September 22nd, 2011

Left-Wing Think-Tank Wants Labour to Tax the Poor More

The best policy idea to come out of LibDem conference was Danny Alexander’s call for tax thresholds to be raised to £12,500, effectively taking minimum wage earners out of income tax. Reversing Gordon Brown’s complicated tax – the – poor – and – pay – them – benefits strategy. Brown effectively and deliberately made those in work on low earnings recipients of welfare benefits. Brown wanted everyone to be on state benefits (welfare “universalism”) for purely political reasons so as to maximise buy-in from all classes into the welfare state. Hence the cynical Brown/Balls attachment to child benefit for millionaire mums and winter fuel allowances for Michael Winner.

Raising the tax threshold is simple, has popular appeal and will benefit those on low earnings proportionately more than those on higher earnings. It will take some pressure off the “squeezed middle” and won’t increase the welfare trap. It isn’t a perfect policy, prominent Orange-booker Mark Littlewood, a wonk the Institute for Economic Affairs, is wary that it will result in millions of voters being unaffected by the basic rate of income tax who therefore won’t be incentivised to vote for parties and policies that favour lower taxes. He fears that low-earners will have no reason to buy-in to tax cuts if they are taken out of the income tax bracket entirely.

ippr

The organised opposition to this policy however is coming from the left-wing, EU-funded think-tank IPPR. The IPPR was founded and funded by the unions back in the Kinnock era to drag the Labour Party to the centre, in the post New Labour era and under new management it is dragging the Labour Party away from the centre towards the left. IPPR is arguing against raising tax thresholds because it won’t help the poorest who are on benefits and not working. This criticism cuts no ice because tax cuts, by definition, are designed to help taxpayers. IPPR argues that targeting benefits, sprecifically towards childcare, would be more effective and cheaper. It is as if they are speaking a different language, the problem of welfare dependency won’t be solved by paying out more benefits.

Nevertheless Guido wishes IPPR well, their wonkish sophistry may well appeal to Ed Miliband. If in 2015 the coalition parties are standing on a platform of reducing taxes on the working poor with the Labour Party standing on a platform of taxing the poor, Miliband will be on the wrong side of the dividing line. “Vote Labour and tax the poor” is a winning campaign slogan – for the coalition parties.


226 Comments

  1. 1
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    The left always screw the poor and working class.

    Like

    • 7

      No! No! No!
      They love the poor. Labour love the poor so much they want to make us all poor, so they can love us all.

      Like

      • 13
        Peter Mandelson says:

        Do you mind? I’m trying to enjoy my champagne.

        Like

        • 41
          Aunt Mat says:

          Fiddling around with the margins.

          This is a GLOBAL recession.
          The UK is a very small player in the game.

          It calls for statesmanlike responses.

          Playing politics on tax rates to ensure re-election is wrong at this time.

          Like

          • Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

            Tell that to Obama.

            Like

          • Tony E says:

            But tax policy is vital to our recovery. At the moment our tax system is incredibly complex and disincetivises rather than encourages. It costs to much to run, too much to enforce, and harbours great ill will in the populous.

            Simpler taxes and tax breaks for manufacturing would stimulate the economy, and an exit from the EU would allow us to reduce trade tarrifs to those areas of the world which were largely unaffected by our current Western problems.

            We must build an economic structure which is much more business friendly, much simpler to negotiate, and much more receptive to the needs of citizens who are happy to pay tax but hate to feel like criminals by a grasping state just for trying to organise their affairs sensibly.

            Like

          • Alexei (fisticuffs) Lebedev - a fit and proper person says:

            I agree with raising of the tax threshold even higher especially as this tax threshold is removed from those receiving over £100,000 a year.

            Like

        • 43
          Where is "boy" George? Still hiding? says:

          The UK’s top shares and other leading global stock markets have plummeted following the U.S.’s announcement of a £250billion rescue operation to prop up its feeble economy.
          The FTSE 100 was 4 per cent lower at 5079, a drop of 209 points, in morning trading. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 also plunged by nearly 4 per cent.

          Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2040413/FTSE-100-plunges-nearly-4-US-emergency-stimulus-alarms-global-markets.html#ixzz1YfkAvbFC

          Like

      • 66
        Sir William Waad says:

        A socialist society is one of a large number of rabbits ruled by a small number of stoats.

        Like

        • 103
          Anonymous says:

          Who told you New Labour was socialist? There is no point in taxing the poor and giving them benefits.

          Like

          • Anonymous says:

            Anonymous @ 101 says “There is no point in taxing the poor and giving them benefits.”
            McBroon/Balls will confirm to you that the point of this strategy is that it buys votes.

            Like

        • 200
          Garry Glitter says:

          A stoat= a kiddy fiddler? Perhaps billy can help

          Like

    • 26
      Sophie says:

      And the abhorrent anti Tory tax & spend & borrow & give away via the EU, IMF & DFID policies of Dave “rusty” Cameron is………………?

      Like

      • 37
        Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

        The lesser of two evils.

        Like

        • 98
          Archer Karcher says:

          Like controlled demolition versus straight forward demolition? Pissing money away on lost causes when you’re broke and leaving taxpayers children to pick up the tab, is pure evil, whoever does it.

          Like

      • 47
        Chris Hoon says:

        Dunno. What’s the answer ??

        Like

      • 61
        misterned says:

        Whilst there is a lot I agree with you on Sophie, on this policy I think credit where credit is due.

        The coalition has rightly increased tax thresholds and I would support the policy of removing the poor from income tax altogether. Scrapping tax credits and raising allowances should be a high priority. It is simpler, cheaper, and gets the government’s nose out of the financial business of millions of ordinary people.

        Labour DOUBLED the rate of income tax on the poorest workers (although the left wing BBC reported it as scrapping a rate of tax to make it appear like labour were doing the poor a favour.)

        I would be supporting this policy whichever party proposed it.

        Labour have always only ever done two things for the poor.

        1. increased their numbers
        2. increased their dependence upon the state

        Labour are dogmatically opposed to self reliance and aspiration for the majority. They need us all to be dependent upon their governance.

