Tax cuts

 

Last  Saturday  I agreed  to debate tax cuts later in the evening with Danny Alexander on Five Live for about half an hour. As the evening wore on before the interview I was told it would be David Laws. He pulled out with a couple of minutes to spare. The BBC gave me a shorter interview as a result with no Lib Dem present to argue the case.

All that was most curious. It was the Saturday of the Lib Dem conference. Their big spin of the day was their gift of a higher tax threshold to the UK. Their false claim was the Conservatives did not want such a tax cut. Such a pity they would not come on and debate that question.

I do find the lie that we Conservatives did not want a tax cut almost unbelievable. A Conservative Chancellor has raised the tax threshold several times as a way of cutting taxes. Conservative MPs have voted for that tax cut. I do not recall any Conservative MP arguing against it or refusing to vote for it. I do recall many Conservative MPs voting against and speaking against EU matters which the Lib Dems and the system thrust upon us and whipped us to vote for, so it is not because we were whipped to vote for the tax cut that we voted for it.

Some Conservatives think raising the tax threshold is the best way to cut Income tax. Others think there may be better ways but will support raising the threshold if that is the only tax cut the Lib Dems will accept. Most other tax cuts have been blocked or argued against by the Lib Dems, including energy tax cuts.

Conservatives have wanted other tax cuts as well. Many of us think people at all levels of income are paying too much Income Tax, save for the rich who pay less than they might  because the rate is uncompetitive. We also think energy taxes, capital gains and IHT are all too high, but the tax raising Lib Dems do not agree and will not support action. The Lib Dems are always going on about raising taxes, and want a Mansion or London flats tax.

It’s most odd that the Lib Dems argue for higher taxes most of the time, spin they fought through a tax cut against the Conservatives, then will not turn up to hear their assertion questioned.

What would you like to see in the budget?

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124 Comments

  1. Brian Taylor
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Budget!
    Cut, Freeze or abolish the Carbon Tax
    Freeze all renewable subsidies
    All private pension tax allowance to at 20% only
    Raise the allowance by 5% at which 40% income tax start
    Allow NHS trusts with Huge PFI deals to go bust to get out of these contracts!!!!!!!

    And something for 2015 tell the voters you intend to abolish some of these Whitehall ministries!!!!!!!

    • arschloch
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Actually John did Norman Lamont or some other careful former guardian of the nation’s finances write this piece for you? Tax cuts when the government still does not have a balanced budget and its deficit reduction program has been blown way of course eh? Are you expecting a big windfall from RBS perhaps? This just shows why the political class just cannot be trusted. The “cuts” will just come from more borrowed money. However anybody who believes tax “cuts” are possible and goes and votes for a party that puts them in their manifesto deserves what is coming to them.

      • forthurst
        Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        “Are you expecting a big windfall from RBS perhaps?”

        Hadn’t you heard? RBS has lost all the money ‘invested’ by the taxpayer; I was rather expecting JR to comment on this turn of events: where did the money go? Bonuses? Pensions? Golden Parachutes? Betting on non-runners? Fines by US administrators for market rigging? Examining the ‘Asset’ base with the correct end of a telescope etc?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      “All private pension tax allowance to at 20% only”

      This makes no sense, it is not a tax rebate just a tax deferral anyway. So who is going to put in pension contributions at 20% rebate and then pay 40%-45% when drawing the pension later. In effect it would kill all but tiny private sector pensions. The pots are already limited now (thank to Cameron/Osborne) to the lower £1.25M – only a pension of perhaps 30K or so inflation linked. It is bloated state sector pensions that need addressing they have robbed the private ones enough already.

      Philip

  2. Mark W
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I would have thought the inflation busting tax threshold rises of the 80s would point to which party had this instinct for low direct tax especially the falls in the basic rate.

    In this budget. The scrapping of the ultimate stealth tax. The 60% notional rate that kicks in at £100k due to the £2 for £1 on personal allowance. The average punter doesn’t understand it, it only exists between £100k and £120k (assuming £10k allowance) so scrap it. No media storm cause it is difficult to explain in a sound bite.

    Introduce a tax on un-manned temporary traffic lights, payable by whoever sets them up. Half of them would not be there or there for less time. No mile long queues with no one working.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:03 am | Permalink

      The 60% notional rate that kicks in at £100k due to the £2 for £1 on personal allowance. The average punter doesn’t understand it, it only exists between £100k and £120k (assuming £10k allowance) so scrap it.

      How are you going to scrap this? Most people will understand if the wealthy are allowed to benefit from the £10k allowance. Especially if it’s described as a tax cut for the rich.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      I would add that for pensioners the earnings limit is £26,100 this tax year. £1 off the tax allowance for every £2 earned above this figure. I am one of those who gets caught with this iniquity simply because I wish to work. Why does the government penalise me and others like this? Do they classify me as rich?

  3. arschloch
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Stamp Duty to be abolished. I have just paid 14k plus a load of other charges to the Land Registry for exactly what? In a couple of weeks it will a trip down to the post office for a tax disc and then the BBC will be after their quarterly pound of flesh. You could start by getting a rid these for a start

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Ditch the car and the telly. Buy a scooter instead as summer is coming. £17 road tax.

      • Old Albion
        Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Not for a sixties Lambretta ………………… free :)

        • alan jutson
          Posted March 14, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

          Old albion

          Yes wish I had kept mine, now worth about £7,000 as a collectors item, new they were £220 at the time.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Arschloch – Our socialist state has to be paid for somehow.

      I suggest we should tax socialist politicians and voters at 70% whilst anyone else is taxed at 35%.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 13, 2014 at 5:54 am | Permalink

        About the reverse of the current position then.

  4. alexmews
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    thx John

    what would I like in the budget? I would like what was promised at the last election: deficit reduction; shrinking of the state sector and – as a result of such – tax cuts. there are a plethora to choose from: VAT; CGT; Income Tax and / or NI; IHT; BBC License Fee; air passenger duty; green energy to name but a few.

    • APL
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      alexmews: ” I would like what was promised at the last election: deficit reduction; shrinking of the state sector and – as a result of such – tax cuts.”

      Seconded.

  5. Narrow shoulders
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    I would like to see a realistic raising of the higher rate threshold rather than seeing middle income PAYE captives as cash cows to be aggressively milked.

    The introduction of taxation per household with dual personal allowance thresholds would acknowledge the support single earners give to their households and stop penalising stay at home parents. Introducing a tax on benefit payments would pay for this and ensure households do not benefit twice.

    The creation of a Tobin like turnover tax for companies which have foreign head offices to avoid tax would be useful. These outfits still want access to our markets (the EU exit argument) so would still continue to trade here but actually pay towards the infrastructure and compete equally with domestic organisations.

    The above is predicated on an assumption that the measures will be tax negative and government will cut its spending as agreed with the electorate.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:08 am | Permalink

      The introduction of taxation per household with dual personal allowance thresholds would acknowledge the support single earners give to their households and stop penalising stay at home parents. Introducing a tax on benefit payments would pay for this and ensure households do not benefit twice.

      Expect people to object to the poor losing their benefits so the wealthy can have a tax cut. Also couples currently receive less in benefits than two single people, which is probably why so many can’t afford to marry.

