Helping people be better off

This election is about the prosperity and the well being of electors. Most of the parties in the election think they should tax you more as they think they can spend your money better than you can. The Conservatives offer more tax cuts, and want to help you earn and spend more of your own money.

Since 2010 Conservatives have taken many people out of paying Income Tax altogether and have cut tax for all standard rate taxpayers.  We have frozen fuel duties for nine years to keep the costs of travelling down. We have boosted lower incomes through the Living Wage. We have increased the amount you can earn before Family Credit is reduced. We are doubling free child care to 30 hours for parents with 3-4 year olds, helping adults to earn more.

Since 2010 income inequality has fallen. There has been a 3.7 million rise in employment as many new jobs have been created.

All this is at risk from Labour, Lib Dem and Green agendas. Every time Labour has been in government  since the war it has presided over a crisis which has pushed up unemployment and left the country more deeply in debt. This time these parties tell you they want to tax you more and spend more of your money. Why give them the chance when their policies will cost your family dear?

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72 Comments

  1. GilesB
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    We need to more to help the self-employed.

    Take an axe not a scalpel to the regulations.

    For example, exclude anyone self-employed from completing an income tax return if their income is less than £50,000. Raise the VAT turnover to £250,000. Below those limits they are micro-businesses. They don’t have a full time or even part time accountant to fill out forms for the government. The owner has to do it themselves after long working days. There time would be much spent expanding their business.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Indeed so much of my time and my staffs’ time is spend dealing with tax returns, PAYE, red tape, tax planning, employment issues and other endless red tape rather than expanding the business. It is hugely damaging and an almost entirely pointless and unproductive activity. Then idiots like Philip Hammond have the cheek to complain of low UK productivity. People like him and Therasa (gender pay reporting) May pushing high complex taxes, even more EU, rigged green crap energy markets, red tape and big government are the main cause.

      Surely even Oxford PPE & Geography plonkers like them can see this?

      • Hope
        Posted December 3, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        JR,
        Taxation at a forty year high to GDP, Ruth Lea pointed this out last week in Con Woman. Promises made by Tories in 2010, 2015 and 1027 never materialised and were dropped. Same with balanced structural deficit. You wrongly/misleadingly wrote recently in ab log deficit as a percentage of GDP. That was not originally promised that later came in as an excuse for Cameron/Osborne failing on their promises.

        It was the anti democrat party who gave the income tax relief opposed by Tories in coalition. Johnson dropped his tax cut promises before manifesto published. Read three articles in Con Woman today about Tory failure to deliver Brexit and tax harmonisation with EU. All true and factually based.

        As for unfunded spending going to cost our families dear, please tell us of your zero carbon rot by 2050 that will cost us trillions. Pointed out yesterday most wind machines are made from coal founderies to produce their steel! HS2, Hinkley, overseas aid all vast sums of our tax wasted. Moreover we read today how India crashed its last space machine on the moon while we give our taxes by the hundreds of millions to the nuclear weaponised country. Please look in the mirror and your govt record.

        Your party, and country, is now in trouble. You were told by supporters stop marching left and give some conservative hope and vision to voters. Johnson and co failed to listen and is promising bland left wing Mayhab light. And a copy of her EU vassalage for good measure!

        The well of trust has run dry.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Many people have been forced into self-employment against their will, by firms casualising their operations.

      What is needed is decent employment and trade union law – almost entirely a sovereign matter – to protect terms and conditions, and to dis-incentivise this scam therefore.

      That, absolutely, will only happen under a Labour government.

      • GilesB
        Posted December 3, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        Big businesses and trade unions are great!!!

        But small businesses create more employment

      • Edward2
        Posted December 3, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        Under HMRC new rules concerning self employment and IR35 it is increasingly difficult to do what you claim.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Giles,

      VAT registration threshold at £250,000 may cause problems for those that are reselling products that they buy in, as they would not be able to reclaim input VAT which may make them uncompetitive against VAT registered companies that are selling to VAT registered corporations…

      • GilesB
        Posted December 3, 2019 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        KD

        If or when your annual turnover reaches £85,000 (the current VAT registration threshold), you have to register for VAT. However, even if you don’t have to register for VAT, you may wish to consider registering voluntarily

  2. Danger Mouse
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    “All this is at risk from Labour, Lib Dem and Green agendas.”
    The greatest risk is there are people in this country who vote for these parties.
    One understands why some people would never vote Tory. Tories generally do not. But to vote for other parties which they know are undemocratic, simplistic, dishonest is a worry. There are too many un-nice people in the UK. I’ve worked with many like them and my whole family are the same.
    You can’t help the family in which you are born. I regret replicating.

