Tax rises would slow the recovery and increase the deficit

The Treasury should be told that tax rises now would be bad economics and worse politics.

The deficit has soared because government anti virus policies created a huge and fast downturn. In a recession public spending soars and tax revenues fall. Cutting the deficit needs a fast and strong recovery, so Public spending falls and tax revenues rise. In this downturn public spending was massively boosted by taking 9 million people onto the state’s wage bill whilst their jobs were prevented by lock down. We need to get them back into private sector jobs to remove the cost to the government and to get more tax revenue in from their better pay and overtime.

Far from needing tax rises we need rate cuts and tax holidays to promote more activity and jobs. The temporary cut in Stamp Duty is leading to many more housing transactions which will protect or create more jobs and increase tax revenues on the Activity in the housing market.

The Treasury has always been reluctant to accept that often the way to get more tax revenue is to cut rates to stimulate activity. That is what is needed now.

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  1. Stephen Priest
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    First the took our freedoms.

    Then the took our money.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Slick and clever.
      But what would you have done in the case of Covid? Would you ( be honest) have had the guts of the Swedes who didn’t do anything much?

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        Yes !

        It was quite obvious from the outset that CV19 was not the plague and that potential victims were easily identifiable and shield-able.

        Now we have restrictions until a vaccine (sometime never) in order to save face and the prospect of that vaccine being given to healthy, young people at no risk in a rush.

        Anyone heard of Gulf War Syndrome ?

        *A ten thousand pounds fine to Piers Corbyn objecting peacefully to CV19 measures but none to BLM rioters.

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

          I was against the lock down.

          The deaths that were happening in Italy were not worse than the deaths they had from flu 2 years previously.

          • Stred
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

            The hospitals were overflowing and the epidemic was over a short period. There was no known cure or vaccine. Covid affects the patient in more serious ways than flu. If they had followed the advice of the nudgers and let it rip without any measures, the 60,000 peak excess deaths would have been higher.

          • Wrinkle
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

            Did no one in the Italian govt. know that and no one informed them of that after some time into Covid? Was it Putin that stopped them from that knowledge to wreck their economy which affects the EU too? It is said he is all powerful by the West. If not him who or what else wants to destroy their economy without firing a shot?

          • Zorro
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            Our hospitals have never been overflowing. Look at the NHS stats for bed usage during March/April this year. Far less than we normally would by an order of magnitude.


          • Lorna
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

            Tell that to the staff who worked in the hospitals .The 126 doctors who died?
            A heartless comment based on ignorance

        • Stred
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

          The political police now have the legislation to fine non political activists like Piers Corbyn, especially as he is an independent thinker and climate change denier who is a qualified physicist, and allow marxists and hysterics to organise mass demonstrations while ignoring the covid legislation and rioting. Cressy and the Kneelers apply selective law.

          • Hope
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

            JR, please explain the last ten years of your wretched fifty year high tax, piss down the drain Fake Tory govt. as LL would say.

            Deficit was going to be balanced by 2015. Then the GDP fudge then abandoned!

            High spend and waste March budget this year!

            You might recall the 2010 80% cuts and 20% tax rise promise by Cameron and Osborne.

            You even blogged to confirm it never materialised and was exactly the opposite!

      • mickc
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

        Yes…it was the sensible course.

        The Boris government had no idea of the economic damage lockdown would cause.

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

          “The Boris government had no idea of the economic damage lock down would cause.”

          Not a good advert for Eton and Oxford. Close down the whole economy and not expect a disaster.

          • mickc
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

            I doubt if there were ever any Etonians who were good modern era PMs. They are all declinists.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink


          majority of 80, whole term to go.

          Hancock and Sunak (who the PM insists on keeping) have destroyed 10s, maybe 100s of millions of life years

        • Ian Wragg
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

          Reap what ye sow.
          Now we have a PPE stuffed Treasury wanting to remove more money from the private job producing private sector.
          It’s time Cummings sorted these idiots out.
          A start would be to get the Appledore shipyard to build the 3 support ships using British materials and labour.

        • JoolsB
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

          “The Boris government had no idea of the economic damage lockdown would cause.“

          Well they should have.

          • Stephen Priest
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            Reported Deaths

            Yesterday: 1

            Today: 2

            Cue Headline:

            DEATHS DOUBLE IN 24 HOURS !!!!! The highest EVER recorded deaths of Covid on an August Bank Holiday

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        Well I would have encourage sensible but more rather more flexible precautions about 10 days earlier than the government locked down. I would have encourage the use of masks (at the same time) on public transport and crowded places. I would not have pushed infected people out of hospitals into care homes (which was clearly gross negligence and killed thousands). Not should the NHS have refused to treat or admit people for care homes as they did.

        I would not have (as the foolish dope Sadiq Kahn did) told people the tubes were perferctly safe and being cleaning with hospital grade cleaners!

        We now only have only about 10 deaths a day from Covid under 1% or overall deaths. The infections is largely over, we just need to get back to work and back to normal. Other than for a few elderly and who have other risk factors who need to take special precautions.

        Infected people should have been kept in issolation centres. All blindingly obvious without any hindsight.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        The UK could not have tried the Sweden way.

        The NHS is such a political hot potato that the first hospital to be overwhelmed would have brought the government down.

        NHS funding and delivery must be reformed urgently so that future health care surges become operational decisions not political ones.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        I was against the lock down.

        The deaths that were happening in Italy were not worse than the deaths they had from flu 2 years previously.

        • glen cullen
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink


      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        We get the flu every year and do not shut down the country.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

        I was passed the following:

        “Please just take politics out of it and read this with an open mind using common sense.

        Anyone out there who can tell me what our end game is with the covid 19?

        What is the magic formula that is going to allow us to sound the all clear?

        Is it zero cases?

        The only way that will happen is if we just stop testing and stop reporting.

        Is it a vaccine?

        It took 25 years for a chicken pox vaccine to be developed.

        The smallpox inoculation was discovered in 1796 the last known natural case was in 1977.

        We have a flu vaccine that is only 40 to 60% effective and less than half of the UK population choose to get one, and roughly 20,000 British will die of the flu or flu complications.

        Oh, you’ll mandate it, like other vaccines are mandated in order to attend school, travel to some foreign countries, etc.

        We already have a growing number of anti vaxxers refusing proven, tested, well known vaccines that have been administered for decades but aren’t necessarily safe!

        Do you really think people will flock to get a fast tracked, quickly tested vaccine, whose long term side effects and overall efficacy are anyone’s best guess?

        How long are we going to cancel and postpone and reconsider??

        What if October’s numbers are the same as August’s?

        You moved football to summer?

        What if next March is worse than this one was?

        When do we decide quality of life outweighs the risks?

        I understand Covid can be deadly or very dangerous for SOME people, but so are peanuts, strawberries, and so is shellfish.

        We take risks multiple times a day without a second thought.

        We know driving a car can be dangerous, we don’t leave it in the garage.

        We know the dangers of smoking, drinking and eating fried foods, we do it anyway.

        We speed, we don’t fasten our seatbelts.

        Is hugging Gran really more dangerous than rush hour on the motorway?

        Is going out with friends after work more risky than 4 day old petrol station sushi?

        Or operating a chainsaw?

        When and how did we so quickly lose our free will?

        Is there a waiver somewhere I can sign that says, “I understand the risks, but I choose a life with Hugs and Smiles, and the Community Fair and Concerts and Parties.”

        I understand that there is a minuscule possibility I could die, but I will most likely end up feeling like crap for a few days.

        I understand I could possibly pass it to someone else, if I’m not careful, but I can pass any virus onto someone else.

        I’m struggling to see where or how this ends.

        We either get busy living or we get busy dying.”

        • NickC
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

          Stephen P, Long, but good points and questions. The government has got itself in a pickle through not doing the same as Sweden, and now cannot get out.

          Wait until winter when everyone has colds (or even “ordinary” flu) – how is the public to know whether someone who has a cold is not spreading covid19 instead or as well?

          Has the government thought of that one?

        • Northern Monkey
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          “End game” implies reason and logic.

          Both have been conspicuous by their absence. The government panicked, and its panic is still weren’t with every u-turn.

          • Northern Monkey
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

            Apparent, not weren’t, apologies.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        Yes! They do that every year re flu!

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      It is called Control. do as I say not as I do I am your Lord

      • glen cullen
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Correct – not a single MP is in fear of losing their job …in fact remember they all get a £10k covid wedge

        • JoolsB
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          It would be interesting to see what they spent their £10,000 bonus on. No doubts there was a surge in sales of the latest iPads and iPhones after they received it.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Horrible echoes of what the EU did to Greece.

      • margaret howard
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink


        What? Rescue it from total collapse? Is that why the Greek people keep voting for pro EU governments?

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          Greece didn’t need German armaments.
          Greeks couldn’t afford expensive Mercedes and BMW cars.

          We didn’t need a cover all furlough until the end of October, eviction ban and all the other expensive socialist measures.

          We won’t pay the piper willingly.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          Euro facilitated Greece getting into debt. Currency with a strong purchasing power but low interest rates unlike drachma.
          Bailouts were imposed with draconian austerity measures and harsh taxation.
          Euro made exports dear and Greece expensive to visit.
          EU behaves like a loan shark.
          New Democracy is centre right with some right wing leaning. Kyriakos Mitsotakis unfortunately is pro EU. But like us Greece didn’t really have much choice.And like Boris he has made a promise that Greece “ will proudly lift its head again”.Hmmm!