        My view is that I enjoy being self reliant. I claim no government money whatsoever and did not when I was entitled too. I felt that what little money I earned, by my own private endeavour and enterprise, was none of the government’s damn business.

        I pay what I owe in tax via PAYE and that is as far as I wish to go with any relationship to the government.

        Like

        • 152
          Anonymous says:

          “I claim no government money whatsoever and did not when I was entitled too.”

          More fool you. That was your money you’d already given the government. You would merely have been getting some of it back.

          As you didn’t claim it, the government decided to p*ss it up the wall on various expensive and wasteful ‘projects’, benefitting nobody.

          Like

          • misterned says:

            It was NOT my money. It was the hard earned cash of other people. the reason we are in such financial shit is because to many greedy bastards like you thought that you had an automatic right to money that you had not earned yourself.

            I live by my principles and cannot be bought. I did not need the money so did not claim it!

            Anyone that does claim government money who does not NEED it, is a selfish parasitic leaching bastard.

            Like

    • 49
      Super Zuffle says:

      The problem is that Labour and Tony Blair redefined the word poverty, back in Victorian times poverty was not having enough food to feed your family and a roof over your head. Now thanks to Labour Poverty is not having sky television and one holiday a year and earning less than 20,000pa

      Like

    • 112
      Jabba the Cat says:

      Tax the plebs into submission has a certain positive logical ring and appeal to it…

      Like

  2. 2
    Bill d'Sarse says:

    If Ed Milibland takes up this idea, then the Labour Party can say goodbye to power for not one, but two generations.

    Where do they find the idiots that come up with these ideas?

    Like

    • 28
      Greychatter says:

      Presumably they are funded by the Unions who want to dum down everybody, except the Union bosses and the union Pilgrims, who scrounge off the Tax Payer.

      Let the Unions pay for union activities but not with Tax payers money.

      Like

      • 201
        Cats are for southern puffs says:

        Unions Huhned up ship building, mines, steel, car industries, now they are in the process of hunhing up the public sector, we should support these folk in their noble cause.

        Like

    • 29
      Reg511 says:

      They don’t just find them, they create them, our state education system ensures enough voters are programmed to give them an electoral chance

      Common purpose replaces common sense

      Like

    • 146
      Old Tory Bigot says:

      It may seem idiotic to you or I Bill, but we are not ‘Labour Thinkers’.

      To Labour Thinkers, welfare dependency is not a problem, it is vital to their electoral strategy. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas, and all that.

      Labout are scornful of the working poor. The fact that they choose to work and not suck on the tit of the state indicates a desire for independence, and that is a trait that Labour Thinkers will not brook.

      Labour are not the party of the ‘working poor’. They are the party of the hypocritical wealthy and the scrounger.

      Like

      • 202
        Jeffrey Bernard says:

        Constantly raising the tax threshold may be no less pernicious than welfare dependency. It simply expands the size of the non-contributory (and ultimately dependent) part of the electorate. No booze is free – just remember some poor b*stard has to pay for it in the end …

        Like

        • 208
          Old Tory Bigot says:

          I see what you are saying but even if they pay no tax, the money they (the working poor) spend is earned, not given as a hand-out.

          They are still net contributors to the economy and moreover have some self-respect.

          I feel that those who choose to work, especially when they have to struggle to keep their heads above water financially, deserve every leaway and support possible.

          Like

      • 214
        Anon. says:

        Isn’t it a fact that the gap between the ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ became even greater under the socialists?

        Like

  3. 3
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    What would also be better is if they cut tax and scrapped tax credits.

    Like

    • 139
      Southern Softy says:

      Bless them!
      They send me a nil entitlement every year and a form to claim.
      My son is now 25 and I haven’t been entitled since he was 18.
      What a waste of money.

      Like

  4. 4
    Anonymous says:

    No billy?

    Like

  5. 5
    MrAngry61 says:

    High marginal tax rate and the fraudulent ‘tax credits’ imprison the working poor & conceal the true cost of benefits.

    Like

    • 40
      Grumpy Old Man says:

      Part of that true cost is the enormous sum paid out to the jobsworths who are required to ,”Administer” the tax credits scam plus, of course, the OPM pissed against the wall buying IT systems that don’t work.

      Like

      • 53
        Tax Payer says:

        I know from long experience that Tax credits are a scam. And that the NHS system is a total waste of money.

        Like

      • 101
        Greychatter says:

        We see jobs create by Tesco and the other big supermarket groups, most of which are lower paid part time jobs. Presumably these part time workers can claim Tax Credits, so to my mind the Tax Payer if supplimenting the profits of these companies.
        Any job created to me is a bonus but at what cost to the country and who really benefits in the long run?

        Like

        • 105
          Anonymous says:

          Not really, because Tesco is only paying for the hours people work. If those people then get benefits, how is Tesco benefitting?

          In that sense, it’s better for 2 people to work P/T and both get extra benefits than have 1 F/T and 1 on the dole?

          Like

          • Mark Austin says:

            Tesco et al benefit because they can pay lower wages knowing that the state will top up the wages with benefits. Since they avoid as much tax as they can, this cost falls on the (relatively) better off. So, the state and taxpayers subsidise Tesco. If in-work benefits were not available, Tesco et al would have to increase wages, or no-one would work for them. As I’ve said elsewhere in this thread, the solution is increased minimum wage and matching decreases in business taxation.

            Like

        • 188
          MrAngry61 says:

          There’s a debate in the US that large employers of minwage workers, specifically Walmart, receive an indirect subsidy via their employees’ food stamps entitlement + similar – without it they couldn’t attract sufficient staff.

          Like

  6. 6
    Zephyer says:

    Head teachers about to go on strike.
    Cuts to their pensions.

    I don’t know how they’ll manage to save more cash for a pension on just 100k for a 41 week a year job.

    Like

    • 15
      Gerry Mandering says:

      Will anyone notice a difference. Now if it was police or fire or nurses then I’d be worried.

      Like

      • 79
        Jack Dromey (Ms) says:

        Have you tried calling the police recently? The standard response is: “What do you expect us to do about it?”

        Like

        • 141
          Anonymous says:

          Jack Dromey @ 78~~ When they police asked me that question I replied:-
          Send a police officer to do the job for which they are employed & paid.

