How should Conservatives tackle inequality?

Conservatives are in many ways better placed to cut poverty than Labour. If you are keen to let more people succeed, to build businesses and create jobs, you will do more to eliminate poverty than if you want to tax enterprise into submission. If you believe in competitive markets, you offer people more choice of good value goods to boost their living standards, and more opportunity of employment.

The Conservative assault on poverty revolves around helping equip everyone to have a job, and creating the economic conditions where more jobs are created for them.

It is also based on the idea of wider ownership. One of the big divides in our society is between those who own their own home and those who do not. Helping more people to own their own home brings to more people the wealth effect of home ownership. In old age there will be no rent to pay. There is an asset to support them should they need to go into a nursing home, or an asset to pass onto their children.

Ensuring more people have pension and other savings will also erode the them and us culture that divides our society into those who have some financial wealth and those who have none.

The Autumn Statement needs to allow more people to succeed and enterprise to flourish. It needs to lift spirits, not threaten more taxes and controls. I will write again today when we have seen the details.

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172 Comments

  1. Julian
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Warren Buffett famously said that he pays a lower rate of tax than his secretary. No British millionaire has been prepared to put his or her head above the parapet and say the same, but it seems likely the situation here is no different. Rather than concentrating on how high the top rate of tax should be for those unfortunate enough not to be able to avoid it, we should find a way to ensure that the peak rate of tax does not fall on the middle classes.

    Reply The top 1% of Income Tax payers pay 30% of the tax, so I think you are wrong.

    • Gary
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      The top 1% also continue to pull away from the rest in wealth, while the total tax take falls.

      These disingenuous arguments are similar to that old saw about the financial sector needing to be appreciated for their contribution to tax and jobs, while the larger amount productive jobs and hence tax they destroy goes unsaid.

      How much GDP did we get this time for the extra £136bn debt for HTB ?

      • Hope
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        Warren Buffet pays far less tax in the US than his equivalent hear. Another politico spin.

        To answer JR’s question directly, I think Connor Burns said it yesterday when he referred to Mrs Thatcher and Mr Joseph’s radical plan to change Britain. They did it with conservative philosophy, values, drive, vigour and commitment. Cameron could not even be frank with the public about his true EU credentials. With Heseltine and Major as advisors could anyone believe there would be a different outcome? If I knew these were the driving force behind him in 2010 he would not have had my vote.

        The economic, immigration, crime and welfare figures are truly appalling. The spending is still out of control and taxes are still increasing with Cameron saying this is unlikely to change for 10 years. However, Cameron and Osborne think it is some sort of success to have reduced Labour’s budget borrowing plan by about 0.03 %. As JR pointed out recently, the borrowing is mind boggling and actually increasing in real terms. Four years in office and there is no likelihood of change or difference between him and Miliband. At least Miliband has his own rotten ideas.

    • Bazman
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      They don’t pay 30% of taxes though and as a percentage pay less than everyone else, plus as they have had massive pay rises over the last ten years to pay for any additional taxes whilst everyone else has seem a fall in income to pay for regressive taxes such as VAT.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Baz

        “They don’t pay 30% of taxes ” Yes they do, youre wrong as normal

        • Bazman
          Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

          Taxes come from other sourced such a regressive VAT. You are claiming they pay 30% of that for example? They also have seen massive rises in their incomes over the last ten years to be able to pay taxes whilst the rest of use are on the same or less with higher taxes and prices. It’s all CO2 and agencies again from you. Would you care to apologise to everyone for being so uninformed and in some cases just happy to be wrong as it fits in with you right wing fantasies?

          • libertarian
            Posted December 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            Baz

            You really cant cope can you? Do at least try and pay attention

            1) Julian claimed that the wealthy avoid paying tax. I pointed out that I don’t avoid it.

            2) Its just a fact that the top 1% pay 30% of income tax revenues, live with it. Your stupid assertion that the rich pay less than everyone else is childish silliness. Even someone with little brain power can work out that 45% of £1m is far far more than 20% of £26k

            3) I haven’t had a pay rise for more than 4 years , so youre wrong on that too

            4) the rest of your drivel is just nonsense abuse.

            5) If you want to add in all other taxes such as VAT, Stamp Duty, Council Tax, Inheritance tax, Capital Gains Tax. You’re right the rich pay far more than 30%

            Here’s a breakdown of some of it for you

            VAT – Govt income £83.8bn

            ( bare in mind a large part of this comes from the rich)

            Corporation Tax £51.3bn
            CGT £5.5 bn
            UBR £23.7 bn
            Stamp Duty £13.5bn

            Hmmm you know what you were saying about apologies, well I’m waiting. Come on man up, admit youre wrong Baz

            Ram it

          • Bazman
            Posted December 9, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

            Is this supposed to be of support of them as our benefactors, because you will find it is The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists that are the benefactors not the other way around. We are not just the hired help as you seem by this post to want us to believe.Are the rest of us are “parasites” who suck blood and energy from the productive rich, by taxing them? In this belief system, We are basically just “the help” who are otherwise in the way, and taxing the producers to pay for our “entitlements.” We “take money” from the producers through taxes, which are “redistributed” to the parasites. They repeat the slogan, “Taxes are theft,” and take the “money we earned” by “force” (i.e. government.)
            The conservative “producer and parasite” anti-tax philosophy is fundamentally at odds with the concepts of democracy. A democracy is supposed have a progressive tax structure that is in proportion to the means to pay. We do this because those who get more from the system do so because the democratic system offers them that ability. Their wealth is because of our system and therefore they owe back to the system in proportion. Ram it.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Wrong

      I pay the full rate of tax and operate no tax reduction schemes of any kind.

      How much tax do you pay Julian ?

    • zorro
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – That is because they earn so much more than everyone else. As you know, income tax is a small fraction of government revenue/spending ability. If the rate of increase in public spending had been limited over the past 10-15 years to inflation, we could have abolished income tax.

      zorro

    • lifelogic
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      I think Buffet was paying more like 15% tax rates – rather than the 45% here (plus 28% CGT and 40% of your assets on death too). So he might not mind paying a bit more, I do not think he wanted to pay 45% but then at that age, he cannot take it with him can he.

      As JR says a great deal of the tax is paid by rather few rich, if you push them away taxes will have to rise further on the middle incomes. One rich person leaving might reduce the tax take (less cost of services provided) by more than perhaps 2000 average workers’ contributions.

      You push them away at your peril, they have many other alternatives.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        I agree LL
        It would perhaps be better to ask Mr Buffet how much tax he actually pays in dollar terms per year.
        Or perhaps work it out that he pays X times the average tax a USA citizen pays.
        A percentage is a false statistic when you are looking at one of the worlds wealthiest persons.
        It might make some bitter and envious people realise Mr Buffet is a valuable citizen to have resident in a nation.
        Apart from gifting many millions to charitable causes each year of course.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Indeed but we have not really had any of this from Cameron or Osborne. It is a bit late now. All we get is rating, tax borrow and waste, pension theft, open borders, more EU , more parasites, more regulation and more green religion.

    • Bazman
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Or parasitical companies exploiting the state and paying little tax for the infrastructure and population used to generate these profits often at the expense of smaller companies employing more at higher wages and paying as a percentage more tax. No as you cannot see this can you? Except in pay day loan companies taking money from the rental market. Was it ‘sensible’ or ‘absurd’to to give the tenant the rent instead of the landlord? Oh dear you must have got yourself into quite a tizz on that one, but I bet you didn’t…?!

      • lifelogic
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        What on earth are you on about?

        • Bazman
          Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

          Cardboard over Paris at night ain’t it it?

      • libertarian
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        Baz

        Stop chuntering about things you don’t understand. Big companies generate vast amounts of tax income for the treasury. Ever heard of VAT, ENI, UBR, CT, stamp duty and in some industries extra duties, taxes and add ons. No thought not. Your ramblings get more and more poorly thought through and more extremely silly as each day passes.

        Take a deep breath, have a good think about things from EVERY angle with an open mind then and only then formulate an opinion.

        No need to thank me for the advice, I consider it part of my ongoing corporate social responsibility programme to educate

        • Bazman
          Posted December 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          So do small companies. Explain why they should be exempt from these taxes and small companies are not. Or are you seriously telling us they have a level playing field?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

            Having worked in the small company sector all my life, I agree with you Baz that PLC’s and multi-nationals have an easy ride on taxes by comparison.
            They have the ear of the EU and now can quite legally minimise tax on their big profits by nominating a nation to transfer their profits to, whilst operating all over the world.
            This disadvantages SME’s who are stuck with the tax laws in just their home nation.
            No wonder they are all for the EU.

          • libertarian
            Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

            Baz

            Please tell me exactly ( not vague waffle) exactly which corporate is exempt from which tax exactly.

