November 29th, 2010

How Liam Byrne Could Help the “Squeezed Middle”

Liam Byrne says that the “squeezed middle” are those on between £16,000 to £50,000 and Labour’s task in reviewing policy is to help them. Guido is glad to hear it. Presumably he would therefore support those struggling on middle incomes being taken out of the higher-rate tax bracket, which kicks in at a ridiculously low £37,401? That is smack bang in the middle of the range he defines, surely it should kick in at £50,001, above the income levels of those hard squeezed middle classes. C’mon Liam, review that policy…


  1. 1
    Liar Byrne, aka Baldemort says:

    Sorry, Guido. There’s no money left.

  2. 2
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    He is a fuckin socialist !!!! High tax , High spend , Its against thier own marxist belifes

  3. 3
    Smig says:

    The same Byrne that spent everyone else’s money?

    He’s a fool. The idiot would probabaly lower the tax threshold as that’s a smaller number and therefore must be “better”.

  4. 4
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    No that was Gordon that spent all thje money , Bryne just left the note

  5. 5
    Smig says:

    Ah. That makes sense. Wouldn’t be able to read the crayon scrawl if Broon had been near the stationery.

    Byrne was on the same side. I don’t recall him trying to stop the NokiaChucker from pissing all of the money away.

  6. 6
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    I would like them to review the smoking ban policy , This has single-handedly destryed the British pub trade .

  7. 7
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    no , They where to busy praising the great iron chanceller , the destroyer of Boom and Bust , The longest period of economic growth blah bl;ah blah …………

    The lefts main idea is that the state is the only answer and the state spends your money better than you do .

  8. 8
    Hugh Janus says:

    Liebour want to help those on middle incomes? Not that old chestnut again. How many times have we heard this garbage, and how many times in 13 years did they fail to deliver?

    Another Monday, another soundbite…

  9. 9
    Sandra says:

    I think we are all aware that there is no real terms difference between the Blue Labour & Red Labour in terms of tax & spend.

    Both parties are Euro fanatics who desire an ever larger state & an exponentially increasing tax take.

    We are all no better than slaves to the political class from the main parties, no matter what colour rosette they profess to wear.

    Blue Labour, Red Labour OUT

  10. 10
    Smig says:

    I’d like them to reduce alcohol duty and retail related taxes too.

    That’ll help the boozers and everyone that retails in this country.

    Import duties paid by the dropshipper, VAT paid by the wholesaler, VAT paid by the retailer, VAT paid again by the consumer.

    Bloody VAT take is more than the initial price paid by the dropshipper to the manufacturer.

  11. 11
    Anonymous says:

    Just to make it clear, your figure of £37,401 for when higher tax bracket begins does not take into account the £6,475 personal allowance, does it? In actual fact one would have to therfore be on £43,876 before paying 40%, substantially more than your post suggests.

  12. 12
    Praguetory says:

    Let’s just a man by his actions. On that basis I’d rather Liam Byrne was kept as far away from power as possible.

  13. 13
    Smig says:

    Don’t forget those sneaky buggers that wear the yellow rosette.

    The Greens too. Watermelons the lot of ‘em. Green on the outside, red on the inside.

  14. 14
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    George O making statement to house

  15. 15
    Smig says:

    It certainly spends more of it than I do.

  16. 16
    Snotsicle says:

    Umm, I think you need to research how VAT works.

    But tax on booze is way too high, though.

  17. 17
    Buzz Lightweight says:

    I’m beginning to think that Liam Byrne is too clever for my top top team

    Buzz Lightweight.

  18. 18
    Backwoodsman says:

    OT, but check Fawkes’ link to Political Betting – the chap reckons its worth a punt on yvette to lead labour into the next election. Yvette ? Has he never seen her interviewed ? FFS , she even gets flustered & goes into gobbledygook mode when the bbc ‘interview’ her !

  19. 19
    The wrong Miliband says:

    What a wheeze that was eh? -We spent all the cash then got Liam to leave that note – I’ve never laughed so much since I stuffed David.

  20. 20
    nell says:

    You have to give buzz militwit his due. He knows how to choose a ‘winning’ team.

    A two year policy review headed by peterhain and liambyrne.

    I can’t think of two more idiotic clowns in the labour party than that.

  21. 21

    C’mon Liam, review that policy…

    …..then fuck off…!

  22. 22
    Martin Day says:

    This blog has been set up to support John McDonnell against the attack from Barones Warsi who is trying to get Ed Miliband to take action against Johns statement that “The real criminals are the ones attacking our education system, and when governments refused to react to concerns, there was no other alternative than take to the streets and direct action to bring them down”.