          Like

    • 48
      Grumpy Old Man says:

      More public money saved. The only people who benefit from strike action are the union officials who continue to draw full pay and benefits while the members draw the pittance that is strike pay.

      Like

    • 60
      Tax Payer says:

      It’s 39 weeks. And not many are on £100k, of course.

      I wouldn’t do it, anyway.

      Like

    • 67
      Steve Miliband says:

      Someone told me that average GP salary is £235k – surely not?

      Like

      • 149
        Southern Softy says:

        Yes. When Bliar and McRuin lobbed a vast amount of cash at the GP’s to reform their practices, they awarded themselves huge increases in pay and bonuses and cut their ‘unsocial’ hours.
        They are only social workers who refer any problems to specialists.
        Surgeries are always full of people getting sick notes, not people who are ill.

        Like

        • 185
          Mark Austin says:

          Not completely true. The masive increase did happens as a result of Blair/Brown incompetence, but that was in giving GPs extra payments for things that they were already doing, or by setting targets so low that it was almost impossible not to meet them. This was pointed out at the time (amongst other by the BMA), but the advice was ignored

          Like

    • 71
      misterned says:

      Daftest comment I heard from a head teacher was “the tax payer is not paying into my pension, I am!”

      Who the fuck pays you the salary from which you pay into your lavish pension, dumbass?

      No wonder more and more kids leave school unable to read or write with these fuckwits as teachers.

      Like

      • 156
        Anonymous says:

        misterned, the “ability to read & write”does not of itself mean the ability to “think”.

        Like

        • 212
          misterned says:

          No, but it is a pre-requisite to enabling one to demonstrate rational cognition to others with whom one is not in verbal conversation with.

          Like

  7. 8
    HandsomeDavid says:

    Raising the public service pensionable age to that which Tony Blair gave to the rest of the country would by and large dig us out of the Brown debt pile.

    67 years for Tony Blairs bricklayers. 67 years for public servants.

    Like

  8. 9
    Mine d'Boggles says:

    “The working class
    Can kiss my ass,
    I’ve got that EU job at last.
    I fought for it through loads of shit
    E’en though I am a workshy git
    So giss a job that suits the wife
    And I promise not to cause more strife”

    Like

  9. 10
    Sir Barrington Minge says:

    “the cynical Brown/Balls”

    Love it!!!!!!

    Like

  10. 11
    Forlornehope says:

    One of the most progressive tax models is a flat tax that combines a relatively high marginal rate with a high tax threshold. This means that as income rises the proportion of income paid in tax rises tending towards the marginal rate for the highest earners. This also has the advantage that it eliminates perverse incentives caused by step changes in the marginal rate at higher incomes. The trouble is that most politicians and journalists are not sufficiently numerate to understand it.

    Like

  11. 12
    Labour legacy says:

    And today we wake to news that Labour’s PFI has resulted in financial chaos for 22 NHS trusts across the country. 60 hospitals are struggling to cope with the debts of the PFI contracts that Messiah Tony pushed on them. Even the BBC is covering this as its lead story and made explicit reference to Labour’s role.

    It said by the time the final contract is paid off, trusts will have spent £70 billion on hospitals that cost £11 billion to build. That’s Labour for you. I wonder how many of Tony’s personal pals benefited from this arrangement? I wouldn’t be surprised if Tony receives a nice fat fee for consultancy services to some of these private corporations who are making profits while hospitals struggle.

    Like

    • 18
      MrAngry61 says:

      An exemplar of crony capitalism.

      Like

    • 34
      Call me Dave - windy miller, eco loon and trougher says:

      Give a capitalist an inch and they will take a mile at your expense.

      Well done! Drinks for everyone!

      Like

      • 106
        misterned says:

        You are mixing up corporatists with Capitalists.

        Give a capitalist an inch and he will give you back a foot as a positive return on the initial 1 inch investment.

        Give a corporatist an inch and he will use it to bribe a politician to legislate that everyone gives them an index linked foot.

        Like

      • 119
        Archer Karcher says:

        What insight!

        Unfortunately the Bliar / Brown axis had nothing to do with capitalism and everything to do with ‘third way’ corporatism. Look it up sometime, you can find it on Google, just type in fascism.

        Like

    • 35
      Steve Miliband says:

      johnprescott John Prescott
      PFI repayments for new hospitals count for 1% of total NHS budget. One. Per. Cent! #welovethenhs

      Prescott answer shows his contempt for the taxpayer again.

      Like

      • 78
        Charles Flaccidwidger says:

        Prescott is a criminally incompetent Hunt and should face a firing squad, the fat troughing, pie scoffing, hypocritical, adulterous wanker. He’s such an arsehole I actually hate him more than Kinnock and Balls.

        Like

        • 205
          Anonymous says:

          Prescott should be awaiting trial for abusing taxpayers money. Chucks away half a billion and gets elevated to the Lords. No wonder we f–king hate them all.

          Like

    • 51
      Greychatter says:

      Don’t forget the failed NHS 11 Billion IT system and the Fire Service Control centers with Half a Billion down the shoot.

      If we cancel all these Labour fiascos we can clear the deficit between us.

      Oh don’t forget the £4800 spent by Philip Hammon re-covering suites instead of buying new for the office.

      Like

      • 63
        Tax Payer says:

        The NHS IT cancellation penalties are higher than carrying on.

        Like

      • 73
        Steve Miliband says:

        Aircraft carrier anyone?

        Like

      • 108
        misterned says:

        That was labour all over, spend and waste as much money as possible to drag as many people as possible into government dependence, then insist that the contracts had such punitive cancellation fees, and employment contracts such massive redundancy costs, that it would cost almost as much, if not more in some cases, to scrap them, thus attempting to make cost saving impossible.

        Hell, it’s only other people’s hard earned money they were pissing down the drain.

        Like

      • 165
        The Golem says:

        I think unscrupulousness and probably deliberate malice towards any successors should be repaid in kind. Suspend payments on all these contracts until 60 days after the next General Election, using parliamentary authority.
        No retrospection allowed.

