Lets have an EU exit tax cut.

If the British people vote to come out of the EU our budget deficit is immediately cut by more than £12 billion a year from that day onwards. There will be no more net contributions to the Union. We also gain the right to decide how to spend the money we pay over and above the net contribution which is sent back to us as EU payments.

Today I invite you to talk about what we should do with all that money if we do decide to leave. Should we be prudent, and simply borrow less, using the end of our contribution to speed getting rid of the deficit? Should we speed up the tax cuts, giving every family an EU exit bonus of around £660 a year? Or should we mix increased public spending and tax cuts, spending say an extra £350 per household on health and education whilst having a £330 tax cut?
Those favouring more spending should remember we will have the chance to spend more on the things that matter to us as we gain control over the EU spending amounts as we repatriate that UK tax revenue as well.

It will be a nice problem to have. I favour the tax cuts myself, as I think the current plans to get the deficit down are sufficient. The boost to incomes, jobs and activity from accelerated tax cuts would show this is indeed the prosperity policy I want. It would also make such a good contrast with the European austerity policies of Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal, where governments are indeed following genuinely austere policies at the behest of the EU.

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  1. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I favour paying down the debt myself. But as things stand, it ain’t going to happen, as Lord Lawson said to Laura Kuenssberg.

    We NO people are falling to pieces very rapidly.
    The EUReferendum site are setting up their own organisation. Brilliant at research and kings of the blogging world, they are not necessarily the very best politicians. They are the back room boys.
    Ukip are – well, Ukip. They are however not just a one man band any more – although it may appear like that in Lunnun and parliament – and they have a large and disciplined party led by a passionate, very brave and very convincing man. He is not perfect. Are you? Is Mr Cameron? The trouble is that, like many charismatic people, he puts people (especially the fair sex) off.
    Then we have some vague sorts of movement in Lunnun, which I for one cannot understand, ranging from Business for Britain run by someone I have never heard of and various other Businesses and organisations which I have never heard of either.
    The Electoral Commission, of course, has to designate a leader. Who will it be?
    Divide et impera.
    Meanwhile, Mr Cameron dominates. He has set the timetable – we wait – which is devastating to a popular movement. Then there is no agenda to go at. Then (apparently) there is a ban on discussion by any government minister who sits in the cabinet. Then there is the matter of a free vote which, of course, we have to wait again for.
    I did not vote Conservative. Or Ukip. Or Labour. I voted for our outstanding MP personally, now working in the Whips’ Office – Steve Barclay.
    I am completely bewildered – and I have been following as closely as I can. If I am in a muddle – God knows what everyone else is thinking!

    • David Murfin
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      There is no muddle. The question is simply do we want to decide our own destiny or not?

      • Hope
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        The money from the EU and overseas aid farce could provide so much more for the people of this country. I read today Cameron is going to make comment about overseas aid corruption at the G7. He might have done this before committing our spending into law! He might have considered this before allowing the EU to spend a sixth of the overseas aid budget without any input from the UK government. The overseas aid element given to the EU to spend is not included in your figure JR. This will increase as it is determined as a percentage of GDP not a fixed amount.

        This would only be the tip of the iceberg, there would be financial relief in many other ways: welfare benefits, not to build so many houses, reduce demand on public services and through not following regulation. Any money saved would need discipline not to overspend which Cameron appears compelled to waste year after year.

        Before Cameron makes comment about corruption at FIFA perhaps he could explain his lack of action at Westminster? Moreover, perhaps he could explain why the IMF did all it could to save the Euro, with French and German banks, rather than save the country called Greece which should have been its main aim? We are a stake holder with taxpayers’ money in the IMF. Why the apparent stitch up putting a European as its leader? We need answers to be able to judge his true motives in any alleged EU referendum. Presumably he could have intervened in the events concerning Greece, so why did he not do anything, if he did then tell us.

        • Hefner
          Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

          “Why the apparent stitch-up putting a European as its leader?”

          An answer:

          Because Camille Gutt, Ivar Roth, Per Jacobsson, Pierre-Paul Schweitzer, Johannesburg Witteven, Jacques de la Rosiere, Michel Camdessus, Horst Koehler, Rodrigo de Rato, Dominique Strauss-Kahn have all been Europeans, before Christine Lagarde. … Doh …

          • Hope
            Posted June 7, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

            That is why Asians are forming their own self help scheme, it is too bias towards Europe…Doh

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 7, 2015 at 4:59 am | Permalink

          Indeed. What are Cameron’s true motives? Just why does he really want to sink the UK and make it an undemocratic region of the EUSSR? He like the rest of the EUphiles never even says what they think the positives of EU membership are? Are there any at all?

          A seat at the table and prevention of wars are the best they can ever come up with. Neither makes any sense at all. Someone on Question Time even said lowering roaming charges! They really are getting desperate.

          • Hope
            Posted June 7, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

            The voice is getting smaller each time a new country joins.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        Do we want to be able to vote our leaders every five years or never to be able to vote them out? Or would we, like Cameron, just like to be enslaved in a mere undemocratic region of the EU?

        • Jerry
          Posted June 6, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

          @LL; “Do we want to be able to vote our leaders every five years or never to be able to vote them out?”

          You seem to assume that there will never be a directly elected president in any future USoE, that is not a given and thus not a line I would suggest be used to try and convince people of the need to leave the EU – as people will simply point to the USA…

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 7, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

            There is not even a sensible Demos in the EU.

      • Timaction
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        The question should be quite simple and framed around: Do we want our own sovereign democracy returned or remain a member of the EU as part of a superstate?
        People unfortunately have no understanding or the time to do their own research as they would be horrified at how our legacy parties have sold us out and blatantly lied to us for over 40 years to pretend they are in charge. The other night I had to listen to the BBC Question Time where a studio plant was in favour of the EU because it provides Health and Safety law. The Labour rep on the panel nodded her head so much I thought it may fall off. The Mirror candidate thought we should stay in as the EU has reduced mobile roaming charges! You couldn’t make it up the lame nonsense about a list of Companies who want to stay in.
        Our Sovereign democracy is more the £, shillings and pence. Millions have died to keep us free, to be sold out by the legacies in the last 40 years. Shame on them!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 6, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink


          • Hope
            Posted June 7, 2015 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

            Hammond it clear today, on Marr, that sovereignty of parliament over the EU is NOT an option the government is seeking!

            Hammond needs to ask why all current ministers are in politics or government if they do not want to govern the country! I suggest the out campaign gets into full throttle now that we know Cameron is not going achieve our basic right to be an independent nation. Stuff the U.S.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 7, 2015 at 7:03 am | Permalink

          @Timaction; “The question should be quite simple and framed around: Do we want our but own sovereign democracy returned or remain a member of the EU as part of a superstate?[../rant/..]”

          How about those wishing for a Brexit leave emotions out of all this, just because you don’t want to be ‘ruled by Europeans’ do not assume a majority share your views or more importantly care. Put the economic case and a Brexit will follow, put either a political or emotional case (never mind keep finding scapegoats) and I suspect a USoE will follow from this referendum…

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

            I agree with Timeaction
            Certainly no rant as Jerry claims
            Though any post that disagrees with any view Jerry holds is always said to be a rant or utter nonsense.

            You are right Timeaction, the argument needs to concentrate on who governs the UK rather than economics

          • Jerry
            Posted June 7, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Then expect a lost Brexit vote.

            Oh and please do feel free to define sovereign democracy, as a would-be citizen of Wessex I probably think very much like the people of Scotland, Wales and Ni about so called Britain and sovereign democracy. No one can argue with a strong economic case though, who ever you wish your monarch to be, even if that is (horror of horrors) a future president of the EU/USoE, try and use emotional blackmail and many will smell a weak argument – in the sam3e way as most didn’t buy into the UKIP scapegoats…

            “Though any post that disagrees with any view Jerry holds is always said to be a rant or utter nonsense.”

            More filthy pots and pans on parade!

