Tax cuts for millionaires?

Labour’s slogan that they will not allow tax cuts for millionaires is a slippery one. A millionaire used to be someone who owned £1 million of assets. These days a lot of people are millionaires, because they live in a  one bed flat which they own in central London, or because they own an executive home in a good location in many parts of the UK, along with some pension savings for their retirement. They may not have a large income. Some millionaires are standard rate taxpayers only. I want tax cuts for all, and have no problem with someone with a pleasant house and  pension savings  qualifying for a tax cut.

What Labour now sometimes means by a millionaire is one of the very few people in the UK who earns £1 million in a single  year. There are a few footballers, singers, financial executives and entrepreneurs in this tiny privileged group that bare the brunt of Labour’s ire about excessive rewards. Conservatives, I can assure the Shadow Chancellor, are not pondering schemes to award this small group special  tax cuts, but nor do we think that if we increased the tax rates on this group it would solve the nation’s financial problems. There are not enough of them and not all of them would stay and pay.

It is a great pity that the UK debate is mesmerised by the word millionaire, and that it is used in such different ways so that it muddles the conversation. It is also a pity that jealousy drives much of the debate on taxation. Of course someone on a mega income should pay a lot of tax on it. We also need to bear in mind that an individual may only be able to enjoy mega earnings for a brief part of his or her life, so allowing them to save some money for the future also makes sense. We  need to remember that if we try to tax too much the earnings can often be shifted elsewhere, so  the UK ends up with no tax from that person.

Sensible taxation is based on balance and judgement, not on jealousy and revenge. I want to see tax cuts for standard rate payers, and a higher 40% threshold for starters.

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  1. eeyore
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    I wish your party would address Labour doubletalk like this in the election, with all the wit and scorn it can muster, instead of coming up with toe-curling gimmicks like Three Days Off to Do Good Works. Three days off! That’s another one per cent on the wage bill.

    Or is it just an acknowledgement that any old rubbish can now be offered during an election, because the next government will not have a majority and broken promises can be blamed on the exigencies of coalition?

    Leave squandering other people’s money to the other lot. We expect better from you.

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Exactly but I am sure the nhs patient who have operations cancelled at the last minute will all understand when they are told one of the people needed is doing voluntary work instead.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        I see that despite all this tax the London police are still unable to respond to a burglar alarm to a large safe deposit companies in Central London.

        Too busy with all the thought crimes or perhaps arresting people for saying a police horse was gay or similar vile crimes one assumes.

        • Qubus
          Posted April 12, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

          …… or chasing after would-be MPs “bribing” voters with the odd sausage role.

      • Bazman
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

        Or sacking the librarian and expecting them to volunteer the following week in the librarian and calling Big Society and if the police responded to every burglar alarm in London going of they would be doing nothing else.Why does the company not employ a security guard on a zero hours minimum wage contract to look out over billions of pounds of assets making large profits for them. They will not even do that, but you expect low taxes and a Police force ready for anything.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 12, 2015 at 7:04 am | Permalink

          Its local councils who sack librarians.
          Usually Labour ones trying to make a propaganda headline that not a penny can be saved from the budget, so send us more money.
          Then you hear their top executives having salaries of several hundred thousands, retiring on super pensions in their fifties, then finding a nice consultancy job back at the same council.

          Ref your other point,
          The Police did have time and resources to attend the scene but did not discover the break in.

    • agricola
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Eeyore has a very good point. This election, if left to the three main parties is going to drown in a mire of trivia.

      Immigration we are told today is preventing thousands of would be pupils getting the school of their choice, not to mention the overload it is putting on all public services. Why is it not being discussed as a key subject in this election.

      Sovereignty which is leeching away daily to the EU, but never a subject for electoral discussion.

      The West Lothian Question and an English Parliament. Who is to offer it or even discuss it while Nicola Sturgeon makes all the headlines.

      Defence and why it has been allowed to fall into such a dreadful state, but does not get a mention.

      Energy Policy or lack of it. How we tap into cheap energy, and when we are going to put an end to the dreadful green legacy of Davey and others.

      Likewise the nonsense of HS2 which no commercial enterprise would invest in without government guarantees as there is no financial benefit from it.

      The lack of any election manifestoes less than a month from the election. What are all the parties running scared of.

      Days off for good works are even less relevant to the state of the country than CMD’s last headline shot on gay marriage.

      • Timaction
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        The only Party talking about the subjects like immigration, the EU and public services being overwhelmed are…………UKIP. The other parties can’t compete on policy so they lie, spin and smear the only patriotic party.
        Health care provision can only get worse under freedom of movement and mass migration from elsewhere running at 623,000 last year alone will continue under their disastrous leadership! The LibLabCon’s know it and there are only so many times they can say less than 13000 will turn up from Poland, Bulgaria or Romania when the figures are in the millions. It’s not the migrants fault but free use of healthcare cannot continue for all comers or free education, and housing. It has consequences for the English and its starting to show. It’s not all about economics, our cultural heritage is disappearing before our eyes.
        If you want a sovereign democracy returned to Britain and away from the EU dictators you have to follow your head and heart!
        Lies, spin and cover ups have been going on for years under the legacy parties.
        The cartel want to build and build on our greenbelt, windmill power, HS2 nonsense, Human Rights Act, EU, foreign aid, Equality legislation. There is nothing between them.
        Our manifesto can’t be published before the others as we know what they’ll do like last time at the European elections!

      • turbo terrier
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        Well said smack on the button

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      I do not know what the Conservatives are getting from Crosby for their money, however their campaign on the ground around here is virtually none existent.
      I have only seen one placard, appropriately outside the candidate’s ancestral home which is now a Nat Trust property. That hardly gives the locals the impression that the Conservatives have now been de-toxified and are no longer the toffs party. Cameron is not trying hard enough, but what can you expect from someone who has had everything put on a plate from from birth. You can see why he is frightened of Farage who is putting everything into it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Not a marginal one assumes.

    • James Winfield
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Totally agree with you eeyore.

      Really disappointed with the campaign so far – we are losing the argument and losing the theoretical battle.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        Cameron is not even making an argument merely aping Labour light.

    • Qubus
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Mr Fallon stabbed himself in the back. Now, Cameron has just shot himself in the foot with his foolish three-day nonsense.
      Do the Conservatives have a death-wish?

      • acorn
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Qubus, they don’t have a death wish, they just don’t know what to do. They have no idea how a fiat currency economy works.

        They have no idea how government spending affects the economy; or, how taxation should be used to reduce private sector consumption in various sectors, to allow public sector consumption for goods and services, that are democratically considered an economy-wide benefit for all. Like the NHS or Education, free at the point of use.

        They have no idea that government spending accelerates the growth of the economy and taxation slows it down, (that is, in the absence of replacement government spending for public purposes; see above para).

        They have no idea that taxation needs to be specifically targetted to each sector of the economy to control BAD outcomes, not GOOD outcomes. Particularly when commercial bank lending gets out of control, financing and securitising “BADs” that have no socio-economic benefit, like sub-prime mortgages and financial derivatives, that cause the likes of the 2008 crash.

        “Economic rent” refers to revenue without a corresponding cost of production, the societal surplus that flows to monopoly held assets like land owners, who benefit from public investment around their holdings. This wealth rightfully belongs to the community, it mostly flows untaxed to private asset owners, forcing governments to damage the economy by taxing incomes and sales that slow down the economy by reducing the spending power of households. Consumer spending drives the economy, be it public or private.

        • libertarian
          Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink


          You’re a Dave Spart parody account aren’t you? Are you still at school?

          Its you who’ve no idea.