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          Your level of ignorance about these matters continues to astonish.

          • Fred H
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

            ignorance on all matters it seems.

        • graham1946
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          If the EU really wanted to help Greece they could insist it pays up its war reparations which to this day are several billions of Euros short of what they were supposed to pay

          • graham1946
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

            Germany, that is, not the EU.

    • agricola
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      The freedoms relating to Covid19 can as appropriate be reversed. It is the major freedoms, way before Covid19, that need to be reinstated.
      Freedom of Speech. It only exists in the HoC. It’s limitation should be the laws of libel.
      Political Correctness. The most incidious religion invented yet to disguise the true sentiments of the population. Goebells would have loved it.
      Health and Safety. Behind a real need on rigs, mines, the fishing and farming industry an empire building medusa of officialdom has arisen designed to cover tombola at a village fete. Draw a line after essential protection of workers.
      Population growth that limits our aspirations for housing , education, health care, and transport.
      Human Rights legislation that has been used to further the freedoms of criminals, and therebye limit the freedoms of the law abiding.

      That should keep the HoC out of the bars for a while.

      • NickC
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        Agricola, All true, except population growth in the UK is almost exclusively due to immigration.

        • agricola
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:12 am | Permalink

          Thank you for fine tuning population growth. If i had said it, it would have been struck out. The type of population growth we have accounts for a large tranche of the crime we have in the UK. Just to confirm this statement 9400 foreign criminals are awaiting deportation as we write. I have yet to check how many more are still being housed at our expense in jail, or on remand.

  2. Stephen Priest
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    I really hope that large numbers of your fellow Conservative MPs can see the follow of continuing these Covid 19(84) policies.

    I fear too many of them just follow the herd.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      It’s a pity that the Government did not go in earlier, faster, and harder, as begged by Italy and by WHO.

      The problems which we now face would have been the less for that, and many would still be alive who now are not, it appears.

      • matthu
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        “many would still be alive who now are not, it appears”

        To whom? On what evidence?

        The overwhelming majority of people who have died had other complicating co-morbidity factors so there is absolutely no reason (other than political) to suggest they would still be alive had we had a normal flu outbreak this year rather than COVID-19.

        Evidence from US is now suggesting that up to 90% of PCR testing – the most widely used diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the US – is too sensitive and people who test positive have insignificant amounts of the virus in their systems and very likely not to be contagious.

        Sounds more and more like we may have considerably overreacted rather than been too slow to react.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        But Martin.
        Who could outwit this virus?
        It is powerful enough to shut down the world.

      • agricola
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Maybe so, but lets not be too wise after the event. Many things were done well and many very poorly. Lets highlite it all so that we have a much better plan A for the next one. For sure Covid 19 will not be the last challenge.

        • graham1946
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

          Apparently there was a plan made in 2016, but it was ignored because no-one thought it would happen and they didn’t want to spend money preparing for something they thought impossible. Where have we heard that before?. Next, they listened to the ‘experts’ and followed their advice. I said in a post at the time there are no experts when something completely new comes along. They were looking for political cover, but the government not the experts seem not to be getting the flak so that backfired.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        When the UK had only a few cases.
        Would the people have accepted or understood the need for a lockdown at that time?
        It seems Germany France and other major nations acted similarly to the UK.
        But for you it is all about your political desire to criticise the Conservative government.

        • Andy
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          I am sure you would have fully supported a Labour government if it had been in power.

          In reality we saw what happened in 2008 when Conservatives blamed Labour for the global financial crash. Actually their response to it was pretty good.

          And the Tories will take the blame for the appalling response to Covid which has been one of the worst in the world.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

            How is this rant by you, relevant ?
            The question was about the timing of the lockdown.

          • czerwonadupa
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

            And yet your still here – moaning?

      • villaking
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        MiC – you have absolutely no evidence at all for that assertion. Lockdown was a ridiculous response and is the cause of all our economic ills now

      • Richard1
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        there is no evidence for this its just assertion. there appears to be no correlation between how hard lockdowns have been and death rates. the US states with the hardest lockdowns have had the highest death rates. some of the states which have been criticised for light lockdown have had lower death rates. same with countries. other factors have been critical – such as the NHS standing policy of chucking old people out of hospital and into care homes without testing.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Of course the vast majority of MPs just follow the herd. That means it’s easy to change the direction of the many, just need the leader to turn about.

  3. Adam
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Low tax enables freedom of movement of work. Heavy tax weighs down its own ability to generate more.

    • Norman
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      Likewise, less Covid controls (given targeted early therapeutic intervention for severe cases) mean higher population immunity sooner, and reduction of life-damaging consequences overall.

  4. hefner
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    For people interested in those things and to somewhat widen the political perspective, could I recommend reading the speech ‘The Privilege of Public Service’ by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 27 June 2020, and the one by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury “The New Radicals: How the Treasury can Drive Government Changes” on 28 June 2020, both on the website.

    • matthu
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      Thank you for both.

      Both speeches create a sense of optimism that there are individuals in government putting forward such radical thinking – and yet so little of this gets through to the general public. Perhaps because traditional media are so resistant to change.

      But if that were to change and this process were perceived to generate success, politics and division could change for generations.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      The only change the treasury should be driving in government is lower spending and taking less tax from us.

      The days of bottom line spread sheet accounting driving businesses are thankfully behind us and successful businesses are service and income generation.

    • dixie
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      thanks for the links – recordings of both are available on Youtube – search for the same titles

  5. agricola
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Largely agree. We must create a business base that is highly attractive to overseas investors, mostly in the hands of Ricki Sunak. A business base that gives existing UK enterprise at all levels the confidence to invest and expand their activities, and the general public confidence to consume. Again down to Ricki Sunak.

    Then government as a whole must give maximum support to Ms. Truss to get those worldwide deals done. I want to see a string of them ready to sign by January 2021. The lawyers of the Commons can get on with unpicking imposed EU legislation on the UK statute book that is detrimental to all the above and works against the notion of us as a sovereign state. Misguided and abused by the legal profession, human rights legislation that is preventing Priti Patel from cleaning up the immigration situation and removing the thousands of undesirables that the legal profession would have us live with, providing it is not next door to them.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      Agricola, very constructive suggestions, to which I would add on the tax issue, Government must SPEND LESS!

      Government needs to look hard at cutting handouts and wasteful investment, and release unproductive assets to the private sector. We all know the large wasteful projects in train.

      It wasn’t long ago that our host was asking for suggestions as how to spend our ‘surplus’ tax take; how times have changed. Not a penny in the rainy-day fund it appears.

      • Nigl
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

        Agree totally and thank goodness for some common sense from our host. It demonstrates the management illiteracy of Secretaries of State, their Spads and Sir Humphreys that they are unable to make efficiency saving in a massively bloated and wasteful monopoly.

        Does anyone really think that whacking up corporation tax, thus deterring new entrants and sending other large employers away, somehow helps?

        The cynic in me thinks that this the Treasury’s who hate Brexit, way of keeping us aligned to the EU/reducing our attractiveness by staying a high tax regime.

        The question was asked at the week end. Didn’t we elect a Tory government. Answer to date. Very much no so why not give Starmer a go?

      • turboterrier
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        Peter Wood

        Agree. SEND LESS and CUT OUT ALL THE WASTE and some.

        Ministers have to step up to the mark and if not prepared to meet the demands on them then step aside . There is more than enough experience and expertise cast aside on the backbenches capable of making it happen. Every position will under the microscope no matter who or what you are , that includes the PM. The country has got to get moving and it is now a case for all of us to, sign on or ship out.

      • NickC
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        Peter, Indeed. As others (and I) keep saying the government could, and should, spend less on vanity projects, establishment “winners”, constant top-down re-organisations, and complicated governance. But will the government listen? Of course not.

        We all know what will reduce expenditure: cut immigration to zero; chop green subsidies; remove the preference for “renewables”; eliminate foreign aid; no more Hinckley Cs; chop HS2; simplify tax codes and all laws; remove EU rules; eliminate all Quangos; no tax funding of charities, arts, etc; no soft loans to foreign countries; etc.

        We need a new attitude in the establishment of enlightened patriotism.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Let’s just see what Mrs Patel does when the Commons returns. She needs a damn good interrogation as to her analysis of the situation and of her plans for solving it. Legislation needs to be part of the answer – and that needs putting in place by the time our MPs want to go skiing.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      We already have an attractive base to overseas investors. They can operate here whilst squirreling their profits into tax havens, whilst UK companies find themselves at a competitive disadvantage through corporation tax. I favour an environment that encourages British people to start businesses and taxing multi-national companies fairly.
      Who would want to start a business with all the taxes involved? Should they become successful and need to employ people, all of a sudden they can find their prospects wrecked by difficult employees and inadequate remedies to deal with them.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Why? ‘Inward investment’ means we have sold more of our own businesses and assets to foreigners’. Let’s keep something for Gods Sake, including our own massive investment capital.

    • dixie
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      A lot less of the overseas investment please, we don’t want the city to sell off, aka give away, our businesses and our economy.

      We need to build a sustainable business base that creates products and services that are highly attractive to overseas consumers. Ownership and operation of those business need to remain here.

