Don’t forget the middle

Labour claims to stands up for the poor, the dispossessed, the unemployed and the unfortunate. The Conservatives seek to show that many Labour policies would in practice damage them, as they would damage the economy as they memorably did in 1975-9, and in 2007-9. Fewer jobs, less growth and more unemployment as they produced do not cut poverty. Conservatives have sought to show that they too want to help those most in need, promoting work whilst supporting welfare. In government Conservatives have pursued higher minimum wages, less tax on those on lowest incomes and a range of other measures. In the leadership election there are furious bids by various candidates to set out what more can be done for the poorest in our community.

Amidst all this politics someone needs to stand up for the many who are not on higher incomes but who earn enough to get little or no benefit help and who have to pay substantial tax bills. Mrs May seemed to understand this in her early comments as PM about the “just managing”, though there was a danger this language was a bit patronising and downbeat. What we need is a vision of how the many who work to provide for themselves and their families can aspire to higher incomes and better lifestyles feeling the government is on their side rather than seeing them as an audience to tax and regulate in pursuit of wider social goals.

I want the next government to take the taxes off aspiration. Why do we face such high taxes on buying a better home or on moving to a different location? Why do we have to pay such large taxes if we want to buy a new or better car? Why does the government charge VAT on various home improvements? Why does the government want to reduce the number of people working for themselves by claiming they are not truly self employed for tax reasons?

There are limited ways out of low income and no assets. To do it people usually have to buy a home of their own and spend time and money on improvement. The range of tv programmes about moving and home improvement point to the interest in this opportunity. People do need to keep a decent proportion of their work income, to reach the point where they can afford to save. Building your own business is one route to a better lifestyle with assets in your business. It should be feasible for the average person, not needing super human skills to run the gauntlet of regulatory compliance and tax challenge.

I would like the next government to make it easier for people with aspirations to achieve their aims, and for more of the freedoms and lifestyles of the better off to be available for the many. Instead of government seeking to regulate our conduct more and tax success wherever it finds it as if it were a problem, I want a government that rewards those who want to do more for themselves and their families, and who given the chance will do the right thing.


  1. formula57
    June 12, 2019

    Why can we not hear the same message from leadership candidates?

    (Those candidates from the May Cabinet seem to have just noticed many deficiencies with the last government but have yet to strike a convincing note about what they might achieve.)

  2. Peter Wood
    June 12, 2019

    Sir John,

    Admirable aspirations but you’ve got to STAY in office; how are you going to do that?

    I do hope you and like-minded politicians are working on a presentation that refutes each of the criticisms of leaving of 31st Oct. on WTO terms, and provides clear, strong arguments why there is nothing to fear. Remainers get away with simply stating that leaving with ‘no deal’ will de a national disaster (and other scary terms) without ever being challenged to say what will actually be problematic. This argument must be made without delay.

  3. J Bush
    June 12, 2019

    The reason we have the highest taxes at present is because the current Chancellor is not a Conservative (he is also not a democrat). That said, he is in full accord with May. The pair of them do not belong in the Conservative Party, along with numerous others.

    As has been said for a good number of years there is ‘hardly a fag papers width difference’ between them and the Labour Party.

    I suspect that is why the Brexit Party are so popular.

  4. Jumeirah
    June 12, 2019

    Excellent point Sir John however to do this our Government/Parliament needs to take us out of the EU so that we are empowered, without restriction, to do this and make the changes as a sovereign Nation answering to one Parliament (OURS) and not be hamstrung and subservient by a foreign parliament and their Legal Institution. Is your Party strong enough and committed enough to do this? Possibly not which is regrettable.

  5. Dominic
    June 12, 2019

    The British state demands ever more of our incomes, our assets and our souls. No longer is it prepared to step away and allow individuals to operate freely without interference. The dam’s been broken. State interference is now part of the State’s political strategy. It must be protect and indeed promote its own, vested interest

    I used to believe the British state was on MY side. It isn’t. The British state exists purely to protect its own position against all threats

    If Labour achieve power this client state mentality will explode and we will see an asset, income and freedom grab that will make the last 20 years seem like a monkey’s tea party

    1. Penny
      June 13, 2019

      Brilliant post, Dominic, and very eloquently put. I hate to employ such an over-used cliché, but we are well down the path to 1984.

  6. Ian wragg
    June 12, 2019

    Carbon neutral by 2050, what more damage is May going to inflict before she is dragged kicking and screaming out of Downing street.
    No matter where you are on the social scale you will be bankrupted.
    There will be no money or jobs as sensible operations flee overseas.
    Virtue signalling of the worst kind.
    Thank the Lord you will be destroyed at the next election.
    This saddens me as a Tory voter for years until we got Cameron and his Limp Dumb policies.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      June 12, 2019

      Problem is Ian all 3 main parties are committed to this nonsense. We need the sensible thinking of Farage on this but I fear we will never get the brexit party in power because of the unfair voting system in the UK. We will end up with Labour and SNP and Sturgeon is crazy about green issues. We are doomed.

  7. sm
    June 12, 2019

    First, truly simplify the damn tax system!!!!

  8. jerry
    June 12, 2019

    “as they would damage the economy as they memorably did in 1975-9, and in 2007-9”

    Oh you mean the oil crisis of the early ’70s and the international banking/credit crash of the 2007-9? Thus nothing what so ever to do with Labour, and if I recall many in your party cheered on the further deregulation of credit etc. brought in by the Blair/Brown govt.

    “Conservatives have sought to show that they too want to help those most in need, promoting work whilst supporting welfare. “

    Tell that to those suffering from the miss-managed UC system, even more so for those with disabilities and illness, when even doctors letters get disregarded.

    I do not want a Corbyn govt, but I supply understand why we will most likely get it…

  9. Alan Jutson
    June 12, 2019

    The problem John is whilst the Government continues to spend more and more money on a whole range of schemes of all types, it will always need to tax the people more to pay for it.

    Government needs to get out of the way, and yes still fund the basics, but stop trying to control our lives for goodness sake.

    The discussion needs to be, what should the basics consist of. !

  10. Mark B
    June 12, 2019

    Good morning

    The Left have always ‘used’, and do mean USED, those who in society feel underepresented or marginalised. The poor and the low wage were the first. But as things got better and society itself changed it had to reinvent more socially disadvantaged groups.