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted June 7, 2015 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

            Both Timaction and Jerry are correct in this instance.

            The debate needs to centre around our democracy but people invariably vote with their pockets so the economic case needs to be made to counter the scaremongering from the Yes campaign which will surely come.

            No needs to present a unified front which extols the benefits of leaving and does not focus on the negative. Scotland nearly became independent because the nationalists painted Westminster as a bogeyman preventing the already strong Scotland from flourishing in splendid isolation. No needs to present the same case swapping Brussels for Westminster and Scotland for the UK.

            Farage has a place in the campaign but he should not be at the helm as he turns off as many as he converts because many are repulsed by his dog whistle rhetoric (even though most of it is true).

          • Edward2
            Posted June 8, 2015 at 7:33 am | Permalink

            I do not accuse others of ranting or utter nonsense when they make posts as you regularly do Jerry so there cannot be a comparison to me.

            Sovereign democracy Jerry is where I vote for a local constituency MP to represent me in a national Parliament and only that Parliament makes the laws and regulations which affect me.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 8, 2015 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “I do not accuse others of ranting or utter nonsense”

            Actually Ed, you have no need to, you are very skilled at using the power of the English language to disguise far worse!

            “Sovereign democracy Jerry is where I vote for a local constituency MP to represent me in a national Parliament and only that Parliament makes the laws and regulations which affect me.”

            Oh you mean like the citizens of, say, Kentucky or Texas vote for local Senators & Representatives to represent them in Congress on Capitol Hill and only that institution then makes the laws and regulations (or enables their state legislatures to make local laws etc.) which affect such citizens – how would that concept be any different should there be a USoE were for Capitol Hill one would read the EU parliament, is the USA any less of a “Sovereign democracy”?…

          • Edward2
            Posted June 10, 2015 at 8:03 am | Permalink

            Thanks Jerry, I never realised how verbally skillful I am until you told me.
            As you are always right it must be true.

            I note, as you usually do, you now switch your argument, when faced with a reply to a question about the UK EU relationship you originally demanded an answer to.
            This time to the weaknesses in another political construct, the USA.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 10, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; What ever, but it will be noted that you failed again (preferring to play the man rather than ball instead) to put up a substantive argument about “Sovereign democracy”, nor will you because it means a million different things to million different people. To those in Wales, Scotland & NI (never mind perhaps those in Cornwall, or my beloved Wessex) it will mean something different to one and each never mind to those in (the rest of) England.

            Oh and Ed, you must be one of the very few people (others being mostly dictators) in the whole world who think that the USA is a weak political construct!

          • Edward2
            Posted June 14, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

            Not so, I have at your request defined it for you in this very post.
            There are not millions of definitions as you claim.

            I did not say the USA was a weak political construct.
            I said you had switched your argument to one about the USA system.
            Rather than address or answer any points put to you, as usual.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      @Mike Stallard; “Mr Redwood, I favour paying down the debt myself.”

      Who doesn’t but first we need to secure our independent economic future, something many believe we can not do from within the EU due to restrictive policies imposed upon us.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

        @Jerry; Sorry that might be a little to cryptic, what I mean is that whilst our economy is improving anyway it can be even better stronger once free of the EU, which in turn will allow us to pay off the debt at least as quickly as was planned anyway. Put it this way, it’s nearly always better to pay off ones mortgage as quickly as possible but it is not so good to do so whilst allowing the property to fall into disrepair because you have no spear money to spend on maintenance and then having to take out a massive loan to fund the repairs!

        • zorro
          Posted June 6, 2015 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          I think that this is a good analogy.


        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 7, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          Worst of all is to borrow even more on the mortgage and piss it all away on HS2, the IMF, greencrap grants, the EU fees, often corrupt oversees aid, the Swansea Barrage & endless other economic nonsense.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      In stark contrast the European Movement started to organise the In campaign as early as last October, with a meeting at Europe House, the EU’s base in London which was previously the Conservative party’s HQ:


      It is interesting to look at the participants in that seminar, including Sunder Katwala, previously general secretary of the Fabian Society and now running British Future, Peter Wilding of British Influence, Richard Corbett who is now back as a Labour MEP, Peter Kellner of YouGov, and Laura Sandys, who was then the Tory MP for South Thanet.

      Yesterday the Independent ran an article pointing out that the government’s referendum Bill explicitly permits combination of the EU referendum with any elections which are scheduled to take place – Section 4(2) – despite the Electoral Commission recommending that this should not be done, and suggesting that Cameron is clearing the decks for a referendum next May – May 5th being the date already set for elections in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and London, and also some local council elections elsewhere in England.

      The Out campaign isn’t really falling to pieces, simply because no such campaign has yet been formed in the first place; and as Nigel Farage points out if we wait until Tories such as our host finally make up their minds on the basis of what Cameron has achieved in his putative renegotiation then we could be waiting until Christmas before we even got started.

      I registered as a supporter of Better Off Out years ago but I’ve just renewed that here:


      as they seem to be the only group which is actually doing anything at present.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Denis Cooper; “I registered as a supporter of Better Off Out years ago but I’ve just renewed [it]”

        If you want to make a difference I would suggest getting a Twitter or Facebook etc. account and start doing what you do here on either or both of those, that is were this upcoming referendum will be won or lost!

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 7, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

          I’ve no intention of twittering!

          • Jerry
            Posted June 7, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; “I’ve no intention of twittering!”

            I don’t expect you do, to many ‘birds of prey’ waiting to swoop, one only has to read Mr Farage’s feed to understand that. Still doesn’t change the fact that this vote will be won or lost via socail media.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted June 7, 2015 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

            Which is a shame, the more factual counters to the scaremongering that are out there the better.

    • Stuart B
      Posted June 7, 2015 at 5:48 am | Permalink

      @Mike Stallard
      You are so right – I wish more ‘No’s’ would stop deluding themselves about the size, ruthlessness and sheer reach of the ‘Yes’ campaign that will be deployed against them, that is already being mobilised against them. This is global politics, the stakes are incredibly high and there are some extremely nasty and powerful customers out there who will move mountains to swing things their way. If ‘No’loses (and it looks that way) it will be from decency and naivety, and lack of intelligence.
      I want to go back to something I mentioned before – youth. The ‘No’s’ have already been pushed into a corner by some on the ‘Yes’ side advocating 16-17 year olds voting. This, I think, was always a canard rather than a serious proposition, but what it did do is establish a thought orientation, that Yes was on the side of Youth and by implication the Future.
      Part of the reason the SNP put such a frightener on everyone else was their successful sidling up to young people. They succeeded in painting a picture of an exciting future which drew many young people in, for the first time in generations, to a political vision, rather than a political calculation. If the No campaign is to succeed, against all the probabilities, then its only chance is to grab hold of the young vote by the scruff of its neck, provide a vision for all that latent enthusiasm and energy to take up and run with. It must do that urgently, before the other side do it – they are probably already laying the foundations for that.
      When I was young, all my elders and betters ever seemed to do was to pour cold water on anything I wanted to achieve. ‘It’ll never work! You’ll never do that! Start saving for a house, start looking for a good job with a nice pension – what d’you want with all that music gear? Why ever did you choose XXX to study at university – why didn’t you do something that’ll get you a good job?’ etc, etc. The sneers and rants came from the same calculated approach to life that I see in every single discussion forum on this issue. Whoever succeeds in breaking away from it will carry with them, not just young people, but anyone who still has residues of yearning for not just a ‘better’ life, but a life with at least a hint of glory and excitement to it. That is what creates and sustains a nation. Sadly, I don’t see any of the current ‘No’ leaders having any of that appeal whatever. Young Brits Brave Enough to Leave the EU! – and positively incensed that anyone should try to frighten them into staying. That’s what we need.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 7, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        @Stuart B; “This is global politics, the stakes are incredibly high and there are some extremely nasty and powerful customers out there who will move mountains to swing things their way.”

