Magic money trees

The parties that might form a coalition behind Mr Corbyn if enough people voted that way are good at offering to spend lots of other people’s money. There is a rivalry between Labour, the Greens, the Lib Dems and the SNP to see who can offer most for popular causes. They are much weaker when it comes to explaining how all this extra money would be paid for.

The favourite method they propose is to put the rate of Corporation Tax back up to 26% from the current 19%. They think this will bring in extra revenue. It has the political advantage of not directly involving voters in paying more, though of course the extent to which companies did pay it would be passed on to customers. They need to study what has happened to revenues in countries that have gone for higher corporation tax rates. The USA is puzzling over large untaxed profits sitting offshore and debating how far to lower their rate to be able to tax that money. They also need to study what has happened to the revenues in the UK since we cut the rates.It looks as if you need to cut the rate to get more tax from business, not put it up.

In 2010 when the Coalition took over the Corporation Tax rate in the UK was 28%. Total onshore Corporation Tax brought in just £30.9bn in the year 2009-10. This year with the rate down to 19%, the forecast is for £52.7bn from this source. It is true there has been an output and profits recovery since the bad days of 2009-10. It is also true that a lower Corporation Tax rate was designed to speed that very recovery, which has been stronger than on the continent over that time period partly because of the tax changes.

In the March 2017 budget the government had to up its forecast of Corporation Tax revenue for 2016-17 by £7.4bn compared to its November forecast just four months earlier! The Treasury’s combined pessimism about the growth of the UK economy and the impact of lower tax rates on revenue had misled them badly. They claimed the increase was mainly to do with a timing difference in payments. Yet if you compare the March 2016 Budget book with the March 2017 budget book, they have had to raise their forecasts substantially for several years. Their total CT forecast for 2017-18 is £8bn higher than a year ago, and their 2018-19 forecast is more than £9bn up. This looks like having the wrong model for what happens to this tax when you cut the rate. Going back to the previous March removes any distortion caused by their Brexit worries, as in March 2016 they assumed the UK would stay in the EU.

I do not think there is an easy option to raise billions by taking the UK Corporation Tax rate back up to 26%.You could end up with less and a bigger black hole in the nation’s budgets. Large companies are footloose in where they employ people, provide services and make things. They have clever lawyers and accountants working for them to comply with the various global tax authorities around the world by taking advantage of lower tax rates where possible. Even the USA has not proved tough enough to force the profits back onshore.

Published and promoted by Fraser Mc Farland on behalf of John Redwood, both at 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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148 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Raising tax rates from the current, absurdly over taxed, position in the UK would raise far less tax rather than more. It would create even more parasitic jobs for lawyers, bureaucrats and tax planners and it would kill the goose that lays the golden eggs and destroy jobs and kill productivity.

    If you increase corporation tax you reduce what a business will invest in expanding or new capital equipment or what it can pay in wages. Many businesses would be killed completely by minimum wage laws, business rates and such tax increases. If you tax they rich they either leave, work less, rearrange their affairs or they just have less to pay their gardeners and staff and to spend with outher businesses.

    If you put VAT on school fees then many go back to use state schools which cost the state more.

    From the current possition – lower tax rates will grow the tax base and raise more tax in te end. Just cut out the 50% of the bloated and largely inept state sector that does little of any use or worse.

    Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon. Winston Churchill

    Corbyne would kill it dead, May’s socialism light would just nobble it a bit further.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      @Lifelogic

      ‘Raising tax rates from the current, absurdly over taxed, position in the UK would raise far less tax rather than more’

      – I think the question of taxation is more cultural/sociological than economic.

      Sweden has relatively high taxation. They see paying for good public services as part of public duty (similar for other Scandanavian countries, Netherlands, Germany etc). They also have relatively successful economies.

      Facts

      HIGHEST TAX RATE: Sweden 60% UK: 45%
      GDP PER CAPITA: Sweden: 50K UK: 42K
      DEBT % of GDP: Sweden: 38% UK: 85%

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        Do you really think government’s spend and invest wisely as wisely as one does with ones own money buying things for yourself? Have you seen the endless waste everywhere?

        True it helps if the country has not build up large state debts, through endless government past waste and it helps if the services governments do provide are run half efficiently. The UK scores badly on all counts look at the NHS, schools, defence procurement the green lunacy and nearly everything else they run or over regulate. .

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 3, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          HS2 and Hinkley C are both a complete joke as “investments” as are all all the subsidies for offshore and onshore wind, wood fueled boilers, imported biomass and photo voltaics – just for a start.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted June 4, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          @lifelogic,

          I agree with you to a degree.

          But economic arguments are’t enough. although important, of course. More important are cultural/sociological factors (at least on this issue). So in Sweden, there is more of a mindset (at least on this issue) that paying for good public services is a good thing and working as hard as one can in public services is a good thing as well (OECD ranked Sweden no.1 in the world for health, with only 600,000 Swedes taking up private health).

          These are the facts. Therefore, Sweden is doing something right on this issue (stemming from a combo of patriotism / public duty / work ethic) which we could learn from. Sure, it involves changing mindsets. And that’s ambitious. But I’m ambitious for my country (more that we try and increase a sense of patriotism / public duty / work ethic than increase taxes necessarily – that doesn’t just affect public services like in Sweden but can benefit a country in so many other ways as well)! And that ambition is based on reality (observing what happens in Sweden) not wishful thinking.

          Regards

      • Richard1
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        Indeed Sweden does retain some very high nominal rates of tax. So high in fact that they have had to introduce special exemptions for rich people / entrepreneurs – such as for dividend income. Capital Gains are not nearly so highly taxed and Sweden has got rid completely of inheritance tax. the debt figure is indeed interesting – Sweden by law runs a balanced budget. So the kind of leftist deficit financing proposed by Labour (and by the ‘keynesian’ economics establishment in the UK throughout the years of ‘austerity’) wouldn’t have worked there. BTW they also have extensive private sector involvement in health and education. In fact Sweden’s recovery from the economic dolrums over the last 25 years is due to the Country’s having become much less socialist and more free market oriented – although it still has a way to go, and should of course cut the high income tax rates you refer to.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        ED

        If you think what you posted about tax in Sweden is a fact, you need to get out more.

        Swedish income tax is for local municipal and national tax. In the UK these are separate taxes.

        In Sweden the tax paid by the worker is only a proportion of tax as employers pay a hefty proportion of the income tax

        Sweden has a progressive income tax, the rates for 2017 are as follows:

        0% from 0 kr to 18,800 kr
        Circa 31% (ca. 7% county and 24% municipality tax): from 18,800 kr to 438,900 kr
        31% + 20%: from 438,901 kr to 638,500 kr
        31% + 25%: above 638,500 kr

        Educate yourself here

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Sweden

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted June 4, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

          @libertarian

          Granted, we can argue the details. But the big picture is that the Swedes are more willing to pay higher taxes than us in the UK for public services, and, moreover, are prepared to work relatively hard for those public services (OECD ranked Sweden no 1 in world for health in 2010, with only 600,000 Swedes taking up private health).

          My argument isn’t economic (or even political), it’s more cultural/sociological. And that is that on this issue that Swedes have a certain type of patriotism / sense of public duty / work ethic that serves them well and which we can learn from over here in the UK.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

            Most people don’t mind paying relatively higher taxes as long as that money is spent well and they love their country!

            If that money is not spent well, then of course, questions have to be raised about raising taxation. And if people don’t like paying taxes because they don’t really love their country as much as they should, then that also needs addressing as well.

            At end of day, Sweden is a capitalist country. But their relatively higher taxation system and relatively better performance on public services than other similar countries is based more on cultural / sociological factors (*patriotism / sense of public duty / work ethic) than political or economic ones.

            *Patriotism / sense of public duty / work ethic covers much more than just paying taxes and public services important as these subjects are. And the Swedes don’t necessarily score better in other areas of patriotism / sense of public duty / work ethic. But on this issue (taxation / public services) they do, and something we can learn from.

            But the REAL LESSON is how important patriotism / sense of public duty / work ethic. Overall, it’s much more important than the particular economic / political arguments of the day. And politicians have to try and work out how we increase patriotism / public duty / work ethic in our country overall.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

            ‘But the REAL LESSON is how important patriotism / sense of public duty / work ethic’

            – I meant overall. This topic is much bigger than just taxation and public services.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

            Ed

            How do you know Swedes are “willing” to pay it? As here non payment of tax is a criminal offence

            Fewer Swedes pay the highest rate of tax than do people in the UK and we pay MORE in total tax than the Swedes.

            Why Sweden as an example? Why not Singapore or Hong Kong where the services are brilliant but they pay vastly less tax yet are very patriotic and hard working?

