What do you want in the Autumn Statement?


Labour introduced the idea of a pre Budget budget in the late autumn. The old routine was to fix the spending levels in the Auutmn Statement, and then raise the money to pay for it in the budget. Post Mr Brown, the Chancellor gives an overview of spending and taxes in the Autumn Statement, as a prelude to the Budget.

Mr Brown wanted to get credit for announcing something twice. He then developed  a passion for announcing future years tax changes in advance as well, if they were favourable.  Then you could announce something several times over. There are, however, some advantages to this system. Giving people more notice than a year for changes can be helpful. Provoking discussion of tax ideas in the autumn before putting them into law the next spring can allow greater consultation. The present Chancellor set out a long term plan to cut Corporation Tax, maximising the favourable impact the cuts can have by giving current and future investors in the UK a longer view of what they will be paying.

In this spirit people can put forward their ideas for the Autumn Statement as the Chancellor mulls his judgement. It is that time of year again.

Many of you would doubtless like the Chancellor to cut spending more. Ending HS2, reducing overseas aid, making more inroads into welfare spending as jobs pick up and others spring to mind. This would allow more scope for tax cuts. How far would you go next year with spending controls?

Finding ideas for tax cuts is the relatively easy bit.  The UK is overtaxed, like most EU democracies. It has two governments for the price of three, thanks to the ever increasing tax and regualatory cost of the EU.

I favour cuts to tax rates on income, enterprise and saving. A lower CGT rate would increase receipts from this tax. Tapering Stamp Duty could help the government’s plans for more people to own their own home. Taking more people out of tax altogether, and allowing people higher up the income scale to also benefit from a higher tax free allowance, would make working more worthwhile. Rolling back green energy levies would be popular.

What are your own preferences?



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  1. Arschloch
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    A big windfall tax on the utilities like Mrs Thatcher did on the banks. With the returns on equity that they have for the risk that they take, means they must be screwing the punters for what they charge for their services. Most of them are foreign owned who regard the UK as being “Treasure Island” where you can pick up easy money for little effort. The money gathered in could justify a cut in petrol prices over the winter for those of us who get out of bed and go to work.

    • Bob
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink


      Most of them are foreign owned who regard the UK as being “Treasure Island”

      I thought that being foreign was a protected characteristic, just like age, sexuality and disablement?

  2. Brian Taylor
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    All the above, cuts must continue as interest rates on 10year bond is creeping up now at 2.9% all efforts must be to cut the deficit and then in the long term the DEPT!

  3. Daniel
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    I also favour higher personal allowances and taking people people out of the 40p rate as you say john, but I and many britons would like a dramatic cut in fuel duty.

    • Mark
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      Guess what the utilities will do if you impose another tax on them? Increase your bill to pay for it, just as they have with green levies.

      If you want cheaper energy bills you should be arguing for a change in energy policy to allow cheap coal and to encourage domestic production of gas (particularly shale gas),while stopping all the investment in expensive forms of energy such as offshore wind,overpriced nuclear, etc. – and for much more competition between wholesale energy providers,rather than the government dictated regime that is akin to nationalisation they operate in at present.

  4. Richard1
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Cutting taxes for the low paid whilst at the same time clamping down on excessive welfare has been shown to be highly beneficial for employment elsewhere, eg in Sweden. CGT should be cut. So should the 45% tax, though that may not be worth the political fuss. Meanwhile let’s cut some of the ridiculous waste. HS2 obviously, but what about a ‘burden of proof’ exercise on all quangos? They get closed unless they can demonstrate a clear net public benefit.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 1:46 am | Permalink

      Given that welfare in Sweden is still higher than in the UK it’s clear that the welfare in the UK isn’t excessive. Especially when most people would be better off if they worked full time in a minimum wage job.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 11:09 pm | Permalink


        I’ll give you socialists one thing you keep on believing despite being wrong, despite the facts being against you and despite your failure to research.

        1) Sweden now pays LESS welfare than the UK
        2) Sweden has radically CUT taxes
        3) there is NO minimum wage in Sweden

      • Richard1
        Posted November 15, 2013 at 12:35 am | Permalink

        According to my understanding Sweden have fixed their system better so they dontnhave the same v high marginal tax rates as people face here when they come off welfare and take work.

  5. colliemum
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Given the rising costs for energy, which affects not only the fabled ‘hard-working families’ but industries across the board, thus being a factor in inflation, it is high time that the Chancellor announces the repeal of the CCA.
    Yes, I know this is not strictly in his remit, but the costs to us, and the income from it, surely are, as are the helpless attempts at paying from our taxes those who are hit the hardest. He might even ponder that this repeal would mean he can accommodate those who think the WFA needs to be abolished.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Mum–“Green?” may admittedly have a degree of popularity but I wonder how popular “Green that’s going to cost you 17 (nearer 20 given what’s already under the bridge) years of increases much bigger than inflation?” would be?? I suspect not very.

  6. Richard1
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Cutting taxes for the low paid whilst also clamping down on excessive welfare has been shown to be highly beneficial for employment elsewhere, eg in Sweden. CGT needs to be cut, 28% is uncompetitive and a clear disincentive to risk taking. The 45% rate is also a nonsense. Then let’s cut some waste. HS2 should obviously stop. What about a ‘burden of proof’ exercise for all quangos? They get closed unless they can show a net public benefit. The Australian govt has withdrawn funding for a green quango /lobby group, and now it gets funded by green pressure groups. Let us do the same.

  7. sm
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I believe that tax simplification should be top of the agenda.

    It was promised, if anything has been done the Government have been remarkably quiet about publicising it, and it is vital.

    I will not be holding my breath.

  8. lifelogic
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Well Osborne should start by making a clear statement on his ratted on IHT £1M threshold and cut employers IHT. Until he undoes his ratting he lacks any credibility whatsoever, as does the EU ratter and giver away of sitting duck elections Cameron.

    It is very easy to cut the state sector:

    Firstly the staff are 50% overpaid (including pensions relative to the private sector) so addressing that saves 33% of the wage bill.

    Secondly about 1/4 of them do nothing useful whatsoever and could go without anyone noticing. Another 1/4 merely inconvenience the productive with daft laws, regulations, licencing and the likes and could go with a net benefit.

    Thirdly we have all the daft green subsidies and over priced energy by government design and idiotic HS2 types of projects.

    IHT, CGT and employers NI as the best place to start. But as everyone know we have Miliband in 18 months so it will make no difference long term.

    I see the great “thinker” John Major (personal comment deleted ed) has been on about “loyalty”. What on earth is the point of loyalty to people like himself and ratter Cameron? If the captain insists on marching you over the cliff, for lack of a working compass you need to stop them.

    Alas in Major’s case on the ERM and Maastricht there was far too much stupid blind loyalty. As I recall there was also rather little loyalty to Mrs Thatcher from Major’s mates over the half witted actions of entering the ERM and her removal.

    Loyalty (like respect) is something that has to be earned. Why on earth were the dopey John Major and the polished but dodgy photocopier sales man (and lefty fake green EU ratter) Cameron ever selected as leaders other than of lefty parties?

    How many terms of opposition has Cameron led the party to this time 1,2,3 or perhaps even infinity. What will have say after coming third in the MEP elections in May? Keep marching towards the cliff chaps don’t look right!

    • Hope
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Unemployment will not come down while the UK is providing jobs for low paid EU workers made up with tax credits. Make the benefit system a contributory system to help control and limit immigration and the dire affect it has on our public services and green land. No more legal aid top recent deportations. No more expensive detention centres. Straight denial at port of entry. Money saved to strengthen border Agency to do its job properly.
      The prudent savers and pensioners will suffer for another ten years or so. The debt increases by£1 billion every three days. The interest rate is kept artificially low to help debtors and government. The promise of balancing the structural deficit, keeping the triple A rating are but a distant memory. A start needs to be made because it still has to be paid back.
      Tax from corporate bodies cannot be collected in full while the capital freedom introduced by Major’s Maastricht Treaty exists. Other EU laws and regulation are strangling the UK economy. By about £120 billion a year.
      Therefore start with leaving the EU and instant £55 million saved each day, stop the £13 billion on overseas aid limiting it to disasters like the Philippines. Perhaps Osborne could introduce his 80/20 split between spending cuts and tax increases, four years too late, but he could make a start on his promise. How about asking the EU countries we helped to bail out for the money back to help pensioners in winter fuel poverty? Radical reform of parliament would help bring all this about.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        Much truth in that.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        You mention overseas aid of 13 billion per annum being stopped.
        Can you also include the ‘overseas’ aid recipients who have come here from overseas to receive aid in the form of free NHS treatment and education for their children at our expense. The cost of this dwarfs official overseas aid by many billions.

        • Hope
          Posted November 15, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          No, Hunt has announced all foreigners can have NHS treatment for about £300, most of the US will see this as a saving even if they include airfare. When you thought the position could not be made worse up jumps Jeremy Hunt with a stupid idea. How about no NHS card no treatment.

          Instead of writing off all asylum seekers because the back log is too long, how about stopping them at port of entry and let them apply from elsewhere. Are these included in the Tory fictional net immigration figures?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      I agree for the most part LL, but not perhaps with the ‘blind loyalty’ bit. MPs have told me about the sort of dirty tricks the whips get up to, in order to coerce backbenchers into supporting policies they wouldn’t normally touch with a barge pole. But that implies there was something ‘iffy’ in the first place, and by my reckoning, any such person is not really fit to hold public office anyway. If we can’t have honest politicians who haven’t got weaknesses that can be exploited, then our democracy hasn’t got a chance in hell and the arm-twisters will always get their way.

      What a dirty business politics is! That’s why I wouldn’t go anywhere near it.