          • APL
            Posted December 6, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

            Bazman: “Explain why they should be exempt from these taxes and small companies are not.”

            I think Libertarian is making the case for low business taxes. But if you are talking about the ability of multinational buisness to locate their head office in Luxembourg and pay the lowest rate of corporation tax in the EU there? Well, you probably ought to be complaining to Gordon Brown – still taking public money for not representing his constituents in Parliament – and Anthony Blair.

          • libertarian
            Posted December 6, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

            Those of you telling me that OVERSEAS companies pay the tax rate of the country they are located in have completely missed the point. They are OVERSEAS companies and pay taxes accordingly. You seem to have a poor grasp of international trade. You have to be based somewhere and in a free ( ish) market you locate in the best place. Or else which country would you like say BT to pay its taxes too?

            Bare in mind that we are talking only corporation tax here, all other taxes are paid in full in whichever country you operate.

            As the owner of a number of SME’s I’m in that sector, and if you really wanted to, you could use the EU and also register your company in Luxembourgh and pay their corporate tax rates.

            Most of us CHOOSE not to as its not worth the hassle.

            If the UK wants to compete and grow our economy then we should be lowering our CT rates in order to encourage OVERSEAS companies to locate the European HQ’s here rather than Luxembourgh

          • Bazman
            Posted December 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

            Libtard as you are so cock sure on things you have no idea on then maybe you could tell us if they pay the same as small businesses why Executives from some of the world’s most-recognised firms have been grilled by MPs on the issue of tax avoidance via The Public Accounts Committee. We know its legal, but that is another issue. You claim they pay the same. A bit like safe levels of CO2. Your safe levels. LOL!

          • libertarian
            Posted December 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            Dear Baz

            Do get a grip and at least try to understand. Big corporates do NOT pay the same amount of tax as SME’s they pay far MORE. You see oh bear of little brain taxes are levied on a percentage basis and the rate for SME’s is LOWER than big corporate. Good grief fella is there no subject of which you aren’t ignorant?

            If you bothered to follow the thread correctly I challenged you to tell me what taxes big corporates are exempt from that SME’s aren’t the fact is there aren’t any

            As usual when defeated in a factual argument you just change the goal posts and started about tax avoidance and safe levels of C02 ( by the way another easily verifiable FACT that the United Nations World Health Organisation publish on their website)

            Dear oh dear Baz you are a credit to socialism, you truly are a representative of all it stands for

          • Bazman
            Posted December 9, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

            They by default get more benefit from this countries infrastructure as they use more of it to generate their profits and pay less tax as a percentage as you say. They pay less tax or tolls for using these facilities than smaller businesses whilst using more. The fact that they employ more people is because they have to to generate these profits and as technology evolves they will employ less, but use more infrastructure and state protection again without paying enough tolls to cover this use. Benefit scroungers on a massive scale in short. End of.
            If you where to enter a CO2 enriched atmosphere in your line of work. for example in some sort of confined space such as tank what percentage would you believe respiratory equipment should be worn? A simple question not requiring any unproven links to WHO levels. Would a small amount of acetylene gas be acceptable or enrichment by Oxygen? How about inert gases? What harm could they do? I wouldn’t like to work with you in a confined space. Death by asphyxiation burning or explosion awaits. LOL! But of course this would never apply to you would it only to some other fool…

      • zorro
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        I agree with both of you :-)

        zorro

  3. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    To reduce inequality first one must reduce the reward for those at the trough.

    There are two simple ways of doing this

    Sound money – government to print money without paying interest to banks (within stringent restrictions and working towards not spending more than 80% of its predicted tax haul).

    Reducing excessive salaries – I refer to salaried individuals not investors, I would remove cgt on returns on new investment and allow limitless earnings on personally risked capital for new or expanding ventures. My bete noir is excessive salaries within the private and public sector for no risk. These people even get a pay off when tbey fail. Salaries over 20 times greater than the lowest paid fte rate within the organisation should be taxed at a punitive rate such that the amount over the limit is not worth having. Those wishing the status of a high salary can still have one, there is no salary cap but the additional wages are not contributing to inequality. Salaries over the limit should also not be allowable to be deducted against corporation tax. For those who insist achievers (with no risk) should earn more I would concede a 40 times multiple.

    This would compress the earnings ratios so decreasing the mean average salary and reducing relative inequality and encourage larger salaries at the lower end so reducing absolute inequality.

    The lowest paid personnel would include subcontracted cleaners etc and offshore IT and call centres which would encourage returning these services to UK.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Your idea illustrates my previous post, you want to reduce top salaries so the average salary falls and thus reduces “inequality”. But you don’t indicate why that is a good thing. It has zero benefit to those on lower salaries, they stay exactly where they are with exactly the same amount of money, it is an entirely pointless exercise. It is also the Labour party approach, reducing income for those at the top – the Conservative party approach should focus instead on raising income for those at the bottom by tax cuts.

      • Narrow shoulders
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        If high pay taxation levels were driven by the low paid I suspect that low pay would increase.

    • Bob
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      People holding shares in their pension funds and ISAs should be allowed to vote their shares at the AGM.

      That would prevent a lot of the “troughing” by fat cat executives, because their pay, bonus and share awards would be scrutinised and rejected by the shareholders.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Dear Narrow Shoulders

      Apart from being the worst idea I’ve ever heard it would really help if you had the first idea how our tax system actually works.

      The dumbest thing in the world is to reduce salaries on top earners if your goal is to raise living standards of the poorest.

      More than 65% of income of top earners is paid over to HM Govt.

      • Narrow shoulders
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        If those in receipt of no risk salaries had to consider the lowest paid when deciding how much to be paid I think you would find low pay rising fairly sharply. The high paid would still be high paid and prices (houses land assets) would tend towards a lower level. Do think of the big picture instead of what helps you.

        To say reducing tax paid by high earners helps the poorest in society suggests that you favour the redistributive tax model. Maybe you are as driven by doctrine as Baz. My idea would require a rethink. Maybe companies could actually pay some tax (reference your earlier post they do not pay VAT merely collect it).

        I do not believe your 65% figure care to share a link?

        • libertarian
          Posted December 6, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

          Dear Narrow S

          As I said you don’t understand how it works.

          Please explain how those in receipt of “no risk salaries” whatever that is are in a position to influence anyone elses salary. You seem to have confused things in your own mind.

          Don’t make it up as you go along, all I favour is low tax for everyone. I couldn’t care less who earns £1m pa as long as it doesn’t come from tax payers.

          Another one who thinks they can read minds, in what way does it favour me ? What evidence do you have that I can’t see a far bigger picture than you? Hint I can, not only that I started based on reality not a set of made up beliefs.

          As to VAT the companies generate the products and services which generate the tax revenue that goes to HM government for them to waste.

          You’re the one posting about tax and salaries, try working out the tax take on someone with a salary of £200k per year. Don’t forget the allowances disappear and to add national insurance. Its easy you know us business people have to do it all the time.

          Please give me an example of companies that don’t pay tax, and don’t focus on JUST corporation Tax there’s all the other taxes too.

          The trouble with a large part of the population of the UK is that you have no idea about business. The economy is not a zero sum game just because someone is paid a large amount it doesn’t mean that someone else automatically gets less. The salaries paid to workers is a function of the cost effectiveness of the business.

          I didn’t say reducing tax on high earners helps, please try to read things as written not based on what you THINK I’m going to say. I said reducing salaries is a poor idea because they would then automatically pay less tax and the government would have less to spend which will have a detrimental effect on the lower paid.

          The more people are paid the more income tax and NI they pay

          If you really want to help the lowest paid ( and I do) then scrap the minimum wage its divisive and useless and raise the starting tax threshold to £15k but more importantly vastly reduce vat, fuel duty and scrap stamp duty on purchase of homes.

    • zorro
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, too many civil servants earning top whack for not making/avoiding making decisions……and when they fail, they get promoted! I would love to see some of them work for a living…..

      zorro

    • Hope
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      He sea re good points. It is totally wrong fort he government to make people work until they drop while taking taxation to give away on overseas aid and to the EU, literally give away. It also paid solar firms 10 percent more than it was asked to do when it knew its citizens wee dying from the cold. Equality, JR these two posh boys have no idea even with their crisp PPE from Oxford and the best education their daddies could buy.

      Meanwhile, IDS appears to have messed up on the jam tomorrow welfare reforms that Cameron shouts about. Of course all of which is open for the EU immigrants, as well as housing, education and now FREE school mealsf or their children. No need for that report May bashes on about you do not need to be a rocket scientist to work out why they come to the UK in their droves.

