Spending the £39 bn – cutting VAT

Once we take back control of our money and laws we can review the incidence and level of VAT. It becomes a UK tax on 29 March next year, after years of it being an EU imposition.

I have set out before my wishes. Surely most can agree we should abolish VAT on green products. We wish to encourage people to have more draught excluder and insulation, and to have better controls on their heating systems, yet the EU charges them top rate VAT on it all. Lets simply abolish it.

I would also like to see us abolish VAT on domestic fuels. Fuel is expensive, and hits those on lower incomes particularly hard. Successive governments say they want to tackle fuel poverty. The best contribution they could make would be to remove the tax on fuel.

We should also abolish VAT on female hygiene products.

These changes would create some loss of tax revenue, but are easily accommodated within the savings of £39bn if we leave without giving the EU a present. I set out the costings of all this in the Brexit budget I offered as an illustration of the scope prior to the referendum.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Giving people and business a little more money encourages them to spend it elsewhere and create jobs and wealth from it.

    Remove VAT from hot food. Why should VAT be charged because the temperature of the same product is different ?

    VAT, or purchase TAX is actually a good and clever tax argue. You don’t have to pay it until you spend and when you do it allows the government to get some money. This means that if the economy is not growing then government has to pull in its purse strings.

    • eeyore
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      Very true. But as a non-progressive tax on consumption VAT bears hardest on those who spend the greatest proportion of their income, the poor. This has the unhappy result of ensuring the very poorest pay more of their incomes in tax than anyone else.

      Next government hands back the money as benefits, a peculiarly effective way of damaging the self-respect and morale of those already low on those desirable characteristics. Who can doubt that resentment rises in line with dependency?

      For this reason I support JR’s suggested tax cuts which will, to some small degree, get government off the backs of the poor.

      • Richard
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Well said. Cutting Customs Duty on Food, clothing & footwear is another big help. Just let the poorest keep more of their own money!

        This may explain why David Smith’s report (tentatively) concluded on P10 that: “Fourth, a VAT reduction may be more effective in achieving desirable policy goals than [even] an equivalent reduction in the standard rate of income tax.” http://www.politeia.co.uk/wp-content/Politeia%20Documents/2018/David%20B.%20Smith/David%20B.%20Smith,%20'The%20Brexit%20Settlement%20and%20UK%20Taxes‘.pdf

        • Hope
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

          JR, once more you state £39 billion. Where is this figure shown in either of the Withdrawal Agreemnt of White paper. The first allows the EU to take sums of money at intervals it chooses without an end date! There is no set figure, no set term or set dates when it will be collected! All left to the EU to decide! A blank cheque forever!

          There is no mention of U.K. assets, why not? How about U.K. cash in ECB, about £9 billion is it not? Davis said the figure agreed in principle includes all U.K. assets. That is £100 billion. Again, the papers do not state if the add ons are included, for example the EDF at £3.75 billion a year. The public needs and demands a written itemized amount wi a declaration confirming its accuracy as the civil service were caught stating May’s dishonest KitKat policy to hide true costs and ties to EU. Why does the U.K. have to give EDF to the EU to spend as it likes! Is May completed bonkers with out taxes?

          Peter Hargreaves writes in the DMail today that he bets his wealth on a free trade deal. He also is of the view leaving without a deal is the best option.

          May wrong to criticize Boris Johnson on Full face veils, he is spot on. Read the whole article and the context, not isolated parts out of context. However, half-wit May forgets she had collective responsibilty under Cameron to support a ban on hoodies! There is nothing offensive by wearing a hoodie both men and women of all ages wear them. Let her explain why she would ban a hoodie and not a burka? Does she ever think or remember before she speaks?

          • Hope
            Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

            I suggest the reason the Withdraw Agreement is left blank on the sums of money to be taken by the EU, at intervals it chooses and over what time period it chooses is to hide the true costs from the public. This is underhand and lacks any form of transparency or openness required for any account or audit. How is it possible in law to audit an unknown sum to be taken at any interval time over any time period?

            This should never be agreed it should be voted down. How can a document like this be made legal without the total sum included, intervals to be taken and over what time when there is no legal liability to pay it at all!

            Again, has May, Robbins and Raab, for proposing this disgraceful document lost Leave of their senses?

      • Richard
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Well said. Cutting Customs Duty on Food, clothing & footwear is another big help. Just let the poorest keep more of their own money!

        This may explain why David Smith’s report (tentatively) concluded on P10 that: “Fourth, a VAT reduction may be more effective in achieving desirable policy goals than [even] an equivalent reduction in the standard rate of income tax.” http://www.politeia.co.uk/a-40bn-boost-for-the-uk-economy-by-sheila-lawlor/

  2. oldtimer
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    These are good ideas. Meanwhile Mrs May continues to flog her dead horse misleadingly called the Chequers Agreement. The Conservative party needs another leader and PM with an entirely different mindset. One who is prepared to accept and implement the referendum result without the misplaced arrogance of the present incumbent.

    • HarveyG
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Oldtimer..am afraid they all have ‘arrogance’ stamped all over them..placed or misplaced..Mrs May is on her way out now all she needs to do is slam the door on Brussels and thereafter others will be waiting in the wings to take up the reins of the dead horse..but how far a dead horse is going to travel..I have my doubts.

  3. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Vat at its present rate is too high on everything. It is surprising how a bill mounts up once the vat is added. I certainly agree with your examples where it should’ve excluded altogether. Fuel for heating is not a luxury and neither are female hygiene products. If we continue to be a member of the EU I am sure they will take control of other taxes eventually.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      VAT on domestic fuel and VAT on female sanitary products were both Conservative introductions (1993 and 1973 respectively), and it was also a Conservative government which voted for the EU rule on not being able to rescind VAT where applied (that government could have vetoed the proposal but chose not to). There are proposals currently with the EU commission to change this and permit new zero ratings.

      It is worth noting that Ireland has no VAT on female sanitary products and Ireland is subject to the same EU VAT rules that the UK currently is, so the current situation is down to the actions and choices of those in Westminster, not Brussels.

      It is also worth noting that VAT was introduced by the Conservatives at a higher level than is set at present (8% and 15% respectively) and was lowered to 5% by Labour when they were in government.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        Peter. Interesting.

  4. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Always nice to spend 39bn by not paying what is due to the UK’s scapegoat. The UK, which caters for the wealthiest and 9 of the 10 poorest regions in northern Europe could well do with a scapegoat and the distant EU is in no position to defend itself. Still curious that the rest of northern Europe is prospering well inside this “scapegoat”.
    For some good news, Ireland will soon be able to tap into the 30bn CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) which will also invest in direct shipping lines between Ireland and the ports of Belgium and the Netherlands, enabling more direct trade between Ireland and the wealthy continent.

    • UK
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Peter VAN LEEUWEN

      C’mon EU official spokesperson! The EU is unbelievably rich ongoing. You know that. 39bn is a mere drop in the ocean of its utter depair. It would only fritter it away on baubles,tinkets, gravy trains for the bribable, and wind turbines.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        @UK: compared to the UK GDP 39bn isn’t very large either, especially if you can pay it spread over some years.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        @UK: 39bn, a small amout when compared to the UK GDP. Paying it over several years only makes it smaller

        • Edward2
          Posted August 8, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

          Well if it is a small amount of money I suggest the UK keeps it free for domestic spending.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 8, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

            Free?…..should say here

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink


      ‘invest in direct shipping lines between Ireland and the ports of Belgium and the Netherlands’

      The EU needs to focus on how to deal with the massive problem of Greece (and other parts of Europe). Meanwhile, it needs to seriously think about reforming – in particular, stripping itself of its political power. In fairness, it can take some credit for the development of Europe into a relatively strong, stable economic region (but international trade / capitalism has also played a key role). But things are a lot different now to Europe 40 years ago.

      I think an EU stripped of its political power, but where Europe still has very close economic (and cultural and security) ties makes the best sense for all now – Netherlands, the UK, Europe as a whole.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

        @Ed Mahony: Greece – yes, but Ireland is related to Brexit. Most (all?) countries want a measure of political power for the EU, falling well short of turning it into a USE.

    • paul
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      But not the nearer to Ireland, French ports! Why is that you think. I personally look forward to having fewer Irish and Continental vehicles (who pay no road tax and do their cross GB journey not buying fuel) on our roads

      • Tad Davison
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        Good point!


      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        @paul: indeed fewer Irish transit lorries on British roads. North France – more chance of road congestion and/or industrial actions?

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        Possibly because those routes are already up and running?

        Cherbourg and Roscoff already have services to Ireland.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 8, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Yes. On the other hand, many Catholics from Southern Ireland are joining the British Army. The Irish make great soldiers (30% of Wellington’s soldiers at Waterloo were Irish).

        Plus, we need to keep Ireland sweet (by keeping her economy strong). Ireland is a good trading partner to have close to home plus if Ireland is doing well, then this reduces possibility of Republican violence on these islands (because Republican violence was above all down to poverty).

        • Mitchel
          Posted August 9, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          Don’t forget the “flying geese”!

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted August 9, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

            Don’t forget: The Connaught Rangers, Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the Irish Guards, the Royal Irish Regiment, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Rifles, the Royal Irish Fusiliers, the Royal Munster Fusiliers!

