In praise of small business and the self employed

Yesterday in Parliament the government confirmed its renewed scheme to offer some money to the self employed who are banned from working by lock down rules.

In the exchanges I welcomed the government’s acceptance of a simple proposition. If government prevents someone from earning their living or from trading their business for a public health reason, they should compensate them.

I went on to ask given this common ground between us, why didn’t the government follow through and make sure all categories of self employed who have lost their livelihoods to lockdown are in receipt of some substitute income for the duration of the controls?

I was not the only one to ask this. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury gave us the same answer as during the first Furlough scheme. They find it too difficult, for example, to distinguish between a self employed person working only for his own small company and paying himself a dividend, and a rich individual receiving dividends from other companies where he or she does little or no work. I find this bizarre. The Treasury should already know from tax records that the individual just has the one source of income, and works in the company he runs. They can always check it if they are suspicious. They could demand some certification by the individual when claiming the money. They rely on the individual to make an honest declaration of the dividends for tax purposes anyway.

I and others will keep pressing the government, though they seem unwilling so far to be fairer and more flexible. As I explained again to the Minister we will need all the entrepreneurs, small business people and small companies we can get when lockdown is over the power the economy back to life. Our small business sector deserves better. The Treasury should also abandon it tax attacks on people who work for themselves where the tax authorities want to claim they work one of their customers.

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91 Comments

  1. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    The treasury doesn’t like the self employed.
    They can’t control their income and find it difficult to tax them.
    This is endemic in the EU and the reason all the big tech is in America.
    We need a good clear out of government departments because they are inefficient and corrupt.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      +1

      • Sharon
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        +1

        • Hope
          Posted November 4, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          Small business go bust, big corporate sweep up. They donate to Fake Tory party as they killed the competition. Easy.

          I would like some of the free money from the magic money tree please. Politicians always use the phrase people have to pay their fair share.

          I paid my fair share and have not received any free money. Could it be back dated from March please. I suspect you will ask me and others to pay loads more tax without receiving our “fair share.” Even though we are at a historic fifty year high in taxation.

          I would also like a break at an all inclusive four star hotel with spending money that Patel is giving to criminals entering our country illegally. I would also like my family transported to meet me. They also pay taxes and want their fare share.

          Your socially cultural marxist govt. must be fair to all.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      They do not seem to have much difficulty in over taxing them. But we can see their priorities – the state sector get 100% of pay (often while “working” at home) and gold plated pensions, employees Just 80% Or far less if higher earners and self employed and company directors often far, far less or nothing. The endless attacks on the self employed, UBER drivers, builders and the likes and the endless red tape the government try to strangle them with. These are huge mistakes they should be encourage and left alone as far as possible.

      So Trump is now odds on favourite, he is a far better choice for a US recovery. Cheap reliable on demand energy, deregulation, lower taxes, far less government – just what the UK needs too. Plus a nice US/UK trade deal now more likely. Let’s hope he pulls it off (for all his many faults) – still at least is is modest with it!

      So what is the false positive test rate 1%, 2%, 3% does Hancock know why is it still a state secret? How long after recovery do people still test positive? The questioning in the parliamentary science committee of Chris Whitty was rather pathetic. The SAGE project fear agenda is clearly scientific drivel.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        The attacks on landlords and tenants have been even worse. Now expected to pay tax on “profits” that they have not even made thanks to halfwit tax to death Osborne and Hammond. Tenants encourages not to pay rents and preventing legal actions and evictions despite this – plus endless new and costly red tape too.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted November 4, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

          End of property rights in view?
          End of private ownership as envisaged by various global forces?
          Give up everything and be happy or some such manipulative ( rich man) rot!

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted November 5, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

            The Human Rights Act 1998 protects The Peaceful Enjoyment Of Possessions.

            Scrap it if you want though.

        • Hope
          Posted November 4, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

          LL, you mean ‘fare share’. Politicians, especially Fake Tories say you must pay your fare share. Even though they provide free health care to the world. I note we are never told how many hospital beds are taken up be health tourists during this virus- why not? If Johnson is correct and doctors need to decide who gets treated surely it is our own tax paying people first? If not why not?

          How many of those allowed to fly in from virus hotspots had hospital or medical treatment because their won countries were overwhelmed? Where are the graphs or projections Witty and Valance? After all save the NHS save lives.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted November 4, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          +1 And landlords are considered to receive ‘investment income’ although they have to work like stink keeping property up to scratch. So nothing for them at all.