  3. Iain Gill
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Personally I would make the cost of getting to work tax deductible, and take it into account in benefits calculations. Same for training courses you choose to do. That would be the one most sensible tax reform going.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      +1

      With student debt, tax on wages and tax on getting to work I really don’t know why people bother.

  4. dixie
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    I’ve been reading through the CP manifesto for the upcoming GE. Many good proposals in there. In the context of a recent blog I welcome the support for carers and in particular on page 17;

    “As part of our efforts to empower and support disabled people,we will reduce the number of reassessments a disabled person must go through when a significant change in condition is unlikely”

    .. one less unnecessary stress and waste of time and energy.

    • Chris
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Thank you for highlighting this, dixie, with regard to disabled people. The continual stream of assessments is a nightmare plus the frequent changing of criteria/forms with regard to local authority assessments for individuals with special needs, necessitating yet more meetings and more precious time expended in said forms.

  5. There!
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    In my northern rock solid Labour Constituency, Tories give off without camouflage an air of superciliousness. Like the proverbial ‘pay a man tuppence per hour extra and his accent changes and he puts on airs and graces.’ He does, here. More per hour and he oozes the twopence-half penny millionaire as we term it.
    Little local Labour politicians are successfully camouflaged by an ideology keying into a residual communality and their words ring with it. It has less and less success as time grows, however.
    Once the Socialist-ideological perversion of rational communality is destroyed as it brooks no modern argument, then Labour politicians will be seen to ooze the same superciliousness only wrapped.
    It still leaves a blank. While that blank, that vacuum exists, not Tories but Labour will continue to fill it as they sound in ghostly echo the part missing.

  6. Shirley
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    If we stay in the EU it doesn’t really matter which party governs the UK, as the EU will be calling the shots in their continuous power grab. In fact, we may as well get rid of our expensive House of Commons and House of Lords. Why pay for so many of them when their ‘jobs’ are progressively delegated to the EU?

    I wish I could believe that we will leave the EU, but the majority of UK politicians appear determined to keep us in, with either Remain or Brino.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      +1

  7. Cheshire Girl
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    The only thing I would say, is that in the past, when there was talk of 30 hours free child care, some Nurseries and providers said they would have to close. Apparently, the Government didn’t give them enough funding to make that happen. I believe that some actually did close

    This was in the last ten years, and many are asking the parents to contribute things, in order to try and make ends meet.
    Before elections, Politicians make lots of rash promises, some of which are quietly dropped when they get into power.

  8. Mick
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Corbyn is the only danger to this country yet the polls are showing that he’s gaining support ,where the hell do these pollsters get there information from probably from guardian or daily Mirror readers, I had been a labour voter most of my voting age but this one and only time my vote will be gifted to the conservatives , this is a once in a lifetime to leave the Eu we will never ever get the chance again lab/libs/snp/Eu would put up laws to make sure it wouldn’t happen again

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      I wouldn’t trust in the Tories to leave the EU. Their Surrender Treaty is worse than staying in as full members.

    • Chris Dark
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Polls seem to be designed to influence minds, rather than provide actual facts. They are easy enough to manipulate to achieve psychological changes in the population, e.g jack up the Labour vote numbers and scare people witless. I can’t be bothered looking at them anymore. No-one can know the result till the 13th December (unless of course the election has been rigged).

      • Mark B
        Posted December 4, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

        Polls seem to be designed to influence minds . . .

        Agreed. I believe the latest rises in the polls for Labour are design to get apathetic Tory and undecided voter of their backsides and vote rather than present a realistic picture. Pollsters are a discredited source.

  9. dixie
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    I found my career direction after coming across the work of Alan Kay, Xerox PARC and discovering the joys of Smalltalk, so the ideas and direction discussed in Dominic Cummings blogs which I recently started reading have been of interest.

    In the context of this and your recent blogs he lauds the work of Richard AL Jones at the University of Sheffield and his paper – A Resurgence of the Regions, which discusses how the whole of the UK can benefit from support and investment, not just London and the Golden Triangle.