          I guess you’ve never used the NHS then if you think its free at the point of use. I seem to get charged for stuff when I visit the GP

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Seems so. John Major buried the party for 3+ terms and Cameron seem to want to finish them off for good.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        @Qubus; “[perceived self-inflicted electioneering accidents] Do the Conservatives have a death-wish?@

        Depends whose vote they are after, and need, the few some place to the right of UKIP or the many some place to the left of the centre I suppose…

      • turbo terrier
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        It would seem like it. The price we pay for having boys with qualifications that mean three fifths of naff all in the driving seat and to add salt to the wound not bothering to listen to us the people or the JRs of this world who have the T shirt, written the books and made the videos.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      I so agree with this remark.
      The Labour (and Conservative I am afraid) attitude is to promise funny money to the electors, most of which is going to be stolen from “rich” people who “haven’t deserved it” and then handed out to the faithful in the form of “benefits” and “jobs”.
      Why not a birthday cake for every single person on their birthday with a cherry and candles? Or free football tickets?
      Who do you think you are kidding.
      (Hint: deficit. Hint: immigration and the collapse of the civil service handling it. Hint: Defence. Hint: EFTA. Hint: Energy policy).

      • Timaction
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        The problem is the cartel leaders don’t agree with yours or the publics priorities. They were born to rule!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      I’ve always thought that the essence of “charity” is that it is entirely voluntary.

      Once a law is passed to force people to do something which they would not do of their own accord out of a spontaneous desire to help their fellow men then that is no longer “charity”. It may be a good thing to do, but it is not “charity”.

      But then this new Tory public policy is pretty much in line with its internal policy of trying to force candidates to undertake “good works” in their local area, which can then be held up as proof that it is no longer a “nasty” party.

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 3:37 pm | Permalink


      Clearly the three day nonsense was never thought through, and is one of the more silly ideas.

      What happens when the Company finds out the employee did not turn up for a stint of so called charity work but went home instead, do they then sack them ?

      Will all people who work with vulnerable people (elderly/young people, and those with mental health problems) need to be CRB checked, or checked against a banning list, 25 million people is a lot to check out before they can work and will and will simply cause the present system to crash.

      What happens when, heaven forbid, one of these workers does something wrong, does the company get fined or taken to court.

      Almost seems like the Conservative party have a death wish.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    You say “allowing them to save some money for the future also makes sense” so why has Osborne again cut the pension cap to the absurdly low £1M? A pension of perhaps only circa £30K before tax perhaps less than £20K after tax? Even doing so in a pre-election budget!

    Sensible taxation is indeed based on balance and judgement, not on jealousy and revenge.

    We have however has appalling judgement from Osborne. Ratting on IHT 40%, greencrap energy subsidies and huge over taxation of sensible energy, further pension muggings, 50% now still 45% income tax plus NI, 12%+ stamp duties, lowering of the 40% rate threshold, abolition of personal allowances and child benefits for very many, suppression of interest rates for investors, increases in VAT to 20%, insurance taxes, enforced pensions, paternity leave, paid days off …..

    Countless absurdities from this lefty dope of a chancellor, but no real saving from the bloated, 50% over paid and largely incompetent state sector.

    As I expected the strategy is clearly not working at all even electorally. It currently looks as though the totally hapless politics of envy Miliband /Balls will be the largest party on May 8th. Surely even a stuffed teddy bear should be able to beat these two?

    The problem is Cameron is being just like Miliband light, playing father Christmas with other people’s money to try to buy votes. It is about vision and making the case for a smaller more efficient government and lower taxes. Cameron & Osborne’s vision is to be just like Labour but a tiny bit less daft it is pathetic and the public can see that clearly.

    The UK has rarely been about to raise more than about 40% of GDP in taxes this is anyway about twice what is needed anyway to run an efficient state sector. They just need to stop pissing money down the drain. So much of what government does is actually negative and damaging much of the rest is pointless or could be done better by others anyway.

    If they lowered tax rates they would have a far larger GDP anyway and attract more wealth into the country.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      So we are finally to get the Tory manifesto on Tuesday. Reportedly it will finally promise again (5 years late so far) to give us the £1M IHT threshold. Well we shall see, but why should we believe it this time. Unless it is cast iron and written in blood “that this will happen on May 8th 2015”? Even then with Cameron’s record why should we trust it? It should now be nearer £1.2M per person with inflation anyway.

      I fully expect a pathetic wet, election throwing, manifesto just like Osborne’s pathetic pre-election budget. Election “experts” surveying floating voters in marginals give you the wrong answers Dave – just like these climate change “experts”. Have you not worked this out yet.

      Just ask a sensible, honest and numerate physicists or maths graduate if you want some sensible answers. Avoid PPE graduates and lefty fake Tories like the plague they do not win elections as we have seen since Ted Heath onwards.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 6:43 am | Permalink

        I see Cameron’s in three letters priority (but only at the last election) is now charging at the point of use.

        • Qubus
          Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:15 am | Permalink

          If someone is happy to pay over the odds for an operation and thereby get it done quicker, what is wrong with that? It saves the NHS money.
          If I were an 85-year old pensioner with a bit of cash to spare, what the hell. If he were just to save the money, it would probably be ultimately be taxed at 40% anyway.

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

            Private use of NHS services and NHS doctors.

            I’m uneasy with this idea.

            It’s fine if you want to use a private hospital with a private doctor – perhaps offering a tax rebate to the patient commensurate with the treatment bought outside the NHS would be fairer.

            If we allow a hybrid system in the NHS we could end up in a situation whereby people who have paid taxes all their lives might never be treated (or lose out on life saving treatment) because they are being bumped down the queue continuously.

            Interestingly the Conservatives are promising £8bn in extra funds for the NHS from the extra taxes paid by coffee shop apprentices once they’ve qualified.


            I’d have thought the £8bn would have been better spent paying down our debt and reducing interest – then money could be spent on the NHS up front.

            At least UKIP can point to a source of extra funding for their promises – the money saved if they got us out of the EU.

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

            This comment was in answer to Qubus at 10,15

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

            Nothing wrong, I agree with charging it is just the hypocrisy, dishonestly and queue jumping that I was pointing out.

            The NHS as currently funded and structured – free at the point of non delivery/rationing or endless delay and inconvenience can never work efficiently.

          • Max Dunbar
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

            You could apply the same logic to public and state schools but the same type of people dominate both education and the NHS so therefore the answer will always be the same.

          • Max Dunbar
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

            In response to Qubus.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

            Why should the NHS be privatised in some areas when it is cheaper and more efficient putting in lower bids? Just to give profits to a few? More lies and fantasy.

        • Matt
          Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          I really wish people would stop saying that the NHS is free at the point of use.

          Prescription charges are now £8.20 per item, which adds up to £16.40/month for a typical asthma sufferer. There must be others paying more. The true cost of the asthma medication by the way is £3 but you can’t get it at true cost because despite being completely harmless and of no recreational value it’s controlled.

          It’s not free in any sense. Anyone with a chronic medical condition who has a job, or a partner with a job will tell you that.

          Stop saying it’s free or I’m likely to lose my rag and start supporting its abolition. It’s heavily subsidised through general taxation, but that’s not the same thing.

          Anyone who says it’s free, is a damn liar.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

            Not only that but it so often fails to deliver much of any value too.

          • Qubus
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

            I thought that people with chronic conditions, such as asthma, we exempt in some way from the usual charges. Am I wrong?

          • Cheshire Girl
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

            I think you may be wrong. I have a Son who lives in London who has asthma, and as far as I know he has to pay for all his prescriptions. I think prescriptions are only free for young people in education or those over 65 years old. Or people on benefits.