          If the deep state would award Trump the states he has won, the election would be over bar the shouting, screaming, stamping and holding-their-breath-until-they-turn-blue swampies.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        It is not the period of time when detected positive that is key, it is the period when the infectious period can start ie. before, during or after the onset of symptoms, and it may stop before or after the symptoms stop showing.
        Does anybody really know – we should have determined a better idea by now!

      • John Hatfield
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        “Trump is now odds on favourite,”
        Hope you are right Ll.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        Trump alas no longer odds-on!

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      I hear the BBC and Sly news have been placed on suicide watch. With the prospect of Trump winning, oh the anguish.
      There is a God.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        If Trump holds on (the odds suggest about 65% likely) it will delightfully annoy the “BBC think” types and all the deluded climate alarmists. Plus it will be good for the USA/UK/World and their economies.

        Any chance the BBC and Boris can be turned to Climate realism or at least some balance on this issue given the new DG. English at Selwyn it seems – so I assume not. Perhaps they could recruit a sound physicist/scientist to replace the climate alarmist Roger Harrabin surely time for his retirement (English Catz). The BBC has dripped enough misguided, unscientific, one sided alarmism on the nation for a lifetime.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        Everyone with more than half a brain cell always knew that there was every chance of Trump’s winning a second term, after what happened in 2016.

        Your post is apparently silly wishful thinking as to people’s states of mind, but illustrates well your motives for most of what you say.

        So you’ve had a rather disappointing life, have given up on yourself, and now all that you can wish is for others’ displeasure?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 4, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          What on earth are you on about? Anyway the odds have flipped again. Biden is now the strong favourite again.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 4, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          “Everyone….always knew….”

          The whole media have been telling us Biden would win easily for months.
          Which political commentators have been saying Trump had “every chance of winning” ?

        • Fred H
          Posted November 4, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          Marty – schadenfreude?
          I take it you are addressing Andy?

      • Richard
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        Independent forecasters like 21st century wire have been predicting this for weeks, saying that the US polls were fake & intended to influence behaviour.

      • Hope
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        Ian,
        Tragic that people were afraid to say they voted trump because the illiberal left MSM would smear and ridicule them. Yet in contrast anyone else using this behaviour would be called bullies etc.

        Same here withBrexit. Remember Osborne saying no one serious would vote Brexit?

      • glen cullen
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      They do not really like any of the private sector at all not just the self employed.

      All they want to do is tax them, fine them, charge them licence fees, over regulate them, make it hard from them to employ people (with bonker employment laws) and to expand and over charge them on water, energy, planning, landfill, road taxes, congestion charges, motorist mugging taxes and all the rest .

      As Chuchill put it:- Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.

      A wagon that carries the state sector (which is largely unporductive dead weight) he might have added.

  2. Mark B
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    And again, thank you Sir John.

    Please keep pressing the government on this.

    The self employed do not want hangouts. What they want is for government to stop messing things up and interfering with their lives. Government and the Public Sector wastes far more money than it looses through someone being self employed and having only a few customers.

    At every point when someone starts a business they are going to have just one or two customers to begin with. As you know, it takes time to grow a successful business and because of various employment laws and government interference growing it can be very difficult.

    To re-iterate. We don’t need help. We need a stable government, economy and little or no government interference. We can do the rest ourselves and pay our dues as before. The government in the long run will win as we will have a growing economy.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Totally agree.
      But once the nosey govt. HAS interfered and destroyed then surely help is appropriate?
      After all it was/is Hell bent on this particular interference.

      • Hope
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        Mark, I think this is Johnson’s ERM moment. People will not forget he cost them their job, house and business because he is a mixture of a headless chicken and a jelly fish.

        Look at Macron publicly denouncing Islamic radicalisation and terrorism as a threat to the republic and his country’s way of life and culture. He does not want a parallel society which is under constant threat or being constantly undermined by fear tactics. In contrast read Johnson’s wibbly wobbly bland platitudes offering to stand by their side. You would not want him a million miles by you- he would run off!

        Articles in Con Woman and Spectator by the likes of Patrick O’Flyn and others highlighting his flawed character and why he is unfit to be PM.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 4, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

          Well he is far from perfect I agree. But certainly better than Heath, Brown, Blair, Wilson, Cameron and 9% May plus he did rescue he country from the dire prospect Corbyn and get a large majority.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      The typo hangouts is relevant – how many will think they have no future and give up?
      Handout is a poor term when all State employees continue to get full pay, benefits, pension rights etc.

