A Woolworths Food store. Picture: SUPPLIED
A Woolworths Food store. Picture: SUPPLIED

In response to Ben Turok’s letter, I feel it necessary to say that I, for one, go into Woolworths voluntarily and give them money in exchange for goods (“Bosses loot business sector”, December 1).

Woolworths must pass a portion of that money on to the SA Revenue Service for VAT, and it can then do whatever it likes with the rest because I have received my goods. I got value for my money.

However, I have no discretion to decide whether I want to pay the VAT, and nor do I have discretion over whether I pay tax on my income. It is legislated, and I risk jail if I don’t pay.

When I walk into any supermarket at 7am, there is invariably fresh bread, fresh milk, newspapers and so on. The people running the business see to it that this happens, among thousands of other things. That is why they get paid, and a big portion of the Woolworths CEO’s income will have gone to the taxman.

Now, back to the government. We read all the time that “the government” has just ploughed X millions into this or that. What it should say is that taxpayers have done so. The only source of income the state has are taxes in a variety of forms.

Looting is when the people who are entrusted with taxpayers’ money steal it, embezzle it or pay bribes. You only have to look at the latest auditor-general report on wasteful and unauthorised expenditure in government. That is looting.

John Johnston
Via e-mail