Monday, February 6, 2023

Myles’ Blog: Valenomics: A blueprint for Thurrock

Valenomics – ideas for an “all in it together” economic policy

When I used to write a column for Your Thurrock, my local news website, the right-wing critics always used the argument that, while I highlighted the problems caused by the current ConDem Government, I never gave any solutions. That wasn’t strictly true, of course, I did provide solutions, I just didn’t give fully detailed ones.

The reason I didn’t provide fully detailed solutions was because, although I am observant enough to see the problems being caused and open-minded enough to not be taken in by the ConDem propaganda, I was never and will never be arrogant enough to claim that I had all the answers. I have always been of the opinion that there are those who point out the problems and those who have the knowledge and skills to actually provide the answers. I have also been of the opinion that no one person has all the answers and that provoking a debate to get many differing viewpoints is the best way of arriving at the solution; however, on this singular occasion, I have decided to have a go at putting forward some ideas for an economic policy for the UK. They still aren’t fully detailed but they are a lot more detailed than any previous answers I’ve put forward in the past.

So here for your enjoyment and delectation are my ideas for Valenomics.

A brief look at the situation

Before we begin to look at my suggestions, we need to look at the situation the UK is in.

Firstly, the global financial crash caused by the ‘casino’ banking practices destroyed the economy with their reckless disregard for the consequences of their actions.

Secondly, the banking sector has been suffering from a lack of regulation since the time of the previous Labour administration. This meant that there was nothing in place to stop the ‘casino’ banking practices in the first place.

Thirdly, the level of public spending had grown to a large degree, leaving the UK with a deficit that needed to be paid back to whatever mysterious entity was responsible for lending the money to the UK in the first place.

Fourthly, there was a certain laxity in the collection of taxes from corporations and rich individuals who were able to evade paying taxes through using various huge gaping loopholes that whilst being totally legal were and are completely morally reprehensible.

The economy was in the tank and things were not looking good.

When the ConDem administration took power in 2010, they had already decided on a plan of action that they said would sort out the deficit within their five-year term of office. This would all be fine if they had gone after the people who caused the financial crash in the first place, the bankers, those with the broadest shoulders to carry such a financial burden but the target of their austerity measures was to be the poor, the sick, the disabled and the disadvantaged and the services that they rely on.

Under the fallacious statement that the austerity measures would ensure that “we are all in it together”, the Conservative led Coalition got out their scalpels and started hacking away at the various Government department budgets but the brunt of the attack was felt by the lower end of society’s social ladder when the welfare budget was hacked to pieces and the so-called ‘reforms’ kicked in. The wealthy individuals and corporations were left untouched by the pain being felt by the voiceless majority. Some have even prospered during this time of supposed economic stringency.

Loopholes through which corporations and individuals managed to evade tax were left untouched, some would say because there are many in the current Government who actually use those self same loopholes to continue evading tax. Services started to become squeezed as their budgets became smaller as more and more money was funnelled into trying to pay off the deficit but the wealthy, many of whom are members of the Government, were untouched by the devastation being caused.

It is also a dark reminder of the injustice in this country that some large businesses who conduct business in the UK receive more money in Government subsidies than they pay in Corporation Tax.

Many vulnerable citizens were left even more vulnerable with their benefits getting slashed to pay for a mistake not of their making and some of them even died at the hands of a cruel system being reshaped to supposedly “make work pay”. Jobs were taken from the job market, creating more unemployed, only to be filled by unemployed people being forced to work for nothing but their meagre welfare income, a new slave class.

The slave class allowed major businesses to cut their wage bill and increase their profits whilst slapping their former employees around the face with that fact. And the rich got richer and the poor got poorer.

Living standards dropped like a stone and continue to do so whilst the cost of living rose, driving every kind of poverty through the roof where, during the final days of the Labour administration, those levels were falling. Food banks became the only growth business in this shattered economy, an economy made all the worse by the Coalition’s insistence on cutting too hard and too fast.

As if things weren’t bad enough for the poor, those in social housing and claiming Housing Benefit, were to be hit by the unjust Bedroom Tax which equated to a significant loss of benefit for each ‘spare’ bedroom, regardless of the use it was being put. Again, the Bedroom Tax was hitting the lowest strata of society whilst the rich got away scot free. A sign of the times was that, for the first time in history, in-work poverty outstripped poverty amongst workless household; hardly making work pay.

Any pretence at being “all in this together” disappeared when the rich got tax cuts as the poor suffered even with the small carrot of the personal allowance being raised slightly, taking some people out of taxation.

Retail sales were down as people struggled to make ends meet and the economy that had been showing signs of recovery in the dying days of the Labour administration slowed to a crawl.

One of the cruellest blows was the closing of Remploy factories that employed disabled people who were now thrown onto the scrapheap to claim benefits that were being cut or made so difficult to qualify for that they lost a large part of their income.