    Are you familiar with this paper?

    If the UK is to be successful having gained it’s freedom from the EU straitjacket then all areas of the country must be able succeed and prosper. We cannot be in the situation where London sucks in all the money/advantages and merely doles out means tested benefits to the lower GVA inhabitants outer Britain.

    BTW I disagree with Cummings et al that the South East is fully blessed. Outside London and the magic triangle we are viewed as dormitories, while in work we succeeded in spite of the London “pull” and elevated salaries.

  10. margaret
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    The tax cuts in reality probably won’t amount to much difference for many and a little from all means that the cumulative amount would be worthwhile, however the point you made about trusting the government to spend wisely is what my argument would hinge on .
    The people who put cases together and put in requests for more public money are not necessarily the ones who should receive. Deception , omission , exaggerating claims of unsafe situations, hyping potential profits etc are the stuff these cases are made of .

  11. Mark B
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    This election is about the prosperity and the well being of electors.

    I disagree. For me it is about respecting the Leave vote and delivering a proper BREXIT, and trust. Trust in our politicians, trust in our government, trust in our system. Currently there is no trust.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      +1

      This is the reason the election was called. To sort out the Brexit impasse.

      We need more Leave politicians in Parliament.

    • APL
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Mark B: “I disagree. For me it is about respecting the Leave vote and delivering a proper BREXIT, and trust. ”

      I agree. This was the election they were supposedly frightened to have, because the opposition would lose.

      Mark B: “Trust in our politicians, trust in our government, trust in our system. Currently there is no trust.”

      There is a deficit of trust. In any case, to be trusted, an individual has to be trustworthy. What with the expense scandals, phantom BREXIT. Are they?

    • Simeon
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Good morning. It seems clear that this is genuinely Sir John’s view; Corbyn is worse than remain. I think this is a terrible misjudgement because, leaving aside the economic case for Brexit, as you imply, trust and democracy are bigger issues than prosperity (though my view is that all the Tories can offer is to make us less poor than Labour might…).

      The difficulty is that, perhaps for the vast majority of the population, abstractions like trust and democracy are, at best, secondary to the material consideration of money in the pocket. Perhaps this is because people generally take trust and democracy for granted? If this is so, then what freedoms we have left in this country are threatened to a degree far greater than if we had a Marxist PM, let alone Corbyn. Freedom must be fought for, not only to win it to but to hold it. Are enough people in this country willing to fight?

    • Old Albion
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Absolutely. This election is about Brexit, everything else is just bluster.

    • Posted December 3, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Yes, Mark B. Many of us will agree with that. Everything else just seems to be displacement activity.
      Our personal well being and prosperity we can take care of ourselves once we are out of the clutches of the greedy EU and its ever-gaping maw.
      At this moment in time, there is nothing more important than to escape before we are dragged down, and all these wishes and promises and pledges for the future are less than ashes.

    • Chris
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      You are right, Mark B, but Boris et al are apparently determined to ignore the elephant in the room and assume they can fob us off with BRINO.

    • BOF
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Mark B Absolutely agree that trust is all important. When politicians, parties and Parliament have lost the trust of the people, they have lost the very reason for their existence.

  12. Ian Wilson
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Quite so, but here’s a question – what has enriched American citizens by an estimated one trillion dollars but has been denied to us in the UK by our supposedly Conservative government with energy policies clones of Labour’s.

    Fracking.

    Lord (Matt) Ridley has written a devastating critique (see GWPF Forum “How green lies & Russian propaganda killed Britain’s shale revolution”) on how ministers have caved in to the Green Mafia on the spurious pretext of vibrations similar to passing lorries.

    We will never achieve our potential prosperity until a new government stands up to the Green Mafia.

    • MWB
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Lets see some fracking in London first.

  13. John S
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Why aren’t we hearing more of the ruination of the economy under a Corbyn-led government, by our politicians who appear on the media?

  14. Andy
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    We have had a Tory led government for nearly 10 years.

    Many, if not most, people feel worse off.

    Not pensioners of course. Their incomes and services have been protected as everyone else has had theirs slashed.

    And then there is Brexit. A policy we know will make us all pointlessly worse off than we would have been – with the young worse affected than the old.

