Wednesday, April 09, 2008

What's 10p between friends?

ChickenYoghurt has a pithy post up about the abolition of the 10p tax rate.
The Cabinet Office minister Ed Miliband on the matter of the abolition of the 10 per cent tax rate making people worse off:
When you make a big set of changes in the tax system, some people do lose out. That is a matter of regret.

This is not a big set of changes in the tax system, Ed; this is tinkering around the edges. Abolishing income tax and switching to consumption taxes: now that would be a big set of changes to the tax system, you goggle-eyed cunt.

If Ed Miliband thinks that this is a big set of changes, then I fear for his definition of big. Or rather, I fear for the women who have been misled by Ed's definition of "big" and who may now believe that "big" means "barely touching the sides".
What does the term ‘Labour Government’ mean to you? Does it mean this? Making poor people poorer? It’s like the 75 pence pension rise all over again. Gordon Brown insists that not making these people worse off would be ‘playing to the gallery’.

Apparently that term means ‘the general public, usually considered as exemplifying a lack of discrimination or sophistication‘. That’s us he’s talking about, the people at whose pleasure he serves. I’d say he’s right in the sense that we show those qualities when choosing our leaders.

Well, yes, 21.6% of us do, at any rate.
People on lower incomes would be no worse served by choosing who they vote for with a pin and taking their chances. There are some of us who still retain the ability to be surprised by this kind of thing.

I know, but you really shouldn't be. I have been pointing out for years that NuLabour has no more noble aim than the retention of power at all costs. And the best way to ensure that people vote for you is to ensure that they will lose out financially if they don't.

All of the NuLabour's measures over the last decade have been focused on one thing: creating a client populace. We have now reached a point where 51% of the populace now derive income from the state, in one way or another.

On the Daily Politics the other day, the Labour Minister's justification for the removal of the 10p rate was that "more people will take up Tax Credits." In other words, more people will be in receipt of money from the state.

Look, it's really simple, and I cannot believe that people still don't get this: NuLabour have taken increasing amounts of money from the working poor. They have mainly done this not through the 10p income tax rate (which, after all, NuLabour introduced), but by deliberately keeping the Personal Tax Allowance below the rate of wage inflation.

NuLabour have combined this measure with the National Minimum Wage, which has artificially inflated the wages of those on lower incomes, bringing more and more of them into the income tax system and ensuring that those already in the system pay more of their wages in tax.

Having thus ensured that the low paid take home even less money than they should, the government then makes these people beg for some of their money back through the tax credit system (and through other benefits too).

Not only does this create a big voter base which can be scared by the bogeyman of eeeeevil Tory benefit cuts, but it also ensures that the government now has control over all of these people. "Behave yourself," they are told, "Or you will lose all of your benefits."

Those who are in receipt of benefits are slaves of the state: ultimately, in order to have the money to live, they must kow-tow to the wishes of their paymaster.

And unlike their employer, who demands only their labour for a limited time, the state demands that they behave as the state dictates in their entire lives. Your lives, ladies and gentlemen, belong to the state.

Successive governments have operated a deliberate policy of removing your means of supporting yourselves and ensured that the only way in which you can live is by being beholden to the state. And, as history has shown, the state is not your friend or mine.

But, alas, it is going to be a long time before the British public understand all of this—a situation exacerbated by the paucity of decent education—by which time they will be near-irreversibly ensnared.

Fuck, I feel very sorry for you all. And I would reverse all of this, I really would.

There are disadvantages, of course; you would have to be almost completely responsible for your life, for your decisions both good and bad: there will be no safety net (other than the voluntary charity of others).

But, then, that's what liberty is, isn't it? Owning your own life, being free to make your own decisions...


Blue Eyes said...

Eventually these unsustainable systems collapse and result in very free countries like those in Eastern Europe.

Sim-O said...

Make it so the greedy fuckers in the city can't sacrifice me for their new yacht and I might take a chance on yer, cos at the moment a safty net looks quite nice when some cunt can make you homeless just because they've fucked up their maths, even though you've made all the right decisions.

Apart from that, I see you're point about the level of wages/taxes/benefits.

Happy Harriet Harman said...

You are sick and twisted!
Only someone truly callous could argue against tax credits.

Tax credits are labours gift back to the poor and hard-working citizens of this country.


Tomrat said...

2 questions DK,

1. Is LPUK discussing MP candidates for areas yet, and if so have they picked them for any place?
2. Hypothetically if they dont select a candidate for the general election for my area (Leeds West) will there be a guide to candidates in this area?

My natural tendency will be to pick UKIP in the event there is no one from LPUK in my area; they at least support the idea of raising the personal tax allowance to the 12k "happiness" level.

My own opinion is that rather than set an arbitrary boundary for this (after all it is an arbitrary boundary that started this in the first place) you either go the whole hog and do the 0% income tax (which I support) or set the personal tax allowance to the relative poverty figure of 60% mean wage (government assessed value). This would have the keen impact of raising those the state "deem" to be in poverty out of poverty, whilst forcing the state to create much more accurate statistics - to overestimate the mean wage of the land would be to raise the personal tax allowance and vice versa.


