Thursday, August 30, 2007

Worth getting it wrong, don'cha think?

Pro-EU blogger and general stupid Lefty, Jon Worth, is siding with the prison officers.
UK prison officers staged an unofficial strike yesterday.

Wasn't it actually, technically, an illegal strike? I mean, do they not have to show that all other avenues had been exhausted and that they had held an official ballot?
Today came Brown’s response: keeping public sector pay rises low is essential to keep the lid on inflation.

Erm... This has always been a bit of a lame excuse. After all, inflation is actually considerably higher than the headline figure. Let's face it, the bald truth is that Gordon has run out of money having pissed tens of billions of pounds up the wall.
OK, that applies to the entire public sector, but will that reassure the prison officers?

Why the fuck shouldn't it? They are public sector workers, aren't they.
That might have been an acceptable line while he was Chancellor, but I think the prison officers (and other public sector workers) deserve something a little more conciliatory.

With 81000 prisoners in overcrowded jails life as a prison guard must be even more grim that normal at the moment.

Ooh, diddums. Look at the poor, ickle prison warders. Jon, me ole mucker, they can go and get another job if they don't like their working conditions; that's the beauty of having a flexible labour market.

It wouldn't be difficult to replace those that resign; I mean, fuck me, we have hundreds of fucking meathead thugs roaming the streets. Just pop 'em in a uniform and Bob's yer jailer.
Plus ask yourselves this: is a 2.5% increase for prison workers comparable to a record £14 billion of bonuses paid out in the City of London, or 37% increases in boardroom pay? Both those stories have been in the press in the last week.

OK, this is where it gets really stupid. First, the two are not equivalent because the taxpayer is not forced to pay those bonuses.

Second, those bonuses and pay rises are awarded because the private sector—and the City in particular—has been particularly productive this year (it's worth bearing in mind that Goldman Sachs agents get a percentage of the profits. It's what the Tories call "sharing the proceeds of growth").

Next up is the massive amount of tax that the state takes from these bonuses, etc.
He said that the taxman tended to recoup around 50pc of bonus earnings in taxes and National Insurance, equating to as much as £7bn last year.

So, Jon, do you see what's happening here? That's right: these companies are creating wealth that would not otherwise have existed, and then the Treasury is taking its slice—well, more of a massive great wodge, actually—so that it can afford the prison workers' 2.5% pay rise.
Perhaps Gordon might do something about that? Or dare to raise some concerns about it in public?

Actually, a good way of stopping huge salary increases to bosses would be to bring in a 0% Corporation Tax for reinvested profits, much like Estonia has. I think that you might find that it is worth keeping the cash in the company then, rather than paying it out to directors. But, as it is, the directors pay a lower tax on their rises (paid as dividends) than the company does if that profit remains in the bank, so the company may as well just pay out the money.

Er, but other than that, could you please tell me what, precisely, Gordon should do about it? Are you saying that the state should determine what private companies pay their employees? Are you saying, Jon, that the state should set the rate at which each job should be paid? Well, prepare for a pay cut, sunshine.

Seriously, you're an idiot.

Never mind: Jon is apparently moving to Brussels to "as a freelance website designer and EU politics trainer". EU politics trainer? Why am I not surprised in the slightest? He'll fit right in.

Don't feel the need to come back anytime soon, OK?

UPDATE: John McDonnell MP is horning in on the act too.
This morning as the strike by prison officers forces pay talks with Jack Straw, Gordon Brown has demanded "pay discipline" by public sector workers. At the same time the Guardian earnings survey exposes the huge gap between the income of chief executives and the wages of their workers which has opened up under Brown's supervision of the economy.

Take just a few examples: Giles Thorley, chief executive of Punch Taverns, now has a salary package of £11,276,000 which is 1,148 times the average wages of his workers of £9,821. How about Tesco's chief executive whose salary is £4.6 million which is 415 times his average worker earning £11,000.

And what's your fucking point, John? Tell you what, let's do some more mathematics, shall we?

On top of your fat fucking fee of £60,000 for sitting on your lardy arse as an MP, you claimed £131,427 in expenses which I regard as being part of your salary. This brings your (ostensible) remuneration to £191,427 in 2005/06. This means that you earned over 20 times what I did last year: and what did you do with it? You turned up to 66% of votes, which is below average even for the feckless, lazy bunch of cunts that inhabit the Commons.

Furthermore, you produced not one fucking iota of wealth or value, you useless, weasel-faced parasite, and did nothing but harm by existing.

You are a fucking cunt; fuck off and die.


Tomrat247 said...


In fairness I'm in agreement with the prison officers regarding their strike action; yes it is true that many public sector employees have it easy but I doubt anyone, on the "right" or the "left", has ever suggested our front line civil servants, such as the police, nurses, doctors, fire marshalls or prison officers have had it anywhere near as easy as the majority of jobsworths created to tow the labour party line.

Yes we can rant about the massive red tape costs of the police or the higher-than-thow-attitude of some nursing staff with a doctoring hard-on but at the coal face these people have had to live with the social engineering decision of despots and autocrats for far too long. Demanding a fair days wage for a fair days work is no longer the issue when you fair days work is non-existent anymore.

Agree with you on the Corporation Tax though; attract more overseas business and improve compliance with better employment policies that were once too costly. However, why should this apply to just corporations? Why not raise the tax allowance to ~12k as mentioned by Tim Worstall? An 18k wage looks a lot more appetising when you get to keep more of it.

Mark Wadsworth said...

This puzzles me "0% Corporation Tax for reinvested profits".