        Oh yes, those conspiracy “world government” theories…

        “If ‘No’loses (and it looks that way) it will be from decency and naivety, and lack of intelligence.”

        Nonsense on stilts, if the Brexit side loose it will be due to silly and simplistic rants… sorry, arguments like the above, which are far more likely to send people towards the apparent sanity of the EU than away from it. If fear wins at the ballot box then one Ed Miliband should by right be the UK’s PM now, if not Mr Brown, starting his second full term – after all didn’t they try and tell us that there was only so many days to save the NHS etc?…

        Strong economic arguments won (with almost a majority) for the Tory party in 2010, it was the lack of a strong economic argument that did for the SNP and their iScotland wish, it was strong economic arguments that won last May, it will be strong economic arguments -either way- that will win through with regards is referendum on a Brexit.

        • Stuart B
          Posted June 8, 2015 at 10:08 am | Permalink

          ‘Jerry’ has missed the point of what I said.
          (Incidentally, I don’t believe in global conspiracies or wicked plots to bring about world government – the collective banality of rich and powerful people is more than enough to cause chaos through pure lack of foresight).
          My point was simply that the economic argument is never going to win people’s hearts, and sovereignty and democracy demand an engagement from the heart and imagination. If economics is famously the ‘dismal science’, the real reason is because it is the ‘value system of last resort’. If you are totally p*ed off with society, the world and your place and prospects within it, you console yourself with feathering your own nest, beggaring your neighbour and participating in its further destruction.
          Ideals and principles are naturally stronger in younger people – we do need to connect what we believe in, with the energy that comes from youthfulness. That is what I am saying.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    We should be both prudent and speed up the tax cuts. Tax cuts for businesses (and to create more jobs) are usually invested in more business and more jobs. Business becomes more competitive and thus expands. Increasing GDP and the future tax base – while also cutting benefit claims on the state. It is not either or but both.

    About £400 per household PA sounds quite good. As I pay rather a lot in UK taxes my share should be more like £20,000 PA. Plus I will benefit from fewer daft EU regulations too. I will not be wasting it, it will be invested in expanding my businesses and creating more jobs. Simplifying the absurd tax, planning, employment, legal and building control systems would also give me more time and money to expand and compete.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      They could usefully cut out about ten time that from the UK government waste too and hand that back. Things like the happiness index, green crap, hs2, payments to augment the feckless, aircraft carriers with no planes ……. the list is endless.

      I see the BBC was advertising for a disabled weather person with no knowledge of weather or meteorology. One assumes they want one with a nice visible/telegenic disability to make a point to everyone.

      Will I wonder the disabled with less visible disabilities be able to sue for discrimination? Or even the qualified able bodied applicants with first in Meteorology and lots of arm waving abilities? Should give the lawyers/courts lots of parasitic things to think about.

      With the BBC you always know you will get the line of:- ever more EUphile drivel, more Greencrap, more tax increasing enthusiasm, yet more government, more fake enforced “equality”, more attack of feckless landlords & business people, more regulation of everything and more insufferably PC drivel.

      Plus the endless love in with the dreadfully inefficient & totally dysfunctional NHS that cost us all £2000 PA.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

        “LL; “With the BBC you always know you will get the line of:- ever more EUphile drivel [../rant, etc, rant/..]”

        Do you? Now I might not have got wrong end of the stick here, I wasn’t glue to the radio all day, but Radio 5Live yesterday had a theme-day, the UK and the EU, of what I heard they seem to have as much eurosceptic, if not europhobe, contributions as europhile. As I’ve said before, bias is oh so very often in the eyes and ears of the beholder, no doubt a supporter of a USoE will be complaining this morning thus; With the BBC you always know you will get the line of:- ever more EUphobe drivel

        • Ted Monbiot
          Posted June 6, 2015 at 8:13 am | Permalink

          I heard some of that EU day on radio 5 Jerry.
          After a non stop procession of pro EU commentators I ran out of time and switched off.
          I must have missed all the eurosceptics speaking.
          Who did they have on?

        • DaveM
          Posted June 6, 2015 at 8:31 am | Permalink

          I agree Jerry, I thought 5Live’s debate was pretty balanced.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted June 7, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

          When there is an extended discussion the Beeb tends to e even handed it is the short soundbite pieces that people actually pay attention to where they use there doctrined approach.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 8, 2015 at 7:33 am | Permalink

            @NS; Nonsense, plenty of “sound bites” from Mr Farage are used on and across the BBC…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      The point is each one of us knows how we would best spend, give away, invest our share. This as we know our personal needs and priorities. One may have a leaking roof, the other a daughter who needs help with a deposit. Another may need his car fixing or to get a qualification or want to take piano lessons – all are different. Governments cannot make any of the right choices for them.

      Give it back, that is clearly the most efficient way to use it. Giving it to the EU is probably even worse that wasting it all. This as they will just use it to inconvenience and regulate us further.

      Governments care not what they spend, nor what value they get from that spend. It is not their money (nor they who receive what is bought). If anything they just like lots of the money to be wasted on administration of the spend, so spent on themselves in fact.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Much fuss on the BBC over the GCSE Hannah, sweet eating, probability question. What on earth are they on about? I just looked at it, the question takes all of 60 seconds to answer.

      Is this really one of the harder questions on the current CGSE maths?


      • Edward2
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        Good article from a teacher in the Telegraph today, explaining how to solve it.
        As you say Lifelogic, fairly easy for anyone of a certain age.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        Has the whole country stumped, apparently.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 6, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          God help us if that is true.

          Not only is it totally trivial but you get the final answer given to you. So even if you do get the initial probability equation wrong you should then discover that.

          Thus you are able to try again & again until you finally get it right and still get the full marks.

      • forthurst
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        It’s the simplest quadratic equation possible (does nor even require the formula which I struggled to remember) which indicates GCSE students are about four years behind the undepreciated O level.

        • Qubus
          Posted June 6, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          It is not solving the quadratic that is difficult, it is writing down the expression from which it is derived.
          However, I actually think that it is probably a bit difficult for GCSE students. Don’t forget, GCSE is supposed to be a lot easier than O-level maths.
          My experience is that you can either do probability problems or not !

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 7, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

            I am not sure how a balls in a bag (with non replacement) probability problem could be any simpler. Only two colours, only two sweets taken out and they give you the equation/answer so if you get it wrong you can try again anyway!

        • ian wragg
          Posted June 6, 2015 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          As a 70 year old, I remember calculus was the final subject at O level. Today I see it is towards the final year of A level.
          My experience of employees around 20 – 40 years old even with degrees is a poor understanding of maths and English language.

      • alan jutson
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink


        An everyday Mental arithmetic question in my days at school.

        The other type of question that seem to confuse pupils of today is reading a train or bus timetable, to work out journey times between two ;points, again a mental arithmetic question.

        No wonder it is easy for the supermarkets confuse people with their offers, no one seems to be able to work out the comparison cost per 100 gms any more.

        50-60 years ago we were given education to help us through work and life, now it seems its simply for academic purposes.

        And they say the standard of education has improved every year for the last 40 years.
        Pull the other one.
        Those of us who have interview job applicants know otherwise.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 6, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          I tend to give potential employees a test. I find very many (with apparently “good” grades) cannot even write a simple/understandable letter to a supplier or do some very simple arithmetic.

  3. Old Albion
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Perhaps we should use it to give all public service workers a 10% rise? Just as an elite 650 millionaires are about to recieve.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      State sector workers (with pensions included) are already paid about 150% of the private sector. This for fewer hours, earlier retirement, better conditions & more sick days.

      Why on earth should they be paid more still?

      Not all MPs are millionaires though. Mind you their pensions alone get up to that after a while.

      The less you pay MPs the better the ones you will get I suspect. Career MPs with PPE and Law degrees are the last thing we want.

  4. Jerry
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    John I would favour a mixture of both tax cuts and specific and targeted higher public spending.

