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Alistair Darling - you are a twat. Or...

...to put it another way, it was Budget Day today. Full summary from the Beeb here, but here's what interested me:

+ Alcohol taxes up 2% from midnight - putting the price of the average pint up 1p.
+ Fuel duty to rise by 2p per litre from September, then by 1p a litre above indexation each April for the next four years.
+ Income tax for those earning more than £150k to rise to 50% from April 2010.
+ Economy forecast to shrink 3.5% in 2009.
+ Growth expected to pick up in 2010, expanding by 1.25%, and 3.5% from 2011.
+ Public borrowing to increase to £175bn this year.

Yep, sounds very much like a budget from a government that's about to die to me. Borrowing amounts of money that are so dangerously high, it puts the UK's credit rating at serious risk. And how are they gonna pay this back? They're going to soak the rich with a new tax that most of them won't be paying anyway, whilst the likes of you and me have to pay more for our petrol, or for a pint when we go out. Making me pay more to fill my car is really gonna pay back the trillions that we're borrowing, is it?

Watching Alistair Darling today, the Prime Mentalist fresh from the hilarious video posted on the No10 website yesterday, and Mrs Ed Cunt's demented rantings on Sky News later, I became convinced that these people really are living on another planet to the rest of us. People keep asking me whether the Tories will be any better - I ask back, could they be any WORSE?

How's the Budget gonna affect you, then?
Beep boop. I'm a bot.
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hmmm

    Well, I currently walk to work (20 minutes), so don't use the car much. Couple of quid extra a month, maybe. That will change if I end up working outside London again.
    I don't drink too much, and to be quite honest, even if I had 10 pints on a night, it's only an extra 10p...!
    The major thing I need to investigate is how it will affect me when I am back working on a self employed basis. That area of the budget (not widely reported on) could well be interesting, and no doubt complicated. I know I won't be anywhere close to the £150k threshold for the new 50% tax, but no doubt the 'incentives' to work with will have been reduced.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What would you have done then SG?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What would you have done then SG?

    This should be interesting.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What would you have done then SG?
    How kind of you to ask. Here's just a few things;

    (1) The new 50% tax band for those earning over £150k a year would be scrapped. Instead, there would be big tax cuts for low-income earners and the middle classes. Give them more money to pay off debts, to save for another day, to go buy a new car, whatever they wish to do with it. It would be far more effective than a useless, temporary, debt-funded VAT cut.
    (2) Groups such as MPs and ministers would be forced to share the pain by taking an immediate 25% cut in pay, and most expenses would be abolished. Also use the opportunity to cut the number of MPs. Scrap regional assemblies and all quangos associated with them, as they're a total waste of money. Oh, and tell the EU to fuck off - that'll save a few billion in itself.
    (3) Immediate cuts in spending on the public sector. An NHS that has more managers than doctors is hardly a sign of efficiency, for example.

    Will come back later with more. Have far too much to do this afternoon...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The income tax one is the one that really gaulls me.

    In times of crisis, obviously the thing to do is to hit entrepreneurial people, the people who might help us get out of this mess, harder than they already are hit.

    What the aim to acheive with this:
    - More income for HMT
    - Redistribution of wealth

    What it will actually acheive:
    - High earners leave the UK for countries which don't punish success
    - More exploitation of tax dodging loopholes which Labour tried so hard to create and promote, coupled with the emasculation of the FSA in order to lure businesses and high net worth individuals here in the first place
    - Discourage entrepreneurial spirit

    Knee-jerk reaction to a problem of their own creation. Oh, and saddling the UK with crippling debts for the next 60 years. Trebles all round...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    How kind of you to ask. Here's just a few things;

    (1) The new 50% tax band for those earning over £150k a year would be scrapped. Instead, there would be big tax cuts for low-income earners and the middle classes. Give them more money to pay off debts, to save for another day, to go buy a new car, whatever they wish to do with it. It would be far more effective than a useless, temporary, debt-funded VAT cut.
    (2) Groups such as MPs and ministers would be forced to share the pain by taking an immediate 25% cut in pay, and most expenses would be abolished. Also use the opportunity to cut the number of MPs. Scrap regional assemblies and all quangos associated with them, as they're a total waste of money. Oh, and tell the EU to fuck off - that'll save a few billion in itself.
    (3) Immediate cuts in spending on the public sector. An NHS that has more managers than doctors is hardly a sign of efficiency, for example.

    Will come back later with more. Have far too much to do this afternoon...

    So your solution to rising unemployment would be to sack half the public sector workforce? And do you think people would spend all that extra money in the current climate? I wouldn't. I think most people would put it into savings.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In times of crisis, obviously the thing to do is to hit entrepreneurial people, the people who might help us get out of this mess, harder than they already are hit.

    You'd have a point if commercial tax was put up, but I don't think increasing personal income tax will have a negative effect. It brings us into line with countries like Japan, along with a lot of Western Europe.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You'd have a point if commercial tax was put up, but I don't think increasing personal income tax will have a negative effect. It brings us into line with countries like Japan, along with a lot of Western Europe.

    See the points below.