          • libertarian
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

            Ed M

            Oh dear what happens when reality collides with opinion

            Report: 6 in 10 Swedes unhappy and believe their government is doing a BAD job !!!

            https://www.thelocal.se/20160419/six-in-ten-swedes-reckon-government-doing-a-bad-job

      • Know-Dice
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        How do you assess whether Sweden gets better (or worse) public service for their higher percentage payment?

        In any case from my perspective, I certain would not support a dogma that taxes people higher and doesn’t achieve a greater tax income…this is what we are seeing proposed by Corbyn and Sturgeon.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted June 4, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

          Let’s look at health:

          In 2010, the OECD ranked Sweden’s healthcare the best in the world (i couldn’t find more recent figures).

          Only about 600,000 Swedes have a private health insurance.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

            Let me help you there Ed, they are now 3rd.

            You do realise Swedes have to pay for healthcare on top of their taxes ?

            Patients wishing to see a doctor pay a fee that varies depending on where they live, but usually about 100-200 kronor (£8-£16) for adults. Children pay only if they go to emergency rooms, about 120 kronor. For a visit to a specialist you pay up to 400 kronor and for emergency about 400 kronor. A hospital stay costs 100 kronor a day. You usually pay the same whether you choose a private or public clinic or hospital, as long as the private clinic is connected to the general healthcare system. And most are.

            There is a limit to how much you pay for healthcare within a 12-month period. In most regions that is 1,100 kronor, but there are regions where the limit is just 900 kronor. Everything is free after that. Prescriptions are subsidised and you never pay more than 2,200 kronor in a 12-month period.

            If you are referred to an expert, you pay a lower fee of about 100 kronor. If there are recurring visits you pay each time, but only up to 1,100 kronor within a 12-month period. Some regions charge small fees for the cost of an ambulance, about 150 kronor.

            600,000 Swedes have a private health insurance – usually paid for by employers. It gives them the ability to skip the queue for procedures and operations, and to get to a doctor more quickly.

      • Hope
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        How about stop spending our taxes on useless causes before considering increasing tax! Bonfire of quangos now we are leaving the EU, start with the EA as we are now paying for their work twice in our community charge, overseas aid wasted bust the billions on consultants, a sixth spent by the EU without any reference to the U.K.! HS2 reports kept secret because of its dire position, corruption/conflict of interest, Climate Change Act- hundreds of billions wasted. With all the Oxbridge PPEs why cannot a minister add up in the govt? How about treating our taxes as if it were their money, not fiddling expenses paid for our taxes, but actually cut out Middle layers of politicos SPADS as promised, cut out mayors, police commissioners etc all huge waste of money. We are still paying for Prescott stupid regional control centers, not used, for the firebrgade! Any chance of VHS going PFI for public sector buildings?
        JR, your Mrs May blatently lied yesterday when she said the Tories were a low tax party. Over 300 tax rises since 2010, community charge add-ons to get over the cap, stealth taxes galore. She now wants our homes when we are buried but will leave us enough to pay her probate tax! What lies.

  2. Peter Martin
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    You are quite right that it is extremely difficult to tax companies’ cashpiles which are kept offshore. On the other hand if the cashpile is just sitting there and doing nothing there’s no immediate need to tax it. The government can borrow it back via the banking system at very low rates of interest. Just about 1% on 10 year Gilts for example. When that company then tries to spend the money there’s then another opportunity to apply taxes.

    You are also quite right that there isn’t “a magic money tree”. It’s actually been replaced by a Bank of England computer. It’s much easier to create a few billion with a few strokes on a key pad than to actually climb ladders and pick £50 notes from the highest branches!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/01/30/bank-england-pumps-5bn-firms-20bn-banks-keep-interest-rates/

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Cash piles are rarely “sitting there doing nothing”. They are invested or deposited at banks, they then lent them on to others who invest them.

      Even if they buy a block of gold or work of art (which does sit there and do nothing) the money still goes to the seller of the gold/art who does something with the cash.

      • Peter Martin
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        @ Lifelogic,

        Of course what you say one possibility. If the bank can find creditworthy borrowers who are prepared to pay a reasonable rate of interest that’s what they will do. But if they can’t and don’t want to risk lending to those who might not be able to repay they will take the safe option of buying up US Treasury Bonds or UK Gilts. Even though the interest rate is ultra low the banks know they will be repaid.

        And of course every Treasury bond and Gilt sold adds to Government debt.

    • acorn
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Peter, the level of economic understanding on this site is near zero. JR knows how the system works and just plays commenters on his site for fools.

      As Neil Wilson says (Google the first sentence). “The quality of debate in the 2017 UK General election has been generally terrible. The Tories have been trying to push the “There’s no such thing as a Magic Money Tree” line, and falling straight into the “Don’t think of a pink elephant” problem. This line is known in economic and political circles as The Noble Lie.

      The Magic Money Tree does exist. The techies at the Treasury and the BoE certainly know how the money tree works. Alas, such knowledge devolved to the proletariat, would simply blow their minds. It is essential that the neo-liberal ruling class, as one entity, continue to preach the belief that the government’s budget process, is exactly the same as a households.

      • Peter Martin
        Posted June 4, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        You’re probably right but, at the same time, there has been a lot of criticism on this blog for the Government going to the so-called “Magic Money Tree” when QE was in full swing. The QE “tree” has yielded up some £400 bn so far.

        So it doesn’t make much sense to criticise the government for going to the tree and, later on, claiming the tree doesn’t exist. It exists alright, if that’s what you want to call it. The question is should it be picked?

        Of course none of us wants to see inflation getting out of hand again like it did in the 70’s. But we do have an inflation target of 2%. The BoE has had trouble hitting that target in recent years. It would have probably made more sense if the Govt had authorised more direct spending from QE issued money as an alternative to reducing interest rates last year. That just increased levels of private debt in the economy and we already have too much as it is.

        Reply Labour is not proposing using QE

        • acorn
          Posted June 5, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

          Peter, QE does not involve the magic money tree. A lot of people saved the leaves in a deposit account called a Gilt which paid more leaves as interest, these give free, new, leaves to pension funds mainly.

          QE takes the old leaves out of the Gilt and gives them back to the person who bought the Gilt in the first place. There is no net increase in the number of leaves in the economy apart from a few new leaves that are the were the interest payment from the Gilt wrapper.

      • margaret
        Posted June 4, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        I am sure Dr Redwood would not play us for fools. We listen to many comments and absorb many attempted slights and others thinking that they have a secrete understanding with JR, but we are grown up now and try to understand all perspectives ;those who think they know it all and those who are trying to learn.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Still 1:4 on a Tory majority, surely worth a punt for your 25%. No further deterioration than goodness, despite the best lefty efforts of the daft Manifesto, May and Hammond. I remain confident that not that many voters will be taken in by Corbyn as Father Christmas. His weak defence policy (I will render Trident worthless at a stroke), his magic money tree economics and his government will own and run everything approach. He cannot, after all, even run his own party properly let alone the country.

    A vote for Corbyn is a vote to put the country into the hands of the state sector unions. It will put the 20% who work in the state sector before the far more productive 80% who do not. We will not get out of the EU with Corbyn+Sturgeon.

    Does anyone really want a government composed of people as daft and totally misguided and innumerate as Corbyne, McDonnell, Abbott, Thornbury, Rayner & Long-Bailey? Does anyone in England want the SNP and Niccola Sturgeon to be ordering Corbyn and the UK around?

    T May’s daft socialism is quite bad enough thanks. A Corbyn and Sturgeon government would be hugely damaging.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Does anyone really want a government composed of people as daft and totally misguided and innumerate as Corbyne, McDonnell, Abbott, Thornbury, Rayner & Long-Bailey?

      And the reality of having Cameron, May, Osborne and Hunt having their hands on the levers of power was not any worse? A doubled national debt, unsustainable levels of immigration and an enfeebled police and armed forces. You are yet to see the worst of these policy errors come to fruition. For me a Corbyn government could not be any worse.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        May is a dire, daft socialist but Corbyn would kill the economy in no time at all. The money would flee just at the prospect of his lunacy. May can be smoothed out a bit, contolled or replaced.

      • Ralph Musgrave
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        There’s nothing wrong with a doubled national debt. As Martin Wolf and others have explained, national debt is essentially the same as cash. If the private sector wants to hold a larger stock of cash and it used to, who cares?

        Re the interest paid on the so called “debt”, a country which issues its own currency has complete control over the rate of interest it pays on its debt. I.e. Greece is totally different since it no longer issues its own currency.

      • Hope
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Sadly Dame, a lot of young remainers will share your view with more compassion. The PLP dislikes Corbyn but they did not vote for him.

        JR has not factored in what many us think of Cameron and his chums over the last seven years. Weasel word liar sums it up for me. Osborne basically confirming his own stupidity in office by his recent publications in his paper! Did they fulfil any target the govt told to the public? Economy, EU spending, clean up Westminster, yet vindictive towards police over Plebgate, decimating the military, instability of Lybia, mass immigration, crime and disorder, then the apocalyptic lies warning us not to vote leave using our taxes and civil service to bolster their view, even calling upon foreign leaders to make threats to us! Traitors. Not for me thank you. Corbyn only has the potential to be as bad as what Cameron actually was!

