Tomorrow can be better

You do not make the poor rich by trying to make the rich poor. High tax societies do less well than sensible tax societies. Societies that welcome in rich people and companies and give them some freedom do better than societies that let jealousy rule. Cuba and Venezuela show what poverty socialism can breed. France has just demonstrated under Mr Hollande that high personal taxes lead to a flight of talent out of the country and less growth and prosperity, forcing him to cut the rates.

The UK is the fastest growing European economy at the moment. It is aided by low corporation tax rates and the recent decline in the Income tax rate. Lower taxes for all is the first policy requirement to speed growth and raise prosperity.

The UK has done best when it fosters an ownership revolution. The twentieth century saw progress from most people renting to most people owning their home. It also saw some modest progress with shareholdings for the many, not just the few, largely through pension and insurance fund investments.

In the twenty first century so far there has been some backsliding on property ownership. A combination of high house prices, the great crash of 2008, and mortgage finance problems from 2007 has made it more difficult for young people to become first time buyers. A new generation of twenty somethings is as likely to be living at home with Mum and Dad, or sharing flats with friends, as to be climbing the property ladder.

I want the next government to tackle this problem vigorously. To let a new generation have the same opportunity to own as their parents we need to control migration numbers to limit demand, and take further action to improve the supply of new homes. The government’s Help to buy scheme can assist, given the tougher requirements of the mortgage regulators affecting the banks and building societies.

I als wish to see the tax regime help people set up and grow their own businesses. More of the talent we are nurturing at university and College should be encouraged and mentored to have a go at developing and selling their ideas directly to the market, forming their own enterprise. We need more direct contacts between financiers, venturers and the universities, more incubator business units and science campuses, more direct training in how to speed things to market through the web.

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116 Comments

  1. Gary
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Britain is now more indebted(total debt) than it was in the 70’s when we were on a 3 day week and the garbage was not being collected. Then we had a great stroke of luck with the discovery of North Sea Oil and the balance of payments swung around dramatically. The oil practically ran out in 2006 and now we are, with Japan, the most indebted(total debt to gdp) developed country in the world. We have less manufacturing than in the 70s. We deal almost exclusively in financial paper. The entire country hinges on a bond bubble, sovereign and mortgage. Govt and central bank policy revolves around levitating that bubble. When that bursts(they always do) ,it’s over.

    That is not the way to run a country.

  2. DaveM
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    As usual I agree with what you say, but as usual it comes down to the same thing – until we are in control of our own destiny, and until we stop the flood of immigration which is causing the govt to pour endless funds into creaking public services, it can’t happen.

    Yours is the only party which has members willing to pursue the kind of policies and schemes you are suggesting, yet your leaders seem to have no inclination to do so.

    OT – Mr Hague’s doing well – just a couple more months to go and he’ll have successfully buried the English question, on his watch anyway.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Yes that scheme where English pay for both their own and Scottish tuition fees. Then they send politicians down to tell us how we can pay them even more, because, don’t you know, they’re sitting on all this oil?

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Indeed the English question, cheap energy, lower taxes, selective immigration and some positive vision would win the election but nothing from the pro eu green crap tax borrow and waste socialist leadership at all.

      • Bazman
        Posted February 19, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        You have been asked what green crap is and who is going to do your non jobs with no immigration? Well?

        • Jerry
          Posted February 19, 2015 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          @Bazman; Your question has been answered many many times by Mr Life and others including myself, the “green crap” are renewable subsidies and taxes, the “non jobs” could easily be done my those who currently sit at home, enjoying their taxpayer funded life, whilst complaining that there are no jobs, the trouble is that many people are not prepared to consider working the NMW due to having been indoctrinated by your beloved Labour government whilst at school that they can be the next Steve Jobs if only they have the dream…

          • Bazman
            Posted February 20, 2015 at 8:00 am | Permalink

            You have been told why the Eastern Europeans are here and the British cannot compete with these fleet footed young middle class or just driven migrants. I put this to you again that they will be taken over downtrodden locals any day and why should a fifty year old shipyard worker with a family in school have to compete with them to satisfy you deluded ideology?
            If green energy is viable is it still crap and how crap is massively subsidised nuclear that has not even been built and massi=vly subsidised fossil fuels for that matter. Yes they are and certainly there pollution is.
            Can wind turbines and solar be viable in certain situations and areas? You fail to acknowledge that they can be. That is the real crap.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

            @Bazman; “You have been told why the Eastern Europeans are here”

            Yes indeed I have, by both eastern Europeans and UK employers, and that is why I will carry on stating the facts and not party political spin from what ever side. Ho hum…

            “[why should] downtrodden locals any day and why should a fifty year old shipyard worker with a family in school have to compete with them to satisfy you deluded ideology”

            What you mean is, why should downtrodden locals have to accept the going rate for the job? Perhaps because if they don’t either there is no work ‘cos eastern Europeans come and do the work or the company pays above the going rate and then goes bust due to winning no more contracts – those going to other European, the Far East and Chinese yards instead. I really had thought that this lesson had been learnt the difficult way back in the 1970s, obviously some have not…

            “If green energy is viable

            Then it can survive without subsidies!
            Yes a special case is made for nuclear as you point out, but nuclear generation is capable of 24/7 operation and can be brought on-stream almost at the touch of a button, as indeed many of the fossil fuels power generators can if the the turbine-generator sets are already idling, something most so existing called renewables can’t. Even hydro-electric generation has problems as there is not many sites were the power comes totally free and with a constant supply, although at least one can use excess overnight capacity from the rest of the network to power the required replenishment maintenance.

            The whole concept of so called renewable is the wrong way around, it is totally daft and self defeating to be reliant on very expensive but unpredictable sources of power generation but then have to hold reliable fossil fuels power generators in expensive stand-by status because it’s known that renewables supplies could and will fall-over (no pun intended), it would be better to use renables as the top-up but that would of course need some to acknowledge the unmanageable problems with these technologies.