  6. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    But we are two trillion pounds in debt now.
    Even so, Sir John, you are right. If people can see the carrot, they will run all the faster. If it is taken away, the stick just won’t work.
    And then there are all those State employees waiting for their hand-outs…

    • turboterrier
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Mike Stallard


    Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    The absence of any reference to overdue State and public sector reform in this article reveals the Tory political mindset. It is a mindset wedded to the avoidance of conflict and is in direct contrast to the mindset of MT who always understood that to invoke important change agreement will always be in short supply.

    State vested interests that feed off the taxpayer and from which they derive their un-elected political power will fight to the death to maintain their seat at the table either by hook or crook

    It shouldn’t surprise anyone that this PM intends to throw cash at the now Socialist union-Labour power base that is the public sector while smashing the private sector with higher taxes of all forms. It’s the act of a despicable charlatan.

    I’d like to see this PM take us to the brink on removing all of our freedoms and our wealth to fund his political capitulation to the large State authoritarian left and then maybe the majority will wake up and realise the trap they have walked into and have been walking into since 1997

  8. Richard1
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Dead right. I assume yesterday’s stories on this were leaked deliberately to soften up the public and Conservative supporters. But it’s extraordinary that politicians of the expressed views of Messrs Johnson, Sunak, Gove, Raab etc can be allowing any discussion along these lines. If this is really the advice of senior Treasury officials, as reported, then the Treasury itself is a place for some cuts and certainly some changes. Outsource the advice to the private sector, maybe even get it for free. It would be a nonsense to go down the road of tax rises to pay for the govt induced recession – nor as you point out will tax rises succeed in doing that.

    In 2024 the electorate will be asking whether on balance Brexit has been a success. Labour will continue to hedge and face both ways on it until the answer is clear. For the Conservatives to have any chance, the answer needs to be an unequivocal yes. That means growth and recovery and outperforming the eurozone. Forget polling the red wall each week, of course polling will always show tax rises for other people are popular. Focus on the main issue and keep sights on the horizon of the 24 election.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      I would say the Red Wall want what everyone else wants, that’s why they voted Tory this time. Labour are no longer representative of many people at all! Neither are Lib Dems.

      Which is why many people are puzzled by the left behaviour of the the Tories.

      Despite the hysterical screams of the the ‘woke brigade’ the vast majority are very much not woke .

      Re taxation, I agree JR, low taxation to encourage people to work and innovate, not deter them from even bothering! And if tax is high, people find ways to avoid paying it at all! If it’s low, people don’t mind (as much) and will get on and pay it.

    • Andy
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      By 2024 nobody will be asking whether, on balance, Brexit has been a success. They” mostly be wondering why it is not what they were promised. By then they’ll have seen the lorry parks, they’ll see the higher prices and they’ll endure the extra bureaucracy. Plus the opposition parities will be able to show pictures of the real hardships Brexit has caused – and will be able to accompany them with the boasts of Brexiteers about how wonderful it would be.

      Of course the real extent of the Tory pensioner Brexit damage will only be clear 10, 15, 20 years from now. But hopefully some of the perpetrators will still be around to face justice.

      • Richard1
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        You of course are completely unable to see any nuance in the debate or any arguments on the other side. No wonder you keep losing.

        The way the eurozone is going there is every chance – assuming good policies, which is admittedly a question with this latest nonsense about tax rises – that the U.K. will outperform the eurozone and everyone will wonder what all the project fear fuss was about. In which case you will keep on losing. But don’t worry, nobody on the other side is calling for you to go to prison because you don’t agree with them.

      • NickC
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        Well, Andy, I see you only dropped your abuse of the elderly and the Brexit voters for a day or two this time round. You do realise that your hate and hysteria goes through cycles, don’t you?

        We already have lorry parks to cope with French strikers. The vast majority of countries in the world (165 of them) don’t suffer “hardships” from being independent of the EU, so why do you imagine we will? You never tell us what makes the UK unique in that respect.

        As for your repeated threats of “justice”, or jail, for the “perpetrators” of independence, you’re just illustrating how petulant you are. And at least we’ve been spared your extra “55,000 pen pushers” diatribe this time round.

      • peter
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Over 17 million perpetrators so should still be a few!

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Sir John, forgive me but this offensive rubbish should not continue to be allowed on your site.

      • agricola
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        The only satisfactionis in knowing you will be one of the suffers. Masochism must be in your blood.

  9. Ian Wragg
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Get rid of foreign aid, disaster relief only.
    Reform the Motorbility scheme as it’s being abused by thousands.
    Get rid of HS2 and cut VED on expensive vehicles.
    That’s a start.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink


    • APL
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      JR: “Get rid of foreign aid,”

      Foreign aid is nothing less than an ‘jizya’. We pay foreigners to stop them invading us. Well, we’re paying foreign aid and the foreigners are invading us.

      Divert the danegeld, because that’s all it is, into in shore patrol boats. And intercept all ‘refugee’ boats in English waters. and escort them back to French territory or international waters.

      • glen cullen
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        What !!!!! we still can’t be funding foreign aid, that would be utter madness with the state of our own economy…..oh wait a min

    • turboterrier
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      Totally agree with your comments.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      continue VED on expensive vehicles, increase on lower cost diesel ones.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        Rubbish. VED is costing jobs. Increase tax on fuel so user pays.
        Won’t happen because it makes sense.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

          you didn’t argue for raising the tax by way of petrol/diesel use! I’d agree with that, otherwise VED must stay.
          I’d also apply an annual license for every bicycle. It to be carried on every trip.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        Fred why? Higher tax is already paid when purchased.

    • BOF
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Ah yes, the motorbility scheme. A licence to defraud the taxpayer.

    Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    The BBC must be privatised. I read that this PM intends to abolish the licence but then allow the BBC to be funded directly from general taxation. That would be intolerable and utterly unacceptable. It would be rewarding an authoritarian organisation that has become a brutal political animal psychotically obsessing over racial identity and gender differences with the express aim of social conditioning and demonising anyone they disagree with

    In Johnson we have another May.

    When will patriotic people understand that a vote for Tory or vile Labour is a vote for the destruction of their world, their freedoms and morality?

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink


      I agree! Putting the BBC under general taxation would be intolerable considering why we want to end its licence. (For the reasons you state)

      If the BBC were impartial, maybe…but they most certainly are not. So this would be rewarding bad behaviour, permanently!

      • jerry
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        @Sharon Jagger; “If the BBC were impartial, maybe…”

        I agree, the BBC is certainly batting for Boris and his back to Schools maddens sorry… mantra at the moment, rather than simply being impartial reporting the news, barely a mention of the new medical research out of South Korea via the USA (published by JAMA on Friday) that shows children can carry the live Covid-19 virus in their noses for up to 3 weeks whilst being asymptomatic.

        • NickC
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          Yes, Jerry, the children are asymptomatic. Which means they carry the virus, but don’t get the disease.

          Mind you, I tend to think that children are better off being taught by their parents than by the usual BBC-indoctrinated, woke, far left teachers, so I’m with you on closing down state schools permanently. It would also save us a lot of money.

          • jerry
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; For piffle sake! You miss the point, as usual, on purpose? Indeed such children might not show signs of being sick themselves but they are are still contagious, they can pass the virus on to others.

            What is more, being asymptomatic does not mean the virus is not causing damaging to organs, it just means no outwardly visible signs are present. For example scaring to the lung can show up later x-ray, or the onset of asthma.

            As for your swipe at teachers and the BBC, schools are constrained by the National Curriculum, had you forgotten the Tory party has been in govt since 2010, with the DfT overseen by a succession of failing SOS drawn from senior Tory MPs….

          • cornishstu
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            They don’t get but can spread it, according to a study in Massachusetts.

          • Mark
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:34 am | Permalink

            The evidence seems to be that young children almost never pass the virus on to others, and even teenagers seem to be less transmissive than adults. Moreover, children only seem to get mild or asymptomatic versions of the disease. That means they are coughing and spluttering to pass it on.

          • jerry
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

            @Mark; Please cite such research…

            Sounds like the same woke ‘research’ the govt used when they asserted that very few children catch Covid-19 at school -of course they don’t, most children have been home schooling for the last six months!

    • Northern Monkey
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      The only circumstances under which it would be acceptable to fund the BBC out of general taxation would be if it were cut down to a core news, World Service, national sports and education brief.

      The BBC should not be competing for peak-time ratings with commercial providers, nor for local news of radio with local providers.

      • jerry
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        @Northern Monkey; Becoming a Public Service Broadcaster again in other words and what I have suggested for years on this site! That could be done by retaining the License Fee but cutting it by at least 2/3rds, this would remove any risk should a future govt wish to use a further threat to its funding as a way to get the BBC ‘on-message’ in the run up to a general election.

        • NickC
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, What “message” the BBC peddles, is up to the BBC. It’s just that in consequence of their inevitable bias the BBC, and you, should not expect me to pay for it.

          • jerry
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; “[do] not expect me to pay for [the BBC]”

            No one is….

            Please cite the law that forces someone to watch broadcast TV, there has never been any such law -ever.

            Seems to me that (S)VOD services are just your cup of tea.

