Saturday, November 08, 2008

A quickie...

Guido compares the lacklustre Tory tax-cutting promises to those in the US and New Zealand, where novices promising tax cuts won with big majorities. Apparently (Obama? A tax-cutter? Really?).

What Guido fails to point out is, as usual, the massive fucking elephant in the room: New Zealand and the USA rule themselves. Our parties, on the other hand (and this includes the Tories), have no hope of ruling the country for which they are standing: the EU does.

As such, no political party in this country can promise anything of any importance and so you may as well stuff you vote up Hazel Blears' foetid hole, frankly.

Vote for who the hell you like, but bear in mind that, unless their first act is to leave the EU, they can cut, control, or repair slightly less than the square root of fuck all.


Andrew Ian Dodge said...

Short, simple and one of your best. Totally spot on DK.

Anonymous said...

Re. 'political disengagement'


Vindico said...

you seem uncharacteristically restrained.

Paul R said...

Spot on. When can we leave?

Guido Fawkes said...

Obama ran as a tax cutter, didn't say he was a tax cutter.

Anonymous said...

Hang on - the EU's got tax-setting powers now?

I know I haven't been blogging much of late, but surely I wouldn't have missed such a massive and fundamental change to the organisation's remit? Hell - there wasn't even a hint of it in the Constitution or Lisbon Treaty... Does this mean that Brussels has finally worked out how to move forward quickly after almost two decades of stagnation, even with the vetoes of 27 member states preventing any further progress whatsoever?


Prodicus said...

EU member states may, I understand, raise VAT levels but may not reduce them - a one-way ratchet. For example.

Billll said...

Obama started off as a tax hiker, when he thought that his programs might cost a bit more than the 25% of the military budget he planned to "redistribute". Turned out to be more like 2 times our current total budget.
After the crash, someone must have taken him aside and explained some basic econ to him, since he then became a cutter. Of whose throat, we're still not sure.

I'm NOT Aussie Pete! said...

[i]Hazel Blears' foetid hole[/i]
Now [b]there's[/b] a tautology!

NZ is in a parlous state. The last 25 years have seen many of their most talented[0] people jump ship, primarily for Australia. They are restocking with British, Chinese and Indian immigrants. The nice, fat pounds that the British bring are good news - but what will happen when the fifty-odd thousand barmaids get out of Dodge when things go tits-up here?

Taxes are high in NZ - although the top rate is less than AUS and about the same as GB, there's no tax-free threshold. I hope that Key will address this.

NZ is a small country with a small population, and it needs a minuscule government to survive. The Maoris are an albatross they have to wear, much like the Abos in Australia. We'll see if Key has the guts to stare them down.

[0]and plenty who weren't so talented

Anonymous said...

Assuming "fuck all" is very small, then its square root is bigger that it.

Sackerson said...

@anon 07:56 - for that to be true, 0= less than FA = less than 1, I believe.

Below zero, √FA is complex and has no equivalent in the real world; alternatively, if FA=1, √FA produces no change. Either way, NuLab's epitaph?

Anonymous said...

Mr Kitchen, I love your blog, but your unthinking EU scaremongering is somewhat tedious.

I think you will find that VAT is pretty much the only tax that the EU has (some) control over. This is because the EU is a free trade area (good thing, surely?), and differing rates of VAT could be seen as distorting the competition. I am not sure I entirely agree with the logic, but nevertheless that is the rationale.

However, 85% of UK government income comes from sources other than VAT (Source: UK Budget 2008), nearly all of which could/should be cut.

So, unless you have some novel definition of the square root of fuck-all, I guess you are completely and utterly mistaken.

The thing to remember is that the people to blame are always the greedy socialist control-freak scum (of all parties) we elect to Westminster, not the EU, EEA, ECHR, the UN, the Bilderberg Group, the Elders of Zion etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

Here's a rough guide to the EU's involvement for Nosemonkey:

"Much UK financial services regulation originates in the European Union. The EU is also very active in developing rules for Europe's financial markets that are designed to deepen the internal market. Since the UK has to give effect to European law, active engagement with Europe is essential. Indeed, around 70% of the FSA's policymaking effort is driven by European initiatives, including the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP)."

"Some of our most significant work is in the European context. We give particular priority to European issues since, as a member of the European Union (EU), the UK must implement into UK law legislative decisions made at the EU level."

Hacked Off said...

Right on the money - if we are to regain any degree of control of our own country we have to get out of the EUSSR, and the sooner the better.

Face it, BMW and Mercedes are still going to want to sell their cars in the UK same as they want to sell them in the USA.

The Penguin
Penguinus Notbornaeuropeanserf

Anonymous said...

Goodnight Vienna - since when have financial services regulations had anything to do with tax policy?

Fact 1: The EU has not and never has had the ability to raise tax itself, or to set taxation levels within EU member states. (The same goes for the FSA, by the way.)

Fact 2: Any and all EU member states can raise and lower most taxes pretty much as much as they like, and there's nothing Brussels can do about it. The only restrictions are those designed to protect the common market by promoting free trade and preventing protectionism. (If you're against free trade and for protectionism, you're probably reading the wrong blog...)

Devil's Kitchen said...


Although I kicked off with tax, I was referring to all policy, e.g. David Cameron's solutions to the financial crisis were, in the main (and whatever you think of their merits), impossible to enact under EU law.

I should have made that clearer.

"Fact 1: The EU has not and never has had the ability to raise tax itself, or to set taxation levels within EU member states."

Well, that is not entirely true, is it? Or is VAT not a tax these days?

Yes, I know that the EU does not set maximum VAT levels, but it does set minima. It also decides, to a great extent, what count as exempt items, what are essential items and what are luxuries and thus can, broadly, set minimum levels of VAT on said items.

Further, the EU does receive a certain percentage of VAT taken, although this is paid via our government, rather than directly.


chris said...

The EU does set minimum VAT rates, and as a Customs Union (not a free trade area) has sole jurisdiction of import duties. Therefore it does have some tax setting powers though not as many as some of the bureaucrats that run it would like, yet.

Anonymous said...

There are, of course, a good number of things that British political parties CAN'T do thanks to EU regulations - there's no denying that (and Cameron certainly seems to have a habit of promising to do them). But you very much gave the impression of singling out tax cuts, which is one of the few areas where you don't have much of a case...

-- An aside --

On the VAT issue, it may be worth noting that only two member states (perhaps unsurprisingly both Scandinavian) have set their VAT at the highest (25%) rate, and only two at the lowest (15%) - and also that there are various options for reductions well below the minimum (to as low as nothing). I'm not overly convinced that if the EU's guidelines for the tax were removed that there'd be much difference in the amounts levied by the various member states, as they seem to be about the average (for countries that have some form of VAT, of course).

-- Aside ends --

But that's getting wildly off topic. You started by mentioning promises of tax cuts, and any UK party can easily promise vast tax cuts - as well as a cut in the base rate of VAT of 2.5% and a vast expansion of reduced-rate and exempted items - and go on to implement them all. There's nothing the EU can do about it.

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