    Warsi said that the comments were “reckless”, and yet she fails to see the actions of the ConDems as reckless, I do think her attack of Johns statement makes his point

  23. 23
    Smig says:

    I thought it went something like..

    Wholesaler spends £1000 with Importer. Also pays £175. Total to importer is £1175. Importer gives £175 to HMRC.

    Wholesaler sticks profit margin on £1175 that they’ve spent. They sell same goods for £1500.

    Retailer buys from Wholesaler for £1500, then has to pay VAT as part of the transaction. Retailer hands over £1762.50. Wholesaler gives

  24. 24
    Donkeyscrump says:

    Is Liam suggesting squeezing the bottom instead, or was that Ivan?

  25. 25
    Sres says:

    Hey, in 13 years of Labour myself as a married male of mid-30’s received 1 budget increase in all that time, shockingly it arrived the year before the general election.

    Of course it also fucked over all the poor and tbh I wasn’t that impressed with the £1.54 increase in my weekly tax relief.

    Still, if Labour are going to help the squeezed middle then, I’ll definitely not be voting for them next time around.

  26. 26
    Smig says:

    wholesaler gives £262.50 to HMRC.

    Retailer sticks his margin on top. Sells goods for £2500.

    Consumer pays £2500 + VAT of £437.50

    HMRC get 175 + 262.50 + 437.50.
    Total VAT paid is £875 on goods that were initially valued at £1000 .

  27. 27
    Anonymous says:

    We have more pressing problems. Evil as labour are it is the tory traitors who are in power.

  28. 28
    barefootcontessa says:

    yes, we are mear slaves.

  29. 29
    barefootcontessa says:


  30. 30
    Abolutely Passionate says:

    It says £37,400 here

  31. 31
    Red Ed's Blank Sheet of Paper says:

    Yeth, I think I can guarantee that.

  32. 32
    Sir William Waad says:

    Fortunately for me, Lady Waad is non-domiciled and I am in business through a number of LLPs with a majority of profits accruing to overseas members.

  33. 33
    Anonymous says:

    HMRC states that £37,400 is the threshold of taxable income beyond which higher rate tax is paid. The personal allowance is not taxable. If you earn £43,875 you do not pay higher rate tax.

    £6,475 – personal allowance (£0)
    £0 – £37,400 – basic rate tax (20%)

    Guido’s figures are deliberately misleading.

  34. 34
    Ed Miliband says:


  35. 35
    barefootcontessa says:

    Ed should be concentrating on the squeezed bottom considering his left wing credentials.

  36. 36
    smoggie says:

    You are double dipping. Wholesaler hands over £262 less 175. Retailer hands over £437.5 less 262. Inputs and Outputs: you only pay the net difference between what has been charged by your suppliers against what you have charged your customers.

    HMRC gets 175 + (262.5-175) + (437.5 -262.5)

    = £437.5

  37. 37
    Bilirubin is the yellow breakdown product of normal haeme catabolism says:

    Those marxist belifes are out to get us!

  38. 38
    Libertarian in slave sandals shivering in the snow. says:

    Less tax, less state interference. There is no other way!

  39. 39
    Anonymous says:

    Also, if you were to type your salary into this handy tax calculation website ( you will see how the personal allowance does not incur tax and that 20% is levied on the £37,400 after the initial £6,475. Agree that Guido’s figures are deliberately misleading.

  40. 40
    Lard Presclott of Bulimia, Bog Seats, Beams,Bellies,Banjos,Punches, Croquet, Pies, Jags 'n' Shags says:

    Me and Bullyboy Balls ?

  41. 41
    Yvette Cooper says:

    No I don’t, or do I? WHat do you think, Ed?

  42. 42
    Smig says:

    Ok. I went and had a look into the differences as you say between input and output.

    Thanks for clarifying and correcting.

  43. 43
    Up sh1t creek says:

    Round about now I would posted an appropriate video clip, but the politicians have had enough of a 3200 video clip archive of their crookedness, and youtube took the channel down during the weekend.

    Anyway, talking about taxes, there should be NO bailouts for ANYONE, you racked up your debts, YOU pay it off – stop stealing from savers.

  44. 44
    smoggie says:

    Guido’s figures are straight from HMRC. What is misleading is the figures but the terminology: taxable income is not the same as total income. The difference is the untaxed personal allowance.