    • Mark W
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      Totally agree with household dual threshold for single earner household. Taxing benefits also a good idea

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Well, the Libdems simply have no valid arguments on tax or anything else to put forward. What on earth will Clegg say to Farage?)
    (inaccurate comment re David Laws removed ed)

    The Tories have increased taxes 299+ times and increased cost of licences, energy and state sector fees all over the place. The increase in the tax free allowance is more than offset by the decrease in the 40% threshold, the abolition of child benefit other benefits and now no personal allowances at all for very many.

    Cameron retained a 50% income tax when it cost both jobs and tax revenues just for the sake of political appearance. Where is the sense and morality in doing such a stupid self destructive thing at that? We still have 45% which still does huge damage. The reduction in pension caps and contribution rules mainly hitting the private sector are also deeply offensive.

    What do we want in the budget? A reduction in government waste, stop all the subsidies for wind, PV, HS2, carbon capture, electric cars, trains etc. they are all absurd. Simply cut out the 50% of the state sector expenditure that does harm or so little good now and cut taxes too.

    Abolish the BBC propaganda licence tax.
    Capital gains at 28% on non real gains is absurd 15% after inflation gains only.
    Stamp duty is far too high too with silly jump thresholds.
    Simplify tax go towards a lower flat rate tax it would raise more in the long run.

    Introduce a state sector/private sector pension equalisaton tax to redress the private sector pension mugging by G Brown and continued by Cameron/Osborne. Say 70% on all state sector pensions above perhaps £30K. There is no justification in the state sector having pensions that are often 5 times higher than the private sector who pay for them.

    De-rat on Osborne’s IHT threshold promise/lie to re-establish some honour and credibility.

    Actually is does not matter much as the changes will all be changed again by Miliband & Balls in just a few months anyway. He cannot now give a small government and lower taxes uplifting vision as he could usefully have done in 2009/10 and won the election. The vision now is for Balls to deliver.

    It will of course all be vacant promises of jam tomorrow, all starting as he leaves office in 2015 and all to be changed by Balls before it takes much effect.

  7. Old Albion
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Pubs in England are disappearing at a phenomenal rate. There may be several reasons, but one is the ridiculous price of a pint of beer. Here in the south-east it is usually anywhere between circa £3.20 – £3.80.
    Yet i can go into a supermarket and buy a 500ml real ale at less than £2.
    Now, i do not support minimum pricing of alcohol, but something needs to be done.
    I suggest a higher tax on shop bought alcohol and a significant reduction of tax on alcohol consumed in licensed premises.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      You can buy a family bag of 60 breaded mushrooms in a supermarket for 2 quid too. You’d be lucky to find it for £4.50 per head in a restaurant for five on a bed of lettuce with a drizzle of vinegarette dressing.

      I don’t hear much call to lower the price of eating out.

      To be able to make a pub visit a once or twice weekly habit the price of a pint must come down to £1.50. The culture of Britain as a pub going nation would then return once the heating bills get too high.

    • Mark W
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      I would have thought different duty for alcohol sold in open container like a pint glass as opposed to a sealed bottle or can would be the way forward here.

      etc

  8. Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    “What would you like to see in the budget?”

    A cut in VAT to at least 17.5% and preferably 15%.

    VAT started off at 10% and apart from one brief reduction to 8% has been increased periodically ever since. Its usually raised whenever there is a recession. VAT receipts fall so the rate is raised in an attempt to recoup the losses.

    So the next time there is a recession will we see rates raised to 22.5% . And the time after that they’ll do up to 25%?

    It doesn’t make any sense to keep doing that. Raising taxes during a recession is a bad idea anyway. The Americans have recovered from the GFC whereas Britain hasn’t because they haven’t raised taxes. Their federal deficit is falling, not because of higher tax rates, but because of increased economic activity. Raising tax rates reduces economic activity, and pushes what remains increasingly into black economic activity, and therefore reduces the tax take generally.

    Conservatives understand the logic of that argument when it’s applied to the higher rates of income tax. They understand that a 50% rate can bring in less than a 45 % rate, but are curiously impervious to the same logic when the question is VAT at 20% or 17.5% or 15%.

    • miami.mode
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      pm

      I think you’ll find that a reduction in VAT is only possible if the EU gives the relevant permission. If you remember Labour had to get permission for a temporary reduction 4 or 5 years ago.

      Apparently the EU also gets a portion of all VAT collected for their “own resources”. Wherever the EU is concerned “own” seems to be the operative word.

      • Posted March 13, 2014 at 1:45 am | Permalink

        Permission? I’m tempted to use bad language! Ok, ask their permission if you like but if they refuse the government should do it anyway!

        But, having said that, I know that much as I’d like to blame the EU for VAT being at 20%, that wouldn’t be entirely fair.

      • Mark W
        Posted March 13, 2014 at 6:41 am | Permalink

        I was aware of EU powers on VAT.

        There you go John. Election fever, cut VAT and get the EU on your backs in a firestorm. What a way to get the public onside for the only party with an in/out referendum on the table over an issue they really do ‘get’.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:11 am | Permalink

      The Americans have recovered from the GFC whereas Britain hasn’t because they haven’t raised taxes.

      Obama ended several of Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy, so the US has raised taxes. They also had the government give the economy a massive financial stimulus, unlike the UK where we had austerity and 3 years of stagnation.

      They understand that a 50% rate can bring in less than a 45 % rate

      Some studies have shown that the 50% rate brought in billions more in tax revenues. So low taxes don’t always mean more tax revenues.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      I would like to see a cut in VAT too. I recently bought a Washing Machine for my Son who works for low pay in London( I am a pensioner). I was furious that I had to hand £47 to the goverment for the privelige of doing this. I don’t mind paying VAT for ‘luxuries’ but it’s now on virtually everything! The most annoying thing is that the Government is, on one hand, telling us we have make ‘ hard choices’ while simultaneously pledging all kinds of financial support abroad. They often act as if they have money to burn! I had hoped that the 20 per cent rate was a temporary thing but it is obvious that it is here to stay.

  9. stred
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Link CGT to inflation. Increase it to cover if necessary to 35%. In other words, free up long term gains and get more tax, while a small inrease on short term gains such as for bankers share bonuses.

    Find a way for low middle income earners to avoid tax returns. Make family allowance available for families with joint income lower that 60K.

    Stop tolling Thames and Severn crossings and raise other duties a tiny bit to cover loss. ( Now wasting millions on a computer tolling system, which will also waste time and confuse foreigners or be ignored by them)

  10. stred
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    There seems to be a pattern of chickening out where Lim/Green zealots find themselves open to a pasting. Monbidiot, Alexander, Laws. Clegg next?

  11. Mark B
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    John Redwood MP said;

    “Conservative MPs have voted for that tax cut. I do not recall any Conservative MP arguing against it or refusing to vote for it. I do recall many Conservative MPs voting against and speaking against EU matters which the Lib Dems and the system thrust upon us and whipped us to vote for, so it is not because we were whipped to vote for the tax cut that we voted for it.”

    Yes, I too remember never being asked whether or not I would want tax rises or cuts. Never been asked on what the tax monies gets spent on. Never been asked if the powers of my nation can be given to a Supra National Government. Never been asked if I want my country embroiled in the affairs of other nations and pointless wars. Never been asked about mass immigration, although the Swiss people do get a say and, constitutionally, the Government has to oblige by their wish – true democracy.