    I really don’t like Mr Corbyn. Under him I will pay more tax. But I can not and never will vote for this embarrassing rump of economically illiterate hate the Tory party has become.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      As usual your claims are not born out by the data.
      Pay has risen and the point at which you start to pay tax has risen.
      The minimum wage has also risen.
      Leaving the lower paid employee better off.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 3, 2019 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        edward – – you write about Pay and Tax. On its own that would be fine. Now consider Cost of Living. When costs exceed pay rise – tax saving we are poorer. Compute!

        • Fred H
          Posted December 3, 2019 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

          pay rise minus tax saving we are poorer.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 4, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            Inflation and interest rates have been very low.
            Real pay has still grown recently.

            Under Labour you would get higher interest rates and higher inflation.
            Back to the 70s when unions went on strike for weeks got a 10% annual rise then inflation of more than 10% made them no better off

    • MB
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      UK state pension is almost the lowest in the EU.

      • Andy
        Posted December 4, 2019 at 12:22 am | Permalink

        Good. It should be axed entirely. A waste of taxpayers money – much of which goes straight to Saga Cruises.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 4, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

          The State pension is developed by workers paying for many years their national insurance contributions onut of their earnings.
          PS
          You dont afford to go on cruises on £168 per week.

        • MB
          Posted December 4, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Mine goes on ski holidays.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 4, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

            Good for you!
            You must have wisely paid lots into a private pension scheme like me.

        • Fred H
          Posted December 4, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          Merry Christmas Andy.

  15. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    People can be made better off in many ways. Free time is the optimum way to make people better off.

    Government obsession with encouraging families to work so it can collect two sets of tax and claim equal opportunities spoils quality of life.

    If all families have two earners then noone is better off, just keeping up with their neighbours, costs rise as people have more income. Better to encourage fewer couples to both work and encourage volunteering or other more productive use of time for family or community.

    Scrap free childcare. If families can not afford childcare then work is not paying so they should give it up. There is no reason why the man should be the one working, if the woman can earn more house husbandry is a noble occupation.

  16. George Brooks
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Mark B is 100% right.

    Once we have a proper BREXIT we will become prosperous and be able to enhance the well being of electors. Anything short of this and we will slide back into the ‘deep and nasty’ which prompted this election

    • Mark B
      Posted December 4, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      Many thanks

      🙂

  17. Kevin
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    This election, like any election, is about something more fundamental than prosperity and well-being: it is about respecting the British and Northern Irish people. It is not about changing the anthem to read: “Britons never, never, never shall be slaves…except for a little while under Art. 127 of the Withdrawal Agreement (EU legislative authority over the UK during the transition period)”.

  18. agricola
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Yes it is a war between those who wish the dignity of success and have a social responsibility, and those who consider themselves perpetually entitled. You are correct, the UK version of socialism never has worked and never will work. I hope the electorate realise this.

  19. James Bertram
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    If the Conservatives want to help us be more prosperous why have they spent £100 billion of taxpayers money just so as to keep the Tory Party united in their pursuit of a new EU Treaty; rather than just leaving the EU as we, the people, voted for? This is plain robbery.

    [Calculation: 41 months to date + 13 months to Dec 2020 @£1 billion a month to EU; £39 billion incentive paid to EU on signing WA; £7 billion asset unclaimed from EIB.]

  20. Fred H
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    All that usual manifesto (promises promises) stuff is all very well, but the election was called to seek a Government majority to get us out of a ridiculous hung Parliament. The issue is course is over the Ref and what is called Brexit. Boris pretends WA mk2 is a great ‘deal’ when in fact it is remaining tied in so many ways. Each step along the tortuous path over 3 years has confirmed the Establishment will not allow us to Leave the EU the way the electorate wanted. May was and now Boris is in step.

  21. Lifelogic
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Until the government cancel HS2 and all the renewable subsidies we can be quite sure the Boris government have no intention of of helping people to be better off. We shall see soon after the election if they are tax borrow and piss down the drain merchants in the Conservative tradition since John ERM Major or not.

    The signs so far are not very good (indicated by the HS2 inquiry outcome and sidelining of the sensible Lord Berkely) and by Javid announcing the cancelling CT tax cuts and increasing Stamp duty rate to a top rate of 18%.