      • graham1946
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        This is the problem with the ‘de-fund’ BBC campaign. The commercial companies already struggle for advertising and in one case, a small niche station I watch struggles so much that it has put out a call during the ad breaks for crowd funding, whilst the BBC sails on serenely putting out all sorts of rubbish. The current commercial stations would be hit the hardest and it is no good just saying rely on subscriptions – even Sky don’t do that, they charge a big whack and still we have to have the adverts. Surely what is needed is not to put adverts on the BBC but to clear out its management and ensure it fulfills its charter. Good programmes, no bias, no bad language, no chasing the ‘yoof culture’ (who don’t watch anyway) and maybe people would be happy to pay.

        • NickC
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

          Graham, No broadcaster can be without bias. That’s because bias is in the eye of the beholder. Which is why competing businesses are so necessary – whether the culprit rent-seeker is the BBC, or Facebook.

          • graham1946
            Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

            There are an awful lot of ‘beholder eyes’ these days then. The current BBC liberal woke bias is there for all to see, not just a matter of opinion. Privately owned broadcasters in general are entitled to their bias, but the BBC is tax funded with the threat if criminal action for not paying so it is an entirely unique case.

      • dixie
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        @Northern Money, If you want an unbiassed, unwoke public sector broadcaster I’m not convinced you start by taking the BBC and carving bits off it, that organisation is rotten to the core.

        The back catalogue, estate and offices should be retained in a separate organisation but the rest of the organisation dissolved. Start again with a PBS focused on service to the public not a cosy, protective club for the liberati.

        A new PBS could use Youtube or other streaming service with restricted set of OTA radio and TV broadcast channels where Sport and Education should be funded via the government departments while news is a bit of a conundrum – the FO and …?

        I am fed up of BBC using it’s platform to snipe at those it dislikes such as Trump while bigging up Sturgeon and the wokerati but ignoring issues and matters elsewhere in the UK and the world, particularly the Commonwealth.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink


      Oh for a real right of centre party that understands that emulating socialism is but a slow death

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Surely its a lot worse than that. The BBC is writing the narrative that Government must follow and they do as the obedient servants they are. It wasn’t the people that elected this Government it was their leaders they must obey in the media.

      I just hope we have ALL learnt our lesson that probably 90% of those in the HoC have no interest in doing good for the Country but to pander to their own egos and the their minority media buddies.

      I challenge any one to name those in the HoC that put the Country above ego. A starter Sir John Redwood, David Davies… now I am stumped, surely there are others. It is easier to name those that hate the UK

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      At least we would then be able to call the BBC the State broadcaster.

      Don’t anyone then deny what way this country is going.

      It does not report the news, it sets the agenda. It does not educate, it indoctrinates. It does not entertain, it censors.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      May was devious, Johnson? possibly just incompetent.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      I perfectly understand that and have done for a loooooong time.
      Trouble is Liblabcon always nobble any opposition, just with racist.
      And more to the point the sheeple AGREE with them and bleatingly vote for them.
      Like the worst thing in the world is to be thought to fit a stereotype not to lose everything you hold dear.
      I think too that “I’m all right Jack” comes into it.
      “It won’t affect me”…until it does that is!
      Seen it so many times.
      Look at the power the sheep have handed them.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        I suppose though that has always been the purpose of the BBC…propaganda wing of govt.
        So govt. is going to pretend to relinquish it whilst strengthening it?
        Cameron, May, Johnson.
        Final Death Knell for this country.

    • agricola
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      For my money the BBC News and Current Affairs department should be detached and made to survive in the commercial world that pertains to all other news organisations. I will believe what Boris thinks when he stands in the HoC and expresses his thoughts. At times the media report what they would like to happen.

      The MOS front paged a soon to be created new news channel. Designed to be everything the BBC is supposed to be, but patently is not. Impartiality will be the key to balance a BBC which has become a political party in everything but definition and at taxpayers expense. The only media organisation with tax gathering powers. It is quite unbelievable what our representatives in Parliament have allowed to happen.

      I wish the new media venture well and await a real solution to the BBC.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      The only chink of light is the possibility that the elections for Police Commissioners may produce a European Parliament result. FPTP is very close to a one party system.

    • RichardP
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Agreed. They can’t be bothered to send out a paper license now even if you do pay their TV tax. Cheque cashed 12th August but no sign of the license.
      Might have to give up on television but on the plus side I won’t have to listen to the ramblings from Johnson & Hancock anymore.

      • anon
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        Get the cancellation & refund request in.
        Be part of the change you want!

    • BOF
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      I agree Dominic, it would be an utter betrayal.

    • Original Richard
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      Rather than privatise and/or break up the BBC, which may lead to dozens of BBCs like the broomstick in Disney’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, it may be preferable, as it is the “state broadcaster”, to legislate the BBC to broadcast programmes, including news, current affairs and documentaries, which are not solely made by the Guardianistas but by alternative organisations through the allocation of programme slots or even channels.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Agree the BBC should be sold off to make some funds for UK govt

  11. George Brooks.
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Here we are, being stirred up by the media who are totally averse to ever publishing good news. Thank goodness these defeatist editors were not around during the last war. If they had been we would have invited Hitler to lunch!!!!!!!

    We are getting back to work, we are getting used to working round this virus but we have still quite a long way to go. We don’t need to start paying the debt off just yet, we need to do everything we can to get the economy growing. As you rightly say, Sir John, as the economy grows so will the tax receipts.

  12. Mike Wilson
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    2 trillion in debt so far! That’s a million pounds a day borrowed every day for the last five and a half thousand years. Surely that is enough debt.

  13. kenneth
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    I agree entirely with this post.

    Every time I come into contact with public services I see waste and inefficiency.

    Budgets need to be cut across the public sector and key performance targets should always include efficiency savings.

    Businesses do this all the time and regularly prune waste from their operations. The government and public sector must have cost cutting etched into their mindset.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink


  14. Bob Dixon
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    The Government is looking to raise greater revenues with tax
    rate increases. This will fail to raise any significant revenue.
    Their first priority must be to kick start the economy. To do so requires tax rate reductions not increases.
    Raising tax rates will defer economic activity to a future where tax rates are reduced. Any Current investments project’s will be driven abroad.

    Boris needs to shake off any lingering symptoms of COVID-19 otherwise the UK will be heading in the wrong direction.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      I think Boris needs to shake off hopeless advisors and damaging socialist actions!

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Boris is the Socialist. His Tory advisors are, mostly, playing a blinder.

  15. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Utter madness to consider tax rises in any form.

    As I said in yesterdays post, the Conservatives will be committing political suicide if they do.

    Do they really think we all work and risk our own investment for the benefit of Government, or for ourselves, because they want to seem to want to take most of the profit but not the losses, unless of course you are a government department or employee, then it does not seem to matter.

    Who dreams up these crazy ideas.

    If the Government did not want to be in so much debt, then it should not have spent the money, simples !

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink


    • glen cullen
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink


  16. Lifelogic
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    The only way to go is to cut government and go for cheap reliable energy. There is so much fat to be cut. So much of the state sector does nothing of value and much that is actually damaging. Taxes are far too high and over compex already. Even the floating of these suggestions is hugely damaging and shows the people in the Treasury are deluded fools. Business is already loaded up with debt and liabilities for late payment of taxes.

    Yet this tax borrow and piss down the drain government have not even killed HS2 yet. An excellent set of suggestions for saving money from someone from the TaxPayers’ Alliance in an article yesterday.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Sunak should denounce all these tax increase suggestions, fire all the people responsible and get control of the endless waste in government. He could start with his idiotic insulation voucher scheme, HS2, all the grants for “renewables” and electric cars and his dinner vouchers!

      It seem the Transport Department have plans for green triangles on plates for zero emission cars. Except they are not “zero emmission” they are just “Emmisions Elsewhere” Cars. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (business and finance HND Manchester Poly) said: “A green recovery is key to helping us achieve our net zero carbon commitments while also promoting economic growth.”

      What a deluded plonker he is. We should abandon the climate change act and May’s moronic net zero carbon lunacy to actually promote economic growth.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      “Tax rises would slow the recovery and increase the deficit”. They would also raise less tax revenue and reduce the size of the tax base for next year. The only escape is a much smaller state sector, lower simpler taxes, a bonfire or red tape and a cheap reliable on demand energy policy.

      Release the countless people doing pointless, damaging & essentially parasity jobs to get real and productive ones.

  17. Nigl
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Five useless quangocrats at 200k fizzed out the door = £1 billion, find 50 and their is your £10 billion. Quangos cost £200 billion plus.

    And the Treasury thinks it is right I should pay for this bloat. Time for the axe.

    • Stred
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink


      • hefner
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Yes, only off by a factor 1,000….

  18. Sea Warrior
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I disagree. Let’s have some sound fiscal stuff. Let’s cut wasteful spending – ‘investment’, Boris will call it – and only raise taxes if absolutely necessary. For a few years, while debt-servicing costs are low, we can be relaxed about the the added debt. But there’s no way we should contemplate a second national lockdown. Any further lockdowns should be very carefully targeted at the communities, age-groups and behaviours causing a spike.
    P.S. I’m often critical of the government but I’ll commend it for having substantially increased penalties for those organising COVID-spreading events. And I’ll commend the police for their prompt actions over the weekend.

    • matthu
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Ah! But what constitutes a COVID spreading event?