    If I had faith in those that are elected to speak/represent us then, I could accept the current system as is. As they clearly never do, I believe it is time we looked at things again.

  12. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Is there anyone who would not like to see tax cuts except those who do not pay tax?
    I have had this type of thing for as long as I can remember , for example when are you going to do this or that the questioner asks when they have just passed an exam or similar and the answer has to be I did it years ago (that does not count) or I have already done it.Then you find those who asks you the questions, using their new learnt ideas to put you down . In short they take the ideas , the money, and the credit for any years hard work and then stand on your groundwork. Soon it will be the lib dems who want low taxes and the conservatives want a rise in taxes… never mind the reality.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      “BBC think” people and actor types often say they would love to pay more, but it seems they rarely do. Anyone can always send HMRC a cheque anytime they want for Cameron/Osborne to waste on more wind farms, pointless wars, loans to the PIGIS if they want to. That if they really cannot think of anything better to do with it or a better charity to give it to.

  13. alan jutson
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Raising the tax threshold is the best way to cut tax for all, and at the same time closes the gap between those who are on benefits (tax free) and those who actually work, thus it should help eventually to encourage the work ethic.
    It also helps pensioners or those who are retired and living on some investment/savings income.

    The LibDems claim this as their policy, simply because it was in their manifesto to raise the limit to £10,000 which is where we are today (this next tax year).
    As soon as Mr Osbourne raises it above that level at the next Budget (in a couple of weeks time) he could justifiably claim he has exceeded any LibDem promise, and so the policy is his.
    The 40% tax rate now needs its threshold to be lifted, or the percentage to be reduced at the present threshold level, as this is now affecting far more people than it was originally intended.

    For those on the highest rate (never paid it myself) I simply do not understand why they do not have a personal allowance at all.

    Capital gains tax is simply too high when no taper relief is allowed for inflation, and any gains after holding an investment for 10 years should be zero. (no I do not own a second Home).

    Then of course we have inheritance tax which has been frozen at its present rate for many years, this needs to rise substantially, as ordinary people in the south east and London in particular are being dragged into this due to house price rises.
    Apart from that it was a Conservative pledge before the last election, although not in the manifesto perhaps.

    The Lib Dems do not want to debate tax cuts, for the very simple reason they do not believe in them, they are a tax I know better than you how to spend your money Party.
    They always have been, they always will.
    I am amazed that anyone of them would even consider debating, let alone arguing with you on such a subject.

    The sad fact is John, Mr Cameron has let them get away with the lie that they are the good guys and the Conservatives are the bad guys for the last 4 years, so your Party has a lot to do to turn that situation around.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      The tax threshold that should be raised is that for employees NI contributions. This should be raised to the same level as that for income tax, that is currently £10k. It is extremely unfair that the low paid should be paying 12% NI tax on earnings over £7526.

      The proposed rise in the minimum wage of 3% is imediately reduced to 2% for those working more than about a thirty hour week. The other 1% goes to the government in tax.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        If employers National Insurance was kept for the purpose it was intended to pay a contribution to your healthcare and your state pension then surely all workers should contribute to it, the fact that it has been abused and degraded is why it is so wrong. A contributory principal was sound.

        • behindthefrogs
          Posted March 13, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          We need tomaximise the advantage that home produced goods and services have over imports and in exports. The only route opento us is reducing emploers’ NICs. They are also a tax on employment.

          Why should people living on unearned incomes not pay an equal contribution?

          • a-tracy
            Posted March 14, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

            I’m with you on reducing Employer’s NI, it is a very unfair tax on job creators. The self employed don’t pay it and as you said unearned income recipients and early retirees with good pensions don’t pay it on their income either, so no contribution towards their state pension and healthcare. Now that the contributory number of years for full state pension doesn’t exist any more this is even more unfair.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 13, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        This from the Guardian today http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/13/spending-cuts-tax-rises-ageing-population-thinktank

        “Taking into account commitments that have been made under social security and healthcare programmes, the UK fiscal imbalance – or the gap between tax and spending – was 13.6% of the estimated present value of UK GDP, the IEA said.

        On that basis, the UK had the choice of raising the equivalent of 13.6% of GDP with extra tax revenues, over and above existing taxes, which would be levied each year to ensure that government spending commitments could be met from taxation.

        Or it has the choice of cutting spending by more than a quarter – or halving spending on health and benefits.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:23 am | Permalink

      Raising the tax threshold is the best way to cut tax for all, and at the same time closes the gap between those who are on benefits (tax free) and those who actually work, thus it should help eventually to encourage the work ethic.

      Those who work already get more than those who claim benefits, mainly because those in work can claim more in benefits than the unemployed.

      As soon as Mr Osbourne raises it above that level at the next Budget (in a couple of weeks time) he could justifiably claim he has exceeded any LibDem promise, and so the policy is his.

      Only the increase above £10,000 is his; not the initial £10,000 rise.

      The 40% tax rate now needs its threshold to be lifted, or the percentage to be reduced at the present threshold level, as this is now affecting far more people than it was originally intended.

      This is happening because the Conservatives paid for the raising of the 20% tax rate by lowering the 40% tax rate.

      For those on the highest rate (never paid it myself) I simply do not understand why they do not have a personal allowance at all.

      Well when you’re earning 4 time the average salary you don’t need a personal allowance to help you buy the basic necessities.

      Then of course we have inheritance tax which has been frozen at its present rate for many years, this needs to rise substantially, as ordinary people in the south east and London in particular are being dragged into this due to house price rises.

      What percentage of the people in the south east and London have over £325,000 in assets?

      The sad fact is John, Mr Cameron has let them get away with the lie that they are the good guys and the Conservatives are the bad guys for the last 4 years

      Well it wasn’t the Lib Dems who introduced the bedroom tax, 3 year long benefit sanctions, Universal Credit, academies without qualified teachers, or a top down reorganisation of the NHS.

      • alan jutson
        Posted March 14, 2014 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        uni

        ‘Those who work get more than those who claim benefits’

        No point in working if they do not, is there !

        ” only the increase above £10,000 is his”

        So how do you get above £10,000 without first getting to that number on the way ?

        “what percentage of people have more than £325,000 in the south east”

        All those who own a property and who have a pension fund I would suggest.

        Really Uni your arguments and attempt at point scoring are getting more and more silly.

        I really do wonder sometimes if you actually work for a living, rent or own a home, or have a family, given some of your comments.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 14, 2014 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        Actually it was the Labour government who first lowered the 40% tax rate Unamine5 at the same time they removed the 10p tax band.

        • a-tracy
          Posted March 14, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

          Should say
          It was the Labour government who first lowered the 40% tax rate band Unamine5 at the same time they removed the 10p tax band.

  14. David
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Please reduce the benefit cap to £30K at most. Please get rid of stamp duty and help to buy.

    • Bob
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Reduce dole payments to 90% of minimum wage (disabled excepted), and subject to the same tax and NI liabilities.

      This will act as an incentive for people to become more active and will have beneficial effect re obesity and excessive immigration.

      • uanime5
        Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:24 am | Permalink

        Reduce dole payments to 90% of minimum wage (disabled excepted), and subject to the same tax and NI liabilities.

        That would be an increase, not a reduction. You seem to have forgotten that most people working for minimum wage claim the same benefits that the unemployed claim.

