Do you think that better-off pensioners should pay for their own winter fuel, and their own bus-passes? Of course they should! And of course they do, don't they? Not only their own, but they pay for the winter fuel and the bus-passes of the less well off as well. Because they pay their taxes.
I hope that Iain Duncan Smith never said anything about the "better
off pensioners" voluntarily paying for their own fuel and transport.
Voluntary taxes are a bad idea. It is, of course, true that the better-off
can voluntarily do whatever they want with the money that remains
to them after taxation, but how that is spent must be left to them.
There must be no suggestion whatever that they 'should' do this or
that with their remaining money; just to pacify the silly hue-and-cry of the media and of
the people who do not understand where the money comes from that funds
all public services in this country.
However, it would be good if we could evolve and annunciate a rationale
for a progressive tax system slightly more sophisticated than the old "squeeze
them till the pips squeak". For example, wealth that accumulates suggests
excessive income. The "poor are always with us", and we have always had the rich as well; so maybe that is as it should be. But the rich should not get richer and the poor (relatively) poorer. That seems to indicate an inadequately progressive tax policy.
The bad thing about voluntary taxes is that the willing, the
sensitive, and the vulnerable will pay while the busy, the
thoughtless, and the selfish will not pay. We should tax wealth, not
conscience and good citizenship.