Although signs of economic recovery are supposedly being seen, the living standards and hardship on the lower strata of the societal ladder are getting gradually worse whilst the rich prosper.

Valenomics

The way that the economy is being handled is extremely prejudiced against the poor and disadvantaged and certainly shows that we are not “all in this together” but there is a way that things could be made fairer and still improve the economic situation in the UK – Valenomics.

The problem as I see it is that UK society has become increasingly split into two sections – the rich and the poor. This has always been the case to some extent but the situation has been made much worse by the current administration. The rich are not, as they should be, carrying their fair share of the burden for the repaying of the national deficit so we must first look at the methods for redressing this balance.

It seems only right that our leaders, who have continually stated that we are “all in this together”, start to lead by example so the first rule of Valenomics is:
No wages or expenses to be paid to Members of Parliament with a personal fortune, personal savings or personal investments that amount to £1million or over and/or have lucrative second jobs.

This seems reasonable to me and the money saved can be put back into the welfare system that is being so devastated by the austerity measures. It won’t solve the welfare shortfall but will help some people and it ensures that Members of Parliament are sharing the pain of the cuts.

But what about the bankers who caused the financial crash and have gotten away scot free? Fear not, dear reader, I have considered this and duly present the next rule of Valenomics:

Legislation to be put in place to force bankers to relinquish any and all bonus payments they receive to create a fund to help build up the UK’s manufacturing industry.

Again, this may not amount to much in itself but will provide the foundation of a fund to help give Britain the chance to start to rebuild the manufacturing industry that the Thatcher/Major Conservative administrations decimated in favour of a reliance on the banking industry. If the money was able to help start up even a single manufacturing company, jobs would be created and money would start to be paid into the tax system by people currently taking money out of it.

And we mustn’t forget to punish those bankers who continue to play fast and loose with other people’s money:

Harsh financial penalties levied against bankers whose banks lose money, especially those financial institutions bailed out by the State.

The penalties can be put back into the nation’s coffers or added to the fund mentioned above.

The bankers won’t get away with just the loss of their bonuses though as we now look at the measures for making sure the wealthy individuals and corporations contribute towards the finances of the State.

We start with the Valenomics rules for tax evaders.

It’s wrong that for-profit companies get more money from the UK than they contribute to it so:

There will be no subsidies paid to medium to large corporations who conduct business in the UK but evade paying Corporation Tax in this country.

The money currently used to subsidise such companies can be ploughed back into the nation’s coffers or added to the fund to rebuild the manufacturing industry.

Legislation will be introduced that will seek to close all methods of tax evasion, whether personal or corporate.

And it’s time to punish the tax evaders so:

Ruthless prosecution of tax evaders with harsh custodial sentences (all to be paid for at the tax evader’s own expense).

Of course, not all wealthy people are tax evaders but they must still carry their fair share of the burden for repairing the economy so:

The institution of a Mansion Tax on properties costing £1million or over.

I haven’t considered the amount of tax to be levied on such properties but I’m sure a reasonable amount can be worked out.

It seems only right that we occasionally offer a carrot to the rich to pay their taxes so:

The top rate of Income Tax to be set at 50p for high earners with early or prompt payment of Income Tax to be rewarded by a reduction of the rate to 45p.

However:

Harsh financial penalties to be levied against individuals for late payment of tax.

There is a great injustice being perpetrated at the moment against people in social housing and claiming Housing Benefit and that is the penalty for having what the Government considers to be too much living space – the dreaded Bedroom Tax. The question is – if the Government is truly applying the Bedroom Tax as a way of saving money, why not generate money by applying it to everyone? This would seem to be an ideal way of addressing the ecological concerns of a growing population with a lack of available living space as well as ensuring that no one has more living space than they actually need. This is fair and equitable to everyone.

Therefore:

The Bedroom Tax is to be extended to all properties and all individuals with the money generated redistributed to other budgetary areas.

The Bedroom Tax deducted from Housing Benefit claims can be ploughed back into the welfare budget whilst the charges levied on non-benefit claimants properties can be used elsewhere.

Of course, that only really solves the problem of ‘spare’ bedrooms. What about huge houses with loads of extra rooms?

Excessive Living Space Charge to be levied on large properties and added to that property’s Council Tax bill.

Of course, we have to consider what the correct amount of living space for the various types of households in order to calculate the Excessive Living Space Charge is. It seems only fair that we use the current Government’s basic idea that they use for applying the Bedroom Tax although I’m slightly more generous to couples.