  15. Gary
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    The link between govt expenditure and taxes has been broken when the govt can just print unlimited amounts of money to fund any level of expenditure. The truth is that taxes can never fund the govt debt.

    In other words the govt is no longer beholden to the people through taxes. There is no representation through taxation. We have a barely functioning democracy.

  16. oldtimer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Deceit is part of the LibDem stock-in-trade so I am not surprised they did not turn up to defend it. It reminds me of Labour`s promise of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty which Brown failed to honour.

    Regarding taxation measures in the budget, my expectations are low because, as you point out, the scope for agreement is low. Raising the thresholds across the tax spectrum would be welcome, including that for NIC, because agreement perhaps could be reached on that. Otherwise I favour steps to simplify the over complex tax regime that successive Chancellors have inflicted upon us all in their vain attempts to bring the deficit and national debt under control.

  17. me3
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Cut foreign aid. Cut green crap. Cut payments to EU.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Can’t do any of those things, sadly.

      Foreign aid and EU are fixed by various agreements and treaties.

      The ‘Green Crap’ by contract with the Suppliers (when the wind is blowing), like a certain father-in-law of a well known senior politician.

      • stred
        Posted March 13, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Grandfathered like biomass subsidies. There has to be a way around this, like taxing unfair rip offs caused by dim civil servants. Why should we have to pay for mistakes, for ever?

  18. Douglas Carter
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    …’What would you like to see in the budget?’..

    Nothing that can be linked with Pastries. Nothing that will unravel in a litany of mocking headlines within scant hours demonstrating that the thinking behind a budget seems to highlight a level of crass ineptitude in Government thinking.

    However, it’s clear that the figures in your party who claim the most senior status – Cameron, Osborne, Hague et al were in favour of an intervention in Syria last autumn even in the face of a massive decline in defence capability. Cameron’s stance over Ukraine in recent days also takes place in a distinct mismatch between UK rhetoric and actual capability. Osborne’s decision over the budget for defence will declare defacto intent. If the hawks in Government want to talk the talk, it will take place in a dearth of credibility unless British Armed Force levels are able to walk that walk.

    More important, since you mention it with regard to interview.

    Since Lord Mandelson seems to be at liberty to set the terms of any interview he might attend in advance, and has done for some years, this phenomenon of opposition figures – no matter the party or the subject – who refuse to turn up and debate their corner is a considerable offence.

    I’m well aware that people who do attend cannot force legitimate accountable figures to attend media interview, but you can refuse to enjoin a situation where the interviewer is entitled to attempt to rip holes in the policies of those who have attended, whilst the Party or interest group left absent is conveniently divested the dangers.

    Whether I agree with a specific policy or party is not the issue – where a legitimate accountable representative of a party policy (for example) (hint – a Businessman or Corporate head is not a legitimate accountable representative of a party policy, even if he takes that party whip in the Lords…) has been invited on to a programme to defend or expand that view, but that Party declines to provide such a figure, then the representatives of any opposition who have elected to turn up may give their points over without comment by the interviewer. If the ‘opposition’ wouldn’t turn up to defend their stance, why should attendees agree to be thus grilled in the absence?

  19. John E
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    1. Reform of stamp duty on houses. Make it lower and more graduated as you have previously proposed. This will enable more people to move and raise more revenue.
    2. Higher NI threshold. This starts to be payable by the low paid long before income tax. Let the lower paid keep their earnings, take them out of the benefits traps.
    3. Increase in the minimum wage, again to reduce dependence on benefits. The government is subsidising employers who don’t pay a living wage by topping up the employee’s earnings.
    3. Real measures to reduce the red tape. Not more rhetoric that just makes us cringe; it’s way past time to deliver.

  20. John Moss
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    We should merge Income Tax and NI (both) and set it at 40% above £10,000pa free pay. We should raise this allowance by the mid-point between non-bonus earnings and CPI inflation. Income from investments and savings would attract 50% relief so be taxed at 20% as now.

    We should raise the 40% threshold by £5,000pa until it reaches £100,000pa and scrap the 45% rate.

    Lower tax rates create higher tax revenues. We need politicians to argue the case.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Why should unearned income have a lower tax rate than earned income? The combined tax rate (employees’ NICs and income tax) would be less than 30% if it applied to earned and unearned income.

      I agree with getting rid of employers’ NICs as they are a tax on employment but it is not fair to load the tax on a combined income tax. VAT is a better target as it applies to imports and so this change would improve the UKs competetive position as well as increasing employment. Some of the tax loss would be made up from corporation tax anyway if not fed through into lower prices.

      • APL
        Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        behindthefrogs: “Why should unearned income have a lower tax rate than earned income? ”

        Why should income from money you already legally own be taxed at all?

        • behindthefrogs
          Posted March 13, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          Why should people living on unearned income who can afford it avoid paying national insurance? They have equal access to the NHS etc.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      National Insurance will become Earnings Tax… methinks.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:31 am | Permalink

      We should merge Income Tax and NI (both) and set it at 40% above £10,000pa free pay.

      We should raise the 40% threshold by £5,000pa until it reaches £100,000pa and scrap the 45% rate.

      So tax cuts for the wealthy and tax rises for the poor (20% income tax and 12% NI = 32%). Don’t expect this to be popular.

      Also unless removing employer’s NI results in those on minimum wage getting pay increases it will be a tax increase, not a tax cut.

      Lower tax rates create higher tax revenues.

      Not according to the Laffer Curve, which shows that if taxes are to low you won’t get maximum tax revenues.

  21. Iain Gill
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    It would be good if folk in the country on work visas were taxed at least as much as Brits.

    So no first twelve months in the country free of both employers and employees national insurance. No large payments tax free, as “expenses”, for things Brits working away from home withing the UK could not claim. No work visas to be issued to outsourcers paying their corporate taxes in tax havens rather than here. Increase the cost of work visas. Stop giving free healthcare and schooling to families of work visa holders from countries which do not offer the same to Brits working in their home country.

    Popular tax rises, there cannot be many of those around!

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      More importantly stop giving benefits for family that does not live in the UK. This should apply to EU immigrants and would match what other EU countries do.

  22. Gina Dean
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    With just over a year to go is it not time for the conservative part of the cabinet to start acting as the major leaders on what is required for the UK. Surely it does not matter now if the Libs kick up if the majority agree. On another point it must be time to start speaking up for all they have done in power to claw this country back from the brink of disaster.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:33 am | Permalink

      With just over a year to go is it not time for the conservative part of the cabinet to start acting as the major leaders on what is required for the UK. Surely it does not matter now if the Libs kick up if the majority agree.

      As long as the Conservatives don’t have a majority in the Commons they need the support of the Lib Dems to pass their bills. So the the Conservatives can’t marginalise the Lib Dems.

  23. Graham Swift
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    In Hong Kong there is a thriving economy. The lowest rate of tax on chargeable personal income is 2% , the highest is 17%. Food for thought ? Also there is little unemployment. Perhaps because there is little in the way of unemployment benefit. Neither is there the lunacy of a statutory minimum wage. I understand Germany also has no statutory minimum wage.

    • Trevor Butler
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      You did not mention that in Hong Kong a married man gets a primary rebate of HK$260 000-00 per year – That’s over £20 000-00 at the current exchange rate.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:34 am | Permalink

      In Hong Kong they get most of their tax revenues from corporation tax, rather than income tax. So your comparison is somewhat misleading.