          • Iain Gill
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

            Don’t forget the car parking charges which are massive in some places. Another tax on the English our Scottish friends don’t pay.

          • fedupsouthener
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

            I didn’t think that over 65’s got prescriptions free. Only people in Scotland get their prescriptions free and free car parking at hospitals and yet still they moan. They go on about more funding for the NHS but refuse to recognise that if people would only pay a modest charge for a prescription they could spend that money on more important things in hospitals and on treatment for serious illnesses. If Sturgeon gets her way Scotland would get more freebies and not just for the NHS. By the way, dental check ups are free in Scotland too and eye tests and university!! And that’s not enough!

        • Tom William
          Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          Last year my wife was told by her optician that she needed cataract operations on both eyes. She was seen in a NHS hospital by a junior doctor who examined her briefly, asked if she had difficulty driving and said she did not need an operation yet and to come back in a year. At the time my wife could only read with enlarged print on Kindle.

          Paying privately (and 50% insurance) she then saw a surgeon who said she needed an immediate operation. This was a total success.

          I then learned that NICE had raised the bar on cataract the previous year to save money, as we had suspected. We were able to pay, but what about the many who would have had to face the problems of being unable to read?

          Of course, the NICE has not yet raised the bar on treatment for obesity. Defensible?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

            Indeed they surgeons are not even telling the the truth. This very often is you need an operation now but the NHS will not pay or cannot provide it. So they will just delay and delay.

            Many could pay but are misled into thinking they do not need the operation. How immoral it is for the consultants to mislead patients in this way.

            Go private however and you often get the problem in reverse they want to do something rather too often alas. Get both opinions and spit the difference perhaps?

        • John E
          Posted April 11, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          That is shameful. I just had my second eye done privately. Without the cataract surgery I would have been unable to drive or read properly and therefore unable to take on the well paying (zero hours!) assignment I am currently working on. The extra tax that I will pay as a result of being able to keep working is much more than the cost of the treatment.
          This is the most common surgery done in the world today. It is hugely beneficial and safe. To have it rationed by the NHS is a disgrace. They are just waiting for people to die before they get to the front of the queue.
          If I didn’t have private cover I would have had it done abroad, say in Prague or Budapest, for half the UK/NHS cost or less.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 4:43 pm | Permalink


          • Bazman
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

            The Tories have made cuts to the NHS limiting the amount of operations avalible. Get it right and stop talking about rationing.
            Tax cuts for the rich have to be funded from somewhere and there you go indeedy he had to pay for it himself.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 12, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

            NHS funding has been rising in real terms under the coalition.
            Come on Bax get real
            Would Labour over the last 5 years have spent even more?

          • Bazman
            Posted April 12, 2015 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

            Massive cuts and top down reorganisation is common knowledge outside Conservative fantasy edward.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 12, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

            Massive cuts?
            Spending on the NHS is up.
            Give us your figures for massive cuts.
            Go on.
            The fantasy is all yours.

            Still no reply to the question of how much extra Labour would have spent in ghe last 5 years.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 13, 2015 at 6:14 am | Permalink

            The last five years was under the Tories so the answer is not real and don’t forget all the nurses scacked and then taken back on under agencies and the shortage of training places nad the£20bn NHS-wide, four-year savings drive ministers have demanded, which ends in March.
            Don’t shoot the messenger edward…

          • Ted Monbiot
            Posted April 13, 2015 at 7:40 am | Permalink

            Funding on the NHS up £7 billion.
            Massive cuts you say.
            Total nonsense.

      • Bazman
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        You should not get a reduction in IHT as it is just tax and nobody wants a reduction as they will have to pay for it by higher taxes and worse services to give money to people who have done nothing to deserve it.

  3. Cheshire Girl
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    There may only be a ‘few’ footballers but they earn enormous sums of money. (up to ed) £300,000 a WEEK ! Many musicians earn several million a year. Call me cynical but I doubt that all of them are paying the amount of tax they should be, due to the fact that they can afford to employ the best lawyers and tax consultants to advise them.

    Just saying.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      How much tax should they be paying?
      Lawyers and tax consultants also cost them money and only advise how to utilise the tax code produced by politicians to the advantage of their clients.
      If you want to blame someone blame the politicians.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        I agree Brian.
        And a problem for some music and sports stars is their careers can be over very quickly.
        That million earned in just one or two years might have to last them a lifetime.
        Yet there is no mechanism for averaging their tax bill over a working life.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

          Many earn much less than that over a lifetime in mundane sole destroying jobs. We are supposed to feel sorry for a millionaire football players and footballers able to retire at 30 and in the case of pop stars making millions, at least for now, from royalties? Laughable.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 12, 2015 at 7:11 am | Permalink

            Indeed most earn less. Well spotted.
            There cstill could be an mechanism to help those few who had one or two years where they made a million but tgen nothing for the rest of their life.
            Perhaps a rebate at 50.
            It seems “fair” to me.
            A word socialists use a lot.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 12, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

            They could always save or invest some. Why should they get a ‘rebate’. Again your concern for millionaires as oppressed underdogs is laughable.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 12, 2015 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

            Not laughable just another definition of what other people mean by Millibands continual use of the word “fair”.

            I bet you would claim every penny of your rebate Baz if you earned a lot in one short period then not a lot overall in one tax year.

        • David Price
          Posted April 12, 2015 at 4:14 am | Permalink

          But then you’d have to average everyone’s tax bill, why make an exception for those whose income is front-end loaded versus the majority where it is mostly back-end loaded?

          You earn what you earn and pay taxes when you are paid, even if you change jobs or vocation. I don’t see why high earners in music/sports should be treated any differently than anyone else.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 12, 2015 at 7:16 am | Permalink

            Why would you have to do that?
            Just allow those that have paid huge amounts of tax in just one or two years, then little else the rest of their lives to apply for a rebate based on average lifetime earnings.
            Perhaps when they are 50.
            You get tax rebates based on average earnings over one year already.
            There aren’t many in this situation but it seems a “fair” to me.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        I do!!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        Lower simpler tax rates and fewer tax breaks leads to fewer lawyers, fewer tax collectors, fewer tax accountants, more wealth, more productive activity, more jobs, more growth and in the end more tax revenues.

    • Horatio McSherry
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      It’s comments like this that really annoy me. It’s always “they” should pay more; “they” should be taxed more. It’s always someone else. It’s never “spend less”.

      If the people who always ask everyone but themselves to pay extra tax actually had to pay the proportionate amount of tax for the things they wanted other people to pay for, our deficit and debt would be a shadow of what it is now because those same people would be apoplectic at their own tax bill.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Cheshire Girl

      Thats exactly the type of thing JR is talking about.

      There are vanishingly small number of ways of offsetting income tax. ( in fact I don’t actually know of any other than not paying yourself in the first place)

      On the salary you quote that person will pay £7 million per year in income tax alone

      It would really help if the jealous tendency first learned about the various taxes in operation in the UK how they are calculated and also if you learned the difference between income and assets.

  4. alan jutson
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    In the real World no further comment would be needed, but we are in the World of people attempting to gain power for political envy and yes personal power.

    Then they can continue to carry out their Social engineering programme on a large scale.

    If more than 50% of people are reliant in some way on the State for their income or work, then chances are you have them hooked.

    Their Mantra is so called fairness for all in financial terms, no matter how hard you work or how lazy you are, we should all be as near equal as possible in the eyes of the State for the benefit of the people of the State.

    The fact that they want special treatment themselves seems to have evaded their thoughts.

