything. As you can see this is a recipe for confusion, chaos and massive cost over runs - exactly the factors that helped the country get in the mess it already finds itself in.

All this from a government that doesn't even know how many students are studying at state universties and polytechnics after nine months of asking nor how many people it employs as a whole.

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