Living Space Allowances
Single Couple (no children) Families

Living Room
Kitchen
Bathroom/Toilet
1 Bedroom

Living Room
Kitchen
Bathroom/Toilet
2 Bedrooms Living Room
Kitchen
Bathroom/Toilet
plus

1 Bedroom for up to 2 children of same gender

or 1 Bedroom for up to 2 male children
and
1 Bedroom for up to 2 female children

and 1 Multi-purpose Room for every 2 children

I am open to changing these allowances a little with regards to families because I have no real idea of the complete needs of a large family but, whatever the final decision on these are, there will be no exceptions.

If you don’t want to be hit by the Bedroom Tax or the Excessive Living Space Charge then you always have the option to move – exactly as the people currently being hit by the Bedroom Tax have.

Although I love the idea of universal benefits, the current Government have already made moves to take benefits away from the poor that they themselves have claimed in the past so I think to redress the balance here we need a new Valenomics rule:

Universal benefits to be withdrawn from individuals/couples/families based on means-testing and household income if above a certain level.

Again, I haven’t thought about the actual level above which the universal benefits should be withdrawn but we do have to start cutting the benefit bill somewhere and we can’t hit the poor, sick and disabled as that just wouldn’t be nice.

And just to make things perfectly clear:

Pensioners will not be exempt from the above rules.

Of course, we are just bringing in a little extra revenue and perhaps saving a little of the expenditure on benefits at the moment but what we really need is to kick start the economy and the way to do that is to get people buying, creating jobs and lowering living costs for the low paid.

I have some bad news for the low paid workers of the UK here because we need to make sure that current employers can still keep their staffing at current levels and make it economically viable for new businesses to hire enough new staff so:

There will be no increase in the National Minimum Wage or the setting up of a National Living Wage.

However, if that is to be the case, we need to make sure that the cost of living is manageable for the low paid and those on benefits so:

Legislation will be introduced to force businesses to reduce the profit margins on their products and/or services to between 5 and 10%.

Some may say that this is madness but companies regularly make millions in profit by gouging their customers so it’s time to give a little back. Lower profit margins won’t be a problem because what a company loses in profit on individual items will be made back in the sheer bulk of sales. This is simply taking the notion of the way supermarkets use sale items to attract business by drastically cutting the normal price knowing that the increase in sales of that particular line will offset the reduction in the individual item profit margin and applying it to the entire stock. This is why the National Minimum Wage isn’t being increased and why a National Living Wage would not be put in place.

This reduction in across the board profit margins doesn’t have to be a permanent measure and could be repealed in better economic times.

As we already have a kind of two-tier divide amongst supermarkets and other retail stores, it seems ridiculous to not use that dividing line between the high cost range stores and the lower/medium range stores.

The abolition of the Manufacturer’s Retail Price and the Recommended Retail Price to be replaced with Maximum Retail Prices in lower/medium cost range retail outlets.

High cost range retail outlets are exempt from the Maximum Retail Price rules and can charge whatever they wish but will be subject to a Minimum Retail Price. The Minimum Retail Price at these retail outlets will be significantly higher than the Maximum Retail Price charged at lower/medium cost range stores.

Severe financial penalties will be incurred by retail outlets that break the Maximum Retail Price or Minimum Retail Price rules.

It would certainly be in the interests of all retail outlets to adhere to the rules outlined above so that they don’t incur penalties which will wipe out any profit they might make and may certainly end their business.

To further lower the cost of living and to encourage people to go out and buy things:
VAT would be reduced to 15%
VAT would be abolished on groceries and household goods that are currently subject to the tax.

We also need to consider the cost of renting a property in the private sector the price of which can be prohibitive and costly in terms of the amount spent on Housing Benefit if those tenants fall on hard times so:

Legislation to be introduced to put a maximum price cap on rental prices in the private sector. *Regional variations apply

This will aid those people who need to downsize to avoid paying the Bedroom Tax and/or the Excessive Living Space Charge, create a fairer market for tenants and make sure that property developers are feeling the pain of these economic times.

Well, we’ve lowered living costs and got people buying things but we still need to have a bit of a business boom to help the economy and get people into work. And I’ve considered that as well.

During this current administration, disabled people have lost jobs in specialised workplaces due to the closing of a number of Remploy centres. These people who were gainfully employed and paying into the system ended up on the scrapheap and on benefits, the complete opposite of the Government’s intended aim of getting people off of benefits and into work and “making work pay”. The reason given was that the centres weren’t profitable but here’s an idea for you to mull over:

Set up Remploy printing and reprographic businesses to fulfil Government stationary and reprographic contracts.

This would not only provide employment for disabled people, getting them off benefits and into work but would reduce the costs on the current stationary and reprographic needs for the Government. The Remploy centres could also supply to charities thus reducing the running costs for the various charities. How’s that for the Big Society?

The Government could also help businesses to start up or expand with the following idea:

The Government to seize currently empty industrial sites and offer the buildings therein free of charge to existing British small businesses for expansion and to British start up businesses fulfilling a need in sectors currently controlled by foreign companies.