    The benefits for the poor and low wage had to be paid for by someone else. Be it the Middle-classes or, through borrowing and the removal of benefits such as family allowance and, now, free tv licence for OAP’s. So to buy off Labour and its voters, New Blue Labour has had to abandon its own values and core voters in the mistaken belief that they have nowhere else to go. Sadly, as we now see, they do have somewhere to go and New Blue Labour are on the slide.

    There is hope. Hope that somehow they will see the light before it is too late. A new leader is not the solution, it’s just a sticking plaster over a mortal wound. The root cause is that the upper echelons of the party are so detached from the grass roots that the two might as well go their separate ways.

    Labour’s policy is simple. To remove the Tories from power and then to fix it so they never return. The problems is, and it the single biggest problem, is that New Blue Labour are doing all they can to help them.

  11. Lifelogic
    June 12, 2019

    The problem has been that the Conservative under Cameron and May have adopted labour policies and have given us the highest taxes for 50+ years. endless red tape, restrictive employment laws, taxes to kill job mobility and many other total lunacies – all over the place.

    As Keith Joseph put it: “Making the rich poorer does not make the poor richer, but it does make the state stronger—and it does increase the power of officials and politicians, power more menacing, more permanent and less useful than market power within the rule of law. Inequality of income can only be eliminated at the cost of freedom. The pursuit of income equality will turn this country into a totalitarian slum.”

    Osborne was on PM radio 4 yesterday (about 5.30pm) proudest of raising the minimum wage (a law making it illegal for some people to work or even learn to work) and his sugar tax! He said no one has ever accused him of being a lefty – of course he is a lefty and an IHT ratter too then replaced by Hammond who is just as appalling.

    High and complex taxes of themselves damage an economy hugely. The masses of pointless red tape damages it yet again. They are parasitic job creation schemes in the main. Big government know best does not work, not for the rich nor for the poor. They do not know best. Freedom and choice for individuals and businesses & fair competition is what is needed.

    1. Lifelogic
      June 12, 2019

      These daft lefty polices from the Cameron/May Conservative are not even popular at the ballot box – as seen from recent elections with them coming in 5th or 3rd place.

      Let us have some small government, tax cutting, red tape destroying, real Conservative policies please. Some uplifting vision and a clean Brexit now.

  12. Everhopeful
    June 12, 2019

    But with the benefits system we have it is very difficult to not over-tax the workers.
    I wonder if everyone who drags off to work in the mornings knows the extent of benefits?
    It is quite incredible when you look into it.
    Housing paid ( now with a ceiling) and good whack of cash per month.
    And once in the system all sorts of fringe benefits are available.
    Not only have the middle been taxed to destruction to pay for lifestyle choices but they have lost opportunities due to affirmative action. Yet another unfair “fairness”. Social engineering designed to set one identity group against another.
    Why not just accept that for every sane reason we can’t ALL light our houses with as many candles as the richest man in the village.
    That way lies Venezuela.

  13. Roy Grainger
    June 12, 2019

    “Why does the government want to reduce the number of people working for themselves by claiming they are not truly self employed for tax reasons?”

    Because in the past very many of them (eg. BBC “talent”) were not truly self-employed and were pretending to be such only to enable them to pay less tax and avoid NI payments and for the employer to avoid NI payments too. That’s why. So a whole barrel of rotten apples has spoiled it for genuinely self-employed people. And incidentally spoiled it for people like me who have dividend income from investments.

  14. Nigl
    June 12, 2019

    I suspect Lifelogic’s views will talk on my behalf and many people I know far more ‘colourfully’ than I could.

    My only comment and it is made time and time again on your blog is that people are absolutely hacked off to the point it takes very little to get a rant going about what they see as waste and inefficiency, boiler plated pensions, poor/no performance management, ludicrous political correctness etc across the public sector and nothing gets done. Some admittedly unfairly but much not.

    Yes what about the middle, indeed the whole of the private sector, who have to live in the real world, compete, perform daily etc without the certainly of future in both jobs and pensions that the public sector enjoy.

    Unfortunately it is neither sexy nor easy to achieve reform, Goves experience with the teaching profession showed that, so weak greasy pole addicted politicians steer clear.

    If you really want to reinvigorate the Tory brand you need, as you would sorting out a private business address the cost side.

    There’s May only a couple of days ago became the latest politician to talk about the importance of business, innovation, training, hubs et al.

    What about improving the performance of the biggest business in the U.K., HMG?

    I won’t hold my breath.

  15. Anonymous
    June 12, 2019

    The *middle* is a particularly bad place for young people.

    They will have sacrificed years of salary in higher education. They will have accrued huge student debt. Just at the point that they reap the reward of a higher paying job that brings them in range of a mortgage they get whacked for an effective 60% tax rate.

    They will be piss poor yet classed as being rich.

    The young are better off not bothering, having children out of wedlock, concocting all sorts of dependencies (child, partner, self… all three !) and living off the state.

  16. hardlymatters
    June 12, 2019

    Trouble is that with all of the uncertainty about people are unwilling to commit to making decisions that might affect the rest of their lives. Up until now a lot of the debate has been on the movement of goods following 31st Oct but very little on Services, which if we leave without a deal, will be much more disrupted. For instance if there is no agreement on the movement of people going forward we can see that there is going to be massive confusion in the various countries at borders and indeed between governments and their own front line border staff as to how regulation is to be applied. Passporting for banks, Insurance, Legal, in fact general commerce will be also greatly affected- JIT will be gone. So it’s not really possible for anyone including intending business or business expansion to see through to the future on any of this until it is cleared up, and just quoting the old mantra ‘WTO Rules’ is not going to do it either, not in the short to medium term anyhow

  17. Fred H
    June 12, 2019

    You address both natural aspiration to raise income, and mention negative taxation. The key here is to ensure working will provide better than being unemployed. Nurseries are a case in point. Quite reasonably the government encourages mothers to return to work after initially raising children. However the rules on free provision of childcare within nurseries need attention, the potential employers require advantage for it to be compelling to hire part-time workers. National insurance rates must be lowered, or at least frozen for several years, especially employer contribution. Income tax allowances should be raised significantly, which would take more earners out of paying tax, but improve take home pay across the board. Extending the higher tax bracket only encourages the better off already, and widens the gap between the ‘just managing’ and the comfortably off. Taxation raised on the use of cars must switch to a levy on fuel used, not a tax on it being stationary. Initial MOT requirement should start at 5 years not three. Roadside inspections on goods vehicles examining for safety and pollution levels should be tripled. The nation’s potholes are a disgrace, bodged temporary filling is no answer, a new encouragement to business to address the danger to cyclists, the damage to cars is essential. I could go on – there is so much to do. Brexit has delayed all these problems we have. Fix it now!