        Like

      • 171
        Anonymous says:

        The Fire Service Control Centres scheme was Prescot’s personal responsibility.
        It seems only just that any money he may get from pursuing his phone hacking
        claim be handed over towards compensating the taxpayers for the money his failed scheme cost. As they say “every little helps” & “we are all in it together”

        Like

        • 204
          Fatty Prescott says:

          My Personal responsibility?

          No it wasn’t. I just did the strategy. It was down to the Civil Servants – they didn’t tell me it was going wrong. Not my fault.

          Like

    • 203
      Robo says:

      For those of use who read Private Eye, all this is old news…

      Like

  12. 16
    Gordon Brown says:

    I’m a tax

    Like

  13. 20
    Windscale says:

    Yes mush, you are

    Like

  14. 23
    Sophie says:

    Politicians cannot be trusted. A universal truth.

    They spent the nations wealth, maxxed out the nations credit cards, sold the family gold to their friends & foreignors at a give away price, stole our childrens inheritance, stole our pensions, systematically destroyed our savings through QE inflation, opened the nations borders to destroy the wages of the British & still they want to tax us more.

    They cannot be trusted to run a charity stall at the WI.

    Some proven Governing principles that work:

    * Low taxes

    * Small state

    * Government out of the economy.

    Vote UKIP.

    Like

  15. 25
    Ed the Axeman says:

    The problem arises when you say that the rich get nothing from the state, but they have to pay all the states costs.

    At some point they will say fuck off.

    Like

  16. 27
    New Labour New Danger says:

    I saw The Omen the other night. It’s about the son of the devil rising up from the world of politics. Has anyone checked Tony Blair or Gordon Brown for a 666 birthmark?

    Like

  17. 32
    Makes sense says:

    Flat tax (10%) with a high tax-free pay threshold. Smaller state. Expel all the immigrants.

    Like

  18. 36
    Johann Hari says:

    As President Obama told me last night during a dinner with Nelson Mandela and Marilyn Monroe, we should ask not what our country can do for us but rather what we can do for our country. Nelson said “Read my lips, no new taxes”, and Marilyn retorted wittily “It’s the economy, stupid”. We all laughed and then Cheryl Cole turned up and announced “You ain’t seen nothing yet”.

    Like

  19. 38
    genghiz the kahn says:

    Labour led by a PM who shredded his expense details, would the little people be hounded by HMRC?

    Brown of Kirkcaldy, another odd expense claims, fictional cleaner? Patron saint of tax accountants and tax lawyers. Mergers HM Revenue with HM Customs, did they actually collect more tax in the end?

    Darling flipped designated primary residence for tax purposes, not something HMRC could like Guido’s blog posters, readers to copy.

    Ussher, claims for kitchen improvements against expenses, try running that one past your friendly tax officer.

    Hoon, property emperor.

    D and E Miliband – beneficiaries of Family Trust – do as we say, not as we do.

    Labour politicians making the system more complex, making it hard for the poor, but making damn sure they benefit from it.

    Like

  20. 39
    Anonymous says:

    I hate Brown/Balls as much as the next man but the ‘child benefit for millionaires’ is a cheap shot. Firstly nearly all politicians were in favor of universal child benefit until Cameron became PM and secondly it has been removed from people earning £43000 a year, hardly millionaires. It’s like when Labour politicians say we must tax multi-millionaires more, then introduce a 50p rate for people earning £150k, a very good salary no doubt but in no way, especially in the London area, do people earning £150k a year live like multi- millionaires.

    Like

    • 55
      Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

      If you cant afford kids dont have them, was a good move by Dave to cut child benifit for a person earning 43k.

      Like

      • 65
        Cato Street Conspirator says:

        But if only the wealthy have children who is going to do the dirty jobs?

        Like

        • 74
          Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

          That why you slash tax and spending and let people arrange thier own affairs.

          Like

          • Anonymous says:

            You would agree Billy that people earning £43k are not usually millionaires?

            Like

          • Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

            But when the avarage wage is 23-25 k a year you would agree that they are not the poorest and most vunrable and therefore not need state handouts?

            Like

          • Anonymous says:

            I believe they should have there tax lowered by £3,000 and no one should pay more than 40% of their salary in income tax.

            Like

      • 75
        Anonymous says:

        You’re a fool, Billy.

        It’s in society’s interests for children to be born. It should be encouraged, including financially.

        I have a friend who earns £46k, wife doesn’t work, so they lose child benefit. My wife and I earn £70k between us, but neither @ 40% so we keep it. Tell me about fairness, again?

        Like

        • 80
          Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

          We have a housing crisis at the moment, the last thing we need to do is encourage people to breed.

          Your example is pointless, you could use that type of argument to agurre about any limit on tax/benifits etc

          I think child benifit should scrapped all together.

          Like

        • 97
          Jack Dromey (Ms) says:

          If you feel that strongly, why not give your friends two cheques, £3,000 each, every Christmas as a tax-free present? Or would you prefer that nice Mr Cameron to do it for you (mulcting a nice big fat transaction charge in the process)?

          Like

          • Anonymous says:

            I didn’t take their benefit off them. And I didn’t make the system unfair. Why is it my responsibility, you arse?

            If we’re saving money, I could think of a lot more things to do than removing child benefit from not well-off families who need it.

            Like

        • 127
          misterned says:

          They should only pay child benefit for the first two children and benefits should only be based on a two child family as a maximum. That might act as a bit more of a deterrent against women breeding excessively.

          Also, I think that child benefit should only be paid to those earning 30K or less. Keeping the middle classes on benefits is wrong. Benefits should be a very basic, limited support for the poorest only. 43K is a very good income.

          Like

          • Anonymous says:

            What is the problem with >2 children? If it wasn’t for immigration, the UK population would be declining. So it seems, all things being equal, that we need more, not fewer children?

            I agree middle earners shouldn’t be on benefits. Children (and marriage) should be ‘subsidised’ by tax breaks.

            Like

          • Anonymous says:

            If £43k’s a good salary compared to £30k, why is £30k not a good salary compared to £20k? And if it is why should the person on £30k get Child Benefit? Are you the arbiter of what a good salary is? £30k in the Scottish Highlands will go a lot further than £43k in London.