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted August 9, 2018 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

            And the Flying Geese was led by Patrick Sarsfield, 1st Earl of Lucan, Anglo-Norman family – exact same kind of background as the Duke of Wellington (and similar to Edmund Burke’s background, except Edmund Burke had more native Irish and Catholic blood in him).

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted August 9, 2018 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

            Lastly, the Duke of Wellington was born and bred in Ireland (Dublin and County Kildare). Perhaps that’s why he knew and got the best out of the Irish – at the Battle of Waterloo, and elsewhere!

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted August 9, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

            (apologies for banging on – i’m a complete history buff ..)

    • Richard1
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      The EU can easily get the £39bn by agreeing a Canada style FTA. What’s the problem? It would be to the great mutual advantage of EU countries like Holland and the EU. And there would even be a bung from U.K. taxpayers to go with it! Why doesn’t the EU want to agree this?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        @Richard1: As far as I know, the EU side has long offered a Canada style FTA, which would need the “implementation period” to work out in detail. The problem might be that the DUP forbids the UK to agree to a sensible backstop solution for landborderless Ireland.

    • NickC
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      PvL said: “the distant EU is in no position to defend itself”. What a corker . . . oh hahahaha! Such a big powerful empire of 940 million people can’t defend itself against the pitiful poor UK – sob! – sob!.

      By the way I didn’t know that the EU was limited to “northern Europe”. And the direct shipping lines between Eire and the the mainland empire will take longer and cost more – another example of the EU cutting off its nose to spite itself, in an attempt to spite the UK.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        @NickC: Not 940mn but 440mn for the EU27. The shipping lines would connect parts of the single market which the UK would have left after Brexit.

        • NickC
          Posted August 8, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          PvL, The 940m is a play on “continued on page 94”. That is, it is a comment on your droning on about how wonderful/powerful/big your EU is. If you know so little, why do you think you can get away with telling us what to do so often?

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      It is terrible that the UK accounts for 9 of the 10 poorest regions in Northern Europe, we don’t only scapegoat the EU but sharing out our manufacturing industry and pig farming and milk productive as just three examples with lower cost Eastern and Southern Europe and Ireland was very damaging up North, coupled with as you say a Southern-centric UK parliament constantly making poor decisions including those of the Labour government who were mainly elected by the North and Scotland and had a big Scottish Cabinet repeatedly making poor decisions on education in their strongholds, transport, connectivity and self-reliance.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        @NickC: Not 940mn but 440mn for the EU27. The shipping lines would connect parts of the single market which the UK would have left after Brexit.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      PVL are you insinuating that the ports of Belgium and the Netherlands will be closed or disruptive to the UK?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        @a-tracy: Not being disruptive to the UK, the UK will not be part of the single market and Ireland will. Requires different custom procedures, however smooth one tries to make future custom procedures.

        • NickC
          Posted August 8, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Eire will, not Ireland will.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted August 10, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

            If the context is not in Irish Gaelic, the word “Eire” is not correct. “Ireland” is the term that applies to the “26 counties”, even in the Agreements usually referred to as the Good Friday agreement.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      And by-passing the French, who are always inclined to be troublesome.


      “Calais protests post-Brexit sea route skips French ports”

      This presumably stemming from the innovative Robbins Customs Plan, which is such a brilliant plan that our Prime Minister was not only willing to interrupt her summer holiday to personally explain and recommend it to the French President, whose ports are now going to be skipped, but she is also quite prepared to see her party finished off by it.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper: I could imagine N.France ports still being included at some stage (after protesting).

        • NickC
          Posted August 8, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          PvL, More costs and delays solely to ensure that the EU cuts off its nose to spite itself, in an attempt to spite the UK.

    • mancunius
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Well, you’ll be paying the 30bn, and we’ll be paying you nothing at all towards it, so maybe you should stop wasting time on here and get on and earn some real money to finance your great masterplan.
      The Dublin-Rotterdam freight route will be a delightful prospect for any Irish exporter who has all the time and money in the world.
      There are two per week.
      The next one leaves Dublin this coming Friday at 12 noon (with a minimum check-in beforehand of one hour) and arrives in Rotterdam after a refreshing 46 (forty-six) hours of bracing sea air, at 11am on Sunday, two days later. After rolling off in the long lorry queue, the eager Irish lorry driver can then head straight for the German border, where – oh dear, those pesky German Sunday travel restrictions! – it will come to a total standstill, as no heavy goods vehicles may operate in Germany at weekends. Oh, and livestock are not permitted on board.
      Dublin-Rotterdam (one-way, one vehicle, one driver) will cost the Irish goods trader 1034.30 euros per lorry (including 20% VAT). More if he needs an electrical connection for the two day trip.
      By contrast, Harwich-Rotterdam has 10 crossings per week, takes only 9 hours per freight crossing, and costs 311.65 euros. And it does allow livestock – rather an important point for certain RoI agri- and equine businesses.
      If the EU and Varadkar/Coveney between them want to entirely destroy the RoI’s current export trade, I can think of much simpler ways to do it.

    • Original Richard
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      “For some good news, Ireland will soon be able to tap into the 30bn CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) which will also invest in direct shipping lines between Ireland and the ports of Belgium and the Netherlands, enabling more direct trade between Ireland and the wealthy continent.”

      This is certainly great news, particularly for those who live close to and use the M25.

      It will mean a big reduction in traffic along the M25 and also an improved environment.

      Irish lorries travelling across the UK to Dover and other channel ports are of no benefit to the UK what-so-ever.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        @Original Richard: So everybody happy.

    • stred
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      All those poor Irish cattle being trucked to be slaughtered in Spain and eaten raw by the French will not enjoy the long sea voyage. the UK may be able to buy cheaper Argentinian steaks bumped off near the ranch. They taste better too.

      • L Jones
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        Stred – let’s hope that live animal export will be addressed post brexit, and perhaps mobile slaughterhouses brought back.

        It is outrageous that we are forced to toe the line with the the inhumane and barbaric ‘common’ practices of countries in the EU, merely in the name of ‘equality’ of the nations in thrall to it. They are NOT equal in the considerations of animal welfare. Never have been, never will be. The sooner we escape their brutish, ignorant and primitive concepts on the treatment of animals, the better.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

        @stred: Mercosur – EU trade agreement seems to be nearing, so I expect Argentinian steaks to become cheaper over here. The transport of cattle problem is indeed not new.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      “which will also invest in direct shipping lines between Ireland and the ports of Belgium and the Netherlands”

      And how much longer will that add to transit time?

      And remember to keep on the French side of the Channel in both directions !!!

      Doesn’t really help the 60% of ROI export destined to UK consumers, mind you I guess a lot of people in the UK will stop buying EU goods in preference to cheaper goods from elsewhere in the world and a growing manufacturing base in the UK…

      • roger
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        We will be able to freely import cheaper tender and tasty properly hung Australian grass fed beef instead of the dearer tough and anodyne rapid processed animals that come from ROI.
        Currently on offer at Bookers and quite a revelation.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        @Know-Dice: Current total time (Dublin – Rotterdam) one and a half days. I suppose some time saving by avoiding custom procedures through post-brexit Britain.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      The EU needs to deal with the march of the far right in its midst and to acknowledge that disatisfaction with it is no longer a fringe but mainstream.

      Brexit is a catastrophe for all sides and has been caused by the arrogance and intransigence of the EU elite.

      Smirk as you will about the odd billion here or there if we go down YOU go down.

  5. Peter Lavington
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Two questions – what percentage of vat goes directly to Brussels? If, heaven forbid, the EU accepts May’s deal they would still be able to impose vat rules and uk wouldn’t be able to make the changes you suggest?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Strictly speaking none of the VAT collected by the UK government goes to Brussels, unlike customs duties where 80% of the money collected does go to the EU.

      What goes to the EU in relation to VAT is 0.3% of a notional VAT base:


      “Revenue from the following shall constitute own resources entered in the budget of the Union …

      … the application of a uniform rate valid for all Member States to the harmonised VAT assessment bases determined in accordance with Union rules …

      … The uniform rate … shall be fixed at 0,30 %.”

      Your second question is interesting, who knows what she would give away?

    • Jagman84
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      In 2013, it was 0.3% of the total UK VAT receipts. In comparison, Germany paid just 0.15% and PVL-land, 0.1%. We were the second highest (in monetary terms) behind France.
      A nice level playing field as usual!

      (Sourced from the Office for National statistics)

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted August 8, 2018 at 6:19 am | Permalink

        Was there an explanation for this discrepancy?

    • NickC
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Peter Lavington, According to HoC Library Briefing SN06455, VAT contributions by the states to the EU is based on: “0.3% of their adjusted, or harmonised, VAT-base to the EU budget”.

      According to Parliamentary Briefing CBP-7886, the total billed by the EU to the UK in 2017 was c£18.7bn (the gross contribution). That is made up of Import levies remitted to the EU (£3.2bn), a VAT contribution (£3.0bn), and a GNI contribution (£12.2bn). In addition there was a further £0.3bn VAT and GNI “adjustment” (increase).

      Be warned: these figures get revised, adjusted, and portrayed in different ways. The figures vary year by year. The supposed “fact-check” sites are rubbish. Parliament, HMT, the OBR, and the ONS are better, but still subject to bias in favour of the EU.

  6. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    I suggest we go a step further. Zero rate the items you have identified and then reduce the headline rate by 5% to 15%.