  18. Bryan Harris
    June 12, 2019

    Taxation is a fundamental problem in the society we currently have… The biggest issue is that day to day living is far more expensive than it should be – and because of the way extra benefits are required to sustain a basic living – that has a knock on effect for those of us paying taxes, IE we pay more tax for no good reason.
    I’m very keen on the idea that we should switch more tax to VAT, especially for luxury goods, but government needs to reduce the waste and incompetence in spending our money, which would be helped by reducing the number of people involved in tax collection.
    Income tax is very expensive to collect and manage – it can be simplified..!
    Any changes in taxation have to be linked to a much smaller government, and one that doesn’t continually redistribute what little wealth we have left.

  19. Peter
    June 12, 2019

    I think ‘the middle’ is a rapidly dwindling band. There is an elite and the rest of us.

    The days of full employment and good rewards and pensions have gone.

    Affordable housing – certainly in London – is a distant memory. Housing as an investment racket and the dismantling of the traditional Building Society offering basic repayment mortgages saw to that.

    Not only that but as George Carlin would say :-

    ‘Now they’re coming for your retirement money. They want it all. And they’ll get it. It’s a big club and you ain’t in it.’

  20. ian
    June 12, 2019

    Climate change enshrined in law about sums it up.

  21. Caterpillar
    June 12, 2019

    Obviously off topic but the socially mobile (Dragon, Eton, Oxford) Roderick Stewart is quoted as saying “that no deal is a recipe for delay”. Is he saying this due to the HoC’s intention to stop leaving and the Conservative’s fear to simply hold a General Election, is it an admission the Government hasn’t prepared to leave, is there a fundamental reason, or is Mr Stewart (potential future PM) misspeaking (again)?

  22. Lifelogic
    June 12, 2019

    “Labour claims to stands up for the poor, the dispossessed, the unemployed and the unfortunate.”

    Indeed they do make this absurd claim – but they are very clearly making totally fraudulent claims. Labour think they can push the politics of envy and buy their votes by making empty, worthless promises. Promises they will never deliver – all to be paid for by their magic money tree or by taxing those filthy rich (who will mainly have left or who will stop working). Labour always leave an appalling economic mess behind them after running out of other people’s money.

    Mad May is still alas with us:-

    Greenhouse gas emissions in the UK will be cut to almost zero by 2050, under the terms of a new government plan to tackle climate change. Theresa May said reducing pollution would also benefit public health and cut NHS costs. Britain is the first major nation to propose this target – and it has been widely praised by green groups.

    More hugely expensive anti-competitive lunacy from May. C02 is not pollution dear it is tree and plant food. When on earthing is this halfwitted PM finally going to go & crawl back under her stone? Or perhaps she might join Greta and Emma Thompson in their mad, anti-scientific, green religion dreamworld where they have their own alternative laws of physics it seems.

    1. Lifelogic
      June 12, 2019

      The BBC’s (radio 4) reporting of this latest green lunacy of “greenhouse gas emissions cut to almost zero by 2050” is essentially:- the government have announced this new radical green agenda but many green pressure have criticised for not going far enough! Where is the sensible analysis.

      Yet almost all the sensible scientists, energy engineers, climate realists and economists know perfectly well that it is most economic, scientific and environmental lunacy from the government and would be hugely damaging.

  23. Christine
    June 12, 2019

    Nice to see a politician who champions the large group of people in this country who are working very hard and just getting by. If the Conservatives don’t fill this void that has opened up then The Brexit Party will. Unfortunately I don’t think the rest of your colleagues see this picture. Boris has lost the plot in trying to win over his fellow MPs with his higher rate tax proposal. If he does win the leadership contest then his choice of cabinet ministers will show his real intentions. If you aren’t amongst them in a senior position then I won’t be able to support your party at the next election.

  24. Al
    June 12, 2019

    “Why does the government want to reduce the number of people working for themselves by claiming they are not truly self employed for tax reasons? ”

    The correct answer to increasing small business is to slash and burn red tape, or pass cottage industry laws. The rules that HMRC passed for IR35 for example were so restrictive that the contractors they hired to build the tools walked out and the small company exemption is a mess.

    As I’ve found from working with charities, the current path out of no income and no assets requires either money or pre-existing assets which those affected simply don’t have, creating a very nasty cycle.

  25. oldtimer
    June 12, 2019

    There is one snag that might trip up your ideas. It means people who set up their own business would have to make profits to succeed. And we all know, because we are constantly bombarded with the assertion, that profits is a dirty word. Whether sole owners or shareholders we must understand that such people are not only wicked but the devil incarnate. I wish you luck with your campaign. You will need it against the massed ranks of the BBC and, probably, the majority of your fellow MPs.

  26. Dave Andrews
    June 12, 2019

    Referring to Boris’ proposal to raise the level at which higher tax is paid from £50k to £80k.
    This will be seen by the liberal left as a giveaway to the rich. If the country can move away from the politics of envy, it will see that moving the threshold will encourage those at the threshold to do more, stimulating the economy and reducing the country’s debt burden more than the initial loss of tax.
    Why bust a gut for only 60p in the pound (not to mention all the other taxes) going into your own pocket?

  27. libertarian
    June 12, 2019

    The Conservative Party are a socialist party

    They hate aspiration, they continually attack small business ( the very people who created the jobs miracle that they try to take credit for) They’ve destroyed the housing market and savings are pointless as no interest rate of any use is on offer. Everything we do to try to improve or grow assets is attacked and taxed

    Boris mentions reducing the tax threshold for people earning£50- £80k , cue screams of helping the rich. Really? in the South of England the salary of a Primary School Head Teacher or Band 8 Nurse fall into that and I can assure you they aren’t rich. Even cutting this rate from 40 t0 20% means that with the increase in NI they will still be paying 32% to government

    Who cares if Corbyn gets elected , he has mostly the same policies as the current government

    1. Richard1
      June 12, 2019

      Here’s most likely what will happen with Corbyn, or some other Marxist substitute if gives up:-

      1. Income tax to 60% or maybe even more. CGT to equal income tax. ER, probably EIS, abolished or heavily attacked (destroys the start up sector and much other entrepreneurial activity)
      2. New property tax to hit people based on the size & value of their homes irrespective of their ability to pay. possibly a wealth tax such as proved a disaster whenever and wherever tried
      3. Capital controls and expropriation of certain financial assets at arbitrary, low prices
      4. Borrowing off the normal scale to pay for favoured political projects and mass nationalisation. This won’t be possible to finance in the bond markets so it will probably come from mandatory seizure (in exchange for bonds) of assets in wrappers such as ISAs and SIPPs

      Venezuela was a rich country before the Marxists got hold of it. We should not be complacent, the same could happen here. Meanwhile Jews will be wondering whether the UK is really the safe country it’s been for centuries with such people in power.