          • Bazman
            Posted February 21, 2015 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

            The locals should and to some extent do the same work as the East Europeans, but are less able to move to different areas where the work is due to family ties and lack of confidence and skills to move something young EU citizens that are here have by default, this is why they are here, the ones without these skills stay in their own countries. This is my point.
            Commercial shipyards do not really exist in this country any more, though there is some ship repair. BEA Systems in Barrow-in-Furness made thousands redundant in the 1990’s me included, how is a fifty year old tradesman with children at school going to move to a low paid job in the south to compete with young EU citizens and why should he?
            Many did leave and now the company is struggling to find workers. No EU citizens can apply due to security concerns in a military shipyard that does not do commercial work. None, zilch.
            He could go to Germany, but this is not real or viable even for young British shipyard workers. A non starter of hotels and poor conditions competing with desperate EU workers.
            Should he have made sure he had enough money and work before getting loaded with kids? He did, so now drives a taxi and waits for more work if he is young enough.
            Ironically there are no East Europeans to compete wit as there is not enough work….
            All to complicated for you Jerry.
            Nuclear is a none starter due to safety and cost.
            Coal and gas should be used to back up wind and the money coming from stopping deluded nuclear plans with spare money spent on further research into more sustainable energy sources. There is no other way.
            At the moment renewables are backed up by diesel generators and old coal fired stations which is just stupid as you say and free market fairies will not solve the energy problem.

        • lifelogic
          Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          Green crap is idiotic subsidies for duff uneconomic & intermittent wind, pv and bio fuel nonsense.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

          I have never suggested we should be “without immigration”, merely that the UK should be rather more selective about who we take on a points based system. You are constantly asking to correct or explain things I have never even said.

          Low skilled immigration clearly makes us all poorer on balance as they pay less in tax than they cost to the government and depress wages. Employers will just have to pay a little more in order to recruit people if there is any shortage for certain jobs.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted February 20, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

            @LL

            Employers do not necessarily have to pay more. They could address innovation and productivity, a phrase which cheap, available labour has sent into extinction.

    • Hope
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      JR, so you want UKIP to lead the way because you will not get what you seek with Cameron in charge. How will the Tories give priority to housing British people over immigrants or will it be based on artificial need and claims of racism to put British people first?

      You might recall how your party and the others rubbished the idea of the amount of Romainans and Bulgarians that would enter the country, which affect housing and public services. A record 172,000 reported to be in work in this country and rising, not reported those who are not working, where are they living?

      Only last week the cartel agreed to promote the EU energy/climate policy. No significance difference between them. All willingly to implement EU law, regulation and policy. Reducing the capacity to generate energy yet increasing the population!

      Cameron stated in October only a Tory party would deliver EVEL, it is not the single option on the table and it is not any where near being delivered. Immigration reduced to the tens of thousands, how is this going? Structural defict balanced in this parliament, how is this going? British Bill of rights? EVEL can be added to the list of his broken promises. Speaks a lot and delivers nothing. His greatest claim is gay marriage which did not have the majority backing of the country!

      Libya is now a basket case and poses real threats to our security when will there be an investigation why Cameron got involved and why he supported the rebels in Syria which now appear to be ISIS?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        “Speaks a lot and delivers nothing” – indeed and rats on may of his spoken promises anyway.

        Certainly Cameron is someone to be judged only by his actions, his words are vacuous or worse just blatant lies.

        I am a low tax conservative at heart
        I make a cast iron promise of a referendum and on any treaty that emerges …..
        A treaty is not a treaty once ratified
        We will give you a £1M IHT threshold.

        as a typical examples from this serial ratter. Lies deception and blatant fraud and deception of voters.

    • Jerry
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      @DaveM; “flood of immigration which is causing the govt to pour endless funds into creaking public services, it can’t happen.”

      …and no crimes are carried out by our indigenous or long standing migrant populations? Wow the UK must be a unique!

      • Jerry
        Posted February 19, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        @Jerry (in reply to DaveM); Sorry, in hast read public as police, but I still think my follow-up comment stands, in fact perhaps more so as all the migrants I’ve come across all seem more than willing to stand on their own feet. If none of the UK’s own indigenous or long standing migrant population ever use pubic services then the UK must indeed be even more unique!

        • DaveM
          Posted February 19, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

          I’m not suggesting for a second that there is no pressure from the population as a whole, but the increasing demand on public services is rendering them insufficient, thus meaning that the govt is pouring money in at a rate of knots in order to provide short term measures rather than having a chance to use the money wisely. If the UK had a chance to draw breath, assess the situation, and make the wholesale changes required to deal with the population we currently have the money wouldn’t be wasted and we might have a longer-term fix in place in a few years. As it is, we’re buying very expensive plasters which don’t work very well whilst trying desperately to deal with the ever-increasing demand.

          After your mis-reading of the word ‘public’ the first time, you might want to re-read your last sentence!!

  3. bigneil
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    More people own than rent? How? We have over a thousand a week arriving, lots with nothing to their name, “entitled” to everything courtesy of our taxes. Are they all buying a house? Instantly, When none of them have any records that can be checked? how do they get an instant mortgage? The population is increasing at a speed that our services and infrastructure cannot cope with. Our taxes pay for their free lives, while our services decrease. John, I have always thought of you as a more honest politician, but I just cannot believe your claim. Tesco is going to lay 10,000 off, oil companies have laid people off, other smaller companies have shut. Wages lost, and in some cases will mean houses/homes lost. Foodbank queues rise, mostly English people from what I read and get told. Sorry John, I just cannot see your claim as true. Your leader is known as a blatant liar and his lies, i.e. “ratting”, on every subject ( If I may borrow the term from another poster) is a real problem to your party – I hope not to lose faith in one member that I have respect for.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    The UK is the fastest growing European economy at the moment, this despite Cameron’s and the EU’s incompetent socialism and top down economy.

    Indeed lower taxes for all is the first policy requirement to speed growth and raise prosperity. Yet under Cameron we have had 299+ tax increases the obscene and very damaging random tax “GAAR” decided by bureaucrats after the event. We also had the loss of personal allowances, loss of child benefit and absurdly high stamp duty. The government has ratted on the £1million IHT promise of six years ago and still not stated their position on it for the next election.

    We can only have lower taxes if a government stops pissing endless money down the drain. Mainly on green crap, excessive bureaucracy, the incompetent and corrupt EU, an over complex tax system, payments to augment the feckless and the rest of the endless nonsense.

    If we want more people to own homes (and we have large scale immigration) then we clearly have to build more homes and do so fairly cheaply. The cost of building in the UK is high due to excessive “greencrap” building regulations, rip of utility connections and restrictive (slow and expensive) planning. We tend to be rabbit hutches in the wrong places, far too close together, with no room for expansion and with tiny windows, no real gardens and parking for one tiny car if you are lucky. Over high SDLT is a barrier to ownership as is the piss poor banking system with a lack of any real competition.