    Never mind spending our £39 billion on this tax cut, mitigate it with a turnover tax on those businesses such
    as Apple and Amazon who offset profits made in the UK using licencing fees and royalties

  7. agricola
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    For an enlightened view on VAT and many other taxes you will have to change the Chancellor. At the moment best concentrate on getting a free trade deal on goods and services. Only if this is a failure and the future is trading to WTO rules can we re-direct the £39 Billion and the surplus on duty we would accrue. Note , a free trade deal has to be free of anything outside normal trading practice that the EU might wish to impose for political purposes. Things that neither the USA nor Japan would allow.

    • NickC
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Agricola, The £39bn is a bribe. It must not be accepted by Parliament. The first provision of this £39bn financial settlement (“no EU Member State should pay more or receive less because of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU”) is a capitulation by Theresa May. An obvious consequence of any state leaving is that those remaining must adjust to the new circumstances. We are a net contributor. Maybe the EU should have “recalled” that before behaving in such an off-hand and hostile manner to the UK.

      • Timaction
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        How do they imagine it will effect UK consumers going forward when we can buy and source all EU goods elsewhere! Hostility over at £80 billion trade deficit annually!
        Economy equivalent to 19 out of the 27 remainers!

      • StanleyW
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        NickC..any hostility shown in all of this is coming from the UK side and it’s been going on for decades..just because you can’t get your own way through bully boy tactics with the EU you think you can now throw some muck about that might change something..but nothing is going to change because on 29 March out we will go..the EU side has had enough..but it is the young british people in the long term who will pay the price..a hefty price..far more than 39 billion..and for generations to come

        • NickC
          Posted August 8, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

          StanleyW, The UK has in fact taken a subservient role, unlike the dominant Germany or subsidised France. We have been used as a cash cow by the EU – giving away our fish and being a massive net contributor for 44 of the last 45 years. Do we get thanked? Of course not.

          The EU cheated us in 1972 and has carried on moaning about us ever since, whilst taking our money. Gradually we have begun to fight back, but still the EU was intransigent. So finally we had to leave. That is the EU’s loss and to our, and our children’s, benefit.

      • L Jones
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        It IS a ”bribe” in the interests of trade and therefore illegal, I’d have thought. I’m not a lawyer but I can read the internet. Why should our Government offer OUR money to a foreign organisation merely to appease it?

        I don’t think even Chamberlain went THAT far. They do NOT want peace – they want a pound of flesh – and T May is giving them just that.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Tax cuts will always help jobs & the economy from the current hugely over taxed position. The other absurdity is that a house extensions have VAT on then but a new build house does not. Often this results in full demolition of something that (but for this tax treatment) could sometimes be done better as an extension.

    The other absurdity (of the planning system) is that often perfectly good old houses are demolished to build a new one. This when (for less money) they could have had both the new house and the old one next door in the garden. Two for less than the price of one. What a waste of perfectly good houses.

    VAT is absurdly complex and open to fraud. 20% is an absurdly high rate too. Chancellor Geoffrey Howe in 1979 increased the standard rate of VAT from 8% to 15% and now it is 20% and with increased scope too. Why are taxes endless increasing so hugely. What are the government doing with all this money? Certainly not providing any much of any real value by way of services that is clear.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      I know that some Labour MP, rather pathetically, claimed that periods cost women £500 PA but £15 PA is actually more like it with own brand products. So the vat content is really not that high at only about £2.50 PA

      Shaving, which also has VAT on it probably cost rather more for men, and indeed for some women.

  9. David Cockburn
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    All good proposals, but we have to get out first and that’s where our focus needs to be right now with the continuing rain of EU propaganda in Google news, Guardian, Independent and BBC.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      The BBC in particular it is either anti Bexit, anti Trump, pro Climate Alarmism or anti Farage/Boris or any other Brexit supporter. This especially on the “Comedy” slots or and indeed the God slots. Michael Morpurgo on the point of view slot rather typical.

      I caught a bit of Where’s the F in News on radio 4 the other day. Is this there just to convince us how totally unfunny and tedious lefty women can actually be? All had the usual (totally wrong) BBC views.

      Boris attacked again by them today for nothing at all.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 8, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink


        ‘God slots’ – I think the BBC is pretty anti traditional Christianity, or at least, doesn’t give it much of an airing.

        Please don’t be anti the concept of ‘The Divine.’ I assure you everything The Divine (or God – the traditional, Christian God) brings is absolutely 100% good (love – soft + tough, as well as joy, beauty, peace, order, mystery, humour, and so on). Even though we are ‘tested’ (just like gold is tested in a forge to be made purer). It is man who warps religion (me included, I’m a selfish so and so, really, as well, as vain and arrogant, but I live in hope of being transformed and others too).

        (I had a big, long ‘discussion’ with of one my best friends / cousins, over the weekend, who is an atheist – otherwise might not have brought up ..). It’s weird, but most of my best friends are atheists / agnostics.


  10. Old Albion
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Another candidate for removal is insurance premium tax. We all need insurance for our vehicles and homes, why on earth make it more expensive than it already is.

    • mancunius
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Abolishing insurance tax on healthcare premiums would make them downright affordable, and take pressure off the NHS.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Indeed IPT recently increased by 20% by Hammond. A household might well spent £600 PA just on IPT Tax for cars, travel, household, medical and other insurance. Of course in Thatchers time you got Tax and NI relief on medical cover too. Which further lightened the load on the state monopoly NHS.

        Insurance rates rising too due to increased crime rates and the police largely doing nothing very much at all to deter it.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    As Milton Friedman put it (though the figures now are probably more like 46% and 60% with the indirect costs of daft regulations, tax complexity, green crap energy costs and the likes:-

    “I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible. The reason I am is because I believe the big problem is not taxes, the big problem is spending.

    The question is, “How do you hold down government spending?” Government spending now amounts to close to 40% of national income not counting indirect spending through regulation and the like. If you include that, you get up to roughly half. The real danger we face is that number will creep up and up and up.

    The only effective way I think to hold it down, is to hold down the amount of income the government has. The way to do that is to cut taxes.”

    Alas May and Hammond are over tax, over borrow, spend, endlessly waste, intervene and over regulate people to their very cores. Why did these dopes even join the Tory party give this agenda?

  12. blamegame
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    No comment to today’s VAT speculation- as if anything we say here could make one bit of difference to what is really going on?

    • NickC
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Blamegame, Not entirely true. I am spreading the word that we don’t need to buy from the EU. And I’m not the only one. I think that is having an effect. Hit the bar-stewards in their collective pocket.

      • Timaction
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        Buy British first. If not elsewhere before EU! No more BMW’s for me!

  13. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Have you heard the latest story? Unless we get some kind of preferential trade deal with the EU then we could all be murdered in our beds. Please don’t tell me that this is nothing to do with our treacherous Prime Minister and her euromaniac civil service sidekick.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Too true Denis, of course none of the intelligence for terrorist attacks on mainland Europe has been gathered by UK agencies has it?

    • NickC
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Ohh! Mr Bennett, are we to murdered in our beds!?!??! Remains as Mrs Bennett . . . now there’s a thought. Presumably the escalation is because we didn’t all collapse when Remain threatened the demise of the great British sandwich. What’s next, David Cameron’s great Remain WW3?

      Whilst we merely want our country to be independent, Remain invents ever greater absurdity and lies to threaten us with. How desperate is Remain to keep us a vassal state of their evil empire.

      • Timaction
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. Just as Project Fear 1 no one believes a word they say or a forecast they make! Ridiculous remoaners!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink


      “Times Brexit warning is from politicians not police”

      “… the letter itself is from the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, which in fact counts only 2 Conservative PCCs out of its 7 board members. It’s chaired by Labour’s Mark Burns-Williamson, while one of the Independent PCCs on its board, Martin Surl, is a former EU advisor.”

      Not that any of this needs to bother the Times. of course.

  14. Sakara Gold
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    The government taxes us when we earn it, taxes us if we spend it and then taxes us if we save it. If we make any money in the markets or on a second property, the government takes a slice. UK gov taxes and spends about 50% of GDP which is shamefull after ten years of conservative government. Socialist governments like Venezuela do the same.

    • NickC
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Sakara Gold, Venezuela, venerated by “Uncle” Jerry Corbyn, is in such desperate straits that about 90% of its hospitals are short of essential medicines. Perhaps they’ve just left the EU and Venexit is to blame? Or perhaps it’s socialism. Again.

  15. Ian wragg
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    But John. Mrs May is determined pay the £39billion to Brussels. She also wants to sign up to a non regression clause shadowing EU legislation.
    If she has her way it will cost more out of the EU than being a member.
    I hope you know something we don’t.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      I voted Remain, but I think Mrs May’s fudge will please no-one (I still support reform of EU – stripping of its political power, and if that doesn’t work, completely leave the EU but once our economy is built up and we’ve given our businesses and Europe time to prepare properly). I’d rather be completely out of the EU or completely in the EU (on current terms) than some fudge, where we end up with Europe hanging over us for decades and less power in Europe and with still less power to expand trade outside the EU. Worst of both worlds.

      • NickC
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Ed Mahony, You keep trotting out the same formula, which has never worked in the past.

        1. “EU reform”. The EU won’t be reformed to suit us (and indeed why should it?) – we tried for 42 years (Wilson, Thatcher, Blair, Cameron) and failed. Most of us (52%) accepted a half century of reality, and decided that Leave was the only option because the EU is unreformable.

