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I do not think I was making a distinction between fees and charges—they are just words. They broadly mean the same thing and both suffer from the same defect.
I am about to get to that. There are other fees and charges which, as a matter of policy, raise more than enough to cover costs and these should be treated as taxes. I think that in the national accounts, even if the words “fee” or “charge” or “levy” are used, statisticians look at the facts of the case. If there is this surplus generated beyond the simple...
If something generates a surplus, it is equivalent to a tax and should be covered by the same legislative understandings about taxes. There is a third category, where a conscious policy relates the fee not according to how much it costs to administer that piece of service to a business or a household but to something like wealth or income. The most egregious example of this was the recently...
Entered the House of Lords on 7 December 2005
Positions held at time of appointment: Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Home Civil Service. (from Number 10 press release)
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