  45. 45
    smoggie says:

    No sweat: tax avoidance is a hobby of mine.

  46. 46
    T.B£iar - the People's Messiah says:

    Must get some of my accountants onto that.

  47. 47
    Anonymous says:

    Is allowing immigration against the will of the majority state inteferance?

  48. 48
    Bully Boy Balls says:

    I agree with Gordon.

  49. 49
    Baron Prescott of Lard says:

    ‘Appen you’ll not squeeze my middle and live to tell ‘tale.

  50. 50
    Sandra says:

    Defending high taxes, how very unlike you Jimmy …..(not)

  51. 51
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    If you change the terminology, you can’t keep the same figures.

  52. 52
    half ounce of Old Holborn please says:

    Too late, Billy. Too late.

  53. 53
    A Sweet Old Lady says:

    I do not charge tax if you want to pay me to take it up the chuff.

  54. 54
    Anon says:

    What majority , darlin ???

  55. 55
    Smig says:



  56. 56
    jaykay says:

    O/T but talking of the BBC; anyone noticed that on their website weather forecast that mixed in with all the doom and gloom about UK weather is news about the unseasonably warm weather in Chicago. I initially thought who in UK cares? but very quickly realised that our cold weather is not supporting the BBC position on Global Warming i.e. we need to give trillions to third world countries or we are all going to die.

    They never give up and thanks once again to Ed for wasting £18 billion per year of our taxes for the rest of our lives on this bollox and thanks to Dave for letting it carry on.

  57. 57
    Elsie Beattie, 83 and a bit says:

    Ever since my Reg died in ’53 (or was it ’54?), I’ve been partial to a little lady-on-lady action, dear.
    Do you like crosswords, too?

  58. 58
    Billy Bowdens Apprentice Umpire says:

    Low Ball!

  59. 59
    Abolutely Passionate says:

    But look at the total take including employers NICs. It’s 13 grand!
    And then they’re taxed again when the spend it.

    Most employees don’t even know how much tax is paid in their name.
    It’s time it was all rolled into income tax so that people know how much the actual tax take is.

  60. 60
    Vince Cable says:

    You enjoy the highly ill*egal activity of tax avoidance??!! That’s tax evasion by any other name!


    All your money belongs to the government! How dare you think otherwise!! *froth* *foam* etc etc.

  61. 61
    Will Keyleaks says:

    How do you know ‘deliberately’ so?

  62. 62
    Five seconds of coldish weather in one little part of the globe doesn't negate climate change says:

    Weather is weather. Climate change is climate.

    During last winters snowy snap record high temperatures were occurring in Australia.

  63. 63
    Martin Day says:

    What about the “cuts”????

    Urgent repairs to Parliament will cost £69m over the next five years, peers were told today.

    Lord Brabazon of Tara, the head of the House of Lords administration, said that there were “considerable maintenance issues which require considerable investment

  64. 64
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    ” “Don’t worry, I’m bringing the blow @wesstreeting Anyone going to the Fabian Xmas reception tonight?”

    OMFG , Have fun loads of fun Guido .

  65. 65
    smoggie says:

    Tax evasion is illegal, as opposed to tax avoidance which is not.

    I may seek to avoid paying higher rate tax by not working overtime as many do. Perfectly legitimate except that it discourages hard work. Lower the rates and I might think it worthwhile to work longer and even get a second job.

    Maggie twigged that one. She lowered tax rates and guess what… government revenues actually rose.

  66. 66
    smoggie says:

    True, but he didn’t.

  67. 67
    Tessa Tickles says:

    It would have been summer in Australia during our snowy snap.

  68. 68
    Who Gives A Fuck says:

    liam byrne is a kun’t

  69. 69
    Ars'n Venga says:

    I’m afraid I didn’t see that

  70. 70
    I Remember You Hoo says:

    Did not Miliband minor consign the poor he pretends to champion, to fuel poverty with his Carbon reduction targets and windmill fuckwittery? Isn’t it the cost of green subsidies that is forcing fuel prices to skyrocket and continue skyrocketing for decades to come? The man is either an imbecile or a hypocrite, or more likely both. Why will none in the MSM take these deluded stooges to task and grill them over their lies and their bogus ‘solutions’?

  71. 71
    Tessa Tickles says:

    Hey hey! Hold on a second.. is there a danger that the roof will fall in, crushing everyone inside?

  72. 72
    Unsworth says:


  73. 73
    Plotter says:

    ♫ Roll out the barrels…. ♫

  74. 74
    Hugh Janus says:

    I eagerly await the return of global warming – man-made or not, I’m not fussy.