  3. Everhopeful
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    “ If government prevents someone from earning their living or from trading their business for a public health reason, they should compensate them”
    Yes! Exactly what should happen.
    A few people I know could not get that stupid “furlough” ( very Jane Austen) and either kept working or took a loan.
    Most unfair but typical.
    Stress testing SMEs with a view to destroying them?

  4. DOMINIC
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    It’s the politics of the coward. This government and their lackeys know they can dismiss easy political targets who don’t represent any meaningful,organised political threat in the way the public sector unions do or BLM or other pro-Labour, leftist activist pressure groups

    The self-employed can’t withdraw their labour and make the threat of withdrawing their labour in the way the unionised public sector does to extract privileges

    The self-employed aren’t organised or indulge in threats or violence to extract privileges and demand special treatment in the way the BLM does

    I watch closely how leaders respond to pressure from various activist groups and those organised groups who work through Labour always achieve success while those who aren’t organised always get kicked in the guts

    It reflects a lack of ideals, morals and principles since the downing of Thatcher with politicians no longer guided by principle but by short term political considerations and a ‘who gives a toss anyway’ attitude.

    The voter put Johnson in government because they lack the courage to vote for Farage’s party. The British voter’s innate conservative instincts to stick with what they know will be their downfall for they believe they are voting for stability when in fact they’re voting to endorse authoritarianism

    These slime take away our living and then they’ll come for our assets and then they’ll come for our freedom. Only when there’s nothing left will the majority wake up from their slumber and do something about it

    • Nigl
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      Quad gratis asseritur gratis negatur or as Christopher Hitchens puts it in his ‘razor’

      What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence, so like many of your posts, total bollocks.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        The post you criticise contained the writer’s opinions based on the evidence of their observations. Your response, to dismiss their opinions as ‘bollocks’ is, well – undiluted bolleaux.

        If you disagree with someone’s opinions, you could always try countering them.

      • Dan R
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        So you are disregarding observational evidence?
        Some people are more observant than others (fact).
        Dominic has every right to his perspective, and for all you know, his perspective and view point might be based around far more factual information than the majority have.
        My observations are also inline with Dominic’s . You can’t tell me I haven’t seen what I’ve seen. I haven’t fudged any data. I’ve just observed , and that’s what it looks like to me.
        You’re the one actually saying “bollocks”.

        • Nigl
          Posted November 4, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

          There is plenty of research on unconscious personal bias merely justifying ones personal opinions. Hence the quote that without empirical evidence I have a similar right to dismiss them

      • Hope
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Dom, I agree. Per my above comment to Mark. Read Macron’s public statements standing up for his country against Johnson’s weak pathetic non committal platitudes. He was the same with BLM, Extinction rebellion etc. In contrast allows a huge punitive fine by fixed penalty the amount of which could not be given by a magistrates court!

      • No longer Anonymous
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Can we have the lockdown lifted then ???

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      +1

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Dominic you could ask why the Forum of Private Business, Federation of Small Business, British Chamber of Commerce aren’t talking about their members problems in the media at all. There are freelancers in unions such as the musicians union do you ever see them getting any time to explain why many of their members have been unable to get any SEISS at all since March the only place I read them is on twitter.

      If you only pay yourself Dividends and avoid national insurance and a small % of tax then you aren’t covered by the national insurance payouts seems to be the explanation. People that don’t work in the public sector or final salary pension schemes need more savings than people that are in those secure defined benefit payment schemes. Pension Pots worth £100,000 in the private sector only pay out now around £3500 then it drops to £2500 if you have spousal transfer from 60 if that age group is now pushed out of working. We have MPs in the treasury on protected pension schemes making decisions to punish people who have tried to responsibly save for their own retirement and not rely on the State!

      • Hope
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Atracey,

        Worse. MPs still get their pensions based on RPI but made others have CPI! Then their is the corrupt top up scheme of putting them , a brother, hair stylists in the Lords!

    • Richard
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      +1 Well said.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Farage threatened to sweep away Establishment thinking so had to be portrayed as unhinged. A very real threat to status quo. Now Covid has upset things more than he could have dared think.
      State employment is the way to survive, public controls constantly revised to confuse those who might openly rebel, offer future promises to cool the public anger – – the old USSR would be proud.