      Why are tens of thousands of people in Trafalgar Square engaging in legitimate protest treated differently from tens of thousands of people on the beaches or tens of thousands of people engaging in BLM protests?

      • dixie
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        What legitimate protest?

      • Zorro
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink



      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        They weren’t spreading COVID.
        They don’t believe in it!
        The virus has Tinkerbell like qualities.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      so you commend more control measures, and raise taxes if absolutely necessary.
      How will you judge when necessary?

  19. Ian @Barkham
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John.

    Thank you, though to with any one with half a brain it is all to obvious. The problem is this is an out and out Socialist Government, it is not about what works but how do you control. It is not what is best for the Country but what keeps Government on message with those writing the agenda in the media.

    We have a Government that lacks strength and character, also lacks trust in the people that put them their.

  20. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I can only agree with you JR.
    I thought the idea of massive tax rises and an attack on pensioners had been put to bed, but not according to the media rumours…

    Shouldn’t the chancellor be leading the Treasury, rather than the other way around.

    Our lives are already painful enough without us being robbed of ever more resources.
    The government needs to know they will get a very bad response from voters if they increase taxes…any taxes!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Indeed and increasing tax rates will not get them more tax revenue to waste anyway in the end.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Shouldn’t the First Lord of the Treasury be leading the Chancellor?

  21. Mark B
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    We need to get rid of HS2 and start cutting out waste and duplication in the Public Sector.

    We need to get rid of IR35 which will be an inhibitor to new business which, like green shoots forming after a forest fire, will grow into the next large business that will provide jobs and spur on our economy even further. I know Sir John you have argued against IR35 but I think your case is now much stronger.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink


      What we really need to do is to wind the clock back a good 20 years to remove all the oppressive legislation that started with Major and especially blair — Our nation would be so much more rational and in much better shape without that and the UN treaties we have signed

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:55 pm | Permalink


    • glen cullen
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      Cancelling HS2 might help pay off some other bills

  22. Nigl
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I see Grant Shapps was at it again in the last few days equivocating about safety on public transport.

    You might like to remind him and other motor mouths that if they cannot say anything positive, they should keep quiet. Trust is in short supply as it is, they are only making it worse.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      Grant Shapps the man of the people

  23. John E
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    We are £2 trillion in debt. I doubt there is much appetite to buy more U.K. debt.
    We risk collapse.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Meanwhile bank lending for perfectly sensible & very low risk investment in the private sector is still very expensive and rather limited.

  24. Everhopeful
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Yeah…WHO pays….WE do.
    For whatever cock up, whatever ludicrous plan, whatever lies, whatever mistakes.
    We pay!
    We pay!
    This is not a government it is a tyranny.

    • BOF
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      I am inclined to agree.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Sheriff of Nottingham springs to mind

  25. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    We were sold this spending binge on the basis of the lowest interest rates for 3 centuries which meant borrowing was extremely cheap.The story seems to be changing.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Surely they are following the EU blueprint for subjugation?

  26. Andy
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    A no deal Brexit would be bad economics and worse politics – but you are all fine with that.

    The bottomline is that the Tory Covid catastrophe is going to cost us dear and somebody has to pay. You cannot settle this bill back through economic growth – it is too big.

    It is unfair to borrow – and leave it to our children and grandchildren. There is no spending left to cut after a decade of Tory austerity,

    Therefore the only choice left it to raise taxes – and the best off should pay the most.

    Firstly, a 50% windfall tax on billionaires. This will increase to 100% on anyone who tries to avoid it.

    Secondly, a windfall tax on our biggest and most profitable business. A one off payment to support their country.

    Thirdly, scrap the triple lock and slash pensions by 20% with immediate effect. It is like being furloughed. We cannot allow the elderly – again – to avoid the cost of a crisis which is of their making. The must play their part too.

    Fourthly, a windfall tax on second home owners. The more properties you own the more you pay. This can be avoided if you sell within a year.

    Fifth, make the self employed pay tax at the same rate as everyone else. No, your daily lunch is not tax deductible. CGT to be charged at the same rate as income tax.

    Finally, income tax to rise – with the biggest rises for the best off. With a guarantee that it is lowered again when we have paid for Covid.

    Then, in 2024, elect a competent leader – all the other parties now have one (except Farage of course).

    Reply Why would a billionaire stay to pay the tax? What would you say to pensioners facing a low slashed pension who could no longer afford basic living costs?

    • Andy
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      What would I say to a billionaire? Play your part. You are lucky in life. You can have a perfectly comfortable life with half a billion. You did not need all the money you have. If you don’t like our policy – we are taking your assets anyway and you will be permanently barred from the UK.

      As for pensioners who can no longer afford basic living costs if they lose 20% of their income – they should do the same as workers who lost 20% of their income. Spend less. Sell your homes. I don’t see why everyone else should face a 20% income cut and pensioners get away without it. I just want them treated the same as everyone else. What is wrong with that? Also some Tory MPs tell us food banks are wonderful. Pensioners could always use those.

      • Margaret Brandreth-
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Wrong again; you cannot seem to get the equation right. People put in effort , taxes ,National Insurance, spend, , help the economy etc throughout their lives.
        Those who have lived longer have done more of the above which is not equal to a 2i year old. Then why should the 2i year old have the same financial benefits , not having done very much of the above .

      • Edward2
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        Billionaires are rare and mobile.
        They already pay huge amounts in tax.
        And employ lots of people.
        Kill the Golden Goosses.
        As they fly off to where you can’t attack them.
        Your ridiculous plans will end up with us like all the other useless poverty ridden socialist countries.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear – you assume the money is cash in a UK bank account you can raid. Very very unlikely. Offshore ownership of profitable businesses, foreign registered ultimate owners…..
        Find a way to try to take 50% and the businesses will fold.
        The only one I can think of where 50% is readily taken is by Putin, after an offer they can’t refuse.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        When you have worked for you thousands, millions or billions, you don’t feel ‘lucky’. You did not win the lottery – that’s lucky.

      • Original Richard
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Taking a £billion off a billionaire and dividing it amongst our population works out at about £15 per person.

        Such a draconian Marxist confiscation doesn’t really make much difference to anyone.

        • Andy
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

          According to Forbes there are 54 billionaires in the UK. Some have multiple billions. Dyson, for example, has £16bn. Take half – £8bn – and that is a good chunk towards the cost of Coronavirus. He‘s 73 and would
          still have £8bn. I think he‘ll manage.

          According to the Sunday Times the ten richest people in the country are worth nearly £130bn. Taking half of their wealth would still leave them with £65bn – a minimum of £5bn each – but would be a massive chunk towards the Coronavirus bill.

          I am not sure why you all seem determined to put the interests of a few dozen billionaires ahead of the interests of tens of millions of normal Britons. It’s very odd.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

            Their wealth isn’t cash.
            It is mainly the estimated abstract value of the company they own part of.
            How do you take half of the value of Dyson?
            Every year?
            The more you post, the more incredulous I am that you have ever run a commercial business.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

        Have people employed by the state lost 20% of their income? Nah, they have not lost a penny. Why are they so ****ing special? So you just keep paying your taxes to pay my pension. Just like I did for 48 years. Young people should be taxed more to pay for all the public services they use but have not paid towards.

    • NickC
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Yet you wanted an even harsher, longer lockdown, Andy. That would have inevitably lead to a harsher and longer economic hit. You supported the lockdown – so own it, instead of trying to wriggle out of responsibility like a child.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Excellent to see the left spell out their catastrophic policy ideas. As we saw in the last election, no one sensible votes for the politics of hatred and envy. Confiscate the wealth of the super-successful. What a great idea. Look around the world and see which countries have done that and what the result is and vice versa.

    • agricola
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      You have left out raiding the allotments of industrious elderly gardeners. You’re slipping.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        These days allotments are worked by much younger people -exercise, bountiful food, and pride.

    • beresford
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Andy, most of us would prefer a fair deal with the EU, and we have offered to take the Canada deal which was initially offered to us by Barnier and later Tusk. Remember when the EU said they didn’t want differing deals with every country? But the EU have been buoyed by the antics of the last Parliament and its supine PM, and are not prepared to give us the same as everybody else. In these circumstances as in any negotiation we must be prepared to walk away in order to not set a bad precedent for future negotiations with the EU and others. No deal is still better than a bad deal.

      • Andy
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        No deal is worse than a bad deal. And we’ll end up with a bad deal. It may not come before the end of the year but if not we’ll be back begging before long.

        PS: it was not anyone who voted Remain who made promises about Brexit that they have, quite spectacularly, failed to deliver. Still maybe BMW will come to your rescue one day.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      An absolutely guaranteed way to destroy the economy, Sir John. But his posts here show that is what he really wants

      • Andy
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        To be fair to me – I am not prime minister and I have not delivered the worst recession in 300 years. That’d be what the guy you support has done.

  27. Colin B
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    John, are you ( almost ) advocating a Singaporean type strategy ?

    A number of comments from your Scottish Dividend article appear relevant to today’s article. If we don’t want to end up with higher taxation then we should cut out the self evident waste and vanity projects.

    Reduce the civil service, I believe the UK cs is vastly higher than Germany’s cs. The UK has periodically been able to achieve this so from an historical basis then it can and should work. Save multiples £10 billions

    Claw back the Scottish, Welsh & NI dividends that the poor English pay . Save £33+bn.