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      @Lifelogic

      Whether you like it, most voters will always vote for candidates who offer a mixture of light capitalism and light socialism mixed together. If the Tories want to remain in power for the next few decades, that’s basically all they have to remember.

      If they veer too much towards no socialism and hard capitalism, they will simply lose to Labour and we will have socialism imposed on us (but with a vengeance to ‘rebalance’ things). If Labour veer too much towards socialism, the Tories get back into power. And so on.

      But it’s not just about winning / losing elections. If politicians in the Conservatives of Labour veer too much in one direction, then they become a liability to their party at general elections, and so don’t get selected for positions of power = wasted talent.

      That’s just the reality. Nothing you can do about it. Except go along with it as best as you can.

      • Peter Martin
        Posted June 4, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        @ Ed,

        I’d agree with that. We all, even within the same political party, have different opinions on the ideal size of the state.

        Like most people, I’d prefer a mixed economy. We want a society where everyone can choose to run a business if they wish. But we also want the big players in the economy to not be privately controlled virtual monopolies. We don’t want a US style system of private health. We want an education system which works for everyone and we don’t want the life chances of children to be determined by parental wealth.

  4. alan jutson
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Wishful thinking seeking to raise more tax from Companies who can simply move Registered offices anywhere around the World.

    If you are going to tackle this movement, you need a Worldwide agreement, which would take years of argument, even if there was a will.

    The only real way to get more tax in is to get the majority to pay either through income tax, a sales tax VAT, or to tax services so far excluded, which is the way the last few Chancellors have moved.
    In all cases it is the customer who pays for the indirect sales tax on the price of the goods they purchase, hence the growth of the alternative economy.

    • David Price
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      I agree with this, there is no way really to successfully impose a tax on companies when they can simply relocate funds via transfer pricing and the like.

      To my mind a better aim would be to keep the corporate tax low but find ways to encourage and grow the bulk of income and wealth creators to come here and stay. Lower taxes. lower regulation, ready access to education and training, a pleasant environment for families and a good infrastructure and services base.

      We should be parlaying the currently successful sectors, such as finance, to incubate and develop a wider set of successful sectors across the country, not just focus on London and a few academic centres. As it is this country has allowed several strategic industries to whither while overspending and overprotecting the short-term, almighty City.

      • Peter Martin
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Governments can impose whatever taxes they choose to. If an international company has 10% of its business in the UK then it is reasonable to suppose they make 10% of their profits in the UK too.

        If they declare significantly less, the Government knows how much tax they are avoiding. It shouldn’t be beyond the wit of Govt to then workout how to counter this avoidance. If need be think up a new tax and give it a name!

        • David Price
          Posted June 5, 2017 at 3:36 am | Permalink

          Impose away, transfer pricing allows the company to move costs and profits to find the best tax regimes.

          This happened in a company I worked for which unfortunately went bankrupt and through the magic of transfer pricing had depleted the UK balance sheet where strangely enough they had left a very big hole in the pension fund.

          One government cannot know the dispersed costs and revenue unless there is cooperation between all the governments involved, which there isn’t. You just need one “uncooperative” government such as Luxembourg to defeat your plans.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      No – The only real way to get more tax in is to lower rates, simplify taxes, cut red tape, encourage the wealthy to live in, stay or come to the UK and invest here, to cut the green crap energy costs, to make the UK really competitive, to relax planning laws, cut the size of the suffocating state sector and kill many of the essentially parasitic jobs in tax, bureaucracy, legal services, HR consultancy and the likes. A largish U-turn for May/Hammond and the complete opposite of absurd Corbynism.

      Also get real freedom and choice in heath care, education, housing, vocational training …….

      • alan jutson
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic

        Face the facts, certainly I agree that lower tax rates to a degree encourages more to actually pay, because we then think it is perhaps a fair percentage share rather than penal, but all Governments are refusing to go down that route.

        My point is that rather than them come up with stupid and unfair taxation like the Social confiscation of properties, lowering IHT, garden taxes, raising Capital gains taxes, and other like minded ideas which have already been built up out of taxed income, I would sooner them actually put a penny or two on income tax and be honest about it, the tax burden is then spread across the board.

        We all know the Governments are spending too much, but politicians are not going to vote for Xmas and thus reduce their scope of interference anytime soon.

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 4, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          So Alan, graduates pay
          12% NI over £8164pa-£45,000 then 2%
          20% tax over £11,500-£33,500 then
          40% from £33,500-£150,000, plus
          3% NEST from £5876pa
          9% student loan tax over £17,775

          And you think they could contribute another 1 or 2%!

    • sunnyday
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Alan
      A cold shiver ran down my spine when I read your
      ” world wide agreement “

  5. eeyore
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Magic money trees have shallow roots and will die in the first drought. But don’t we know where the money will really come from? Borrowing, inflating, expropriating – who needs arboriculture?

    And isn’t there a general rule, that small government can be paid for by the rich but big government demands a severe general taxation on everyone.

    Interviewers have much to answer for. They love to quiz politicians sternly on their spending plans. Never do they ask what plans they have for making money: “Mr Windbag, how will you boost our national income? Give me six practical schemes your party has for increasing Britain’s wealth within one year.”

    The follow-up: “What! You don’t even have one?”

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      The money can only come from the productive or from borrowing on the backs of the productive. But the productive can move or stop producing and many will do.

  6. alan jutson
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    I see from last nights Question Time Question and Answer session that Mrs May thinks the young will be paying the Tax to provide Social Care for those who need it, and that this burden is rather unfair.

    Perhaps someone should remind her that those of us of a certain age, have been doing that all of our working lives, as that is the whole point of a scheme with Shared Responsibility and shared risk.

    Older people also pay tax, we are not exempt from it, the rates are the same for everybody.

    Other than this Social Care Fiasco, I thought she made a decent effort to explain herself.

    Corbyn by comparison was all over the place, started of reasonably well, but became a car crash eventually when put under real pressure.

    What a much better format this is when the general public ask the questions, and politicians have to give answers direct.
    Far better than the so called leaders debate which is like a screaming bear pit.

    For once I thought Dimbleby was also fair with both leaders, drilling down when he thought answers were evasive and not clear.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Young people also need to remember the amount of money the NHS spends on catering for their hedonistic lifestyles. A&E tonight will not be full of pensioners under the influence of drink and drugs. Nor will they queuing up outside the GUM clinic on Monday morning either.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      The rates are not really the same as the old tend not to be paying NI as the tend to have investment income rather than earning not that I want to give Hammond and more daft ideas.

      • alan jutson
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic

        Never understood why when you paid more years contributions than you needed to (39 years if I recall) you did not qualify for an extra amount of pension.
        Thus they took extra contributions and gave you nothing in return.

        The Government reduced the number of years for full qualification many years ago, thought that was daft at the time as well given pensions are underfunded.

    • Peter Martin
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      The Governments proposals aren’t that much different from applying high death duties on the elderly. That’s usually considered a socialist tax.

      The difference is the user pays element of the proposals. But this is just determined by luck. Who knows who will need a lot Social care and who won’t need much? In principle we could add an insurance element to the scheme, again payable at death, to even out the element of chance. This takes us back to higher death duties of course.

      I think there is something in Mrs May’s ideas that could have attracted wider political support. But she needed to be more collegiate in her approach. She doesn’t seem to be good at that!

    • graham1946
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      The real problem that no-one will address is that we are over-populated. We don’t have the infrastructure any more to cope, we’ve used it all up, yet still they want to bring in more and more. Immigrants will have children, get ill and old. The present system is just a giant ponzi scheme and one day it will collapse. Short term fixes won’t do. A serious, proper cross party discussion about the whole thing including the NHS is required, not another Green Paper from government which the opposition will just fire insults at. I wonder if their ‘consultation’ will really be broad, or yet another old cronies focus group of failures one..

  7. agricola
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Yes a law of diminishing returns seems to operate when tax rates are raised beyond what is considered by the payers to be an acceptable level.

    It struck me last night watching the Question Time interrogation of May and Corbyn that much of what they wish to achieve for the UK is not that different. What stood out was the difference in the way in which they hoped to achieve it. The Corbyn route of high taxation and state control would in my judgement defeat his goal. Bare in mind that historically it has never worked and has left us impoverished as a result. The May route of low taxation, encouragement, curbing excesses, and equality of opportunity, has a much greater chance of success, human nature being what it is.

    It is only when you arrive at the nuclear deterrent that a glaring abyss appears. Corbyn makes it obvious that he would not use it even in retaliation which effectively removes it’s deterrent qualities. Qualities that might make a maniac led country such as North Korea think twice.