  22. Everhopeful
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    This election is about leaving the EU.
    It is about holding parliamentarians accountable for the past three miserable years and about making them listen to the electorate.
    Unfortunately the turkey/Christmas/voting scenario over many years has left us in a very shaky position.
    We don’t have anyone to vote for who truly represents us let alone cares about our wellbeing. ( All opposition having been soviet-magicked away).
    Look at the mess they have got us into!!

  23. BJC
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, back in loopy-Labourland employers are again being targeted with a proposal for a 22% obligatory payrise for employees. They’ve been at the forefront of agitating over stagnating wages, yet oblivious that this was ably assisted by Labour’s combined Tax Credit and Minimum Wage policies. The only legal obligation on employers is to pay the minimum wage and when this is insufficient to live on the taxpayer is required to pick up the bill through in-work benefits. This policy bypasses the now taxpayer-subsidised employer who pockets the extra profits, another of Labour’s self-righteous beefs. Has anyone in Labour ever run anything resembling a business or are they all career politicians?

  24. Ian @Barkham
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    “All this is at risk from Labour, Lib Dem and Green agendas. Every time Labour has been in government since the war it has presided over a crisis which has pushed up unemployment and left the country more deeply in debt.” You missed off Plaid and the SNP. Everyone of them are on what is often termed the Extreme Left. A vote for any of them is a Vote for Labour and Corbyn you couldn’t put a piece of paper between the policies of this cabal of the left. In fact all their agendas set out to out-bid how much money the wish to steal from the Peoples of this Country and dress it up as a free lunch.

    The bit were you are wrong is they don’t ‘presided over a crisis’ they create a crisis then bail out for someone else to get the blame for the necessary rebalancing, recession . Thus allowing them to be seen as the good guys.

    Gordon Brown(Labour) bailing out personal friend with taxpayer money still needs another 20years of taxpayer support before we can move on. Even though to fund his peccadillos he dumped our reserves at a discount price, got rid of the UK’s energy producing facility and many more equally stupid decisions. Then to cap it all he signed off on the Lisbon Treaty with out reference to we the People. Which is why from next year the UK voice (if we stay as it now seems even with Boris) in the EU counts for nothing – no veto etc., etc.

    From what is said by the leaders of these Parties they will all adopt support for Corbyn regardless of the headline rhetoric.

    From what is being said by the Conservatives and their attitude in the last Parliament it is clear they have moved to the left side of being realistic. As you have also shown in your preamble.

    There is an old parable ‘do you give a man fish to eat or do you provide him with the means to catch his own’. Which if followed in Government, is do you provide the People with a free pass or the framework to reach their full potential.

    Too often Governments particularly those on the Left want to ensure the People are always beholden to them as a Party and as their Rulers. This is then a quite naturally a spiral into debt and decline. Helping people up the ladder only works if it creates payback to invest in the next tier that will profit from help. Germany after the War used the money from the Marshall Aid fund to create an investment fund for industry, which in itself via interest created a bigger fund. The UK(under Labour) blew it all on a whimsical asperations.

    There can never be a one size fits all, as what makes the human race special, is we are all different. No Country can prosper while it constrains endeavors. The Left has always been authoritarian and controlling, now the Conservative Party after 40 years of EU influence are falling into the same trap.

    The People are better at earning, profiting therefore contributing to society than any authoritarian diktat. Hence the phrase ‘trust the people’, as we now know that is something governments are frightened to do. Is it because they fear it undermines there desire to ‘rule’ ?

  25. BOF
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    ‘This election is about the prosperity and the well being of electors.’

    Has Brexit gone the same way as ‘This is your decision, whatever the result of the referendum, the Government will honour it’ (Cameron). And ‘No deal is better than a bad deal’ (May) ?

    The Tory gentleman canvassing on my doorstep seemed a little taken aback when I said that I felt disenfranchised as we are being asked to choose the lesser of two evils.

  26. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Labour’s share of the vote is up to 35% in the latest poll and in most recent polls the Conservative lead has been down to single figures. The projected Conservative parliamentary majority is down from 68 seats in mid-November to 42 seats now.

    You need to trash Labour’s capital and current expenditure plans, and to expose their gross overestimation of increased tax revenues, with thoroughness and in great detail. What’s the matter with the Conservative Party? Doesn’t it know that negative campaigning, especially when clearly justified, works? At the moment, Labour is getting all of the bouquets for their spending plans but none of the brickbats for their fiscal incontinence.

    This is your job and Sajid Javed’s job. Where is he?