      Why does it take longer to stop spending and giving away OUR money than it does to tax from us on everything they can? Interest rates still very low, the value of the pound shrinking, inflation increasing and Cameron says it will be ten years before there are tax cuts for the middle classes. Sounds a lot like Labour equality to me. A good idea to jump ship and vote UKIP to get conservative equality.

    • uanime5
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      The problem with removing CGTon new investments is that people often set up a company and are paid in shares in order to avoid income tax. So all your plan will do is give a massive tax cut to those wealthy enough to disguise their salaries as returns on new investments.

      • Narrow shoulders
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Loop holes could be ironed out, the principle is that risk should be rewarded whereas troughing should be taxed heavily.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        That is not quite right Uni.
        If you are a Director of a company and you own shares in that company and it is making a decent profit you can declare a dividend per share.
        Bear in mind all shareholders will get this dividend.
        This may save you a little tax by comparison to having a cash bonus or increasing your yearly salary, but not very much.
        It also has the complication of increasing the value of the company’s shares which will attract more CGT when they are eventually sold, as tax is paid on the difference between the original buying and selling price.
        What should be encouraged is for companies to not have to pay tax on profits at the end of each financial year if they retain those profits in the business for future investment or just to build up reserves.

        • uanime5
          Posted December 6, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

          The scheme works like this:

          1) Set up a company in which you are the director.
          2) Work for another company as a contractor.
          3) Have your salary paid to your company.
          4) Have your company pay you your director’s salary in shares.
          5) Sell the shares.

          Thus you have been paid in shares and only you have benefited from it because you’re the sole shareholder. How much tax you save depends on your tax band.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 7, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

            I’m not an accountant Uni, but your scheme sounds unlikely to work for numerous reasons.
            One is HRMC would ask why you were given free shares. Another is HRMC would tax you on the difference when you sell your shares.
            Another is HRMC will ask why the income you originally got for your work as a contractor is not on your personal self assessment form and has not had any tax paid on it
            Best of luck
            Remember HRMC can go back many years and add fines and penalties for trying avoidance schemes which are later ruled to be not allowed.

          • Bazman
            Posted December 10, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

            Might work if you are on a large salary, but the taxman is not going to let this one go easily. Never mind, must be many more ways of a being a benefit cheat.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5

        Here’s an idea why not stop posting now that you have proved beyond any doubt you have no idea what you are talking about.

        I’m afraid that if as you suggested companies paid their employees in shares they would be in for a big surprise as not only would they PAY income tax ( P11D benefit in kind) they would also have to PAY stamp duty on the share transaction so they would actually pay twice !!!!

        You also seem totally oblivious to the fact that Capital Gains Tax ( the clues in the name) is only paid when you SELL the shares and only if you sell them at a profit. Please also explain how owning shares in a company is a substitute for a salary, what would you use to pay the eleccy bill with etc?

        Uanime5 you are the epitome of why socialism is such a failure, its a philosophy of the ignorant

        • David Price
          Posted December 6, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          Given your last paragraph why would you want the Uanimes to stop posting?

        • uanime5
          Posted December 6, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

          Here’s an idea why not stop posting now that you have proved beyond any doubt you have no idea what you are talking about.

          I do know what I’m talking about and was even able to explain how it works to Edward2.

          I’m afraid that if as you suggested companies paid their employees in shares they would be in for a big surprise as not only would they PAY income tax ( P11D benefit in kind) they would also have to PAY stamp duty on the share transaction so they would actually pay twice !!!!

          Good thing that’s not what I was suggesting.

          Also if you’re paid in shares you don’t have to pay income tax on it. P11D doesn’t apply to things given in lieu of a salary, it only applied to benefits you get from your employer.

          You also seem totally oblivious to the fact that Capital Gains Tax ( the clues in the name) is only paid when you SELL the shares and only if you sell them at a profit. Please also explain how owning shares in a company is a substitute for a salary, what would you use to pay the eleccy bill with etc?

          It’s quite simply.

          1) Set up a company.
          2) Work for another company as a contractor.
          3) Have the other company pay your company rather than you.
          4) Have your company pay you in shares.
          5) Sell your shares back to your company in exchange for money.

          So instead of paying income tax on a salary you only pay CGT on the shares you sold.

      • A different Simon
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        Uanime5 ,

        Don’t you mean they pay themselves in dividends ?

        • uanime5
          Posted December 6, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

          No they are paid in shares, then sell the shares back to their company in exchange for money.

          • alan jutson
            Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

            So I take it the Company has a new share issue every couple of weeks (so that it can give them away) or it churns the same shares over and over again to the same person.

            Think you may find the Taxman very interested in this little scheme, and you may be sharing a cell with some other people who try to evade tax.

  4. Mark B
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Your third from last paragraph may sound laudable, but it totally unrealistic. Not everyone can, or indeed should, own a home. A home is just that, A HOME !!!!

    It is not some financial instrument or measure of wealth. Some people would benefit far more from rental/flexible accommodation than say someone with a ‘fixed’ abode. Its about having access to both.

    Once again, you are falling into the Socialist Liberal trap of thinking that government should and can fix societies problems, when in fact, they are the root cause of many.

    Why can’t you just leave us alone ?!?!?!

    Stop taxing us. Stop unfettered immigration from non-EU countries. Stop thinking that the monies that you get, whether it be from taxation or borrowing, is somehow yours by right and to do with how you please.

    Reduce the state, the parasite which feeds on us all, whether we be rich or poor.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Taking money from people working hard in the private rental sector to “help” others buy homes is not justice.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        I agree.

        What we need is a proper rental market where there is good supply and good demand. If demand exceeds supply, prices increase but, so to do the number of New Private Landlords who come in to gain from a profitable market. Similarly, if supply is too great, and demand low, prices fall.

        What we must not have, is Government thinking that it is their business to ‘create’ a market where they decide what is a fair price or not, and seek to distort the market to suit their own political ends.

    • Gary
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Quite correct.

      How much wealth is not created by an inflexible labour market due to people being chained by a mortgage to a geographical location ?

    • zorro
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      They can’t leave us alone, as they need to give us the benefit of their innate wisdom, and charge us exorbitantly for it, with particular reference to expenses…..

      zorro

    • Hope
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Be that rich or poor Or foreign.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        True.

        But I didn’t want to be labeled a racist, bigot, xenophobe and/or extreme right wing.

        But there again, a former Socialist Labour Politician from Scotland does not post here, so I might escape that. Might ?

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      I warmly want to support this. While I was at Cambridge, I had a magnificent teacher called Mr Joslin. He was an expert on South America which, at the time, I despised.
      He told me that the highest desire of every school and university leaver was to get a job with the government. I was appalled! Not earning your living honestly but cadging off the taxes of the poor?
      Yes, he said, in his part of South America a street cleaner was a highly desired job because it came with a salary.

      We are now there thanks to our chippy, lazy, begging, self destructive and greedy little country. (See Bazman’s comment above)

    • Mark B
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      And remember this good people. Government gets a slice of your wealth (home) whenever you move (Stamp Duty), for absolutely what ? When you pay for a Road Fund License (Road Tax) you expect the monies raised to go to building new or maintaing existing roads and associated infrastructure. But where does the money for Stamp Duty go, and what for ? Social Housing ? New Private accommodation ? No, they just take it, because they can.

  5. Old Albion
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Simple. Create an English Parliament within a Federal UK (assuming the Scots don’t vote to leave) Then apply free prescriptions, free eye-tests, free hospital parking to England. Scrap the rules that demand the sale of an English persons home to pay for care. Remove the discriminatory tuition fees from English students.
    How’s that for starters?

    Reply And put taxes up to pay for it all?

    • Old Albion
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      No, scrap the Barnett formula that pours money into Scotland.

      • Old Albion
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        Oh! I see in the Autumn statement, Mr Osborne has in fact increased the block grant to Scotland/Wales and N.Ireland. So we English can fund even more of their largesse.

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Stop it John, you know it’s a myth spread about by our self serving politicians that an English Parliament would cost more money. If anything it would cost less. The building is there for a start. We now have 650 United Kingdom politicians of whom not only does not one speak for England but there are 117 Scottish, Welsh & NI Politicians who would have very little to do with their days if they couldn’t vote on English only matters. They have absolutely no say on devolved matters for those who send them to Westminster. Either they or the 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament sitting at Holyrood and the AMs sitting at Cardiff and Stormont should be made redundant. Why does a nation of 5 million people and Wales and NI even less need two governments when a nation of 60 million and growing is only allowed one. Also, there would be nowhere anywhere near the number of UK MPs there are now for the few remaining reserved matters, only a fraction would be needed. Isn’t that the nub of the matter John? 650 UK MPs on a nice little Westminster gravy train with over bloated salaries, pensions and expenses who know it would all come to an end if England had it’s own parliament. Their own survival or democracy for England – England doesn’t have a chance.