Offering free buildings will cut down the costs of expansion or setting up a new business making it easier for potential employers to hire more staff and increasing the Income Tax revenue.

The Government needs to invest in British manufacturing again and to reward innovation so:

Provide subsidies for businesses offering profitable innovative or unique products or services that are made or provided by British companies.

Providing subsidies to British companies will start to help rebuild the manufacturing industry as well as possibly helping the UK become the heartland for innovation in any number of areas.

But the Government shouldn’t forget about the need to remain a player in the global marketplace so:

Offer incentives to foreign businesses willing to operate in the UK and pay Corporation Tax to the UK as well.

As you can see, I have no intention of cutting foreign companies out of the UK but, if they want to come here and profit from the country, they should be willing to pay into the country too.

Finally, we return to the bankers who really need to start to repay their debt for causing the financial mess the UK is in and they can do that very simply.
Banks to offer preferential loan rates for existing British small businesses to help them expand and to British start up businesses who fulfil a need in the manufacturing or other sector currently controlled by foreign companies.

So that’s my ideas for an “all in it together” economic policy. Everyone suffers to some degree and everyone benefits to some degree. I’m sure that there are things I could have added and I’m sure that there are going to be things that just wouldn’t work but at least I gave it a good old college try.

My ideas for a new UK economic policy.

http://valen1971.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/valenomics-ideas-for-all-in-it-together.html

41 COMMENTS

  1. My spare bedroom are not bedroom but arts and craft rooms, childrens play areas and storage rooms therefore I will be exempt from your ‘Bedroom Tax’.

  2. rocket1 – Your first comment is stupid and not worth responding to as you move the debate no further.

    Your second comment I suppose you think is funny but I wouldn’t let you get away with moving anyone in – you’d be charged anyway.

    I suppose your entire contribution is worthless because you can’t attack me for not proposing solutions which kind of takes the wind out of your sails, doesn’t it?

  3. Ed – Actually the use you put your spare bedrooms to is irrelevant as there are people who currently use their ‘spare’ room as a medically necessary clean room for home dialysis and they are forced to pay the Bedroom Tax so it’s only fair that regardless of the pathetic use you make of your spare rooms you would have to pay the Excess Living Space Charge. I mean, arts and crafts is hardly a valid use of the space compared with a medically necessary clean room, is it? And if you have too much stuff that you need to store it in spare rooms, you should do what I was told by the council and sell your excess possessions.

  4. By the way, I’m not back, this is simply a guest blog post. However, it seems to me that in the day I’ve been back commenting on news items things seem to have started jumping again. It’ll die off again soon.

  5. Myles – I was using examples not specific to me to show how flawed your plan is. What is a bedroom? How would you define a bedroom in law? What would you charge per spare bedroom? How much would it cost to administer examining all 25 million residential properties in the country and then keeping detailed records of who moves in and out? What would you class as pathetic use of a bedroom? Would the bedroom tax be on top of the council tax? If the occupant was unemployed would you still charge them?

  6. Ed – My plan is not flawed because it would be using the currently used definition of a bedroom, the same one being used to apply the Bedroom Tax. If you want to know how it is defined in law by the Tories, why not look it up on the Government’s website?

    Currently, the Bedroom Tax is charged at a rate of a 14% reduction of Housing Benefit for one ‘spare’ bedroom, 25% reduction of Housing Benefit on two ‘spare’ bedrooms. I’m sure a fair and equitable charge could be derived from a similar method of using rental values that Housing Benefit is calculated with and those values are kept at a specified level according to the date chosen as the initial point in its valuation. Any fluctuations in price are ignored.

    Whereas the current Bedroom Tax actually costs more than it saves, once the initial work has been done, the system of the Excess Living Space Charge will actually make money to start refilling the nation’s coffers. Yes, there are problems with administration but those problems also create jobs that take people out of unemployment and into work thus providing more revenue through Income Tax.

    The Excess Living Space Charge would be added to the Council Tax bill and, therefore, the records of who moves in and out are covered by the Council Tax demand. The details of the appropriate charges to apply to the Council Tax bill according to the amount of spare rooms would already be a matter of record so would not pose an insurmountable problem.

    You seem to have an obsession with singling out bedrooms where I have stated that all spare rooms (i.e. those deemed excess to basic living requirements) would be charged for. However, to answer your question – a bedroom is for sleeping in and for the associated everyday activities, the only other legitimate use of a spare bedroom would be if it was being used for medically necessary purposes and the storage of any associated living aids for those with disabilities or health conditions. No other uses would be acceptable as they are unnecessary for basic living.