    Nothing should get in the way of their programme, not even the truth, it is all about dreams and soundbites.

    The left wing/socialist media (BBC in particular) simply help their cause.

    The London School of Economics and their like, back in the 50’s and 60’s has a lot to answer for..

    Nobody wants to see people who are suffering from illness or are genuinely in capable of work suffer, but for the past 40 -50 years we have moved far too far to the nanny State for too many.

    When people say the State should do this, the State should do that, they should remember the State has no money, it only gains what it spends via taxation on the people and on business, and people and business, particularly if you have money, can easily choose to move somewhere else.

    At the moment a lot of people want to come here, because many other Countries are in a worse State than we are (most of the EU and third World) but certainly the third World and Eastern Europe is changing.
    We are also a stable Nation, although how long that will last may depend on the future ability of us to defend ourselves, and our membership of the EU.

    People should think twice before they vote, but they really need the facts to do so, something the politicians of all Party’s are trying their best to avoid.

  5. JoeSoap
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    “We also need to bear in mind that an individual may only be able to enjoy mega earnings for a brief part of his or her life, so allowing them to save some money for the future also makes sense.”

    Yes, that was the idea behind A-day 2006 pensions under Labour until your lot reduced the ability to put money by from over £200K to £30K. It has not been Labour but the Conservatives which have spent 5 years bludgeoning anyone with spare cash to save.

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      It is 40k not 30k pa is it not and £1m cap after Osborne’s latest mugging is it not?

      • JoeSoap
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        Under Labour it was £1.8m/indexed and £230K I believe.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Perhaps we need a single word for £10 millionaire as that is perhaps now the starting point for being rich perhaps a Tillionaire. Even then with high taxes and artificially low interest rates it might only provide you with a post tax income of £160K and with your capital still rapidly devaluing with inflation.

    The government later stealing £6M off your beneficiaries or children in Inheritance Tax when you die – should you be domiciled in the UK that is.

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      £4million I meant left with £6m.

    • Duyfken
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      India uses the “crore” to denote 10 million (and a “lakh” for 100 thousand). So perhaps we could adopt that ……. 🙂

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        “Crore” does not sound that pleasant.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Any questions today had Paddy Ashdown, Hilary Benn, Caroline Lucas and Grant Shapps so on the green issue they were of course all deluded and completely ignorant of the facts. Not a sensible electrical engineer, physicist or climate realist in sight. Well this was the BBC so one would expect that I suppose.
      Caroline Lucas even now thinks we have sorted battery technology – so clearly she has no knowledge at all of battery engineering and battery economics.
      Sorted? Well yes if you only want to go 60 miles before running out of power (less if you want a heater and lights) then wait hours to recharge the vehicle. Then there is the cost about £20,000 just for the battery pack (which is just a fuel tank) with a short usable life too. Then there is all that rare earth extraction etc.. Caroline is very pleasant but like most politicians totally deluded. Go and do an engineering degree and come back when you have a clue perhaps!

      • Bazman
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        Your concern for downtrodden millionaires is touching not once have you ever been concerned about the people who in many cases have provided their wealth. Your knowledge electric cars is outdated the latest can now reach 250 miles nearly the magic 300 required and how many Nissan Leaf replacement batteries have been sold? Less than five. Do not quote engineering when you do not accept engineering facts its called lying.
        You are tell us that technology has not advanced when it has to back up your views and then jump on anyone else doing the same.
        Whenever you are confronted by ‘sensible facts you choose to ignorance them and then repeat the same nonsense always mentioning the BBC. Again. What do you have to say for yourself Mr Science and reason?

        • Edward2
          Posted April 12, 2015 at 7:40 am | Permalink

          There have been some recent marginal improvements in battery technology and some better improvements in charging time technology.
          Fortunes are being invested by companies looking for breakthrough solutions to these two areas.
          The unsolved problem which some Greens think is also being solved is national grid power storage if we get higher levels of input by wind and solar.
          The power is often generated at times it is not needed.
          Germany has had recent problems due to this whch has caused power cuts.
          Engineers are “working on it”

          PS dont forget that all (well over 90%) of this battery power comes from fossil fuels or nuclear sources.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 13, 2015 at 6:23 am | Permalink

            Batteries are not the only method of storing energy and blaming wind for the pollution caused by other methods is energy production when the wind is not blowing does not add up and its more easy to stop a wind turbine than other methods of generation when demand is low.
            However I think your objections on alternative low pollution sources of generation have little to do with technology and are closer to your stance of file sharing. ie how can we stop it? You cannot and the advance of alternative energy will go on with or without subsidy or support from the government.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

            Of course it will go on.
            Just don’t expect it to provide more than a few per cent of our energy requirements anytime soon.

            PS Nothing wrong with file sharing, provided the workers involved in producing the entertainment get a fair reward from you.
            I presume you pay to get in to the cinema or theatre or concert. And I expect you pay the shop for any dvd’s or cd’s you might buy.
            Its the same thing with computer downloads.
            Saying “they cant stop me” is not a valid defence to piracy which cheats those involved from their wages.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 19, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

            You assume that the down loader would pay for the work anyway and it all a bit more complicated than that edward.
            Many bands encourage illegal downloading to promote their work for instance. You are stuck in a 1970’s copyright time warp that will soon be irrelevant anyway as technology just rolls over it. Then what?

  7. JoeSoap
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Sadly you can’t blame this paid-for-by-employers volunteering on the LibDems. Straight out of the lefty Con-LibDem-Labour-Euro handbook, make employers pay for another 3 days holiday. Add this to the silly NEST pensions idea which should have been shelved, more parental leave, and other nannying measures, and we have a recipe for employers having to act more like Play-school teachers than employers.
    Clearly more reasons NOT to return to the fold from UKIP.

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Indeed.If you were to put the Tories latest wheezes -more billions into an unreformed NHS and the company funded and administered volunteering nonsense – to a blind test and asked which party was responsible for them,I don’t think the majority answer would be the Conservative party.

      Any takers for the nascent “Save Dave” campaign?

      • Timaction
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        I want Dave to stay. He’s the best recruitment agent UKIP has!

        • fedupsouthener
          Posted April 11, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          Yes, me too. I wonder if the people running the polls have said UKIP are losing support in the hope that their members get cold feet and vote Conservative after all?

          Reply Polling companies report what voters tell them. UKIP has lost a bit of support in recent polls. Asw I pointed out a few days ago Con/Lab are around 70% between them these days, up from 65%

          • Timaction
            Posted April 12, 2015 at 10:28 am | Permalink

            We’ll see on the 7th. I had my first call from a polling company the other day in 56 years! There were lots of questions with no options to say none of the above re coalitions etc. None including UKIP. However I was able to state my 100% intention to vote for them and my disgust of the utter failure current coalition. Not sure everyone would tell the truth on their voting intentions in view of the sustained msm smearing and lies on UKIP. So there will be distortions in the polling data.

  8. Alan Wheatley
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 7:15 am | Permalink


    “Millionaire” is but one of the words that muddles political conversations.

    For instance, following the recent extensive debate about non-doms how many people understand the rules that apply to their tax affairs? I have gone from understanding nothing to understanding something, but despite the extensive media explanation, analysis and debate I still do not know enough to make a balanced judgement on what should or not be done.

    It seems to me that one relevant factor should be double taxation, but I have not heard that mentioned once. From some of the vox-pop comments I get the impression that many think that non-doms are not paying ANY UK tax.

    In politics a muddled electorate can be an advantage if it enables the debate to be won with an emotional, superficial argument.