      • lifelogic
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

        It is hard to see why honest, balanced, intelligent people who do not want to get their hands in the tax till or just a career, would want to go into politics now. Just a tiny handful of honourable people still seem to want to thank goodness.

        Anyone seeking to become an MP nowadays is rather likely to be most unsuitable for the role by virtue of this desire, we see this in perhaps 80% of the MPs elected.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 1:50 am | Permalink

      Firstly the staff are 50% overpaid (including pensions relative to the private sector) so addressing that saves 33% of the wage bill.

      The chances of this working are 0%. MP’s aren’t going to accept a 50% pay cut.

      Secondly about 1/4 of them do nothing useful whatsoever and could go without anyone noticing. Another 1/4 merely inconvenience the productive with daft laws, regulations, licencing and the likes and could go with a net benefit.

      Either provide evidence for this or admit you’re just making up numbers. Make sure explain where you’re getting you evidence that a quarter of all NHS staff could be fired without effecting anything.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        Clearly I am making up (or rather estimating) the numbers/percentages but if you observe most state sector departments at work for a day you can see they are in the right ball park.

        The 50% over paid including pensions is a clear fact though, as can be seen from published figures. The 25% merely inconveniencing the productive is perhaps on the low side.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      Sorry – Cut employer’s NI I meant.

    • Arschloch
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      LL what a load of old cobblers who was PM in 1988 when sterling was pegged to the DM and again who was PM when the UK joined the ERM? It certainly was not John Major. Apart from being repetitious in content, with usually the same limited vocabulary, your comments are now starting to fill up with historical errors. For me in comparison to what has followed him I would certainly welcome back Sir John as PM

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        You are clearly mad, even the dreadful Dave Cameron is preferable to Major, at least he can speak in full sentences and does not go on and on about his poor background. Even if he does have the same fake green, pro EU, lefty broken compass – always 180 degrees out.

        Major was chancellor when Thatcher was pushed in to entering the ERM by him and others. I would be delighted not to have to ever hear or see more drivel from John Major (or indeed Chris Huhne) on TV/Radion ever again.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        Limited vocabulary –

        Clearly I could swallow a thesaurus (Perhaps Will Self style) and write more like an arts graduate. But these people often spend more time thinking about how they say something, rather than the logic of what they are actually saying. They often seem to me to end up talking complete (if elegant) rubbish. Dancing verbosely around nothing of any real substance.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Permalink


        Before you tell others they are talking cobblers it might help if you got your own story straight. On entering the ERM in OCTOBER 1990 THEN the pound was pegged to the DM.

        Here you go, its not difficult http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Exchange_Rate_Mechanism

        Fail 1/10 must try harder

    • Bazman
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Which staff in the private sector are 50% overpaid cleaners, nurses, customs tax officials, low grade civil servants on less then 20K? Do tell us who they are. You propose to cut a hospital porters wages and pension by 50 %? There may well be some NHS managers and high grade civil servants on 50% to much. This however is not what you mean. Who would work for 10k a year and no pension? More silly unsubstantiated fantasy based on feelings pretending to be facts. You work for nothing nobody else will.
      Interesting to see you are against pay day lenders, but not low wages or parasitic companies and landlords causing a need for them. Or do they just spend it on fun not on electricity cards? One day you will wake up.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 16, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        I did not say the state sector were overpaid – merely that they are paid (when including pensions) 50% more than the private sector who taxes fund them – as is clearly quite true from the published figures.

        • Bazman
          Posted November 17, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

          Even the cleaners and porters? As if.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 17, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

            Leader of my local council on half a million.
            Happy with that Baz?
            Retiring in your fifties on final salary, inflation proofed pensions. Happy with that Baz?
            Pay offs of several hundred thousands for failing?
            Happy with that Baz?
            All this whilst they close care homes close swimming pools reduce funding to youth clubs and switch off street lights to “save money”

          • Bazman
            Posted November 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            Top managers paid for failure or they go on the sick for a few years and then gat a massive pay off. Not the sweeper upper though, he just gets the sack, again the same as the private sector. Middle class social security system at full tilt.

  9. lifelogic
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    The combination of inflation, CGT at 28%, income tax at up to 45%, NI at about 23% (combined), VAT at 20%, inheritance taxes at at 40% and all the other taxes & duties makes it very hard indeed for any individual to increase their net wealth very much in real terms – all the money is sucked into the government and largely wasted on nonsense or augmenting the feckless.

    Unless you are non dom or have very good tax accountants & lawyers the best thing is surely to take your money or labours somewhere else, where it is valued and perhaps taxed at only 20% or 15%.

    Either that or live on the dole as the state seems to want us all to, and just enjoy your free time perhaps reading, playing a musical instrument, walking, cooking, fishing & growing veg on an allotment and collecting firewood for heat.

    • livelogic
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps having lots of nice children too for other people to to pay for.

      That seems to be what the government want, or at least, what the current tax and benefit system seems to encourage.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        “Live on the dole as the state seems to want us all to, and just enjoy your free time perhaps reading, playing a musical instrument, walking, cooking, fishing & growing veg on an allotment and collecting firewood for heat.”
        This is what I keep telling edward2 it’s like on the dole in the UK and in Europe with no job, but he refuses to believe me and rants on about hardship and the financial aspects of unemployment. Listen to you lifdogics wise words edward2. Sound better than what I have been doing all day in the metal trade. If you had a zero hours contract and a few hours here and there to pay for the pub and the generator you would be sorted, a bit skint and scruffy, but as I have said before, self respect is well overrated. I just don’t know why I bother….!?

        • Edward2
          Posted November 16, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          I haven’t a clue what you are rambling on about Baz

    • Hope
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Osborne said it was morally right to have low taxes. The problem being he has raised over 300 taxes and has not made any substantial spending cuts. The debt increases by £1 billion every three days. His other pledge/promise was to cut the structural deficit by 2015 and start reducing the debt by 2015. He wanted us to judge him by the triple A rating and sound money as well. Not a lot going for him. Now he has started a housing boom, now where have we heard comments about this before and after a boom comes a? He has started the housing boom so is he going to keep interest rates low for savers and pensioners forever or is he going to put all those new home buyers into debt they cannot afford to repay? Perhaps if spent a full week at the Treasury his thoughts might be clear at what needs to be done in the national interest not short term political interest to grab a headline.

      • Hope
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        I suppose the housing boom will be good for the EU to provide social housing on your doorstep for the imminent (arrival ed) of Romanians and Bulgarians likely to come here in January. No wonder Blunket and Straw are writing about the folly of their government’s immigration policy.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        Well if he wants low taxes he has to stop pissing money down the drain on HS2, green subsidies and a bloated government does he not. Otherwise he is just talking drivel.

  10. Narrow shoulders
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I wish for the tax burden on higher rate tax payers to be reduced greatly. Increase the threshold instead of reducing it to pay for increasing the basic rate.

    I would also like to see a household tax allowance. At present two earners in a household earning twenty five thousand each bring home four thousand pounds a year more than a single fifty thousand pound earner yet the two household costs will be similar. The two twenty five thousand earners will also keep and child benefit they are awarded. How is this fair and sharing the burden?

    Child benefit should be reduced to apply to only two children.

    Business to bear a greater tax burden (possibly based upon revenue in this country rather than profit) to pay for the infrastructure it benefits from.

    Tax credits to be paid for by the employer.

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    No one ever mentions that the Government’s debts will cost taxpayers £46.5 billion this year and this is forecast to rise to £71.3 billion by 2017-18. We didn’t expect this when we voted for your party as your Chancellor promised to eliminate the budget deficit by 2015 and to then start paying down the debt. On taking office, he reneged on that pledge.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Debt is very nasty Brian. Governments don’t seem to be able to do without it. I’d like to know if it really is a part of the political psyche – something they just prefer to manage rather than eradicate, a kind of perpetual bridging loan, or is it perhaps a means to keep feeding tax-payer’s money to a voracious, unseen monster?

      Views would be welcome.


    • Hope
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Well said. In fact they are now hiding their pledges/promises and U-turns from their website. Sounds like an EU ploy, make everything sound good and hide all the bad.

  12. Andyvan
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Cancel HS2, cancel foreign aid, announce complete review by independent accountants of all government departments with a view to closing them, immediate withdrawal from all EU treaties that we can legally withdraw from prior to referendum on leaving, withdraw all British forces from foreign bases and henceforth based only in sovereign territory, elimination of stamp duty, VAT, corporation tax and all stealth taxes, reduction in number of MP’s by at least 50%, large scale curtailment of local governments spending thereby reducing council tax by 50% or more, immediate closure of 90% of quangos, followed by the remaining 10% within 12 months, elimination of energy taxation, cancellation of all restrictive labour laws, removal of regulations that protect vested interests (banking being the most obvious), removal of all regulations on unions (especially the ones encouraging closed shops), closure of GCHQ and other repressive security apparatus.
    An idle dream of course. No political elite would ever give away freedom to it’s slaves.

    • Hope
      Posted November 15, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      You would have my vote.

  13. Bob
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,
    In addition to the items you mention I would like to hear of:

    – abolition of the TV Licence tax
    – bonfire of the quangos
    – a flat tax system (as per UKIPs policy)
    – abolition of green taxes and subsidies
    – increased investment in the UK road network
    – education vouchers
    – cancellation of the breast feeding voucher scheme

    • livelogic
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink


      Though I am all in favour of breast feeding. I recall once having to give one of my three babies a bottle of commercial stuff and she came out in blotches for three days the only time she ever did. It cannot be as good for them. Breast feeding and a nice high quality, meaty Italian style diet for the wife seemed to be the best plan.

      The idea of tax payer bribes for breast feeding is surely bonkers was it Cameron’s idea? Surely it will not work. Who will check on the payments and how much wages will all this cost? From tax payer, through countless bureaucrats & finally to recipients.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted November 15, 2013 at 12:31 am | Permalink

        Have we got ‘Breast Feeding Initiative’ police women on the beat yet?