    The audience seemed better balanced, if inarticulate in parts, and Dimbleby never let it get out of control. It will be a choice of philosophies on Thursday next.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      @agricola; Many in academia have cast doubt upon or have even debunked, the Laffer Curve.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 4, 2017 at 3:42 am | Permalink

        Sure, well lets try income taxes at 100% and see how many people bother going to work then! Or indeed how many people can even eat.

        Would these be the same academic experts who thought the EURO and the ERM were such great ideas? The same ones who think wind farm subsidies and importing wood from America to burn in UK power stations is such a great plan? Are they the ones advising Corbyn & Mc Donnall on their economic lunacy?

        • Jerry
          Posted June 4, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          @LL; First point, you seem to believe that the population of the USSR or GDR etc went without money! Second points, unlikely, the academic experts I’ve seen cited as debunking the Laffer Curve are from the USA.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 5, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            Serious question.

            Do you think there is a percentage of tax at which level people would seriously think about either giving up or moving elsewhere ? If so what do you think it might be and if not what would motivate people in your opinion to hand over say 98% of everything they earned?

            By the way all the “experts” that debunk the laffer curve do so on two counts

            1) They dispute where the curve point is, not that the higher the tax point the less people are inclined to pay

            2) They dispute that there is any evidence that cutting taxes increases revenues. Bit of a problem with that as there is ample real world evidence to show they’re wrong

      • stred
        Posted June 4, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Must be right then.

    • Prigger
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      agricola
      “The audience seemed better balanced” (ie The BBC audience” ). The BBC says upwards to a third of any audience is “undecided”…days away from an Election with articulate people educated to at least sixteen years of age, studied at various levels to enable them do their jobs, listened and watched for years political news and debates, read news in papers and magazines for decades, seen movies with political background themes based across the globe Undecided??????? If so, the BBC should see they have potty training before they leave the studio

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Higher rates producing less revenue is especially true when taxing the rich. They may be paying say £ 500k PA in tax so you up their tax to £ 510k. But if one in say 50 of them then decides, as a result, to leave you lose more in tax than you gain from the others plus you lose there spending, vat, businesses, skills and there cleaner, gardener, nanny lose their jobs.

  8. Richard Butler
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    If Labour wins they will engineer a Brexit reversal. Thier corporation tax policy will see firms leaving for Irealnd and this of course will be blamed on Brexit.

    Let a clarion call go out for an independent England if this happens. Timee we proper conservatives found our voice.

    I will come into politics for such a cause and do my bit.

    You would see significant disappointment in a Labour Govt as huge numbers of self framing refugees and migrants all supposedly with a perfect right to enter Corbhns Human rights beacon, pour into Britain and so Corbyns house building won’t touch the sides. The south east will become gridlocked. The starey eyed Corbyn supporter will feel betrayed on housing, the economy and taxation as Labour will never collect enough from higher earners.

    I suspect mortgage rates will rise, something alien to the young. Why the Tories have not pushed this very powerful line one can only guess.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      The one question I would have put to Corbyn on taxation: What is Eire’s corporation tax rate? If he knows it is 12.5 %, how does he justify it?

      The Conservative Party have ignored their core vote since 1990, the West Lothian question has been ignored and it has been naive in not addressing it with an English Parliament.

      I have many Scottish connections but I have come to the sad conclusion that times have changed, the vast majority of the Scottish electorate are very deluded in supporting the SNP and I would not be concerned at all if Scotland was independent of England, especially as it increasingly affects England’s future. Let us have an amicable divorce.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Dear Richard–Labour don’t have a Corporation Tax policy–When Corbyn says that any and all of his Santa Claus spending will be funded over and over again by an increase in Corporation Tax he has diddly squat idea how much will or won’t be raised, and more to the point he couldn’t care less. Unfortunately for the rest of us he has correctly worked out that this is an effective policy from his point of view because not only do most people who might vote for him not begin to understand but they just like the idea of the ghastly Corporates (same as bosses and the rich, right?) being taxed more, end of analysis–and will vote for it.

      • Monty
        Posted June 5, 2017 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        He wouldn’t be able to fund all his spending policies, including those nationalisations, out of tax increases anyway. He would have to borrow vast amounts. What would that potentially do to our economy? Over 400 billion?

    • Jerry
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      @Richard Butler; Eire already has a much lower CT regime, why have not more companies already made the move?

      • libertarian
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        Jerry

        In the EU you dont need to physically move there in order to partake of the lower CT rates. Have you not been paying attention to all the transfer pricing shenanigans of the big corporate tax avoiders?

        • Jerry
          Posted June 4, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

          @libertarian; Your point, as far as CT income to the UK is concerned, was what? Duh…

          As I said, they could have already made the move, but have not, why might that be.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

            Jerry

            Being rude and aggressive when you are so ignorant is not a good look.

            You asked why more companies hadn’t moved already to the lower CT tax regime in Dublin.

            I informed you that they HAD !!! However as members of EU they dont need to move there physically . Now thats not hard to understand even for someone like you. They set up a virtual office ( we used to call it brass plating) and then Transfer price and thereby make their profits in Dublin ( see one very famous UK based coffee chain and one global online retailer which hit the headlines last year ). The profits they make are then paid CT on Dublin rates

            Blimey Jerry you struggle with the simplest business concepts

            When we leave the EU in order to remain competitive for attracting overseas companies we would be better off having similar low CT rates to the lowest EU countries

          • Jerry
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; So you agree with me, there will be little or no difference, those companies wishing to reduce their CT exposure have already moved!

            Blimey Walter it is you who struggles with the simplest of business concepts, even more so when you are more intent in trolling rather than taking a second to think about what others actually are saying/implying.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            Doh !! Really ? You really do not understand ? Blimey you surpassed yourself.

            Has no one told you we are leaving the EU? smh

            OK, because I feel sorry for you I’ll explain. When we leave the EU companies can’t virtually operate in the same cross border way, we won’t be in the internal market any longer. So they will move physically if we raise our CT levels too high and become uncompetitive. Therefore brain of Britain, your original argument becomes invalid … do you see?

  9. Richard1
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    The message is quite clear – at the tax levels we have, receipts increase for lower rates due to the Laffer Curve effect. We have seen the same with CGT in both directions – less money in as it increased, more as it fell – and with income tax, where more money comes in from the richest following the cut in the top rate. Corbyn and other Labour spokesmen have been given a very light ride by interviewers on their assumption that increased rates would raise more revenue.

    Why aren’t we hearing about and debating the garden tax, Labour’s real secret plan to rip homeowners’ wealth from them to fund their spending binge?!

    • Peter Martin
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      How about experimenting with VAT? That could be reduced to 15%. According to Arthur Laffer this should raise more revenue. I think he could be right but I would explain it as a classic Keynesian stimulus which would get the economy moving and raise more revenue in other taxation groups too.

      The danger is that if the economy gets overheated, the Government receipts look good and politicians then think they have even more money to spend. That’s not the way to look at it. They’ll just add to inflation if they do that. The govt needs to do the opposite of what everyone does and spend more when they less and vice versa. This seems counter-intuitive at first but makes perfect sense when you think about it.

      Also politicians need to think more about WHERE money is spent. Money spent in the more prosperous regions probably will cause inflation. But won’t if it spent in the depressed regions.
      Reply The evidence implies the optimum rate for revenue raising is 20 % or higher not lower.

  10. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    With the vast majority of the population on welfare of some kind it’s not surprising that Corbyn is doing well.
    We who make a positive contribution to the tax system are in a minority.
    Gordon Brown did a remarkable job of netting the voters to make them susceptible to bribery.
    You baled out the banks by printing money so the coalition of chaos will print money to give sweeties to all.
    QE is coming back to bite you.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      ‘With the vast majority of the population on welfare of some kind it’s not surprising that Corbyn is doing well’

      – The only real way to solve this problem is for a bit of moral teaching about the 10 Commandments, love thy neighbour and public duty (Christian virtue).

      It’s the lack of Christianity in this country that is leading to all its problems both social and economic. Politicians can offer sticking plaster. Only God can really sort everything out.

  11. Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    A post I can agree with 100%

    The ragtag coalition on the left is getting far too much publicity considering they represent less than 50% of the electorate.

    This was so evident in the minor leader’s debate where the audience seemed to have been selected to represent all parties equally. This was obviously a deliberate ploy to make the night difficult for the Conservatives and UKIP.

    Are we surprised that the BBC stooped this low ? Of course not.

    Mrs May should concentrate on the “Magic Money Tree” over the last few days of the campaign as it hits all the parties on the left.

    I haven’t yet seen any figures to say if the extra money Corbyn says he can raise from the 5% of high rate taxpayers is enough to cover what he intends to spend it on ? Why not ?