    Other unnecessary rooms such as dining rooms and reception rooms are not required for basic living standards. If you look at most social housing, the resident is given the least amount of living space possible so why should anyone be treated any different? In a country with a burgeoning population, no one has the right to more living space than they actually require. People who are subjected to the Bedroom Tax at the moment are being told that they have no right to even a single spare room. This is discriminatory and, therefore, in the name of equity, no one should be allowed more room than they absolutely need to live. You can see the living space restrictions that I have covered in the article more clearly on my personal blog as the table I made up did not translate into the posting on this site for some reason. There is also a problem with some of the other formatting that is solved on my personal blog.

    The living space restrictions I have suggested in the article are based on the living space offered by current social housing so I can’t be blamed for such harsh restrictions although I have followed the lead of Thurrock Council’s administration circa 2002 and offered couples without children a second bedroom as that is the size of property I was told was standard for couples when we were offered our current council property.

    At the moment people are being forced to pay the Bedroom Tax regardless of whether they are in work or not, whether the ‘spare’ bedroom is being used for a medically necessary purpose or not and whether there are sufficient smaller properties to move into or not so to answer your final question – yes, the Excess Living Space Charge would be applied to everyone. This is fairer than the Bedroom Tax which is targeted against the poor and the vulnerable because it is applied across the board. Those who live in large houses who wish to downsize will open up tracts of land upon which new, smaller, cheaper and ecologically sound properties can be built, creating more jobs in the construction and eco-tech industries and thus helping the economy. Those who do not wish to downsize will have to pay the charge which is exactly the same choice facing those currently hit by the Bedroom Tax. The people least affected by the Excess Living Space Charge will be those who live in social housing and are already living in highly restrictive amounts of living space; however, the charge will still be being applied to their property although the net affect will probably be little or no charge.

  7. its a load of communist clap trap myles,in this country we are allowed to have private property which is nothing to do with the government.

  8. “At the moment people are being forced to pay the Bedroom Tax regardless of whether they are in work or not,”

    Only those working age Housing Benefit claimants have their Housing Benefit reduced by 14% or 25% if they have surplus bedrooms. Those who don’t claim don’t claim Housing Benefit don’t pay as they are paying their full rent anyway.

    Perhaps we should rename your tax ideas the Myles Jealously Tax?

  9. So those benefit claimants who currently pay the Bedroom Tax will be slapped with the double whammy of your Excess Living Space Charge as well? Or will they be exempt?

  10. It’s the usual Myles rubbish. For a start, it’s not a tax and, for seconds, nobody ‘pays’ anything. Myles’ motivation is usually to take money from those that have it and give it to those that don’t and never mind the consequences. He spouts the same socialist dogma that’s been tested to destruction all around the world and has failed all around the world. I know he likes to pedantically argue each line of argument but, to be honest, it’s a waste of time because he will never listen to or agree with a point of view different to his own.

  11. I like the bit about restarting Remploy
    I completely agree about lowering VAT. It should not have been raised in the first place.
    I like the point about scrapping VAT on essential grocieries
    I also like the fact about helping British companies through subsidies (I think this already happens) and getting the UK manufacturing again.

    I dislike the rest, especially the constant rich people bashing and a mansion tax. All the frontbench and opposition front bench would fall into it so it would never happen, but I am glad Myles is back.

  12. Myles Though I dont agree with all your solutions to the problem. I do feel the financial crises is only at an early stage when interest rates go up and the uk cannot service its debt payments things will be interesting and people will have to think about how to solve it. I would like to see how those on the right of the political spectrum would solve it as they don’t post any ideas they just attack you for posting a view.

  13. “I would like to see how those on the right of the political spectrum would solve it”

    1) I would cut welfare a great deal more substantially than the current government are doing.
    2) Food vouchers for those on the dole (not including the sick and disabled) rather than money.
    3) I would stop all foreign aid payments but would continue to donate funds at a time of crisis (i.e earthquakes)
    4) I would leave the EU and set up our own trade agreements with Europe but place more emphasis on trading with the USA, China and the Commonwealth.
    5) I would dramatically cut the number of low skilled immigrants into the UK but would leave the door ajar for those with skills and those who want to set up businesses here.
    6) I would cut VAT as Myles has suggested to help boost spending.
    7) I would cut local government staff/depts, I find this sector too bloated
    8) I would ban all nonsense operations from being paid by the NHS and I would charge foreign workers or visitors for any medical care before they receive any treatment. I would also charge all citizens for several missed appts in a row at GP surgeries and believe that those on benefit should contribute a small fee of £3 for a prescription
    9)I would increase the pay for MPs and other civil servants but remove the ability to claim expenses other than travel and lodgings, the cheapest option only at that.
    10) I would halve the salaries of NHS/Council/Education/Public Sector CEOs and other high positions. If they want to command high salaries they should try their hand in the private sector.
    11) I would cut the budget of the BBC and reduce the TV License down to under £100
    12) I would scrap certain government depts like International Development
    13) I would tax European vehicles, especially lorries, for using British roads
    14) I would cut the number of MPs, particularly in Scotland and Wales where they are over-represented

    None of this would be easy, nor would it solve all of our problems but it would stop the constant money wasting that the UK seems to be trapped in since 1997.