      • Mitchel
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Remember Stalin collectivized agriculture to set free workers for the accelerated industrialisation programme.The collective farms were then squeezed to the point of starvation to provide food for the newly swollen ranks of the industrial proletariat and to provide a surplus to sell abroad to fund foreign equipment purchases.

        #Build Back Better
        #Rethink.Reskill.Reboot.

        • Fred H
          Posted November 4, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

          and initially it worked but then rebellion to dictat meant loss of efficiency and belief in the plans.

  5. SM
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Perhaps there is some bitter civil war between The Treasury and the Inland Revenue, severing all contact, that is being kept hidden from MPs and the media alike?

  6. Iain Gill
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    If nothing else they should make universal credit payable regardless of savings and backdate it to the beginning of covid. They very much do have the systems to do this. Otherwise freelancers have been forced to spend all their float money and will not be able to operate as freelancers in the future.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      The savings thing is terrible.

      Government ensures an employee is kicked out on their behind by their employer because the business is no longer sustainable and then the employee who has savings over £6K or £16K is expected to pay for their own sustenance when others kicked out at the same time get huge sums of money thrown at them.

      If government want to means test, means test on how much these people spend monthly not how much they save.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        yep discouraging savings is a stupid idea.

        no equity either, as many very rich permanent staff have had their salary paid regardless of having massive amounts in savings.

        most importantly for the country is it is destroying our most innovative, flexible, part of the workforce.

      • JoolsB
        Posted November 5, 2020 at 12:27 am | Permalink

        +1

  7. Iain Gill
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    It’s worse than claiming that they work for one of their customers. They want all business travel and hotels, and security clearance, etc, to be paid from already taxed money. Forcing freelancers out of the market to be replaced with workers from the big consultancies who can pay business expenses tax free.

  8. Sharon
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Or alternatively- let people go to work- and save the government a fortune!!

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      +1

      • JoolsB
        Posted November 5, 2020 at 12:27 am | Permalink

        +2

  9. agricola
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Yes, the self employed are the seed corn of future success so ignore them at your peril. Meanwhile the Civil Service in all its manifestations, producing nothing, if not acting as a chicane in the economy, continue on full pay. Totally bizarre.

    • Nigl
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Agreed, the difficulty is that the Civil Service and political masters have zero knowledge of how to be farmers and the seed corn grows into a harvest that they view as their own.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      agricola

      Agreed.

      HMRC have tax returns, so compensate on the basis of those returns. its not difficult they calculate the tax in advance. !

      JR its just an excuse, and a pathetic and lazy one.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      A chicane or roadblock – which is it?

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      +1

  10. Ian @Barkham
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    “They find it too difficult, for example, to distinguish between a self employed person working only for his own small company and paying himself a dividend, and a rich individual receiving dividends from other companies where he or she does little or no work. ”

    They have obviously never seen a UK tax return form. Online its been simplified over the years and now the difference is all to clear. Not forgetting all payments are capped i.e. both in terms of prior income and in payments out

  11. Ian @Barkham
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Keeping people under ‘House Arrest’ when no actual evidence exists to support it is criminal in itself.

  12. Ian @Barkham
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Are we all in this ‘together’? It would appear not, full pay for some who are also not working, while the majority are forced into poverty and hardship yet expected to fund those gold plated remunerating schemes.

    Being in it together suggests equal effort and the sharing of the burden between all of us.

  13. Ian @Barkham
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    What is needed is Government by the people for the people.

    Treat everyone as equals and you excel. Rule by decree, and everyone lives in fear.

  14. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I am not rich. I am retired. I have one source of income which is dividends from companies I have invested my pension fund in. Are you going to compensate me ? Why not ? Self-employed paying themselves by dividends from a personal service company are doing so to avoid full employer and employee National Insurance contributions and minimise tax, they could have set up as normal employees of the company or sole traders and received furlough money. They chose instead to set themselves up as investors in their own company and that company stopped trading, just like if I had invested in an unsuccessful company. Too bad.

  15. villaking
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Sir John, it is in your last paragraph where you say “when lockdown is over” that I feel most concern. Whitty & Vallance have confirmed that they think we need repeat lockdowns until there is a vaccine. Since there may never be a vaccine and since your leader only listens to these scientists and not the many other eminently qualified scientists out there, it seems like a perpetual cycle of hell for us. I hope you will vote against these measures today and encourage others to do so. At least if Johnson gets this through only thanks to Labour votes it will provide him a chance for some serious consideration.