    • Qubus
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      You should read the article in today’s Daily Telegraph.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:27 am | Permalink



      People who continually whine about “the rich” and tax cheats etc normally haven’t got a clue about the tax rules, what is actually paid and how its calculated. The media continually harp on about offshore havens without ever mentioning that those same newspaper groups are big users of offshore tax havens.

    • Tom William
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Apart from the Capital Gains Tax element, Inheritance Tax is pure double taxation.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Indeed it is not tax (as in a fair share of profit made or wages earned) it is just theft of capital and a disincentive to prudence. And a transfer from people who usually use/invest it well to governments who usually waste it.

      • Graham McFarlane
        Posted April 14, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        I just hope that when it’s my turn to pop my clogs, I’ll have spent all my money and I can do a Liam Byrne and leave a note to that effect. The
        government will be welcome to 40% of naff all.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      “From some of the vox-pop comments I get the impression that many think that non-doms are not paying ANY UK tax.”

      Indeed well Miliband virtually said that he was being a politician.

      In fact they pay a fee of £30- £90K PA depending on length of time in the UK, plus tax on all uk income, plus any money remitted to the UK plus stamp duty, council tax, vat ….. Rather more than most do in fact.

  9. Richard1
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    This politics of envy may not work quite so well for Labour as they imagine. In an interesting recent test case a socialist in Switzerland got a national referendum to prevent cantons doing favourable tax deals with rich investors to encourage them to live there. The polls expected it to go through (‘not fair’ etc). In the event the move was roundly defeated – the people of Switzerland recognised which side their bread was buttered. Better to have more investment and tax receipts than the supposed satisfaction of driving away or taking away the wealth of richer people, and have less money at the end of it.

  10. Edward2
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    The actual left wing slogan should be “tax RATE cuts for millionaires”.

    Under Blair and Brown it was thought that 40% top rate was satisfactory for almost all their 13 years in power.
    In the last dying days of Brown’s premiership, he put the rate up to 50%
    A sort of economic practical joke played on the Conservatives.
    It said a lot about the man. Unconcerned it would reduce revenues, he did it out of spite.

    The fact remains despite all the left wing academics predicting a fall in revenues, the opposite has happened.
    With a rate of 45% the rich have paid more.
    Yet amazingly they still want the rate put back up.

    Perhaps a random Marxist can tell me why if they want the rich to pay more, this is a good idea.

  11. Iain Gill
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Why do you keep picking singer’s? What about drummers, bass players, guitarist, keyboards etc…

    Plenty in the rich list…

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      …and what about the fat cats who run the civil service and then leave in disgrace (with golden goodbye) only to sign on again in another authority (with another golden handshake)?

    • Mitchel
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      …not to mention lute players (Sting,for the uninitiated)!

      • Iain Gill
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        There are a few flute players in the rich list too…

  12. agricola
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Millionaire is an emotive word and Labour’s politics of envy plays on that emotion. Ironic too that a number on their shadow cabinet probably fall into the category unless their tax planning avoids the issue.

    As a finite sum, anyone earning a million per annum and declaring it is not only earning more than most ,but logically is paying more than most. Without reference to real tax rates compare two people, one on £60,000 pa and the other on £1,000,000 pa. Assume they both have the same allowances at £30,000 pa. Number one pays £12,000 at 40%, the millionaire pays £388,000 at 40%. I would submit that the millionaire is paying more tax . It would appear that Labour want to penalise him with a higher rate just because he is successful.

    Were I the millionaire in such circumstances, I would consider moving my home to Guernsey and commuting weekly to London, if that was where I worked. You could probably do it for £6500 pa and rent a flat for £52,000 pa. That saves £329,000pa. As what you earn is not based on a business in Guernsey the saving is probably tax free. This is not serious tax planning but indicative of what might be possible. A real accountant might do much better.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Does not work that way as you are now very limited on the number of days you could work or be in the UK without remaining resident for tax purposes.

      Why should someone rich pay perhaps £400K PA in tax for almost nothing of any value in services perhaps getting an average only £10K PA worth if that.

      They would usually use the money far better than governments do anyway.

      • agricola
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        Assuming you work Monday to Friday or five days per week. I believe the limit in the UK is 183 days, so you have 36 working weeks. For practical purposes many people only need a computer connection, so their presence in the UK for work purposes can easily be much less than 183 days. It would be perfect for all those bank dealers. I worked for over thirty years on the end of a computer with occasional customer visits and trips overseas. I was not earning quite enough to justify moving to Guernsey but it was always a theoretical option.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 11, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

          The rules have all recently changed it depends on numbers of UK “connecting factors” and is far fewer days than that as low as 10 sometimes.

      • Bazman
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        You could not earn 400k in a third world country, so to say they receive nothing from the state is nonsense. They receive infrastructure, education and security allowing these wages to be made. Well?

        • Edward2
          Posted April 12, 2015 at 7:22 am | Permalink

          You are now saying the rich are needed to pay huge amounts for education etc.
          Careful Baz, the Labour party are using the line that its only hard working families who pay all the tax and we need the wicked rich to pay even more.
          Which is it?

    • Pud
      Posted April 12, 2015 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Of course the millionaire in your example is paying more tax, but that’s not how the Left see it. I suggest there’s three ways of raising taxes:
      a) everyone pays the same. Regardless of income/assets, everyone pays the same. It could have worked with Community Charge (or Poll Tax for those who either can’t spell or like to mislead), to fund council spending but at low enough levels for the average worker to pay wouldn’t raise enough as an equivalent of income tax
      b) everyone pays the same rate. Say the rate is 20%, this means if you earn £1 you keep 80p and give 20p to the government. If you earn a million you pay a million 20ps, which is a lot more than someone earning say £15,000 will pay. Sounds fair to me.
      c) The rate you pay goes up as you earn more. This is the system we have, which I think is unfair. You can earn so many pounds of which you can keep say 80p of each one, but then you can only keep 60p of each pound and others, e.g. the Greens, think it’s fair for you to only keep 40p of the pound. You might think that someone who is “rich” can afford to hand over 40p or more of each extra pound, but when the government doesn’t raise the 40% band in line with inflation (as both Labour and Conservative governmants have done) it’s not just the “rich” who are paying.

  13. Richard1
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Anyone wanting to see an argument set out clearly showing why Eric Pickles’s nonsensical piece of Big Society drivel on compulsory-voluntary extra holiday should read Allister Heath’s piece on it in the Telegraph. (Heath also points out that the rail fare freeze is a similar piece of nonsense – taxpayers subsidising wealthier commuters. A bit like wind farms really).

    I do hope we get some real arguments from the Tory front bench for voting Conservative other than what bad news it will be if Miliband-SNP get in.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Anyone watching Pickles on yeterday’s Daily Politics would have seen a man floundering and clueless on both those announcements.
      That on the day the Telegraph, reporting on the deterioration in trade figures and a gilts strke by foreign investors, stated: “The current account deficit reached 5.5pc of GDP last year and may soon be flirting with 6pc, the worst in Britain’s peacetime history.”
      The £ dropped against the dollar to a five year low.
      Our host must have a very strong allegiance to his party to be associated with this nonsense.

  14. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    ‘Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.’
    Winston Churchill

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Brian – The equal sharing of misery ?

      Hardly. The share of misery is always taken up by people other than leading socialists.

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    The betting odds suggest about an eighty percent chance of Miliband/Balls/SNP lunacy and all for want of a simple working compass for Cameron & Osborne. Are they really going to throw yet another perfectly winnable election?

    What a dreadful prospect, but then again a Cameron win would hardly be that much better. At least we will then have the rather slim chance of getting a sensible real Tory party leader but who is there? Not much talent is visible in the party stuffed as it is with socialists.