    As for cutting taxes how about abolishing VAT totally and going back to a regime of selective purchase taxes (this would also allow, if needed, for US style local taxes, to be spent locally), VAT is a regressive tax applied with a much to wide broad-bush that is paid by everyone thus by abolishing it would mean everyone -even those on fixed incomes who fail outside of income taxes etc- receive a tax cut. Also it should help boost retail spending, and because we would be out of the EU we could always make it advantageous to “Buy British” once more. Fuel duty is also something that could should be cut, perhaps bringing in “blue diesel” for commercial industry and hauliers for vehicles over 5t (gross laden weight)?

    As for public spending, here I’m thinking of the NHS (yes I know some, not necessarily on here, would prefer it to be ‘commercialised’ like the USA health industry…) and big ticket major infrastructure projects such as roads [1], also the way current energy policy has gone for the last 18 plus years, perhaps we will need a quick state backed programme of new build coal, oil and gas fired power stations, perhaps even nuclear (we need to be energy independent).

    [1] whilst scrapping HS2 in favour of a north-south, east-west dedicated rail freight network, or at least rebuilding route mile capacity lost since the first Beeching Report over 50 years ago.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink


      Why do NHS apologists ALWAYS only compare it with USA? Why not commercialise it like the worlds number 1 health system France? Or like Germany or any other place higher up the list of health efficient countries that ALL have commercial activities in their universal healthcare systems

      • Jerry
        Posted June 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian; Because they also have as many problems and issues as the USA system. Why not just keep the NHS, correctly managed [1] and funded, so that we have the worlds number 1 health system?! Something that the UK could easily afford once outside of the EU, the premiss of our hosts question to us.

        [1] which could well include who and what conditions qualify for ‘free at the point of need/care’, from those coming into this country to those otherwise in full qualification wanting non-essential or broadly cosmetic treatments for themselves or family

  5. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Today’s blog reads a bit like: Let’s throw away our long term future and friendships for a mere 50p a day per citizen. Might it be even less? After all the UK’s EEA contribution would be some 20 x higher than that of Norway due to its population size and would thus be several billion a year.
    Let us embark on a very uncertain future made up of eurosceptic predictions of impending glory, freedom and “self determination” for the benefit of a few coins? If the UK’s superficiality with continental Europe reaches that deep, it is in a sad state indeed.

    Reply We will not lose anything by being free to make our own choices, and gain a lot.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      You assume Peter, the main argument is all about money, trade and the cost of membership.
      For a large number of UK citizens like me, its simply about who governs us.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        @Edward2: We are mainly governed by the Netherlands government and pool some of sovereignty with other EU members. The same is true for the UK and your balance of competences exercise shows that this balance works for the UK as well. Of course you can still opt for a separation.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 7, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          And the proportions of power of this pooled power has shifted greatly over recent years.
          The EU is always grabbing more powers leaving both your national government and mine with less power.

          One day without you realising it will hold 100%

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 7, 2015 at 6:27 am | Permalink

        Indeed, but even on the money argument leaving is by far the best option.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      “After all the UK’s EEA contribution would be some 20 x higher than that of Norway due to its population size and would thus be several billion a year.”

      1. Who says that we would stay in the EEA? What, with the Single Market being “the fundamental instrument of EU integration”, according to the economy ministers of Germany and France, and still requiring the same free movement of persons that we don’t want?

      2. Norway is a net exporter to the EU. As a net importer from the rest of the EU the UK should by rights be charging the EU for access to its market.

      3. Norway is a fine country, but it is smaller and has less clout than the UK.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper: Of course you don’t have to chose the EEA.

        I have argued before that something special could be brewed for the UK. If you listen to Mrs. Merkel’s translated interview (available on the BBC website), she for one would be willing to bend over backward to keep the UK in the EU. She does have some influence. 🙂

        • Jerry
          Posted June 7, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

          @PvL; “I have argued before that something special could be brewed for the UK.”

          You mean like just having WTO rules applied to the EU you mean, unlike all those special EU trade deals with other nations or groups, no need for TTIP then. Oh and regarding TTIP, should it be nodded through as I suspect it will be in the end, if the UK did need to be a member of a trading group or part of a political multi-state fake ‘country’ to be able to trade in the world and within the EU then culturally, legally and politically it would actually make far more sense (as I’ve jested before) for the UK to apply to be the 51 state of the USA rather than the 27th state of the USoE, or at least ask to join the NAFTA… The EU is no longer the only game in town! 😯

    • forthurst
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      “Let’s throw away our long term future”

      We do not have a future in the EU, we simply cease to exist other than as a geographical region of the EU superstate, presided over by a soviet, as now, with the nomenklatura (CMD) telling those who wish to leave, “Freedom is Slavery”; we will continue to be milked to support the EU’s failed policies such as the Euro, the CAP, the CFP, Ukraine etc whilst being told by the EU’s mouthpiece (BBC) how successful the EU’s policies are. Me, I’ll take to the hills (downs).

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        @forthurst: I hope that there will be some of your countrymen able to convince you that the reality inside the EU looks a lot brighter.

    • Peter van Leeuwen
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: The Economist 14 April 2014 – “The benefits of Brentry” – leads to the conclusion that if Britain had followed the eurosceptic lead in 1975, its income would have been 20% lower today. Not a bad harvest, so much more annual income now for this mere 1% membership fee.

      Reply Our income and output would be higher today if we had not entered the EU – remember the huge damage the ERM did for starters.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        As far as I can judge, this Economist’s study includes the ERM period as well.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        Maybe like the Economist you should have mentioned that the estimate was not for the real Britain, but for a purely theoretical synthetic Britain made up of 91% New Zealand and 9% Argentina. What a joke.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        @PvL; As JR says in reply, also don’t discount (like The Economists did) the fact that the UK would have been able to form other trading partnerships with who knows who. Then what of the then EEC its self, without the UK (and quit possibly Ireland) who knows if it would have panned out as it has anyway, there might be no Single Market, single currency or even expansion to the east etc.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        It’s impossible to say whether we would be better or worse off had we not joined the EEC. In the 70s and 80s and even early 90s the EC was a force for economic liberalisation. In the UK at that time we had a very strong socialist party. Had the socialists had their way and had we not had the great Thatcher reforms of the 80s we would surely be much worse off. On the other hand had we never had the catastrophic Blair-Brown govt the boom and bust and bank bailout, the federalist treaties, the Iraq war, gold sale and the expensive energy policy etc we might be better off. Likewise whether the UK would be better off in or out in the future depends in large part what sort of govt we would get in both cases.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 7, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

          @Richard1; Indeed but to go back even further, had we not had the catastrophic Heath government (complete with labour discontent and the three day week, so often miss-attributed to Wilson [1]) in the UK or the US/Nixon lead international politics of the early 1970s, who knows how things would have panned out even under a socialists government. I think it comes under the general heading of crystal ball gazing…

          [1] who actually removed the cause and effect, within a week of becoming PM in Feb ’74

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Peter you are talking compete nonsense, are you being paid for it?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 7, 2015 at 6:29 am | Permalink

          Indeed one does wonder?

    • Hope
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      It is no such thing PVL. The cost is way above any money weed o. The EU. It is about our way of life, the society we want not what is impose by the EU who have no understanding of the way we wish to lead our lives, nor care. We have the disaster called Greece at the moment which has the EU interference at its heart. Instead of saving the country called Greece, the IMF and EU decided it would be better to save the euro and the EU project! Outrageous. 60 youth unemployment, lost homes, business and destitution, all for the EU project. It is simply not worth the human tragedy. It is a travesty that most people are not aware that this political construct should ever be a trade organisation to help small countries compete with large ones or it should be disbanded as a corrupt project with too many devastating consequences for ordinary people.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        @Hope: The IMF is not the EU. The Eurozone (19 countries using the euro) is not the EU either.

        • Hope
          Posted June 7, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

          No it is not and it is not its remit to save currencies like the Euro! It should have heped Greece not an EU political project.