    Cameron is different from Hollande only in degree. We have 45% income tax, 12% SDLT, 40% IHT over a tiny & declining threshold of £325K, 20% VAT, 70% taxes on fuel, 90% taxes on alcohol, taxes on insurance, landfill, flights, enveloped dwellings, 28% (on non real) gains …… These taxes can easily combine to steal perhaps 90%+ of private wealth over a lifetime. Despite these absurdly high and over complex taxes governments still piss more money down the drain than they raise.

    On top of this Cameron’s lack of vision, incompetence, expensive energy crap, ratting and lack of vision is going to deliver us an even worse Milliband/SNP rainbow coalition in seventy odd days time. At a time when they country is crying out for a sensible, real Tory government with low taxes, cheaper energy, economic growth, selective immigration and far less EU.

    The Tories alas just offer them a green crap lefty socialist like Cameron. What is the difference between Cameron and Holland but degree? Cameron had 50% income tax until recently and Hollande has 75% income tax they are both obscene and totally counter productive.
    Government needs to tax or borrow (which is only deferred taxation anyway) what they spend. It is what they spend and waste that really matters.

    Cameron is very good indeed at wasting money:- on green crap, on a dysfunctional NHS, damaging wars, piss poor schools and universities, on an inefficient defence procurement system, on endless payments to augment the feckless, on the EU, on misdirected overseas aid, on daft regulations, on endless bureaucracy and other waste almost everywhere one looks. On top of this the state sector is hugely over remunerated by about 50% (including pensions) relative to the private sector.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      The cost of new homes is also high due to excessive charges building control, utilities, planning gain taxes, cost of gaining planning, planning delays and stamp duty at absurd rates. Iht is also a tax on holding property.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Sensible tax societies.work with about 20-25% of gdp spent by the government not the absurd 45-50%. It is of course 20%-25% of a rather gdp as the private sector can grow far more easily given that it has less government mugging and inconveniencing it at every turn.

      Alas Cameron did PPE at Oxford so has no understanding of economics or indeed politics as he tries to throw a second sitting duck election. Despite all the help Miliband is giving him.

      • Bazman
        Posted February 19, 2015 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        You have no evidence of this and like most of your theories are based on touchy feely religious beliefs backed up by often crackpot sources.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 19, 2015 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

          Do you still think Baz, the State should own and run mines, car companies, parcel transport companies, steel making businesses, TV companies,water companies, telephone companies, aircraft and airline companies etc.
          It depends what you think the State should do.
          You seem to think it should do everything but I think it should leave all but essential services alone.

          • Bazman
            Posted February 20, 2015 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

            I would say health, gas, electricity, water and transport are essential services and especially of strategic importance and what has privatisation actually benefited the average person?

          • Edward2
            Posted February 20, 2015 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

            You must have a bad memory Baz, if you can’t remember the dreadful evels of service, quality and customer care when the State ran, at a huge loss, car companies, phone companies, parcel delivery companies, steel works and held monopoly power over the supply of gas water and electric.
            With Unions often striking and causing shutdowns.
            No choice, poor service, high prices.
            Perhaps Cuba or Venezuela would suit you.

          • Bazman
            Posted February 21, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

            How has privatisation actually benefited the average person and why are so many of these services now run by foreign government owned companies subsidising their own companies.
            State owned as long as it is not the British state?

          • Edward2
            Posted February 21, 2015 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

            I’ve given numerous examples of industries once owned by the State which are now owned by millions of shareholders.
            They are all better than when in State hands.

            And at least none of them make a loss and need taxpayers money throwingat them each year.

    • Frank Little
      Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      The EU is not socialist. The measures it has imposed on Greece, Spain and Portugal as conditions for loans come straight out of the economic liberal text-book.

  5. Old Albion
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    We CANNOT control inward migration while we remain in the EU.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Cameron does not even want to negotiate sensible selective eu migration he likes the racist all EU good rest bad open door immigration policy.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      We can control non-EU immigration. It is only immigration from other EEA Members that we cannot control, due to the freedom movement.

      • DaveM
        Posted February 19, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but with the Italians dishing out passports in order to accelarate the migrants through their country that doesn’t help!!

        • Mark B
          Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

          If true, then the UK Government, the EU and the other Member States need to act via the ECJ.

          We also must make it clear, that the UK will not accept any Italian Citizens, or ant Citizens if such behavior is found.

    • Timaction
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      This is why none of the legacy parties will talk about immigration during the election campaign. They want an EU super state and know that freedom of movement is not for renegotiation. We know the consequences on health, education, housing and all other public services with their policy as the cake just keeps shrinking as does our greenbelt and the congestion gets worse!
      Therefore its EU and mass migration. Only one party stands up for the British, the rest are avid Europhiles, Climate Change, Foreign Aid, Human Rights. All cheeks of the same a**. I know what I’m doing for my families future.

    • outsider
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Dear Old Albion, That is the Establishment propaganda line but the official figures say that in the year to June 2014, apart from UK citizens, net immigration from the rest of the EU was 142,000 while net immigration from the rest of the world was 168,000. It is within the UK Government’s power to eliminate the latter altogether by restricting non-EU immigration to the numbers emigrating (officially 105,000 in that period). But that is not the policy of either the Government or Opposition.
      Of course there are thousands of individual stories and trends behind the overall numbers. One of them is that the UK Government, principally via the NHS, has actively been recruiting overseas for staff, but has more recently shifted its recruitment campaigns from Asia and Africa to EU countries.

    • Jerry
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Old Albion: Well perhaps, but do businesses want it controlled, after all if the indigenous workforce won’t do the work or want above market rates is it any wonder that business recruit from further afield?

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        Jerry – When you say ‘market rates’ you need to define which market you mean.

        It sounds like you’re happy with the arrangement whereby government subsidises employers to keep wages low by importing people.

        How is that value for money for the taxpayer ?

        • Jerry
          Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          @Mondeo Man; It sounds like you want an arrangement whereby government subsidises employers to keep wages high and, by way of restricting imports, higher end user prices – think about it!

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted February 20, 2015 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            Jerry – It’s you who need to think.

            An immigrant who works for minimum wage IS subsidised. He does not pay for the services either he or his family is entitled to.