            Like

          • Anonymous says:

            If it wasn’t for immigration the population would be declining but we’d be able to travel on the Tube without being blown up. It’s an on one hand, on the other hand situation, it’s difficult to decide which one is worse.

            Like

          • Southern Softy says:

            That’s because there are few good restaurants and theatres in the Highlands.
            It’s not so much how much you get, but more the way you spend it.

            Like

          • Anonymous says:

            It also might have something to do with the fact that a similar house in the Highlands costs about £400k less. I know most people would rather live in London but when scrapping benefits etc the government doesn’t take into account that people in London are usually spending a lot more money on housing costs so need more money to have the same lifestyle.

            Like

        • 164
          Overtaxed Pleb says:

          I earn £60K, and don’t have children. I pay tax at 40% and don’t receive any child benefit…. Tell ME about fairness, again?

          Like

      • 84
        Anonymous says:

        If you can’t afford kids don’t have them. That’s an argument for scrapping Child Benefit altogether which is not an argument any politician is having but I’d agree that scrapping Child Benefit and reducing taxes would be the best option.

        Like

      • 87
        Grumpy Old Man says:

        It’s Other People’s Children who will be providing your care and maintaining the value of your pension when you’re old and past it – which from your posts I put at about 5 years from now. The young are a national resource and should be treasured as such.

        Like

        • 128
          Anonymous says:

          We did have children before Child Benefit so that arguments a load of crap.

          Like

        • 147
          misterned says:

          Bollocks! The young were never treasured in the past and have done nothing new or exceptional to deserve to be treasured now. They have equal value as anyone else, not more.

          The people who are now children might well be providing me with care when I am old (if I live that long) but they will NOT be children then will they? They will be adults. SO as an elderly person in need of care, I shall be an adult, treated by other adults.

          People who want kids should pay for their own offspring. Only the poorest should be granted state aid, for so long as they remain poor. They should also be assisted to earn more money and get themselves off state aid and become self-reliant.

          Like

          • Anonymous says:

            You should see somebody about these issues and talk it through.

            Like

          • Anonymous says:

            Only the poorest should be granted state aid?? Look where that got us, a Shameless generation and riots for trainers. Something is not working and it’s not just the chavs.

            Like

          • Southern Softy says:

            I see JD Sports estimate they lost £700k stock in the recent riots.
            Must have cleaned out the entire stock from all the stores.
            Have you seen the tat they sell?

            Like

    • 199
      Anonymous says:

      “£43,000 a year,hadly millionaires” Seems like it to me trying to live/exist on
      a quarter of that,including the state pension.

      Like

  21. 44
    Labour's base says:

    Lancashire police say they won’t be investigating further into the kids cagefighting. Quite right. The Labour voting knuckle dragging mongs who pay to watch 8 year olds beat each other need some entertainment in their grim lives to break the monotony and malaise of getting drunk on cheap supermarket cider, watching Jeremy Kyle and telling their feral kids to go shoplifting for them.

    Like

    • 58
      genghiz the kahn says:

      Is Ed going to tweet his displeasure over the misuse of the words Greenlands Labour Club in the stories. Somehow he may spin it as the fault of baby eating Tories forcing good honest working folk to send their kids to fight in clubs.

      From the world’s favourite publically funded media organisation.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-15015790

      A fight between two boys watched by adults at a cage-fighting event has been described as “very barbaric” by the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt. The minister made the remarks after it emerged police were investigating whether boys were at risk taking part in the fight in Preston, Lancashire. The eight-year-olds were wrestling in a cage at Greenlands Labour Club in front of about 250 adults on 10 September

      Like

    • 173
      misterned says:

      FFS! The hype over some kids taking part in healthy, controlled, safe, competitive and positive activity is ridiculous.

      The rules governing these kids match ensured that they were not at risk of serious harm. I would rather kids who have a natural aggression be positively funnelled in this safe way towards healthy competition, than be allowed to be vented on the school playground or in the streets.

      At these mixed martial arts clubs, the kids are taught discipline, healthy habits, respect for rules. These “cage matches” are no different from the gradings and tournaments which take place in civic halls and church halls and leisure centres up and down this country every month as kids look to advance to their next belt.

      At my local civic hall, there is an annual boxing evening which raises loads of money for charity. The local amateur boxing clubs all provide competitors to entertain a packed hall for an evening. The bouts start with the junior boxers who are normally between five and seven years of age. They stand toe-to-toe in the middle of the ring, with massive gloves and headguards and swing their arms about until one of them starts crying. One learns to win and the other learns to lose. Both are valuable life lessons.

      What is important is that the kids WANT to do it. The trainers will reject and refuse to train any child that does not have natural aggression and the desire to fight. Doing so would damage the child. This kind of activity provides a safe outlet for that natural aggression.

      It is healthy physical competition. It is NOT barbaric, cruel or dangerous. It is healthy and positive.

      My personal reason for supporting such activity is twofold. 1). As a young child I was badly bullied by a very violent aggressive boy in my class. He got into trouble often for violent attacks on other boys. The headmaster eventually recommended he go to a local Judo club. I was terrified at the prospect of this boy learning much more efficient and effective techniques to hurt me. However, from the day that boy joined the Judo club, he stopped bullying completely. He never bullied me, or anyone else again. He had no need to. He got his pent up aggression positively out in a controlled and safe environment. He went on to win a British Championship for his weight class.

      2). As an adult, I took up martial arts myself. As I progressed I gained confidence and saw how other students became more calm, confident and could cope far better with day to day stresses. I gained my dan grade and became an instructor in Wado Karate. I have seen riotous uncontrollable violent kids transformed by martial arts into obedient, well-behaved, positive role-models for their classmates and had reports from school teachers not believing the transformation in problem kids that these activities can achieve, had they not seen it for themselves.

      When humans evolve to the level where all natural aggression is eliminated, then these activities can be banned.

      Much as I hate labour, it is utterly ridiculous to use this positive event to launch wrong, ill-thought out and frankly pathetic arguments against them.