  14. rocket1 – It’s not Communist clap trap as I have not suggested that people cannot own private property, a fact you seem to ignore. It is simply a restriction on the size of property a person can have depending on the size of their family which is the same restriction that people in social housing are already under and that’s a GOVERNMENT decision.

    Now why don’t you just walk away from this because you really can’t find anything sensible to say?

  15. Ed – Yes, Housing Benefit claimants whether they are in owrk or not are being charged the Bedroom Tax. They are the ones in social housing who can least afford the extra outlay. The people in privately rented accommodation already have a living space restriction on Housing Benefit payments but then their rent is much higher than those in social housing and, therefore, it is only right that there is such a restriction on them.

    Very funny, Myles Jealousy (please spell it correctly, your lack of education is showing) Tax. You make me laugh so hard that I almost cracked a smile.

    At least I’m coming up with ideas, what are you doing other than picking holes in mine?

    The Bedroom Tax would be replaced with the Excess Living Space Charge. I thought I made that quite clear. If I haven’t then that is your clarification. If I have then you really should read things through properly. Once I’ve re-read the piece, I’ll know which is correct.

  16. Bernard87 1) …..

    How?
    Problem is a massive chunk is the pension.
    The welfare state was doom from day one 100 years ago. back then people die at 45 so a pension at 65 didnt matter.

    2.
    No of it will solve the prolbem of a crash when interest rates go up?

  17. gray64 – Oh, attacking me out of the gate I see! How typical of you. Haven’t you got any other strategies in your very thin playbook?

    Tax, charge, thievery from the poor and disadvantaged. Call it what you will but it’s still money being paid out by the poor and disadvantaged. The Bedroom Tax is a reduction in Housing Benefit which then has to be paid for out of a claimant’s other income (many of which is extremely low pay for the job they’re in, just to point that out for you).

    The Tories policy is to take money from people who haven’t got it so I think taking money from people who do is a step up because they can at least afford it.

    I’m not Socialist. I do not follow any political ideology and that’s a mistake that you keep makiing. isn’t it? Also, Cuba is a successful Socialist country with a health service that rivals our NHS when it was in better days so your assertion that there isn’t a successful Socialist state is wrong. Sorry to burst your right-wing bubble. I’m not a fan of the Cuban Government but it is successful.

    Actually, I listen to every point of view and will assimilate any good suggestions into my belief system including right-wing views because I’m not tied to a particular ideological position unlike you.

    Perhaps you should stop criticising my ideas until you have some of your own but I won’t hold my breath because you like to criticise and destroy rather than compromise and build, don’t you?

  18. Catching the Bus

    You are right. Pensions would have to be curtailed. State pensions will soon be a thing of the past which is why there is now a drive towards enrolling employees into private pension schemes. To cut welfare further you would have to tackle the pensions crisis, epecially for those at the top of public sector bodies. We both know that touching pensions is a non starter as pensioners are more likely to vote.

    I would imagine that a Britain with more money in the bank and a tighter controlled budget would be much more able to deal with a rise in rates than a country that is haemorrhaging money.

    We also have to stop the flow of low skilled Labour which will gradually allow wages to rise and rents to drop. That way people would have more money and would be in a better position to put some money away. At present it just isnt possible for people to do so.

    Unfortunately I see a 1990 situation whereby those people that overstretched themselves and bought large houses with equally large mortgages may lose those homes if rates were to rise hence the government warning people to not spend/live beyond their means. God help us when rates do rise.

  19. I have an idea the right wingers will love SCRAP THE PENSION. we all work till we drop.

  20. Problem is when rates do rise the government cannot service it’s debt 700 billion under Labour and 700 billion under the tories.

    Sorry for my miss spelling on the above post I went to Eton. 😉

  21. As a small business owner, very small business in fact. bollocks to a private pension for my workers. no businesses will be able to do it with the levels of corporate debt. I’ll get out of it sorry. Private pensions we will get out of.

  22. Bernard87 – At least we have some areas of agreement which is more than some of the other commenters are willing to accept.

    Subsidies are, indeed, being paid but to ALL companies including multi-national companies who receive more in subsidies than they pay in Corporation Tax which is just plain wrong. I can’t remember exactly wihich company was in the media about that very issue but I have a feeling it was Amazon. In my plan, only UK companies would be given subsidies unless the multi-national company is willing to pay the proper amount of Corporation Tax. It seems only fair.

    I am not constantly bashing rich people because all the proposals would be applied to everyone whereas, at the moment, the harsh treatment of people is limited to the poorest and most vulnerable which isn’t fair. Yes, the rich will pay more but there are carrots for the rich in the proposals too. Don’t forget – you can’t get blood out of a stone and you can’t get money out of people who have none. It’s time for the rich to live up to the social contract of living in a civilised society.