  24. Andyvan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I believe that some Tories want a small tax cut- nothing that would interfere with the bloated public sector though. What is demonstrably the case is that Osborne does not. He has raised hundreds of taxes. Any subsequent reductions have been window dressing. He is a tax and spend chancellor only slightly less extreme than Brown. If he were a real tax cutting Conservative taxes would not have been raised, spending would have been cut.
    In essence all this waffle between political stooges about who wants to be a tax cutter and who doesn’t is just smoke and mirrors. All of Westminster wants to continue the binge. There is not a single politician that advocates deep and real cuts in the state. Every one of them is an advocate of socialist, big state, tax and spend. Every one thinks they know what to do with our money better than we do.

  25. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Why don’t you and your colleagues give Clegg a tough time at today’s PMQs? The LibDems( especially cabinet ministers) continually criticise your party and claim credit for what they think are popular actions by the government. Your party mildly sit there and accept the “lies”. All politicians are familiar with the expression : “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it”, perhaps you will find a way to insert the “truth” into the proceedings.

  26. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    No point in saying what we would like in the budget as your leaders don’t care and will continue to waste our money however they choose. Savers are being robbed to cushion borrowers and whatever is done the debt is still growing inexorably.
    Thanks to the interference of your leader I shall now have a substantial increase in my energy bill. I have regularly compared tariffs and changed supplier when appropriate I recently received a letter from my current supplier telling me that from 1 April they will have just 4 tariffs and guess what, they are all significantly higher than my current one. Cameron speaks and we pay more – thank you very much!

    • Rob
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      “…Savers are being robbed to cushion borrowers…”

      This is something I really do have a beef about. Hasn’t the subsidising the borrowers by savers gone on long enough already? It’s been this way now for OVER FIVE YEARS.

      Low rates are one thing, but the combination of ZIRP, QE, Funding-for-Lending and Help-to-Buy has swung the pendulum far too much in favour of borrowers and against the responsible for far too long. Borrowers, including the government, have had more than enough time to sort themselves out.

      The Tories are underestimating how much this will weigh against them come election time.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Rob,
        I don’t think they care about savers, they seem to think our money is theirs. As you say they are in for a rude awakening come the election.

  27. Lifelogic
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Tax cuts?

    Why would anyone believe anything Osborne promises on tax cut after his ratting on IHT, his 299+ tax increases and failure to cut out the endless government waste and pointless & even damaging expenditure?

    Anyway it is what Balls will do that clearly matters now. Unless they do a UKIP deal and even then they with struggle as they simply have no credibility.

  28. a-tracy
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I would like reduced university tuition fees for English students. To pay for this I would like to see every teenager in the UK attending university to be treated the same with regard to tuition fees repayable only when they are earning their own money as English students have had to accept. I accept the need for grants for living costs and living support but I do not accept that students in the United Kingdom are treated differently to one another.

    To help businesses overall I would like to see a fairer personal tax situation, Employers national insurance is grossly unfair to the private sector job creators and it is admitted now that this tax is not used for the purpose it was intended, pension, sick pay (that is now paid by the employer) and healthcare.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:38 am | Permalink

      I would like reduced university tuition fees for English students. To pay for this I would like to see every teenager in the UK attending university to be treated the same with regard to tuition fees repayable only when they are earning their own money as English students have had to accept.

      All students in the UK have the same tuition fees. The difference is that the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly pay part or all of these fees on behalf of the student. So unless local authorities pay part of these tuition fees for the students this won’t change.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 14, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        Uni, you are becoming increasingly pedantic.
        UK students are not treated equally.
        Some students have to pay others do not.
        If it was based on ethnicity or religion rather than where you live you would be outraged.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 17, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        All UK students don’t have the same fees to pay individually, you are being disingenuous to suggest otherwise. What extra taxes do the Scottish and Welsh tax or rate payer have to pay to give fully subsidised tuition fees to their students over what the English tax and rate payer pays NOTHING. It is grossly unfair. Why we take this sort of rubbish voted through on a slim margin by Scottish ministers in a Labour government when it didn’t affect their constituents pathetic and not democratic.

        Many of these Scottish and Welsh student will be working and competing for jobs in England after they have received their qualifications, whilst the English student will be paying back 9% or more of his/her salary on top of tax and insurance and thus requiring a bigger income to pay their housing and living costs, how is that fair in your fair utopian world?

  29. Remington Norman
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Your comments on the lib-dems blocking tactics highlight the major pitfall of coalition government. They have blocked many headline Tory policies, yet David Cameron appears to consider the coalition a success. It is difficult to fathom why.

  30. Bill
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    The British public is most unfortunate. The old Liberal party stood for free trade and social reform – look at the 1870 Education Act which provided mass education for the unschooled children of Victorian England. But Clegg and his ilk seem unprincipled and untruthful. I hope their vote dwindles to nothing in 2015.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      I wish that too Bill.

  31. Richard1
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    That is interesting but not surprising to hear LibDems such as Danny Alexander do not have the courage to repeat their lies about Conservative opposition to the raising of the tax threshold in the presence of someone such as you (as opposed to a BBC interviewer) who will actually challenge him.

    We need to recognize that the UK is at tax saturation. We will not create sustainable growth by inventing more taxes nor by increasing rates. Our tax system is far too complex, we need a much simpler system with far fewer exemptions and deductions and lower, flater rates. The south east England homes tax (which is what the Labour / LibDem mansion tax should be called) is a pernicious and unworkable piece of socialism. It will quickly morph into a jobs and investment destroying wealth tax if it was ever implemented.

    I suggest reducing CGT back to Labour’s level of 18% to incentivize entrepreneurs and raise the threshold for the 40p rate to the current 45p rate of £150,000. Conservatives need to show that they are on the side of entrepreneurs and all those working people prepared to get off their backsides to better their and their families’ lives.

    They should also go back to Nigel Lawson’s excellent practice of abolishing one tax per budget.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:43 am | Permalink

      We need to recognize that the UK is at tax saturation.

      Based on what evidence? As long as these taxes increase tax revenue this is clear evidence that we’re not at tax saturation.

      The south east England homes tax (which is what the Labour / LibDem mansion tax should be called) is a pernicious and unworkable piece of socialism.

      Given how few homes in the south east are worth over £2 million this policy is neither pernicious nor unworkable.

      raise the threshold for the 40p rate to the current 45p rate of £150,000.

      Don’t expect tax cuts for the wealthy to be popular. Also how will your recover the huge loss of tax revenues?

      • Richard1
        Posted March 14, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        We see the UK is at tax saturation as no govt, even those such as the Labour govt of the 1970s, failed to raise tax/GDP above 38%. There is resistance to all new taxes, and we see the laffer curve effect eg in the reduction in CGT receipts when the rate was increased from 18% to 28%

        The reason the South East England homes tax is unworkable is the tax bureaucracy (and courts) will be tied up for years disputing values, people will see the unfairness of a wealth tax if you keep £2m in a home but not if you keep it in 2 homes or a bank. So it will either have to be abolished or changed to a wealth tax. Wealth taxes have been shown to be a disaster whenever and wherever they have been tried

        I would expect revenues to be neutral or rise if the 40p threshold was raised. Its the effect of the Laffer curve – for which there is very clear evidence despite your being in denial of it.