        2. “Building up” our economy. Since we haven’t managed to “build-up” our economy sufficiently in 46 years according to you, then we would need another 5 decades at the minimum. Yet the EU does not stand still. So we would in practice get even more enmeshed in the EU.

        3. “Giving time for our businesses to prepare properly”. No, that is merely procrastination. By the time we nominally leave, it will be nearly 3 years. That is enough time. Business can cope. Businesses I know about have already set up plans for a variety of possible outcomes. It’s just they’re sick of waiting for this incompetent government and civil service who won’t settle on what the electorate voted for.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink


          Fine. But I haven’t really come across many people asking these questions / and someone responding to them. (Thanks)

          However, I don’t think we’ve really tried to reform the EU (tried to get concessions mainly). Plus Europe is much different to 5 – 20 years ago, plus, there is much more call for reform – stripping back EU’s power – in Europe at moment.

          Lastly, it’s impossible for any PM to reform the EU whilst PM. You need to be out of everyday politics, so that you can devote 100% of your time to reform – as it is a very big job.

          We build up our economy by building up our high tech / digital sector, for starters. We haven’t really done that – nearly enough.

          All I know is that for many businesses, 3 years isn’t enough to remodel their businesses. Business is like The Survival of The Fittest. The strongest would do fine within 3 years (I agree). But many, not. That’s my experience of the business world.


          • Ed Mahony
            Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

            And government does have an important role in CREATIVELY helping to sew the seeds more for PRIVATE enterprise in the high tech / digital sectors (which results in big, big revenues, high productivity, high quality exports and more). I could give you loads of case studies where governments have done this in different and subtle ways around the world. And I think our government needs to focus on this a lot, lot more. But the reality is that we are NOT focusing enough on the high tech / digital sectors. If so, it could help to seriously grow our economy in a way the country hasn’t seen over the last few decades.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      May’s deal is even worse than remaining. Doubtless why she, Robbins and Hammond came up with it!

      She must go. She will look a compete contemptible idiot at Conference – even more so.
      Doubtless she will ignore Brexit, tax levels, the economy, the idiotic HS2, law and order and the likes and just go on about plastic pollution, climate alarmism and women’s non existent pay gap!

  16. Marjorie Baylis
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    I would like to see more spent on Defence….

    The NHS has a huge emotive pull that will be difficult to resist.

    • L Jones
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Yes, Marjorie – more on defence. It’s no use building a great and glowing country that is the envy of the world (which it will be if we can shake off the EU shackles) if we’ve nothing with which to defend it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Yes but sort out defence procurement it is appallingly wasteful and incompetent. As of course is the NHS.

  17. Brian Telling
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    All serious economic forecasts make clear that the economic hit of Brexit will dwarf the figure of £39 billion. Drops in investment already prove the point. So please stop whistling in wing

    Reply The economy keeps on growing post the Brexit vote despite the monetary and fiscal squeeze being administered

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      “Drops in investment already prove the point.”

      Yes, I remember that kind of point being proved before, when it became clear that we were not going to rush to join the euro and in fact it was looking more likely that we would never join it … that was all tosh, too.

      However setting aside that cautionary historical experience, and also setting aside my personal scepticism about the significance of the different kinds of investment flows and the often erratic variations in the overall volume, try this:


      “UK investment is at a record high. So why has almost no one reported it?”

      Perhaps even more to the point, why has the government done nothing to rebut these lies, just as it has done nothing to rebut any other Remoaner lies?

      Oh, well, we think we know the answer to that question, don’t we.

    • Jagman84
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      These ‘serious economic forecasts’ that have been so monumentally wrong so far? Even with the help of a Socialist-minded PM and Chancellor!
      It’s no good spreading fake news when it can be so comprehensively debunked.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      It was interesting to re-visit an old YouTube clip where the BBC’s Andrew Neil asked the unelected but appointed Tory peer, Baroness Wheatcroft, about the impact of a ‘leave vote’. She said she was campaigning to remain in the EU because we would have rampant inflation at 7 – 8% within 12 months if we left. That’s another thing that didn’t quite turn out the way these gloom and doom mongers predicted. And the list is a big one!

    • NickC
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Brian Telling, Are we supposed to be impressed just because you use the word “serious”? Those same “serious” forecasters forecast doom if we so much as voted to to Leave. Many of those forecasters forecast that we’d be doomed if we didn’t join the Euro. Well, we voted to Leave – and guess what? – their forecasts failed.

      • Adam
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        Evidence from replies shows Brian Telling whoppers.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      The economy keeps on growing post the Brexit vote despite the gross incompetence and total lack of vision of May and Hammond. In particular the absurdly high taxation, the bonkers anti-business regulation of everything, the green crap expensive energy, the attacks on the self employed, the attack on pensions, landlords and tenants …. and the real threat of Corbyn/SNP that May seems to want to bring on.

  18. Adam
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Charging tax on energy efficiency measures is crazy. VAT is clumsy & a typical outcome of EU nonsense. Both need dumping.

  19. hans christian ivers
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink


    Your proposal on no deal and trading under WTO rules are delusional and no deal is not an option for a continued thriving UK.
    Due to
    1) Britain wold be the only big country trading only under WTO rules. Other countries even those without trade deals, have side deals to facilitate customs inspections
    2) Britain must divide import quotas with the EU
    3) Britain benefits from trade deal with 50 odd countries and these cannot automatically be rolled over.
    4)Saying we can just keep our borders open is fine, but the Eu wold be unable to reciprocate, not least because WTO rules says tariff-free access wold have to apply to all countries in the World
    5)Export forms even on computers would quarduble
    6)No del means are hard Irish border
    7)Just in time switching to non-Eu suppliers will cost time and money
    8)We have no domestic regulators for medicine, aviation, EUROatom
    9)Shortages of border guards will at least not initially stop the free movement of labour for a while.
    The list goes on, this is not Project fear Number two but simple facts which are difficult to disregard therefore “no Deal” on WTO terms or something less is a simple illusion that the country cannot afford (Source the Economist.)

    Reply How many more times do we need to answer all this foolish pessimism? Start by reading the WTO Facilitation of Trade Agreement.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink


      I will do so, if you will be so kind an answer to the actual facts raised, please. thank you

      • libertarian
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink


        You didn’t raise any factual questions, you just typed a load of made up drivel .

        I can’t be bothered to try to educate you any further. You clearly dont have the first idea what WTO is, you obviously have zero understanding of international trade.

        Export forms would quadruple…. Lol What century did you last do business in?

        With each wild post you make yourself look less and less creditable… I would run a million miles from any company that engaged you as a consultant.

        Oh and how are things working our for Merkel?

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          When you do not have any arguments you go to the usual mode of personal attacks , it is all getting rather boring and repetitive

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      “(Source the Economist.)”


      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        thank you very helpful input

        • Mitchel
          Posted August 8, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

          Succinct!The Economist may be good for certain things like information on economic development in Kirghyzstan or political factionalism in Moldova but it’s opinion pieces are frequently globalist tripe and it’s prognostications very often wrong.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      The answer to the reply is you need to refute it patiently and in detail until we have either left the EU or struck a deal. It won’t stop. The other day Mark Carney got interviewed and came up with negative comments on no deal. Ok thats his view. Unfortunately Tory Brexiteers then fielded buffoonish Peter Bone who just launched an ad hominem attack on the guy instead of just answering his points. If I were you John I would do a post tomorrow – tedious as it may be – and answer each of the points in Hans’s post by numbers. At the moment clean Brexit is losing the argument, it is simply asserted that no deal is a disaster and it appears the majority accept that. And the Govt are negotiating on that basis as a result of which we will be taken to the cleaners by the EU.

    • ian wragg
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Why must we divide EU quotas when we are no longer a member. If we want to import more NZ lamb then we will.
      It’s only stupid politician who will sign us up to this EU nonsense if they think they can get away with it.

      • acorn
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        The quota is how much NZ Lamb you let in duty free post Brexit. The portion that currently comes into the EU and then comes to the UK, duty free, the EU will take off its post Brexit import quota. NZ will be upset if the UK doesn’t play the game.

        • acorn
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          Did you know that today, the number one quote among EU techies and fellow private sector continental number crunchers is:

          “They were in with a load of opt-outs. Now they are out, and want a load of opt-ins.” (The Luxembourg Prime Minister.)

          Which, begs the question: so what is the bloody point of doing it?

          Reply Many if us who voted leave just want to leave and are not asking for opt ins

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink


        I am sorry but unfortunately you just do not get it I am afraid

    • L Jones
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      This ”foolish pessimism” as you so rightly call it, Dr R, ought to be refuted strongly by our Government. Ought to be. It is such tosh – do even our Brexiteer MPs think it is all too silly to take seriously and refute? It ought to be vociferously debunked, because there are a lot of dimwits out there ready to listen the Voice of Doom.

      These Remainders simply want to be able gleefully to say ”I told you so”.
      Well – tough.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        thank you for a highly useful and exceedingly constructive input.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        L Jones

        give us the refutes instead of emotional responses with no facts in them

        • L Jones
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

          No – it is up to YOU to tell us what are the positive reasons for staying shackled to your much-admired EU – if it has anything to do with your life in the UK (if indeed you are in the UK). Please make your case, instead of simply trotting out the Project Fear tripe that you read on your chosen social media site.

