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Daniel Hannan's Point About Income Tax Unravels Amid Claims It 'Ignores Basic GCSE Economics'

It didn't go down as well as he'd hoped.

05/09/2016 10:13 | Updated 05 September 2016
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Daniel Hannan caused confusion with his argument

A Conservative MEP is facing ridicule for a curious post that questioned the purpose of income tax. 

Daniel Hannan, one of the most prominent figures of the EU referendum Leave campaign, pondered the point of charging people to pay for public services. 

He pointed to the uses of tobacco and petrol taxes to disincentivise smoking and driving respectively, writing: 

But whatever point he was trying to make seemingly fell on deaf ears, as people derided the loose comparison. 

Social media users questioned whether the same analogy applied to oil, given olive and peanut are made from their namesake - but baby oil is not. 

Others mused about the effects of different sprays.

While another user said Hannan’s logic could do wonders for Britain’s population figures.

More people saw fit to actually answer his question, revealing what income tax actually does.

Jonathan Portes, a former chief economist to the Cabinet Office, also commented that Hannan had demonstrated an “ignorance of basic GCSE economics”. 

He included a link to an article titled ‘Do taxes decrease the incentive to work?’, which concludes the theory that they do “runs counter our basic observations about how human beings behave”.

Leaving one man to ask:

And Hannan couldn’t escape the scorn of people still reeling from his Newsnight interview in June - when he became the first prominent Leave campaigner to admit the NHS would not get £350m a week after Britain left the EU. 

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