            For an employer to overlook and indiginous worker then the state must ignore these costs and the costs of benefits to the displaced worker.

            I have spoken to ‘cheap’ immigrant taxi drivers who have ten kids.

            No way could I afford to have ten kids without further state subsidy.

            This is without consideration to all of the associated costs with an uncontrolled immigration policy. Including crime, terror and the crisis in scarce resources.

            I am as sick to the back teeth of stating it as our host is of reading it.

          • Jerry
            Posted February 21, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

            @Mondeo Man; “An immigrant who works for minimum wage IS subsidised.”

            As would the indigenous worker if only getting the NMW, so why won’t he or she take such work?

            Do you actually know anything about the available in-work benefits, I’m starting to think you don’t have a first clue. The people who are costing the country are not the migrants but the physically capable indigenous population able to to do such NMW paid jobs but to proud or lazy, who then make excuses to sit on JSA for months in and months out.

            For an employer to over look an indigenous worker then that indigenous worker must either be lacking the required skills (fair enough), the motivation to do the work or want more than the going rate for the job… Time for a reality check.

            “I am as sick to the back teeth of stating it as our host is of reading it.

            Heck the more people like you “Mondeo Man” keep bleating about “[a group of scapegoats] taking all our jobs” -were did we last hear that being shouted, oh yes on those NF protest marches in the 1970s- the more I’m starting to agree with the likes of those who head up the DWP politically and as I’m often very critical of their current policies that is quite some feat you are achieving!

  6. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Most of all we need belief.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Most of all we need reason, logic, numeracy and science irrational belief is the last thing we need.

      • Jerry
        Posted February 20, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        @LL; “irrational belief is the last thing we need.”

        Cough!… 🙂

      • Margaret Brandreth-J
        Posted February 21, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        Don’t be silly and take a tangent deliberately. We need belief that we can do it.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 21, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

          Sure we can do it – so long as the government get out of the way.

          But you can believe in things like greencrap when in reality it simply does not work economically. The numbers, economics and real science are what counts.

  7. Ian Phillips
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    “The government … can assist”, oh really? The problem in this country isn’t expensive houses, it’s expensive planning permission. Isn’t it well past time to admit that the various Town & Country Planning Acts have been a dismal failure and to scrap the system? Shouldn’t a land owner be entitled to build on their own property by default?

    A switch to a system of Land Value Taxation would also help here.

    • Mark
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      The UK already has the world’s highest levels of property taxes. Even the new 12% rate of SDLT seems incapable of making a dent in property prices.

    • Colin
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear!

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Planning permission expensive ?

      The housing crisis is nothing to do with 5 million new people then, Ian.

      There is a saying “Build it and they will come.”

      This evening we hear on BBC “We’re building 240,000 new houses a year and we can’t keep even reach half of the demand.”

      Who voted for this ?

      • Jerry
        Posted February 21, 2015 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        @Mondeo Man; “The housing crisis is nothing to do with 5 million new people then”

        Hmm, a ‘Baby Boom’ between the early 1950s and early 1960s, never mind the post WW2 mass migration didn’t stop the necessary new homes being built from 1950 to the ~ the early 1980s….

  8. Mondeo Man
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    You do not make the poor rich by introducing more poor into their neighbourhoods.

    Your so called boom is based on artificially inflated house prices, mass immigration to keep them there – near zero interest and (by sheer luck) fracking in the USA (which would, incidentally, make a good song title.)

    This country is unfriendly to our own young but welcoming to the young of others.

    Change the word ‘ownership’ to consumer-ship (which is what it really is – and I have nothing against consumerism) then what of your leader’s commitments to green targets ?

    How can we make our poor richer by introducing more poor people into the country and how can we make everyone richer by cutting our ability to consume even further because there are more and more of us here ?

    You never explain these things. The issue is still taboo.

    The Daily Mail asks why the Tories aren’t singing their own praises on the economy at the moment and I think I know why. Any sensible person can see what’s around the corner.

  9. JoeSoap
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Somehow this doesn’t chime with the ideas of your party.
    1 The Help to Buy scheme pushed prices ahead of wages making it more difficult for people to buy, not easier in most cases.
    2Increasing student tuition fees, and thereby loan debt, adding NEST, NI and income tax for good measure stops most from putting anything by to start a business.
    3 Increased immigration with the Conservatives in charge again is great for existing businesses but lousy for wages, competing in the house buying market… and competing in the jobs market.. skilled graduates from Spain, Greece, Italy and Scotland to name but 4 are pouring CVs in to us… and these folk have no loan debt to worry about.

    You need to convince your colleagues of your ideas more than us.

  10. alan jutson
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    The government is in control of immigration from outside of the EU.

    The government is in control of our EU membership.

    The government is in control of our Taxation system

    The government is in control of our Education system

    The government is in control of our Benefits system

    The government is in control of the State pension system

    The government is in control of our Health system.

    The fact that we could do better, is down to the government failing to actually control and manage all of the above.

    The simple fact is we are doing reasonably well despite the Government.

    Just think what we could do if we had a government that was working well.

    Aware you are trying your best John, but you need to convince the majority of your lot to do better.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Personally, I’d settle for a Government that either did very little, or nothing at all.

      Oh ! And left me alone.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Indeed – despite Cameron’s duff compass and largely because we are a safe haven from the troubles in the euro zone, the arab spring and Eastern Europe. Cameron was just lucky. We should be doing far, far better. Living standards have declined hugely, pay is depresses by open door unselective immigration and taxes, energy and regulation are far too high and oppressive.

      • Bazman
        Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        Are you telling us employers are paying less due to cheap labour being avalible? Is this not sensible in generating profits and paying tax as well as finding people who are less bothered about absurd employments rights and comfortable accommodation. Why are you trying to load business with extra costs and less qualified employees who do not want to work.
        Well answer it!

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted February 19, 2015 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          Bazman – Cheap imported labour is available because – either directly or indirectly – the tax payer is being forced to subsidise it.

          I don’t care what you think. You just happen to be a useful foil to help us express our ideas. etc ed

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted February 20, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

            I note I get censored for a minor comment where Bazman can be racist against the British earlier.

            Please don’t spare me (or his) feelings.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 20, 2015 at 4:16 am | Permalink

          Indeed employers will pay the market rate. They usually have to in order to compete.