      Even if an English Parliament were to cost more money which it won’t, I find it insulting that Scottish, Welsh & NI legislatures for the reasons mentioned above are costing unnecessary amounts of extra money and the UK Government can give away billions of our money in aid and to the EU, both of which poll after polls shows the public are against, but when it comes to democracy for England, forget it. What price democracy if it means England has someone, just someone to speak up for it against the constant blatant discrimination again it’s young, it’s sick and it’s elderly and more importantly an end to to 117 unelected and unaccountable MPs making often decisive decisions for it eh John? And that doesn’t mean EVEL.

      I’ve said it before John, the Tories’ contemptible complacency regarding England’s governance will cost them many votes at the next election. The Tories wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for England and yet they IGNORE England in the same way Labour did. They can’t even bring themselves to say the word England when they know most of the policies they are legislating on only apply to England. They refer to ‘this country’ or ‘the country instead’. Guess what John, the English public are waking up to this deliberate ploy to make them think ‘we are all in this together’ which we are not.

      Only UKIP are willing to champion England which is why this lifelong Tory voter/activist will vote for then in 2015.

      Reply Our problem is too much government, not too little. In many parts of England we have government by the EU, by the UK, b y the County Council, by the District Council and by the Parish or Town Council. I want English votes for English issues at Westminster, an English Parliament within current budgets.

      • JoolsB
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        I meant to add that if England were given equal funding, ie. the Barnett Formula was scrapped and if England had it’s own parliament with someone standing up for England’s interests (unlike now), then English taxes could be used to give England’s young, sick and elderly a fairer deal on the things Old Albion suggests which are presently denied to the people of England alone by the UK Government on grounds of cost.

        • Mark B
          Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          I agree with you.

          Lets both move to Wokingham and get our fellows in the community to support our views. You never know, there just might be a politician willing to listen and get elected come 2015.

          ;o)

    • zorro
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      The Welsh have a lovely building in Cardiff, Northern Ireland has Stormont, and the Scottish have one in Edinburgh. No need to build unnecessarily. The English can use Westminster. I am a traditionalist after all….. :-)

      zorro

      • Old Albion
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely Zorro. And move the new federal UK parliament into the ‘house of Lords’ Scrapping 850 peers and their salaries and expenses.

    • Hope
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Some already get it for free, why not make it free for all to be equal? Look at the boiler advertisement on TV at the moment and see who is eligible for a FREE boiler, at the taxpayers’ expense. Come on IDS why should landlords get it as well? Perhaps immigrants could send them home like child benefit or working tax credits or winter fuel allowance. The stupidity of spending in this government is beyond belief and it needs to be removed ASAP. It appears to be unable to apply common sense or basic maths.

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Your ‘reply’ does not do you justice. How is that the people of Scotland have these benefits Mr Redwood, and the people of England don’t? I assume you are content that in your idea of a Union one part continues to subsidise another so that the equality you seek to achieve in one sphere does not apply in another.

      • JoolsB
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Obviously Mr. Redwood and all the other UK MPs squatting in English seats are perfectly happy with the status quo Prang Wizard.

        I notice John you haven’t printed my comment in response to your response to Old Albion. Are we not allowed to mention the inequalities and discrimination against England any more?

  6. Bazman
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Inequality is not going to be tackled by creating (insecure short contract ed) type jobs by allowing these companies to erode two hundred years of employment rights and making them jobs of last resort in poor areas of Britain which they typically set up shop taking every grant and tax break to do so and then not paying any tax on their profits. Soon as technology advances and I mean within the next ten years these companies will be employing almost no one and looking to advance on other areas such as supermarkets and their distribution systems ramping down costs and employment. Good for the customer, but when the customer does not have a job how will they buy the products no matter how cheap they are? This is not a liddite argument, but what jobs will be avalible for millions now employed in retail and distribution and how will benefits be paid to the unemployed as these companies pay so little tax?
    What we are seeing is legal exploitation of the state and it’s citizens for the ends of a few at the top being pay day loan companies which are little more than loan sharking within the law, often exploiting the very same type of person that works in a an (name left out ed) insecure short term contract type job taking out loans for escapism or in many cases to pay for everyday necessities such as rent and utilities which are in turn run for the benefit of a few. Until some sort of safeguards are put to prevent the mining of millions of the population in this position attempts at equality are futile. Anyone who sees such safeguards as the welfare state and the minimum wage as causing more inequality is a fool and a dreamer these companies would tighten the screw down even further at more cost to the taxpayer or at least the one earning enough to pay a reasonable level of tax.
    Ram it.

    • Bazman
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Good editing. We can guess the names if we have a brain and live in this country that is. Ram that.

    • Bazman
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Plus parasitical private companies feeding off the state and sending profits offshore without tax paying minimum wage claiming everything. Benefit cheats and tax dodger to boot. Get that one fantasists?! Ram it.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      I’m not a fan of zero hours contracts Baz, but its worth remembering that they only represent a few percent of the total of all those in work.

      • Bazman
        Posted December 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        Interesting to see how IDS and his fag packet ideas will fit into zero hour contracts as they are being used by more large employers, though it is not just the private sector who have embraced these exploitative arrangements, many public and voluntary sector jobs now come with these kinds of contracts. You cannot have your benefits stopped for not applying for jobs that use this type of contract. So whilst with one hand the DWP and IDS is doing everything they can to bully claimants into low paid, part time and insecure work, with the other it is actively preventing anyone from taking up that kind of work with some of the UK’s largest employers. I predict a train crash and as ever if this type of contract is so good why are the bosses not on it?
        Ram it.

  7. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    JR: “The Conservative assault on poverty revolves around helping equip everyone to have a job, and creating the economic conditions where more jobs are created for them.”
    The problem is that we are always being told by the political ‘elite’ and their lackeys in the media that the country would grind to a halt without a constant supply of immigrants. We have 2.5 million unemployed and yet we need hundreds of thousands of immigrants every year according to the leaders of the triplets in Westminster.

  8. Chris S
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    The British State as presently constituted doesn’t encourage enterprise or facilitate people to get on with their lives. Far from being helpful, There are many examples that demonstrate that civil servants manipulate regulations to ensure that citizens are penalised heavily for simple paperwork errors or infringements of petty rules.

    My son is a hard working young chef. He uses his precious spare time to try and develop a small food business which has taken a year to set up and get going. On advice he formed a LLP.

    He submitted the first year’s accounts and was unaware that as a very small business not using an accountant he needed to add a legal paragraph to the balance sheet.

    Companies House Rejected the accounts without the paragraph but when they were resubmitted a few days later a letter came back telling him the business is to be fined £375 because the correct accounts had now been received a few days late .

    £375 was actually more than the sales in the first year. Apparently there is no appeal against this !

    Government now insists that penalties imposed by banks must reflect no more than their actual costs : they should not be punitive. Surely this should also apply to government as well ?

    Some years ago I was fined £80 for keeping my own motorbike locked securely in my own garage through the winter because I simply overlooked declaring a SORN. It was insured and had an MOT. A very expensive mistake but easily done when you are busy working 80 hours a week running a business to pay the taxes that pays for all these state employees.

    This kind of treatment tells us that the apparatus of Government regards us as servants of the state not the other way round.

    • alan jutson
      Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Chris

      When in business I had a similar problem with being fined for so called Construction workers tax returns forms being late.
      A monthly task of paperwork.

      5 times I was fined, 5 times I won on appeal, simply because I had proof of posting before the due date.
      Whenever I sent anything to a Government Department I always got proof of posting, it costs absolutely nothing, and the form (from the post office) is stamped by the post office to whom you hand the envelope.

      As you say, under existing legislation it would appear that you are guilty until proven innocent.
      Thus it is easy for them, rather more time consuming and frustrating for us.

  9. David Hope
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    To reduce inequality I’d concentrate on education and on getting government out the way. Obviously better education can improve opportunity.

    Government is responsible for much of the growing wealth gaps. Heavy regulation, the need for big law departments and accountancy departments and patent law (even more so in the US) seem designed to give a big advantage to large existing companies who CEOs pay themselves ever more compared to their employees.

    Monetary policy has provided cheap money for the financial services for years, giving them amazing wages compared to other sectors whilst causing inflation for average person outside London. It has allowed huge unearned profits in other sectors whereby huge leverage has been achieved at the expense of long term business viability.

    Housing policy like that you might be advocating here has offered large appreciation in prices for those with homes whilst making it prohibitively expensive for those without a home. Without any question, a wealth transfer and an increase in inequality.

    Sound money, low regulation, simpler tax, less laws – these allow genuine competition and thus reduced inequality. On housing, we should concentrate on removing stamp duty and costs associated with planning law and getting land. We should be upping supply to reduce prices. Not dodgy government schemes to add more debt to households.