    • MickN
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Facebook this morning had some posts where friends of mine had “liked” posts referring to Mr Corbyn six times dodging of the use of the nuclear deterrent and repeatedly failing to condemn terrorist groups on the QT special last night. I have just had another look and guess what? They are nowhere to be seen. Plenty of posts though saying what a great bloke Jeremy is and how that awful Mr Trump has decided to end the world. It looks like more that just the BBC swamp need draining to borrow a phrase.

      • graham1946
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Why worry? With Trident we are told it is the ultimate deterrent and therefore the issue of ‘pressing the button’ simply doesn’t arise and we have always said we won’t use it for first strike. If it’s just a weapon of retaliation, then it’s no good because by the time we come to use it, it won’t do us any good. Why all the frenzy about killing millions of people? We didn’t like Manchester, so why would we launch something designed to kill millions of equally innocent people? If it get that bad then just send a hit squad to kill the leaders. That’s a threat they might take seriously as they don’t care about their populations.

  12. Blackboard
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Labour, the Greens, the Lib Dems and the SNP money menus are educational. When these parties’ votes are counted, it will tell us which particular voters of the UK need much better schools and more intelligent teachers.

  13. Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    PS After Sturgeon’s push for ever more public spending can we have any hope that Mrs May will sort out the Barnett Formula once and for all ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Well you can certainly be sure Sturgeon wagging Corbyn will be far worse still on this issue!

      • Chris S
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        The very possibility should be enough to convince English voters to vote for the Conservatives. It certainly helped Cameron to win in 2015.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      No chance.

  14. formula57
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    All true and lessons apparently lost on Chancellor Osborne. So now we want people’s QE and lots of it. Let tomorrow take care of itself.

  15. Jerry
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Yes the Tory manifesto is nothing but a “magic money tree”, because there are no costings, and now people like Fallon expect us to believe that there will be no tax raises during the next five years of a Tory government – such a fundamental pledge would have been central to any previous Tory manifesto, now it is tacked on by whisper in the last week when a hung parliament if not defeat is looming.

    Reply It is all costed and the Income tax pledge is central and clear in the Manifesto

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Beware of what you wish for, Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbot, Thornberry et al have not even run a corner shop so how anyone economically literate thinks they can run a country successfully is beyond me.

      Odd they all represent London constituencies, all comfortably off, whilst they regard themselves the champions of the poorer regions and the less fortunate.

      The likes of Atlee, Bevin, Bevan, Dalton, Wilson, Callaghan, Healey were titans in comparison to the current lot.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 4, 2017 at 4:17 am | Permalink

        Indeed, but we still had the bonkers 98% income tax under (double first in Greats) but daft as a brush, IMF bail out, Dennis Healey. What a silly billy.

        Wilson thank goodness kept us out of Vietnam a shame Blair lacked his judgement.

        Not hard to look good against the appalling Ted Heath though. Or indeed the new Ted Heath in drag (prices and incomes policy, tax increasing, potty socialist light) (ex?) remainer Theresa May.

        Still she is alas the only option.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      @JR reply; Liar! “Income Tax” is not mentioned once in the manifesto, the only such pledge appears to be that your party if returned to government woudl keep taxes as low as possible, not the same pledge at all. Stop taking us as idiots, anyone can use the search facility of a PDF reader.

      If there had been a pledge to not raise income tax why has Sir Michael Fallon and others had to make such a pledge with just five days to go with your party loosing support. Also, even if this pledge is some how buried in the small print of the manifesto, is this not another U-Turn from Mrs May, after all she had previously scrapped the Tory parties 2015 commitment not to raise VAT, National Insurance or income tax.

      Weak, wobbly, the lady appears very much for turning, U-Turn if she wants to…

      Also you keep saying that the Tory manifesto is fully costed, anyone reading the manifesto can plainly see that there are no meaningful costings included. So (once again) please give us the link to the Conservative website were we can download the Conservatives costings publication. You won’t do so because you can’t do so, because there is no such document. Only a, now, out of date HMT “Red Book” available via the HMT website..

      Reply Withdraw your remark re liar. The Manifesto pledges raising the Income Tax thresholds for standard and higher rate tax as well as pledging low taxes.
      Government policies are fully costed and set out in the last Budget book. The social care policy is to launch a Green Paper which will then cost the options. You can’t cost the policy until you have the figure for the care cap.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        @JR reply, No I will not as a search on the phrase “Income Tax” does not return once, and what is said on tax (as it related to personal tax) is more woolly than a flock of sheep.

        “You can’t cost the policy until you have the figure for the care cap.”

        Yet the Tory party criticises the Labour party for ‘uncosted’ policy, talk about wanting it both ways, hypocrites.

        If the costings have not been done then the policy should not exist in a manifesto until the cap has been costed, nor should the existence of such a cap be tagged on afterwards because the fan has well and truly changed colour. Also remember that much of the flack came from the usually Tory supporting media.

        Now Mrs May says that she has not ruled out income tax raises…

        http://news.sky.com/story/absolutely-no-income-tax-rise-for-high-earners-say-tories-10902919

        Theresa May has refused to rule out an income tax rise, despite senior ministers pledging there will be “absolutely” no increase for higher earners.

        The Prime Minister declined to guarantee income tax would not rise despite promises to voters from her Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary.

        When asked to clarify the commitment from Boris Johnson and Sir Michael Fallon during her visit to Dewsbury on Saturday morning, Mrs May said only that the Conservatives were the “low tax party”. [..//..]

        What an utter omni-shambles of a campaign, the right-hand doesn’t even know what its own fingers and thumb are doing never mind the left hand. The Tory party has taken the electorate as idiots, now we are likely to take Mrs May and her party as fools – I say that as someone who defended Mrs May on this very site until that disaster of a manifesto, and got much flack from europhobes for doing so. I would sooner now vote UKIP, and I hate their very existence!

      • libertarian
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Oh Jerry Jerry Jerry

        Blimey my little friend you have surpassed yourself with rudeness , stupidity and arrogance …. again

        Pages 13 and 14 of the Tory Party manifesto are ALL about income tax. From a stated aim of lowering taxes, raising wages and raising income tax thresholds.

        Not for the first time you owe JR an apology. To be quite frank if I was him I’d ban you from this site as you are a dumb, annoying irksome , rude. Etc ed with nothing of value to contribute.

      • graham1946
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        You said ‘It is all costed’. So how in view of your last reply?

        We can’t get a cap for costing until after we have voted. Just shows this policy has been made on the hoof, not considered or costed. The ‘Cap’ was an afterthought after the Tories started panicking about losing support. It is ‘Trust me, I’m a Politician’ – don’t think so, we’ve been down that road too many times. Also what is the limit at which pensioners will lose their fuel allowance? Another one we will be told after we’ve voted. Fully costed? I think you owe Jerry an apology.

        Reply The firm proposals are costed and in the UK budget.The social care policy was themes for a future Green paper which will need to address the costs.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 4, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          @JR Reply; If central planks of a manifesto need a Green Papers before the policies can be costed then the manifesto is uncosted. Nor was any of this made clear at the Manifesto launch, just days after when the opinion poll support for your party fell through the floor.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Gosh Jerry you really are a cheeky chap.
        Over excited and rude many might say
        Both your pot and your kettle are now black.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 4, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

          @Edward2; Thanks for proving you have not actually read the Tory manifesto Eddie. If you have perhaps you might like to help our host out and tell me on what page and line the phrase “Income Tax” is mentioned – perhaps you could ask one of your colleagues in/at CCHQ for some help?

          • libertarian
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

            Jerry.

            Its you that hasn’t read it you did a search using one term that you chose. As you are always bleating, context is everything

            Here you go

            Page 14 deals with income tax specifically

            Just one quote

            The Conservatives will always be the party that keeps tax as low as possible and spends the proceeds responsibly. It is our intention to reduce taxes on Britain’s businesses and working families.
            By 2020, we will, as promised, increase the personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate to £50,000. We will continue to ensure that local residents can veto high increases in Council Tax via a referendum. And we will not increase the level of Value Added Tax.

            If you respond with the fact that it doesn’t use the term “income tax” specifically even though it is talking about income tax thresholds you will be laughed off this site.

            You twice called JR a liar because YOU didn’t read the document is beyond pathetic

          • Edward2
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

            It’s your turn of phrase Jerry.
            You are letting yourself down with your agressive posts.
            The argument gets lost in the noise.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “If you respond with the fact that it doesn’t use the term “income tax” specifically even though it is talking about income tax thresholds you will be laughed off this site.”

            Thresholds are not the same as tax rates, just the point at which a given rate has to be paid, a government could raise the threshold but then also raise the percentage payable, leaving -some- people people worse off – in fact is that not what Labour are saying they will do for the highest rate tax payers.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            You have the utter nerve to post that after all your rude , aggressive libel ? You blather on telling me I’m taking you out of context ….. Lol

            You specifically posted and called JR a liar…. twice , you stated categorically the Tory manifesto doesn’t mention income tax… thats what you said.. Its right there under your name where you posted it.