          • Bazman
            Posted February 20, 2015 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

            That market rate being often lower than the amount required to live hence the need for tax credits and NMW or do you find it acceptable that employees should be paid less than required to live as this is the market rate? Just say if you do and we will deal with that. Come out wherever you are!
            This is all the fault of immigrants? Really.
            Wages have been driven down for years with market liberalisation and the demise of the unions which kept pay at liveable levels now the government has to subsidies the employees and the employer who increases profits and share prices with this money.
            The pie may get bigger, but the high end are getting most of the gains.

  11. acorn
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    All great ideas and badly needed, but the only elements you seem to have affected in the last five years, are ones that benefit the finance industry principally. Funding for Lending and Help to Buy, created a nice little earner for Spiv City, to name but two.

    If we were UK plc then we, the voting shareholders, would have had a chance to choose a CEO with a proven track record of success and Executive Directors who new how to lead from the top. The UK non-plc we have, has a very poor management structure and once in a blue moon, elects a clique of non-entities to manage an outfit capitalised at (a very frothy) circa £7,000 billion. The Co-Op is a recent example of how a similarly managed organisation collapses. Bearing in mind that the Co-Op didn’t have the major advantage of issuing its own currency that it could never run out of.

    The Conservative party, with its laissez-faire, neo-liberal ideology and hatred of the public sector, would expect the private sector to initiate and coordinate everything itself, with little or no government intervention or government (deficit) money. It would expect everything to be financed by private credit that eventually, would become overleveraged again on dodgy collateral, with the same result as last time.

  12. Jerry
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    “Cuba and Venezuela show what poverty socialism can breed. “

    Certainly agree with you about Venezuela, although in that country non of the wealth had trickling down either, as for Cuba what has kept that country poor are US sanctions made in a fit of spite 50 plus years ago.

    largely through pension and insurance fund investments.

    How many people who take out a pension have direct control over their investments that will provide for their old age, not many if any, so quite why you think that an increase in share ownership by such institutions equals the promised share owning democracy that has lead Tory policy since the late 1970s!

    “In the twenty first century so far there has been some backsliding on property ownership. A combination of high house prices, the great crash of 2008, and mortgage finance problems from 2007 has made it more difficult for young people to become first time buyers.”

    Not to mention the problems of the last two decades of the twentieth century, 17% interest rates anyone, thus the expansion of private ownership in the last 30 odd years might actually just be a blip.

    “To let a new generation have the same opportunity to own as their parents we need to control migration numbers to limit demand, and take further action to improve the supply of new homes.”

    Funny, each new generation have had those home ownership opportunities since before WW2 assuming that they had a stable enough income and borrowed within their means, my grandfathers generation became home owner in the early 1930s, my fathers generation became home owners in the late 1950s, my generation became home owners in the 1970s, our children’s generation has for all the policies since 1980 have had enormous problems with home ownership from lack of supply, high interest rates to some mistakenly taking out far to much debt that then means the possibility of default or a very much lower living standard but heck they “own” their own home… As for house numbers, it would be great if government took a more hands on approach, lets get back to the delights of political parties arguing about how many new homes they will build in the next five year political cycle rather than how many benefits scroungers will get kicked around simply for daring to have lost their job through no fault of their own and can get another through no fault of their own, never mind blaming the migrant for every economic and social ill under the sun!

    I als wish to see the tax regime help people set up and grow their own businesses.”

    Sense at last, but it’s not just the tax regime but planning and other regulations such as green taxes etc that can be so burdensome to an existing company never mind a start-up, then of course government needs to get to grips with the digital deficit in many areas.

  13. oldtimer
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    So long as the UK remains one of the most heavily taxed countries in the world, to which must be added the ever growing national debt, the chances of growth in net personal income or wealth are slim. This is evident from a quick look at Hans Roslin`s splendid Gapminder website. Unless and until there is reform of the tax code coupled with a better grip on public spending nothing much will change. We will remain stuck in the world of wheezes, dodges and subsidies enacted by the current and past governments. It is the world of benefits and tax avoidance.

    I agree with your aims. Unfortunately the stale political debate remains stuck in the past and the heads of many of those involved remain stuck in the sand.

  14. Vanessa
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Good old EU. With its rush to the bottom of the pile it is dragging us along with it ! Never has a “project” (experiment) been so detrimental to so many sovereign countries albeit taking 40 years to show its true colours. When will the political elite realise that Owen Paterson speaks the truth and I hope he is pushed to the top of the pile !

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      Indeed and all predictable and indeed all predicted by the sensible.

  15. Bert Young
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Very sensible blog this morning – I concur with all the points raised . The increased standards of living I have witnessed in my lifetime are dramatic ; the growth has all happened during those periods when the country has been encouraged to invest and incentives made for businesses to grow . When there have been degrees of lagging behind and reversal of growth guess what Party was in control !

    We are now encumbered by outside influences brought about by our undemocratic relationship with Europe . We suffer from rules not made by us , controls we have not asked for , restrictions too numerous to mention and uncontrolled immigration . These strains are most evident in schools and property . I admit there have been some advantages in the supply and cost of labour , but the influx of immigrants has brought with it high levels of crime and imbalances in our social mix – most evident in our large centres of population .

    If we are to maintain our economic progress we must restore our controls . Only those who are qualified and “wanted” should be allowed in and those who are not , must be rejected . I sincerely trust this is one of the aspects we will be able to achieve in our negotiations with the EU ; it would certainly be one of my “red lines”.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Bert – For the young those increases in standard of living are being reversed dramatically.

      I doubt I’ll ever get retirement. I doubt my boys will ever own a home.

      Controlled and unsubsidised (by the state) immigration please.

      • Jerry
        Posted February 20, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        @Mondeo Man; “For the young those increases in standard of living are being reversed dramatically.”

        When something had been built upon a (economic) bubble, when it pops things do reversed dramatically!

        “I doubt my boys will ever own a home.”

        Why should everyone expect to own a home when economically speaking their budget or employment status/arrangements might suggest that a securely rented home (either in the private or public sector) that they can within reasonable limits treat as if the “family home”, perhaps even being able to pass their tenancy onto a next generation, would be a far better use of their limited income (and government funds, should had times arrive, Northern Rock anyone…) and thus allow a reasonable standard of living with many if not most of the actual ‘mod-cons’ that give that quality to life?

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted February 20, 2015 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          Jerry

          Well done.