  10. Iain Gill
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    The biggest thing that needs changing is the schools.

    We need to move away from school selection based on price of accommodation your parents can afford and how much they are prepared to bend the truth about religion.

    We need to stop the masses of pushy parents claiming dyslexia or similar and being given favours, such as extra time to take exams, as anyone can get this diagnosis for a fee, and poor working class and underclass parents never pull this trick. The single bump up in grade this results in is a massive rigging of the system.

    Similar with appeals against results, this results in lots of uplifts for pushy parents and none for the ordinary parents. We could move to a position where every school gets x % of their pupils results appealed, and the head has to choose which children, to move away from it only being some schools getting this uplift.

    Then we need to get the state completely out of school allocation. Let parents control the schooling spend, and deal with the schools direct. Let parents pull children out of school and move them (and their money) at any point, just like those paying private do.

    And we need to do something about the worst sink schools, there is one I know that has been rubbish for 30 plus years. Just do something, put tanks on the lawns and change them.

    • uanime5
      Posted December 6, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      Let parents control the schooling spend, and deal with the schools direct.

      How are parent’s going to control schools? If a school has 1,000 children in it there’ll be 2,000 parents to deal with, so they won’t have much influence on anything.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        Via a Board of Governors or an elected management committee.
        Its already a quite common method of running many organisations Uni.
        Charities, sports clubs and schools for example.

      • alan jutson
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Uni

        Ever heard of Parents Teachers Associations ?

        Guess you do not either have children, take no interest in their education, or perhaps they go to a private School, because surely everyone knows about the PTA.

        Whilst perhaps not every School has them, most do, especially where Parents are interested in how their Children are being taught.

        It usually raises additional Funds for the School as well.

  11. alan jutson
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Methinks that for many who have purchased houses recently, they may become a giant millstone around their necks, when interest rates rise, as surely they eventually will.

    The problem we have is that politicians actually believe that they can manipulate equality, when nothing is further from the truth.

    Yes politicians can introduce rules, regulations, taxes, insurance schemes, Benefit schemes, tax credits, allowances, and they have by the bucketfull for decades.

    So why if this was the solution, have they not solved the problem ?.

    The problem John is Human Nature, not much you can do about that.

    As I posted a couple of days ago, the State should provide everyone with a good education, then after that it is down to the individual.

    Yes of course the State needs to help to look after those who cannot reasonably help themselves through illness or accident, but that I am afraid is all it can sensibly do.

    You cannot manipulate Human nature, fortunately or unfortunately.

  12. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Your first sentence starts from the assumption that there is poverty in the UK. Is there ? The measures used for child poverty are absurd as they are a relative measure of how far below the “average” income families children are. Therefore, if the 1% of the highest earners in the country were expelled “child poverty” would be miraculously cut without any of those families getting more money. Likewise, if every worker in the country was only paid £10,000 a year then child poverty would be zero. Clearly a new absolute measure of poverty based on malnutrition and so on is needed. Likewise, the article assumes we need to “tackle” inequality. Why ? If the top 1% earners were given double salary tomorrow it would not affect me at all. What needs to be tackled is inequality of opportunity which is not really an economic issue.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 6, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      You are completely correct in all you say Roy.
      It is compltely impossible to eliminate poverty based as it currently is on a random figure below an average.
      Just increasing the population will by this method of definition increase poverty.
      We are told there is much more poverty now than fifty years ago whereas plainly that is not correct.
      But there is an large industry of state employees quangos and charities who depend on keeping this statistic to maintain their well paid careers.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        Yes, and this absurd measuring technique was used to produce the recent survey which said that child poverty in UK is much worse than in the Czech Republic – this was all over the Guardian of course.

        • Bazman
          Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

          The report was by UNICEF not The Guardian. It is called Child well-being in rich countries. Using five dimensions of child well-being. Canada and Austria were below us, but you ‘forgot’ to mention this. You are saying the Guardian should not report this story? What are you saying?
          Any family living on about 16k or less than 60% of average income a year is poor. Your ideas of comparing their income to the third world is like comparing their lives to the 17th century. In the seventh richest country in the world this is not acceptable and the usual right wing nonsense of pretending poverty does not exist and growth should not be shared out as it is the poors fault they are poor and more desperation will help this combined with the trickle down effect. Maybe the real reason they are poor is because of BBC bias and the failure to tackle inequality of incomes between the rich?
          Tackling this type of inequality is futile or giving the poor some sort of income to be able to live a normal life in this country? Tackling that is futile Roy? Thats what you are saying. They should just be poor and put up with it.

  13. Bert Young
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Oppressive taxation and posturing is damning and disheartening ; public reaction to events that occur above the heads of the electorate and are put upon them before appeal and reasoned argument , results in a “well , why should I bother ?” attitude . Consultation and incentivisation produces a different response ; this is the only way to react to the question of inequality. I recently commended the personal value of ” striving and being able to pay for what you want ” as a vital ingredient in the re-birth of our economy ; I urged a return to drive and ambition . Our leaders must put this psychology to work and not the belief that everyone can have the same as everyone else .

  14. Cheshire Girl
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I don’t have any very helpful suggestions to make. I am going to leave that to those on this blog who understand the problem more fully. However, one suggestion I would make is to abolish the post of ‘Equalities Minister’ and other politically correct positions that governments are so fond of, and that in my opinion, are a complete waste of taxpayers money!

    • Mark B
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      You may not have felt that you have no helpful suggestions, but you have made a very good point. And I for one agree with you. Only I would not stop there !

      https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations

      What about getting rid of some of the following:

      Department for International Development
      Northern Ireland Office
      Office of the Advocate General for Scotland
      Scotland Office
      UK Export Finance
      Wales Office

      Others could add to the list, but these seem the most obvious to me.

  15. a-tracy
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    JR “Ensuring more people have pension and other savings will also erode the them and us culture that divides our society into those who have some financial wealth and those who have none.”
    No John, the divide will only be stopped when public sector pensions are invested in the same places private sectors workers are on the same terms, without future taxpayer guarantees, and an agreement of what % of the wage is to be invested by the state for this to happen so that full awareness of the financial wage package in the public sector is understood and appreciated. Decisions are made by politicians in protected schemes about pensions and investments of other workers with no repercussions for themselves this cannot continue.

    • uanime5
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Why should public sector workers be punished because the private sector has failed to offer a good pension?

      • Mark B
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Who said that they should be punished ?

        I thought it perfectly fair and reasonable for both private and public employees to share the same risks and rewards. After all, many in the Public Sector often sight high wages in the Private Sector when seeking wage demands.

        Its called a ‘Level Playing Field’. Or don’t you believe in equality ?

        • uanime5
          Posted December 6, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

          You’ve failed to explain why public sector pensions should be cut because the private sector offers poor pensions.

          Also just people those in high level public sector jobs can get market rate doesn’t change the fact that very few public sector workers are able to demand private sector level wages.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        The correct question Uni is:-
        Why should private sector workers have to pay the full retail value each month for their own pension and then pay extra taxes to help fund public sector workers pensions who do not pay the full amount for their own pensions.

        • uanime5
          Posted December 6, 2013 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          Given that all public sector pensions are fully funded and provide the treasury with a surplus it’s clear that your claim about public sector pensions being underfunded is false.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 7, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

            Nonsense the liability for deficits on generous public sector pensions falls to the taxpayer.

          • alan jutson
            Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

            Uni

            Fully funded by who ?

            Answer the taxpayer.

            An Example
            The NHS pays 14% of a salary as the empolyer contribution.

            Who funds the NHS ?

            Yes the taxpayer.!

            Point proven.

          • Bazman
            Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

            Public sector workers are also taxpayers alan and many private sector workers only do work for the state, so the point is far from proven. They are not some sort of state servants who present a burden on the state as many on the right would have us believe whether they are paid directly or indirectly by the state. uanime5 point is that because they private sector has cut pensions it does not make it right that the public sector should. Often the Private sector is just dumping the cost onto the state via benefits in the future to pensioners to bring up their income to livable levels whilst the profits are kept by a few.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        The private sector cannot offer good pensions as they are taxed into submission in order to pay for the state sector ones.

        • uanime5
          Posted December 6, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

          Funny how it’s only the low paid workers who can’t be given a good pension in the private sector. Directors are somehow able to give themselves huge pensions.

      • A different Simon
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        Because it’s the only way to achieve good pensions for all .

        If the civil service had known that the pension scheme they came up with for the rest of us would also be used by themselves and the rest of the public sector they would have come up with something a lot better than NEST .

        Close the existing existing public sector pensions schemes and task civil servants with coming up with a replacement scheme which would be used by the public sector and be open to private sector employed and self employed .