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 16, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          They will, one assumes already be on some team building/training exercise, doubtless learning about racial sensitivities in the breast feeding area. It will have to be done and a gender neutral manner I assume.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 15, 2013 at 6:45 am | Permalink

        It is supposed to be based on trust and signed off by health workers so would cost little in administration at point of use. As you say bottle feeding is not good so how would you discourage this. Taxation of formula? Nope as you know why. Encouragement? By whom? Or doing nothing as per usual. Your answer to any of Britains problems? Hoping that if the rich are given more money they will somehow solve all of Britains problems even this one by the trickle down effect. More thickness from you which sounds more and more from someone who has inherited or married wealth and is trying to hide this fact. Self made? Never in a million years.

        • Bob
          Posted November 15, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink


          No need to tax formula.
          The incentive to breast feed is that it is the best choice for your child – that should be enough.

          If it’s not, then Darwin’s Law kicks in.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 16, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

            It’s not Darwins theory. Only simpletons like yourself think along these lines except when this theory applies to themselves or in the financial world. Is this what happens to the banking sector? The fools lost everything?

          • Edward 2
            Posted November 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

            I blame the your socialists mates led by save the world Gordon who baled all these bankers out
            Doubles all round, thanks Gordon.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

            Bailed out all the savers to and anyone with a bank account. Interesting to see what would have happened should millions of the population find themselves skint for using a bank. They would have just took it would they? I certainly would not have, so that would have been one on the street.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

            It has cost many billions more to bail out the Banks than it would have cost to protect all deposits and let the failed banks either just disappear or be taken over by other successful banks.

            One minute you castigate “communism for the rich” and the “middle class social security system” and yet here you take the view that these failed rich bankers and their shareholders need to be protected for evermore.

            Sometimes I think I am more politically radical than you will ever be Baz.

    • Bob
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Nationalise the M6 Toll Road and make it free to use for anyone with a UK registered vehicle.

      Rebate duty to hauliers to put them on a level playing field with continental carriers operating in the UK with imported fuel.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 15, 2013 at 6:47 am | Permalink

        Strange for a man who wants tolls on everything and no tax. How do you square that fantasy off?

        • Bob
          Posted November 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink


          You seem to be confused, have you been on the sauce again?

    • Bob
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      a Dickensian scene of human misery. Single mothers who cannot scrape together the £145.50 demanded are dragged before the magistrate to pay the six figure salaries of BBC bosses and stars. A cut would be very popular. Go into the next election promising to (say) halve the licence fee. This would immediately please millions and force the BBC to curtail its operations. Once its power starts to decline, it will never recover.

      Charles Moore – The Spectator

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        Indeed one top BBC pension can cost perhaps 50,000 poor people’s licence fees. And all for dripping the nation in lefty, fake green, pro EU, dumbed down, arty drivel.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 15, 2013 at 6:36 am | Permalink

        What did he have to say about profiteering by utility companies that they have no choice as you clam TV watchers have? Nothing. As if Charles Moore – The Spectator could care less about single mothers who are the cause of all Britain’s problems along with the BBC. Are just stupid or completely thick?

  14. a-tracy
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I would find a way to introduce a degree of stability, find some way to protect and improve savings and pensions protection for those in the private sector that have none. We should all be in the same pensions savings schemes so that decisions aren’t made by people in protected schemes on the rest. I want to say to George Osborne only tax pensions when you pension is in the same boat please.

    From a business perspective I hope he does very little other than reducing taxes and functions that businesses have to do for free on the governments behalf which is increasing year by year. I’d like him to get the ONS to take the information themselves from the monthly payroll returns we do instead of sending oodles of extra forms to complete asking the same questions. I’d like the government to simplify NEST and the ease of application, calculation and payroll. I’d like more of the taxes taken from road users to be spent on road users especially on the main M6 trunk network in the Midlands and NW.

  15. JM
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    1) Low tax rates pay for themselves by increasing economic activity. If the Chancellor wants to increase his tax take, he should slash Corporation Tax; so that Google, Amazon et al relocate their tax base to the UK and we get the tax that they pay.

    2) Also he should radically overhaul the personal tax system. In conjunction with the welfare reform, it cannot be beyond the wit of man to design a tax system that takes account of one’s personal situation, whether married or in a civil partnership, whether having dependent children, or whatever, and then say that we think that you need £x to live. Therefore we will not levy tax on you until you earn over this amount. That way there is less mixing of tax and benefits. I acknowledge that the taper needs attention so the marginal tax rate does not become 100% as benefit is lost for every pound gained. Maybe the benefits should be capped some way below the tax threshold.

    3) End the fiction of NICs. There is no separate fund and never will be. The Treasury refused to hypothecate. NICs merely allow governments to smuggle high tax rates past the public. Be transparent and admit it is just another form of income tax and combine the two. It will be a simplification to the system.

    4) Bring back generous tax relief on pension contributions so that both companies and individuals can afford properly to fund their pension. We used to have a secure pension system until the Treasury got its greedy hands on the funds. First under Nigel Lawson capping the surpluses with the result that contribution holidays were taken and benefits increased. Second Gordon Brown’s famous tax raid. Result when there was a down turn (and they always come sooner or later) there was no fat in the system to weather the storm. Result end of the final salary scheme in the private sector. Meanwhile the tax taken from the private sector featherbeds the public sector’s final salary schemes, which in great part are not funded but paid for out of general taxation.

  16. Richard Roney
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I would raise the tax threshold, reduce Corporation Tax and get rid of all green levies which are the result of the biggest con perpetrated on mankind.

  17. David in Kent
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    It’s very hard to cut taxes when we have such a huge deficit and debt.
    My priorities would be to ensure our continuing borrowing is going into productive assets rather than into immediate consumption and secondly to reduce the deficit.
    I think that is also what the government is trying to do.
    Having said that, I also agree we should reform CGT. One interesting idea would for CGT to apply to the sale of principal dwellings but have the rate taper to zero after 10 years. This could be tied with the abolition of stamp duty.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      One interesting idea would for CGT to apply to the sale of principal dwellings but have the rate taper to zero after 10 years.

      Not an interesting idea at all. In fact, a daft idea. This would encourage the government to encourage the banks to lend even more into the housing market – to push up prices so that when properties are sold more tax is generated.

      And, of course, it would cause stagnation in an already under resourced housing market as people waited until year 10 before moving on.

      Possibly the daftest idea I’ve ever heard.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      The Housing ‘boom and bust’, which it seems the UK government of either hue and society is addicted to, is diverting money and talent from those sectors of the economy that create jobs and boost exports. Eventually we will run out of property to sell to wealthier foreigners, meanwhile our entrepreneurs struggle to convince banks (accustomed to easy money from the housing market) to lend them money or provide affordable overdraft facilities. Profits from housing should be treated the same as any other profits, with the usual relief for repairs and maintenance. Meanwhile, all rented property should be registered to ensure landlords pay their fair whack of income tax. It is time to put the interests of entrepreneurs and strivers over those of the ‘rentier’ class.

  18. John Bracewell
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I would like to see in no particular order, and I am not holding my breath for any of these happening:

    Reduction of the number of benefits, there is something seriously wrong with a system where in-work people receive particular benefits, surely adjusting things through taxation, would be simpler. It is an attempt by all governments to make it look like they care about specific topics, like encouraging people to have children (child benefit) or housing benefit. Determine what amount is needed for a reasonable standard of living and then take tax or give rebates to achieve that pay threshold and remove benefits.

    Simplification of the tax system, there have been so many tweaks that the thing is cumbersome and a time consuming mess. For example merge NI and PAYE, they are really just the same thing, taxes on working people and businesses.

    Elimination of green taxes, if renewable energy is the way forward then it should wait until more research has been done to make it cost effective and should not have been introduced on the back of subsidies.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 2:02 am | Permalink

      Reduction of the number of benefits, there is something seriously wrong with a system where in-work people receive particular benefits, surely adjusting things through taxation, would be simpler.

      People get housing benefit because they usually have a low paying job in a high cost area. So it won’t be possible to resolve this problem by altering the tax rates as people in low paid or part-time work often get more in benefits than they pay in taxes.

      Determine what amount is needed for a reasonable standard of living and then take tax or give rebates to achieve that pay threshold and remove benefits.

      As I already explained those on low incomes or who work part time don’t pay much tax, so they’ll suffer more from the benefit cuts than they’ll gain from the tax cuts.

      Rebates are ineffective as they’re only given at the end of a tax year, while housing benefit is paid far more frequently.

      Elimination of green taxes, if renewable energy is the way forward then it should wait until more research has been done to make it cost effective and should not have been introduced on the back of subsidies.

      Unless you want the UK to get all its renewable energy technology from abroad you have to fund research in the UK.

    • Bazman
      Posted November 15, 2013 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      You would think he is saying a tax system that gives individuals a tax code based on their personal circumstances and this used for a reduction in the benefits system of those that work. He is not. It’s a back door argument for cutting living standards of the low paid who deserve less for being poor is it not John Bracewell? No reply Mr Bracewell? Is that you real name or is it out of a Charles Dickens novel?
      Another middle class (folly? ed).

    • John Wrexham
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      We should keep National Insurance and link benefits to contribution. i.e if you have not paid in NI then you get a much lower rate of benefits, whereas if you have contributed over 5, 10, 15 years etc you get preferential treatment rather than the current one size fits all. Nobody on the minimum wage should pay income tax and the tax rate on people earning less than the living wage should be lowered so we can scrap the expensive nonsense of Tax Credits. The Higher Tax treshold should be linked to a multiple of the median salary as it appears the Government is slowly moving to a situation where someone on an average pay will have to pay the 40% tax rate.