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      It’s getting a bit boring Peter listening to you promoting the EU.(personal attack removed ed)
      You would sit well in our own HoL with the cronies who are drawing an EU pension and have to promote this Stalinist outfit to retain the income.
      They should be banned from voting on EU matters as they only have their own
      interests at heart.
      As for the question John. Your government is wedded to the Tax, borrow, spend and waste programme so I am sure there are more windmills in Scotland or PV farms in East Anglia where you could waste the money. Perhaps even more obsolete HS2 trains, who knows, I’m sure Gideon will have something in mind.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Peter v L

      Stop making yourself look silly, people like you who live stuck in the past are one of the major reasons that continental Europe is falling further and further behind in the innovation stakes. The only economy in the Eurozone that has anything about it is Germany and thats only because they are using the Euro to manipulate exchange rates. If Germany had the DM still they wouldn’t be selling much to anyone. The trouble is destroying 18 countries in support of one isn’t really the future.

      We were in a club that was far far bigger than your little backwater, a market of nearly 2 billion people that is now growing faster than anything in the EU. We threw that away to join in with your tawdry little enterprise . Well we are not staying in the past, we’re going to move to a global future. Bye bye

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        “We were in a club that was far far bigger than your little backwater, a market of nearly 2 billion people that is now growing faster than anything in the EU”

        and I am the one stuck in the past??? 🙂

      • Jerry
        Posted June 7, 2015 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian: “We were in a club that was far far bigger than [that] little backwater, a market of nearly 2 billion people that is now growing faster than anything in the EU. We threw that away to join in with [that] tawdry little enterprise.”

        Sorry but that is totally wrong, we had already “thrown it all away” by the time we joined “Le Club”. Indeed it was because we still had some of the empire to who we sold our goods and services (and a profit) and bought their produce (at all but cost) that we told the embryonic ECSC/EEC to take a hike when they asked if we wanted to join. It was much later that we joined, after much grovelling (and the untimely death of a post war European president who kept saying No!…), before we joined in Jan ’73, by which time very little remained of the old Empire whilst many of the now Commonwealth countries were going their own way trade wise too.

    • Duyfken
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      If it helps to persuade the British to vote NO to the EU, then the financial incentive of an annual tax cut would be most worthwhile (and for each taxpayer, more than PvL’s belittling “mere 50p a day per citizen”).

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        @Duyfken: The positive narrative by the “in” side (i.e. your government) could easily match that with a larger tax cut. I however don’t think that coins will make the difference.

        • Duyfken
          Posted June 7, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          So where does the government, in your hypothesis, find the money?

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Nobody is advocating throwing away friendship with the rest of Europe. It would be a frightening place to live in if countries could not trade in friendship with one another. I favour a small tax cut and some being spent on defence and education. Once we sort out our immigration problems by coming out of the EU we may be able to balance our NHS books and address our lack of housing issues etc.

      The current situation regarding the illegal immigrants smuggled over from Holland beggars belief. Asylum should be sought in the FIRST country of safety and not, as always, the UK. I wonder why they all want to gain entry to the UK? I think most of us already know that without having to list all the advantages of living here. I suspect the pregnant women will have their babies here courtesy of the NHS and that props up all that Nigel Farage was trying to say about health tourism. Can someone please tell me where the hell all these extra thousands of people coming into this country every year actually live??? I’m at a loss to see where we are going to get all the housing necessary. These illegal immigrants should be taken back to whence they came and not be allowed to claim asylum here. No doubts human rights will come into it big time though. Mind you, all the time we are in the EU when they do get asylum elsewhere they will just be able to enter Britain freely. What better reason to get out of the EU?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        @fedupsoutherner: You will obviously get more help against illegal immigrants from the EU when you are a member. Why would we care once you’ll have left? Does the EU care about illegal immigrants into e.g. the USA, Canada or Russia? If you deport all EU citizens living legally in the UK (and we return the millions of Britons living in other parts of the EU) would that solve your housing problems? You could of course opt for making your country less attractive by leaving the EU 🙂 Maybe that will have some moderating effect!

        • Jerry
          Posted June 7, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          @PvL; Perhaps if we had that help, against illegal immigration via the Schengen area, now and previously the UK would not now be talking so openly about a Brexit on almost all sides of politics. Some might even suggest that it seems to suit some member countries to make it very easy for “illegals” within the EU to move about and thus reach channel ports and then live in organised camps largely undisturbed…

          The UK is an island, yes we have a cost line (as we did in 1940…) but it is very easy to control entry points once we do not have to heed unhelpful advice from the EU, the ECJ and ECHR so precisely, if at all.

      • Hope
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        They were distributed by the government from about 2002 onwards. It was felt the South East public services could not cope with the numbers- as I was told by a service provider. This has been quietly going on ever since. Look at your local authority’s policies to see if it has local priority clause for social and affordable housing, it is a big a clue.

        It is a pan demic situation that the UK cannot control because we are at the mercy of the EU to help us, as our own government gave away our right as a nation to say who we will or will not have in our country, including EU criminals convicted of murder! I licences and unsupervised to offend further despite the ridiculous EAW.

    • Bob
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 11:25 am | Permalink


      “Let’s throw away our long term future and friendships”

      What do you mean by throwing away friendships?

      EU sceptics want to have a friendly relations with our European neighbours, always respecting the customs and traditions of the others, but without the compulsion towards a one size fits all tyrannical super state which is bringing misery to millions of people, and not just Europeans, the trade tariffs and foreign aid programs condemn many 3rd world countries to remain corruption ridden basket cases wallowing in permanent poverty.

      Your comment reminded me of Mr Redwoods recent article “Dealing with a German led EU” on 30/5 in which he wrote of meetings with “senior Germans” in which “…the German position vacillates weakly between charm and threat, between reassurance and empty menace.”

      Britain has a track record of standing up to tyrants, and it seems we need to lead the way yet again. Why don’t you get a conscience Peter and join us instead of threatening cessation of “friendship”. We can have perfectly amicable relationships without having to rigidly conform with diktats handed down by unelected officials many of whom gained their position as booby prizes, having failed to gain elected office in their own countries.

    • Timaction
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Peter Van EU,
      We simply don’t want you or the EU full stop. Trade and friendship nothing more. Throw away our long term future? We will have our sovereign democracy back to secure our borders, make our own trade agreements for our benefit, take back control of our fisheries, agriculture, energy, environment, farming, justice, health and safety etc. We can save £14 billion in fees and £9 billion more in less regulation for the 8% of businesses that trade with you! We don’t want your dictatorship Peter!
      Cant wait!

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        @Timaction: Lets wait and see whether this “we” is more than a minority.

        • Timaction
          Posted June 8, 2015 at 9:06 am | Permalink

          You don’t think a manipulated referendum will be the final argument when our sovereignty is the end game? The Government is but temporary, sovereignty is permanent!
          The EU is a dictatorship . Just look how you write and think you are already in charge Peter!

    • David Price
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      It’s more a case of chosing a different path for our future where get to decide what we do. And if the EU is only friendly becauise we hand over all our resources and sovereignty to them then they are not really friends are they.

      Have you discussed certainties and futures with the Greek citizens yet?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        @David Price: We don’t hand over all our resources and sovereignty to the EU, so why would you?
        I would have hoped for more creative thinking in the case of Greece, but the current negotiation game is still going on, more creative solutions might still be possible.

        • David Price
          Posted June 7, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

          You have deluded yourself, handing over control of something is no different from handing it over and the EU demands the dismantling of nations and control of everything. That is the whole point of Monnets project. It started with coal and steel and it has spread to everything – agriculture, fishing, laws, policing, health, environment, energy, education, manufacture, employment, the list is endless.

          The word “creative” coming from a euphile is generally a euphemism for breaking the law, you people in the EU have let things go too far and you are beyond the usual EU approach of ignoring the very rules you enforce on everyone else. I wouldn’t be surprised if you fail utterly and Greece gets pushed into the open arms of Russia or China.