    We live in a SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC state. This means that at some point in the past even the Tories realised that the poor and disadvantaged need to be supported and so adopted certain Socialist ideas around social security. No one agrees with the amount of fraud that goes on in the welfare system but that amount is tiny compared with the amount of unclaimed benefit (which people are, in fact, entitled to) and the amount of evaded tax.

    You’re right, most of my ideas wouldn’t be taken forward by the current bunch of self-serving parasites we have in Parliament but at least my article shows that there are other ways to go.

    Sorry to disappoint you but I’m not back, I’m just visiting.

  23. Catching The Bus – I’m not after people agreeing with all my proposals. The point of the article was that I have forever been accused of pointing out the problems but not posing any solutions so this time I’m doing both which is something my right-wing critics can’t seem to handle. They certainly don’t have the guts to either post their own solutions rather than just attackiing mine or to use their real name when they attack me so basically they are destructive cowards with no original thoughts in their heads. But what can you do?

  24. Bernard87 – Thanks for your suggestions.

    1) Isn’t that a little on the nose to bash the poor and disadvantaged after you have accused me of bashing the rich? You can’t have one without the other I’m afraid.

    2) I can see some merit in that except that that does not cut the amount of money spent and may restrict where an individual can buy their groceries. And what would you do about the sick and the disabled? You seem to need to work on that idea a bit more first.

    3) Totally agree. I was going to include that in my list of ideas but I thought I might piss off too many bleeding hearts.

    4) I think we need much more information before we left the EU so we can make a proper decision rather than a knee-jerk one but, if that was shown to be the way to go, I’d support leaving. I do, however, totally agree with building trade with the USA, China and especially the Commonwealth nations. We should never have turned our backs on our Commonwealth partners.

    5) I have to agree with you here too. Although if they are coming here to set up businesses, they must be willing to pay the correct amount of Corporation Tax or no entry. And those with skills should only be let in if they fill a skills gap that we can’t fill with our own citizens.

    6) We already agree on this.

    7) Whilst I agree in principle with this idea, I think you’ll find it difficult to implement seeing as how Central Government are passing the buck on so many things they should be doing to now very under-funded and over-stretched local authorities.

    8) I totally agree with banning nonsense operations. Only operations with a genuine medical necessity should be performed under the NHS. Charging foreign workers might be hard to do if they have taken up residence in the UK. You can’t really charge up-front for medical treatment as you never know how much treatment is needed but an initial charge paid up-front by foreign visitors is quite achievable and fair (with the balance to be paid upon completion of the treatment). Charging for several missed appointments sounds OK although account must be taken of things like missing appointments due to the side effects of medication, personal tragedies, etc. It may be too difficult to actually administrate such a scheme. Charging people on benefits £3 for a prescription smacks of poor and disadvantaged bashing to me but, if you were to accept that everyone who currently receives free prescriptions was charged, I’d go along with that.

    9) I’d have to disagree with you on increasing pay for MPs and civil servants who already get paid more than they are worth but I agree with the claiming of cheapest option only travel and lodging expenses.

    10) I’d have to have more information to make a decision but I’m not against the idea per se.

    11) I’d go further than that and stop their funding altogether, forcing the BBC to start showing advertisements and using the profits from their business arm to fund themselves.

    12) Again, I’d have to have more information to make an informed decision but I’m not against the idea per se. There are an awful lot of quangos that could be cut straightaway.

    13) I’m not against the idea but it might prove too problematical to put into practice.

    14) I’m not against cutting the number of parasite in Parliament but you’d have to have a damn good and equitable way of changing the constituency borders so that no party benefits from the changes.

    I don’t totally agree with your final comment but I can’t deny that there is some truth to it either. Labour made a load of mistakes and always do when they get into power because they want to be fair to the working person and those who have fallen on hard times due to loss of work, illness or disability and so tend to spend money hand over fist. The trouble is the Tories don’t see the need to be fair to those upon whose shoulders the actual work is carried or those who have fallen on hard time either. The Tories only care about the rich. What we need is a compromise that takes us back to the true meaning of living in a socially democratic society – take care of everyone – and that’s not a Socialist point of view, that’s a humane point of view.

    See, everyone, if you present me with more than just criticisms, you can see that I’m quite a reasonable chap who’s willing to compromise but only in the name of fairness and equity.

  25. Myles, I could debate you point by point but, as you make such long winded arguments, frankly I have better things to do. Have you been to Cuba? It can be called many things but a successful state it isn’t, I don’t imagine there are too many Americans risking life and limb to get into Cuba. You can attempt to deny you are a socialist as much as you like but that’s what you are, nothing wrong with that at all I might add.
    You make the lazy assumption that I am a Tory, you do that to anybody who doesn’t go along with your fleece the rich ideology.But I am not a Tory. Yes, my views come from what is known as the ‘right’ but I am not now, have never been nor ever will be, a member of the Conservative Party.