          My point is that it should be up to our Government to refute such foolish and shallow scare-mongering. If you are a European EU-fanatic, then fine – but don’t set yourself up as a (pro EU propagandist ed) simply to attempt to discourage and dishearten a country to which you do not belong.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted August 8, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

            I am a British citizen just like you, so stop discriminating

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply:

      The Joseph Goebbels mantra in action!

      Tell a lie often enough, and some people start to believe it. Fortunately, the majority who post on this blog can see through this irksome garbage and pay it no heed, but conversely, it still needs to be countered. For evil to triumph, good men only need do nothing, so the quest for a clean break from the EU is eternal vigilance.

      The bit I don’t get, is how can people ever be so stupid to believe the pro-EU propaganda in the first place when it can be so easily and comprehensively disproved?

      It is almost as though we leavers all see a black board in front of our eyes, yet remainers will argue that it is white when plainly it is nothing of the sort. That’s how illogical this is!


    • NickC
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Hans, here is a point by point reply:

      1. The WTO system is a comprehensive set of global trading rules in its own right; the various RTAs and MRAs are only minor modifiers of tariffs and recognitions.

      2. No. Out of the EU, the UK can set its own tariffs and quotas, even to the extent of unilateral partial or complete free trade (ie no UK tariffs).

      3. Most of those “trade deals” are with small countries (eg Pitcairn Islands); those that are more significant (S.Korea, Canada) won’t be fully implemented for a decade. Many countries are only too eager to do deals with us.

      4. Under WTO rules, the EU cannot open its borders to the UK selectively. Unless we agree an RTA and register it with the WTO.

      5. Rubbish. We already export much more to the RoW than we do to the EU, so the forms and inspections are both manageable and profitable.

      6. Not on the UK side. If you want to kick Eire in the teeth, that’s between you and Eire.

      7. JIT can continue to work with EU suppliers – and it is their interests to make it work. Who is going to hold up EU exports to the UK? The EU? – that’s contrary to WTO rules. And we would just buy from elsewhere anyway.

      8. The UK has domestic regulators for all those. You don’t seem to realise that this work is already done at state level. The EU just takes the place of Parliament.

      9. Border guards to stop labour? What are you talking about? Employers already have to verify the right to work of an applicant. EU job seekers will simply be excluded in the future, unless specifically licensed by the UK government.

      The WTO rules are an excellent, and indeed the only global, system to trade by. No other system is necessary. We already use it for almost 60% of our exports. That can easily be extended to our exports to the EU too.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:21 pm | Permalink


        Let us take your point 8 as an example we have no replacement for Euroatom, but you just keep believing your own arguments.

        Point 3, these agreements are with 50 countries and they are not automatically transferable unless all parties agree and new deals take 3 to 5 years, so no your arguments does not stay up to closer scrutiny.

        thank you

        • NickC
          Posted August 8, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

          Hans, From the 2nd quarterly update to Parliament on UK exit from Euratom: “On 7th June the UK and the IAEA signed the two bilateral safeguards agreements … that replace the existing trilateral safeguards agreements between the UK, IAEA and Euratom”. And: “The Government is on track to have bilateral NCAs in place with all priority countries when Euratom arrangements cease to apply in the UK. The Nuclear Safeguards Bill received Royal Assent on 26th June.”

          The WTO system does not require the RTAs and MRAs (negotiated by the EU) in order to to work. They are additional, but not necessary. Many nations have indicated that they are eager for a trade deal with us, and such deals can be arranged in months, not years. We are not the sclerotic EU.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted August 8, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

            Nick C

            Sorry I do not share your optimism

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink


      The foolish pessimism as you call it is linked to the fact that your fake news does not cover the actual consequences of what you are proposing and what am I supposed to do with that conundrum?

      • graham1946
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Go away and leave alone with our misery?

        Just trying to be helpful

  20. DUNCAN
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Who cares about tinkering with tax rates. What decent people want to see is the destruction of Labour’s liberal left client state and their vile victim based, PC obsessed agenda

    We also want to see the Tories ditch liberal left politics and a return to morality and decency

    Stop pandering to the liberal left agenda and start to confront this most pernicious form of politics that has infected all areas of the State

    Parties should be guided by morals not politic convenience

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Guided by what actually works which is what Real Tories suggest. Above all a far smaller state, far lower taxes and more efficient government doing only those few things they can do better than individuals and businesses.

  21. David D
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Leave the EU at the earliest date possible. Abolish VAT completely paid for by removing UK troops from illegal wars and closing Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports and Department of International Development. Reduce staffing levels of remaining departments by 10% to start with). Allow a far more free market in health care reducing costs and improving services. Repeal all EU regulations and taxes giving a massive boost to business at zero cost to the taxpayer. Announce free trade with any country willing to do the same. Not a free trade treaty, which is anything but free, just no tarriffs of any kind. Remove benefits for any person either not born here or not having paid 10 years of national insurance. All foreign nationals to have to have ID on them at all times and be subject to immigration laws (unlike the current situation). No right to work or reside in this country or relevant visa should mean immediate expulsion.

    • graham1946
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Also add Northern Ireland Office, Welsh Office, Scottish Office. They have their own devolved governments so why more at Westminster? One which will not need to be abolished of course is the England Office, as it doesn’t exist.

  22. Bob
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Do you consider bicycles to be “green” Mr Redwood?

    • alan jutson
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink


      No Sure about “green”
      Think you can purchase bicycles in almost any colour, but they tend to be an efficient way of transport if it suits your personal circumstances, if thats what you mean..

      The new cycle lanes Wokingham Council put in are often coated with a green tarmac spray, would perhaps not be so bad if it were not bright green, and did not peel off after 18 months, making them a dangerous place to cycle.
      We get Red coverings at some road junctions, Beige on some bends, and Blue where we have some disabled parking.
      Not to mention red lines for red routes, yellow lines for parking restrictions, white lines as standard, additional white cross hatching for where we have paid for tarmac but then should not be used.
      Wokingham looking rather like Toy Town.

      Still the regeneration of Market Square with its new, very, very light grey York stone paving is now nearly complete after more than a year of traffic and walking chaos, so not all bad news.

      The Towns hanging baskets and flower troughs always look excellent.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      They are not really green, fuelling transport on steak and chips and a pint of beer is not very efficient! Plus there is all the costs of them being about 20 times more dangerous. Perhaps if they live just on porridge? Horses are not as efficient as Tractors either, we decided that a while back!

      Seven people London to Manchester and back perhaps 8 Gallons of diesel on car and seven hours. Seven people cycling the same journey have far more wind resistance, take perhaps 2 days and need loads of meals, hotels and showers! The BBC think this though!

      • Bob
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        Bicycles may be appropriate for some journeys, say from a 5 mile radius from a town centre on a daily commute.

        Bear in mind that people will eat their meals regardless of whether they drive, cycle or take public transport.

        I used to cycle with my daughter to school, but I had to carry her bike home because the school had nowhere safe to leave it.

        At least we didn’t contribute to the jumble of parked cars outside the school in the morning and at pick-up time.

  23. acorn
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    EU VAT harmonisation started in 1992. The UK charged 0% VAT on domestic fuel bills in 1991, it could have continued at that legacy rate under the rules. However, the Conservative government introduced a VAT rate of 8% in 1993, which Labour reduced to 5% and is now the EU minimum rate for UK energy sales.

    The EU proposal is for a 0 – 5% VAT band that would enable 0% Tampon Tax, but with member states maintaining a weighted average VAT rate of at least 12 percent. The UK could reduce standard rate VAT to 15% anytime it wants under EU rules.

    • DeAnd as tnis Cooper
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      On this, from November 2017:


      Finishing with:

      “And as there is nobody awake at the Rapid Rebuttal Unit in David Davis’s department there is no response of any kind; well, of course there is in fact no Rapid Rebuttal Unit, either because David Davis just can’t be bothered with what the British public may be induced to think by misleading media commentary or because Theresa May has expressly forbidden him to reply to any of the pro-EU anti-Brexit garbage which is being spread around day after day; and so the media narrative carries on totally out of the government’s control, gradually reducing official government policy to an object of mockery.”

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      I was going to ask this question John, why did the conservatives introduce VAT in 1993 if we could continue with legacy rates.

      Plus as acorn says if there was a will we could reduce VAT now to 15%????

      Does any of the VAT charged inside the UK go to the EU? If so how much, what %.

      • acorn
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        0.3% of harmonised VAT receipts. The Germans, Dutch and Sweeds pay less as a percentage because of different tax regimes.

        • David Price
          Posted August 8, 2018 at 4:09 am | Permalink

          @Acorn, 0.3%? Really?

          According the the HMRC KAI report (24 April 2018, page 10) the HMRC VAT income in 2017/18 was 21% of £594b, that is 125b.

          According to the HoC briefing paper (CBP 7886, 23 March 2018, page 5) the UK contributed £3b VAT.

          3b of 125b is 2.4%, not 0.3%. This suggests you are close to an order of magnitude out.

          • acorn
            Posted August 8, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

            Well spotted David. In the following http://ec.europa.eu/budget/mff/hlgor/library/technical-documents/09-DOCS-TECHNICAL-March2015-Fiche3_VAT.pdf the text reads:

            “The call rate of the VAT-based own resource is fixed in the new Own Resources Decision of 2014 at 0.3% with a reduced rate of 0.15% for Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden for the period 2014–20 only. Under the last Own Resources Decision (currently still in force) the rate was identical with a reduced rate of 0.225% for Austria, 0.15% for Germany and 0.10% for the Netherlands and Sweden for the period 2007–13. This call rate of 0.3% was introduced by the Own Resources Decision of 2007 and it was a significant improvement in transparency and simplicity, as compared to the very complex ‘frozen’ rate system which existed previously.”