  27. BillM
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I feel the Socialists are trying to bribe the electorate with promises. Especially those taxing the so-called ‘rich’ who earn just a little more than an MP. It is a con through and through and here is the reason why. Bear with me it is a super analogy worth remembering…..
    How Taxation Works or Doesn’t!
    AN ELEMENTARY GUIDE TO TAXATION AND ECONOMICS
    Suppose that once a week, ten men go out for beer and the bill for
    all ten comes to £100.If they paid their bill the way we pay our
    taxes, it would go something like this..

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay £1
    The sixth would pay £3.
    The seventh would pay £7.
    The eighth would pay £12.
    The ninth would pay £18.
    And the tenth man (the richest) would pay £59.
    So, that’s what they decided to do.

    The ten men drank in the bar every week and seemed quite happy with
    the arrangement until, one day, the owner caused them a little
    problem. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m
    going to reduce the cost of your weekly beer by £20.? Drinks for the
    ten men would now cost just £80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.
    So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for
    free but what about the other six men? The paying customers? How
    could they divide the £20 windfall so that everyone would get his
    fair share? They realized that £20 divided by six is £3.33 but if
    they subtracted that from everybody’s share then not only would the
    first four men still be drinking for free

    • BillM
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      but the fifth and sixth
      man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

      So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fairer to reduce each
      man’s bill by a higher percentage. They decided to follow the
      principle of the tax system they had been using and he proceeded to
      work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

      And so, the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (a 100%
      saving).
      The sixth man now paid £2 instead of £3 (a 33% saving).
      The seventh man now paid £5 instead of £7 (a 28% saving).
      The eighth man now paid £9 instead of £12 (a 25% saving).
      The ninth man now paid £14 instead of £18 (a 22% saving).
      And the tenth man now paid £49 instead of £59 (a 16% saving).
      Each of the last six was better off than before with the first four
      continuing to drink for free.

      But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.
      “I only got £1 out of the £20 saving,” declared the sixth man. He
      pointed to the tenth man, “but he got £10!”

      “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a £1
      too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!”

      “That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get £10 back,
      when I only got £2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

      “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get
      anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!” The nine
      men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

      The next week the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine
      sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to
      pay the bill, they discovered something important – they didn’t have
      enough money between all of them to pay for even half of the bill!

      And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is
      how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest
      taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax
      them too much, attack them for being wealthy and they just might not
      show up anymore.

      In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is
      somewhat friendlier.

      David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
      Professor of Economics.

      For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
      For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

  28. Ian @Barkham
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    slightly off topic –

    Just arrived more from Dr Phillip Lee – Quote ‘Phillip has a track record of getting things done – extra carriages on the trains to London, longer station platforms and fibre broadband for Finchampsted’

    All managed without being MP for the area!

    It is still the case his party has no chance of being in Government. Yet voting for him is voting for a leftwing socialist coalition with Corbyn as PM – does that make sense?

    If people want Corbyn as their PM so be it, but wouldn’t they just vote Labour. There is no halfway house or middle ground.

    Then again why does Phillip Lee want to be an MP, it cant be for the sake of democracy. It cant be so his party can govern the Country, as they never will. His whole remit is to ensure that an alternative power, that isn’t elected by the people of the UK, that isn’t accountable to the people of the UK, in fact they are not responsible or accountable to the peoples of anywhere, are given control of the lives of everyone in the UK. So vote Phillip Lee and he will ensure you are governed by someone else – how bizarre

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      I should have said and following as others have mentioned my comments were prompted after today receiving another election post from Dr Phillip Lee. Hot on the heals of yesterdays News Paper.

      We are now into what appears like dozens of Newspapers/Leaflets/Pamphlets and Letters having been delivered from the same source in the last week or so.

      Having some knowledge of how much the production and distribution costs w0rk – it would suggest an almighty sleight of hand with an element of deceit being brought into play. To show this as being under the election cap.

      Or is the idea to just take a hit on the fine that can only come after the event?

  29. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    The only people I see being “better off” are the already rich – – and every single one of those who arrive here illegally with their hands out – who get a roof over their heads, fed, benefits, NHS, kids schooled etc etc – -all for arriving here illegally. Someone has to pay for it – -and the govt has clearly decided it is the taxpayer,i.e the lower classes. The rich are allowed to stick their money in the likes of Panama.
    Food banks being opened up while £55m a DAY is given away to the EU – -PLUS – -so called “Foreign Aid” given away. Clearly our own leaders hate us.