  26. I view that private ownership of the means of production, property, goods and services. is great.

    I have also come to the view that social inequality is bad.

    So I do not fit a tory or socialist definition so what does that make me?

  27. i still think its a load of communist clap trap myles,if someone wants to spend their hard earned money on having a spare bedroom thats their business,but if a person is receiving subsidised state accommodation they have to accept its a limited resource.

  28. gray64 – Why don’t you be honest for a change? Stop peddling the male bovine faeces. The reason you don’t debate is because you can’t not because you think I’m long-winded or because you want people to believe that “frankly I have better things to do”. All you like to do is criticise everybody and do so from the safety of your anonymity. You don’t try to build or suggest ways forward, all you do is try to destroy people and let the status quo of stagnation remain. Grow up and debate or go and peddle your destructive male bovine faeces elsewhere. I really do have better things to do than keep replying to your pathetic attempts to destroy my efforts.

    I didn’t say that Cuba was perfect but it successfully looks after the healthcare of all its citizens. Yes, there is oppression and I never held it up as a model of democracy but it doesn’t stop it being rather successful at the things that really matter, things that this country once had and are being destroyed by the Tories.

    It’s not a lazy assumption to call you a Tory when you make such a good job of acting like one. The only options for right-wing thinkers in this country are only slightly worse than the Cameronite Tories so I wouldn’t make that boast again.

    You make the lazy assumption that I’m a Socialist but I’m not. I don’t support Labour and never have neither have I been a Communist. Try reading some of the replies I’ve given Bernard87 and you’ll see that I hold right-wing views as well.

    In conclusion – debate with me, give me your ideas or go and bother someone else because as much as you try to anger me all you actually do is make me pity your small-mindedness.

  29. rocket1 – Living space is a limited resource FULL STOP. No one has the right in the current ecologically tragic times we live in to more living space than they actually need.

    So, in conclusion, as I told gray64 – debate with me, give me your ideas or go and bother someone else because as much as you try to anger me all you actually do is make me pity your small-mindedness.

  30. See Myles, you are at it again ‘male bovine faeces’! Just say bullshit, it’s what you mean. But you like to use too many words to make your point which is why I switch off. Concise isn’t your style.

    True to form, because you don’t agree with what I have to say, you start with the insults. I don’t criticize everybody on here, I wouldn’t criticize you if there was nothing to criticize but, again, it’s easier for you to make that accusation than say anything sensible to somebody who thinks your ideas are whacko. However, good news! I will no longer comment on your posts because, as I might have mentioned, I really do have better things to do.

  31. gray64 – I didn’t use that word because this could be read by some youngster who mistakenly clicked on this link. It also shows that there are other ways to arrive at the same destination.

    Brevity in politics is not an option as everything has to be worked out. Have you seen a White Paper or any other legislation? You switch off because I make people think, something of which you are incapable it seems.

    You’re never satisfied are you? If I didn’t go into such depth you’d criticise that too.

    It’s not an insult to say that you’re talking male bovine faeces because you add nothing proper to the debate (unlike Bernard87 who at least proposed his own ideas). How can anyone agree with what you say when you say nothing? You criticise but don’t present your own ideas because you have no ideas of your own.

    Thank God, you’re going away because you don’t contribute anything and all you do is criticise not only the initial article but every comment I make in response to your criticisms without putting your own ideas forward.

    I can’t imagine you having better things to do, probably because you haven’t.

  32. Culture Secretary Maria Miller has apologised to MPs for her attitude towards an inquiry into her expenses.
    The Commons Committee on Standards ordered her to repay £5,800 to cover over-claiming of mortgage expenses after she failed to cut her claims as interest rates fell.
    This followed reports she had allowed her parents to live in a property on which she claimed £90,718 in second home allowances between 2005 and 2009.

    And these leeches tell us what to do, Westminster is the first place that needs cleaning up if a member of the public was to falsely claim these expenses and been found out they feet would not have touched the ground on the way to the clink, these hypocrites who implement the bedroom tax and then claim £90,718 in second home allowances, what on earth is going on
    Myles keep up the good work

  33. Superman – I don’t know about you but I think she should be apologising to the Great British public about her expenses rather than to MPs for her attitude to an inquiry into them.

    She’s just one of several hundred corrupt politicians who are the real parasites in this country.

    I totally agree with your assertion that Westminster need cleaning up. May I suggest with a machine gun?

    Thank you. I must say, however, that this article is a one-off for Your Thurrock, a guest blog you might say. I’m now back off to write my own blog at http://valen1971.blogspot.com

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