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        I see Mark, Edward, Lifelogic and Simon have given you similar answers that I would have given you but it is interesting to see that you agree private sector workers pensions are punishing! I think that says everything about the new NEST schemes.

  16. Gary
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Heard the first 5 minutes of Osborne’s speech and when I heard about the halving of the deficit AFTER Royal Mail pensions are removed and some other big ticket items ignored, I switched the radio off.

    I cannot bear to hear any more of this nonsense.

    If they can’t rig it , they ignore it.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Gary. Quite correct.Con. Con. Con.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Lab. Lab. Lab.

        Lib. Lib. Lib.

        There, finished it for you !

  17. Gary
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    watch for hidden govt obligation defaults. eg. the inexorable rise of the pensionable age.

    More will come.

  18. Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    As has been said by John and many posters on this site, we should cut the size of the state, free ourselves from many regulations and free up markets.

    With regards to cutting the state, we have trialled this will local government where more is being done with less, even by some Labour/Liberal controlled councils.

    Although this success has hardly been reported in the media, it points the way forward for national government.

    Big infrastructure projects can have a part to play, but they are not a silver bullet, despite what the media says. The real motor for our economy and society, as John suggests, is private enterprise.

    • A different Simon
      Posted December 6, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Kenneth ,

      When the surplus accrues almost entirely to the people at the top and to banks which have been granted to privilege of being able to create money private enterprise in it’s current form won’t help most of us .

      For the past two decades people have been spending money which should have been put away for old age on accommodation .

      We need actions to break up monopolies , eg taxing land surface rights like we tax sub surface mineral rights instead of taxing enterprise and work . Also to break up the monopolies of banks to create money .

      The current situation is like the end stages of a game of monopoly .

      Wall Street and the financial sector has basically won and Main Street has become so impoverished by paying interest to Wall Street that there is no way back .

      All those of us on Main Street are able to do is trade crumbs with others on Main Street and most of it is a zero sum game .

      We have basically lost but nobody wants to admit that the game is to all intents and purposes over !

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    “How should Conservatives tackle inequality?”

    I’m not a Conservative and never have been, but I question how far the Conservative party should be concerned about “inequality”.

    Has it transformed itself into a Communist party?

    I think that any party which has the long term interests of the nation at heart should be concerned to make sure that we are strongly united as one nation, what may be described as “social cohesion”, but that doesn’t mean that all its members must have equal income and equal accumulated wealth.

    It means that those at the top must always be genuinely sympathetic towards those at the bottom, but it does not mean that all must be made equal in material terms.

    And in a democracy it also means that those at the top should not be able to use their personal wealth to exercise political power over the rest of us, which is obviously a problem with any party which is primarily led by wealthy people, and especially when they have not created their wealth through their own efforts but have inherited it.

    Clearly it puts “social cohesion” at risk if the bulk of the population believe that those at the top do not remotely deserve the high incomes and accumulations of capital that they enjoy, and especially when the money is being taken from the public purse in one way or another, or their activities are viewed are economically damaging.

    Then there is the question of the persistence of wealth and power down the generations of particular families, and their systematic efforts to prevent intrusions into their class from below while protecting their own against any decline in social and economic status; as a nation we should obviously be making sure that talented people have their opportunity to rise whatever their social and economic origins, while the dull and ineffective are allowed to find their own lower level, “social mobility”.

    So “social cohesion”, yes, and “social mobility”, yes, both extremely desirable; but efforts to eliminate “inequality”, what is now dressed up by the left in politics as “social justice”, so removing incentives for each individual to make the best use of their talents, perhaps for their own selfish reasons but also for the benefit of us all, is not desirable.

  20. Vanessa
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    You seem to be looking at the end of the equation rather than the beginning. Surely the start should be education, education, education. Look at Asia, their education and discipline are second to none. We have none these days.

    Nobody can better themselves and buy their own house unless they are worth paying a good salary with which to do this. Most of our young are virtually incapable of reading let alone stringing a good sentence together so that anyone can understand them. Who would employ them?

    Politicians have done this to this country over decades in their fight for VOTES. They do not care one jot about us and the value of our lives. Everything they touch and control turns to “turds” and is a disaster having cost US millions. Who needs them? Switzerland has SEVEN in their government, the rest is in local government. Brussels survived unscathed for one year without any government – it did not collapse.

    • uanime5
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      In Asia children do well due to massive pressure from their parents and society to succeed; while in much of Europe a lower income disparity means you can have a good quality of life regardless of the job you do. In the UK we have neither thus there is no incentive to work hard or get a good education.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        I live very near an Asian (Korean) community. They do indeed place a great emphasis on education but also discipline and traditional family values.

        Education is seen as a passport to success in life, whereas in Western Culture, X-Factor tends to assume that role.

        People here have been brought up to believe that everyone is equal, as in, “I am as good as you !” This is, in my opinion, misleading. Equality to me means, equality of access, not outcome.

        • alan jutson
          Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

          Mark

          Agree.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        Are you saying you now actually believe in “incentives” Uni?

        You have read too many posts on here, I think the tide is turning!

        • Bazman
          Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

          “incentives” by desperation edward? See how far that one goes and in which direction…

      • libertarian
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5

        Ha ha ha ha ha….funniest post of the day. Provide a scrap of evidence for anything in that post.

        In the UK working hard leads to wealth and success its really that simple but you’d never know as you prefer to sit at home playing computer games and posting whiney messages on forums when the Job Centre forced you to go on an educational course to make yourself employable and to keep your JSA

        • uanime5
          Posted December 6, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

          The fact that the UK has a higher gini coefficient than most other other European countries indicated that we have a higher level of income disparity.

          In the UK hard work does not lead to wealth or success. No matter how hard you work as a cleaner in the UK you will have a poor quality of life, unlike other European countries with lower levels of income disparity.

          • Mark B
            Posted December 7, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

            That is because we are taxed too much. Whether it be personal taxation and NIC, or through VAT and other duties, like those on petrol. The price at the pump is the same for the rich as well as the poor.

          • alan jutson
            Posted December 7, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

            Uni

            If someone is as committed a cleaner as you say, then why do they not set up their own cleaning business and take all of the profit you suggest all companies make.

            Then they would surely be rewarded for their efforts.

            Given that all Companies seem to make huge profits in your World, this would certainly be a sure fire success.

        • Bazman
          Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          Many self employed are killing themselves with work and for a number of reasons, often not tax as they do not earn enough to pay any are struggling. Likewise to many employed in low paid work. All their fault huh? Silly fantasy libtard.

  21. lojolondon
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I am sick of the lefties whinging – life is not fair. Get over it!

    Some people are born with rich parents, some people are born skilled or smarter then the rest. Outrageous for the GOVERNMENT to try to redress the balance – and it has nothing to do with them.

    Smarter, stronger, more skilled, more musical, more sporty people, even better writers earn more. And they pay more tax. Leave them alone and everyone get on and improve your own life, by doing something that YOU are good at, to the best of your ability and sell that skill on the open market.

    Ironic that the main force for good, that enabled children from poor families to overachieve at school and then to gain a university education for no cost, paid by the state, (ie. Grammar schools and free university), has been removed by the very people who benefited most from them – ie. the Labour party. Disgusting hypocrisy!

    • uanime5
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      I notice how most righties tend to ignore that the wealthy have far more opportunities than the poor and almost always oppose the Government’s attempts to give more opportunities to everyone else.

      Most grammar schools were removed by the Conservatives under Thatcher and the Conservatives also voted with the Lib Dems to treble tuition fees. So lojolondon it seems that the Conservatives are the party you should be criticising, not Labour.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

        Uanime5

        You are really on a mission today to prove your lack of thinking ability

        Of course the wealthy have more opportunities

        However they had exactly the same opportunities BEFORE they became wealthy

        They took the risk, worked hard earned their money and created more opportunities

        While others sat at home and moaned

        Most wealthy people that are successful entrepreneurs didn’t have an education at all so grammar schools, university etc are irrelevant in that context

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 6, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          Hmmm, if the wealthy had wealthy families who set up trusts for their benefit there was no time when they are not wealthy.

        • Bazman
          Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          However they had exactly the same opportunities BEFORE they became wealthy? Idiot. Some did and some do, but most got their wealth decades or centuries ago by land reforms, wars, royal favours. Who then in turn passed this down.
          Maybe you could tell us how all these new Russians got rich? That would be intersting. By hard work, education? Yeah right. They are on the whole rough as it gets. They certainly took risks that’s for sure, bigger risks than most can imagine and have bigger problems too. On the whole though they got rich by being in the right place at the right time with the right connections. Like here libtard but in a more harsh and dangerous environment not for chaps an gels as it is now which is what you need to be. Not even the flawed American dream is enough here for most.

