Margaret Thatcher: “There is no such thing as public money; there is only tax payers’ money”

Margaret Thatcher (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, 1979-1990 – my note) addresses the Conservative Party conference in 1983:

“One of the great debates of our time is about how much of your money should be spent by the State, and how much you should keep to spend on your family. Let us never forget this fundamental truth: the State has no source of money other than the money people earn themselves. If the State wishes to spend more it can do so only by bothering your savings or by taxing you more. And it’s no good thinking that someone else will pay, that’s someone else is you. There is no such thing as public money, there is only tax-payers’ money.

Prosperity will not come by inventing more and more lavish public expenditure programmes. You do not grow richer by ordering another cheque-book from the Bank. No nation ever grew more prosperous by taxing its citizens beyond their capacity to pay. We have a duty to make sure that every penny piece we raise in taxation is spent wisely and well. […]

Protecting the taxpayer’s purse, protecting the public services—these are our two great tasks, and their demands have to be reconciled. How very pleasant it would be, how very popular it would be, to say “spend more on this, expand more on that.” We all have our favourite causes—I know I do. But someone has to add up the figures. Every business has to do it, every housewife has to do it, every Government should do it, and this one will.”



Filed under Economy

2 responses to “Margaret Thatcher: “There is no such thing as public money; there is only tax payers’ money”

  1. We threw tea into a harbor because of this same premise. Unfortunately, we have an administration that assumes the money in the treasury is their money. Great post.

  2. Pingback: “Nu există aşa ceva precum banii publici; există numai banii plătitorilor de taxe” (Margaret Thatcher) | tudorvisanmiu

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