            It DOES mention income tax, you were wrong, you libel JR not once but twice. You told Edward 2 he couldn’t read.

            Jerry YOU ARE WRONG , theres no way out of it, you can do the normal leftie thing and try to change the goalposts but it won’t wash. You’ve been caught bang to rights.

            IT MENTIONS INCOME TAX ON PAGE 14 of the manifesto

            You are a troll and you should be banned. If I were JR I’d issue a writ against you too. You’re pathetic

          • Jerry
            Posted June 5, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

            @libertarian; No it DOESN’T mention income tax, and what it does talk about is woolly, wishing to keep tax as low as possible, why else did Mrs May refute one of her own Ministers (Fallon) when he said that income tax rates would not rise.

            Read what I said Walter, what I asked, not what you hope or think I said or meant, otherwise cite the paragraph you claim exists – in verbatim….

            The closest it come is this [page 14, second paragraph below the subheading];

            The Conservatives will always be the party that keeps tax as low as possible and spends the proceeds responsibly. It is our firm intention to reduce taxes on Britain’s businesses and working families.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 4, 2017 at 4:26 am | Permalink

        But NI is, as we all know. just another income tax (just as Probate Tax is just another Inheritance Tax – the name is irrelevant).

        Hammond and May clearly wanted to increase NI recently. They probably will do post the election, as they are clearly addicted to daft, grand, vanity projects, the green crap, often corrupt overseas aid, augmenting the feckless, the unworkable NHS and endless bloated government waste everywhere.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted June 5, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

          They did raise NI recently.

          The upper earnings limit was raised by £2000 to £45,000 in April costing £200 per year

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      The Tory manifesto isn’t costed – it doesn’t say what the cap on social care costs is so it is impossible to calculate by how much the state will have to top them up.

    • Peter Martin
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      It may be possible for a small council to do the kind of detailed costings that are being demanded but it’s impossible for central government. The council’s income is largely independent of its spending. But this isn’t the case for central government.

      If we recruit a police officer he may be paid £30k p.a. But he/she then pays back £10k in tax and NI to govt. He/she spends the rest and the Govt’s VAT and other taxation receipts increase too. There’s a strong multiplier effect. So what’s the cost? £30k p.a, £20k pa, £10k pa or nothing at all?

      • graham1946
        Posted June 4, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Sounds like a Brown theory, where he put millions on the government payroll with the idea that it doesn’t cost anything. Trouble is it isn’t true and taxes have to cover it.

  16. Richard1
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I’ve just read Donald Trumps statement, about which the world is up in arms. But no-one seems to be addressing the simple, straightforward points Mr Trump made. Ed Miliband had 10 minutes of prime time on Today yesterday, though he was puffed up with righteous indignation he was not asked by the BBC whether any of the following points made by Mr Trump are true regarding the Paris agreement:-

    – it will cost $1-2 trillion pa from 2030, ramping up until then. all the money actually committed is to come from developed countries, a hugely disproportionate amount from the US. It is a wealth redistribution scheme by another name;
    – the Science tells us that the actual effect on the climate of full implementation of the agreement will be c. 0.2C by the end of the century – ie a negligible benefit though for huge cost
    – whilst huge energy restrictions are placed particularly on the US and to a lesser extent on Europe, there are no such restrictions on countries such as India and China, meaning we will simply see a transfer of emissions to those countries
    – the ‘business case’ for channelling billions to green industries which wouldn’t otherwise exist is bunkum – the money obviously comes from alternative uses. Either the Paris agreement saves the word from global warming – and no-one seems to dispute it does no such thing – or there is no point to it.

    Could the BBC and other media please ask all those virtue signalling protestors at Mr Trump to address the actual points he has made.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      No chance at all of the BBC (and the absurd Roger Harrabin a Catz English graduate) taking a sensible line on this at all. Real science, logic, economics, risk reward, competitive markets and engineering are a complete mystery to nearly all sraff at the BBC.

      Daft, lefty art graduates almost ever single one of them.

      Trump is quite right on this and the Tories should scrap the absurd Climate Change Act too. Renewables are just fine if and when they are cost effective. Then they will need to subsidies, government interferrence or a sloped pitch.

    • Bob
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      @Richard1

      “Could the BBC and other media please ask all those virtue signalling protestors at Mr Trump to address the actual points he has made.”

      Hell will cool to -50° before that happens.

      The BBC is fully committed to Agenda 21.

    • Bad Nature
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Richard1
      I agree. No-one has bothered in our media, nor any of our politicians, to as much as question his figures, even to deny them. Instead they just prattle on about “The Greatest Threat to the World “Climate Change. Well I personally have news for the Climate Change Waco Cult. ….Our climate never was nice!. If people really screw their eyes up and try very hard to see through their rose tinted spectacles they will see humans have to defend themselvwes against the nasty climate ALL the time. They live in houses and flats to protect themeselves from wind , rain, cold, heat. Sometimes they paint their flat roof white because of the sun beating down mercilessly. They spend their time risking their lives digging up coal,cutting down woods, reacting odd molecules just to stop them from freezing to death courtesy of “Mother” Earth.
      She needs banging up in the slammer for a thousand years! Then put on openspace and open to the elements arrest.

  17. Mark B
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    All political parties are being generous with what is other people’s money. And it will not end well.

  18. Lifelogic
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Finally some “we will not increase income tax” messages from Micheal Fallon. About time the Tories are a party of lower taxes or they are nothing.

    In the next 5 days they need to get this message accross. The message that despite May, Hammond & Osborne, the NIC fiasco, the IHT threshold ratting, the probate IHT tax II, the increases to IPT, the attack on pension pots and state pension, the absurd Stamp duty rates, the mugging and landlords and tenants, the attacks on the gig economy and the rest – they really are for lower tax rates and a larger and growing tax base.

    If they were for deregulation, sensible employment laws and cheaper energy too even better.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Also to bang home the message that Corbyn & Sturgeon’s huge increases in tax rates and magic money tree agenda will actually raise less revenue not more, will destroy jobs and kill the economy in very short order.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Dear Lifelogic–Best I understood, Fallon said “absolutely” no rise in Income Tax over this Parliament–What am I missing?–Why if it’s absolute is it not in the Manifesto??

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        It should have been in the Manifesto. Cutting the winter fuel, fox hunting, dementure taxes, cutting the triple lock should not have been. The Tories keep saying “they are at heart a low tax party” but they have increased taxes hugely since the appalling John Major and his predictable ERM fiasco many moons ago. This continued by IHT ratter Osborne and would be “self employed mugger” Hammond.

        Just saying we want low taxes while endlessly putting them up simply will not wash, they have to actually deliver for a change. Stop all the damn waste.

  19. a-tracy
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    They can’t spend the same pound twice.
    If they put up nmw/now costs and pay differentials, reduce four days trade with public holiday close downs, increase holiday pay, nest, employers ni (and we’re still yet to hear if they will be putting up employers ni for having the audacity to actually build and grow a business and hire people) then corporation tax will reduce and as I said you can’t spend the same £1 twice. As for “small businesses complained last time and employment has gone up” the rate was set low and has incremented gradually and carefully allowing business to adjust – this is a massive increase of 25% and will have repercussions because not all small businesses will be able to comply.

    Consequences of the nmw and extra employment taxes has been the rise of the gig economy which brings in even less money to the exchequer. The danger is our young people without experience believe he’s planted the money tree and they won’t be the ones paying.

  20. Car fear
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    The UK will suffer more if it does start educating its people politically.

    We should be worried that so many people on whom we depend are nevertheless wholly susceptible to Corbyn rant, pant and chant speeches or who buy into blaming their miserable lives on the English. Are you not worried to have your car brakes serviced, tyres changed with wheels balanced by someone who votes for a politician who says “The rich get richer the poor get poorer, this is the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Millions of our people are starving”
    Personally, I live in a Labour area and I’ve just enrolled on a car maintenance course with my local college.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Alas UK schools, the BBC, teachers and the exam system largely ram a left wing, big state political agenda full of climate alarmism, greencrap and government know best drivel down the throats of our children.

      Can we just teach them Maths, Physics, Engineering, Science, Logic, Finance, Business and some sound Milton Friedman, real economics to them please.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        Dear Lifelogic–History would be good too–Nobody much says this sort of thing (anymore) but half the problem with immigrants is that they don’t know the First Statute of Westminster from Rorke’s Drift, to the detriment of our National identity–On the other hand splashing paint around in so-called Art is a silly waste of precious school time. Why Physics separately but not Chemistry? “Science” as a school subject is OK I suppose but, just as with Mathematics, I’d prefer separate subjects in their own right where possible as against a sort of slush.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted June 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          Post Scriptum–And Latin of course, so people can speak English (Yes I know Churchill thought otherwise)

          • Dennis
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

            Not just speak English but understand it too – I haven’t come across a singles politician, including Farage, Boris, Nuttall, Clegg etc. etc. who understands what was written on the side of that bus.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        ‘Can we just teach them Maths, Physics, Engineering, Science, Logic, Finance, Business and some sound Milton Friedman, real economics to them please’

        – What about English Literature, Music, History and Languages?!