  32. lojolondon
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I would prefer mostly to see the LibDems cut out of our soverign government.

    I think the simplest, quickest and most effective tax cut would be VAT down to 10%, but everything qualifies, no exceptions.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      No! VAT is our only valid tax on imports. If there is money for such a cut use it to reduce employers’ NICs which after a short time would feed through to reduced prices (or be subject to corporation tax) and also make our exports more competitive.

    • sjb
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      lojolondon wrote: I think the simplest, quickest and most effective tax cut would be VAT down to 10%, but everything qualifies, no exceptions.

      “A food bank in Chichester has said the number of people needing its services has nearly trebled since it opened 18 months ago.”[1]

      In the 2010 GE, the Conservative Party won Chichester with a 55% share of the vote.[2]

      [1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-26541318
      [2] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/results/constituency/b05.stm

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        Build it and they will come.

        (Food banks, welfare, healthcare…)

        • sjb
          Posted March 14, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

          … and return because they can’t afford to heat the food, according to Oxfam :-(

  33. acorn
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Do you remember those heady days when the “higher rate” income tax started at £37,400. Now our Punch & Judy parliament battles over the “additional rate” at 45% or 50%. If I were in that tax bracket paying the average £143,000 each in tax, I would still have nearly a quarter of a million left; you could get two Porche 911 GT3 for that.

    Alas, we mere higher raters, now get smacked at £32,000. The middle class typical Tory voters have been hollowed out and austeritised by Osborne and Co. He has forgotten that it is an expanding middle class that actually drives the GDP up. The middle class in my area have started to realise they have been screwed by a false ideology.

  34. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    The tax take list is as above…and needs attention urgently. I suppose the VAT target needs to rise in-line with EU cr*p. Well, I never!

    Could an authority fine those responsible for the amount of dumb street furniture installed and deal with those who have not reduced the excessive street lighting that exists. Personally fine them if possible, and not tax payers.

  35. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Uncle Redwood,

    DA is a typical left winger -afraid that a few facts might collide with his carefully spun web of deceit designed to appeal to the malcontent (Lib Dem voters). Would have been good to see Danny Alexander’s politically correct truth being slaughtered by Mr Redwood’s factually correct version of the truth.

    I’d have liked to hear an explanation as to why the treasury secretary feels it is acceptable to build up more debt in one parliament, than Gordon Brown managed in his entire period in office.
    Perhaps Mr Redwood could have mentioned the matter of the £1.2 trillion pound or 120% of GDP national debt that we haven’t a chance of repaying without stealing money from savers ?. If the Lib Dems are so morally superior, why have they allowed this to happen ?.
    Some discussion of the national debt and how and if , it is likely to be re-paid would be welcome from Mr Redwood. If any business owed 120% of it’s entire turnover the bank would be asking for their money back..but business bosses can’t print money ofcourse…

  36. Antisthenes
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    The Chancellor should tell the nation that he is going to start a process whereby the onus for unemployment, pensions and healthcare funding is to gradually be transferred from the state to the individual through personal (compulsory maybe) private sector insurance schemes. Top ups for the less well off would be available from taxes the vulnerable and those without an income through no fault of their own would receive 100% top up. He should also announce that because of the crippling costs of EU membership because of it’s energy policies and draconian rules and regulations the UK is leaving the EU and joining EFTA so that the UK can reduce it”s labour costs and be more competitive and therefore create more jobs and greater prosperity. He will say that all those quangos and government departments national and local who are not involved in front line services(the five a dayers and such like can go let charities be involved in that if they so wish) that only government can provide will be scrapped or privatised. Of course there is much more he could do to reduce the role of government, the size of the state and cut back on government interference. Do all of the above and taxes can be slashed to sustainable levels and the people will begin to feel proud of themselves and the return of personal responsibility and self reliance will encourage the raising of societies standards and values that have now have sunk so very low.

  37. Wokingham mum
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Cut VAT

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      No! Cut national insurance. We need VAT on imports to keep home produced products competitive.

      • alan jutson
        Posted March 14, 2014 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        behind the frogs

        We pay VAT on British goods as well, they are not exempt.

  38. Max Dunbar
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    It’s a pity that you didn’t have a Lib-Dem to experiment on. The shrieks of pain as you coldly dissected one of them on radio would have been most entertaining. No wonder they declined to show up.

  39. Paul
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    In the election debates Cameron clearly said raising the tax threshold was unaffordable, so it is not unreasonable to suggest that a Conservative only government would not have raised the threshold at all. It clearly is affordable, Cameron as usual was just showing he hasn’t got a clue what he’s talking about. It needs to go further – no-one on the minimum wage should be paying tax.

  40. rick hamilton
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Not perhaps a budget item but I would like to see every price tag showing the tax levied as a separate item.

    The more people realise how enormous the tax burden is on everyday essentials such as petrol, the more they will demand change. There seems to be a woeful lack of understanding of the country’s finances generally and this is a good place to start.

    Remember the Tories are supposed to be about “Smaller government, lower taxes and less intrusion into peoples’ lives”. Not my words, but a quote from – of all people – Polly Toynbee !

  41. Bert Young
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Most families have been hit hard by the cost of transport and energy bills so , if the leeway exists – taking into consideration the need to reduce the public sector and the deficit , I would like to see these tax rates substantially reduced . In any event we should not be subsidising the spendthrift EU who , for more years than I can recall , have not been able to have their accounts “signed off”. Of course I would prefer not to make any contribution to the EU , however as long as we are obligated , Cameron should refuse any financial commitment beyond the present level .

  42. A.Sedgwick
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    As the Irish joke goes when a local is asked for directions – I wouldn’t start from here if I were you. Cameron and Osborne have blown their opportunity not that many of us expected anything different from their woeful performances in Opposition. The Coalition was a five year ego trip and now time is running out. In effective government terms the time has run out but the sharade will have to continue for another year. Much as you toe the Party line the Conservatives are doomed to a serious defeat and the politically appalling Libdems are likely to be decimated. Our tax system remains a supreme mess, monstrously complicated, bureaucratic and largely unrewarding for the diligent and the hard working. Tax receipts continue to be wasted on a grand scale and seemingly spent at the discretion of politicians rather than the will of the people. Osborne will continue in the Brown vein announcing endless figures, forecasts and projections, tinker with a few taxes and reliefs, leave the accounting sleuths to find the small print in the Red Book and muddling through continues to be the order of the day.

  43. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Continuing to reduce public expenditure as a % of GDP is more important. However, it seems that in FYR 2014/5 we will rely mostly on economic growth to make that happen.

    The small profits rate of corporation tax is 20% and the main rate is being reduced to 20%. That’s low enough. We should make sure that multi-nationals pay it. Authorisation given by HMRC to Google and Starbucks for inter country internal transfer prices such as intellectual property rights payments should be cancelled.

    Business rates should be frozen to help the High Street.

    VAT is 20%. That’s high enough. We always have to guard against VAT fraud; also against paying too much to the EU – they always regard VAT receipts as fair game.

    Income tax could be much better managed. By all means raise the tax free threshold to £13,000, a minimum wage salary, while at the same time lowering the benefits cap so that it pays to work. However, to raise adequate revenue (given the current rate of public expenditure) the standard rate of income tax should be raised. Raise the 40% tax threshold to £50,000 and get rid of the 45% rate.