            0.3% of what? If you know anyone who knows how the VAT contribution is worked out, please let me know. The UK has paid in 2017, €3.2 bn out of a total of €17 bn collected by the EU. France paid similar but Germany only €2 bn.

      • Beecee
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        we pay currently slightly over £3bn a year to the EU from our UK VAT income

    • ian wragg
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Better to get out from under EU rules, wait a minute, we voted LEAVE

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      The Conservatives did introduce a VAT rate on domestic fuel of 8% in 1993. But the Eurofanatic Ken Clarke initially tried to introduce a rate of 17%. Only the resulting uproar forced him to retreat to 8%.

  24. Hot in here
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    “We wish to encourage people to have more draught excluder”

    No. Not unless you have a pet budgerigars. They’re geared up for hot and actually quite cold Australian non-static positions, ie they fly about a bit, and can die here stationary in a draughty cage at night.

    FOR NON -BUDGERIGARS~~~ Including dogs and cats, given you have adequate central heating~~~~~ If the draught is not the continuation of wind-incoming, there is a a good reason air is trying its best to get into your home….and why something is desperately trying to pull it in!

    Stop it at your peril!!!!!!!

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, just like Andy and his mendacious Remoaner ilk it seems that a reporter at the Daily Telegraph doesn’t know the difference between “should” and “would”:


    “… Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, predicted that a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU would be “one of the easiest in human history.””

    Anyway to help take his mind off the serial abuse he is getting in the media I’ve dropped a short line to Liam Fox, as follows:

    “Dear Dr Fox

    I wish to inquire how much progress your department has made in its planning for future compliance with Article 7.4 of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation after the UK has left the EU.

    As can be seen from the text that I reproduce below this will require the UK to adopt its own risk management system for customs control, a system separate from any system which may have been adopted by the EU prior to our withdrawal.

    I would be particularly interested to learn whether you anticipate that if the UK leaves the EU without any special or preferential trade deal, as you now see as becoming more likely, then all of our imports from the EU which are presently treated as being very low risk and so not needing routine inspection at the border will have to be immediately reclassified as higher risk for the purposes of the UK risk management system.

    Thanking you for your assistance

    Yours sincerely

    Dr D R Cooper

    “4 Risk Management

    4.1 Each Member shall, to the extent possible, adopt or maintain a risk management system for customs control.

    4.2 Each Member shall design and apply risk management in a manner as to avoid arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination, or a disguised restriction on international trade.

    4.3 Each Member shall concentrate customs control and, to the extent possible other relevant border controls, on high-risk consignments and expedite the release of low-risk consignments. A Member also may select, on a random basis, consignments for such controls as part of its risk management.

    4.4 Each Member shall base risk management on an assessment of risk through appropriate selectivity criteria. Such selectivity criteria may include, inter alia, the Harmonized System code, nature and description of the goods, country of origin, country from which the goods were shipped, value of the goods, compliance record of traders, and type of means of transport.””

    I don’t suppose I’ll get any substantive response; recalling that the “F” in “DEFRA” stands for “Food” I emailed Michael Gove to ask why he and his thousands of civil servants were doing nothing at all to counter the various scare stories about the availability and quality of food after we leave the EU, and I have only had an automatic acknowledgement.

    This government is an absolute disgrace; I am tossing up whether it is better or worse than others we have suffered such as the Blair government; and its shame must be shared by all those who previously supported withdrawal from the EU but who have now agreed to serve under Theresa May and promote her crazy, and treacherous, plan.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink



      Brexit has much more chance of success if you get more Remainers on board – through persuasive argument, humour and charm! (Instead of ‘Remoaners’ etc ..).

      A more unified, than a less unified, country, over Brexit, will only help to increase the chances of Brexit succeeding.


      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        Ed, 46.5 million people were invited to vote in a referendum on whether the UK should remain in the EU or leave the EU, and the government told them in its taxpayer funded pamphlet:

        “This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide.”

        and over 33,5 million of them took the trouble to vote, 17.4 million to leave against 16.1 million to remain.

        We voted on the Thursday, and the result was clear on the Friday; the courts were closed over the weekend but the first applications for judicial review to try to overturn the result went in on the Monday.

        I don’t care if somebody has “Lord” in front of their name, Ed, as far as I’m concerned these people are the dregs.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      The government of the day is the government resulting from voting decisions and probably the one that reflects the optimum result from a multi-player game for power. That game never stops but may be reset by another election (unless there is critical mass within the DUP and Tory coalition for a reset without an election. What is your preference? Reset by election or reset by regicide?

      • Yvybybgh
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        You still don’t understand UK democracy.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted August 8, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

          Pse explain

    • miami.mode
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Denis. On the question of food, it’s unfortunate that the AGMs of the major UK supermarkets have passed recently as a pertinent question would have been to enquire whether we should change our allegiance to supermarkets with a strong European background (there are 2 in the UK) rather than continue to favour them with our custom as it is understood they will have dire shortages after Brexit.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      The other day they were using “quicker” as an adverb too!

    • forthurst
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      There is a clear and present danger arising from the dumping of French agricultural produce which is being sold here at below the cost of production. Under the so-called CAP which has been designed to prevent a free market in agricultural produce and discriminate against our farmers, there can be no inherent compliance with WTO rules. Furthermore, there is the issue of the Euro which enables the Germans to sell us cars at below their true value. Far from being a currency based upon an underlying basket of currencies, the Euro is a currency in which the Deutschmark has been locked into a basket of basket cases.

      • Yvybybgh
        Posted August 8, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        German manufacturers enjoy some of thier highest profit margins in the UK so don’t understand your below cost claim. Which agricultural produce from the EU is sold below cost?

  26. VotedOut
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Brexit should provide the ideal opportunity to overhaul and streamline the tax system in totality.

    The most important point (as we all know) is that now a British elected politician can change the tax law – and be held accountable for it.

    What a relief!

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Hard Brexit is probably going to happen. It no longer needs justifying. Rather, Brexiters need to get Remainers on board. Unity is paramount. And, also, we all need to pressure government to put together the best, most creative and comprehensive plan possible to ensure the success of Hard Brexit. (And, we also need to stay friends with Europe so we can establish the best trading, as well as security and cultural ties as we can, even though we appear to be leaving – Hard Brexit).

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Ed, it was literally within hours of the referendum result being announced that these anti-democratic pro-EU sore losers started working to overturn it. When I describe them as “Remoaners” that is very mild, I view them with the utter contempt they deserve and could use much stronger language.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink


          I’m just saying Brexit will stand better chance of success if the country is more united than divided. Not saying Brexites shouldn’t be tough / challenging in what they say, but at same time you want as many Remainers on board as possible – and so just think sticking to persuasive argument, humour and charm will be more effective!


      • Andy
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        I am Remainer and I can confidently say that I will never come on board with Tory hard-right pensioner Brexit.

        Even in the infinitesimally small chance that Brexit makes us economically richer, it takes so much else away from us that I will never support it.

        I was born in London in 1973. But I have been an EU citizens all of my adult life. I have lived and worked and studied in the EU. I am a European before I a Briton and angry pensioners are ever going to change that.

        There are millions like me. Predominantly younger and more educated that Brexiteers we have plenty of time on our hands to undo Brexit. And we are being ably assisted by the sheer incompetence and downright nastiness of this ….. Brexit government.

        Reply Glad you accept we can be better off out at last

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

          Well I didn’t get to vote in as I was too young and now I am told I am too old to be taken notice of.

          My qualifications earn me an excellent salary, though not degree status.

          Remain are pretty picky about who should be taken notice of when it comes to the EU.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:00 pm | Permalink


          Sorry, but your duty is first towards your country. Then Europe (and the rest of the world). And better than ‘duty,’ is to love your country because there is a lot to love about the UK (people, places + things).

          Yes, we all have things about the UK we don’t like. But everyone has similar feelings about their own country. But we try and make things better, whether you come from the right, the left, or the centre. Try and see the UK like a project that we ALL have a part to play in in making better – whether that be business, politics, arts, charity work, whatever.

          And just as we owe our duty to the UK first (to defend our country by joining the armed forces if necessary – which might lead to the sacrifice of one’s life in particular like in WW2, taxes, public duty), so a Frenchman does to France, and an American to America.

          Love (but not blind love) of country is, for me, one of the great joys of life. And from a religious POV, patriotism is very much a virtue.


        • graham1946
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

          If you regard yourself as European first, there is a whole continent of it 21 miles off our shore, perhaps you would be happier there.

          You could try helping make Britain a success instead of closing your business and throwing 30 people out of work.

          I must say your erudite entries here do not immediately convince me that you are better educated than the rest of us, although I am glad to see you have dropped the tiresome double spacing which you no doubt regard as cerebral.

        • NickC
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

          Andy, There have been a fair number of British people in the past who have plotted for this country to be taken over by a foreign power. That is their shame, and yours.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 8, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

          “I am a European before I a Briton”

          So at least you frankly admit that your primary loyalty is to the EU and not to your own country, unlike many members of Parliament who feel the same way but pretend to be British patriots.