    • Alexis
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      On the contrary.

      The message is – let’s invest in our long term future.

      I’m sorry you regard self-determination as something theoretical, or something to put in inverted commas. People fight and die for their right to determine their own affairs, in the own country.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        @Alexis: With the over-emphasis on self-determination, interdependence, cooperation and compromise tend to be overlooked.
        And then there are certain current imperfections in your democracy which also take away from self-determination.

  6. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Maybe we shouldn’t start counting our chickens just yet, but if it was true that a fifth of Scots could be shifted towards support for independence by the promise of a financial benefit of just £500 a year, as was claimed:


    then £700 a year for each family should swing some voters towards leaving the EU; but how about settling on a much higher figure for the total financial benefits, beyond just the UK’s contribution to the EU budget?

    I’ll put in my bid at £50 billion a year added to GDP by leaving the EU, while noting that while this seems (and is) a lot it would in fact be a one-off increase of only 3% of GDP, and as the trend growth rate of the UK economy is about 2.5% a year it would not be hugely significant in the long term.

    • Bob
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      @Denis Cooper

      “I’ll put in my bid at £50 billion a year added to GDP by leaving the EU”

      Professor Tim Congdon estimates the benefit at around £170 billion p.a.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        And Professor Congdon may well be right, but my gut instinct is that he is overestimating the economic benefits of leaving the EU.

        I have two general thoughts fixed in my mind –

        1. It’s extremely difficult for even expert economists to work out the net cost of our EU membership by constructing and assessing alternative scenarios, but I’m pretty sure it’s a net cost rather than a net benefit.

        2. In any case it doesn’t matter a great deal in the longer term if our economy is given a boost of a few per cent from leaving the EU or it is knocked back by a few per cent.

        More or less since the war the trend growth rate of the UK economy has been about 2.5% a year, and all it means is that we would reach a given higher level of prosperity a bit sooner or a bit later. The benefits of the Single Market were projected to be about 5%, even if that had been achieved it would have been equivalent to just two years’ natural growth; the benefits Cameron says could be got by completing the Single Market in services, one of his great points for his renegotiation, would be equivalent to just some months’ natural growth; while the projected benefits of the much-vaunted EU-US trade deal would be equivalent to about three months’ natural growth.

        I’m not saying that economic benefits of that kind of magnitude are not worth having for themselves, but it is certainly not worth sacrificing our national sovereignty and democracy to get them, and especially when the alternative is just to wait for a few months or years to get the same thing through natural growth of the economy.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps more with cheap energy and the reduction in all the bonkers regulations – Professor Tim Congdon is usually right.

    • Tom William
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      I think it is a no brainer. The prospect of more money/less tax if we leave the EU will be a vote winner. Arguments to the contrary, especially the promise of tax reductions if we stay in the “prosperous, economically efficient etc.”EU will be seen as duplicitous bribes by the public.

  7. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Assuming that Mr Cameron’s government will campaign on the “in” side and he saw the plans of Mr Redwood, he could of course of to double the tax cuts in case of an “in” result, justifying this with the much better economic outlook for the UK (according to his government). I very much doubt that luring voters with coins will be considered a wise strategy.

    • Hope
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      I am not sure Cameron does strategy or good judgment. His results to date show otherwise. He is all about PR spin no substance and the kudos of his position. A complete waste of space as a PM if ever there was.

      • formula57
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        Cameron seems to me badly under-rated as he has enjoyed very considerable success, not least with referenda (AV and Scotland).

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        Indeed spin and photo ops, over substance, every time with Cameron.

  8. DaveM
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Everywhere I look I see ambition and talent. I see artists, musicians, writers, and actors who throw their product out and are world renowned. I see chefs producing the best food in the world, engineers who want to push the boundaries of human endeavour, scientists striving to be top of the tree. Every day I see people in the military who want nothing other to be the best in the world. I see police officers who just want to do their job and keep our country safe. But I also see young talented people who want to teach but don’t because of the touchy-feely liberal attitude towards kids’ behaviour. And I see people who want to be doctors and nurses but either don’t bother because of the state of the NHS, or else they do their training then move to the other side of the world where the hospitals aren’t creaking due to uncontrolled immigration. I see young lads who want to be builders and mechanics, farmers and fishermen, but give up because they know every job they go for will go to an underpaid migrant or that they won’t be allowed to do their job because of EU regulations. I also see migrants who have ambition and whose kids will be British in attitude and will contribute to our future with the right education and training. The UK is like a champion racehorse being ridden by an overcautious jockey-owner who feeds him the wrong food and employs a mediocre trainer. And who is worried that if he wins all the time he’ll upset his fellow jockeys. Yes, there’s a risk that, if he gives the horse his nose he’ll pull a muscle or break an ankle, but if that doesn’t happen he’ll win the race by a country mile and the jockey-owner will end up richer and more celebrated. So I say; sod the tax breaks for now, and invest in our country. Stop encouraging mediocrity. Tell the PM to grasp the opportunity to become the PM who sorted out our country and set it on the right path for the next century rather that the ignominious PM he will be half remembered as. Invest in infrastructure, training, defence, science, engineering, apprenticeships, etc and the country will become richer and the tax breaks will come in the future.

  9. ColinD.
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Get down the deficit and, when you have done that, make a start on the £1500 trillion National Debt – much of it borrowed by Osborne in just 5 years. If some tax cuts in parallel are advertised as an incentive to vote for Brexit, then that’s well worth it.

  10. alan jutson
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    My first thought was thats the £12 billion that is missing from the promised cuts, how fortunate that would be.

    That thought soon passed, because if we did not cut and try and live within our means, the money would just be frittered away, if not by this government then eventually by another.

    So Tax cuts yes, and the one that benefits almost everyone, is to raise the personal tax allowance.
    Make the allowance the same as the minimum wage (as sort of promised) but instead of this silly 30 hours nonsense a week, make it for a normal working week of 40 hours, which is what most full time people work.

    Not only does this help the workers, it also helps pensioners who have a little income from their own private pension, or some savings income as well.
    It closes the gap between the take home pay of those who work, and those on Benefit, thus encouraging the work ethic.
    It gives people more of their own money to keep, and possibly spend, helping business and increasing the VAT take a little in the process.
    It means those who are saving for the deposit on a house, can do so more quickly.

    From a political point of view, it would also be difficult to reverse by any future Government without a huge negative response from the public.

    If there is any left, then increase the Inheritance tax allowance to a simple £1,000,000 PER PERSON whilst retaining the double allowance for spouses as existing (no if,s no buts,) and fulfil a promise made many years ago.

    Simple and understandable.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      The IHT promise (not the current watered down, complex & idiotic one) should be kept in full if Cameron/Osborne have any honour whatsoever. It was made about 8 years ago after all – it should be £1.2M each now with inflation.

    • Ludgate Man
      Posted June 7, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Alan Jutson, spending the £12 billion saved on boosting the tax allowance is a master-stroke.
      It could definitely persuade many to vote for leaving!

      • Jerry
        Posted June 8, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        (@Alan Jutson;) @Ludgate Man; “spending the £12 billion saved on boosting the tax allowance is a master-stroke”

        The personal tax allowance means little to those who fall outside of the income tax regime, thus it’s doubtful that many if any of that sizeable group would have their vote swayed either way. Hence my suggestion of a VAT cut/abolishment, now that would be a real tax cut for everyone.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 10, 2015 at 8:08 am | Permalink

          Indeed Jerry you are right.
          Those who do not pay income tax would not be encouraged to vote for leaving the EU by a cut in income tax.

          We are sadly restricted in our ability to reduce VAT by the EU as the recent inability to reduce VAT on insulation products which was widely reported has shown.

  11. Richard1
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The pro EU side will have a simple answer to that: don’t spend the money too quickly, we will need it for welfare benefits for the 3 million newly unemployed people as a result of exit.