          You’ve confirmed why I don’t need a Conservative party. Keep up the good work !

          • Jerry
            Posted February 21, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

            @Mondeo Man; Indeed!

            As I’m sure our host has noticed, sometimes whilst I might reply to a point raised in one of his readers comments my follow-up is actually directed towards Conservative party policy – in the (fading hope) that someone will finally start listen to the section of the electorate who actually decide elections…

  16. agricola
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    The premiss in the title is historically true, and your thoughts on what tax should enable are encouraging.

    Can I suggest that you start with this question. What do we expect government to do and what would the citizen be better doing for himself. Government is profligate and inefficient so the less it is allowed to do the better. Politicians and civil servants will hate this heresy because they are in the business of expanding their involvement in peoples lives.

    I see government as a necessity for the defence of the realm, law and order within it, looking after the disadvantage in society, and curbing the excesses of the private sector. At present they do even these few things badly. Leaving the political EU is essential because they create more government interference by the day.

    Given my thinking we should be aiming at a 5% level of Corporation Tax, a 20% maximum level of Income Tax, no Inheritance Tax, and a reduction of VAT to 10%. On this basis you could watch the economy fly, which in turn would provide all the income and wealth for the population to make provision for itself. This in turn would strengthen the moral fibre of the people from the effect of standing on their own two feet.

  17. ChrisS
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    As a recently retired IFA, I can assure you that the changes made by regulators to the mortgage market and the ridiculously high level of CGT are combining to act as a massive brake on the property sector and holding back owner occupation.

    The new mortgage rules, as interpreted by lenders, makes it impossible for a large percentage FTB to get a mortgage at all. Discretionary spending on lifestyle such as Gym memberships are being taken into account in assessing affordability whereas lenders should only be taking into account fixed expenditure like loans.

    The new affordability rules are preventing a large proportion of exiting borrowers from being able to move, even if they just want to keep the same sized mortgage as they already have.

    These people may have never missed a payment on their mortgage yet this latter problem exists even where repayments on the new deal would actually be cheaper than the current deal !

    As for the CGT rules, there are thousands of Buy To Let landlords who would like to sell properties suitable for First Time Buyers but they are holding on to them because of their potential CGT bill. This has pretty well doubled under this Government and, for properties which have been owned for 10 years or more, have quadrupled since Gordon Brown abolished Taper Relief.

    To free up many more properties which would be available for owner occupiers, and in particular, FTBs, we need a return to taper relief for properties owned for over 10 or 15 years. This will allow owners to sell properties they no longer want and at the same time encourage longer term investment and generate more tax for the Treasury.

    CGT receipts have halved in recent years from £7.69bn in 2008 to just £3.8bn pa in 2012-13.

    This annual loss of revenue is much more that the over-optimistic prediction Labour have been making for their Mansion Tax.

    If inflation (RPI ) was added to the 2008 figure, the loss of revenue just up to 2013 has been £5.56bn pa or more than twice what Labour hope to raise from the Mansion Tax.

    Why has this not been addressed ?

    Are the LibDems blocking it ?

  18. They Work for Us?
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    We need to exert greater control on our politicians so that they HAVE to seek our explicit permission to act on major issues. Ther must be no more of “I have had a Vision, a dream of great things I would like to do, funded by the taxpayer”. We need the ability to say no to these and that no means no.
    The list is endless, immigration, green blob, control of our own affairs without reference to Europe and the U.S. if need be. All laws should have a sunset clause to see if we really need them at all. We must get much more individual freedom and ALLOW our politicians to control and rule us only to a minimum.
    We need proper right of recall and English votes for English laws/ needs and we need them for this general election.

  19. graham1946
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Nor should be be making the poor poorer with poverty wages subsidised by the state. The living wage must be made mandatory, then all our taxes could be lower. We had squeals from the CBI and the IoD and the BCC when minimum wage was introduced with predictions of the end of the world. As usual, these institutions were wrong. Their idea of capitalism is not the Cadbury or Crittal way, which was supremely successful, but the Mr.Arkwright of the northern mills way, which crashed them all. Unsatisfied employees are a liability.

    We cannot afford it they will say, all over again but can we afford to carry on as we are? Why should the public prop up failing firms? Can anyone actually offer an explanation of why a job which does not even pay for the basics if life is worth having?

  20. forthurst
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    “In the twenty first century so far there has been some backsliding on property ownership.”

    In other words, tomorrow can be worse under Cameron. Under Cameron, there can be more mass immigration, more overcrowding, more crime, more social breakdown as culturally incompatible communities grow and prosper at English taxpayers’ expense; there can be more wars, orchestrated by the malignant neocon filth, perhaps even a war with Russia. There can be power cuts as more power stations are closed and more, neither use nor ornament, windmills are installed; there can be more scandals involving international banksters, none of whom will ever see the inside of an English jail. There can be more laws passed by people who are not English to the detriment of the English. There can be more overcrowding in schools and lower standards, more pressure on medical services and unnecessary deaths.

    I’m all for optimism, but there has to be some basis for it, such as the removal of failed leadership.

  21. Bob
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    “we need to control migration numbers to limit demand”

    In the past your leader would have been jumping down your throat for saying that, but thanks to ukip you can now just about get away with it. In fact your leader himself said that he wanted to reduce it to “tens of thousands” with “no ifs no buts”; another epic fail, just like Mr Hagues handling of the English votes issue.

    • Timaction
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      It was a Cameron “no ifs, no buts” promise and to reject him at this election if he didn’t achieve his pledge of reducing migration to the 10’s of thousands. It follows on from his cast iron guarantee on a referendum after the Lisbon Treachery.
      I intend to follow his advice on this rare occasion and shall be rejecting him forever!

  22. Colin Hart
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Taxation should have one purpose alone: to raise money to pay for what only the state can and must do (fill in as required).

    Manipulating the tax system to achieve redistribution of wealth, social engineering or incentivising business usually leads to economic distortions and seldom achieves the desired results.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      The State should do as little as possible. Only defence, foreign policy, and the creation of law need be in its remit.

      All else can be privatized. Education, transport, healthcare, the lot. Providing their is choice, costs can be kept to a minimum. All Government is, is a middle-man. And like all middle-men, they have to take their cut .

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Exactly and 20% of GDP is plenty for that and it would be 20% of a much larger GDP.