      Stopping Corbyn should be the absolute top priority for anyone who values freedom, liberal democracy and the market system.

  28. Narrow Shoulders
    June 12, 2019

    Tax cuts for millionaires?

    Under the current universal credit system it is possible for someone working full time on minimum wage to take home £36K per year. No one is calling that person a millionaire and I would think that the person struggles to make ends meet in London.

    Anyone earning £50K per year takes home little more than £36K yet they are taxed at 40% and deemed rich. Two people in a home earning £25K per annum get two tax free allowances and are not deemed rich.

    Increasing the higher rate and child benefit thresholds to £80K is not really giving tax breaks to millionaires. Politically at the same time the top rate threshold could be reduced to £120K without costing those tax payers any more tax to head off the tax break for millionaires cry.

    1. a-tracy
      June 13, 2019

      Very good points Narrow Shoulders.

      1. a-tracy
        June 13, 2019

        Don’t forget though that there is a point at £120,000 that you pay 62% tax currently due to the removal of the personal allowance.

        1. Narrow Shoulders
          June 13, 2019

          £100000 -£125000 unless they are paying back child benefit or company cars in which case the spread will be less.

          However they will be 15% better off on up to £30K of earnings so won’t be too unhappy.

  29. glen cullen
    June 12, 2019

    The current tax(s) philosophy and concept is based on historical 20th century bookkeeping and its strategy and tactics on collection of tax(s) is built on maximisation of revenue, social modelling and rigid bureaucracy on developing the tax book rather starting anew

    In this modern age people are no longer convinced with tax(s) with invalid names that are just general taxation i.e national insurance, car tax, fuel tax etc

    Likewise the concept of taxation to lead social engineering i.e cigarette tax, food tax etc

    While many MPs talk about fiscal responsibility and budget planning the people see government as a body who rob them of as much money as possible

    Tax everyone and everything as high as possible then workout what we’re going to spend it on ? We need to start from scratch and throw away the old tax book

  30. Michael McGrath
    June 12, 2019

    I’m sure we all remember the famous Just About Managing, the JAM sector described by the Maybot

    It seems that the Labour Party wants to continue to develop this movement by refusing to combat fiscal drag

    As ever, Messrs Corbyn and cronies will be promising JAM TOMORROW FOR ALL

  31. iain
    June 12, 2019

    With record levels of employment there must be scope to reduce taxes. I would like to think that whoever becomes next PM that they appoint yourself , Sir John , as Chancellor. If so we could all rest easier in the knowledge that a competent person was looking after the Nation’s finances.

  32. Newmania
    June 12, 2019

    Tax cuts are good things but we cannot afford them thanks to Brexit. We are more likely to see tax rises, and as we all know there is only one place to get any money .. the middle. Politics is about choices not wishes and John Redwood has chosen to prioritize pulling us out of the EU over prosperity amongst other things. He may well want us all to have sugar coated ponies and gum drops but I don`t care much about his inner emotional life.
    Our absurd system gives us a choice between fantasists of the far right and left .Many people will tell you that centrist moderates like me are a dying breed but I simply don`t find that to be the case when I speak to people.

    1. L Jones
      June 12, 2019

      ”Thanks to Brexit”. Oh, for goodness’ sake, Newmania. Say something sensible for a change.
      You are such a blinkered egotist it is quite obvious you do not live in the real world. The words ”I’m all right, Jack” spring to mind.
      Also – Remainer = no comment without a covert insult. No change there, then.

    2. Richard1
      June 12, 2019

      Your posts do not indicate moderation

    3. Anonymous
      June 13, 2019

      We know you’re well represented in Parliament and the BBC etc.

      ‘Centrist’ is your opinion of where you see yourself. I see you as leftist in many respects.

      Tax cuts but we can’t afford them… because we are embroiled with a huge struggle with Remainers who keep tying our arms behind our back.

    4. libertarian
      June 13, 2019


      Not once in all your ramblings have you given evidence or example of any of the things you predict.

      Give one plausible explanation why we are going to be worse off due to tax revenues under Brexit

      Think about it first though amongst the other things you’ve predicted !

  33. Lynn Atkinson
    June 12, 2019

    Yes please! And no VAT on the fixing leaking roofs etc. on commercial property too. Not everyone is a Corporation and those who earn a living by remaining under the VAT threshold need to have that threshold at least fixed to inflation. That would populate our small High Street shops with interesting, individual, and unique family owned businesses.

  34. Gareth Warren
    June 12, 2019

    I want too to see less taxes and less regulation as I believe this would lead to a more prosperous country, here the US offers us much inspiration.

    There appears to be a very strong impulse to regulate, often knee jerk as in gun laws that stop even Olympic pistol shooting being conducted in this country or even try to restrict availability of knives. Here we could look at the USA that is much freer, clearly the freedom of speech there has not been a bad thing. Adopting that would vastly simplify the job of lawmakers and police.

    I hear Boris’s intention to cut taxes, this is definitely good. Although I believe VAT is a better tax to target, eliminating it completely would give a good tax benefit to everyone both poor and rich and remove nasty loopholes and avoidance.

    Brexit was firstly about regaining control, but for me it is also about being able to have a smaller government.

  35. agricola
    June 12, 2019

    In terms of income and wealth, the top end will look after themselves. The bottom end will do little beyond looking for support from the state. Some will be deserving of more support than they get, others will continue to be parasitic. The middle is the driving engine of the country and deserve maximum support. I therefore welcome Boris’s tax proposals to lift the threshold of mid range tax to £80,000. This is where the potential success of GB Ltd lies, so support it. Fail it and it will take it’s talents to where they are better appreciated.

    1. L Jones
      June 12, 2019

      Bene dictum, Agricola!

  36. MG
    June 12, 2019

    Gordon Brown’s IR35 rules and the encouragement to outsource to India pretty much destroyed the UK’s IT industry in the late 1990s/2000s. A large number of very talented individuals left the industry never to return. The overall tax take by HMRC from this sector of industry went down rather than up. Bureaucracy and Government at its worst.