  75. 75
    Ed Balls, former Schools Minister says:

    Mere, meer, mear, mier. Whatever. However you want to spell it, it is korrekt.

    Have an A* GCSE in English. In fact, have 10.

  76. 76
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    But what about the downside ?

  77. 77
    Unsworth says:

    You ‘think’?

  78. 78
    RIP BIG MAN says:

  79. 79
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    Actually, you’re right. he didn’t change the terminology, he used no terminology at all. There is no indication as to what £16,000 or £50,000 means. whether its per month, per decade, after NI, after weekly chocolate expenditure.

    Do you think Guido has redrawn the line of squeezed middle at £56,476 annual pre-tax income?

  80. 80
    Hugh Janus says:

    “Urgent repairs to Parliament will cost £69m over the next five years, peers were told today.” And how urgent are they if they are to be spread over 5 years I wonder??

    Brenda has been waiting a lot longer than that. She’s fed up with tripping over strategically-placed buckets and so are her guests, and they don’t improve Phil the Greek’s temper either. Bet I know which building gets fixed first – and it won’t be Buck House.

  81. 81
    Norman Arse says:

    Exactly, in opposition this c’unt Gideon was banging on about flat rate tax. How the hell do they expect a country so dependent on service industries to survive and expand if everyone is geting taxed to fuck?

    Out of Europe and the colosal expense, kick the PC shite into the long grass, flat taxes, tax breaks for incoming business would do the trick. True conservatives would work on these lines, thus proving these Bilderberg twats are no more than the plotting Marxists behind EU and NWO.

  82. 82
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    What is bloody bizarre is that with all the talk of melting glaciers, the slowdown of the gulf stream, etc. All it really takes to really arse things up is the wind deciding to come from the east for a while.

    So … why would you care about the whole globe warming? All you really need is some nice mild wind from the atlantic. And less of that sort of thing in summer.

  83. 83
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    It would be harder to sell to make luxury flats or a hotel

  84. 84
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Price worth paying me thinks .

  85. 85
    Sleepless in Kirkaldy says:

    Slightly warmer temperatures means stronger winds and more water evaporation from the oceans, hence more rain. This can also mean more snow. Whatever your viewpoint, we do seem to be having high CO2 concentrations plus more extreme weather events. A few more decades and all will be clearer. UK should be better off than most parts of world if climate changeodels are correct

  86. 86
    Worthless Lib Dem pledge says:

    Firstly this useless twat, along with useless twat Darling, got a £20,000 tax free pay out from the Treasury when they left- why? They helped make the country bankrupt. Secondly, Lib Dems have now convinced Wavy Dave to delay cap on social housing. The only ones who are paying for politicians and bankers cock ups are the squezzed middle. At the May elections Tory voters need to vote UKIP and Lib Dems need to vote Green to show the stupid Coalition we do not agree with their stupid gutless policies.

    The Coalition are very much self or party interset before country or public. All tough talking on immigration, EU, help people in the squeezed middle, benefit cuts, public service cuts by Wavy Dave and Spineless Nick is now turning out to be delayed policies exactly like Liebour were doing before the last election. Ostrich syndrome. They could not manage a pss up in a brewery.

  87. 87
    Anonymous says:

    Because Guido isn’t that stupid. (Sadly.)

    The point is that you start paying higher rate tax on your income at a significantly higher level than “smack bang in the middle” of the £16K – £50K range.

  88. 88
    Audemus Dicere says:


    “During last winters snowy snap record high temperatures were occurring in Australia.”

    Actually, record high temperatures were NOT occurring in Australia at that time.

    We went through all that misinformation at the time. There was some rubbish about the “hottest night Melbourne had ever experienced” (one night) which turned out to be nothing of the sort (it didn’t even experience its hottest overnight minimum at any stage last Southern summer). There certainly was not a record daytime high temperature for any sustained period, nor I think at any point in time at all. All that happened was that parts of Victoria had some hot days (not unusual for the time of year and not record breaking).

    You also omitted to mention that soon after that allegedly record heat, parts of South Eastern Australia quite nearby experienced almost unprecedented low temperatures and even snow (in late Summer!). As recently as mid October this year, large areas of Western and Southern New South Wales experienced unusually cold temperatures and quite widespread snowfalls.

  89. 89
    Anonymous says:

    I presume the £37,400 you refer to is of taxable income? So the actual figure you need to earn is closer to £44k before you hit higher rate tax?