  16. Mick
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    There’s a surprise the bias bbc not so secretly hoping Biden will win the USA election thereby thinking they can stop Brexit, I’ve news for you bias bbc we left the dreaded Eu on January 31st this year, Biden showing he’s all for the Eu with his constant mutterings of claiming his Irish roots , we know your roots along with a lot more USA citizens when they were funding the IRA with donations but that came to a sudden stop after 9/11, so if by chance Biden does win the election I hope Boris is going to do what we voted for by a huge majority to put him in power and that we have no ties with the Eu and if America doesn’t like it tough keep your nose out

  17. agricola
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    The Law Commission proposes that the law covering hate crime be extended to events like dinner parties within the private home. I find this totally and utterly unacceptable. Will they rely on evidence from a guest that felt the Beef Wellington was overcooked and wishes to make a point or do they propose listening devices in our TV sets. It is truly outrageous. Where do you stand on this.

  18. MickN
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    O/T
    With the lockdown vote later being only applicable to England – will the SNP be allowed to vote?

    • Fred H
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      yes of course.

    • JoolsB
      Posted November 5, 2020 at 12:37 am | Permalink

      They chose to abstain – unusual for them. But they could have voted had they wished like the rest of the interfering meddling MPs from outside England who did vote on this English only measure and as usual 553 UK MPs squatting in English seats watched on and said nothing as they obviously don’t have a problem with this affront to what passes as democracy for their constituents.

  19. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I know someone who runs a small takeaway cafe. Yesterday she asked me ” What is the point of me being able to open, when my customers have been told to stay home – or get fined?
    You lot really don’t live in the world you create for the rest of us do you? It must be nice in your world – because you are clearly, deliberately, destroying ours – and STILL importing anyone and their families who heads for Dover. Agenda 21 in full throttle.

  20. Heavensent
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Strange thing to be talking about on a day like this

  21. Harry
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Government figures are lies, statistics manipulated, thousands are dying because of lack of treatment, Boris is a traitor. The ONS figures prove it. Lockdown is a controlled demolition of the economy and the whole of government and parliament are implicated in the biggest crime of all time.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Population reduction.
      Think what it will be like in Africa ( except Malawi, where I think lockdowns were banned by the court).
      Polio is already rife through vaccination, TB and malaria will surge.
      And food ( carrying the “virus”) is often destroyed.

  22. Norman
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    The BBC showing its true colours today – surely no longer fit for purpose as a neutral state broadcaster. Or is it a reflection of the state we’ve become?
    “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

  23. BillM
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    It’s a grand idea to assist the self-employed, who appear to be placed at the bottom of the industry funding pile.
    However, as a tax payer, I would like to know just how and when all of this borrowed money and spent by this Government is going to be repaid to the lenders?
    The Nation is now £2.2 T in debt and rising daily it is now over 100% of our GDP and it is only the ultra low interest rates that are holding it in check.
    What is going to happen when speculators despair of our currency and they play deja vu 1992 with the ERM all over again?

  24. JoolsB
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    The ones making these decisions, the politicians and scientists of course are on 100% of their salaries along with the rest of the pampered public sector. Out of touch as they are, they have insultingly even received a generous pay rise at a time when those in the wealth creating private sector who through no fault of their own are seeing their businesses go down the pan, their jobs and livelihoods disappear or having to survive on drastically reduced incomes. The new scheme for the self employed means they can only claim 55% of their average monthly income and even then they cannot put in a claim until the end of November. How on earth are all those who have families to feed and mortgages to pay expected to live on nothing for a month and then just 55% of their income after that? Compare that to the public sector told to stay at home and do what they can. How many billions is it costing to keep a bloated public sector, bloated parliament and bloated H of L going? We need a cull in all three when this is over but will need a Conservative Government for that one.

    Your party, Conservative in name only John, will never be forgiven for their wanton vandalism of the private sector whilst protecting their beloved client state.

  25. Patrick
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Listening to Sir Macolm Rifkind on BBC-and as an outsider- =I was greatly impressed with his clarity and insight on the US election- wish we had people of that calibre here in Ireland. He talks straight and to the point- UK politics could do with more people like him

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      They happened to find 170,000 absentee votes in Milwaukee at 3.00am, all for Biden. Trump went from 130,000 ahead to 9,000 down. Seems the same thing is now happening in Michigan and no doubt Pennsylvania has the same strategy.
      We need to prepare to be very poor, war all around the world and the EU and USA and China all hand in hand.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Just like the Welsh Referendum.
        Once you lose faith in democracy, it’s all over.