    In tandem, make child benefit payable to all, but taxable – at a rate equal to the marginal income tax rate applicable to the COMBINED household income.

    The net effect of these changes would be to improve the lot of single income households, and about time too. They would be far more effective than a poxy married man’s allowance.

    It’s about time that benefits paid to the retired elderly should be made taxable, as indeed their pensions already are:
    - Consolidate the idiotic £10 Xmas bonus into the £200 Winter fuel allowance and make it taxable.
    - Replace free prescription charges by an annual prescription grant and make it taxable.
    - Get rid of concessionary fares on public transport, replace them by an annual transport grant and make it taxable.
    In due course, the penny will drop that all of these payments could be consolidated into state pensions, which are already subject to income tax.

    Now that DNA testing is easy, get single mothers to reveal the name of their child’s father. If there are multiple possibilities for paternity, DNA test the lot. There is only one question that needs to be asked about these fathers: “What’s it got in its pocketses?” Let’s go for direct income sequestration, Swedish style.

    Personal NI is to be renamed Earnings Tax. That’s nice and confusing. Let’s have a detailed statement from the Government Actuary about what NI is spent on and to what extent the contributory principle applies. Perhaps we can consolidate most of it into income tax, but we first have to know the facts.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:52 am | Permalink

      By all means raise the tax free threshold to £13,000, a minimum wage salary, while at the same time lowering the benefits cap so that it pays to work.

      How is lowering the benefit cap going to work? Are you going to make landlord accept lower levels of housing benefit from the unemployed and working poor? If not then all your plan will do is remove the poor from the areas with jobs and higher property prices, to areas without jobs and lower property prices.

      - Get rid of concessionary fares on public transport, replace them by an annual transport grant and make it taxable.

      How is this going to work? Will the pensioners have to pay taxes based on the cost of their public transport journeys?

      Now that DNA testing is easy, get single mothers to reveal the name of their child’s father. If there are multiple possibilities for paternity, DNA test the lot.

      And if she don’t know his name?

      There is only one question that needs to be asked about these fathers: “What’s it got in its pocketses?” Let’s go for direct income sequestration, Swedish style.

      So a system that discourages men from working.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted March 14, 2014 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        The idea is to alter the dynamics so that people living in high unemployment areas with cheap housing would be encouraged to work. The problem with setting the universal credit at £26,000 is that it will work in London but not further north.

        The transport grant would be a fixed amount per pensioner irrespective of how many PT journeys they actually made. So bureaucratic spies would be unnecessary. The beauty of it is that a transport grant paid to a pensioner below the income tax threshold would incur no income tax. A rich pensioner would pay 40% on the grant. You ought to approve of that.

        There is no need to tie assistance to particular types of expenditure. Let people spend their own money in their own way. So eventually all these taxable annual grants could be consolidated into the already taxable state pension payments.

    • Narrow shoulders
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Please forward this post to your Chancellor Mr Redwood. A chancellor who already is stating that we can not afford to offer tax incentives to higher rate earners squeezed within PAYE to whom the laffer curve does not apply.

      In fact it does, yesterday I turned down a position which due to loss of cbild benefit would have made me worse off rather than earning more but required me to put in more hours. I suspect I am not alone.

      Dual earning families can be up to £7K a year better of than those earning single incomes to the same value. Are we more rich? Less deserving? Or just easier targets?

  44. REPay
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Assess public sector pension pots as though they were private sector funds based on the average annuity rate. Then tax them as you would private sector, with a maximum value of 1.25m.

    I note the Lib Dems are waging war on those of us who save for own retirement with our own money. Today 1.25m might get you 60k per annum. The original Tory idea was to cap public sector pensions at 60k which would make a huge contribution to fighting the deficit. Instead we are having the pensions we saved for out of our own money attached while the public sector remains unfunded, unreformed and unafordable .

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      I second that.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        The downside is though that the taxpayer today picks up the tab because their pensions are defined benefit, in the private sector it is the employee that loses out, in the public sector the state.

        • M.A.N.
          Posted March 13, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

          Final salary pensions are not pensions at all, they are a guarantee of a future standard of living, a bribe if you like, which was for years to compensate for dull, underpayed state jobs. The politico’s who signed these off will all be long gone( themselves on indexed final salary pensions!) when we have a gilt strike or similar and have to make IMF sanctioned cuts in spending in say 2025, REAL cuts not token ones.

  45. Robert Taggart
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    All for cutting taxation – AND – expenditure (Benefits for us unemployed excepted !).

    Question – for YOU – Johnny… did Parley pass the relevant amendment (?) / bill (?) – to ‘convert’ National Insurance to Earnings Tax ?

  46. BobE
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Cap public sector pension pay outs to 50k per annum
    Cap council pension pay outs to 50k per annum
    Restrict public sector pay to 150k per annum
    Restrict council pay to 150k per annum
    Privatise the BBC
    Bob

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Agreed.
      Even Broon suggested no public employee should be paid more than him – when he was PM .

  47. Tad Davison
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    That sounds like par for the course for the Lib Dems. They’re well known for such tactics, and we’d be foolish to trust them or even take them seriously. As for the budget, I’d naturally like to see more people keeping more of their own money, and that may depend on a reduction in public spending, but I’m still bothered about the ethics of that cursed bedroom tax.

    The government’s opponents produce lots of statistics to show the bedroom tax doesn’t save anything like the money its champions said it would. Some even say it actually costs more than it saves. If true, that leaves the government open to the charge that the bedroom tax is purely ideologically-driven, and designed to hurt people, not save tax-payer’s money.

    Those who are disabled who need 24-hour care are exempt, but those who are disabled but don’t need such intensive help and assistance are not. That leaves the government open to another charge – lying!

    Before the last election, and ever-eager to lose that ‘Nasty Party’ image, Mr Cameron and IDS both promised that disabled people would have absolutely nothing to worry about, but it now looks as though the dangerous duo could not wait to clobber people who have absolutely no control over their own destiny.

    It’s quite ok then to accuse the Lib Dems of dishonesty, but I think the aforementioned individuals might need to look in the mirror first. Let those without sin cast the first stone!

    Miliband saw his opportunity. Here was a vote-catcher, so he quickly vowed to scrap it were Labour returned to office. Now one might think that only those directly affected by the bedroom tax would be swayed by Miliband’s promise, but not so. My son who has two jobs, a company car, a new house, and a good standard of living, said to me last week, ‘Sorry dad, I’m voting Labour next time. I can’t vote for a party who can be so mean and nasty to the least well off.’ And that comes despite all the lessons I have given him about the dangers of the Labour party.

    I’d say the bedroom tax was looking like a PR disaster, along with the ever-burgeoning number of food banks. Perhaps then, Mr Osborne might wish to scrap it once and for all and in the process, not risk electoral oblivion.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • uanime5
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:56 am | Permalink

      Benefit sanctions lasting 3 years for minor offences are also contributing to the number of people who need food banks.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted March 13, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Your son has obviously bought into Labour propaganda. We would do well to get out of the ‘bedroom tax’ bind by getting rid of all public sector housing. Sell to the incumbent or, if the incumbent can’t afford to buy, to a private landlord.