  23. Tad Davison
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Regardless of how well the economy might be doing, the next election could yet be decided on foreign policy. And Mr Cameron does seem to have a knack of following the US and alienating a lot of people in the process.

    History has shown that wars can gather a momentum of their own, and outcomes are extremely difficult to predict. I am reminded of the teletyped message Kruschev sent to John Kennedy at the height of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Something to the effect that ‘you and I should not pull on the ends of the rope in which you have tied the knot of war, because the knot may become so tight that even he who tied it cannot untie it.’

    There’s a lesson from history that expansionism and misinformation are always thwarted at some point. Mr Cameron would do well to consult the history books before he enters into unnecessary foreign entanglements.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • DaveM
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      But Tad, if he’s to follow in the footsteps of his hero Blair, he needs his very own war on his CV!!

  24. English Pensioner
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I suppose that I’m becoming more pessimistic as I get older, but I’ve heard the phrase “Tomorrow will be better” or something similar all my life, and whilst things in general have changed slowly for the better, quite a few have changed for the worse. Although our standard of living has increased enormously from my childhood wartime days of having the toilet at the bottom of the garden and having to pump the water by hand from the pump outside the back door, I’m far from sure that the quality of life has followed to the same extent.
    Is home ownership a real measure of prosperity? According to Wikipedia, some 66% of our homes are owner occupied. But the figure for Switzerland is only 44% whilst that for Romania is 96%.
    The real problem is not whether young couples can afford to buy or not, but whether there are enough homes available to rent or buy. In my view, this can never happen whilst we have never ending immigration and thus if we want a better day tomorrow, this is the first problem which has to be addressed. But it’s not only housing, it’s all the public services from the NHS to schools which are struggling for exactly the same reason. Whilst we are forever having to expand existing services to cope with the numbers, there seems little hope of making any improvements.
    Unless the government of the day seriously deals with immigration and cuts it to the absolute minimum, I don’t think I’ll see the Lovely Day Tomorrow that I’ve been promised all my life.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      English Pensioner – You speak pure common sense. What an antidote to Bazman’s drivel.

    • Bazman
      Posted February 20, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Is home ownership a real measure of prosperity?
      Home ownership is here. If I was to buy I would need a 175k mortgage or £750 a month as I own outright I can spend this as I like. This is not entirely down to immigration and neither is the NHS’s problems. That is your drivel.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 20, 2015 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        We are making some progress Baz, as I note even you use the word “entirely” when relating high rents and house prices to the largest and fastest increase in the population of the UK for centuries.
        We need a city the size of Coventry or Southampton to be built each year to balance supply with demand.

    • Jerry
      Posted February 20, 2015 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      @EP; “The real problem is not whether young couples can afford to buy or not, but whether there are enough homes available to rent or buy. In my view, this can never happen whilst we have never ending immigration and thus if we want a better day tomorrow, “

      I heard on the radio today a report that stated it takes on average four years to build a single new home in the UK, from deciding to do so to it being ready to occupy, yet if I remember correctly my time around new builds, it’s possible to physically build a three bedroom family home in a few months from digging the foundations to the final cleaning before occupancy and in the 35 or so years immediately after WW2 the UK did just that [1], most people accepted the need for new homes, in the same way as they accepted the need for new roads etc, but now we live in the NIMBY (and/or protest group) orientated era were a single new home, never mind a New Town or new road, is greeted by some as if a open old style sewage works was going to built in their back garden to reprocess nuclear waste, even though they live in a once new home built during that halcyon post WW2, pre-NIMBY era on meadows once know for their bunny rabbits and “never spotted” newts! Makes you think, doesn’t it…?

      [1] and much of that time also had high immigration

  25. libertarian
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    One reason that so many young people are living at home with their parents is that due to political meddling people in their 20’s are now leaving full time education nearly 10 years later than my generation. Those of us who left school aged14/15 had 10 solid years work in which to gain experience and scrape together some savings before we attempted to raise a family and own a home.

    So maybe raising the school leaving age to 18 and encouraging people to enter university education based on the myth of superiour work opportunities for graduates wasn’t so bright after all. Then twenty somethings with no savings, no work experience and a £50k debt find it hard to get on the housing ladder, well who’d a thought it eh ?

    It would be really great if just for once politicians stopped meddling. I’m praying for a 5 way coalition government where they can tear themselves apart whilst leaving us alone.

    • lifelogic
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Indeed loads of half witted unemployable graduates around with degree in nonsense from Bognor Poly or similar – even Oxford PPE grads
      seem very stupid in general and rather out of touch with real science, how to win elections & realworld economics.

  26. ChrisS
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    The only way to discredit the Europhiles is to keep on reminding the public and them of their predictions of the disaster that would befall our economy if we didn’t join the Euro.

    Their argument they are now making for staying in the EU and the actual words being used are exactly the same.

    It’s nothing more than scaremongering of the first order. This needs to be driven home at every possible opportunity.

    If only there was a Eurosceptic broadcaster who would show the clips !

    • Bob
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      @ChrisS

      “If only there was a Eurosceptic broadcaster who would show the clips !”

      The BBC doesn’t need to be EU-sceptic, just impartial would suffice

      EU funding for the BBC and C4 means that we are treated to pure unabashed propaganda like “ukip the first 100 days”.

      So much for “public service”, more like disservice.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        Indeed endless big state, pro EU, greencrap propaganda from the BBC.

  27. Colin
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    “further action to improve the supply of new homes. The government’s Help to buy scheme can assist”

    Help to Buy pumps more money into the market, thus increasing demand and exacerbating house price inflation. It does nothing whatsoever to increase the supply of housing.

    Reply Housing starts are now 59% higher than the low point in 2009.

    • Jerry
      Posted February 21, 2015 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      @JR Reply; “Housing starts are now 59% higher than the low point in 2009.”

      Can you put some actual figures on that please John? I do wish politicians, not just you John, would stop using percentages (they prove nothing) when trying to persuade us of an argument and talk actual figures, as politicos used to do.

      Reply 137,000 starts in 2014. I do regularly report interesting figures on this site. On this occasion the rate of change is more central to the argument than the absolute number.

  28. Bazman
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Where do high tax countries fit into this such as Norway and Denmark as well as countries with complicated tax systems such a s Germany and Switzerland are they regressive backward countries or more advanced than the UK?
    You know the answer.