      • Keith
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Not true- if it were true the FBI would be all over the place. Trump lies- he tells lies the bigger the better as far as he is concerned. And this is the person so many in this country would be willing to put their trust in for a trade deal- even Liam Fox is turned off after last nights Trump press conference and tweets- I hope Biden is going to win and bring some decency back into politics- am sick of lies and deceit both sides of the Atlantic

      • DOMINIC
        Posted November 4, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        We saw the same in Peterborough. Labour criminality colluding with one of their dependent clients. And was this criminal abuse exposed by the Tory party? Erm, no as it meant a Brexit party free Parliament

        The message is clear. Democracy will be abused and in time dismantled by party political slime who despise accountability

  26. Peter
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    In my younger days I worked in tax avoidance and it was a gentleman’s game – ask the right questions, get the true answers and the tax position was agreed either together or in court. From 1980’s onwards the state just threw larger and larger amounts of money to pursue each individual case and the “industry” was dead. Only a few forms of avoidance have been tolerated since but the dividend route is certainly one of them.
    I can see both sides of the argument, but it is a bit rich to say to the Government you should be able to distinguish between different types of dividend! The reason it was structured that way is now coming back to bite those who used this method!

    • Peter
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      For transparency, not posted by me.

  27. glen cullen
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    This government and all other governments have never really understood the self-employed and what makes them tick

    After 2008 I swore I’d never employ people again, due to the extra burden of taxation, bureaucracy, employment law, EU regulations and cheap competition of foreign labour

    The freedoms that the self-employed had have all but disappeared with the complexities and burdens of running a small business now placed upon the self-employed

    Forget the next new invention built in a shed or that cottage industry making it to the high street – this government with all its bureaucracy has taken the heart out of the self-employed

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      That’s precisely what they want.
      No innovations from small people.
      That’s what the EU is all about …and NWO I dare say.

  28. Newmania
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    The self employed are often keen to tell you how rugged and independent they are, and that this is why they can afford such a nice house and delightful holidays
    Does this not see a bit ” Heads you win , tails I lose” ?

  29. ukretired123
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Yes we need to praise and value Small Businesses indeed as they are the very foundation of our wealth now and in the immediate future Sir John.
    Today a local village pub is having to sell off their real ale draught at £2 / pint of throw it away……..

  30. John Hatfield
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    It would appear that the government is more concerned about big-business than small businesses that are the life-blood of the UK.

    • ukretired123
      Posted November 4, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      JH I Agree and this been due to their powerful lobbying as they poo-poo small businesses very sadly and have been doing so for decades despite cock-ups galore just on the IT projects alone. Compare if small businesses messed up they would go bust and rightly so!

  31. XYXY
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    “The Treasury should also abandon it tax attacks on people who work for themselves where the tax authorities want to claim they work one of their customers.”

    Yes, that’sit in a nutshell – they have used the unfettered powers in the Coronavirus Act 2020 to continue their war on small businesses.

    They produced a stipulation that one had to be a member of a PAYE scheme on or before 19th March… but only if there had been an RTI submission in the 2019-2020 tax year, despite knowing perfectly well that a large proportion of small businesses submit one RTI annually, in the last month of the tax year (i.e. 6/3 to 5/4).

    This deliberately excluded small businesses from even claiming the PAYE element of their remuneration, such as it is, despite the fact that many of them had been members of their PAYE scheme for decades and simply chose to make their submission between 20/3 and 5/4 for that tax year (a perfectly valid choice).

    It is quite bizarre for someone to be excluded for not submitting a return in a period when no return is due!!!

    please… abolish Employers NI and we can largely forget all about these silly “employment statuses”.

  32. Ian @Barkham
    Posted November 4, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    More irony today, our wonderful PM apologizes to the CBI for the lock-down.

    As the CBI has nothing to do with British or even English business the majority are not even domiciled in the UK. Why could he not make the same apology to UK business leaders, those that actually contribute to the UK at every stage of their enterprise. Why does this Government not support those that make up the majority of the UK GDP.

    Those that are expected to keep paying for BJ’s mistakes along with his large crew of appointed hanger-on-ers, clearly see this is not all of us in it together just the majority being manipulated by the insane, for the benefit of the few.

    “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few” from BJ’s hero should now become “Never in the field of human conflict was so much payed to so few by so many”

  • 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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