      Housing subsidy should go to particular PEOPLE whilst they need it (subject to the overall benefits cap) and not be tied in perpetuity to particular properties.

  48. Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    1. CGT to be reduced.

    Do this by maintaining the same rates but re-introduce taper relief for property owned for longer than 5 or 10 years. If you make a quick buck you will then pay more than if you invest for the longer term.

    2. Stop any thought of reducing pension tax relief to a universal 20%.
    As a retired IFA I ended my career recommending that basic rate tax payers use ISAs rather than pension as a vehicle for saving for retirement because of the poor annuity rates and restrictions on pension withdrawal.

    If the LibDems and Labour take away relief at 40%, nobody will bother to use pension schemes at all. They will finish off what that incompetent idiot Gordon Brown started and kill off the pensions industry for good.

    I fully support what RePay has suggested above over the treatment of public sector Defined Benefit Schemes.

    Increase the threshold for 40% tax payers so more of their income is taxed at the basic rate. Even better, introduce a flat tax on all income above a transferable £10,000 personal allowance. See below :

    I would like to see a return of a fully transferable personal allowance for married couples with children and only one income. This would encourage parents to look after their own children rather than pay for childcare by strangers.

    I would go further and double the thresholds for higher rate tax for such households so they are treated as if all of their income came from both parents. That’s fairness in action.

  49. bigneil
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Tax cuts? – paid for by what? -how much could tax be cut if you didn’t give the EU £55m a day – add on the money if you “repatriated ” the Europeans who have come here purely to doss in their free house, getting their free money and healthcare – records can show who they are – pay something in – or check out. Kick out the hate preachers. Defy the judges who give asylum and free lives to foreign murderers, rapists and paedophiles who claim asylum -and therefore a free life on us. Forget the HS2. etc etc
    Get the respect of the English people and they will be supportive – but Cameron has lied and lied – - – no-one trusts him as you know from all the posts you get.
    You may have read previously that I worked and paid taxes for 45 yrs, retired early injury, was awarded £22.07 a week for ONE year – now I get NOTHING. Yet there have been reports of (some foreign ed) families getting over £1,000 a month – just for getting here, never working, cost to NHS??? – -How on earth can ANY govt official explain this??
    I saw IDS trumpeting the Universal Credit scheme on last Sunday’s Politics prog. It came across as all bluff. Was his aim to cut benefits to the English knowing that he was going to have to pay millions a year to anyone who walked in here???
    We are being turned into SLAVES to have ever increasing taxes paid to dossers, criminals, rapists, paedophiles, murderers and fanatics -all here on THEIR “human rights”.
    Our police forces, armed forces, NHS, etc all are facing cuts – -yet millions of pounds are just being thrown away to people who have been NO contribution to this country at all -and never will be. Your tax cuts topic is purely an attempt to find out what Dc can offer as a bribe for votes – then go back on later.
    The country is going downhill financially -do you think “bribe” tax cuts -are really sensible? What tax could be sensibly made if the waste was cut first?
    Please don’t come with the “putting the British first” – I seriously doubt that there is anyone would even start to believe you. If you said the aim is to obliterate the English people – -yes – most would believe you. It seems that everything a foreigner wants in this country – they will get – -The English are being displaced – -and unfortunately it seems to be deliberate.

  50. miami.mode
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I recollect a financial guru recently saying that company taxes were perhaps a bit iniquitous as they were taxation without representation as they had no vote.

    As a radical idea, increase employer’s NI contributions and reduce company tax or perhaps introduce thresholds as with Income Tax.

    It would partially solve the Starbucks/Google/Amazon problems and would probably increase efficiency in high staff employers e.g.government.

    Doubtless there would be many howls of protest.

  51. Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    In the budget I would like to see the start of a phasing out of most benefits, including unemployment benefit and have the universal credit system dealing solely with those who are destitute and disabled.

    I would also like to see this saving balanced with a large tax cut and increased payments towards the national debt.

    Dream on!

    I visited a park. An ordinary park. I got talking to a chap who turned out to be the park manager. I discovered that the local council also employs gardeners at this park and they pay out for a maintenance contract for various works in this park, including looking after the pathways, public toilets etc. At the moment of my visit workers at the park outnumbered visitors.

    For goodness sake, it is a patch of grass! Yet the local council has turned it into a job creation scheme funded by unfortunate council tax payers. It would be comical if you did not consider how this kind of waste has ruined people’s livelihoods. As such I want the government to crack down on this anti-social waste of our money.

  52. uanime5
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    I do find the lie that we Conservatives did not want a tax cut almost unbelievable. A Conservative Chancellor has raised the tax threshold several times as a way of cutting taxes. Conservative MPs have voted for that tax cut.

    The Lib Dems called for a raising of the threshold you have to earn before you pay income tax, the Conservatives called for a cut in the 50% tax rate. One policy benefits millions of people the other benefits millionaires. So it’s no surprise that people consider the Lib Dems to be more on the side of the average person than the Conservatives.

    Conservatives have wanted other tax cuts as well. Many of us think people at all levels of income are paying too much Income Tax

    Osborne lowered the 40% threshold to pay for the increase of the 20% threshold. So Conservative policy may be why people feel that they’re paying too much in taxes.

    What would you like to see in the budget?

    Well since MPs are giving themselves and 11% pay rise they should be prepared to give NHS staff a 1% pay rise, as recommended by the Independent pay review bodies. If the Conservatives keep cutting NHS pay in real terms the shortage of nurses and midwives will only get worse.

    I also recommend saving billions by scrapping the Work Programme, especially since half the organisations paid to deliver it have said that it’s ineffective. Not implementing workfare will also save money.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10693860/Work-programme-not-meeting-needs-of-unemployed.html

  53. Mike Wilson
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Talking of tax, just received my notice from Wokingham Borough Council. Seems they feel the need to put council tax UP BY 1.9%. WHY???????? I thought there was supposed to be a council tax FREEZE. Council tax DOUBLED under New Labour. Enough is enough! I haven’t had a pay rise for 5 years. Why can’t the council live within its means?

    Why don’t you involve yourself in this Mr. Redwood. This is a TAX RISE from a conservative controlled council in a borough with a CONSERVATIVE MP. Why do you allow them to RAISE TAXES?

    Reply As MP I have no power to set the local tax. We elect Councillors to do that for us. I and my colleagues in Parliament have advised keeping the tax down and have told them anything over a 2% rise will require a local referendum.

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 14, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Mike

      Just think of all of the extra money coming from all the new homes that are being built, its more than just a 1.9% rise in total income.

      Its just the existing home owners coughing up the extra 1.9%

      Its 100% more from every new house.

      1,000 new houses, if the tax is £1500 on each property is £1,500,000 extra.

      Wokingham has another 10,000 houses planned so another £15,000,000.

      Also remember the income from all of those 106 agreements gained on planning approval which also needs to be added to the above.

  54. Charles Callum
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Why is it that more people are paying the 40% rate under this government?

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted March 14, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Fiscal drag. Since 1992, the 40% threshold hasn’t even kept pace with prices, let alone incomes.

  55. Martin
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Disagree about tax cuts – a bigger army with tanks is needed. The RAF needs re-equipping. (Maritime patrol aircraft especially plus extra fighters and bombers).

    Our army can get lost in Wembley – nowonder the Bear is laughing.

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  • About John Redwood

    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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