    • libertarian
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      Bazman

      Do you know the tax rates in Norway? I didn’t so I looked them up. Heres the numbers

      Corporation tax 27%

      Income tax minimum rate 0%

      Income tax maximum rate 47.2% ( includes a payment into pension fund )

      vat 25% on most good 15% on food and drink

      Switzerland

      Corporation Tax
      13-25%
      Income Tax Min 0%

      Income tax Max 13.2%

      Vat 8%

      • Bazman
        Posted February 20, 2015 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Not the full picture is it libtard and you know it.
        Norway is one of the most heavily taxed countries in the world with a total tax burden of roughly 45% of GDP– almost 4x Hong Kong and nearly twice the US and Yes, Norway is certainly one of the wealthiest countries in the world on the basis of GDP per capita… and in a variety of international surveys, it also ranks as one of the ‘happiest’.
        Switzerland is a middle class country with a great amount of complex taxes and ‘interference’ from the state.
        None of this is debatable it’s fact.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 20, 2015 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

          Using GDP per capita is a statistical slight of hand because Norway is a very low population density nation with high value natural resources like oil and gas.
          Switzerland’s tax system is nowhere near as complex as the UK post Gordon Brown
          14,000 pages of tax code law now.

          • Bazman
            Posted February 21, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

            Most of these pages are to stop corporations dodging tax.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 21, 2015 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

            And thats the big error.
            The more complex you make it, the more room there is for finding loopholes.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 19, 2015 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

      Three of the ones you list Baz, are small economies and the main one, Germany, has lower growth than us and current serious problems with funding of the Euro.
      The small State, low tax, efficient, free, mixed economy, democratic, worldwide trading model, is the way forward.
      We can still have good State education, defence, health but drop the other unecessary ministries.
      The State now spends over twice what it spent in 1990.
      Was it really so bad in 1990.

      • Bazman
        Posted February 21, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        Most of that increased spend is on welfare in the form of housing benefit and subsidising low wages.
        The Tories think they are onto a winner by attacking the welfare bill but as most of the recipients are working families we will see how smart they are in a few months time.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 21, 2015 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          Not correct
          Spending on debt interest, overseas aid, renewable energy, the NHS and education has grown enormously since that time.
          As has the wages and salaries bill in the State sector due to greatly increased numbers.
          Have you forgot Gordons extra 600,000 State emplyees in 13 years?

          • Bazman
            Posted February 21, 2015 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            Most is social protection in the form of:
            Social protection, housing, jobs, public order, defence, health, pensions, transport, education etc Infrastructure that benefits me and gives me work and a life.
            Blaming it on foreign aid and renewable energy is wrong and your right wing fantasy.
            Why do I want less of the above to fund tax cuts for the rich who just stash the money abroad telling us how hard done by they are?

          • Edward2
            Posted February 21, 2015 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

            You want a State house and a State job rather than owning your own home and finding your own job?
            Really?
            What like Cuba?
            Being told where to live snd ehere to work.
            Your wages set by the State.
            I csn just see you loving that!

            Do we really need these new ministries for media, for arts, for women, for children, for climate change, for overseas aid, etc etc
            Do you think its OK for State employees to get salaries of six figures and more.
            To be able to leave one quango with a few hundred thousand golden goodbye on Friday and walk into another well paid post the following week?
            Because I dont

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted February 20, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Bazman – For a high tax society to work we have to have Leftists we can trust and in this country we most certainly don’t.

      Leftists in this country smash the place up when the democratic vote doesn’t go their way.

      Where do you think all the real footage for C4’s 100 Days of Ukip come from ? About the only non-fictional thing in the whole show.

      One wouldn’t mind – but you’ve had it all your own way for decades and are still having it now.

      One dreads to think just how stroppy you’d get if the vote goes against you.

      • Bazman
        Posted February 21, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Fits UKIP to tee if it is all made up lies and a complete farce. Remind me what their policies are again other than a withdrawal from Europe which I would not believe either?
        How are you coping with all this socialism for the rich?

  29. agricola
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    John perhaps you could do me the courtesy of explaining why a comment made at 10.09 this morning, of modest length and libelling no one should be omitted when in some cases you publish multiple submissions and as late as 16.00 this afternoon. I am curious.

  30. Jon
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    We should not presume the young want the same as we did. Attitudes of the young are very different. Whilst the older generation favoured collectivisation aided by demographics of the day, the young don’t have that benefit. The young are rejecting the collective and not just here, whether it be here or the Netherlands or the Antipodians. Few young join unions, the results of law cases and policy has led to greater individual risk instead of collectives.

    Research points towards the young increasingly not expecting a state pension, not relying on the collective. They want access to their savings, the Kiwi Saver for a public sector worker receives a 3% contribution for public sector workers, seemingly accepted as they have access to that cash. We have loaded the young with debt and an unfavourable demographic so no wonder they prefer a much lower bird in hand than one in the tree that they won’t get.

    I would say ownership that the young want today is the kind that is cash, which is non generationally transferred. Property ownership yes for the higher earners but need to think about the rest. Because of our changing demographics pay into a system that looses them money and benefits the haves of the older like the young Danes who are protesting about.

    There was the 80’s but in the 90’s there was that court case of civil service women who protested that their cash equivalent final salary sum was higher than men’s (shorter lives) and so they should get a higher annuity. The court found in their favour and we have smoker rate, fat people, lifestyle annuity rates, male and female car insurance, risk born by the individual rather than the collective.

    Our young want for themselves, not a collective. How do we talk policy to them?

  31. David Price
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    re your last paragraph, the catchment needs to be much, much broader than just universities. Ideas and innovation happens everywhere from the young mum seeing a problem and having an idea of a solution through to employees and retired people based on experience of customer needs and wants.

    We need to foster and nurture creativity and enterprise in all age groups and all walks of life.

  32. Chriss
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 9:08 pm | Permalink
  33. Javelin
    Posted February 19, 2015 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    HMRC need to start putting real tax evaders in prison. The Tories will suffer once it becomes known how people move income into trusts for their wives and children to avoid tax. When the real crooks are behind bars then the legitimate tax avoiders will be able to present their case.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 20, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      What you describe Javelin,” people moving income into trusts for their wives…” is legal.
      So putting them in prison is not possible.

      I took out a sizable life insurance when my children were young to pay out in the event my wife and I died before they were 21.
      I was advised to write this policy into a trust so that any payout fell outside inheritance tax on our estate.

      This is quite legal.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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