  22. Posted December 5, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    The BBC’s commentary today:

    “Some zealots for low taxes would argue the Treasury is being too conservative, and that the Treasury is bound to get back 100% of all the initial lost revenues; they would accuse Osborne of being intellectually imprisoned by the risk-averse Treasury.

    Others, on the left, would see these arguments as convenient excuses for the chancellor to cut the tax burden on his friends in business.

    You will know which side of this fence you are on.”

    We know which side the BBC is on by its use of the word “zealots”.

    It is unacceptable for the BBC to interfere in politics in this way by adding its own valued judgement and, even worse, reserving its judgement for one side but not the other.

    How can it be acceptable for a major organisation in the UK to pass commentaries on politics in this way? Does BT issue daily statements on politics? Does Network Rail?

    It’s a disgrace that the BBC, which is supposed to be trusted to report the news factually and without bias, is attempting to influence us in this way.

    • uanime5
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Just because the BBC doesn’t support your views on everything doesn’t make them biased. Most people feel that the chancellor is more interested in helping the wealthy than the poor.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        When a organization uses words such as, “Zealots” to describe a point of view, it usually suggests that they themselves have an opinion.

        As the BBC is an organisation whose funding is derived from a fee which has the backing of to be paid by the ‘force of law’, and is not entitled by its own Charter to express an opinion, I find it a little odd that it would report a reasonable position in such a way.

        Perhaps if those who were less well off, along with the rest of us, were freed from the burden of paying this ‘fee’, whether we watch the BBC’s output or not, might be of some benefit.

        • Bazman
          Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

          What should they call Zealots? Chaps with extreme views that may be contrary to some other chaps with extreme or moderate opposing views? What would you say then?

      • Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        …but why should the BBC have a view at all?

        I am influenced by the media so I am sure others are too (which is why companies pay so much for tv adverts)

        Before we know it we are parroting the BBC, saying things like: “Most people feel that the chancellor is more interested in helping the wealthy than the poor.”

      • yulwaymartyn
        Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        Uni. Quite right. Can’t remember when Nicholas Witchell was last called a republican.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 6, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          martyn

          Do you know Witchell? How do you know if he is a republican or monarchist ? Oh you don’t you’re assuming because he’s the Royal reporter

      • A different Simon
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 7:17 am | Permalink

        The BBC is not meant to have views .

      • Edward2
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        Its the subtle nuances of language the BBC uses that I notice.
        Kenneth’s example of using the word “zealot” is a good one.
        Another is saying “the chancellor today defended his policy on….” followed by “the shadow chancellor stated….”
        Using the words “defended” and then “stated” changes the meaning and the balance.
        Its all very clever and subtle communication and it can be seen and heard every day.

      • Anonymous
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        Uanime5 – Most people would like to see a return to closed borders or to corporal/capital punishment for certain offences. BBC language is not couched to reflect that.

        The BBC does not reflect populist opinion. It has an agenda and controls the political mood.

        • Bazman
          Posted December 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          Kenneth says that the BBC will cause us to parrot such phrases as. “Most people feel that the chancellor is more interested in helping the wealthy than the poor.” and then Anonymous says.
          Most people would like to see a return to closed borders or to corporal/capital punishment for certain offences. BBC language is not couched to reflect that. LOL! What does this tell us of the likes of these right whinners. The BBC is just not right wing enough as if we didn’t know that is what they mean when they talk about bias!

  23. Iain Moore
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Would you fill a bath without bothering to put in the plug? If not it would be a waste of time, which is the situation in our economy, for no one is going to be lifted out of poverty while our borders are wide open to mass immigration.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Correct, because this relatively small country cannot lift all the billions of poor people in the world out of poverty by allowing them to come and live here.

      • Jennifer A
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        Denis – You miss the point.

        The question wasn’t about making people richer but making them equal.

        Equality is, in fact, one of the easiest things to achieve and we don’t need politicians nor a state to do it.

        Simply destroy education and throw open the borders.

        Politicians are surplus to requirement.

  24. Antisthenes
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Free market capitalism does far more to raise people out of poverty than socialist state control and planning. That is not some fanciful ideological statement it is an evidence based fact. Since the BRIC countries embraced capitalism billions have had their standard of living improved(even Africa is seeing a knock on effect from investment there by the Chinese) where as those who have preferred to follow socialist policies and practices like Venezuela have found their economies stagnate or decline. Because socialism diminishes everyone standard of living in the long run it beggars belief that the left are ever allowed to run a country. However when you read comments like the one of Old Albion above it becomes clear that he must have an attitude like so many others that thinks that governments should use taxpayers money to subsidies everything so everyone can have something for nothing forgetting that even nothing comes with a cost. Unfortunately socialism has a selling point that is hard to overcome and that is the state as a provider is far more reliable and ethical than the private sector which the evidence proves is grossly untrue. It coerces people in believing this is true by wholesale redistribution of wealth which of course then traps the majority into a situation of dependency on the state and a profound feeling of entitlement. So socialism becomes a drug that people may realize is not good for them but have no choice but to continue taking otherwise they would have to go cold turkey and start taking on more personal responsibility and become more self-reliant.

    • uanime5
      Posted December 6, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      Socialism’s main advantage point is that it will provide you with a reasonable quality of life if you’re unemployed or in a low paid job, unlike capitalism which doesn’t provide you with any help. As income disparity and unemployment have been increasing in recent years it’s no wonder that socialism is now more attractive to many people. So unless the Conservatives can reduce income disparity socialism will continue to grow in popularity.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        “Capitalism doesn’t provide you with any help”
        One of your most stupid comments living as we do in a Western capitalist society ie Europe which provides for its citizens an excellent level of welfare benefits.

  25. John B
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    More Socialist claptrap.

    Inequality (of what by the way: wealth; income; consumption?) and poverty are two separate and unconnected things.

    The inequality = poverty lie is based on the notion of a fixed wealth pie, so if some get more this can only be because some get less, thus increasing inequality means some are increasingly beggared to fund those becoming better off.

    Wealth is generated not sliced up from a wealth pie, and the people who generate it accrue it. That some do that better than others is evident, but it makes nobody else poorer.

    In fact in a free market capitalist society when a person makes themselves wealthier, they do so by making others wealthier too, not intentionally but as a consequence.

    If you want to see lower inequality, go to poor Countries.

    Odd isn’t it in Countries with greater inequality, the population as a whole is more prosperous and those called ‘poor’ are better off than those called ‘wealthy’ in poor Countries?

    As our American cousins say, go figure.

    • uanime5
      Posted December 6, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      Given that it’s possible for income inequality to increase, the top 1% of the population has 30% of the wealth, and the bottom 50% have 10% of the wealth it seems that wealth is sliced up from a wealth pie and a a small proportion are keeping most of the pie to themselves.

      In free market capitalism it’s only possible to make yourself wealthier by making other poorer because the total amount of wealth is finite. You can’t become wealthy by making others wealthy without an infinite supply of money.

      In poor countries the wealthy are much better off than the poor in this country. Wealthy Africans and Asians have a far better quality of like than the poor in the UK. Did you really think that a wealthy African businessman lives a worse quality of life than someone on benefits in the UK?

      • Edward2
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        I need to rewrite my comment above Uni.
        “Wealth is finite” is definitely your most stupid comment.

  26. zorro
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    ‘The Conservative assault on poverty’……Stop it John, I’ve had enough jokes today already!

    Are you talking about this Coalition government’s efforts or some dreamland Conservative administration which looks highly unlikely after some of the recent polling in marginal constituencies? This Coalition has presided over falling living standards because of its barmy policies. Interest rates and QE are currently on hold, but will be increased next year, unless the government decides that it’s debt payments would be too high. In which case, QE will increase to counter the debt payments. If UKIP do well in the European elections, I expect that the financial markets will test the PM’s resolve. I suspect that the opportunity will be too tempting…..

    zorro

    • zorro
      Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Also more specious nonsense about ‘paying down/off the deficit’……. It is an insult to everyone’s intelligence. Some fantasy about managing a balanced budget in 2018…..and maybe then actually pay off the debt!

      zorro

  27. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    The Conservatives already have the right ideas: Get people into work and off welfare. Raise the income tax threshold to £10,000.

  28. forthurst
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    “Ensuring more people have pension and other savings will also erode the them and us culture”

    …whilst at the same time allowing banksters to connect servers directly into the LSE to engage in front running and fllash trading to milk the investment funds of the aforesaid savers, whilst also giving banks free money for the sole purpose of creating a housing bubble thereby depriving savers of interest, and meanwhile taxing them more to pay the absurd salaries and pensions of public officials who spend much of their time inflicting Cultural Marxist ideology on the the rest of us.