  37. Fed up with the bull
    June 12, 2019

    Your post today John is brilliant. Oh, for you to be Chancellor. We might get somewhere as a country. There are loads of people willing and wanting to start small businesses but are put off by the red tape and the complicated ways of paying and declaring tax etc. It should all be made simpler. Some great ideas from you as usual.

  38. Sharon Jagger
    June 12, 2019

    “I would like the next government to make it easier for people with aspirations to achieve their aims, and for more of the freedoms and lifestyles of the better off to be available for the many. Instead of government seeking to regulate our conduct more and tax success wherever it finds it as if it were a problem, I want a government that rewards those who want to do more for themselves and their families, and who given the chance will do the right thing.”

    I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment here Mr Redwood! For too long, governments have actively encouraged people to be dependent on the state. I believe that leaves the country unable to cope with life, not bother to aspire to better their lot etc. It encourages defeatism….of which we have seen a lot in the time since the EU referendum. Everything is too difficult, it can’t be done……

    I was brought up to believe there is no such word as can’t. With effort there’s always a way.

  39. BR
    June 12, 2019

    Yes the employed are screwed compared to earlier generations, not only by the lack of final salary pensions but also no employer now pays relocation expenses so it is horrendously difficult to move home once you buy one.

    Add to that the ridiculous stamp duty levels, even more so for residential property in Scotland, and other obstacles such as being unable to claim travel and subsistence expenses and we have a recipe for a stagnant economy – or at least, a stagnant workforce.

    Those who are self-employed are taxed in a completely anomalous manner with IR35 meaning that those inside it have to pay both employer’s and employees NI while also paying the same income tax as everyone else (despite the nonsense touted in the ignorant media). Yes, dividends pay an initially lower tax rate, but when they are declared on the SA tax return the person gets a bill for the difference.

    My view is that working people should all be taxed the same and should all have the right to claim travel to work expenses and subsistence costs.

    It also used to be that as employment levels rose, there were upward pressures on wages. Now, employers simply import labour from other countries at low cost, or outsource the work there and import with low tariffs, thus destroying the earnings of our people AND radically altering the structure of our society and culture in the process.

    It is already too late. This country is already a place where I do not wish to live. I do not go out very often because I dislike what I find there. Expensive pubs and restaurants, often populated by people who do not know how to behave or shoe consideration for others and at exorbitant prices (local pub recently tried re-opening – when they charged us £8,50 for a rum and coke and a pint, we never went back – they closed after a month).

    So – I go to work, I drive home and have most of my shopping delivered. We will move soon to the very north of Scotland, we’ve had enough of ‘multicultural Britain’ – why was it not a concept of a single culture, where new people arrive on a very limited basis – for work only, no dependants and no right to remain – and must properly assimilate into British culture?.

    1. cachaciero
      June 16, 2019

      If I could upvote this comment I would a hundred fold.

  40. Billm
    June 12, 2019

    You sound like a Tory from the good old days with Mrs Thatcher. A shame then that her principles have been so watered down by successive Conservative Leaders that they no longer fit into the true Conservative agenda. If we had a Government who adopted such aspirations there would be little need for Nigel Farage and the expanding Brexit Party.

    1. jerry
      June 12, 2019

      @Billm; Mrs Thatcher time as PM, the highest unemployment figures since the Great Depression of the 1930s, industries lost, or sold off to our competitors, not that anyone will remember … and some wonder why Corbyn is making hay…

      We need “a Tory from the good old days” of Macmillan, not Thatcher!

      1. Billm
        June 13, 2019

        She inherited a large number of unemployed and with the heavy burden of failing Nationalised Industries had to get the country back on its feet or we would become a third world state with a huge debt pile and no means of recovering from it. If she was so bad how come she was elected a successive three times and served for 11 years?

        1. jerry
          June 13, 2019

          @Billion; “[Thatcher] inherited a large number of unemployed and with the heavy burden of failing Nationalised Industries”

          Unemployment peaked at just over 6% in 1976/7, by early 1979 it had dropped to around 5.5%, by 1982 unemployment had peaked at 13%, slowly returning to circa 6% in the very late 1980s, so please do not try to argue that unemployment was high or even rising by the time Thatcher came to power.

          As for nationalised industries, funny how Tory governments could never seem to get to grips, even though many of the Govts of our European competitors did (in France for example, or Germany), but then for them the state owned industries were never used as political pawns, they were supported and nurtured…

          “If [Thatcher] was so bad how come she was elected a successive three times and served for 11 years?”

          For the same reason why Blair was elected for three successive three times and served for 10 years (resigning, rather than being sacked by the party…), there was no coherent opposition!

          1. cachaciero
            June 16, 2019

            Coldn’t agree more with these sentiments, Thatcher was not a solution she was part of the problem as indeed was Blair

      2. libertarian
        June 13, 2019


        The good old days…. when over half million people had died, our major cities had all been flattened and we had to import workers and food rationing was still in force half way through the decade , he cut bread and milk subsidies, 3 senior ministers resigned over his intransigence on unemployment and he massively hiked interest rates .

        In fact lots of us remember the 1970’s Jerry and the restructuring that needed to happen that put in place the prosperity we all enjoy now .

        We also once again face major restructuring of the economy due to technology advances, if only we had a Thatcher like figure with the bottle to make it happen

        1. jerry
          June 13, 2019

          @libertarian; I was talking about 1957 on, not 1945 on, rationing had ended, New Towns were being built, not just to house the Blitzed but to rehouse the slum dwellers, by the time “Super-mac” was PM!

          “restructuring that needed to happen that put in place the prosperity we all enjoy now .”

          Onwards and upwards, the story of every decade since 1945, not just of the 1980s and after. Anyone would think, the way you bleat on, that no one ever owned their own home, owned their own cars, had foreign holidays, had a phone-line etc. until your beloved 1980s.

          But I guess what you mean by 1980s prosperity is that some were able to become very prosperous whilst others had the rug pulled from under them in a very atypical Tory way, hence why you seem to despise the Macmillan years…

  41. James1
    June 12, 2019

    Your comments are so thoroughly welcome, sensible and refreshing. Indeed, a breath of fresh air for all people invested with what used to be called common sense.

  42. Fran
    June 12, 2019

    Boris wasn’t his usual self today.. thought he looked a little wooden..probably over- rehearsed..with plenty of hand gestures ok and also with strong emphasis on some words but overall not really cutting it.. probably tired and a little out of synch.. he looked to be on a short leash or whatever..but don’t think it’s working

    1. Chris
      June 12, 2019

      He has been apparently told to tone things down. Unwise. People want plain speaking, boldness, common sense,courage, and independence. Any hint of minders or “guidance” will sabotage Boris’s plans.

