Defence and Taxes: Together or Apart?

by Andrew Karkaroff

This Tuesday, the Prime Minister of British Muggles met with Hermione Weasley-Granger, Minister for Magic, for third time this month. Once again, they discussed the Wizarding community’s involvement in the economical and political life of our shared Kingdom. The main point is whether Wizards should pay their part in defence and taxes or not.

As everybody knows from History of Magic lessons at Hogwarts, four hundreds years ago, during the times of the Muggles` Thirty Years’ War, some secret agreements were signed between Frederick V and von Thurn barring all wizards from war. These agreement started a process that culminated in 1689 by establishing the International Statute of Secrecy. Since that time, wizards have never taken part in Muggle wars. Some of our readers should remember all that confusion with young wizard and witches in hiding during Muggle WWI and WWII.

But you cannot live in society and be absolutely free of its problems. Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht, one of the supporters of the Muggle leader Hitler and distant relative of Prof. Horace Slughorn, was the biggest financial backer of Gellert Grindelwald too. But after Grindelwald announced his course for absolute enslavement of all Muggles, Schacht terminated all connections with him and was cleared from all charges by the Wizengamot after Dumbledore`s victory in that historic duel of 1945. Still some wizards consider that the gold in the Slughorn, Umbridge and Malfoy vaults at Gringotts is tainted with the funding of Grindelwald.

Also, international magical cooperation became questionable after Malfoy`s recovery plans for the European wizarding community because of the greed of its founder, Brontus Malfoy.

Again, twenty years ago, the abrupt rise of Voldemort was a surprise for the wizarding community. But the investigation conducted by the Wizengamot RHM Amelia Bones into the financial sources of this rise that found some of its roots in the vaults of MalfoyStanley and Umbridgewater, was taken so personally by Voldemort that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-At-That-Time killed Amelia by himself.

And now, with all these terrorist threats, Muggles want to ask the wizarding community for protection.

Also, the usual Muggle-tribute in gold that was not too big a burden for the Wizarding economy owing to Nicolas Flamel and his Philosopher’s Stone, has become harder because of the destruction of PS during Wizard War II.

We`ll never know whether Dumbledore could have considered these effects when he decided to destroy an unquenchable source of gold, but now the w-community is closer to Muggles than ever.

After Ministry started its Tax Multiplication Program (from 1.3 times for salaries to 2.8 times for all other incomes), wizards were forced to get more jobs in Muggle companies.

But it was not a solution, as gold is still going out to Muggles` vaults and never returns, and Minister Weasley-Granger is now in a difficult position in these negotiations. Of course, the idea to revoke the Statute of Secrecy is too radical even for Her Bravesty Hermione. But we should prepare for some changes, for better or worse.