  19. me
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    End all “green” levies, taxes and subsidies.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      “Fake Green” market distortions. Hugely damaging to sensible investment and asset allocation.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 17, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        Is this is what housing benefit does to the rental market too?

    • John Wrexham
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Green levies on energy bills make more sense than added to general taxation. Those who use the most energy should be paying for the cost of dealing with the pollution and ensuring our energy production in the future is less damaging to the environment. I presume the levies are paid by business users and they waste energy more than domestic customers. e.g. I have yet to meet someone who leaves all the lights on in their home when the house is empty.

      The social levies should be moved to general taxation. Why should those on lowish and middle incomes have to pay someone else’s energy bill based directly on the amount of energy they use. If it is a flat fee paid by everyone then that would be different, but still appears to be a case of the careful having to pick up the tab for others.

  20. Iain Gill
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    1. Increase tax and employers and employees national insurance to at least as much as Brits pay for everyone here on work visas. Stop all tax allowances for working away from home that a Brit working far away from home within the UK would not be able to claim.
    2. Punitive tax measures on big multi nationals who earn significant money here but pay their tax in tax havens. Make it attractive to do the decent thing.
    3. Increase interest rates.
    4. Stop all artificial support of the housing market, help to buy etc.
    5. New significant tax on taking British intellectual property abroad, aimed at the big multi nationals moving hard won British advances to other nations to undercut us here.

    • forthurst
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      “4. Stop all artificial support of the housing market, help to buy etc.”

      Housing benefit could be reduced further. People should not be allowed to select where they live or how many rooms they get; if necessary they can turn every room into a bedroom. Perhaps that would encourage them to go out to work.

      “5. New significant tax on taking British intellectual property abroad, aimed at the big multi nationals moving hard won British advances to other nations to undercut us here.”

      I assume you are not refering to IP generated by multinationals in their own facilities here?

      • Bazman
        Posted November 15, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        Does this room sharing idea, living where they like and help to buy apply to the middle classes unable to afford private rents or mortgages or would there be some sort of filter to prevent them from living in slums which they would not accept? How would you implement this on non middle classes only, in particular in London.

        Reply I am pleased to say there is no middle class test when people apply for social housing or housing benefit. All are treated the same subject to objective criteria which are not about class.

        • Bazman
          Posted November 16, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

          Then there must be some scope for the expansion of the middle class social security system then John? Could be a vote winner.

        • John Wrexham
          Posted November 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          We should be building more houses (developer, self-build, housing association, charitable and council) rather than paying out vast amounts of cash to purchase a product that is artificially kept in short supply.

          Just been out in the Balkans (yes, I know, supposedly poorer than us) and the new housing stock people are building for themselves put our developers’ rabbit hutches to shame!!

          • Bazman
            Posted November 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            The East European man knows how to live well, like a German if he could, but does not get the chance. The British just accept it without a fuss.

  21. david
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Lower the benefit cap and get rid of stamp duty.

    • Bazman
      Posted November 15, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Again how would you cap benefits for middle class recipients down on their luck and not just the undeserving poor. How would you discriminate and what would happen to the children of the ones exceeding the cap without costing the state more or would this be cost worth paying as a punishment to them.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 16, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        Apart from child benefit which has already be curbed for the middle classes what benefits are we able to claim Baz?
        Fifty quid a week statutory sick pay?
        Hundred a week unemployment pay if you meet all their requirements ie no savings no self employment etc?
        The fall from grace of the middle class who lose their jobs is rapid, harsh and unprotected
        The recent recession has hit white collar and managerial people the most.
        Its tough out here in suburbia.

        • Bazman
          Posted November 16, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

          I couldn’t say as I am not entitled to middle class social security benefits. I have to rely on my wits and few skills. However you are right, their right wing anti union neo liberal free market ideals have seen their incomes, education and job security drop considerably in the past decades whilst allowing those at the bottom and the top especially at the very top raise their living standards. Well done you!
          Ram it.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 17, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

            Quite the opposite Baz
            It has been several useless semi socialist Governments overseen by the EU that has resulted in the situation you describe.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

            Socialism for the rich as I have consistently said edward.

        • John Wrexham
          Posted November 17, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          The best way to help the middle classes is to let them help themselves:

          1) Build more houses
          2) Abolish LEAs, and introduce education vouchers
          3) Limit child benefit to two children
          4) Introduce transferable tax allowances to all couples living in the same household (Married, civil or c0-habiting)
          5) More tax relief on child care (up to 2.5 days per week)
          6) Scrap Tax credits
          7) Use tax system to encourage flexible working and flexi parental leave e.g. allow pregnant mothers to transfer current income into next financial year or mothers returning to work to use up last year’s unused tax allowance.
          8) Link Benefits to contributions.
          9) Increase number of council tax bands – implement on a regional basis.

          • Bazman
            Posted November 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

            10. Provide right to buy. A benefit Osborne’s retarded policy is being used as a blunt instrument to get a Tory victory. Blatant expansion of the middle class social security system at whatever cost to the state to ensure this. Ramit.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 20, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

            Odd coming from someone who has bought their own home.
            Pull the ladder up.
            I’m on board.

  22. oldtimer
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    My priorities for taxation would include tax simplification, raising thresholds for all, removing the many anomalies (like your stamp duty example or in National Insurance) in the tax code, and setting rates that will actually increase the tax take (such as the higher income tax rates and CGT.

    The Chancellor also needs to take a very hard look at subsidies which distort the operation of an efficient market. The most obvious of these is the vast array of subsidies that underpin renewable energy investment. These clearly fail to deliver any practical benefits, add hugely to current and future energy costs (as todays National Audit Office report states) and politically are unsustainable. Sooner or later this is a nettle that will have to be grasped. It will cause an almighty row with vested interests, but it is an unavoidable row.

  23. ralphalph
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Business rates need to change from the current system to be based on percentage of revenue. This revenue should also include all goods invoiced fro overseas but bought in the UK.

    Benefits: large multinationals can avoid corporation tax legally by invoicing from overseas. Small and medium sized UK companies can not. By using a percentage of sales revenue include offshore sales it levels the playing field. If the rate was set at the right level we could have a zero level for corporation tax or very low.\

    It does not penalise the business that employee people which the current system does i.e high street versus online.

    When a business revenue falls the rates would fall which they do not now so it is a business friendly measure.

    It could be presented as a Tory measure supporting the small business and the ordinary working person and bashing big nasty tax avoiding businesses.

    PS I am not a socialist but the large business and there lawyers in Ireland are just taking the xxxx now and this is penalising smaller UK based business that can not afford the legal fees.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      We have this approach with Corporation Tax and the domestic tax payers ends up paying the bill that the multi-nationals decline to pay. How about introducing a transaction tax on internet business so that they pay their fair share back to society?

  24. S. Matthews
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    A repeal of the Climate Change act (2008). Generally to set duties and tax rates to maximise revenue to the exchequer, rather than for politically correct reasons.

  25. Gary
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink


    Stop telling us inflation is falling. It may be , but only in your rigged basket.

    Stop rigging the inflation basket. The basket EXCLUDES energy, food and houses!

    Govt lies.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes, today’s inflation figures are a complete joke.

    • APL
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      Gary: “Govt lies.”

      There is an election looming.

  26. Vaneswsa
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I want to know what you think you need to spend and then HALVE it. I want a referendum on your budget (my money is used to pay for your ideas) and I want true democracy as in Switzerland where the people have power to say whether they will give you the money you say you want to spend.

  27. alan jutson
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Personal allowance raised to £15,000 for everyone.
    10% rate up to £25,000
    20% rate up to £50,000
    30% rate up to £75,000
    40% rate up to £100,000
    Total personal allowance can be transfered to spouse, partner, providing living at the same address.

    Inheritance tax to be raised to £500,000 per person

    Capital gains tax 20% rate only, taper relief over 10 years to Zero.

    Corporation tax 15%

    House stamp duty to be at a level rate of 2.5% after a threshold of £100,000 no matter what the value.

    Child allowance stopped for all, starting from 9 months time, existing arrangements to be hounoured, if children in this country.

    All Benefits to be taxed (rates as above) as per working people.
    Benfit cap to be frozen @ £26,00 for 10 years.

    Working tax credit to be phased out over 5 years.

    State Pension to be contribution based, and set at a level of the minimum wage for 100% entitlement.
    Benefits to be contribution based, and any credits limited to a set number of tax years per person.
    To protect those in real need and disability, safeguards would need to be put in place.

    Lots more, but JR will hold in moderation if its too long.

    To close, any system needs to be simple to understand, fair to all, encourages work, rewards, aspiration, self help, selp provision, and retains personal pride and dignity.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Not sure about your encouraging work line – oneself would settle for not penalising those of us who choose to scrounge a ‘living’ !

      • alan jutson
        Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink


        Simple answer

        If we all scrounged a living, there would be no one paying in, to pay us out.

        That is why you need to encourge most pepole who can work, to work.

        Limiting credit years and making all benefits contribution based means people can only scrounge for so long.

        • APL
          Posted November 14, 2013 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          Alan Jutson: “If we all scrounged a living, there would be no one paying in, to pay us out.”

          You know, that might just be the plan!

          Even the right in the Tory party no longer advocate significant cuts in state spending, John Redwood only want’s to trim around the edges and hope growth in the economy makes up for the voracious appetite of the State.

          We are now in the part of the economic cycle (Kondratiev winter) where credit will become increasingly difficult to come by, so Mr Redwood’s strategy is doomed to fail. Not because it is without merit, but because it cannot succeed in a shrinking GDP environment.

          We have two choices, willingly turn yourself into a tax slave to support the economic model which inevitably will fail. Or, stop feeding the beast, accelerate the failure and be prepared to pick up and rebuild on what can be salvaged from the wreckage of the biggest credit expansion in human history.