      1. L Jones
        June 12, 2019

        Let’s hope he’s only treading carefully till it’s in the bag.

        But I STILL wish he’d come clean about why he felt he had to vote for TM’s ”surrender treaty” at the third time. Why did he suddenly think it was worth voting for? Did he think it was good, all of a sudden? Or was he just voting for self-serving, personal or political gains? None of this is acceptable as things stand now.

        He should tell us if he wants people on his side.

  43. Ian
    June 12, 2019

    Good Government is the one that creates the environment for its people to excel. A Bad Government is one that dictates direction that contains and curtails aspiration.

    While Mr Corbyn’s policies would be a disaster for the UK, as they pick up where Brown left off and then some. You have to admire the Guy, just like those that run the EU, he is able to run rings around this Government.

    The shame of it is so many so called Conservatives look up to the man and try to copy his direction. It is no wonder the likes of Letwin have crossed the floor to join him yet again. Corbyn loves it he is able to use and manipulate the Conservative Party to cause a General Election, for no other reason that the Conservative Party are no longer Conservatives but closet Liberals

    The prospects of the Conservatives being confined to obscurity for a generation is writ large as there is no one seemingly capable of getting a grip. With too many Conservative MP’s being anti UK and of a left-wing persuasion. They see an aspirational UK as a threat and not the true root to prosperity for all.

    It is OK that the EU is closing down UK industry, steel industry in tatters, Ford relocating to cheaper zones. The impending balancing tariffs from the US that will cause the closure of Jaguar Land Rover.

    What’s is our dynamic thrusting Governments position, OH that’s OK our Overlords in the EU have deemed it.

  44. ukretired123
    June 12, 2019

    Many middle income families have been on the receiving end of failed government policies and have been just managing for many years, not just recently and mostly outside London.
    They have witnessed attitudes moving from shunning the ‘dole shame’ to it becoming a badge of honour and entitlement not just a safety net. As in life anything free is abused.

    Forward thinking countries encourage Entrepreneurs like Norway where this word is emblazoned on their vehicles. The UK pays lip-service to this whilst the tax system administered by HMRC is very sceptical of anyone starting a business especially as it is alien to their bureaucratic protected existence where risk and competition are non-existent.

    Few of today’s political class have experienced just what ordinary working folk have to put up with. Politicians taking drugs is no surprise to most folks but admitting it thinking is is ok if you apologise as a badge of honour is. The link between drugs and schizophrenia is well known. It is like Russian roulette and unclean, tainted. I have seen students spaced out when at University and wondered how they never understood how paradoxical it is. So too with so-called leaders of our country. Unbelievable – in the same mould as Clinton’s:
    ‘I smoked but never inhaled’ plausible denial.

  45. Les
    June 12, 2019

    Having had the good fortune to be able to build a small house for my 90 year-old mother in our garden and therefore been able to do this and get the VAT back! It seems to me to make sense to have this latter provision for home extensions. I was partly put off doing a small £10k extension this year because it would have had 20% added to the cost….
    I agree that the taxes on house moving are insane.

  46. Ian
    June 12, 2019

    The UK tax system is of a different era, it has been doctored and manipulated because of the anomalies and equalities so much is no longer fit for purpose.

    The UK High Streets are closing down, on the one hand we have only upward rents and the local tax methods that disadvantage one sector against another. A small organisation has to pay more than a large operation pro-rata as rates do not relate to sales volume or value.

    Then as the world gets connected goods and services get provided from wherever its cheapest to operate. Nothing actually wrong with that as such, but it can’t be right to expect your earnings to come from those communities you never contribute to. Earnings from those where you don’t participate in contributing to its infrastructure, its security and wellbeing.

    All that is happening in that situation the wealth in one area is being sucked out never to return by those with no vested interest.

    As with everything in life at the moment there needs to be a reset and more transparency in the tax system with every part of it being treated equally.

  47. Ian
    June 12, 2019

    Listening to the PM wonabees I cannot help but think I wish you were standing, such a shame for the Country.
    I am sorry but no inspiration can be gained from this crew.
    Just a lot more of what we have suffered, people scrambling over each other, not having learned anything about what went wrong last time.
    I am sorry but with this lot, oh plus that Speacker, why cannot he be hung out to dry, all I see is the Liberal Party, I deliberately missed out Democratic.
    I see the same old kicking the can down the road, I see very little positivity, no can do etc

    What this Country is crying out for is give us our Democracy, do what the majority want.
    No more you know best, it is not about Westminster it is about what we want to happen.

    Boris is right this party is dead in the water, no change ,not learnt anything.

    The sort of Tories we want are now manifest in The Brexit Party, further they are successful they have worked wonders in about 6 weeks, you have to ask why.

    I will tell you why, simple We want the same as them, they want to make it happen, they will make it happen, they are change, they are Democratic
    look at what they have done to all other parties, no one has ever done that before.
    Give us a General Election please, and no it will not let in Trotsky, that is just Project Fear.

  48. kzb
    June 12, 2019

    Income tax 20%
    National insurance 12%
    Student loan 9%
    =41% marginal income tax rate.
    Back in the bad old days of the 1970’s we had 33% income tax and 7% NI making 40% marginal income tax rate.
    And I’ve not finished: almost half the male population are going to end up paying child-support, giving them a marginal tax rate of over 70%.
    How did the low-tax Tories let it end up like this ? Far more tax than at the nadir of the UK economy.

    1. Anonymous
      June 12, 2019

      Well who else should pay for their kids ????

      I know for a fact that the Dad’s I work with get of lightly in child-support. £200 a month per kid. It is MUCH more expensive bringing them up in a married home.

    2. Lifelogic
      June 12, 2019

      Best not to get married, that is what the tax, benefits and legal system tells men. It also tells most people that it is better not to bother being responsible and not to bother to saving either. Also as a man you will probably be actively discriminated against when you apply for most jobs too.

    3. Lifelogic
      June 12, 2019

      In 1971 the top rate of income tax on earned income was cut to 75%. A surcharge of 15% kept the top rate on investment income at 90%. In 1974 the cut was partly reversed and the top rate on earned income was raised to 83%. With the investment income surcharge this raised the top rate on investment income to 98%, the highest permanent rate since the war.