    • Liz
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      They are certainly not running a very good campaign at the moment. Michael Fallon’s perfectly permissable comment about Ed Millibands’ treatment of his brother was valid as it gives an insight into the personality and ambitions of a man who wants to be Prime Minister and tell the rest of us what to do and how to live our lives. Instead Fallon was not given proper support by his party and the liberal media and opposition parties, which have attacked David Cameron personally endlessly, were allowed to get away with condemning Fallon.

  16. Jerry
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    John, why do you always play safe, preaching your messages to the (mostly) already converted, how about spending some time explaining why the Tory party is correct not to further regulate the mess they caused in the utility and transport sectors for example, or why the NHS benefits from having excessive layers of management still, these are the sort of issues that will see the many perhaps floating voters -who care not one jot that the high rate tax is 45p or 50p in the Pound, might not care is the UK is in or out of the EU, whose eyes glaze over when Greece and the Troika are mentioned etc- consider if they can still put their X against the Tory candidate (or even UKIP)… /rant!

    Reply I do write about the NHS and transport from time time and will return soon to them

    • Edward2
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      An opportunity arises for you Jerry, to start your own seperate blog by transferring all your posts to a new site.
      Perhaps call it “Jerry knows best”
      I’m sure it would be very popular.
      Ho hum, as you often say.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        It has crossed my mind that Jerry may be standing in for Peter van Leeuwen, who said that he would no longer be commenting during our election campaign … just a thought.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted April 11, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          I think that Mr van Leeuwen is a man of his words. Jerry does not have the same style or approach.

        • Timaction
          Posted April 11, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          The same thought had crossed my mind. Is he part of the £18 million EU (communications(propaganda) unit) voted for by the legacy parties as our additional contribution??

          • Jerry
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

            @Mondeon Man; @Timaction; More proof that you detest democracy, you just can’t stand others have an opinion that challenges your own opinions – your rather ill-considered attracts on those who challenge your opinions say far more about yourselves than it does those you attack.

          • Timaction
            Posted April 12, 2015 at 10:32 am | Permalink

            Jerry I believe in our sovereign democracy, that’s why I’m voting, joined and pay for UKIP. The ONLY patriotic party. The rest want a federal dictatorship under Brussels rule. You are a man that would argue black was white and green were blue. I would defend everyone’s right to an opinion, I just rarely agree with you!

          • Jerry
            Posted April 12, 2015 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

            @Timaction; “I would defend everyone’s right to an opinion”

            Yet you imply the self-same people, the electorate, are “unpatriotic”.

            If UKIP are trounced on the 7th May, loosing many of their deposits, loosing the two seats they had (never mind then in 2017 the electorate perhaps choosing to stay in the EU) what will the electorate have been in your opinion, democratic or unpatriotic – or perhaps they are all just ‘EU Trolls’, as you have recently called me for daring to disagree with you – a “right to an opinion”, sorry you don’t even start to understand the concept… 🙁

        • Jerry
          Posted April 11, 2015 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2 (and Denis Cooper for that matter); Have you ever thought about transferring all your posts to some pro UKIP blog, or perhaps starting one of your own, rather than hijacking our hosts site – hum…

          @Denis Cooper; Wrong yet again!

          • libertarian
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:43 pm | Permalink


            From the look of most of the comments on here it looks very much like a pro UKIP blog.

          • Timaction
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

            Actually Jerry, Denis is always right on facts. Are you a paid EU troll?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

            I’ve already told you I’m not a UKIP supporter Jerry so stop your nonsense.

          • Jerry
            Posted April 12, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; “From the look of most of the comments on here it looks very much like a pro UKIP blog.”

            Indeed it does, the only problem being is that our host is a Tory PPC at the moment, and until a couple of weeks ago was a Tory MP, spot the real the problem anyone?…

            I might question his or the Tory parties policies but I don’t try and use his platform for electioneering and certainly not for a different party, unlike some!

            @Timaction; “Denis is always right on facts. Are you a paid EU troll?”

            In your opinion, as a UKIP supporter. Oh and why does anyone who has a different opinion than your beloved parties become a “Troll”, even more so when this is not a UKIP blog nor one funded by UKIP – thus one could actually suggest that if trolls are active on our hosts site then they are people like you.

            @Edward2; “I’m not a UKIP supporter”

            So you you keep insisting, the trouble is your comments are far more towards the UKIP’s right of centre-right position than the Tories centre-right policies, such as the UKIP leader wanting to move the NHS towards a commercialised health insurance basis service [1] rather than a tax funded service free at the point of need. You might not formally support UKIP but your wish for the Tory party to become like them in policy and spirit is at the very least placid support.

            [1] but Edward, if you are really saying that the Tory parties true position is to move towards such a commercialised insurance based system then I think you, I will have to reconsider my vote…

          • Edward2
            Posted April 12, 2015 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

            I am getting very tired of your deluded and twisted version of my words.
            NHS…Again I tell you again, I am in favour of encouraging those that could afford it, to have private health insurance.
            That is all.
            Not a two tier NHS.

            Then based on the only example you are able to dredge up, you then go into overdrive and state I am therefore a UKIP supporter and voter.
            Again, I need to tell you you are completely wrong.
            So Jerry please stop it.
            It is getting very boring and more importantly it is irrelevant to the topic being discussed.

          • Jerry
            Posted April 13, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

            @Ewdward2; I am also getting very tired of your deluded and twisted version of my words.

            If you believe in a tax funded NHS then there is no need to “encouraging those that could afford it” to have private health insurance” [1], this is exactly the same slippery road towards privatisation as the BBC are now facing most likely, after all 20 years ago people where “encouraged” that they didn’t need to just watch the BBC (or ITV/Ch4), that they could choose to subscribe to a cable or satellite provider, fine, but now we hear people calling for the BBC to be closed or sold off because it is irrelevant to the modern lifestyle, if people; want to watch TV they can buy a subscription -it’s called divide and conquer- in another five to ten years we might all have no option other than to subscribe if we wish to watch broadcast TV…

            [1] those whom wise to top-up their health care provision already know that they can buy such insurance policies, no encouragement needed thanks.

            “Not a two tier NHS.”

            There is already a two tier NHS, so presumably what you really want is no NHS (unless you are suggesting that private medical companies should not be allowed to use NHS facilities, staff or use NHS trained personal etc)? Either you are totally unaware that public/private health care already co-exists side-by-side, often in the same buildings, even wards, and you can’t be that ignorant surely, or you have just let slip your true intent.

            In have no problem with people using private medial services, all I’m asking for and expect is a pledge (from you Edward, even better a politician) that the NHS will be fully funded and yes if that means either a direct or indirect tax increase then so be.

            “Again, I need to tell you you are completely wrong [about UKIP]. So Jerry please stop it.”

            If you want me to stop then you need to say something that proves that you are at least centre-right and not (actively or not) in the same place as UKIP policy wise. Ones doesn’t need to be a paid up member to support a parties aims, if I was to come on here and start spouting pro Marxism–Leninism thoughts and ideals then I would rightly be called a Communist by most.

            “It is getting very boring and more importantly it is irrelevant to the topic being discussed.”

            It will be a find day when one of John’s diary entries remain on topic after the first comment! But then all you UKIP sympathisers would have little to rant about…

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

            You are rapidly descending to being the troll on this fine site.
            You are embarassing yourself with your scurrulous comments.
            Imagine we were talking face to face.
            Would you really be so continually provocative and rude?