    Cameron promised to cut Quangos and Committees but it’s not happened. £ – billions

    HS2 is a costly joke. It’s already 20 years behind other countries and outdated. Save £100+ billion

    To be fair to the vast majority of standard rate tax payers reduce tax relief on personal pension contributions to 20% for everyone. At the moment higher rate tax payers get relief at 40% and 75% of the tax relief paid by the Govt is at this rate. Save £10+ billion

    Foreign aid. The longer I live the more appreciative I am of living in the UK. However, we do need to be able to offer extremely expensive medical assistance to those of our fellow nationals who need it now. Its life and death to them and I am thinking of some cancer treatments denied to UK nationals. I believe the UK is the second highest contributor of foreign aid in the world ( after the USA ) and dwarfs the EU contributions. We should be helping our own people first – that is the first priority of any Govt along side security. Reduce and spend it more wisely. I would suggest that one way of ensuring that the aid is spent wisely is to employ UK engineers, UK construction companies, etc,etc to go out and construct whatever is needed in poorer countries. More control over how the aid is spent rather than it being syphoned off to gangsters and corrupt politicians. Some monies would be recirculated within the UK as UK individuals and companies receive payment for their services by being paid in the UK and that money spent in the UK. Save £ ?

    • Colin B
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      I forgot to mention the savings available by reducing the over bloated Lords and reducing the Commons from 600+ MPs down to 450 ( still seems high at that figure )

      • hefner
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        You are too good: The USA (pop. 330m) has 100 Senators and 435 (+6) Representatives. How many are really needed in Parliament for a 68m population? And only Iran has also religious representatives by right.

        • Mark
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

          And 50 states have their own legislature, mostly bicameral, with a total of 5,411 Representatives (lower house) and 1,972 Senators (upper house), for an additional 7,383 politicians. They have rather more power than Holyrood or the Senedd – in fact, probably more power that Westminster pre-Brexit.

          • hefner
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

            OK, fair enough. Thanks for this point I had obviously not considered. So proportionally to your vision of the USA, the UK should have 1,571 legislators. With 650 MPs and about 800 Lords, we are still short of about 120 such people in one, the other or distributed over the two chambers. The more the merrier.

  28. jerry
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    All the reports I’ve read or heard this morning, bar your article, mentions a possible rise in Corporation tax, you simply mention taxes, and of course many will take that to mean personal taxation, either income, IHT and VAT, but with any short term rise in Corporation Tax wouldn’t companies simply reduce theirs and their shareholders tax liabilities by investment, thus aiding growth and thus the recovery?

    With many of the worlds leading economies traditionally having far higher Corporate taxation rates than the UK nor is it a given that high taxation means low growth.

    • jerry
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      If the govt/DEFRA want to be ‘green’ about plastic carrier-bags why not just ban them, after all there are plenty of, from improved paper bags to Hessian fabric etc?

      The proposed raising of the charge by 100% increasingly looks as if this charge have become the stealth tax we were assured it wasn’t, another cash-cow for the govts who would likely have to fund their pet good causes from more accountable taxation.

      • Original Richard
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        I don’t understand why the government doesn’t legislate for only “compostable” and/or “biodegradable” plastic is used for plastic carrier bags and perhaps for many other uses.

        What is the problem?

        • Mark
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

          Biodegradable plastic is very flimsy, which means it breaks and leaks its contents just where you don’t want them. If you want to try the experiment, a pack of biodegradable dog waste bags will prove the point.

      • Mark
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

        It has been shown that you need to re-use a hessian bag 7,000 times in order to have paid for its environmental impact compared with a plastic bag. That’s 140 years of weekly shopping.

        The “war on plastic” is just green virtue signalling that actually does more harm than good.

        • jerry
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

          @Mark; Stop talking utter woke! The “war on plastic bags” came about due to the irresponsible disposal of the things, something your ‘environmental impact’ assessment ignored, unlike plastic neither hessian or paper/cardboard tend to kill our wildlife – at any point in their production-use-waste cycle…

  29. Dave Andrews
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    No more taxes, I agree, we’re already over-taxed.
    Reducing spending is the option I would favour. Cancelling HS2 would be of small help, but to really make a difference you would have to target the big ticket items. The massive NHS bill could be significantly reduced by exempting it from the obligations of treating lifestyle diseases (obesity, smoking, drink and drugs). Ration pensions and benefits according to how prosperous the country is.
    However, political expediency favours carrying on borrowing, so I expect this is what government will do. Pass the debts to the next generation, how kind.

    • jerry
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      @Dave Andrews; I think the Tory party would quite like to be re-elected sometime this century!…

  30. William Long
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Could a perverse outcome of a tax raising Conservative Government be that the Labour Party, in the interests of opposing, becomes the party of low(er) taxation?

  31. Michael
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    It is reported in the Sunday newspapers that HM Treasury is considering tax rises; capital gains tax and inheritance tax are mentioned.

    It is obvious that such rises would have a cooling down effect on the economy and entrepreneurial activity when precisely the opposite is required. Tax reductions would not only give a much needed boost but would also likely increase the overall amount of tax raised.

    Please resist these proposals for CGT and inheritance tax rate increases.

    For as long as inflation is expected to carry on at historically low levels the government should continue and if necessary expand its programme of quantitative easing to give much needed support to the economy. A higher tax burden is not what the country needs.

    • jerry
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      @Michael; “It is obvious that [CT/IHT/Income tax] rises would have a cooling down effect on the economy and entrepreneurial activity when precisely the opposite is required.”

      Nonsense, quite the opposite to what you suggest in fact! People will find ways to either spend, gift or use their wealth in ways that protect it from taxation now or when they have died. This is exactly what the economy needs to recover from both the economic shock/debt of Covid-19 but also the errant idea that a successful economy can be built around the magic money tree and JIT warehousing operations that use the products of off-shored labour and product design, meaning there is little room for productivity and thus profit gains here in the UK as the costs are fixed by off-shore suppliers who might have little need to improve their own productivity and even if they do might not pass any savings on.

      We need to start making widgets here in the UK again, and that needs investment capital, and once the other side of the Brexit WA we need a two-pronged govt backed campaign, “Made in Britain” & “Buy British”, perhaps Whitehall could dust off those late 1960s era I’m Backing Britain” badges…

    • Fred H
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      You first para means we should all place a bet on the size of a Labour victory in the next GE. Simply a gamble on how many seats.

  32. Offthepiste
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Well a Tory government that has managed to eviscerate the uk economy, i.e. compared to other leading first world (are we still that?) countries other than Spain. Complacency, incompetence and laziness – that is johnson, the english first minister and his cronies.

    Have always believed in hard work and intelligence and strategic use of capital. I do not think that johsons bigly ginormous we are the greatest blah blah bluster is really going to help us nor sunak misdirection.

    When are going to get a grip and sort the mess out?

  33. Christine
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    There is too much waste in Government.

    Boris seems to do the opposite of what the electorate want. We want a reduction in the House of Lords but he increases it. We want the Electoral Commission abolished. We want the BBC reformed. We want Foreign Aid reducing. We want control of our borders and a reduction in net immigration. We want the legal aid system reformed.

    I’d also do a review of charities that seem to have become cushy jobs for ex politicians, royalty and the rich. Do you think people believe a person is worth paying a six-figure sum for giving a short speech? We are paying for lawyers and do-gooders to fleece our own country.

    But what do we hear? Talk of increased taxes on the hard-pressed middle classes and a hit on pensions, CGT and inheritance tax.

    Boris has lost the plot, if he ever had it. If you continue to take off the hard working people of this country there will be an uprising.

  34. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Spot on. There is honestly no alternative.
    Scrap all taxes that stop activity.
    stop robbing by taxing the same money twice
    stop taxing imaginary profits (CGT)
    Stop giving foreigners a tax advantage over native Britons.

  35. A.Sedgwick
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    This probability is in line with the knee knocking by Boris & Co this year. The national debt has to be managed long term thanks to Covid, maybe the only benefit of the virus. A war loan strategy needs to be implemented. This, however, will only work with bold economic plans, principally making the country more self sufficient, less reliant on services, vastly reducing the number of politicians in central and local government etc etc.

  36. BOF
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Absolutely right Sir John. To quote Sir Winston Churchill, “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

    That would be the conservative view, unfortunately there is precious little of that in our Government, so, instead, we will be made to pay for their utterly wrong lockdown with all the disastrous consequences and socialistic spending, borrowing and money printing (all ongoing) by taxing us all to death and beyond.

  37. Stred
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    The number crunchers in the Treasury have nothing but contempt for the self employed and small investors who have up to now beaten their system er managed to gain a decent pension and nest egg. Two million BTL landlords have refurbished a few or more houses each and are sitting on perhaps £200bn of gains, largely driven by government money printing. Many are over twenty or more years and inflation reduces these gains to half in real terms. But Brown’s treasury took away the indexation, which was very simple, in order to ‘simplify’ CGT and cut the rate. Then Cameron put it back up to 28% and now they want to increase it again. This has gone hand in hand with the yearly tightening of legislation on letting which has been very costly and the taxing of non profits, which amounts to theft. Tories no longer represent small entrepreneurs. They look after big businesses , banking and the civil service, then get jobs with them. Sunak was a banker with GS and his predecessor with Dutchebank. We need a new political party to protect anyone who is not on the global corporate gravy.