    So I think caution is merited with this line of argument. The overriding issue at the referendum will be a simple one – will the UK be a more or less attractive place for investment and job creation in or out of the EU? £12bn is a lot of money and its part of the calculation, but it’s de minimis in the context of the larger question.

    Reply It is a lot of money. The UK will clearly be more attractive for trade and investment outside the dear energy and excessive rules of the EU.

    • Tom William
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      The three million canard has been generally exposed as nonsense, and can still be exposed to anyone who doesn’t understand its falsity.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        That will not stop it being repeated

    • Richard1
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: Yes that’s what the debate needs to be about – the costs of the energy policy, the CAP the CFP, the potential other trade deals etc. set against that the clearly expressed preference of many large employers for no change. Another thing though – would the UK outside the EU pursue open trading, free market, liberal energy policies? We might get another Labour govt – let’s remember measures such as the climate change act were home grown, not EU imposed.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        There is an EU target for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

      • Hope
        Posted June 6, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Tories support the Climate Change Act and its continuance. Cameron has already agreed further targets! No difference between the cheeks of the cartel.

    Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    The money should be used to provide assisted passages for Labour MPs and Councillors to a European destination of their choice where they can settle. They obviously do not believe in the future of the UK outside of the EU so it would be a cruel and unusual punishment to have them stay here. May I suggest Italian islands where they would be overly welcome and find many of their ilk.
    Also no-one but no-one will ask them how on earth they managed to afford the fare money in the first place

  13. Hefner
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    What a laugh! Do you really think that we, as simple citizens, will ever see the colour of these “savings”? I am sure the Government of the day or the MPs will find another “urgent” area to be spending the money, without anybody from the public having a say.

    Otherwise, what about social housing?

    • Hope
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Well said.

  14. Atlas
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink


    An EU exit tax cut to boost the economy (and so generate more revenue to pay down the debt faster) – an excellent suggestion. I wonder why Cameron does not see this?

  15. willH
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Just return the money to it`s rightful owners the taxpayers, let it be a start to a new way of thinking,that money should only be taken from us when absolutely necessary, instead of the waste and squandering that has become the norm.

  16. acorn
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Where did you get £12 bn from? https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/339740/PESA_2014_CM_Annex_C.xlsx

    CGT is about £6.5 bn a year at the moment; IHT about £4.2 bn; Stamp Land Tax about £10 bn a year. Perm any of those for the top end of town. Raise the start point for NI for the bottom end of town.

    Or, you could put it towards the £24 billion provision for known NHS negligence claims.

  17. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    It is an imagined situation similar to winning the lottery ,but with more civil responsibility.Tax cuts are always welcome, yet PVL has a point insofar as small amounts of money dissipated and wasted would not be helpful long term. I always favour something constructive which could be built upon. Being a moderate I would have to say the money should be divided ;making a hole in debt, lowering tax a little ; and some sort of investment.
    Without this responsibility I may blow the blessed lot.!
    P.S.I thought it was 15 billion.

  18. Iain Gill
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Give it away in aid to India, thought you supported the pm’s spending priorities…

  19. nigel
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    There has never been a more advantageous time for David Cameron to negotiate with the EU. They are transfixed by the Greek problem, and the odds must be that they will capitulate on that and that Greek Government will end up getting wht they promised their voters.
    The EU cannot afford to have the UK leave, on top of the Greek problems.
    Angela Merkel realises that David Cameron has a mandate from the voters and that he has to come back with a credible offering. I assume that Eurosceptic MP’s will be exhorting him to take a firm line and insist on very significant changes to the current arrangements.
    Whether that will be sufficient for the majority, we will have to wait and see.
    However, at what stage can we expect to have a concerted approach from the “No” campaign, to lay out in clear and simple terms that normal people can understand, how an exit could be handled and how the inevitable problems arising could be dealt with? Voters are naturally fearful of change and need to be reassured on the details.

  20. Kenneth
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Yes, a great idea – an eu-exit dividend.

    I would favour at least half of the saving going to corporation tax reduction as it will counter those who suggest that business may look elsewhere for trade (although I believe this to be a groundless argument).

    This move would: –

    1. Show that business is better off staying in the OK (which it would be anyway)

    2. Take the sting out of CBI and big business arguments. The CBI membership may take a very different view if they are being offered lower costs in the UK

    3. Eventually it would attract new business to the UK.

    I think the balance of the saving should go towards personal tax cats.

  21. Michael Cawood
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    On a serious note, the money saved must firstly be used to bring down the deficit which was inherited from Labour. Only after the deficit has been cleared or at least brought down to manageable proportions can we have tax cuts.

    • formula57
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      What if tax cuts stimulate growth that leads to more tax being paid that then can be applied in swifter deficit reduction?

  22. David Price
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    It would be prudent to know where the clawback from the EU is currently allocated. Some joint R&D and university programmes may be well worth continuing for example. Also how much will be needed to re-establish embassies and trade relations etc.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 6, 2015 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      It seems that highly intelligent academics cannot grasp that the grants they get from the EU are in fact our taxpayers’ money routed via Brussels.

      • David Price
        Posted June 7, 2015 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Indeed, as we are a net payer all funds coming from the EU must be UK taxpayer money.

  23. bigneil
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    As said in previous comments to this site, I worked and paid in for 45 yr, retired early through injury and now get nothing, not a penny, from the DWP for my input. Clearly, as I do not get any income, I pay no income tax, so any personal tax cuts would be worthless to me, sat at the bottom of the pile. I would like to see many more people employed front-line at our so-called borders. Surely the cost of each “lorry checker” pays for themselves as each “successful” illegal immigrant costs the country far more than the Border Agency employee. The cost of any illegal has to take in, as yesterdays Harwich situation shows, Police, ambulances, medical staff, Border Agency, and now here – – -the DWP, councils, etc – – add on their housing, benefits, children’s schooling, future healthcare costs etc etc. how much had those people cost – -all within the first few hours of being found?
    Using the old saying of “A stitch in time” this should be used to the country’s finances.
    There is also the included problem of the country’s security, We don’t know who they are , because a lot have “conveniently” lost all papers in the hope of not being sent back. We are importing a massive social and financial problem. If Mr Cameron wants to save this country ( which I don’t believe) then he has a strange way of showing it.
    Surely paying more Border staff to stop the problem getting here in the first place would save a fortune, instead of throwing a bigger fortune away. Make any saving from coming out of the EU actually make even more. Lets have a govt that wants to help the country – not a govt of which most just want to stuff their pockets.

  24. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Tax cuts would be my choice John.

    Your message of today demonstrates a convincing argument for withdrawal from membership of the European Union.

  25. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Something to please everyone, except ardent europhiles. The main point being that becoming an independent, self-governing country once more our own elected government will decide how to spend UK taxpayers’ money rather than an unelected EU Commission.

  26. Tony Watts
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Our future rests with our ability to grow and prosper and export more. One sure way is through education. I propose that university fees for our youngsters taking the sciences and engineering should be scrapped with a proviso that the students devote at least 5 years emoployment in this country.

  27. Alexis
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Yes to the exit bonus!

    As positive messages for the Out campaign go, this one is inspired.

  28. forthurst
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Let’s have an exit strategy. For Conservative Eurosceptics to hold fire whilst CMD performs his EU masquerade, not knowing how much time there will be between his waving a piece of worthless paper in the air signed by Juncker and the date of the Referendum is a strategy for defeat. It is vital that during this time that every effort is made to inform the public of what they should expect from renegotiation as erstwhile freeborn Englishmen etc:

    We want our ancestral fishing grounds back together with 80% of the fish (shared with Ireland/Scotland). Many people are too young to remember when we had our own huge fishing fleet, when fish was cheap, fresh and plentiful and the Englishman’s healthy takeaway of choice.

    We want our ancestral farmland back for our farmers to produce what they want not what the EU tells them; if we stay in the EU our farming industry is doomed as our land will be concreted over to accomodate ‘migrants’ and we will forever be beholden to the EU to produce our food, at a price they wish to charge, produced in accordance with the TTIP rights of corporations to their expected profits, now being ‘negotiated’ in secret by the EU.