          • Jerry
            Posted April 14, 2015 at 6:48 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Touchy (and quite what I said was “rude”, most will likely be openly wondering)! But what ever, and it will be noticed by all that you still refuse to state if you fully support a free at the point of need NHS funded via taxation…

          • Edward2
            Posted April 14, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

            To respond to your new question:-
            The answer is yes.

      • Bazman
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        You and other repeat nonsense that when challenged have no answer to, but continue to repeat never learning anything. All with a connection to the internet that you are unable or unwilling to use calling for ever tighter regulation of it presumably to stop anyone learning or educating themselves instead of following you often semi religious anti intellectual beliefs on economics and science.
        Most point the usual suspects make can be turned to dust by just right clicking the words and Google search. Sad that they are that simple, but think they are not.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 12, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

          I dont understand that rant Baz.
          The words can equally be applied to you and your regular posts with links to stories from the Guardian which you believe without thought or doubt.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 12, 2015 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

            The links are to the Guardian or another source reporting a story or a report. Further investigation can be made as to the truths or untruths within it by using the internet and for this reason I suspect deluded right and left wingers with there own agenda to push hate it. Stop shooting the messenger.
            Understand that?

        • libertarian
          Posted April 12, 2015 at 10:34 am | Permalink

          Bit of a shame you don’t take your own advice then Bazman as what you post is normally unresearched, unthought out and plain wrong.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      The NHS is very dangerous territory. The only thing Conservatives believe they can do is out-promise Labour in funding as Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron are doing, then when in power quietly try to get the NHS to cut waste and run more efficiently. No-one in UK politics (not even Nigel Farage who started down this track but quickly reversed) dares to suggest that there might be other models, such as those practised widely around the world, and even in most Eurpean countries, involving extensive private sector involvement in healthcare provision. The evidence is overwhelming that the NHS needs fundamental reform and that we should be looking at how to provide free healthcare in the most effective way, irrespective of whether the provider is the state or a private company. But any Conservative MP who came up with such a suggestion in a general election would probably have to resign. It would be like ‘denying’ global warming in 2005, or declaring yourself an atheist in 1850, or a Catholic in 1650, or a Heretic in 1450 etc etc

      • libertarian
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink


        Excellent post, nail on the head

      • Jerry
        Posted April 11, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        @Richard1; Yes the NHS is very dangerous territory for the right, no quicker way of loosing votes should some misguided ultra-capitalist suggest that there might be other funding model just so that a few ultra-capitalist can pay a less tax. Political parties might not pick up any extra votes by way of their health policies but they can sure loose many…

        • libertarian
          Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:45 pm | Permalink


          So you’re another one who thinks there are only 2 ways of organising health provision?

          What has less tax/ ultra capitalism got to do with anything?

          • Jerry
            Posted April 12, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; “So you’re another one who thinks there are only 2 ways of organising health provision?”

            Not at all, but there seems only one approach that works for all (provides a true Universal Health Care system from pre-natal to death) with the minimum of bureaucracy, for example the French health service is second to non but is even more bureaucratic than the worst days of our NHS, whilst the Canadian system is not a full universals service even if it is simple and cheap to implement, saying that if the UK had to consider a different funding model I would suggest the French way over say the German method that has the same basic issues as the USA system. But what chance the French system, or even German, suggest moving to either and the europhobes will cry foul meaning we’ll end up with the total mess that is the commercialised USA system or the partial health care system found in Canada. 🙁

            “What has less tax/ ultra capitalism got to do with anything?”

            As for less tax, some would prefer not to pay for the NHS via because it will mean they’ll need to pay less tax, at the same time believing they are and will stay in perfect health thus their private medical insurance will be a lot less than what they paid to the NHS via their taxes. As for capitalism, who knows who might be seeing commercial “opportunities” to make money out of others misfortunes and/or health concerns…

            @Edward2; What phrase would you prefer I use, in the case of health service provision, “ultra capitalist” or profit without morality?…

          • Edward2
            Posted April 12, 2015 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

            You carry on Jerry
            Say whatever you like.
            Its like reading the views of someone convinced of their own brilliance whilst being stuck in a 70’s timewarp.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

          He likes the phrase ultra capitalist.
          That being anyone who has views different to Jerry.

  17. oldtimer
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    The “muddle” as you describe it is, of course intentional. It is another aspect of “smoke and mirrors”. The intention is to confuse and mislead the elctorate. In some quarters it will succeed.

    I support your wish for a more rational tax system. If we had one in place it would likely raise more tax revenues than the present mish mash which passes for the UK tax system. But rationality was tossed out of the window a long time ago in favour of gimmicks, (mostly tiny) giveaways and (mostly ineffectual) gewgaws in order to win/buy votes. The nom dom fracas earlier this week is but the most recent example.

    Even more sinister is the devlopment of the (new?) habit of politicians in positions of power, who evidently think that taxing people up to and beyond their eyeballs (calculated at c38% of GDP) is not enough. They feel the urge to go further. They have decided that they must also think up more ways of ways, through legislation, of spending other people`s money, beyond the reach of the tax system. I refer, for example, to Renewable Obligation Certificates (to transfer money from consumers to the electricity companies to spend on the politicians pet renewable energy schemes – which in turn are propped up by unsustainable tax subsidies). I refer, for example, to the scheme to tax plastic bags so that that money can be put into the pockets of the charities that the politicians approve of. I refer to the latest wheeze proposed by the Conservative Party to legislate that employers of large organisations MUST grant three days extra leave to employees who wish to do voluntary work. What business is it of politicians to be legislating in this way. This is a matter between the people concerned not for the prejudices of the political class.

    What has happened to the freedom of the individual to do as he chooses with his own money – or to rephrase it in the politically correct language of today – the freedom of hard working families to spend their hard earned income (after tax) in the ways that they choose and not how politicians choose?

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      All the parties say much the same thing as is evident from their boring election leaflets that have been coming through the door. The voting system that we have effectively disenfranchises millions of people and the country is run as an oligarchy so we should not be surprised reading the various points that you list above.

    • Martyn G
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      I entirely agree with your comments and have in something a wise Metropolitan Police Commissioner once said; “England, it may be said, is not a country where everything is forbidden except what is expressly permitted; it is a country where everything is permitted except what is expressly forbidden”.
      In other words, what is not prohibited is permitted – a basic if not absolutely accurate maxim of English law. Well, it was but I am far from sure now that Mr Cameron has signed away Habeas Corpus to the EU where, largely, only that which is expressly permitted is allowed. I wonder if yet another basis tenet of English law has been discarded without our permission or knowledge?
      However, thinking of this in connection with tax avoidance matters, since it is government that sets the rules for tax avoidance then it is by definition permitted, yet we hear politician after politician squawking about tax avoidance being awful, unfair and what they intend to do to quell it. I have to conclude that none of them have a clue as to the fact that it was they who set the rules in the first place – an worrying lack of knowledge indicative, perhaps, of a basic lack of political knowledge and common sense in those ruling this nation of ours.

      • oldtimer
        Posted April 12, 2015 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        If you read HMRC notes on their website you will find that their language is shifting to make avoidance as bad as evasion unless it avoidance of which they, HMRC, approve.

  18. Kenneth
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I cannot believe that no political party has even tried to fill the space vacated by the Labour Party where they have abandoned the working man.

    UKIP have tried to fill this space but have been marshalled into the same siding as the Labour Party, supporting the useless industries that have emerged around social care, healthcare, woman’s rights, lawyers and other professions. The working man is once again forgotten. The Thatcher government was in tune with the working man, at least for a time, and it is not too late to try this again.

