And how can we speak of taxes?

Words ... the affordances and articulations of power, operating under your skin, in Foucault's capillaries of society, can be so beguiling. So if you are wondering how come you pay much less 'tax', but you also have less money to spend, James Meek's deconstruction of the Thatcherite/Hayek discourse is illuminating.

In summary, its not the goods and services that are commoditised, but the people, you and me. Neat analysis.

And a more elaborate quote ...
"A tax is generally thought of as something that only a government can levy, but this is a semantic distortion that favours the free market belief system. If a payment to an authority, public or private, is compulsory, it's a tax.

"We can't do without electricity; the electricity bill is an electricity tax. We can't do without water; the water bill is a water tax. Some people can get by without railways, and some can't; they pay the rail tax. Students pay the university tax. The meta-privatisation is the privatisation of the tax system itself; even, it could be said, the privatisation of us, the former citizens of Britain. By packaging British citizens up and selling them, sector by sector, to investors, the government makes it possible to keep traditional taxes low or even cut them.

"By moving from a system where public services are supported by progressive general taxation to a system where they are supported exclusively by the flat fees people pay to use them, they move from a system where the rich are obliged to help the poor to a system where the less well-off enable services that the rich get for what is, to them, a trifling sum. The commodity that makes water and power cables and airports valuable to an investor, foreign or otherwise, is the people who have no choice but to use them".