    We do not want to belong to an EU which extends to Turkey or the Urals or North Africa with concomitant ‘free movement’; we do not want free movement at all. We want to decide who comes here and who gets benefits and not the other way around.

    In this centenary year of Magna Carta, we want our law making and its adminstration back. We want only those laws which we deem necessary to achieve harmony and equity.

    We want to be able, once again, to produce electricity that is continous, sufficient and competitive with those parts of the world that are not beholden to ecolunacy and we wish to continue to heat our homes with gas and fill our cars with petrol.

    We wish to tax and spend according to our needs and we need Corporation tax from multinationals and we do not need HS2 nor subsidies for French farmers nor countries which are being blocked from self-help by Euro lunacy and their own stupid politicians, nor ex-USSR oligarchies.

    As the fifth largest economy in the world, we wish to make our own trading alliances and treaties with the whole world.

    We expect the Germany et al will wish to maintain free trade with us to maintain their huge trade surplus with us.

    We do not wish to be involved with the EU politically because we do wish decisions which might harm us on war and peace, migration, human rights, trade to be delegated to second raters appointed by the EU.

    But we will get what we want only outside the EU.

  29. paul rivers
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Of course if we did leave we would have some sort of associate arrangement like Switzerland has to ensure the City has unrestricted access, so the direct cost saving will be less.
    We will also incur transitional costs, for example the UK has not negotiated its own trade deals since it joined the EEC, we would have to put a lot of resources into ensuring the new trade deals were in our interests.
    Also uncertainty could have a short term economic cost which could reduce tax revenues in the short term.
    So no money to give away in my opinion

  30. leslie Singleton
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Dear John–Apostrophe please–It is after all the first word in the heading

  31. Iain Gill
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Give the money the chancellor has just cut from the border force back to them. To think Cameron is promising to get a grip on immigration while cutting the border force budget is beyond belief.

  32. ferdinand
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    You are right first time. Immediate tax cuts and then the general dynamic of shedding ties with an overpowering bureaucracy will set the economy alight. Bring on the Exit.

  33. zorro
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    The debt will be paid over a long time. Deficit reduction should be the target and tax cuts. However, we need to invest in the infrastructure…… And I do not mean HS2!!


  34. Rupert
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    An important part of what we get back from Europe is farm subsidies, so if we left the EU, we would need to come up with a replacement subsidy for UK farmers. Whilst the farming community has no wish to be subsidised “per se”, the fact is that farming is subsidised pretty much everywhere in the western world today and this has directly resulted in crop prices that are too low to support viable farming in the UK without subsidy.

    The fact is that farmers need the subsidy to be able to look afer the countryside and to continue investing in the business (e.g. farm machinery and buildings).

  35. ChrisS
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Nothing talks like hard cash.

    Let’s go for some form of tax cut but we need to include the millions who don’t pay income tax otherwise they won’t have an incentive to vote No.

    It therefore has to be either VAT or Council Tax.

    I think on balance I favour council tax with bands 1, 2 being reduced by at least 75% and the rest apportioned across the remaining bands. There should be enough cash to eliminate bands 1 and 2 completely but then those living in band 1 and 2 properties would have no incentive to vote for parties at local elections that will keep the tax low for everyone else. I.E. they will vote Labour or even for the LibDems, whoever they are.

  36. John
    Posted June 6, 2015 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    It would be nice to think that the Government would give us some of our own money back, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Cameron is more likely to use it to add more bells to HS2 given the choice in my view…

  37. petermartin2001
    Posted June 7, 2015 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    It may seem a bit picky, but I’d just say it would be good if the UK could reduce its spending to the EU but £12 billion, or whatever , but it doesn’t necessarily follow that the same amount of tax cuts would be justified.

    It depends what happens afterwards. It could well be that the financial shock of exit could give rise to inflationary pressures in the economy. That would be possible if overseas holders of UK govt bonds cash them in, in a fit of pique, and change the pounds they receive into euros. I can’t see that happening but it is possible.

    That wouldn’t do the economy any harm. Inflationary pressures would mean that people were spending their ££. In this case, the spending would be generated by the extra pounds received from the cashing in of those gilts. But it would mean that tax cuts wouldn’t be advisable. They would just add to the inflationary pressures in the economy.

    So I”d just ask why wait? There’s no inflationary problem at the moment. The BoE has set a 2% inflation target and it well below that right now. So just go ahead and make those tax cuts. As you say there will be a ” boost to incomes, jobs and activity from accelerated tax cuts “. They will help create economic growth. History shows that it is only economic growth which can reduce debt as a percentage of GDP. Nothing else works.

  38. backofanenvelope
    Posted June 7, 2015 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    An exit bonus! For once a winning policy for the OUT campaign from a Tory. Let us not discuss how it might be shared out – just give the lot to the taxpayers. You know Mr Redwood, those “hard working” people politicians are so fond of.

  39. ChrisS
    Posted June 7, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I have read that you are one of the 50 members so far of the newly formed “Conservatives for Britain” group of MPs who are said to be ready to campaign to leave the EU when David Cameron fails to negotiate satisfactory terms.

    There are many thousands of Conservative supporters outside parliament who support your views including many of your contributors here. We do not want to be associated directly with UKIP but would be prepared to work with UKIP members to try and win the referendum.

    Can you please tell your colleagues in “Conservatives for Britain” that they need to mobilise this support now in order to have any chance of winning the argument.

  40. boffin
    Posted June 7, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Thank you JR for your very kind invitation … here is my Wish List:

    1. 12 billion per year is ~£450 per household-year. A good move (by UKIP, or perhaps even Conservatives for Britain?) would be to promise a one-off cash payment of £500 or even £1000 to each household when we leave the EU.

    Referendum bribery? – perhaps, but it would be a powerful vote-swinger, and but modest compensation for the reduced standard of living which we have suffered for so long because of our EU membership.

    2. Government spending is already way too high – do not increase it! – it is in the nature of the beast that governments always spend inefficiently. In particular, there is wanton waste in education, in the NHS, and in defence procurement – so:

    – take heed of the Lord Carter report on NHS misspending. Government procurement is a shambles because there is no real individual accountability there in the public service – fix that first, then our Armed Forces’ capability can be restored and the deficit may be reduced swiftly.

    – restore responsiblity for children to parents, not the state! – and cut the school leaving age to 15 for those who are not academically gifted but have achieved an adequate, basic standard and who can demonstrate an intent to pursue subsequent vocational training. Bring back the State Scholarship for the very able who might not otherwise go on to higher education (but targeted! – none for PPE/social science/media studies and such guff).

    3. For pity’s sake, cancel HS2 – this is a prominent example of the technical and financial incompetence prevailing in Whitehall, and in Brussels. Rational, analytical decision-making will not happen whilst unaccountable drones hold sway – change that, and we can really enjoy some tax cuts.

  41. J M
    Posted June 8, 2015 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Instead of giving ourselves a pat on the back, why don’t we use the savings to pay down the National Debt. You write often how we have hocked our children’s and grandchildren’s futures with debt. If we come out of Europe we can use the savings to put that right.

  42. Vanessa
    Posted June 8, 2015 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Nothing is going to change. With Cameron now saying no-one in government is allowed to campaign to leave the EU and the EU together with the government able to throw billions of our money into the YES campaign right up to polling day it will be 1975 all over again. Most will be frightened into voting YES. Not from any understanding or knowledge of what the EU does to Britain but because of the LIES told by everyone.

    I am at a loss to understand why Cameron is so keen to reduce the office of Prime Minister which now has to ask the EU for PERMISSION to make any laws or do anything which is beneficial to this country. He is obviously so incompetent that he thinks the EU Commissioner and all its “hangers-on” are more able and trustworthy that our government which we, the people elect to rule.

    Shame on the Conservatives – your Party took Britain into the European Union – You will make sure you NEVER take us out.

  • 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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