      Like

      • 216
        Anon. says:

        What I would like to know is: why are people being allowed to make money out of children fighting? Do the parents make money out of it? Are you seriously saying that where profit is involved, no-one is putting any pressure on these children to fight? And how can ‘losing’ a ‘fight’ in front of a baying crowd of hundreds NOT affect the psyche of an 8 year-old child? It most definitely is barbaric. I bet someone is making a fortune out of this vile spectacle, and it isn’t the children.

        Like

  22. 52
    Is home Canterbury or London? Certainly can't be Killkiddies and Cowdungbeef says:

    Like

  23. 56
    Edward. says:

    Now I could never in a million light years ever be able to understand the warped mindset of a Socialist drone, I regard this as one of my greatest attributes.

    Reading the ‘thinking’ behind IPPR whoever they are, I came to the conclusion, that they must have been on an extended drug addled bender.
    Do they really pay people to come up with this dross?

    Many have said this before, it needs re-iterating, bin the tax credit system completely [it is a dysfunctional Brownian incubus], raise the threshold to £15k + and see the effect – people will go back to work [glory be] the boost would kick start the economy [George are you listening] and though it would put thousands of benefit civil servant wonks on the dole – I’d call that – a double win.
    Tax credits for no more than, TWO dependents.

    So simple, too difficult for Dave’s Red Tories.

    Like

  24. 58
    Sir William Waad says:

    Danny Alexander is right. A person on the minimum wage finds him/herself entangled in three inconsistent tax systems:

    Income tax: based on annual income, takes money away, covers all kinds of income, takes only the individual’s income into account.

    National Insurance tax: based on weekly or monthly income (or sometimes other periods), takes money away, covers only earned income, takes only the individual’s income into account.

    Tax credits: based on annual income, gives money back, covers all kinds of income, takes the income of a spouse or partner into account.

    The compliance systems for all three taxes are different.

    This is very silly. It is little more than a make-work scheme for Revenue officers. It is confusing and unfair and produces effective marginal rates on quite poor people of oiver 60%.

    Like

  25. 69
    B stards says:

    There’s no doubt about it, Balls and Brown were an evil pair. Prepared to destroy our country for their socialist ideologies

    Like

  26. 72
    PFI arranger says:

    The cayman islands are particularly nice at the moment, Tony and Cherie should be joining me soon to share out the proceeds.

    Like

  27. 81
    Zephyer says:

    James o’Brian on LBC talking about the death penalty.
    Heads up Gu*i*do

    Like

  28. 89
    Dunlaggin says:

    Guido

    Was your item correct about Huhne leaving the conference B4 Clegg’s speech?
    Not according to Pearce in the Mail today.

    “Even as Chris Huhne, the ultra ambitious Energy Secretary, clapped you knew he was thinking it should have been him milking the applause not the man he branded in the leadership contest Calamity Clegg”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2040163/Nick-Cleggs-speech-embodied-wrong-Lib-Dem-conference.html#ixzz1YfmsMSRv

    Like

  29. 90
    Mark Austin says:

    I’ve long felt that Labour ceased to be a party of and for the poor a long time ago, but the party of and for the people who *do* things to and for the people.

    This leads to a prediliction for complex systems requiring professional support and systems for taking in, processing and handing out money – all requiring an army of (Labour voting) officials.

    At the moment, as well, the system is also a massive subsidy to employers of low-income employees, who have no need to pay a living wage, since the benefit system tops up their income – leading inevitably to the benefit trap. Although I’m no supporter of the coalition (either part of it), I do commend Ian Duncan-Smith’s attempts to alleviate this problem.

    However, the long-term solution (for those employed) is to set the minimum wage at a level where employed people do not need benefits, and decrease business taxes commensurately with the savings, both in direct paymenst and indirect costs, thus making it cost-neutral overall.

    Like

  30. 95
    tube_thumper says:

    Im fed up with hearing about the fucking “poor”

    They all seem to have sky, cars, chavwear and holidays.

    I am supposed to be one of the better off and I am as poor as fuck apart from my property which i cant sell. Still I have 2 well spoken daughters with excellent public scholl educations. How does that help me though.

    Burn the poor or send them to Africa as food aid to be boiled in a cualdron for 2 days with no salt as the poor are full of it.

    Like

  31. 95
    keddaw says:

    98% agreed. The only issue is that someone on 100k gets more benefit from this than someone on 11k.

    That is the logic of tax and refund, only the low earners get the benefits – completely missing the fact that the cost of administering such an idiotic system is much greater than the amount they are not giving out to the higher earners.

    Screw a flat rate tax, why isn’t it a flat tax? Or how about a low rate for the essential government services then a PAYG fee for each service you want to use?

    Like

  32. 120
    Sophie says:

    Governments should live within their means.

    Governments should balance the books.

    Governments should not be allowed to rack up unsustainable debt.

    Governments should recofnise that it is OUR money, not theirs.

    Until Governments can do the above, fleecing & extorting more tax from us will go the same way – waste, incompetence & international grandstanding via vanity wars & DFID.

    Like

  33. 121
    • 133
      sockpuppet #4 says:

      I hope they’ve got good insurance in case this starts earthquakes or subsidence.

      Are those jobs all for lawyers?

      They could wait an extra few years and get their technology right, by practicing in Wyoming, rather than trying it out in the most highly populated countries in Europe.

      Like

    • 151
      annette curton says:

      The next cause célèbre coming up, hordes of activists will be descending on Bowland chaining themselves to things, Chris is right, much better to spend billions of government money on Windmills which although useless and unreliable at producing any significant amounts of electricity are nevertheless symbolic Green icons for which the Joe public will be eternally grateful as he shivers in his hovel looking at the dial on his smart-meter which tells him kettle has just clocked-up £1.50 to boil a cup of tea.

      Like

  34. 126
    Ed Balls, Shallow Chancer says:

    But how could we have won three General Elections in a row if we hadn’t trapped so many people on benefits ???

    Like

  35. 129
    Paddy Tiger Economy says:

    I see the paddies are doing rather well on that cheapo loan we gave them.

    Bloody shame we are paying more interest on the capital that we borrowed to give them than they are paying us in interest.

    Like

    • 150
      stun says:

      Don’t think that’s right – lent to the m*cks at 5% for 5 years IIRC, 5 year UK Gilts currently at 1.5%.