          As for where you stand in the general UK population, looking at the most recent Eurobarometer survey, autumn 2017:


          I would definitely put you among that small minority, just 12%, who said that they were “Very attached” to the EU, rather than the larger group, 31%, who said that were only “Fairly attached”.

          And when on the other side there is a set of 19% who say that as far as the EU is concerned they feel “Not at all attached” – and I don’t think they can all be your “angry pensioners” – plus another larger group of 36% who say that they are “Not very attached”, which taken together come to 55%, it is obvious why the only way that your small minority of eurofanatics could hope to win a UK referendum on EU membership would be by making up lies and scare stories.

      • VotedOut
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        We can all respect the views of each other. That is healthy in a democracy.

        We do however, need to accept that a democratic vote happened and as democrats we must accept it. Unity comes from a shared common culture and world view i.e. being British. I know that’s unfashionable, but it really should be, because that’s what we are.

        As for friends in Europe, I am 100% sure that things will settle down. We will still be here and want to buy and sell things. I can assure you, our EU partners will want to do the same. The difference is that it will now be done on terms agreed by the UK taking into account the UK’s interests – which is how it should always be for any country.

    • HarveyG
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      VotedOut..don’t wish to dash your hopes but politicians of any hue are not going to overhaul and streamline the taxation system..Things will continue on as before with a little tinkering here and there..neither will politicians be held accountable or make themselves accountable for anything.. but they sometimes resign if things are so bad and they get found out..big difference

      • VotedOut
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Maybe. I do indeed share your cynicism.

        However, you have zero chance of changing the mind of a Eurocrat in Brussels.

        Remember a former PM asking to lift VAT on women’s sanitary products…? The fact that we got ourselves into such a humiliating position is quite remarkable.

  27. stred
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    It will be much more than £39bn with add- ons. Another way to save £30bn would be to cut the top speed of HS2 to 150mph from the design speed, which is 50mph faster than French high speed lines and runs half the distance. It could then be run on the old central line track over much of the way. Re Spectator R.Clarke.

    An interesting few minutes on LBC last night when customs experts were phoning in after 8pm. One said that the idea of secure borders was impossible because officers could not distinguish between tourists and migrants. This is true, but the host could have asked what they do in countries such as the US, where they ask for details of the trip and where tourists are staying and for how long. Besides, the issue of NI cards is the crucial right of EU citizens. Then we had an expert saying that it was French customs we had to worry about. They were already useless and had not spotted the 9 illegal migrants which jumped out of his lorry when he got home. They may now spend absolutely ages in Calais inspecting the paperwork for French produce being sent to be sold in the UK. I can see that being popular with the French farmers. Expect the rotten fruit, veg and cheese to be dumped in the autoroute. No doubt plenty of wavering voters may swallow the lies.

    May will be pleased. Perhaps Olly and Rolly are too.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Will it be the policy of the French government to starve us into submission?

      Even if their own farmers suffer as a result?

      I can imagine French customs hindering our exports to them, but wouldn’t they be shooting themselves in the foot by obstructing their own exports to us?

      Is this another example of those perverse “WTO rules” which Andy will no doubt cite for us, chapter and verse, when he has looked into the details?

      Did Michael Gove or any of his thousands of minions offer any comment?

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        Denis. There is no way French farmers will have their trade and exports to us stopped by Brussels. There will be blood on the streets.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted August 8, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          Brussels will not stop outgoing EU trade. How. They will stop trade coming from the UK if that is what the arrangements require . The UK might do the same. Taking MFN into account of course. In a no deal scenario UK imports would be treated like any third country and the UK would do likewise. That might lead to some friction…

          • fedupsoutherner
            Posted August 8, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

            Rien. Then we will just go elsewhere. Then the French farmers together with the Spanish and Italians will be mad.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted August 8, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

            So do you think it would make good practical sense for the EU to treat all third countries in exactly the same way?

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Wouldn’t it be interesting to know just what we are importing and from where, why isn’t the UK producing more of its own cheese? Why is 82% of the Cheddar cheese market given to Ireland? Is it due to the EU CAP regulations or not?

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      I have always thought that we should concentrate on railway capacity, reliability and comfort over speed. We are a small country. Those who want to travel at high speed from London to Birmingham can fly.

      • Jagman84
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        A slight problem is that there are no longer any flights from BHX that cover the route. You are put on a coach! It was done to release capacity at LHR for long-haul flights.

  28. alan jutson
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Sounds like joined up thinking John.
    Problem is the Government have also agreed to pay huge sums for new Nuclear energy, and persist in using (at the moment) expensive alternative energy from winds farms and the like, add all that onto the absolutely stupid imported wood pellet fiasco, and you end up with a base cost for energy being much higher than it should be.

    Absolutely agree we should not be paying £39 Billion that we do not owe for so called free trade, as that is not “free trade” is it, its a bribe !.

    • stred
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      This parliamentary report has found than 12m smart meters installed so far are dumb. They will not work if a customer changes to most cheaper energy companies and anyway the supposed savings are far lower. Our does not even work although we went back to the original energy company and it made no difference anyway. The real reason that the government decided to go beyond EU recommendations is that they want to use them to cut off the supply when renewables fail. Other countries such as Germany rejected them. Billions wasted so far, the new meters are years behind and dumb ones are still being installed. It all goes on the bill.

  29. Ed Mahony
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Good / news for Brexit from economic POV:

    The Financial Times reports, ‘Brexit pessimism eases among UK’s biggest companies’

    – I voted Remain, although I really want the EU stripped of its political power, and support Hard Brexit more if we had proper plan / our economy built up. However, at same time, I want to be pragmatic and objective. And Remainers on this site such as Andy and Peter must address facts like the ones presented by the FT and their survey of UK’s biggest companies.

  30. Hothouse Flower
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    PS NOT thermostats. They can and do go wonky faster than you can fry an egg.
    Old fashioned thermometers are what the doctor ordered. They love them in China. The need to be sure when making tea.

  31. BOF
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Thank you Mr Redwood for demonstrating real tax cutting Conservatism. A breath of fresh air in contrast to the the current administration that is giving us the highest rate of taxation in 50 years!

  32. graham1946
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Tax cuts on domestic fuel, obviously, but you would need to ensure the avaricious power companies do not just add it on to the bills for more bonuses etc. What about road fuel? Why should we pay a tax on a tax as it already has fuel tax on it and VAT is added to that as well. Less money spent on these items means more money spent in the economy. Isn’t that what a government wants?

  33. A.Sedgwick
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    As previously posted I would like to abolish VAT altogether, it is part of the EU bureaucracy along with CAP. A simple retail sales tax please.

  34. backofanenvelope
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Why not just leave tax rates and government expenditure as they are and divide the £39 billion amongst the basic rate taxpayers?

  35. margaret
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Fuel increases mean that some have to pay a full months wage on their gas and electric . Good idea

    • Edward2
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Somebody has to pay for all those very expensive green schemes, solar panels and windmills
      Politicians want expensive energy and fuel to stop us using so much.
      It’s all in the Climate Change Act

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Not sure why so many are worried by climate change claims?

        If true, then we need to act.
        If false, then there’s lots of money to be made from developing and selling green technology!

        Either way, we win!

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted August 7, 2018 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

          Oh Ed, you need to be educated on the cost of renewables.

    • Eh?
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Try Bristol Energy…and others of course It’s Labour invented, so what!? and not just for Bristol people. If “some” people have a months wage iunder £60 for both gas and electricity then I have a lucrative job for them for even more money, doing just about anything at all, even part-time with flexi and overtime as much as they wish.
      Do enter the Country!You learn something

      • margaret
        Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        how do you pay your fuel bills , monthly, quarterly, yearly ?

        • margaret
          Posted August 8, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          My comment there is not clear at all. We have yearly assessments of our fuel usage. but as I assumed that you would take account of that whole year, you assumed that a monthly direct debit bore a direct relationship to a monthly wage.

  36. Norman
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, but current and crucial, I see the UK is supporting the EU position on ‘blocking statutes’ to undermine the US initiative on re-imposition of sanctions on Iran. Do they not realize that the Iranian regime continues to “build nuclear-capable missiles, fund terrorism, and fuel conflict across the Middle East and beyond? To this day, Iran threatens the United States and Israel’s allies, undermines the international financial system, and supports terrorism and militant proxies around the world” (private source, but publicly verifiable). Our willingness to side with EU foreign policy makes me EXTREMELY UNCOMFORTABLE. We must, if possible, and at all costs, get out!

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      On this I support the EU position.Iran is fulfilling it’s obligations under the UN deal.

      As for “undermines the international system”,that presumably refers to it’s role with Russia,China(and I believe increasingly Turkey) in de-dollarisation-it banned $ denominated invoicing a few months ago and it conducts oil/gas transactions in other currencies-for instance,the crude it supplies to the massive Russian-owned Essar refinery in India is paid for in Rupees(I believe Venezuelan crude sent there is now dealt with similarly).Countries have been invaded for less!

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      May hates Trump and will take an anti-Trump/American stance even if that is patently contrary to our best interests. For many reasons she is unfit to be PM.

      And is she about to bribe Scotland with England’s money to get them behind her treacherous Chequers sellout?

      How much longer is Mr Redwood prepared to say he is totally loyal to her?