    Bit closer to the £50k figure isn’t it Guido. More research required for your “scoop”.

  90. 90
    Audemus Dicere says:

    Oh dear, Martin. You really must learn to improve your spelling, typing and use of punctuation if you wish to play with the grown ups.

  91. 91

    No. That is the threshold, one you are unlikely to reach given your stupidity. This isn’t a scoop nor is it intended to be, it is an opinion piece.

  92. 92
    Nick2 says:

    As far as golden handshakes are concerned, Darling may have deserved one – if only for ‘allegedly’ concealing a few £billion from Brown/Balls before his final budget, so that they couldn’t piss that up the wall too.

    Byrne should have been incarcerated in a debtors’ prison to recover the state funds that he helped to waste – but maybe someone thought that he deserved a reward for daring to leave the ‘there’s no money left’ note…

  93. 93
    Osama the Nazarene says:

    Wise words Mr. F.

  94. 94
    Osama the Nazarene says:

    Marxism the opium of the idiots.

  95. 95
    Simon says:

    What a shambles Labour STILL are – months after losing the election their one eye-catching slogan (‘squeezed middle’) is still as vague as ‘big society’.

    Byrne’s definition was contradicted by Postman Prat on PM this evening. Johnson puts it at between £15k and £40k (memory fading – is that correct, anyone?).

    And to think they were the bloody govt until quite recently.

  96. 96
    Anonymous says:

    What the government should do is stop any tax from kicking in at all until around £25k, and put tax credits in the bin for everybody. If you adjust the thresholds at which tax starts being paid and the higher-rate threshold, then you really don’t need to have tax credits at all; you simply have benefits like in the old days, a minimum-income-guarantee for all those who can’t find work (but who are actively trying to get work) or for those who are earning less than what it takes to be able to survive.

    Use this logic and you’d probably take half the country out of the tax system completely, and save billions in costs which can then be used to allow people to keep more of their own money in the first place.

    Brown’s logic of taking away everyone’s money, and then asking them all to fill in reams of forms to get some of it back is just plain mad; we need to put tax credits in the bin because it’s a completely insane idea to be asked to deliberately pay the government too much money and to then get the government to pay some of that money back; instead you simply don’t overpay the government in the first place.

    “tax credits” as a specific/intended policy will, hopefully, go down in history as a kind of contradiction in terms that was totally insane.

    “tax credits” is a bit like going to a shop that has a 50%-off sale, paying the full price £1000 for a tv at their till, and then having the shop refund you £500 back to your card afterwards at another till, and having that as the way they’d do it for every product/customer during their sale; it’s fucking mad; the shop would instead just charge you £500 in the first place and thereby halve their sales admin costs and make the customers’ life infinitely easier.

  97. 97
    I Hate Labour says:

    Surely Anonymous is correct in his assumption?

    £37,400 is the threshold of taxable income, it’s not the threshold of total income, so you don’t actually start paying higher rate tax until you earn more than £43,875?

    ie your (guido’s) original paragraph/posting is technically correct because it just mentions £37,400 as a threshold (which is correct), but Anonymous is correct in that the threshold applies to taxable income, not total income.

    So, as far as I can see, Anonymous’s note is correct, Guido’s initial subject/paragraph is correct, but Guido’s “No.” part of his reply to anonymous is wrong.

    Or, if guido’s “No.” reply related to “More research required for your “scoop” (as opposed to relating to the presumption anonymous made) then Guido’s reply is also correct.

    I suspect that Guido’s “No.” relates to the “more research required” statement that anonymous made, and not to the presumption that anonymous made, in which case guido is correct in his original subject and in his reply to anonymous, but he could have clarified that in his reply.

    Personally I think £43,875 is a reasonable amount at which total income starts to be taxed at a higher rate, but I also think that no tax should really be payable until you start earning at least £20k, and applying the higher threshold for the starting rate would roughly automatically have the same effect as the Guido’s proposed increase in the top-rate threshold, except that it would also help people on lower incomes keep more of their money in the first place and thereby eliminate the need for most people to be part of the tax/tax-credit system at all and thereby save billions in unnecessary admin.

  98. 98
    Jon says:

    I was going to make this point. Shame I had to wade through the usual billious twaddle to see if someone had made it before me.

    Perhaps if Guido were a UK taxpayer, his prognostications on the tax system would be a little better informed, and a little easier to swallow?

  99. 99
    legless as usual says:

    Global warming is a trend. Climate change is what is happening. The debate is about how much of it is man made. Keep up.

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