      Doesn’t mean we’ll get it back, mind, just that we do have positive carry on the loan in the meantime.

      Like

      • 159
        annette curton says:

        Sermons from the Manse:
        Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

        Like

      • 175
        And why sre we exporting more to Paddy land than China? says:

        22 July 11
        The UK has trimmed the rate on the loan from 5.8% to 3.5%.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile/business-14256280

        Considering that we ourselves are in debt and had to borrow the £3.26bn to loan to Ireland, at what rate did we borrow it. And considering inflation is running at near 5% and the paddies are only paying 3.5% aren’t we out of pocket anyway?

        Like

        • 193
          Seth the pig farmer says:

          No – the spread between what we borrow and what we earn is what matters, so if the Irish pay us back, then we will have made a couple of % on the trade.

          The inflation just means that the value of what we borrowed and what we get back is declining equally.

          I might have a mortgage of 3% with the bank, but if I can lend a twenty quid to a friend and get back the twenty and a pint at the bar I am better off even allowing for the fact that I could have used the twenty to pay down my mortgage.

          I personally believe that as the Irish are major trading partners, and we are the co-party to most of their debt, it is in our national intersest either to lend them money at a reasonable rate (i.e. let them piggy back on our credit rating) or to buy a big chunk of their assets as every notch upward on their GDP will flow directly through to our economy and every £ they pay back to our banks is only good news – and Ireland is economically part of the Sterling zone anyway.

          What we pay to the other PIGS* is money down the drain.

          Osbourne should announce that as non-euro members we are not getting meshed into funding other bailouts, but we will focus our support on Ireland.

          *Italy not Ireland

          Like

  36. 155
    Anna says:

    Sometimes I wonder whether I inhabit some alien planet. While I’ve never earned a lot, when I was still working in addition to receiving the State pension I could, by getting rid of unnecessary expenses like a television with its BBC tax, afford to pay my fuel bills. It incensed me that I received a winter fuel allowance, it was an insult to my budget management, I donated it to Help the Aged. Now that my sole income is the State pension, I will admit that the cash injection is welcome and probably I shiver through winter less on account of it. However I will never, ever, understand the politics of malice and envy that want to drag everyone down to my level. As to Nick Clegg’s declaration that hard-working people wouldn’t understand it if the 50p income tax rate were abolished… well, yes Mr Clegg, I would understand it, because I may not be as rich as you are but I’m not economically illiterate.

    Like

  37. 160
    Politicians are CUNTS says:

    labour are not in government

    then again, neither is anybody else

    we pay politicians to look after themselves NOT the country

    Like

  38. 172
    steve smith says:

    hey listen guido lighten up on this in case millibeans wonks see it and give the twat the heads up cos if he accepts this idea he really is a moronic turd

    Like

  39. 177
    Geoffrey G Brooking says:

    Raising the tax threshold to £12,500 is a very good idea I have long supported.

    The only way you are going to incentivise those on benefits to go into work is by making work appeal.

    This can only be done by cutting benefits.

    1. Have an across the board maximum benefit For first time claimants that should be reduced by ten per cent every six weeks until it runs out after 52 weeks.

    2. Make everyone on benefits be means tested for housing and council tax benefit.

    3. At the very least make anyone on even the lowest benefit level pay at least twenty per cent rent and twenty per cent council tax.

    Then watch the layabouts shifts their backsides into gear!

    Like

  40. 181
    Graham says:

    The political objection to taking millions out of income tax is resolved by a flat tax. They might not care about the income tax but the VAT at the same rate would affect them.

    Like

  41. 186
    CHRIST ON A BIKE! says:

    Typical mdoern left-wing thinking. It only considers welfarers as “poor” but doesn’t give a crap about the low-paid who actually bother to get out of bed in the morning and do a job for crap money and then see a big chunk of that money dissappear off to the tax man and as most of these low-paid are in the private sector and are not members of Unions, they care even less about them.

    Like

    • 225
      Anonymous says:

      It does irk me somewhat when I hear teachers moaning about only getting a 25k-30k starting salary on their first year, getting 1/4 of the year off as paid holiday every year for their entire career, and paying into their pension pot about 1/5th of what I’d need to pay to get an equivalent pension.

      On the one hand I would like to try and get a job in the public sector because it’s much better wages/pension than anything I could ever find in the private sector, but on the other hand I don’t want to work for a bunch of negligent moronic fuckwitted lefty bastards. So, on balance, I’d rather be poor and in the private sector than wealthy and in the public sector, because life’s too short to spend my entire working life wanting to punch everyone I work with in the face for being a totally useless waste of skin.

      shit, schools even close down for the day for staff training days; 1/4 of the year off and they have the fucking gall to close down the school to have a staff training day because they don’t want to forego 1 or 2 days of their fucking jaw-dropping amount of paid holiday time.

      Like

  42. 189
    Seth the pig farmer says:

    I employ several hundred staff in a successful growing business. As a result, I been able to offer increased hours to all my part time employees, but many don’t want them as they will be worse off under the tax credit rules.

    Like

  43. 190
    Penfold says:

    Surely the EU shouldn’t be funding think tanks if they have strong and solid political links.
    Enquiry, now please, turn orff the funding taps.

    Like

  44. 194
    Seth the pig farmer says:

    Leave the tax threshold at £10k and phase out NI contributions.

    Like

  45. 195
    Drste says:

    But hang on, the poorest in society don’t work, raising the tax threshold won’t make a difference to them, so they are still trapped by benefits.

    When Clegg announced the raising to 10k, back in may or something, he made a big deal about the “poorest 10% not paying tax anymore”, but the poorest 10% are on benefits and don’t work, therefore, they don’t pay any tax anyway, raising it further doesn;t help

    Like

    • 224
      Anonymous says:

      It might not help the unemployed, but it definitely would help people who work hard for shit money.

      It’ll especially help them if they don’t have kids because you have to earn less than 5pence per month to get tax credits when you don’t have kids, but you can earn about 50k and still get tax credits if you’ve got kids. Where’s the fairness in that?

      (well, maybe those figures aren’t entirely accurate, but you get my point)

      Raise the tax threshold and a shit load of low-paid people gain massively and it takes fucking huge wads of people out of the tax system completey, saving billions in paperwork that simply no longer needs to be done.

