According to the BBC 350 of us turned out to Rally Against the Debt, a petition passed round gathered 400 signatures so the actual number is likely nearer 500. The Fawkes girls were unimpressed with their first political demonstration and even their father’s speech until they saw a chihuahua dog which made their day. It was as promised, pretty civilised and good natured, there were no riots, arrests or any trouble – apart from 3 counter protestors. The after party at the Westminster Arms went on till late…
The Rally Against Debt will be held at Old Palace Yard in Westminster, central London, at 11 a.m. Today.
Old Palace Yard (pictured above) is in between Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, a short distance from Victoria train station and walking distance from both Westminster and St James’s Park tube stations.
The Rally will start at 11 a.m. and finish in good time for the FA Cup final, and during that time there will be the opportunity to hear speakers explain why they are rallying against debt, and to see the TPA Debt Clock – a giant digital display counting up the country’s national debt.
If you need a reminder of the reasons behind the rally, why not take a look at our Why Rally Against Debt fact sheet, or check out the official website FAQ. And if you’re on Facebook, why not join the official event page?
Come and enjoy yourselves, while taking the opportunity to make a serious point about the importance of dealing with Britain’s horrific national debt.
Guido has penned today’s Thunderer column for the Times behind the paywall. Before people moan, it is for a good cause, tomorrow’s planned Rally Against Debt and for those of you without a log in, he will push the limits of the fair use rules.
…Government borrowing is merely deferred taxation, so this generation is passing on a terrible inheritance of indebtedness that will burden my children, and my children’s children, with higher taxes. The Chancellor will protest that he is cutting the deficit, that he is overspending less, that political reality will not allow him to do more.
This is simply not good enough. Under Mr Osborne’s plans, the Government will still spend more cash every single year. Debt interest payments are set to double and will eventually cost more than the education budget. That is a stupendous waste of money that could be spent educating our children instead of servicing the bloated debts to the bond markets. Cutting the deficit is not enough: cutting the debt is required.
We don’t have big public sector unions organising coaches to London, and no political party is backing us, so we certainly don’t expect the Rally Against the Debt to number in the hundreds of thousands. I am taking my children with me on their very first demo and my first since back in Berlin 1989, to demand on their behalf: “Mr Osborne, tear down this debt.”
See you tomorrow, 11.00 a.m., Westminster.
Without a hint of irony Gordon is speaking today in Las Vagas to a convention of hedge fund investors. The Salt Conference is one of the largest gatherings in the world of investors, speculators and wealth creators. No doubt he will regale them with tales of how he saved the world from their evil destruction, lecture them about how they are all to blame for the financial crisis, and were it not for him, it would have been armageddon. Or will he just take the nice fat appearance fee, drone on about his book, and run the profit through his limited company to avoid paying the chokingly high income taxes his government forced on the country.
Meanwhile the people of Kirkcaldy still go unrepresented in Parliament. What good is Gordon doing for them in Vegas? Guido pities anyone in the casinos, it’s going to be big wins for the house tonight with Jonah in town.
However, there is something you can do to show Gordon, Labour and the rest of the deficit denying, head-in-the-sand, carry on spending brigade that enough is enough. That is to give the Rally Against the Debt an hour of your time on Saturday morning in Westminster. Guido will be taking to the soapbox and wants to see as many co-conspirators there as possible…
Today the 40% tax rate kicks in at £35,000 above the personal allowance. The tweaking, down from around £37,000, is expected to raise just £500 million this year. Given we are spending £120m every day on our debt interests, it’s not worth the pain. The £500m could have been found through other savings rather than whacking wallets.
The top-rate of tax hits 52p with Labour’s rise in National Insurance also kicking in today. “An exploded tax-bombshell designed to go off under the future economic recovery” as Osborne put it in 2008. But he’s hardly done much to ease the pain, there’s not even a little retail therapy due to his choking rise in VAT. This is not a growth strategy.
UPDATE: It was pointed out to Guido that the gift of £600m that Cameron pledged to Pakistan yesterday is more than the tax take from this squeeze on middle-earners. But it’s ok he’s sure they are very grateful.
Regular readers will remember that Guido and Andrew Pierce have not always seen eye to eye, but credit where credit is due. Pierce’s column today will make for uncomfortable reading for both of the Miliband brothers as he exposes David’s perfectly legal, but thumb-nosing and hypocritical, tax arrangements:
“Quietly, he has set up a company called ‘The Office of David Miliband Limited’, which will be a tax-efficient vehicle for his non-parliamentary earnings. This means that all payments the former Foreign Secretary receives from commercial speaking engagements and other lucrative private work will be paid into the firm. It will be subject to corporation tax of 20 per cent”
It makes complete sense as who would go out of their way to maximize their tax payments, but given that David was in the cabinet that introduced the aspiration-killing 50p tax rate it is rather telling that he doesn’t want to pay it himself. Will the militant-wing of HMRC, UKUncut, be occupying David’s Primrose Hill mansion in protest? They can also complain about the death tax on the property that the family conveniently got round while they are at it.
UPDATE: Strike the niceties, Guido is reminded that the Carina Trimingham/Huhne story that Pierce included in his column appeared here first. The Guinness story was Paul Waugh’s last week too. The invoice is in the post.
Guido is always bemused that the ritual destruction of private property on left-wing demonstrations is attributed to “anarchists”. It seems very unlikely that they are anarchists, far more likely Socialist Worker Party toytown trots and knuckle-dragging leftie trouble makers. Anarchists want to smash the state not increase the size and scope of it…
Because it is a sunny Sunday here is Guido’s favourite funky anarchist anthem, “No Government” by Nicolette:
Remember kids, real anarchists don’t pay taxes…[…]
Something tells Guido that the campaign against Guardianista hypocrisy is getting to Polly:
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
- Job providing corporations.
- Internet Service Providers.
- Business start-ups in northern cities.
- Sheffield and the “Nick Clegg Memorial Enterprise Zone”.
- Local councillors and their £100m to spend on potholes.
- Charities – 10% death tax cut if money is given away.
Guido was at a private dinner last week held by an influential think-tank; around the table sat a senior Tory tax policy expert, right-of-centre wonks and an investment banker turned MP newly promoted to the government payroll. The talk was of consolidating national insurance and income tax into one headline figure.[…]
We think of France as far more socialist than Britain yet French middle class families are far better off than their British equivalents in after-tax terms, despite higher basic rates. French taxpayers get an allowance of up to €2,300 per child under 7 years of age called les frais de garde d’enfants towards the costs of child care outside of the home, a small tax rebate called les frais de scolarité for each child in education and up to €6,000 rebated for l’emploi d’un salarie a domicile covering a house-keeper or nanny.[…]
This email has just been sent out to subscribers to the Guidogram:
We need your help fighting left-wing hypocrisy. For months The Guardian has been attacking the City, bankers, hedge funds and companies like Barclays and Vodafone for using legal and prudent tax strategies.[…]
Earlier this month the Guardian front paged a story revealing that the City of London accounted for £11.4 million of the Conservative Party’s funding in 2009 – 10, in lurid terms we learned of the millions passed to Tory coffers by rich hedge fund managers.[…]