    4. a-tracy
      June 13, 2019

      ksb you forgot
      5% nest pension (extra employees national insurance renamed)

      1. Lifelogic
        June 13, 2019

        Indeed part of the reason salaries are still below those in 2008 by about 6% in real terms. Employers and employees forced to pay into pensions instead.

  49. a-tracy
    June 12, 2019

    The middle muddle on. You don’t get the growth if it’s not worth the risk for people. Things stagnate. Fripperies are cut, those businesses providing fripperies close. Lots of people clawed up from the bottom rung lifting others around them it should be admired not despised by the left.

    However, things should be more transparent for people in need, I know people in pension poverty but they think they’re not eligible for pension credit, I sent them the gov. link and they said “I went on had a look, bit beyond me”. I referred them to Age Concern, have you got your answers on eligibility? “No they didn’t answer the phone and I’ve tried to call lots of times”. I’d do it for them but they’re proud and wouldn’t want to give me all their figures, savings etc. Make it easy on page 1. People with savings also seem to get punished. People with low £4000 state guaranteed pension top-ups don’t understand that people with really poor private pensions have to keep more savings than them because they have no guaranteed income top-ups. (savings, investments over £10,000 – for these £1 is counted for every £500 or part £500). How much is the minimum income expected for a pension couple? I know a couple who went on holiday abroad then needed food banks for a month or two because they’d broke the bank, years ago parents would just not have done that.

  50. Glenn Vaughan
    June 12, 2019


    I wonder if you are leaning towards Johnson or perhaps Esther McVey in the first ballot.

  51. Helen Smith
    June 12, 2019

    What can you do about Letwin Sir John? How can he be allowed to collude with Labour to thwart Brexit?

    May must be prevented from sending any laws he and Labour produce for Royal Assent.

    1. Lifelogic
      June 13, 2019

      Thwart Brexit and destroy the UKs negotiating position. Plus all the rest of them.

  52. Mick
    June 12, 2019

    Just watching stammer in the hoc trying to stop Brexit with trying to stop a no deal along with all the other remoaners in Westminster, what is needed is a new PM that will prorogued Parliament for the reason that the shower we have now won’t carry out the wish of the people, when a General Election does eventually happen all these two face remoaners will feel the warth of the people the sooner the better

  53. MPC
    June 12, 2019

    Tax rates will pale into insignificance once this government has committed to a zero carbon economy by 2050. The UK emits just 2% of world emissions, has very expensive energy already and now the government is about it cave to extreme pressure groups such as Climate Extinction and other anti capitalist organisations. The process of deindustrialisation, loss of manufacturing jobs and higher costs of living will accelerate. I expect Cuadrilla to announce soon that it’s pulling the plug on fracking in the UK. What a lost opportunity for reasonably low carbon energy and energy security that will be.

  54. Bryan Harris
    June 12, 2019

    The middle classes – not sure what this means any more – but those people who earn somewhat more than the basic wage, but not enough to really enjoy life, are surely in need of some help.
    These are the people denied a real income increase for 10 years plus, who have struggled on, but face the worst of worlds when bills go up 10% every year.

    Does anyone know how big this group is, or the pain they’ve suffered for so long under EU austerity our leaders willingly applied to the UK?

  55. David Maples
    June 12, 2019

    Can you explain how Parliament can prevent no-deal without the active co-operation and/or connivance, of the government?

    1. agricola
      June 12, 2019

      The only course that will prevent no deal is to leave on WTO terms asap while submitting a draft FTA on goods and services. Give the EU the chance to agree this route and suggest the mutual invoking of Art 24 of GATT. The latter ensures continuity of current trading arrangements until the new FTA is agreed.

      Only if the EU rejects this, closing all routes to a deal, do you revert to no deal. The Labour blocking motion to no deal having been voted down this afternoon. A motion that has exposed around ten conservative MPs who voted with Labour. I hope their constituent party know what to do with them.

      I hope that answers your question.

      It is also necessary that it is made crystal clear to the EU that the WA is dead along with any financial committment attached to it. It can be replaced by a treaty covering items of mutual benefit under the auspices of the Vienna Convention. Any ongoing financial obligations by both sides can be agreed prior to the signing of such a treaty.

  56. agricola
    June 12, 2019

    Boris has launched and very effectively, streets ahead of any of the other contenders for the position of PM. Having read Iain Duncan Smith, a Boris supporter, on the subject of how to leave the EU, I feel that we are at last thinking along the right lines. I therefore will watch this space.

    Dominic Grieve is currently enunciating his opposition which is vote with the opposition and await the sword of damicles at the next GE. A traitor of the first order. The level of business ignorance in the HoC is unbelievable.

  57. Steve
    June 12, 2019

    “Labour claims to stands up for the poor”

    …..but ends up making everybody poor.

    1. Richard Hobbs
      June 12, 2019

      I am a Tory of the old school too, but as a “frozen pensioner” who hasn’t had an increase in his UK State Pension for 16 years, I find Labour at least mouths some words of support to those of us like me, whilst the Conservative party doesn’t seem to. One day those of us living abroad (Canada for me – from necessity) will have the ability to vote in the UK again and then we might make our numbers count!

      1. Pominoz
        June 13, 2019


        Do please keep mentioning frozen pensions. You, me, and many thousands of others believe that the demonstrated financial acumen, basic decency and common sense conveyed daily in this diary by Sir John will, when he achieves his deserved post as the new Chancellor, ensure he does not forget our plight.

        The complete refusal, so far, to address this grotesque and utterly indefensible financial outrage probably results in quite a number of older pensioners eventually being forced to return to the UK for health treatment or simply because they can no longer afford the basic cost of living in their chosen countries. £500 million is the estimated cost to remedy the situation. It would be interesting to see how much it is costing the NHS to treat those who have to return.

        1. Richard Hobbs
          June 13, 2019

          Hi Pominoz
          I would like to think you are right in your first paragraph and I do keep on mentioning frozen pensions on here whenever it seems appropriate. As it is, what with frozen pensions and the fall in value of the pound, things are increasingly difficult.
          The UK has been saved a great deal of money in medical costs in my own case, the most of which are covered by my Canadian hosts – for which I am ever grateful. If my wife and I came home, not only would UK have to make a significant increase in our pensions but would have all these extra medical costs to meet. So you are right there too!!

        2. Helen Smith
          June 13, 2019

          When Labour took away tax relief on private health insurance the net result was thousands of pensioners scrapping said insurance and falling back on the NHS. These petty spites always end up costing the tax payer more.