        People with the arts go into marketing, communications, media, and so on. A huge part of our economy!
        It’s also about culture. No culture means unhappiness. Unhappiness breaks up family life and society and patriotism. And this all impacts on the economy in general as well.

        (Just as we need science and maths etc for culture as well not just for the economy).

        Are you a utilitarian? If so, I strongly believe utilitarianism is flawed.

        “Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts; nothing else will ever be of any service to them.”
        ― Charles Dickens, Hard Times

    • Jerry
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      @car fear; I don’t give a flying fig what someone’s political views are, it is their ability to do the job that counts, if they have been properly and fully trained, thus have proper insurance cover etc.

      As for your last sentence, what a laugh, considering the likelihood that the person who will teach you how to check your washer fluid level and tyre tread depth will be the same person you’ve just slagged off, mostly those who teach such DIY classes are not the same staff who train indentured apprentices but those who work in the trade during the day and then teach people like you for not much more than the love of it in the evening.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 5, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Jerry

        I’m not sure I agree with your view on colleges.

        In the college in which I’m on the board of Governors, plus the other 8 colleges in my region the Vehicle Maintenance & Technicians course is a full time course taught by experience technicians with full teaching qualifications and the graduates from those courses are highly sought after. There is a shortage of qualified vehicle technicians and our graduates can earn between £30-£48 k with a manufacturers main dealer.

        I assume ( you may be right) that you felt car fear was talking about an adult education class rather than a proper college course

    • Bob
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      @Car fear

      “I’ve just enrolled on a car maintenance course “

      I hope you’ve checked out the voting intentions of the tutor.

      Based on the dumbed down standard of work at many garages nowadays, I think you make a good point.

  21. Ale Bro
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I would also add that I don’t think that blaming clever lawyers and accountants for developing rational tax strategies is a true defence against poorly thought through legislation.

    Parliament continues to pass ridiculous laws – for example there was a recent rule change for e-liquids limiting the amount of vape juice that can be sold to 10 ml. This law has only just come into effect, but has already been completely circumvented by the industry.

    The situation for vapers is that they can still buy liquids in any quantity – as long as the liquid doesn’t contain nicotine. The nicotine is now sold separately and added to the e-liquid post sale in the shop, so a vaper can still walk out of the shop with a legal purchase of 50 ml of e-liquids. Similar work arounds exist for the sale of tanks > 2ml.

    I really don’t have any hope that Parliament can pass tax legislation that is fair or reforming, as long as MPs continue to have literally zero understanding of taxation rules. I remember Gordon Brown’s notorious budget when he abolished the 10p tax rate – he presented a clear open goal for Conservatives to score in, but none of them took the opportunity to point this out in the budget debate when it was pretty obvious to anyone with an ounce of experience in tax that this was in reality a tax increase on the lower paid. It took a few days for the penny to drop and a U-turn was forced, by the media and not by Parliament.

    • Monty
      Posted June 5, 2017 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      It’s stupid anyway, because the vapour pen method (e-cigs) is currently aiding over a million British smokers to quit. I’m one of them.

  22. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I’m ambivalent about CT tax reduction. If my company breaks even, we won’t pay any at all, although we would have paid huge taxes in the form of employer’s NI and business rates. Furthermore, although capital investment has reliefs, buying stock in anticipation of good orders is fully taxed.
    If the government wants to stimulate business, don’t reduce CT (which significantly benefits already quite well off shareholders) but remove stock in hand from the CT calculation and reduce employer’s NI.

  23. paulW
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Looking at the BBC programme last evening I think that Corbyn is coming across as the more credible. Mrs May, on the other hand, is looking shifty, devious and defensive. So its come down to this now- who to believe? With the Tory plants in the audience introducing red herrings into the debate like the nuclear deterrent and the IRA the public can see through and knows that there’s only so much muck that can be thrown. I would not normally vote labour but given the Tory sleight of hand as shown by their abysmal manifesto this time it’ll be anything but conservative- time for a grand coalition

    • libertarian
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      paulW

      Did you not listen to Corbyn last night?

      BAME minorities, We will make it illegal to put your name, experience and qualifications on a job application……. LOL

      New NMW £10 hour Yes we recognise that this will cause hardship for 3 million small businesses so we will give them tax breaks ….Lol

      Zero Hour Contracts… We agree that a majority of people on ZHC wish to remain on them so we will make employers state exactly how many hours you have to work each week… LOL lol

      On nuclear deterrent … If someone fires a nuclear weapon at the UK me and Diane will have very strong words with them…… ha ha ha ha ha

      credible ……. OK

  24. Mick
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Watched QT last night and there’s only one true leader Mrs May to lead our great country, I wouldn’t trust corbyn and his cronies as far as I could throw them, as for defence of our country how can you trust a man who wouldn’t retaliate if some one nuked us, the guy is a danger to our country along with all the other muppets and snowflakes

    • james neill
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Mick, how is it that the people of Finland Sweden Luxemburg and Portugal etc can all live their lives peacefully without thinking that other countries are out to nuke them? This is all nonsense scare mongering just the same as bringing up the business of the IRA nearly two decades after the peace accords were signed in Belfast- doesn’t make any sense

      • graham1946
        Posted June 4, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        James

        Exactly. There are, I think, 7 nuclear nations in the world and more than 200 without. The ones without, tend not to get threatened. I know about the Russians, but they see it as in there sphere and the threats came from the EU. Chucking your weight around the world because you feel secure is the way to be threatened.

        The main aim is of Trident is to keep the American and British arms manufacturers in the style to which they have become accustomed.

      • Dennis
        Posted June 4, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        james neill – they can do that because they are very good at not making enemies. Making enemies is one of the UK’s very strong skills the export of which does not make money but costs us dear – so clever, no?

  25. rick hamilton
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    The voters might be better off asking the party leaders not what they would do if elected but what have they actually done in their careers which makes them fit to be the head of a government?

    In almost all cases except T. May the answer would appear to be: nothing.

  26. sunnyday
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Magic money tree is yet another useless “soundbite”
    ( soundbite being a soundbite too )
    Your mortgage is going to go up ( insert figures )
    This affects you young people, oldies having paid it off.
    You’ll get your Yoonie fees paid
    but you wont have a job when you come out.
    There is good and bad in Lab & Cons
    This election is about and only about Anti Globalisation
    You/We have a week to “wake up ” the “sheep”

  27. Antisthenes
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Even if the Conservatives win the general election with or without an increased majority it will be with less than a 50% vote of the electorate which tells us that the majority of us favour left wing policies. Despite the overwhelming evidence that they only lead to impoverishment and the ruin of any nation that embraces them too enthusiastically. This sad state of affairs is mirrored by most states to a greater or lesser degree. Those with a greater degree we watch decline rapidly or have failed completely and those with a lesser degree decline slower but the destination eventually will be the same. Impoverishment.

    It appears many peoples of the world are all going to socialise their societies to the point of self immolation and keep doing so until they recognise the error of their ways. The West currently is determined to do so and the possibility exists that the UK is shortly going to be one of the foremost countries to embrace this masochistic tendency.

  28. graham1946
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Why is it so difficult to tax big concerns? The argument is that they simply put their money offshore or they will go abroad. Surely if you are of this tax raising mindset a simple sales tax would be the easiest way raised at the till or invoice. Small businesses could be easily exempted.

    The big internationals don’t want to fund the services they use like roads, police, education of their employees and the myriad other things we taxpayers provide and they are shameful in their free loading. They soon want the fire service to turn out if they have a fire though, for instance. It should be a case that if you make money out of the British people who have worked hard and paid their taxes then you pay some back to them. If not, you are no use to us and may as well go. Simply employing people here on low wages is not good enough, so they can’t say they pay taxes through the payroll – that is part of their employees compensation package and not a business tax. NIC goes towards their benefits etc. which a lot of firms rely on to pay low wages. Whichever way it goes, the taxpayer will pay anyway, these things are never absorbed, so why not just put a penny or two on income tax and be done with it if that’s what they want. It all amounts to the same in the end.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Having written the above, I see Alan Jutson said the same thing earlier. Don’t always read through all this stuff as lots of it is just cut and paste from earlier comments anyway, especially one contributor who says the same thing almost every post.So fair play Alan, I agree with you.

    • Chris S
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      “Surely if you are of this tax raising mindset a simple sales tax would be the easiest way raised at the till or invoice”.