Under our tax system, companies can (by and large) claim a full 100% deduction for all 'profits' that they reinvest, i.e. market research, product development, recruitment, staff training, advertising and so on.

So by definition, the tax rate on reinvested profits is (by and large) 0%.

Sure, for some reason some types of expenditure get no relief, and relief for expenditure on plant and machinery is spread over a number of years, but this is all pretty marginal.

Are you perhaps failing to distinguish between 'reinvested' and 'retained' profits?

In any event, VAT and Employer's NI are far more damaging to economic activity than corporation tax.

Mark Wadsworth LLB BA ACCA ATII.

Devil's Kitchen said...


Perhaps I mean retained profits then, i.e. that increase in money in the business account at the end of the fiscal year that, right now, gets taxed at -- what? -- 30%?


"Why not raise the tax allowance to ~12k as mentioned by Tim Worstall?"

Sure, that's the Adam Smith Institute proposal: a £12k personal allowance and a 22% (I think) Flat Tax.

Of course, there is only one party advocating a high personal allowance and a flat tax. That'll be UKIP then.


Matthew Sinclair said...


VAT isn't nearly as economically troublesome as corporation tax as it doesn't hit internationally mobile capital. Take a look at the TPA/CEBR study into the effects of cutting corporation tax to see how important it is.

The big problems with VAT, as I see it, are transaction costs and the extent that it kicks the poor.

DK, I think that for prison officers it isn't just illegal because it was instant. I think they are, in general, banned from striking just like GCHQ workers used to be. That's why that had to do a wildcat strike, as they knew the government would quickly get an injuction as it now has which means they'll get screwed if they strike.

Part of me wonders if a similar rule should be extended to the tube.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DK, corp tax is (by and large) 30%. Roughly in line with UKIP's recommended flat tax (that they might reduce to 31% in next manifesto anyway).

Matthew "VAT isn't nearly as economically troublesome as corporation tax as it doesn't hit internationally mobile capital".

Look, let's worry about the domestic UK economy first. VAT and Employer's NI are really bad for it, phase them out first. We'll then have a thriving economy and 'international capital' will be much happier to invest here, even if we never get round to cutting the corporation tax rate.

VAT and NI depress the profits that can be made by 'international capital' far more than corporation tax. If nothing else, they raise more than twice as much.

I act for international clients, they really aren't too fussed about corporation tax.

And yes, I did read Corin's letter in the FT yesterday, you are attacking the wrong tax.

Sir James Robison said...

...So, Jon, do you see what's happening here? That's right: these companies are creating wealth that would not otherwise have existed, and then the Treasury is taking its slice...

No, they don't see ths, DK. They'll never see this.

Vindico said...

Never mind: Jon is apparently moving to Brussels to "as a freelance website designer and EU politics trainer"

Says it all. I don't think i even want to ask what an EU politics trainer is.

Neal Asher said...

The 18k is just the starting salary, going up to 28k for long service, then of course a nice healthy pension. Public sector workers really need to get a reality check. Every wage like this, remember, is paid for by three or four private sector workers. I have to wonder how much longer this can be sustained.

Roger Thornhill said...

Corporation tax ends up as higher prices, so higher VAT too. If you have zero corporation tax and a higher VAT, you tax IMPORTS as well and make our EXPORTS more competitive. Companies would wish to relocate here. Overnight this is difficult, but we should seriously consider moving towards low to zero corporation taxes ASAP. With zero corporation taxes, imagine how simple that would be?

The tax should be on income of individuals, so a flat tax on dividends the same as income tax, i.e. you only pay tax when you wish to extract the capital. A company that keeps the cash can reduce their debt (good) or put that money to far better use than any government could, so helping other companies raise cheap debt.

Employers' NI is a joke and must go. Employees should see what they are being fleeced of. Better still, make NI a true insurance [insert Roger's NHS rant here]

Mark Wadsworth said...

Rog, here's my letter in today's FT on the topic.

'nuff said?

Anonymous said...

I'm a teacher and I get about £25,000 a year for my sins, which I would say is about fair until my level of experience and responsiblity goes up... as in the private sector.

If I could change one thing about my job, it wouldn't be money, pensions, or anything like that, I would just love for the government to stop fucking around with the curriculum and trying to pretend to parents (and teachers) that throwing schools into confusion at the beginning of each year is a good way to proceed.

I reckon that that is what pisses public sector workers off the most... the constant tinkering and messing about that takes you away from the job you are primarily supposed to be doing, and instead buries you in bureacracy that you wade through unhappily at the expense of the tax-payer.

Mark Wadsworth said...

No comment, I just couldn't resist the word verification "hzeeea" which sounds like something Jackie Chan would say before jumping out of a window.

Antipholus Papps said...

So let me get this straight DK - agents of the oppressive state openly rebel against the very government you spend so much time condemning, and you just sit there sneering at them?

Do you want the little Adolf Eichmanns of this country to rise up against an openly criminal mafiosa goverment or not? Frankly, this episode is the only glimmer of hope I've seen for the ignorant and lazy little quislings of this stroppy little island. The proverbial levee is at breaking point, you self-satisfied twat!

Devil's Kitchen said...

"So let me get this straight DK - agents of the oppressive state openly rebel against the very government you spend so much time condemning, and you just sit there sneering at them?"

Yes. These fuckers don't have the well-being of me or my taxmoney at heart: they care only about themselves. They are, indeed, agents of the state and simply because they have held an illegal strike does not mean that I should be on their side. The enemy of my enemy is most definitely not my friend.

And I absolutely do not want the unions, whose leadership I have even less control over than the Westminster government's, getting the upper hand again: the Winter of Discontent was not, as the name might imply, a happy time.


Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...