Topic 1: Increasing travels between countries enable people to learn different cultures or to increase tension between people from different countries

Topic 14: People should keep all the money they earn and should not pay taxes to the state. Do you agree or disagree?

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Topic 14: People should keep all the money they earn and should not pay taxes to the state. Do you agree or disagree?

The role of taxation is providing funds necessary for carrying out a variety of functions in a country. However, to many taxpayers, especially employers, paying tax remains the biggest headache. In my opinion, tax revenue is essential to a country. Below are some of its main functions.

Although many taxpayers see income tax as an appropriation of their earnings, tax is in fact a relief to taxpayers and their families, for example, by providing a safeguard against unemployment and a solution to other problems that they may confront in life. For example, those who lose their earning capabilities because of injuries, diseases and disabilities are entitled to the government's financial support, derived mainly from tax revenue. There is no point in denying that tax is the principal source of finance that sustains many of the benefits offered by the welfare system of a country. Although most workers are not the beneficiaries currently, they will count on these benefits in their later years (as pensioners). So will their dependents (children and parents).

Taxation is meanwhile an effective tool by which a society can achieve the redistribution of income and close the gap between haves and have-nuts. In most countries, as a general rule, the higher the personal income, the higher the income tax. By imposing different tax rates, the government is able to distribute the tax burden across social classes, reducing income disparity between the rich and the poor.

Corporate tax is deemed by business as a regular cost, which must be kept to a minimum, but it is not necessarily a bane. By levying different types of tax, the government can exert an influence on macroeconomic performance, which in turn influences the income of the business world. When the economy is on the verge of a recession, the government can reduce the tax and present tax incentives, which proves to be an effective policy in reviving the economy. By contrast, during the periods of growth, the government can raise the tax rate so as to prevent an overheated economy and combat inflation. It is fair to say that tax is one of the main tools in establishing a healthy environment conducive to business's sustained growth.

What have been discussed above are the benefits brought by taxation, all being essential to a country, its businesses and individual taxpayers. Although many taxpayers feel pressured by taxes, they will eventually benefit from the taxes they have paid and should therefore bear tax liabilities.

  1. headache = problem = annoyance

  2. appropriation = acquisition = seizure = requisition

  3. earning = remuneration = wage = income = take-home pay = salary

  4. safeguard = protection = precaution

  5. later years = last few years of one's life

  6. haves and have-nots = rich and poor

  7. recession = downturn = depression = slump

  8. incentive = encouragement

Topic 15: It is widely accepted that people who have post-school qualifications earn a higher salary than those less educated do. University students should, therefore, pay all the full cost incurred over the course of obtaining a college education. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

With the labour intensive economy gradually giving way to knowledge-focused economy, the access to higher education has become an issue of broad interest. The proposal to charge all university students with tuition fees and allow no exemption arises mainly from the concern that tertiary education has to compete with many other urgent demands for public funds and struggle with underfunding. I believe that this policy, if implemented, will have an accumulative effect on the well-being of either individual students or the society as a whole.

When laying the hope of future development over students, the government cannot shirk from the responsibility to finance them. The sustained growth of a country rests on young talents. In this sense, the government is investing, not spending money. A standard example is America, a country investing multimillion dollars in higher education on an annual basis and sponsoring students' study by different forms of aid, such as scholarships, subsidies, allowances and student loans. It can be expected that these well-educated aspiring people, after finishing their education, will constitute a main drive of a slate's growth. Moreover, the government should plough a reasonable proportion of tax revenue, most being sourced from parents, back to their children.

Meanwhile, it is worth mentioning that some schools tend to force a complex of charges over students, with the aim to extend their profit margin. Ignorant of their not-for-profit nature, many universities might deviate from their most important tasks, such as improving teaching quality. The persistence of this problem will make their academic service much less credible and quality of teaching and faculty staff uneven. A university can cover its expense by various means, such as the receipt of donation, or the government's funding, instead of levying a high fee over students.

The reasons cited above have justified why university students need not pay more than a lower payment. While depending on young generations, the society should be more considerate of their situation. The effort to encourage tertiary education participation will pay back sooner, rather than later.

  1. give way to = succumb to = yield to

  2. exemption = exception

  3. accumulative = growing = increasing = incremental = spiralling

  4. shirk = evade = avoid = dodge = shun

  5. sustained = everlasting = eternal = endless = unending = perpetual

  6. rest on = hinge on = depend on

  7. aspiring = hopeful = aspirant

  8. deviate = diverge = stray

  9. persistence = continuance

  10. uneven = unbalanced = unequal

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