      Let the low paid people benefit the most; people who work fucking hard but don’t get much money. That will “make work pay”, but you also need to reduce benefits so that nobody who’s unemployed gets more from the government than someone living next door earns who works his arse off.

      At the moment, if you’re unemployed and have no assets, then you receive the equivalent of at least double what most people around you would get as salary from a full time job, and that’s just plain fucking wrong.

      if you’re employed, have a mortgage/house, and get a low income, and have no kids, then you’re totally fucked compared to the layabout next door who sits on his arse all day watching telly.

      Like

  46. 196
    tomdickandharry says:

    “wary that it will result in millions of voters being unaffected by the basic rate of income tax who therefore won’t be incentivised to vote for parties and policies that favour lower taxes.”

    Surely this is equivalent to the “purely political reason” why you claim Brown/Balls supported universal benefits? Something you criticized them for.

    Instead of “welfare universalism”, he is arguing for tax universalism.

    I’m not sure whether you subscribe to Mark Littlewood’s view, but it’s interesting to note that you express his opinion, without criticism, but you don’t do the same to ‘Brown/Balls’.

    Anyway, I think the reason why the 10p tax rate was removed was because the richest were the biggest benefactors, and arguably tax credits could be used as a more effective way of providing the poorest with more disposable income. I’m not entirely sure if that’s correct – I haven’t seen the figures.

    Like

  47. 197
    Anonymous says:

    I thought I’d stumbled on to the Daily Mail website for a second – the misleading headline, gash writing and bland right-wing bias are all present.

    Like

  48. 207
    I want my rights&my privacy back, I want damages and a fresh start away from this Labour voting meddling shithole. says:

    Gilmore keep your meddling dogshit voters away from me.

    Like

  49. 209
    I want my rights&my privacy back, I want damages and a fresh start away from this Labour voting meddling shithole. says:

    Gilmore keep your meddling dogshit voters away from me. Shove your crappy junk suggestions up yer shithole!

    Like

  50. 210
    The whole of Edinburgh can jog on the pathetic meddling Hoons that they are. says:

    I have the right to self determination, free from stalking, harassment and exploitation. Edinburgh can go and fuck itself! Pathetic Hoons!

    Like

  51. 215
    Fuck age scotland. I want my rights, my privacy and my life back says:

    Edinburgh &Labour are dogshit on my shoe

    Like

  52. 218
    Voice of Reason says:

    Mark Littlewood is not a wonk as you say he’s an supreme wanker -“He fears that low-earners will have no reason to buy-in to tax cuts if they are taken out of the income tax bracket entirely.”

    What a fucking clown this guy is. Freeing up low earners from tax will enable them to buy more, reduce dependancy on benefits and will help the economy. Littlewood is all for judges, civil servants, hospital executives, local authority executives, BBC executives and presenters like Andrew Marr, Jonathon fucking Ross and similar ilk to pay less tax when they’re earning masses of money and don’t have to worry about everyday living costs such as food, fuel, travelling to work etc.

    Like

    • 219
      Voice of Reason says:

      I should add that I’ve no problem with real entrepreneurs who create jobs having their tax reduced but certainly not for the rich prats as mentioned.

      Like

  53. 221
    Fuck age scotland. I want my rights, my privacy and my life back says:

    Brown owes me millions. Another strategy that Guido failed to include is- Pick a vulnerable person, shit over their rights, get them to run around jumping through hoops, exploit them to fuckery, put a health spin on the tactics and brainwash the fucker into believing that collective w@nkst@ins are using such tactics for the vulnerable person’s own good by keeping them in fear of their own shadow. Keeping them in a submissive cycle of fear, poverty and exploitation. Disgusting!

    Like

  54. 222
    Fuck age scotland. I want my rights, my privacy and my life back says:

    Labour also used their immigration policies to up their votes.

    Like

  55. 223
    Anonymous says:

    I resent working my arse off, then having to send half my income to the government, and then having to fill out reams of forms to get some of it back again.

    Tax Credits are a bureaucratic heap of pointless expensive shit.

    For fuck’s sake, when we’re on a low income then just let us keep more of our money in the first place instead of taking it all away and then getting us to beg for some of it back again.

    I’ll vote for the party that puts tax credits in the bin, and simply raises the income tax threshold. I don’t want hand-outs, I just want to keep a reasonable proportion of my income in the first place.

    Fuck me, how much money would it save to just put the whole tax credit system in the bin and just revert back to having thresholds that vary according to your situation? You could put the entire tax credit department in the bin overnight.

    Every fucking year it’s the same; the amount I pay in tax is almost identical to the amount I get in tax credits. I have to employ an accountant for my self-assessment forms, and have to deal with the fucking shit tax credit office, purely to end up in a situation that’s no different to simply not paying any fucking tax in the first place.

    I fucking hate labour, but I especially hate Gordon Brown for creating such a monumentally stupid, expensive, and pointless system in the first place, but I suppose you wouldn’t expect to get an intelligent system created by a man who thought that doubling the tax rate for the lowest paid wouldn’t adversely effect people on low wages.

    Like

  56. 226
    Anonymous says:

    Guido: “IPPR is arguing against raising tax thresholds because it won’t help the poorest who are on benefits and not working. This criticism cuts no ice because tax cuts, by definition, are designed to help taxpayers. IPPR argues that targeting benefits, sprecifically towards childcare, would be more effective and cheaper. It is as if they are speaking a different language, the problem of welfare dependency won’t be solved by paying out more benefits.”

    At least for Danny Alexander, raising the threshold is NOT intended to help taxpayers or solve the problem of welfare dependency- rather it’s “a way of compensating people on low incomes from the cuts” http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/09/tax-rate-50p-decision-raise

    And if that’s the intention then the IPPR’s argument that spending billions on this effective tax cut which will help the higher earners disproportionately stands.

    Like


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Tony Blair threatens Ed:

“If you had a strong political lead that was combining the politics of aspiration with the politics of compassion, I still think that’s where you could get a substantial majority…  If I ever do an interview on [the state of the Labour Party], it will have to be at length…”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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