  29. Bazman
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Embattled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (Prime Minister David Cameron)has met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on a visit seeking support for Ukraine’s battered economy.
    Yanukovych (Cameron) heralded the strategic partnership between the two countries during his Thursday meeting with Xi at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, where China’s legislature meets. Following talks, the two presidents were to oversee the signing of economic agreements.
    The meeting comes the same day as a Chinese firm with a patchy track record announced plans for a $3 billion port and industrial park (power station) project on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. (Hinkley Point power station) China is also a customer for Ukraine’s defense (UK’s car )industries and Chinese firms have also shown strong interest in Ukraine’s agricultural (rail) sector.
    What other similarities are there? I’ll start you off. Both are battling an unpopular taxes and both could be out of power very soon…
    Ram it.

  30. David
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Reduce NI for employers so that there are more jobs would be a good start.
    This could be paid for by reducing the benefit cap and have some extra bands for council tax.

  31. zorro
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    John, I wonder if the current weather will bolster the Green case with their super generating windmills. Perhaps it might be the wrong type of wind, or the off sea wind farms will be chewed to pieces……

    zorro

  32. uanime5
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    One problem with the Conservatives’ ideology is that not everyone can build a business, so for many people making it easier to start a business won’t help them. Offering more choice isn’t beneficial if you can’t afford any of the additional choices.

    Another problem is that their policies don’t help people get into a job but instead punish people for being unemployed. Examples are the 2 year long Work Programme which only helped 3% of the people on it into work, ATOS declaring the ill or disabled as being fit for work so they can be paid less in benefits, the bedroom tax for people on housing benefit even when there’s nowhere for them to downsize to, and forcing people to work for free even when they’re not developing any useful skills (workfare). The Conservatives need to accept that not everyone will be able to get a job and bullying the vulnerable will not help them find a job.

    Also despite Ian Duncan Smith’s claim that Universal Credit was on schedule it seems that now it isn’t going to meet the 2017 deadline. Expect more problems to emerge as this flawed policy starts to unravel.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10496869/Iain-Duncan-Smith-admits-welfare-reform-delay.html

    • Bazman
      Posted December 6, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Many are self employed out of desperation and in this economy where low pay is seen as acceptable have taken a large drop in earnings.
      http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/dec/03/self-employed-earnings-slump-third
      That does not include those in bogus self employment be employers either.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 6, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Oh don’t supposed it ever dawned on you Uanime5 that the more people that do build a business the more jobs they create for those that can’t/wont build one?

      That is in fact almost entirely where the new 1.7 million new jobs created over the last 3 years have come from new start up micro and small businesses.

      If those that are capable of getting a job such as yourself actually got one that would leave far far more resource to help those that have particular difficulties and problems

      • Bazman
        Posted December 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Many are not ‘building a businesses’ or ‘forming a career’ they are just ‘surviving’ and ‘doing what it takes’. Many are being exploited to boot. Idiot.
        At the moment I am telling agencies. That ‘I cannot help them’ and ‘That is your decision…’ LOL! Just stop me. ‘Ram it’

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 6, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      “One problem with the Conservatives’ ideology is that not everyone can build a business, so for many people making it easier to start a business won’t help them.”

      Except of course when the new businesses offer them jobs.

  33. The PrangWizard
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Indeed so. There can be never be equality in the socialist political sense, it’s a cynical pretence on their part, and seeking the impossible is both futile and through social engineering, dangerous.
    The State should instead offer equality of opportunity and reduce to the minimum its involvement in individuals’ personal lives. Simplification of the State bureaucracy which currently wants to regulate almost every activity will automatically reduce its size, but people also need to be freed from the ‘don’t walk on the grass’ mentality, which plagues our lives.
    In other words protecting and enhancing the freedom of the individual should be the aim of all government, at all levels. People should have the freedom to earn, freedom to learn, freedom to own, and to make contracts in whatever way they deem in their best interests within the rule of law.

  34. APL
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    JR: “How should Conservatives tackle inequality?”

    You could all start by being Conservative.

    But then, stop destroying savings in the economy with QE and the inflation target. Try, for a change setting a deflation target of 1% per year. That would increase the purchasing power of cash in the economy.

    Your inflationary policies target the poor disproportionately,

    A man who has assets of 1,000,000.00 can more easily absorb a loss of his net worth of 3% per annam that another man with assets of £10,000.00

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Inflation is a bad thing, but deflation is potentially far worse.

      • APL
        Posted December 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Denis Cooper: “Inflation is a bad thing, but deflation is potentially far worse.”

        Extremes of either are a death knell to any economy.

        If the government claims that 2-3% pa inflation is a good. Why and why not 1-2% deflation?

        All deflation is, is the increase in the purchasing power of money compared to everything else in the economy. Inflation is the decrease in purchasing power of money compared to everything else in the economy.

        You don’t want extremes of either, but gentle deflation is far preferable to the inflation the Government likes to use to destroy the investments and independence of the population.

        • Bazman
          Posted December 8, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

          Deflation would be retraction of the economy and this cannot be good. It could be argued that a little inflation is a good thing and course as every Tory believes as the very foundation of their beliefs house price inflation is marvellous.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

            Deflation just means a reduction in prices of goods and services.
            I don’t see this as being something to fear.
            Might make things more affordable.

          • Bazman
            Posted December 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

            This needs a reply to retain creditability fanatsists. Do not write further nonsense without as it is disgusting and offensive. Ramit.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            I am baffled by this post of your Baz.

            Why is a mild mannered discussion about the relative problems of inflation versus deflation,”disgusting and offensive?

  35. Gerard Dupneu
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    So Britain is just at the average value (494 points) for the performance of its 15 years old in mathematics according to OECD’s PISA recent study. Do we really expect the current trend to turn around in three, six or nine years’ time thanks to the efforts of our Education Secretary?

  36. petermartin2001
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    I think we have previously established that hardly anyone would say everyone should be completely equal. But there are three questions I’d like to ask and maybe a researcher may have time to answer them.
    1) How do the majority rate inequality in UK at present? ie How is the wealth distributed as they see it? ie The top 10% have N % of the wealth , etc
    2) How do think they think it ought to be distributed?
    3) How is it actually distributed?

    • libertarian
      Posted December 6, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Peter

      Your questions appear to assume that some form of wealth exists and is therefore distributed. That is called zero sum and is NOT what we have. Wealth is created its open ended and unlimited. Anyone can have it, the more of it the better, its not scarce .

      This whole distribution, disparity, inequality differential schtick is a left wing con trick to engage the lower earners in society and make them think they are being treated badly. In reality the opportunities exist for anyone to generate wealth.

      A far better question would be why do so many people choose not to have more wealth.better and indeed more healthy lifestyles?

    • petermartin2001
      Posted December 8, 2013 at 1:56 am | Permalink

      I would say that my question assumes that a certain level of inequality is considered necessary, by the overwhelming majority of the population, to provide the incentives necessary for the creation of successful businesses.

      We can also assume the overwhelming majority of the population are also smart enough to recognise a left wing con-trick when they see one. The overwhelming majority of people are quite sensible. That doesn’t mean they will all agree that the balance should be in any one particular position.

      These disagreements are at the heart of our political process.

  37. Anonymous
    Posted December 5, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    I received an email from my friend today:

    (Lurid language attacking a named school deleted ed)

    This was the school we went to in the late ’70s early ’80s well into the Thatcher Government which closed many grammar schools. ( I think grammar schools were closed by government prior to the Thatcher government, not by the Thatcher government ed)
    Perhaps even the one that was dissolved to form (named bad school ed) – I don’t know.

    Aren’t you lucky that you didn’t go there ?

    Fast forward to 2013 and all credit to Mr Gove, but yours is the party that claims migration targets are unmet because “Fewer people are emigrating.”

    So if we did have more people emigrating would all be well ?

    Will any member of your government be helping to make things more equal by sending their children to one of the dysfunctional comps where English is a minority language ?

    Going by my experience of the Tory sense of ‘equality’ and (bad school ) I doubt it.

  38. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted December 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    ‘Inequality’ is essential for human endeavour and advancement – the alternative is Labour’s ‘all must have prizes’ philosophy where the playing field is levelled for all destroying incentives and opportunities for those with the capacity to take advantage from them.
    Sorry to make a non PC point but some people are relatively poor and live in a council house etc. because they have a lower IQ than the brighter middle class people living in the leafy suburban area a few miles away. Get over it and stop this drivel about ‘inequality’.
    If you think your being held back by inequality try working harder – what sets top people apart is they have a capacity to shift large amounts of work.

    • Bazman
      Posted December 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Massive inequality is a detriment and the idea that the middle classes have more opportunities due to intellect and working harder is for the birds. Its nice to have my house paid for though and no debts as I do not have to listen to this nonsense especially at work from the middle classes and can look them in the eye, which they do not like and fear. They are right to. Its called respect as they see I have some sort of war chest. Toodle pip.

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    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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