          Reply GDP is growing

          • APL
            Posted November 16, 2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink

            JR: “GDP is growing”

            OK, assuming you are correct. It would be nice if it were true.

            GDP in an economy where the government is borrowing from the future to fund it’s mostly futile projects now. I a false datum.

            Anyway, .8% is so modest as to be within the realms of statistical error or ( election looming ) manipulation.

            The reason consumption has dropped off a cliff today, is because the policy of successive governments has been to pull forward into the present, consumption from the future. Well, my friend, this is the future now, and this is the result of those policies.

            Reply 0.8% a quarter is 3.2% per annum if sustained, hardly a rounding error. It looks as if the UK economy will grow in excess of 2% this year and next.

          • John Wrexham
            Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

            The phrase ‘inevitably will fail’ has a poor track record. Not withstanding that every failure appears to benefit someone as we know from the fall out from 2008-09 credit crunch.

        • APL
          Posted November 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

          P.S. I can still remember a PM news item in the ’80’s where they were suggesting growth in the economy of 3% ( I wish) was excessive and we should all learn to deal with zero growth.

          Well, don’t see much belt tightening at the BBC, but this is what a zero growth environment is like.

          I don’t believe either the governments growth figures nor their inflation figures. And if you took QE out, economic growth would be hard negative.

        • Robert Taggart
          Posted November 15, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          Agreed, Ally – keep up the good work !

          • alan jutson
            Posted November 16, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink


            “keep up the good work”

            Not any more, I have now retired !

            However still not a scrounger, as I was foolish enough to try and plan for my own future, only to be screwed by Equitable Life.

            Good job I did not have all of my eggs in one basket !

          • Robert Taggart
            Posted November 16, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

            Well done ‘Old’ Ally – enjoy your ‘second childhood’ – EL notwithstanding !

    • uanime5
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 2:11 am | Permalink

      So tax cuts for the wealthy and benefit cuts for the poor. Expect income inequality to greatly increase.

      Unless you can convince landlords to accept less money from people on housing benefit your attempts to tax benefits will fail.

      As working tax credits are paid to people working in low paid jobs all phasing them out will do is make people more reluctant to work; especially if they have children. Odd how your plan is meant to be encouraging people to work when you’re removing something specifically designed to reward people for working in a low paid job.

      Making benefits contribution based just penalises the young who haven’t had a chance to contribute because they were forced to go to school, rather than get a job.

      In conclusion you plan does nothing to encourage people to work and seems designed to crush the aspirations of the poor.

      • alan jutson
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink


        I would have thought that a tax free allowance of £15,000 and a 10% tax rate up to earnings of £25,000 would be very well received by low paid workers.

        Transfer of total personal tax allowance to spouse or partner would also double the tax free amount for a couple who want a stay at home mum or dad, who would prefer to look after their own kids.

        Thought you would like the above.

        As usual you can only pretend to find a fault with everything, but offer only unrealistic and uncosted pie in the sky dreams as an alternative.
        Why am I not surprised !!

        • John Wrexham
          Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          I am sure there could be enough flexibility in the system to ensure an 18 year old school leaver would be treated differently to a 50 years old.

          However, we won’t build a better society if young people have to slog away to just to hand over ever increasing amounts of cash to a rentier class. Moreover, if the Conservatives ever want to be a majority party again, they have got tackle this housing issue. Nothing pushes you towards the left more than being a tenant with little housing or job security!!

      • APL
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

        uanime5: “Unless you can convince landlords to accept less money from people on housing benefit your attempts to tax benefits will fail.”

        Most Landlords are in hock to the Banks for the mortages on the properties they let out. A Landlords can’t accept lower rent as it would likely bankrupt him/her.

        By the way, ‘housing benefit’ is the amount paid to a welfare recipient to purchase accommodation, why would a landlord accept less than the state has declared is the correct amount to rent property?

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I would like the Chancellor to announce an official target for house price inflation.

    And that house price inflation target should be 4% a year, just a little below the trend growth rate of nominal GDP to gradually make houses more affordable.

    I would also like him to announce that Help to Buy will not be available in any local government area where house prices are already rising at or above that rate.

    Moreover I would like him to announce plans to restrict the purchases of land and property in this country by people who are not citizens of this country, or by companies owned by people who are not citizens of this country, and I would like that to apply to all foreign citizens without any exceptions being made for the citizens of other EU member states.

    Finally I would like him to announce a study on the merits of abolishing up-front stamp duty on the purchase of domestic properties and instead extending capital gains tax to the gains made on the sale of primary residences, with a tax-free allowance equivalent to that target of 4% a year appreciation from the time of purchase to the time of sale, but not be applied on the sale of properties which have been purchased under the present stamp duty regime.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      @Denis. Your paragraph 4. What happens if a couple try to buy land or property and one is British and the other Irish or other EU.? What if they are dual nationality. ?
      What if they have no nationality? What if the couple split up, divorce, separate? What if, they change nationality with impunity? What about foreign companies like Nissan? Or any foreign company? How do you define nationality? possession of a passport?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Those are just details which would need to be ironed out if the Chancellor ever bent his thoughts in the direction I suggest, which he won’t because he’d be quite happy to see the whole country sold off to foreigners if he thought it would help to increase tax revenues and so give the Tory party a better chance of winning the next general election.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      All good stuff. However, I don’t have a problem with EU people buying property as we can buy property in theirs. As for outsiders, increase the number of council tax bands.

      Perhaps even introduce a nationwide property tax for all houses and use to offset a big increase in personal tax allowance OR reduction in tax rates.

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I would like the Chancellor to announce plans to end the illogical aggregation of “earned” and “unearned” income for tax purposes, with the introduction of a separate tax-free annual personal allowance for income from savings and investments.

    That would mean that nobody would be required to pay tax on the income from their accumulated savings and investments simply because they were earning enough to be able to save, the ludicrous position we are now in.

    I would much prefer him to simply set the separate tax-free allowance for income from savings and investments at the same level as that for earned income, so that only a small minority would ever be taxed on the income from their savings and investments until they came to draw their pensions and the great majority need never be concerned about tax on interest and dividends until they retired.

    Alternatively, a separate allowance which was graduated with age would mostly do the job of allowing people to build up savings and investments over their working lives without the taxman constantly dippng into them.

    I would also like the Chancellor to announce that unused annual capital tax allowances can be rolled over to future years.

    As the same time, he should announce that once these new measures were in place there would be no need for complex and restrictive special schemes such as ISAs to provide tax shelters, and while those accounts which already existed could be maintained on the existing terms in perpetuity no new accounts could be opened after a set date.

  30. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I would like the Chancellor to announce that he had changed his mind about becoming overly dependent on loans from potentially unfriendly foreign powers and would instead turn to the loyal British people to lend him the money to fund the budget deficit that he was running, but trying to reduce, and therefore he would authorise National Savings to raise up to £100 billion more in savings deposited by British citizens.

    Not just a maximum of £4 billion more, as in 2011-12, out of the total household savings in the UK of something like £4,177 billion, but £100 billion more; and then the interest he is paying on his borrowings on behalf of the British people would be paid to the British people, not to foreigners.

    • Mark
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      I think Osborne is copying Brown’s playbook by encouraging more mortgage borrowing which will also be funded by wholesale international bank borrowing – with interest likewise paid abroad – but in the meantime generating phoney wealth and spending that can be taxed.

  31. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    The raising of the personal allowance to £10,000 per annum from next April is timid and should be at least £10,400. The latter figure is still only the equivalent of the first £200 per week free of income tax, which remains modest.

    Consideration could be given to revising downward the current VAT rate of 5% on domestic consumer energy prices.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      5% is the minimum permitted by our masters in Brussels.

  32. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Removal of all and any support for the housing market.

    Stop the focus on the welfare budget and shine a light on civil service and council spending.

    Announce year on year budget cuts for all councils.

    Cut government spending by 1% a year for 20 years.

  33. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Get rid of the BBC licence.

    Put all spending on public sector pensions and state pensions into a pot and share it out equally amongst pensioners.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Here, here, here, or – abolish the Television Licence quango – to save on the cost of employing them and the further cost they bring through ‘malicious’ prosecutions !

    • John Wrexham
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      We need more hypothecated taxes such as the TV Licences and it is one of the few taxes where i can actually see the benefit (Lots of programmes to annoy the colonel blimps and raving rightwingers and probably the only British brand that is still respected overseas. Apologies to the Army but after Basra and Afghanistan, even yours is starting to tarnish, thanks to HMG.) It would be great if the fuel duty paid by motorists was actually spent on improving our transport system. It would help increase accountability.

  34. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I would like the Chancellor to announce plans for a system whereby the taxes levied on businesses in a local area would be inversely correlated to some measure of the general prosperity of that local area, for example using the level of per capita GDP or income, or the level of unemployment, or a combination of those two measures and possibly others, in each area; the purpose being to encourage private sector investment in lagging areas so that they become more self-sufficient and less dependent on constant subsidies rather grudgingly provided by more prosperous areas, leading to serious political divisions within the country.

  35. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Slash government spending to pay for tax cuts for working people. EU Referendum. Scrap HS2 and green taxes. Free the Royal Marine.

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I would like the Chancellor to announce the abolition of vehicle excise duty, leaving just a minimal administrative charge for the registration of vehicles, with the lost tax revenues being exactly made up by an increase in fuel duty.

    If the government wishes to reduce the use of cars, relieve congestion and minimise the need for expenditure on new road infrastructure, then it makes no sense to unnecessarily increase the fixed costs of car ownership so that the owner is then more inclined to use the car; the burden should be on the variable costs of car usage, not the fixed costs of car ownership.