"Make it so the greedy fuckers in the city can't sacrifice me for their new yacht and I might take a chance on yer..."

I doubt you would hold the same sentiment if you were the ship-wright, harbour master, yachting paraphenalia salesman or other ancillary business floated on the back of this mans sale.
As for working under him - you should be protected from his mistakes; but only in so far as making sure he is taking the haircut and not yourself for his financial transactions - as we have seen in the case of Northern Rock the impact of their financial dealings going pear shaped has been dampened by government bail-outs; why not start there to stop the "greedy fuckers" from getting a hand out?

Unity said...

The irony in all this is that the opposition's tactic of making a big fuss over the abolition of the 10% tax rate could easily backfire on them before the next general election.

The politics of Brown's original decision are pretty straightforward if a bit cynical. Had he called an election last year then he would have been a matter of six months into a fresh five year term when this all kicked in, and if you're going to increase direct taxation then the time to do it is at the start of new term, when it matters least electorally, And, of course, the other part of a 'deal', the 2p cut in the basic tax rate, also effectively closed off any scope for the Tories to offer any cut in income tax in their own manifesto.

Okay, so the election didn't happen and Brown's now got a problem on his hands...

...except that its a problem with a pretty simple and obvious escape route, and one that would be electorally pretty popular.

In fact its so obvious that I'm prepared to put a prediction that Brown will tough it out for the time being but that before the next GE, the end of budget speech rabbit that gets pulled out of the Chancellor's hat will be a £1,000+ increase in personal allowances sufficient to cover the 'losses' incurred this year as a result of ending the 10p tax band.

JuliaM said...

"Tax credits are labours gift back to the poor and hard-working citizens of this country."

Dear god, I hope the above is tongue in cheek...?

Must be. Someone this dim could never find the 'On' switch on their PC.

Anonymous said...

The background colour of your pages has turned into a sort of dilute dog shit, it ain't easy to read, dear Sir.

Jones said...

"More people will take up tax credits" Where on earth is the sense in that? The Government will need to increase the tax burden even more to pay for more people receiving tax credits.

If public borrowing and spending is to be brought under any sort of control, surely the fewer people requiring 'benefits' the better? This has to be complete and utter economic fuckwittery of the first order.

Oh, and DK? Can you reset your colour scheme to the way it was before. Black on Shit brown isn't easy to read.

Blue Eyes said...

So Unity it's OK to screw over 5 million of the poorest citizens for a year or two then with the snap of the fingers promise to sort them back out?

New Labour: only interested in its own electoral success.

Unity said...

Did I say it was okay?

Nope, don't think I did.

What I did say was that its a fucking obvious political move given the circumstances, which is a very different thing.

curly15 said...

Grab a beer mat to commemorate this momentous con trick!

Anonymous said...


You are right and wrong about tax credits.

Tax credits are not a socialist policy they are a LIBERTARIAN one.

They where introduced by a Conservative government under John Major.

However this does in no way tell the whole story,

When the idea of a positive income tax was formulated it was never intended to exist at the same time as a welfare benefits system. It was supposed to over time, replace it. So acting as an incentive to work.

Gordon Brown however has perverted a WONDERFUL idea into his usual socialist nightmare of government dependency. When the original intention was the exact opposite. For all the reasons you state and many many others you did not.

If we have to be taxed, which over time it is possible that we could be generally taxed far less then we are. Then putting it all on consumption hits the poorest the most. But giving people the incentive to work while the state helps out the worst payed is the only way to make a lower taxed country happen in a democracy. We are in reality being hit by taxes from both sides direct and indirect.

In said democracy real change can not be too fast. The frog of socialism must be boiled slowly or it will simply hop out at the first available election.

The tax credit system must be radically reformed and simplified so it can have the effect it was originally intended to have. A great start of course would be to stop taxing any one on under £15,000 in the first place.


Semaj Mahgih said...

Don't know how this post read to you but here there were too large grey squares obscuring all the print. Did you have this problem too?

Blue Eyes said...

No need to be so touchy.

If it was a pre-planned move I would have thought that Brown would have warned his MPs in advance and explained the strategy so they didn't go crying to the media.

You said that it is the opposition making all the fuss: actually it is Labour MPs in marginal constituencies. They are the real losers in this.

I agree about increasing the personal allowance - that is something that Brown should have been doing for years instead of dragging more low-paid people into income tax.

Roger Thornhill said...

Positive Income Tax and CBI are not Libertarian policies or orthodoxies, IIRC, but just potential alternatives to getting shot of the welfare state. A potential lesser evil. Potential, I might add.

Tax credits are not in the slightest Libertarian as they (were? and) are selective - working FAMILIES tax credits - and thus weaken the Rule of Law (no special favours) which is a key aspect of Libertarianism.