    The first place to start is taxation. Someone needs to stand up and say that confiscating up to 50% of the working man’s earnings is extreme and this needs to stop urgently.

  19. Gary
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    14,000 pages (it may be closer to 20,000 pages now)of tax code is muddled. It’s a Govt grace and favours cookbook.

    whose going to address that, or are we going to play punch and Judy “distract the sheep” politics?

    make a flat tax, if you dare. The rich pay absolutely more and the poor pay absolutely less.

  20. Gary
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    how about we stop pointing out socialists and admit that this current tax code IS socialism ?

    • Gary
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      not to mention the govt rigging the property market , using taxpayers money to subsidise easy entry onto the”ladder”

      that and interest rate rigging, there is no free market to speak of. This IS socialism.

  21. Max Dunbar
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Do you mean ‘poring over schemes’?

  22. Max Dunbar
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Does someone on a ‘mega income’ pay more for a pound of butter or a gallon of fuel? And if not, why should they be forced to part with disproportionately more of their money in income tax or because they want to live in a comfortable house in a good area? Are you being true to your principles when you say that ‘of course’ these people should pay more? Labour would say exactly the same thing.

  23. behindthefrogs
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    The government needs to look more closely at other forms of taxation. The recent stamp duty changes were a missed opportunity.
    We urgently need higher bands of council tax to be implemented and single occupancy discounts removed from multiple ownerships. In fact the single occupancy discount should be reduced to a single fixed rate equivalent to that currently applicable to band C properties.
    There are numerous other small tax avoidance measures that could be removed or reduced for “millionaires”. The total of which could add up to a reasonable sum. For example winter fuel allowance should be taxed, preferably by incorporating it into the old age pension.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 8:52 pm | Permalink


      “There are numerous other small tax avoidance measures that could be removed or reduced for “millionaires””

      Such as? Why don’t you tell us what they are. Are you suggesting that those things should only be removed for millionaires but kept for others with less assets/income?

      “In fact the single occupancy discount should be reduced to a single fixed rate equivalent to that currently applicable to band C properties.”

      Yes please !!! I’d save nearly £1000 in council tax if you implemented that

      • behindthefrogs
        Posted April 12, 2015 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        A few more examples.

        Raising significantly the lower threshold for employees’ NICs and then implementing a single rate with no upper threshold.

        Stopping private schools claiming tax allowances by being charities. In fact the number of charities should be reduced so that the tax allowances only apply where there is a genuine social impact.

        Stopping household employees being claimed as business expenses. Many other household expenses are hidden as business expenses when very little business is conducted from the household.

      • behindthefrogs
        Posted April 12, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        I don’t see how you could save nearly £1000, as the difference between the band A and band C single occupant discounts are only a few hundred pounds. The main losers would be those paying council tax in the higher bands.

  24. petermartin2001
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    There perhaps need to be some consideration, as I believe there used to be in the tax codes, on the way income is “earned” , rather than how much is earned.

    Individuals who derive income from neither their labour nor their productive capital investment should be viewed much more unfavourably than either workers or the entrepreneur-capitalist who can make a substantial contribution to the economy by providing jobs to those workers.

    The word often used to describe them is “rentiers”. They have an incentive to actively discourage economic and social change in defence of their vested interests in property rights. They don’t make any contribution to human progress. They are not at all interested in risking their capital in the pursuit of economic development. Rather they look for risk free returns on land or other property they happen to own.

    Whilst not normally being included in the rentier class, I’d have to add those who make large sums of money, in normal times, by financial speculation. This is often in the form of ultra fast economic trading. There are essentially just bets that the price of a currency, a share or some commodity will rise or fall. But whenever times are not normal, their systems and algorithms for money making fail spectacularly badly . Naturally they are happy to keep their profits, but when there profits turn to huge losses which have the potential to destabilise the whole economy they have to be bailed out by the taxpayer.

    They should perhaps be treated the most harshly for tax purposes.

  25. Nick
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Then tax civil servants on the nominal value of their pensions. That will raise lots of cash. If they can’t pay, then they get their pensions cut.

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, I’m not sure what to make of the detail of this – for a start, whether it’s all of the Labour PPCs or just a sample – but it’s pretty shocking:

    “Ipsos MORI: Not a Single Labour PPC Thinks the Deficit is Important”

    Presumably they’re all going along with the new thinking that the government can just print as much money as it may want to spend.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Cameron and the Conservatives seem to think there is a magic money tree too, judging by announcements made these last few days.
      It’s hard to believe that our host agrees with them about much, other than membership of the Conservative party.

      • petermartin2001
        Posted April 12, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        “magic money tree” ! That expression again!

        It’s much worse than you think. It’s magic computers actually. The government just changes a few figures on a spreadsheet and hey presto! We have all the money we wish to create. That means no-one has to bother picking money from trees any longer.

        But, having said that, I should acknowledge that Government shouldn’t do that, even though they could do that.

        They need to get things just right. Not too much and not too little.

    • petermartin2001
      Posted April 12, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink


      OK. I’m shocked! 🙂

      There I was thinking that most Labour PPC’s might have been mugging up on Keynsian economics and had started to realise that “the deficit” (presumably the Govt’s deficit or our surplus) isn’t that important but, if our friend Guido Fawkes is to be believed, it’s more like they think its not the “most important”. That’s not quite the same thing and a little bit disappointing.

  27. Hefner
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I do not have any professional qualification in this domain. However I cannot help noticing that SightSavers (a development charity providing eye treatment for various diseases affecting eyesight) says on its web site that over a year, a monthly donation of £4 (i.e., £48 once translated in one of the African currencies) allows to pay for a cataract operation

    So what is the real price of such an operation? Who is making money out of people’s suffering? What makes such an operation in the UK by the NHS or private hospitals so much more expensive?

    And to tease some of the contributors herein, is it “leftist”, “socialist” or “marxist” to ask such questions?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      A perfectly good question. When the medical profession have a virtual monopoly and the NHS is very inefficient. I am sure you could train sensible people up to do the basic operations perfectly well in perhaps a month.

      Rather than 10 years or so.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:07 pm | Permalink


      Good question.

      I guess the answer will have a number of factors. I am assuming here because I couldn’t find any data on this. The charity performing these operations will be using volunteer medical staff ( unpaid?) They aren’t using Doctors according to the reports I could find. In the field ( no expensive, hospital, clinic etc) performing very basic operations and not fitting expensive new lenses and not using advanced laser surgery . They are also a charity of course so theres no tax to pay either.

      As to your question

      “And to tease some of the contributors herein, is it “leftist”, “socialist” or “marxist” to ask such questions?”

      Absolutely not , that is a brilliant free market, capitalist question to ask. Do we get value for money is a basic principal of free markets. State monopolies are the big money wasters.

  28. Mondeo Man
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I think Max Dunbar is having the same problem as me – responding directly to commenters.

    Doubtless this one will appear individually too !

  29. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted April 11, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Well what a day ;Oxford ladies and mens teams win the boat race, Andy Murray gets married and another great win at Aintree ( without fatalities). These are the winners and are set to be millionaires plus .It make me think of what effort their parents must have been to in order to get their children on the road to success.I hope the winning generation are acutely aware of the work which will have helped them achieve.I could also speak of similar success for the rich and how unlikely it is for one person to create wealth on their own. Tax should be fair, but if companies want to invest in any other than the Country who made them, then I personally have little regard for them.When the last third of life is entered into, for the mature, jealousy is not a piece on the chess board and maturity is needed when dealing with the fair distribution of money.

    • Margaret Brandreth-J
      Posted April 11, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      i.e countrymen who made them or the country which made them

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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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