  30. Atlas
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    In the spirit of ‘helping people to be better off’ what do you think of the UN Climate Change’ meeting?

    Does spending a fortune on alternative energy sources that cannot provide enough energy to meet our needs, constitute an improvement to Mankind’s wellbeing?

    Or is the meeting more about trying to extract money from the USA to suit ‘woke’ desires?

  31. Geoffrey Berg
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    As the blog implies government won’t spend your money on your behalf better than you can spend it as a general rule. Government interventions create bureaucracy and officials making decisions they are seldom competent to make and at the senior levels are generally unaccountable to anybody for making.
    Furthermore money is limited (which seems beyond the comprehension of Labour who are now promising almost everything to almost everybody!). Also, tax is a deterrent to work and investment and borrowing only defers tax.
    Unfortunately, as Lynton Crosby has memorably said, you can’t fatten a pig on market (or election) day and the Conservative Party has long been losing the argument (usually by default) for Capitalism and against emotive appeals for ever more state intervention.
    Therefore Boris Johnson is now having to paper over a lot of cracks in the battle for ideas and having to give some (quite judicious) concessions to emotive calls for tax (especially on the rich) and inefficient spend.
    I hope Boris through force of personality and good generalship is successful at papering over the ideological gaps this time but the Conservative Party must start explaining and educating people about the workings and benefits of Capitalism and the market economy. Otherwise we are going to end up with a Labour Marxist regime after an election in 5 or 10 years time even if we escape this time.

  32. Robert Mcdonald
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    The greater evil is that of denying the democratic choice of the people. Of course the gentleman would be taken aback, Boris has managed to achieve the impossible considering the obstacles he had to face.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 3, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Robert – – the ‘impossible’ being?

  33. agricola
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    What you write about is making life more tolerable for those on low incomes. Very laudable, but you now need to turn your mind to the support and encouragement of those who are going to create the wealth to make your generosity viable. The group I refer to, labours top 5% of earners, are already paying over 50% of income tax and NI. The trick will be to encourage them by the removing of taxes that the remaining 95% are less likely to be paying. I am thinking IHT, Stamp Duty, Capital Gains tax.
    Failure will encourage this 5% to look at the options. Nett loser is GB Ltd.

  34. Alec
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    “This election is about the prosperity and the well being of electors.”
    LOL
    No it is about the politicians vying to promise the most free stuff to people whilst planning to fleece them as hard as they can.

  35. Fred H
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    We are in the era of Doublespeak. Whatever politicians say most of them will do the opposite. Hence ‘we don’t believe you’ rings true for most people.

  36. Fred H
    Posted December 3, 2019 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Sir John – – we finally have a printed communication from you.
    Sorry but it is underwhelming. You need to be punchy, direct, hard- hitting. Go on the attack – your main (only?) competitor needs to be confronted. You have been steadfast, open and honest, with clear views representing Wokingham for more than 30 years. The rude inaccurate picture or you from the challenger is offensive. He is a turncoat so-called Conservative who had an epiphany and renounced all the attitudes and policies overnight. Would you now trust someone from next-door who now turns out to be totally different to what he pretended to be? The electorate need to be reminded that our adjacent constituency members deselected him. They don’t believe him – why should we?

  37. a-tracy
    Posted December 4, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Helping people be better off.
    How on earth can sensible spenders compete with spendthrifts – especially when spendthrifts say don’t worry only rich people earning over £80,000 pa will pay for:

    Free tuition fees – and Labour think all those 20 years of graduates paying their 9% graduate tax are just going to be fine with that!;
    Homes for everyone – no one rough sleeping;
    Free personal care;
    Free prescriptions – I see where that leads to with people stockpiling pills they don’t need, why do people moan about this when those same people support “more money for the nhs” – “we must save the nhs” – well guarantee to put prescription charges into the respective local NHS;
    £10ph minimum wage from 2020;
    Refill the local schools pots in London who the Tories have taken £55m from; really?
    More investment into local police;
    more investment into local youth services;
    and on
    and on
    and on
    and this will just cost 1% more to the top 5% who no-one knows many of anyway

  • About John Redwood


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

    Promoted by David Edmonds on behalf of John Redwood both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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