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      What happens when Trump leaves power in 3 or 7 years time? More countries around the world will be saying, ‘let’s build a nuclear bomb – quick, before another Donald Trump gets into power.’

      So Trump is only escalating the growth of nuclear armaments. Not now. But in 3 to 7+ years time. There’s no long-term strategy with Trump. It’s all about getting the quickest return he can get but which can having serious implications for the longer term 3 to 7+ years time).

    • graham1946
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Trump says anyone trading with Iran will not trade with the USA. Already Daimler Benz has said it will not expand its interests in Iran as they had planned, so I guess the EU plan will be knackered from the start. Any EU firm trading with Iran will have to forgo America. The panjandrums of the EU have grandiose ideas, but not the wherewithall to enforce it. If only we had a Trump here instead of the lily livered crowd we have cowering in the corner every time the EU speaks.

    • Chris
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely right, Norman Q.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted August 8, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      The UK is still a member of the EU.

  37. margaret howard
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Let’s just look at what happened before.

    When we joined the EU, VAT replaced our own Purchase Tax which was levied between 1940 and 1973 at different rates depending on goods’ luxuriousness and applied to the wholesale price and varied between 33 and 100%!!

    Between October 1940 and 1973 the UK had a consumption tax called Purchase Tax, which was levied at different rates depending on goods’ luxuriousness.

    Purchase Tax was applied to the wholesale price, initially at a rate of 331⁄3%. This was doubled in April 1942 to 662⁄3%, and further increased in April 1943 to a rate of 100%, before reverting in April 1946 to 331⁄3% again.

    Unlike VAT, Purchase Tax was applied at the point of manufacture and distribution, not at the point of sale. The rate of Purchase Tax at the start of 1973, when it gave way to VAT, was 25%

    Those were the days!

    • Edward2
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      VAT is charged from one stage to another down the process line in commerce.
      Everyone deduct inputs from outputs and pays their VAT

      When VAT came in we were promised a simple to administer tax which would always be a single figure rate.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      You miss the point that our Parliament, but specifically the elected half, had complete control over that purchase tax and could have changed it however it saw fit.

  38. Original Richard
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    The government should say that in the event of a WTO deal (known by EU collaborators as “no deal”) £1000 will be paid out instead to each and every UK taxpayer.

  39. MPC
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Leave voters want a clean Brexit – as do many Remain voters now it seems, from postings on this site.
    Isn’t it now time for Leave supporting MPs and businesspeople to get organised and actively promote the WTO Option/Conventional Option? This could take the form of regular – say fortnightly – press conferences such that Mr Redwood and co wouldn’t have to rely on media interview invitations on the Remain media’s terms. It would also make it harder for the Remain media to concentrate on the apparent downsides of WTO/a clean Brexit .

  40. Christine
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    We should abolish VAT on e-books. The ECJ has recently ruled against doing this even though printed books are VAT free.

  41. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink


    “Why the no-deal Brexit scaremongering is wildly overblown”

    “Hysterical scaremongering about no deal assumes that talks about everything break down — a bitter dispute, with the EU refusing to agree anything about trade or governmental co-operation. Administrative arrangements won’t work because they refer to EU institutions and we won’t be members. Planes will be grounded, medicines won’t get licensed, nuclear waste piles up wherever it happens to be when we leave.

    Michel Barnier has begun to encourage this apocalyptic view in an attempt to scare Britain into the total capitulation he sees almost within reach. May too has worked hard on discrediting no deal to leave her version of Brexit as the only viable option.”

    Well, that’s fine as an analysis, but then he moves on to shakier ground by assuming that the EU would be reasonable when so far it has not shown many signs of that:

    “While Article 50 and the trade relationship need high-level negotiation, administrative arrangements like licensing and landing rights do not. These don’t depend on EU membership, they just happen to have been set up through the EU and non-EU countries would be badly affected if they stopped. Even the EU would not take vindictiveness to such an absurd level, especially as it would be left to member states to clear up the ensuing chaos.”

    “Shorn of this scaremongering, no deal means no Article 50 treaty and no FTA. We trade under WTO rules and the European Court has no jurisdiction over the UK. It also means no £40bn exit fee. Not a bad starting point.”

    Well, I would go even further than that and restrict the use of “no deal” to the absence of any special or preferential trade deal – but still with continuing practical co-operation on the conduct of our two-way trade – and as I said previously:


    it would have been better to have said many months ago that we would simply revert to WTO trading terms when we left, for the time being – BECAUSE THE EU CANNOT STOP US DOING THAT, THE WTO TREATIES ARE ALREADY IN PLACE AND SO WE DO NOT HAVE TO PERSUADE OR BEG OR BRIBE THE EU TO AGREE TO THEM – and we would much prefer to get on and discuss the practicalities of continuing and facilitating our two-way trade with a smooth transition to those new terms.

  42. JoolsB
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    John, one thing we can be sure of and that is we (the English anyway) won’t see any benefits from the £39 billion. May and Hammond will find ways to fritter our hard earned money away on their pet nanny state projects because that’s what socialist Governments such as May’s do.

    Off topic, why has May gone running up to Scotland today to have Brexit talks with Sturgeon and who represents England in these talks she keeps having with the First Ministers of the devolved nations? No-one of course. And where is the £1.2 billion she is going to promise the Scottish Government today, on top of the 2 billlion bung they got in the last budget coming from? Meanwhile services in England are being slashed to the bone by this socialist anti-English Government.

  43. Committeeee Chairman
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    The Chairman of the Conservative Party has asked Boris to apologise.
    Who ARE you?????

  44. mancunius
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    It looks very much as if May is trying to create the impression of panic, in order to create public chaos.
    For God’s sake, get her sectioned. And dump her, once and for all.

  45. Boris Farage Party
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I, would join it. I, would win nearly all Tory Party seats…without apology to Losers.

  46. woodsy42
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Please consider adding insurance premium tax to your hit list. It provides a peverse incentive for government and the police to ignore crime if they increase tax take by encouraging more people into needing insurance against losses caused by criminality.

  47. Spareadime
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    More fake news ..there’s not a hope in hell that VAT will be abolished when we leave.. and the 39 billion saved will not be spent in relieving taxation..more likely it will be swallowed up in a black hole that is called the treasury, wasted on some other grandiose projects at government discretion.. but for the plain people things will go on the same as before..with maybe even higher taxes in some areas if new tariffs come into play.. we have yet still to get to grips with WTO rules and we’re going to be the new kid on the block.. but with still very little forward guidance from Dr Fox or government. Just hope we’re not building our hopes on Mr Trump and the good old USA?

  48. margaret
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Could invest a couple of billion in Bit coin .

  49. treacle
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I am sure that Mrs May will hand over the £39 billion to the EU even if they do not give us a free trade agreement. She will tell us that Britain is a country that meets its obligations. That is the form of words that will be used to cover the betrayal.

  50. Alan Marshall
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Efficient taxes are low taxes-not zero. Everything zero rated make 5%. Cut VAT on eating out, going out (entertainment tickets) to 5% =boost to economic growth. Keep domestic energy 5% but cut business energy to 5% = lower consumer prices more growth. Cut hotel VAT to 5% + allow local City Tax = lower prices more competition/choice = economic growth. More growth = more employment = more tax revenue, less benefits/Govt spending.

    • graham1946
      Posted August 7, 2018 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      VAT on everything? That would include food. Many people have trouble paying their way now without that and I doubt such people would be spending their money eating out or staying in hotels or going to the theatre so would just face a penalty, not receive bonus. We need a Brexit bonus for everyone to re-unite the country and it needs to be something worth having, not another HS2 train set for the wealthy to play with.

  51. margaret
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I took advanced degrees in philosophy and ethics not to pose as an egg head , but to be able to break down arguments sensibly and put forward a view which is fair. Fair to all is almost an impossible task ,therefore there needs to be a few universals which will create a good/bad line.

    The constant repetitious feelings spouted out here are many times not rational enough to be used when regarding these good/bad lines and do not show any signs of sufficient ability to scientifically analyse problems.

    I do read many of the comments and humorous quips and quotes from ? unreliable sources. My query about unreliable sources originates from a dislike of the set cannons which say this can be passed as reliable evidence , but this cannot . You see it may not have the correct full stops or referencing system to gather credibility ! and the snobs will include this as a bar to good work.

    All this being said, I remember reading Mark Twain as a 10 year old from the Thinkers library. ” What is man” was a short philosophical method of argument which dissected propositions into their simplest forms . No waffle; just reason and rationality ,Ethics sprung form the very arguments . The clever ones when I cited this work wanted to say what about this and what about that , because their reason was that they should not be out erudited ( sorry about the made up word) , but this was not Twain’s method.

    I would love to see more of this on this site.

  52. Prigger
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I drink beer instead.

    • margaret
      Posted August 8, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Do you know when I was a student Nurse , the NHS at weekends provided brown ale pale ale and Guiness for all patients.

  53. Chris
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Nine h c ivers posts so far?

  54. Yorkie
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Longevity figures are out. Advanced nations. UK bad
    My opinion:We work harder, die sooner.

    The stat compiliers are looking at abstract terms like “Lifestyle differences”. They are enough to make you jack it in.

  55. Simon Coleman
    Posted August 7, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    ‘Fuel is expensive, and hits those on lower incomes particularly hard.’ Sounds like you’ve had a revelation after talking to one of your constituents.

    Reply No – I have long held this view and could work it out for myself!

  • About John Redwood

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

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