    Accompanying that general measure the Chancellor should recognise that increased fuel duty has a particularly severe impact on those living in rural areas and announce a scheme to provide some compensation through government grants to reduce their council tax.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Most people nowadays choose to live in rural areas and few of them actually work there. Instead they continue to pursue urban lifestyle which necessitate them driving hither and thither. I don’t see why the average taxpayer should subsidize their lifestyle choices. Considering the number of gaz guzzling 4x4s, SUVs and People Carriers at the petrol station whenever i go there, they can’t be feeling the pinch quite yet!!

    Posted November 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I would go for MORE simplication in the tax system.
    1. Increase the personal allowance to at least £12k per year to take more poor people out of income tax all together.
    2. Scrap winter fuel payments and replace with an equivalent increase in the state pension.
    3. end the ablility of landlords to claim tax relief on interest on mortgage debt.
    4. use the proceeds from option 3 to raise the IHT threshold to £500k per individual, £1m per couple.
    5. abandon the meaningless married couples allowance that Cameron has proposed.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      “3. end the ablility of landlords to claim tax relief on interest on mortgage debt.”

      That is just daft. The bank pays tax on the interest anyway. You would then only get landlords using their own cash and no debt. If you tax profits that are not even actually being made! You would be taxing loss making businesses so they would not last long – just theft really.

      • John Wrexham
        Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        On that logic, surely every homeowner should be able to put their mortgage interest payments against tax.

        The rentier class are a burden on our society. Government should be encouraging people to save and speculate in ways that help the economy e.g investing in businesses, unit trusts, pensions etc , rather than buying up scarce resources such as houses to make a quick buck at the expense of younger generations.

  38. lojolondon
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    What do I really, really want?

    – Cancel HS2 because it fails on all counts.
    – Cancel all foreign aid payments.
    – Refuse any payments to non-contributors for welfare, health, education (like most European countries do!!)
    – Reduce the licence fee and subsidy to the BBC, funding only BBC1 and Radio4. If the BBC refuses to respect the terms of it’s charter, then cancel all BBC funding.
    – Reduce VAT to 15%, reduce fuel and alcohol tax by half.
    – Remove IHT.

    What I want most of all is to withold the £15 Billion EU funding payments, but I guess that is a bridge too far until we have our referendum.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 2:15 am | Permalink

      Refuse any payments to non-contributors for welfare, health, education (like most European countries do!!)

      So you want to deny all of these to children and those who haven’t had a chance to contribute due to mandatory schooling. Don’t expect this to work.

  39. ColinD.
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    New build homes are free of VAT. Extensions and refurbishing attract VAT. There is therefore an incentive to demolish and rebuild as opposed to restore. Consequently, good buildings are pulled down and the character of neighbourhoods is destroyed. The Chancellor should remove or reduce VAT for restoration and for home extensions. This would boost the building trade, help maintain our churches and ancient monuments and help preserve the unique character of our towns and cities.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      There’s a petition about this:


      But they know that it is pointless to call for the VAT to be removed entirely as this government will not break EU law by doing that, so they call for it to be reduced to 5%, presumably the minimum permitted by the EU in this case.

      As I recall Brown had a scheme whereby churches and so on could apply for a government grant to cover the VAT he had to charge them for repairs; such are the absurdities that may arise when your government idiotically hands control over taxation to a foreign body.

    • forthurst
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      “New build homes are free of VAT. Extensions and refurbishing attract VAT.”

      Definitely anomalous. It would be far better if the building trades was subject to VAT at a lower rate without distiction between new build and maintenance/improvements. There is a lot of tax tinkering with housing because some people can’t seem to grasp that giving incentices including reliefs is simply manipulating the value of the building land in many parts of the country (as with the help to sell at even more inflated prices scheme). Whether the original sale of the land should be subject to VAT or VAT exempt and whether the introduction of the new regime should be after a notice period or simply applied on the land value on land acquired after the new scheme is introduced would require further investigation.

  40. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I would like the Chancellor to announce a fundamental review of inheritance tax, examining whether it should cease to be estate duty by another name and instead become a tax on each beneficiary with respect to the legacy he actually receives, with each person having a lifetime tax-free allowance for the cumulative legacies he receives, and with any unused part of that lifetime tax-free allowance being uplifted each year in line with general inflation.

    The effect would be that in many cases where a parental estate is divided between several children or other beneficiaries none would pay any tax on their portion, in contrast to the present system where the whole estate would be taxed before distribution irrespective of the number of children or other beneficiaries among whom it was to be divided.

    If you are looking for attractive bait to dangle before potential Tory voters at the next election, a promise to make this change would serve …

  41. English Pensioner
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    What has most annoyed me lately is the ridiculously high salaries and excessive bonuses which are paid to top staff in the Civil Service, Local Councils and organisations such as the NHS and the BBC. Why should they get a bonus for just doing their job when the sole reward for most workers is managing to hold onto their job? On top of this, people employed in these posts seem to manage to get themselves made redundant with huge compensation payments, and even if they are “under a cloud” still manage to get another job within the same, or very similar, organisation at an enhanced salary within a few months. This seems particularly prevalent in the NHS, but local councils don’t seem to be very slow in following the lead! How can one justify paying the “Chief Executive” aka Town Clerk of the local council more than we pay the Prime Minister? Not only that, these organisations seem to have far too many people just under the Chief Executive who get almost the same pay; no company would have such a top heavy highly paid management structure.
    Put a maximum on all taxpayer funded salaries and limit the number of posts earning over say £100k, and the Chancellor would get my full support.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Let’s be honest, we don’t pay the Prime Minister or Ministers of State enough. No one should go into politics for money, but it does seem ridiculous that footballers can earn more in a month, in some cases, even a week, than the leader of our country in a whole year. I have picked footballers, because the professional footballers of the England, Wales and Scotland football teams have spectacularly failed to deliver again and again and again whenever they have faced some foreign competition.

  42. Martin
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I disagree with the tax cuts you suggest.

    I’d go after Employers National Insurance (ERsNI). This is a tax on jobs. Unemployment is way too high in much of Britain. Indeed I’d slash this tax and fund it by a higher stamp duty on expensive properties.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      I agree but would also introduce higher bands of council tax. The government would recover this money by a reduction of their grants to councils.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you on scrapping the anti job tax. But why put up another tax in its place? Scrapping ENI is self funding. 1) More jobs therefore more tax income 2) more jobs less benefit payments 3) more jobs more disposable income more VAT income.

      It really isn’t rocket science surely even dumb Tory governments should be able to work this out

  43. Corin Vestey
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Get rid of NI. Harmonise employee NI with Income Tax to show the real rates of tax on income paid in the UK, which gives cover for tax cuts and increases in thresholds.

    Delete Employers’ NI entirely. Tax on jobs etc. Good news for anyone with a job or anyone who wants one.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Just make all benefits contributory based. Pay NI get access to Welfare State, otherwise you get the bare minimum.

  44. James Winfield
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Remove VAT from electricity/gas bills for residential users.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Here, here, here, but, alas, methinks EU rules prevent this ?

    • John Wilkinson
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Can’t do it. Under EU law we can only vary by 2.5% so a reduction is possible but not removal.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        No, 5% is the minimum allowed.

  45. lifelogic
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I see Ed Davy has warned the big six energy companies that the “public are not cash cows” perhaps he could tell the Cameron and the cabinet that too and they (and most politicians) clearly think they are.

    The big six, if they have any sense, will charge what competition, politics, PR and the government let them get away with. Just as most other well run businesses would. The ball is in Ed Davies court. First he has to admit his fake green agenda, his “renewable” agenda and his silly green deal are all bonkers and putting bills up hugely for no good reason.

    Then he has to get some real competition going or find some other way to regulate them suppliers effectively. Threatening them with silly words is pretty childish and pointless of him. He is in charge of the system after all, is he not?

  46. Antisthenes
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Top priority has to be not to tax the lowest paid at all or very little by increasing allowances to 15000 the offset would be a reduction in benefits payments and an increase in the incentive for people to work. However I do not share your optimism on job creation as many are currently part time, who will want full time, or somewhat underutilized. There is already plenty of slack in those already employed it will need a lot more growth for any meaningful reduction in those unemployed figures to come down. Coupled with more Eastern Europeans being allowed into the UK next January I foresee grappling with the long term unemployed will remain a major problem.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 2:18 am | Permalink

      Top priority has to be not to tax the lowest paid at all or very little by increasing allowances to 15000 the offset would be a reduction in benefits payments and an increase in the incentive for people to work.

      There’s 2 million more unemployed people than there are jobs available so giving them less in benefits won’t magically make them able to work in jobs that don’t exist.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        How have the vast majority of the several million recent new arrivals managed to find employment if there are no jobs as you keep claiming Uni?

    • libertarian
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      There are currently more than 700,000 unfilled full time well paid jobs in the UK. Less than 3% of jobs are part time or restricted hours. So I’m afraid I can’t agree with you

  47. Acorn
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Spot the difference between the UK and a modern, dual executive, unicameral government. I would like a large portion of the later in the Autumn Statement please. But, I know we will get more of the same old same old.

    OECD Country Note for UK 2011:
    General government expenditures as a percentage of GDP increased in the UK from around 40% in 2000 to above 50% in 2009. This was the result of small increases in expenditures during the whole decade that were followed by larger jumps due to the impact of the financial and economic crises in 2008 and 2009. However, since 2002 expenditures exceeded revenues leading to deficits and increasing debt. The UK government is strongly centralised with almost 90% of the revenues collected by central government, while more than 70% of the expenditure is by central government.

    OECD Country Note for Finland 2011:
    Revenues have been over 50% and expenditures near 50% of GDP for the past decade, although in 2009 expenditures jumped to 55% of GDP; above revenues for the first time since 1997 due to fiscal stimulus and declining GDP. The central government collects just over 40% of total revenues but accounts for less than 30% of expenditures, indicating that local governments have a lot of autonomy and play a large role in public service delivery. A large portion of the tax collected at central government level is transferred to local governments.