      We already have a sales tax : it’s called VAT and the rate is far, far too high at 20%.
      That should be enough for any government but, of course, they are all greedy for more, hence Corporation Tax but that doesn’t work for companies like Apple and Miicrosoft.

      The only way to tax these companies properly is to forget Corporation tax and charge them a tax at the factory gate and on arrival in the UK for overseas manufactured products. This “Turnover Tax” would be chargeable on the ex-factory invoiced price and would ensure that a proper and identical rate of tax was paid on everything sold in the UK.

      Unlike VAT, it would have to be irrecoverable. If a company was unprofitable they would have to stop importing or selling goods in the UK.

    • anon
      Posted June 4, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Some ideas to tax transnationals. Websearch “towards unitary taxation”

  29. Bert Young
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    If the opportunity to to better and achieve is there , those who can and wish to respond will do so . This mantra has been the case as far as I can remember – and that’s going back quite a while !. Low taxation is the key to this approach .

    Corbyn believes that everyone should be the same and be treated the same ; he is obviously no biologist and does not understand human nature . In every community there are layabouts and others who want something for nothing ; everyday reports appear in the media of all kinds of cheats who contribute nothing but take a lot from the public purse ; this situation must be stamped out and made impossible .

    The ” Question Time ” event was more of a score for Theresa than it was for Corbyn . His ” refusal to commit to the red button ” went down like a lead balloon and exposed just how unreliable he would be in No. 10. Theresa is not comfortable in front of an audience and was not able to explain away that her manifesto had cost her popularity . By and large she was the winner of the occasion and ought to recover some of her lost ground .

  30. Tony Sharp
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    It is interesting that JR introduces his piece with a deserved analysis of the Labour/Lib Undems/ SNP/ PC expenditures which have been “fully costed” but of course cannot be ‘fully paid for’ under their proposals (UKIP is passed over I hope because it does not fall into these errors). JR then moves to and closes with the Treasury’s model(s) and mis-predictions. When I took up my first professional appointment over 30 years ago with Big4 – actually No1- Consultancy in the City of London and spent time having to advise businesses over the next 20 years on national economic policy and engaging with Whitehall, it struck me that the principle Opposition to any Government in the UK was the relevant Governeent Department with a Treasury watchdog constantly supplying contrarian policy to rational sense. The measure of good government and political leadership I suggest is to have politicians who have had a thorough grounding in the real world, rather than ‘bag carrying’ or ideological careers (or wholey in academia) to inject reason into the administrative machine.

    • pleb
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      or, as was, a civil service that served whoever was in power impartially without the need for paid outside advisory bodies open to corruption and nepotism.

  31. Happy Christmas
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    “Wouldn’t it be nice” Trump said at his 10,000 people rallies in regard to Russia “If we could get on together, wouldn’t it be nice?!” Similarly
    Wouldn’t it be nice if Theresa May, brought up in a vicarage, would say “Wouldn’t it be nice if we stopped enticing NHS workers here from poor countries in the EU,and name them.Latvia, Estonia, Portugal, Lithuania, Croatia , Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, and allow their grandparents medical care and the minimum of respect and dignity in their old age,to stop gloating like a Corbyn how they are here and not there? Wouldn’t it be nice?!

  32. jack snell
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    There will come a night in march 2019 when operations will come to a halt in the sea ports and airports throughout the land – this will be the crash out – can’t see it any other way – so better stock up with your favourite foreign eu food and other items before this happens and then hunker down for a few years until a new path is ironed out. For if anyone thinks that the brexit negotiations are going to be conducted to a successful outcome by Mrs May, Davis, et al, in the short period allotted of eighteen months? Well its all just too fanciful- much better to believe that there could be some truth in the tooth fairies and magic money trees after all?

  33. Abendrot
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Yes it would, Happy Christmas. I thoroughly agree with your sentiments. I suspect, but have no evidence to hand, that one of the reasons for shortages is the emigration of qualified practitioners to more salubrious climes, not long after they’ve acquired accreditation here. I’ve long thought that we ought to have a more nuanced further education policy. Why not offer bursaries in selected degrees – medicine, science, engineering, IT, to name a few – and attach a handcuff contract, the time depending on level of bursary, so that the taxpayer here gets some benefit from the cost of providing said courses?

    • anon
      Posted June 4, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Indeed we should, and we should be ensure we aim to have a “surplus” and a strong base supply.

      Restrictive practices to manage supply to benefit incumbents should be openly challenged.

  34. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    What the hell is going on with education in this country? My daughter has no idea about politics and says she has no time to even look at the TV or follow it in the papers even though she only works 2 days a week and my son, who is at UNI tells me that his last exam will not be a problem as it is his weakest module and he only has to achieve a 40% pass mark to keep him on track for his 2.1. Whatever happened to either pass or fail????

    No wonder standards have gone down. Both me and my husband have had careers when to achieve our qualifications it was a minimum of 65% for a low pass or above. Even then we considered that 65% was pretty poor but more than achievable. Even the driving test is easy today with multiple choice questions. We need to get real in this world.

    • Monty
      Posted June 5, 2017 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      That was before Blair decreed that 50% of our youngsters should go to University. And before Project 2000 ensured that all of our nurses should be degree qualified.

  35. John
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    You know, John, it would be good if you spoke of England in this electioneering. Yesterday you discussed road transport, which is a devolved issue, and not once did you point out that it was English roads you were talking about. A subject, amongst many others, that the Scots, Welsh and N.I. will have a say on in England but not for their constituence in Scotland, Wales and N.I. because that is up to their own parliaments.

  36. Ed Mahony
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I think that any Tory that doesn’t quickly endorse Paris Climate Agreement and condemn Trump for his decision is going to look more and more out of touch with the business community in general (let alone the scientific community), and eventually, a dinosaur.

    Here’s an interesting article by Martin S. Feldstein and N. Gregory Mankiw. Feldstein was the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan and Mankiw was the chairman under President George W. Bush.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/08/opinion/a-conservative-case-for-climate-action.html?_r=1

  37. pax
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Cons will win with a majority, am willing it.
    They’d better reform though.
    Not right/left reform. Not rich/poor. Not Muslim/Christian
    But on an anti globalism crusade.
    After the election it wouldn’t take long for someone to knock out some info on
    “the agenda”
    Estimate 90% of Con MPs are in the dark.
    9% are on the dark side.
    1% are in the know.
    Figures much less on the Corbyn side, many are in the know.
    They unfortunately have unsound economic policies.
    The other Blair part of Labour are all on the dark side.
    General population in the know much higher.
    Am signing out now till after the election.
    Don’t lower your vibe with the likes of Jerry.

  38. Colin Hart
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    No amount of extra taxes will raise the money Labour needs to fund its increased expenditure. They will have to borrow. In order to borrow, they will have to offer sceptical lenders high interest rates. So all interest rates will rise. Good news for elderly savers who have paid off their mortgages. Not such good news for younger homeowners who will see their mortage payments ballooning.

    Why aren’t the Conservatives saying this?

    • Monty
      Posted June 5, 2017 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, why aren’t they referring us all to the devastating impact on businesses and mortgagees, of crazy interest rates. The business foreclosures, the negative equities, the bailiffs, the evictions. The dreadful logic of debt, that will never leave you because you took out a 200K loan on a house that is now worth 70K , and the repayments are more than your salary. But you still owe 200K.

  39. Chris S
    Posted June 4, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I see that McDonald is planning on planting a whole new forest of Magic Money Trees to fund his latest wheeze : a plan to cut VAT.

    We all want to see VAT cut – it should be halved at least – but that could only done by a sensible government that has taken a very heavy axe to its spending.

    Corbyn and Co are planning on doing precisely the opposite. I thought that Labour would have learnt the lesson of the Brown years and Milliband’s failure but clearly not.

    We now have a complete shambles of an opposition who, if elected, would be sleepwalking into a financial crisis of the like we haven’t seen since Denis Healey had to call in the IMF.

    I for one don’t want to see Christine Lagarde sitting in 11 Downing Street calling the shots.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 4, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      A heavy axe has already been taken to spending, just the wrong things,like police, defence, NHS, education, whilst money is sprayed around on nonsense like HS2, Hinckley and Overseas Aid and paying private railway firms to make a profit.

      Why is cutting VAT somehow different to other taxes? There are reams of theories on this site about Laffer etc and cutting taxes producing more money.

      Is it only cuts for the wealthy that produces more? Surely if the VAT is cut, more spending will take place and whilst the lost VAT will never be shown it will come back in Corporation Tax (where they volunteer to pay it) and higher GDP, eventually higher wages and thereforw income tax and the reduction of ‘in work’ benefits for to the low paid which are merely a subsidy to any employer not willing or able to pay the proper rate.

      Reply Laffer does apply to VAt but at a higher rate than 20 % Laffer applies to 28% CGT which is clearly above the revenue maximising rate because CGT is More easily avoidable and the rate is higher than the VAT rate.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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