  38. Julian Flood
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Cut rates and cut expenditure. Reduce costs for everyone. Aid cut to 3 billion
    That’s 12 billion saved. Make up the aid budget by publishing a donation scheme so that those who complain can pay – a lot of them are ‘let’s you and him share’ types. Cancel EPR building. Tax away windfarm and solar subsidies +the big ones, not those on individual’s houses. Cancel HS2. Extend the gas grid and supply it with UK fracked gas. Etc
    Lots of ways to save money before raising taxes.

    Cheaper energy means more jobs. I’ve a post on Independence Daily about this.


  39. Roy Grainger
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Why are you even commenting on this John ? There has been no announcement from the Treasury or the Government they are even considering corporation tax rises so why discuss it ?

    Well, we know – there have been leaks and secret press briefings by Treasury civil servants and/or ministers to the newspapers. Just once I’d like to see someone fired for leaking to the press. At the height of the Cummings controversy someone tweeted an anti-Government message from a Government Twitter account. Given the small number of people and phones with access to the account it should have been easy to identify the culprit and fire them. An update a month later indicated no-one had been found. Now it has been totally swept under the carpet. In the private sector that wouldn’t be tolerated – why is it in the Civil Service ?

    Off topic I see Labour are calling for next year’s school exams to be delayed two months – wouldn’t it be wise for the Government just to U-Turn and agree to this now rather than leaving their cave-in to the last minute ?

    • agricola
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Ref your last paragraph.

      Why not limit the Christmas holiday, in the USA people get one day. Then curb Easter and half terms. You could also extend the day, supervising homework in school as is probably the case in public schools. Then of course there is school on Saturday morning which I experienced for seven years. Let headmasters and mistresses decide what is required for their school and then let them get on with it free of government dictat. The exam results will be the arbiter.

  40. BOF
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    OT I see that a man was fined £10,000 for organising an illegal protest against lockdown.

    As we are yet to see fines imposed on illegal marches let alone charges brought against people committing criminal damage and serious assaults on police officers, is there one law for some and another law for others?

    • mickc
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Bet the fine is never collected…

    • agricola
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Put simplisticly, yes there undoubtedly is. Were I to detail it our host would rush to wipe it from this diary. This shows you just how far this duality of law observance / prosecution has gone and why we are a fragmented society in many respects. We have also seen how society can act as one for good, ref applause for the NHS. The duplicity is in the leadership of the country , less so among the people. I find it bizaare that the people have an instinct for what is right but our leaders are too often all at sea.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      We have legal apartheid.

  41. glen cullen
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Increase tax on plastic bags to save the environment

    ”we just don’t believe you”

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Are Plastic Bags the problem. Isn’t the truth there are just a few(the same few as elsewhere cause problems elswhere) people that you could reason are slobs, don’t give a sh…. about anything or anyone that are the problem.

      Plastic bags are lighter than other forms of packaging so less fuel is required to deliver them, they are reusable and infinitely recyclable. So in the round plastic save commerce and us a fortune.

      It is suggested that the plastic bags that are dumped in the sea are a problem, I would agree they are. The EU knows how to organize stripping the sea of fish and decimating breading grounds, so it should be a less costly doddle for them to do the same for any plastic at sea.

      Or is it we have a Government so guided by the narrative set for them by their bosses in the media when asked to jump the ask how high.

      What ever way you want to shape it is not plastic that is the villain

      • glen cullen
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        and all plastic in the sea has been dumped from only 3 rivers in the world one in africa and two in asia…..the problem is with those 3 countries

        • Ian @Barkham
          Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          There is also a deep suspicion local UK refuge Co’s/Councils sent plastic to far flung territories. It was seemingly cheaper than processing in the UK. Only for those Countries to say enough is enough those containers aren’t coming here. Subsequently the containers fell over board in a storm, oops! Never came back to the UK, and oh look on TV a Waitrose bag gets washed up in the Pacific. Ocean tides no matter how good don’t move stuff from UK waters to the Pacific – Plastic bags fault – I don’t think so.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink


    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Think on the millions…billions of COVID ridden ( and all the “uncertainty” about how long the virus can persist) masks that must be disposed of!
      The sea?
      Fling them from windmills?
      Eat them.
      See…the science just can’t agree!!

  42. Caterpillar
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    The Govt certainly needs to speed up investments such as HS2 to keep resources producing capital and encourage the importance of connected cities to innovation. It needs to stop its suburban sprawl policies (backgarden build and additional floor ghettoisation) and have planning that encourages vertical cities. Ghettoised suburban sprawl will only encourage necessity entrepreneurship which will not push GDP per capita up, opportunity entrepreneurship comes with cities.

    Hancock and Sunak destroyed the economy, and then Sunak borrowed about 150 billion in a few months (i.e. one and a half times the estimated total of all phases of HS2 over decades). Sunak did this borrowing to pay for resources to be immobile and latterly to encourage people to get fatter (perhaps he should have directed these bungs towards travel instead). The first thing Mr Sunak can do is cancel the stamp duty holiday (there was pent up demand and supply anyway), this was an infantile, vote seeking bribe. He could have taken the tax and left cutting stamp duty until it was needed (when jobs go and people have more idea where to relocate).

    Of course there was and is space for tax rises. Alongside the obvious higher band pension tax relief and some work on capital gains, there is evidence that many ‘working’ from home increased savings, though it appears (due to Sunak’s ‘guiding’ of the conomy) that much of this is being directed into house price increases not into other consumption or investment.

    Presumably those working from home will be putting more demand on local services and so will need to be taxed accordingly to replace the lost take from business rates (of course Sunak kicked changes to business rates into the long grass of consultation in March). There would of course have been logic in not having lockdown but increasing work at home breaks early in the pandemic, but now things have switched.

    A simple change would be to increase VAT by 10% and then return what was raised to all adults equally to spend wherever. This mini-UBI would be a small step to a progressive consumption tax and very likely increase overall demand. This puts in the structure for a fundamental redesign with a full UBI (both fiscal and monetary) allowing removal of most benefits, minimum wage and some employment laws – this gives individual security whilst acting on the supply side.

  43. Original Chris
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    We need President Trump’s economic/trade team here. They would transform Brexit Britain into the envy of Europe.

    We are failing because Boris espouses the globalist model, which is heading towards one world goverment. No coincidence that OWG is based on Marxist ideology. The Chinese Communist Party must be laughing their heads off. No need for them to attack us militarily. We are doing a splendid job of destroying ourselves from within. That is what infiltration is all about.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      That would require the UK to be a self Governing Sovereign Democracy. The EU wont talk about trade until we accept their rules, their laws and their courts. The suspicion is Boris is just dancing around looking for an angle to sell EU rule to us all. Otherwise why would he still be talking to them

  44. Ian @Barkham
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Sir John, lots of sound advice and good thinking on your blog today.

    For my two penneth. Most UK Companies and households have paired back and are running what is called a ‘lean operations’ and have been doing so for some time. So to get punished, then punished again for getting on with it and making things work is more than disingenuous, its…….

    Now is the time for the State Institutions, Government, Quangos etc. to step up and do the same. We don’t need the Quangos, they are unaccountable to the taxpayer, likewise the House of Lords. There are far to many MP’s and the Civil Service is beyond bloated. In other words those that rely on their pay from the taxpayer should at least be expected to demonstrate the same ‘lean credentials’ of the rest of us, before saying ‘Give me’.

    Government needs to get the structures and expenditure of those under its direct control on track before even ‘hinting’ that someone else has to pay for their wayward spiraling ego trips.

  45. meagain
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    with less taxes people will get more money and they will only bank it-

    with more taxes Government will have more money but will waste it

    it’s a question of either/ or

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      More, higher and extra taxes traditionally means less tax paid so less money to spend. Sounds a contradiction, but time and time again it has been proven correct.

      We are over taxed relatively to others, we have more tax avoidance schemes compared to others. The last successful Chancellor in the UK, lowered taxes and the tax intake went up. It simple really, avoidance is hassle and only worth it when taxes are disproportionately high – our tax system is high at the moment.

      The UK Government uses tax to control and manipulate.

  46. Martin C
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Malcolm Roberts has just held a press conference calling on the Austrailian CSIRO’s Chief Executive and another Executive to stand down for being complicit in destructive climate policies.

    “In the context of seeking CSIRO’s empirical evidence to justify climate policies, I know that CSIRO:

    1. has never stated that carbon dioxide from human activity is dangerous.

    2. admitted that temperatures today are not unprecedented.

    3. withdrew discredited papers that it had cited as evidence of unprecedented rate of temperature change and then failed to provide supporting empirical evidence.

    4. has never quantified any specific impact of carbon dioxide from human activity.
    relies upon unvalidated models that give unverified and erroneous projections as “evidence.”

    5. relied on discredited and poor quality papers on temperature and carbon dioxide.
    admits to not doing due diligence on reports and data from external agencies.

    6. revealed little understanding of papers it cited as evidence.

    7. allows politicians and journalists to misrepresent CSIRO science without correction.
    misled parliament.

    Seventeen internationally respected climate scientists from Australia and five other nations verified our conclusions about CSIRO.”

    Reviewing and repealing ‘green’ policies and taxes here in the UK that are not based on sound empirical evidence could help to stimulate the economy at this much needed time.