    • Acorn
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Bill Mitchell’s blog has reminded me today as to your Autumn Statement question. Politicians rarely understand the difference between micro-economics and macro-economics. This leads to contradictions like Cameron said this week about “doing more with less”.

      Big government and big government spending are different animals. If Cameron wants to get more out of public sector service providers and spend less money on them at the same time; that is a productivity improvement, which in micro-economic terms is good business, regardless of the public sector being 20%, 40%, 0r 60% of the economy.

      In macroeconomic terms this productivity improvement, means the government sector is spending less on private sector goods and services. Public sector employees remember, are hired from the household division of the private sector. Unless the government spends more in another part of the private sector, private sector income will drop, and private sector households will, in aggregate, spend less; leading to a drop in private sector demand and a reduction of employment.

      Must stop now, the phone has rung and I have been called to the Bar.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        If your logic was correct could have a successful economy even if the State was 100% of the economy, employed every person, taxed them and used that money to fund the State.

  48. Robert Taggart
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Priority 1 – abolition of the ‘green’ levies.
    Priority 2 – an increase in the lower capital limit for us scroungers (currently £6K).
    Priority 3 – increase benefit (Universal Credit) – in order to save claimants the bovver and taxpayers the expense – of funding other ‘top-up’ benefits ! Less bureaucracy = less expense !!

  49. Terry
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Priority: The withdrawal of all Welfare State benefits to all non-British citizens unless they have paid full British Income Taxes for a minimum of 5 years.

    The enormous savings made can then be provided as a tax reduction for Small Business Enterprises who take on additional British staff. Let’s get Britain back.

  50. yulwaymartyn
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    1. £2 per packet on cigarettes.

    2. End all universal benefits; no more free tv licences bus passes etc for those who can afford them.

    3. Each and every unemployed to be formally interviewed and their employment prospects properly measured and assessed.

    4. An end to all business rates on businesses employing under 10 people.

    • Bob
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      no more free tv licences

      Take out the word “free” and we’ll be making progress.

    • APL
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      yulwaymartyn: “3. Each and every unemployed to be formally interviewed and their employment prospects properly measured and assessed.”

      There is NO ONE in a Job Center / Job Center Plus or whatever they are called today that is capable or interested in doing this.

      • John Wrexham
        Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        If the Job Centres did a decent job, we wouldn’t have all these job agencies, where employers have to pay over the odds to get staff, while the people who do the work get less than the going rate.

  51. behindthefrogs
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    There should be two principles behind any tax changes.

    1) To improve the UK competitive position and in doing so reduce imports and increase exports.

    2) To improve the position of the poorer members of society.

    We thus arive at the following:

    1) Reduce the amount of employers’ NI. This encourages higher employment levels, lowers the cost of exports, makes imports less competitive, and helps the cash flow of small companies.

    2) Raise the lower band at which employees pay NI rather than that for income tax. This encourages people to workas it corrects the balance of tax paid between earned and unearned income. This could be a large change partly paid for by raising the level at which the lower rate of employees NI comes into force and possibly increasing this rate to 5%.

    Raise the the level of the minimum wage and ensure that people earning it pay no income tax or NI. The longer term objective should be to bring the minimum wage up to the living wage. This could be partly paid for by removing employers’ NI contributions below the level of the living wage.

  52. BobE
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Is this the time to try to buy some votes. Only 16 months to go.
    Every Tory along the HS2 route will loose his/her seat.
    Most Lib Dems will be toast.
    There must be some wild eyes around Westminster.
    Revenge is brilliant.

  53. behindthefrogs
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I would introduce minimum alcohol pricing. This would increase exchequer income from the increased VAT take and hopefully create some reduction in the costs of A&E policing etc.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Good scheme. And make sure it applies online and instore.

      If we get really desperate, perhaps we should legalise class C and B drugs and tax them as well. At the moment, society pays all the costs and the crims get all the profit.

  54. John Eustace
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t noticed Pensions listed above so I will add that I would like any further meddling to be the last change for an extended period of time. The continual attacks on pensions are doing lasting long term damage. The trouble being that politicians generally don’t think beyond the next election.

  55. Hugh Counsell
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    A complete review of our tax system including consideration of reduced allowances which encourage short term behaviour by companies and individuals. The existing preferential treatment of debt finance which encourages private equity firms to buy good businesses with enormous loans has to stop.

  56. Joseph
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Something to help small businesses would be great. Anything to more actively and quickly reduce the amount red tape involved in the setup and running of a business would be fantastic.

  57. matthu
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    What I would like in the Autumn statement? Transparent government.

    It would be good to get an acknowledgement that it was cynical, disingenuous and counter-productive to delete all pre-2010 speeches, articles, broken promises, news stories and other items from Conservatives.com.

    Then assure us what steps will be taken to restore these somewhere else in searchable form.

  58. Terry
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    I have just noticed on my Utility Bill the outrageous costs of “Standing Charges”. For my Electricity it is 42.1p per day and for Gas 47.9p per day. In an attempt to cut my energy costs I switched off the GCH and utilised electric radiators and fans. My Electricity for a period of 125 cost £216 inc VAT. My Gas £69.32, of which just £8.97 was for actual gas used. The Standing Charge cost me an obscene £60.35 7 times the cost of the gas used.

    So my requirement in the Autumn Statement is to enforce the utility companies to charge ONLY for the gas/electricity used – Standing Charges should be outlawed. We should only pay for what we consume – this would cut the bills of the careful user and ensure that there would be transparent and proper competition within the energy sector.

    • Mark
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Those standing charges are certainly substantially higher than mine (about 25-28p/day from memory). You should shop around for a better tariff for you.

      It’s not completely unreasonable to have an element of standing charge – the cost of meter reading and billing doesn’t change with how much you use, and there are also largely fixed costs in providing the pipes and wires to your home, whether you use them or not. What is becoming increasingly unreasonable is that many other things are being covered by these charges all because of the expensive energy policy of this and the preceding government.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted November 15, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      They still have to maintain an infrastructure to deliver gas to your house – even if you hardly ever use it. If you don’t want to pay the standing charge, stop using gas at all. I would have thought you could use bottled gas to provide the small amount of gas you use.

  59. David Hope
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    There are a lot of things I’d like but frankly I’d be grateful for no more spending commitments. Not more care for the elderly, not free school meals or nursery places or anything else that sounds nice but costs tax payers money. Just no more spending!

    A business rates reduction would also be good as small business in particular is screwed for tax in this country

  60. Bazman
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    A guaranteed unconditional minimum income for all the population which officially exists as income support anyway as peasantry is not possible in the UK. This would allow anyone to work for more without fear of benefits cuts, again this exists as disability benefit here. The recipient can earn any amount and benefits are not effected.
    Tax cuts for being rich and no other reason are seen as beneficial and acceptable for the rich and even the idle rich so why not as an an incentive for the poor to do more and not just accept being poor?

  61. Bazman
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Watch and learn fantasists and dreamers discuss green issues as a separate issue along with your disgusting right wing bias.
    Ram it.

    • Bazman
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      No comments? What does this tell us?

      • Edward2
        Posted November 20, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        That we are bored by your ranting probably.

  62. They Work For Us
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    We hear that our utilities bills are to rise to pay for improvements in infrastructure.
    Surely the role of Govt. is to provide essentials to the citizen that they could not possibly provide for themselves (like infrastructure).

    Govt after Govt has taken our money, ostensibly to provide the essentials we cannot reasonably provide for ourselves and cynically spent it on something else – e.g propping up welfare usually to buy votes. Now we are being asked to pay all over again for infrastructure via our fuel bills.
    Our Govts need to be reigned back and their freedom to spend curtailed by capping the proportion of GDP that can be spent and curtailing their ability to borrow. It would be almost a blessing to have in the IMF to force Govt to stop spending money that they do not have.
    All taxes (currently direct and indirect) should be collected by one taxie income tax with a clear statement on each months payslip of how much tax people are paying.

    Enoch Powell wrote a book many years ago called “Freedom and Reality”. He defined the source of inflation as the gap between what Govts spend and what they collect in taxes. He was not wrong.
    Finally we should hear no more from John Major and Michael Heseltine. Neither were much good when they held office.

  63. jon
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    The private sector delivers all the essentials for like, food, water, shelter, energy, transport, clothing, building, sanitation, medicine etc etc. Yet 50% of what we earn goes to government. That is the elephant in the room. Ed Miliband is like an automaton attacking each and every private sector industry which year on year most deliver efficiency savings with some pain in redundancies. What is the efficiency saving record of government?

    The elephant in the room needs to shed many a pound year on year to help us compete, the private sector is doing its bit. I want a cost cutting program on operational costs year on year.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      The private sector delivered everything in the 18th century and the vast majority of goods and services in the 19th century. However, i don’t think many people would like to return to those times as unfortunately we can’t all be aristos living off the backs of everyone else.

  64. Kenneth
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    My utopia would be leaving the eu and scrapping most employment laws. These two alone would enable us to reduce taxes much more and give us a happier society.

    As that is unrealistic I think your ideas, John, are about right, especially cuts to business taxes.

    We should also start to scale back on state-led social care as this appears to be replacing real family care and leading to unhappy lives.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      What does scrapping ‘most employment laws’ mean?

      Some recent changes such as flexible working and parental leave increase motivation, improve productivity and allow skilled people to stay in the workplace. Other regulations have had a negative impact e.g not having an upper limit on tribunal payouts is wrong as it runs against natural justice. The Equalities Agenda appears well-intentioned but incredibly bureaucratic.