  58. GilesB
    June 12, 2019

    I agree that there should be less tax paid on self-improvement, whether that is buying/improving a home, investing in one’s own education, or improving health and well-being.

    To make good the reduction in tax collected, there is also a need to either increase taxes on consumption (alcohol, tobacco, foreign holidays, clothing, cosmetics etc), or to reduce government spending in areas where families should be more self-reliant (social care, saving for old age, childcare). Ideally a blend of both.

    It is to easy to propose tax reductions, without proposing also how the books will be balanced, or blithely claiming that the tax reductions will be self-financing

  59. Mick
    June 12, 2019

    After the vote on taking control of Parliament business was defeated Corbyn was heard saying you’ll not be laughing in September, what did he mean by this statement !!

  60. Chris
    June 12, 2019

    Guido reports on the 10 Tories who voted against Brexit tonight:
    “10 Tory MPs voting to hand power over to Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer:

    Guto Bebb
    Ken Clarke
    Jonathan Djanogly
    Justine Greening
    Dominic Grieve
    Sam Gyimah
    Phillip Lee
    Oliver Letwin
    Antoinette Sandbach
    Caroline Spelman

    I hope Grieve’s constituents make sure he is deselected good and proper. Same too with Bracknell MP P Lee, who has lost one vote of confidence already.

    1. Fred H
      June 12, 2019

      Chris….you may not know Grieve lost a no confidence vote in his constituency, but CCHQ feel he’s a good, long serving type they are proud to have. Thats all you need to know really.

      1. Chris
        June 13, 2019

        Yes, I knew, but I gather there are further steps being taken by the constituency association since Grieve has lost another confidence vote a few days ago.

    2. Lifelogic
      June 13, 2019

      What an appalling shower of blatant traitors trying to undermine the UK’s negotiating position in this way. Plus trying to bury and undermine their Party.

  61. Dunedin
    June 12, 2019

    Voters who are left of centre have a range of parties to choose from – Labour, LibDems, Greens, plus SNP and Plaid Cymru depending where they live. In recent elections, the right of centre voters have had the choice of an unappealing New Labour Lite Conservative party or UKIP.

    I hope the new Conservative party leader will stop trying to emulate the soft left and give us a Conservative party we really want to vote for (as opposed to voting for the best of an unattractive lot because you have nowhere else to go). Failure to do so will deliver the right of centre voters to Mr Farage.

  62. Original Richard
    June 12, 2019

    “Yes”, Labour claims to stand up for the poor, the dispossessed, the unemployed and the unfortunate.

    Since they want to be in power, and this means obtaining a majority of votes, it is logical that they want there to be more poor, dispossessed, unemployed and unfortunate voters.

    Once this is understood all Labour’s policies and actions become completely transparent.

  63. mancunius
    June 12, 2019

    We may well have such a government as JR describes, but it will not be a Conservative government, unless the party manages to pull itself out of the abysmally deep morass it has chosen to sink itself in, deselect the craven remainer MPs, select resolute leavers in their place, and reform the 1922 Committee.
    Any such valiant attempts might well be too late, possibly overtaken by the Tory party’s electoral disappearance.

    1. mancunius
      June 12, 2019

      I should have added to the list of desirable reforms: ‘remember that neither the state nor parliament has any money or power of its own, but that both come from the people’. Parliamentary sovereignty is a nice phrase, but in reality an empty one, given that parliaments have a short duration.

  64. Mike Wilson
    June 12, 2019

    The Tory / Labour domination of UK politics is coming to an end. Time to stop the assumption that it will be you or them.

  65. Chris
    June 12, 2019

    This is actually one poll that Boris and other MPs determined to uphold democracy and honour Brexit should take heed of. It is far better than any focus group: a Daily Express poll asking readers whom they would like to lead this country (from choice of current world leaders):

    “…when asked which world leader you would like to see become the next UK Prime Minister, you unanimously chose a good “friend” of the former Foreign Secretary. The poll, which ran from 4.36pm until 8.36pm today, saw 3,826 votes cast, with Donald Trump dominating with a huge 72 percent share (2,751 votes). Russian President Vladimir Putin was a distant second with just 11 percent (421 votes)….”

    1. Chris
      June 12, 2019

      Additional comment from the above D Express article, which is revealing, and not at all surprising (except to those MPs who refuse to consider the views of the people – Alan Duncan’s comment to Julia Hartley Brewer in television panel discussion very recently illustrates the disdain for ordinary people that the so called political elite seem to have).

      “ readers were unanimous in their support for Mr Trump, praising his fighting skills and history of defying authority to get what he wants.

      One said: “Trump actually fights for his own country unlike many of our MPs who seem to prefer fighting for the EU and against the UK.”

      Another commented: “President Donald Trump as our PM he would get us our Brexit and clean up our country from all the dirt.”

  66. a-tracy
    June 13, 2019

    ksb you forgot
    5% nest pension (extra employees national insurance renamed)

  67. Lear's Fool
    June 13, 2019

    The higher stamp duty has had the effect of forcing people to improve their existing homes, e.g. by doing extensions and loft conversions, rather than moving on to a more expensive, finished property. So it has had one positive effect, i.e. people improving existing areas rather than everyone chasing the few prime areas in london.

  68. Not Convinced
    June 14, 2019

    Meanwhile, the elves in the fantasy forest were excited to catch a glimpse of the magical money tree!

  69. a-tracy
    June 20, 2019

    Sometimes I read articles in The Guardian and hear news reports about Universal Credit and I wonder why Tories don’t answer and correct misleading articles.

    Gemma works 18 hours per week she is over 25 years of age, the national living wage since April is £8.21 ph, yet the article claims she only takes home £399.69 per month. 18×8.21=147.78 x52 £7684.56 (under thresholds for tax and employees ni) /12 months = 640.38 net? They don’t say how much child tax credit she gets, working tax credit, housing benefit, csa? Why? Even going back two years when the nlw was introduced at £7.20 that would amount to £6739.20 pa /12 or £561.60? I’m not saying this isn’t a low amount of money, but this is giving a wrong false impression of the state top ups and living standards today. I want to know how much Universal Credit she is getting? Not only that but why are they allowed to give out inaccurate information about living wage, benefit top ups, housing benefit and the conditions people are living in. It sounds bogus and the Tories are being painted red and mean when I know women that do well out of Universal credit and the system and who haven’t worked for years or just do 16 hours in school term with all school holidays off with big top ups.

    The article says there have been ‘cuts to benefits that has driven in-work poverty to its highest point in 20 years.’

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