  47. Newmania
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Lower taxes will at any time increase demand ceterus paribus , but for John Redwood the answer is always more spending less taxes and more debt . He has, after all , said on numerous occasions that printing money does not create debt ,leaving inflation as the only discipline on the unlimited supplies of free money .
    If only this were true. We are like a weak swimmer floating out to sea with the tide of borrowed money.Yes ,getting back to shore will require prodigious effort for slow small gains but all the time we drift the shore gets further away
    John Redwood`s only concern is to create a demand bubble to disguise Brexit , the same political needs lie behind almost every poor decision made by this blundering government.

    Reply A deliberate misrepresentation of my position on all counts.

  48. The Prangwizard
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    We need efficient government. Money is of course easted on all manner of projects but we could remove many spenders who are carrying out functions that don’t need doing at all. They will claimed they are backed by law or gov guidelines but of these are often irrelevant.

    I don’t suppose anyone knows how many of all manner of quangos there are but I would imagine hundreds could be abolished and almost no-one would notice, yet billions of our hard earned £ would be saved.

    Sadly our PM nor any of his ministers have the backbone to do anything along those lines. They fear neing shouted at by the MSM and special interest groups. And they just love the power.

    • rose
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      They have just got rid of five top civil servants so they can’t be that spineless.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        Five? – – seems like a gesture with zero effect. How many would be classified as Top I wonder? One thousand, 2k – -perhaps 10,000?

        • rose
          Posted September 1, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

          I apply “top” to a Permanent Secretary of a Department of State; or the Permanent Head of the Civil Service, Permanent Head of National Security, and Cabinet Secretary.

          • rose
            Posted September 1, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

            Or the Chief Regulator of a non Ministerial Government Department.

  49. Geoff not Hoon
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    The living proof Sir John is what is happening now in all areas with house sale/purchase going mad with gazumping now a regular feature. The spin off work that house move creates is well known and the complete oposite of the down turn tax increase will cause.

  50. Nigl
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Germany has cut its VAT headline rate to 16% from 19 if I understand correctly. For some reason I thought our 20% was because the EU demanded. Why cannot Sunak reduce ours to encourage more consumption?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      He’s done that for some sectors – Hospitality, for example – already. I don’t want to see VAT cut for the purpose of sucking-in more Chinese tat.

  51. Jane
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I thought that the government was enlightened but if the rumours are true then it will be kicking the economy when it is down.
    This will result in less spending, and the consequences will be the loss of jobs, resulting in less taxes to pay down the debt.
    We will be heading for a nasty depression if you stall the recovery of the economy with tax rises so let us recover first and let taxes come through. The economy has changed though.

    The government should be cutting waste while the private sector recovers.
    Get us up and running first.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Cutting pointless red tape (almost all is) is a win, win. Less government, money and state sector (and private sector) staff are needed these people released to do productive actively. Plus the private sector makes more profits and wastes less time on pointless activity. More profits gives more Corp. Tax, it becomes more competitive and thus more to re-invest in business expansion and new jobs.

      We need something to cull parasitic jobs so many of them all over the place in the state sector and due to idiotic laws and over complex red tape, taxes etc in the private sector too.

  52. JoolsB
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    John, you are a Conservative and all you mention are good Conservative policies. Unfortunately we don’t have a Conservative Government to implement them.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      +1 just another face Conservative government. Full of carbon neutral lunacy, red tape spewing plus endless tax, borrow and piss down the drain lunacy. With mad grand projects such as HS2 thrown in.

      • Ian @Barkham
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink


      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink


  53. John Hatfield
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I would assume that this has been made clear to Sunak John, despite Treasury wishes.

    • Zorro
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      How do you know that it is not Our Finance Commissar Ri Shi Su Nak who has thought up this dopey policy?


  54. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I believe in moderation . Of course if people had more money in their pocket they would spend ( or be too scared and save). If taxes are too low one feels that there may be a swing the other way at a future date and if some have taken out loans , this may be financially disastrous also.

  55. Reaction Harry
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Sir John’s proposition is self evidently true. Anyone who doubts this need only recall the hospital consultants who recently stopped doing overtime because of the tax on it. There are limits on the amount of tax (and means testing, regulation, rights, etc) you can impose on workers and investors without damaging the economy. Open borders and a global economy make it easier than ever for talent and investment to move to where it is appreciated and welcomed.

    We can be wise and wealthy or woke and broke.

  56. John Partington
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Start saving money by slashing overseas aid to all but British protectorates.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      This and many government say that foreign aid provides long-term benefit to the UK….I’ve yet to see it in my lifetime

      I’d argue that there’s no benefit to the UK people

  57. Jeff12
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Government is 100% to blame for the coming depression, what we need is far less government.

  58. bill brown
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR

    Thank you for a good contribution

  59. rose
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Aid should not be fixed by law as a percentage, nor should the NHS. Both these things are colossal charges on the public purse and the Chancellor should decide each year what to spend on them in line with what we can afford and what is sensible.

    A serious on line sales tax should be imposed, not a token one.

  60. rose
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Piers Corbyn has just been arrested for the third time, and this time fined £10,000, for assembling with more than 30 people. How on earth can this be justified when Extinction Rebellion and BLM are allowed to run riot in as large numbers as they like? In our city today, the bus indicators told us buses were delayed because of a “planned protest.” This wasn’t laid on for Piers Corbyn. It seems the law now is applied according to what people think, not what they do.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. It is very odd and very worrying. Woke police and local govt will be behind it. Ministers should intervene. The law needs to be applied equally.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      Does seem odd. Still waiting to be told who paid for the clean up after the last Extinction Rebellion terrorist actions in London

  61. glen cullen
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Trying not to sound like a broken record but

    UK pop.68m – UK deaths 2

  62. Lorna
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Fully agree .Growth should be encouraged at this time .Taxing struggling businesses will be fatal for many now
    Why is the Treasury dictating to the Chancellor? Why are these faceless bureaucrats so powerful ?
    It can not be right

  63. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Just had a call from America .. bitcoin ..I think . Have I any experience in investment ?
    .Premium bonds £10.oo as a child.. Does this count?

  64. Rhoddas
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely Sir John, no need for tax rises.

    If a private company like Capita can reduce ~100 offices due to adoption to some permanent home working, why can’t Government, NHS, Quango’s and local authorities do the same – think of all the savings in building and commuting, road wear and tear costs!

    Why not repurpose suitable commercial buildings into residential apartments/housing and increased services infrastructure – help meet the reported housing shortage. Win-win.

    We remit a proportion of UK VAT receipts to the EU, which will stop 1/1/21 part of the Brexit dividend, on top of the net payments to EU, which will stop also 😀

    Covidiots who break required isolation or do not observe social distancing rules e.g. attending raves/demos/mass gatherings should have benefits removed (on top of fines).

    • APL
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Rhoddas: “Covidiots who break required isolation or do not observe social distancing rules e.g. attending raves/demos/mass gatherings should have benefits removed (on top of fines).”

      You mean the Tory government should implement the totalitarian Chinese ‘social credit’ system?

  65. ian
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    At the moment I am a bit confused with UK debt, the BOE has conjured up 300 billion pounds but the treasury has not added it to the UK debt, is it going to be added late on, if not why not.
    The debt is now over 2 trillion pounds according to the treasury but with the 300 billion from the BOE it is over 2.3 trillion pounds, the treasury might get away with it, but somehow I don’t think so.
    Another 200 billion pounds is forecast to be added to the UK debt by the end of April next year which will bring the debt total to 2.5 trillion pounds, what do you have to say about the debt john, am I right or wrong.

  66. Mark
    Posted August 31, 2020 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I recall that when Alistair Darling cut CGT rates dramatically in the aftermath of the financial crisis, he encouraged many people to crystallise gains which allowed them to re-balance their portfolios towards investments they considered were more likely to be successful in the new environment. Despite the low rates, he secured record receipts. We need the same kind of incentives today to allow capital to be reallocated without excessive penalties.

    • Paul
      Posted September 1, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Spot on. Capital needs to be freed up and allocated to more productive use. If CGT rates rise, entrepreneurs are more likely to delay any busy sale or liquidation. Furthermore look at CGT rates in all dynamic / entrepreneurial economies. The UK’s rate is too high as it is. Crazy to rise this any more. Treasury officials may be boffins but they are not wealth creators.

  67. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Given the size of our fiscal deficit and the amount of State debt, you can only cut taxes if you cut public expenditure even more. I’d like to hear more about that.

  68. XYXY
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Correct as usual.

    They’d do well to look at how the German economy did since WWII via (large) tax cuts.

    The Treasury are wrong on so many fronts it’s difficult to see how they’re allowed to continue as they are. Often Chancellors seem to be mere mouthpieces for flawed policy.

    It seems that the Treasury are socialists who perpetuate socialist polices, no matter who is voted in and on what mandate, they always think that they know best.

    Let’s hope Cummings can take a stick to them, someone needs to.

  69. Bernard from Bucks
    Posted September 1, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    256 comments says to me that there is indeed, something amiss. Perhaps more like 256,000 are feeling very let down as I am. Please Sir John, do your best to restore a feeling of us not only being represented, but heard, and actions taken by our MP’s. Thank you.

    • NigelE
      Posted September 2, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink


  70. หวย
    Posted September 2, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

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  71. Edwardm
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  • 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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