  65. formula57
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Three arguements against any cut (even tapering) in SDLT are: –

    (i) It would likely fuel property price rises making housing even less affordable to no benefit to the Exchequer;
    (ii) The people who pay it get a good (and possibly early) lesson that as soon as any wealth (even if matched by borrowings) accrues to them, someone (very often the Exchequer) makes efforts to take it away;
    (iii) The Exchequer cannot easily afford to do without the tax revenue.

  66. Mark
    Posted November 14, 2013 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    I took a look at PESA data to see which areas of spending have been increasingly rapidly over the past five years,and therefore might offer scope for reductions.

    Top of the list was the EU, at 357% of 2008-9 spending, and £6-7bn higher (not only have our contributions increased, but our benefits have declined. There is of course a way to reduce this spend to zero.

    The social protection budget shows some large increases. Naturally, pension spending is rising as there are relatively few deaths from the small population cohort born in the 1930s and WWII, while new pensions are rising as the first baby boomers retire. Unemployment spending is up 69% (dragging other benefits in its wake) – which might be best tackled by removing benefits traps, and discouraging immigration to fill lower end jobs. There are big rises in benefit spending to cover the cost of expensive energy and rents (housing benefit),which could be tackled with policies to reduce these costs of living, in the process making benefit traps less deep.

    There is little that can be done about the cost of primary education which is rising because of higher births and immigration in recent years – but further increases might be staunched with better immigration control. The toughening of exam and schooling standards should allow many students to achieve their potential and worthwhile qualifications with less time spent in secondary and tertiary education. We should cancel the 18 leaving age, and re-purpose tertiary education away from worthless degrees towards sensible vocational courses that used to be offered in various professions and by polytechnics, and also to remedial education for those cheated by the poor standards of their schools in recent years.

    There is obvious scope to cut the DCMS spend by ending the BBC licence fee.

    Cutting the health budget is harder, as it awaits political consensus that much of the NHS needs to change its management culture to become more commercially aware on its procurement side, and more patient focused.

    There seems to have been a big leap in “waste management” spend. I suggest it is wasted, at the behest of the EU.

    Roads have borne the brunt of cuts at Transport: this is an area where spending should be increased, in preference to wasting money on vanity rail projects including HS2 which should be cancelled before we start paying £600,000 p.a. to the next CEO in January.

    Defence spending seems to have been pared to cut into the bone. We could do with more boots on the ground.

    The 0ther big spend is not properly revealed in PESA: it is financial, on debt interest, and on support for the failed banks. It requires a combination of intelligent policies to reduce these – and NOT creating the next financial crisis through Help to Bubble.

  67. uanime5
    Posted November 14, 2013 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    – Allow those working part time to claim tax credits (those they won’t get as much as those working full time).
    – Automatically give people on low wages tax credits rather than require them to register with the HMRC in order to get them.
    – Cancel the Universal Credit or postpone it until they have a coherent plan.
    – Cancel the Work Programme (a 3% success rate shows how defective it is).
    – Scrap the bedroom tax.
    – Reduce tax loopholes such as using the Channel Island Stock Exchange.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      We need to move away from a system where society and the state picks up the wage bill that companies don’t want to pay their employees. We can’t build a successful economy by hoping to undercut foreign competition by paying people less than a living wage. We need to ‘upskill’ and become more enterpreneurial as several other people have already detailed on this site. The education system needs, however, to seriously improve if this challenge is to be met.

  68. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted November 14, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Lord Redwood,

    In a sentence…we are begging the politicians – everyone from those waiting on NHS waiting lists, those that cannot find a job, those concerned about the changing character of the nation..or just can’t get a seat on a train or is fed up with waiting on a housing list ..LIMIT EU MIGRATION , in particular from Romania now before it’s too late!!. Pleaseeeee!!

  69. Andrew
    Posted November 14, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    A little late to the conversation, but I think I’d try to do things to reorient people away from government being a top up provider, or a pension provider, to provision coming through work, business, and personal responsibility.

    So I’d consider raising the minimum wage to the living wage, providing the living wage was calculated without the assumption of additional benefits. Rather than having the employer pay national insurance contributions I’d have the minimum wage be enough for people to sort out their own pensions and insurance contributions. I’d work towards employers have few costs or constraints in employing people, apart from their wage. I’d also look at reducing corporation tax and VAT to encourage productivity and sales.

    Basically I’d look for government to be about regulation, not provision, and for those regulations to encourage employment and guard against exploitation and in-work poverty.

  70. Atlas
    Posted November 14, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Something that shows backbone to push back the EU tentacles.

  71. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 14, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Company makes some money. Pays corporation tax on it. Pays whatever it can get away with to its employees.

    Employees earn a low salary. Get tax credits from the government.

    Errr – remove corporation tax and tax credits. Get the government out of our lives.

  72. Robert K
    Posted November 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    1) Increase tax-free allowance up £12,000
    2) Get rid of tapering of tax free allowance
    3) Cut in fuel duty
    4) Get rid of all green subsidy
    5) Switch Didcot Power Station back on

    • alan jutson
      Posted November 16, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Robert K

      Too late for Didcot, they are already taking it apart !

      • Robert K
        Posted November 18, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        i know, a forlorn hope.

  73. Woodsy42
    Posted November 14, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    He should simplify, then simplify some more, then simplify again!
    1 – Combine NI and PAYE into one coherent simple graduated tax. Lets say a 10K allowance then 15% up to 20k, 30% up to 40K – whatever works out to provide the same tax level. Source of income irrelevent.
    2 Becaise of 1 inheritance tax effectively becomes graduated in relation to the recipient instead of based on the estate of a dead person. Possibly allowing a spread over a few years to avoid overtaxation at top rate. Existing CGT and estate duty can be removed.
    3 – Combine spouses’ tax so all incomes and allowances are shared and married couples treated as a single unit (ie a couple would get a 20K allowance whoever works then pay 15% over 20K and up to 30K etc). That halves the paperwork!
    4 -Remove absolutely all benefits (except disability) using reverse income tax to pay low paid and unemployed (say)75% of the difference between their allowance and actual income. That leaves single people on 7.5K and couples on 15K. That’s still more than an OAP who has worked all their life. Anyone who has never worked gets only 50% of the difference.
    5 – preferably remove but otherwise sort out stamp duty so it is graduated not stepped.
    6 – Remove all green taxes and subsidies from fuel bills and remove the carbon floor price.
    7 – prevent local councils from charging more than cost for any service they perform (like planning) and remove s106 bribes and affordability nonsense from housebuilding.
    8 – abolish HS2, build more roads instead, remove all tolls, remove road tax, lower fuel prices – motoring taxes should pay only for the cost motorists cause because transport costs affect every price in the country and must be minimised to promote the economy.
    Thats’ a start!

  74. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted November 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    It seems heartless in the light of the Philipines disaster to even consider cutting overseas aid . Perhaps aid ought to be something which is less consistent , saved at home , invested and lifted at at times such as these , when whole islands need rebuilding. The continual dribbling of money will not incite self sufficiency.
    Mr Carney is giving us much hope , but with the Bank of England interest rates, I fear it will help the banks recapitalise rather than help those who need mortgages, yet financial organisations need capital to lend.
    Everyone seems to be crying out for new homes. It beats me with so many for sale signs up. Perhaps the houses being sold are not fit for the 21st century where smaller and more self contained properties are more desirable.
    Germany are apparently doing well with their trade relations to the East .: so are we? Double speak certainly seems to be the buzz at present as we consider widening our trading abilities!

    • matthu
      Posted November 14, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      “Overseas aid” is measured in billions, alongside which the donation to true disaster funds like The Philippines is very paltry.

      That is because most “overseas aid” is either in the form of bribes to rich countries like India or in support of green renewables.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted November 15, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Things like the disaster in the Phillipines should be handled with an emergency response unit from the United Nations.

      We don’t have to send money for dictators in Africa to buy Mercedes with and to send to private accounts in Switzerland.

      • alan jutson
        Posted November 16, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink


        If you were going to make a donation, try your local Lions Club.

        Absolutely nothing taken out of your contribution for admin.

        100% of your money goes through to Lions clubs in the affected area to be spent locally, where it is needed.

        Lions clubs are located in over 200 countries World wide and have a voluntary membership in excess of 1,500,000 people all of whom pay their own expenses.
        Lions International is the governing umbrella organisation.

  75. REPay
    Posted November 14, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Get the personal tax threshold up to 12k – increase other rates to balance this out. This would really help the worst off!
    Cap all unfunded public sector pensions at 60k a year with immediate effect (Tory manifesto…)

  76. Max Dunbar
    Posted November 15, 2013 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    Scrap the Welsh and Scottish parliaments. Save vast amounts of money, re-unite the nation under one parliament and not the anarchic shambles at present (west Lothian question), save the natives in these far flung parts from themselves and banish the trouble-makers from these regional talking shops to North Korea.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Made me chuckle. If we got rid of these parliaments, then the politicians wouldn’t be able to blame each other. Nothing bad happens in Wales that is not the fault of Westminster, while on the contrary all that is good emanates from Cardiff, surely only the most blinkered party hacks could believe such nonsense, so why do politicians peddle such rubbish.

      I discovered why when i attended a public meeting in my local town on devolution – most people believe them and any attempt to question this cosy consensus is met with abuse and scorn. Devolution is a one-way street. Once people are divided into their little tribes, small mindedness takes over very quickly.

  77. peter davies
    Posted November 15, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Encourage brownfield developments thus reducing building on greenfield sites remove VAT

  78. Iain Gill
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Increase benefits to those who have paid into the system the majority of their adult life, and reduce benefits to those who have not. Disregard savings up to the value of the average house, for those saving in accounts rather than bricks and mortar. Put the right incentives back into the system.

  79. Gary Gimson
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Surely you mean Winter Statement. Since when has December formed part of Autumn?

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted November 20, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Pre-Budget Report – in Liebore ‘dark’ days !

  • 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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