    It will increase off-shore dealing, tax avoidance and high-net worth individuals leaving the UK.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Stargalaxys opinion is becoming more predicatble than 2p on fags.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Can I just point out that not every 'entrepreneur' is going to earn above £150,000 - in fact, the generation of capital does not automatically imply that it will end up in the pockets of one person, or a small group of people.

    Not everyone who is going to save us is in this earning bracket, and not all the talented, skilled and knowledgable people are in the bracket of people eearning above this figure.

    The problem with finance capital as it presently stands is NOT that people earn more than others, it is the degree to which they earn more than others.

    Marx was wrong about a great many things, but the one thing he got BANG on, as anyone who observes clearly sees, is that wages of the lowest paid continue to lose touch with the highest paid.

    The problem is not the absolute figure at the bottom, but it's relation to the top.

    Entrepreneurs ALREADY move around the world wherever capital dictates they must, this is true, but I wish people would stop singing 'their' praises on behalf of 'us' - who exactly is going to lose out if these people leave, and in what sense?

    Can someone please explain to me the specific process by which lower tax breaks for the rich will help those earning below £25,000?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So your solution to rising unemployment would be to sack half the public sector workforce?

    I expect that would save on uniforms,as well as the renumeration aspect.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not everyone who is going to save us is in this earning bracket, and not all the talented, skilled and knowledgable people are in the bracket of people eearning above this figure.

    I think you would fare better if you looked to save yourself. You might just find that in future you do not need saving in the first instance.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Can I just point out that not every 'entrepreneur' is going to earn above £150,000 - in fact, the generation of capital does not automatically imply that it will end up in the pockets of one person, or a small group of people.

    I used that word for want of a better one. Any suggestions?

    No, but nor did I say that. The generation of capital also redistributes income through employment, VAT, tax on profits etc. etc. Entrepreneurialism (damn, there's that word again) spreads the love.
    The problem with finance capital as it presently stands is NOT that people earn more than others, it is the degree to which they earn more than others.

    Marx was wrong about a great many things, but the one thing he got BANG on, as anyone who observes clearly sees, is that wages of the lowest paid continue to lose touch with the highest paid.

    The problem is not the absolute figure at the bottom, but it's relation to the top.

    Loathe as I am to agree with you, I do (except you sullied the whole thing with a reference to M*rx...). However, I do not agree that the solution is to clobber those at the top. Sadly I guess it's easier to be seen to be going after a few richies at the top rather than actually trying to improve things from the bottom, which may require the Government to actually do some work.
    Entrepreneurs ALREADY move around the world wherever capital dictates they must, this is true, but I wish people would stop singing 'their' praises on behalf of 'us' - who exactly is going to lose out if these people leave, and in what sense?

    Can someone please explain to me the specific process by which lower tax breaks for the rich will help those earning below £25,000?

    Domestic investment, more disposable income to stimulate the economy, reduced likelihood of tax dodgery / avoidance / emigration, take your pick.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It was certainly an interesting budget - Brown knows he's lost the next election, so it was designed for his backbenchers and to ask them not to overthrow him in a coup.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    How kind of you to ask. Here's just a few things;

    (1) The new 50% tax band for those earning over £150k a year would be scrapped. Instead, there would be big tax cuts for low-income earners and the middle classes. Give them more money to pay off debts, to save for another day, to go buy a new car, whatever they wish to do with it. It would be far more effective than a useless, temporary, debt-funded VAT cut.
    I honestly don't think you could expect the extra income freed to estimulate the economy that much. I suspect much of it would go into the lowest common denominator form of spending, such as booze, betting, take aways, etc- and while that might be good news to a few industries the country as a whole would be worse off for the lack of income.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru

    In times of crisis, obviously the thing to do is to hit entrepreneurial people, the people who might help us get out of this mess, harder than they already are hit.
    If you really are suggesting that people who earn more than 150k a year are 'hard hit' to begin with, or that the extra 10% tax on earnings above 150K is going to make things really tough for them, I suspect you need many, many years of real life experiences and meeting people who can certainly talk to you about being hard hit for real.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Can someone please explain to me the specific process by which lower tax breaks for the rich will help those earning below £25,000?

    Basically it's about investment. People with tonnes of money want to find some way to make it grow. By reducing taxation on them, they are more likely to want to ways to grow their money in our country. Which means they are more likely to open up a new business here than say in France (random coutnry, dont know about frances tax other than the government panders to the populous and wrecks its economy in the process).

    Considering that there are lots of different countries, then there is competition for this investment so thats why the people who make the policies should be aware of the need to pander to this group of investors. Buttttttttttttttttttttt and a big but, there are a lot of other factors at play and I don't think the return on capital expenditure for rich people is the sole factor the government should try to maximise.

    Despite my liking my free market economics, I am a raving socialist at heart and think that the poor get shafted at every opportunity because they don't have the 'power' to choose otherwise, and so we should always try to protect their interests as otherwise they will be exploited. After all, rich people wouldn't be rich if it were not for the working classes... a fact many rich philanthropists and entrepeneurs have recognised over the years. But generally speaking they are in the minority, and so I think legislation and taxation should be used in order to share the wealth around.

    Case A:
    everyone contributes 'x' amount
    total contributed to society = x * n (number of people working)
    everyone receives reward in exchange for their labour - reward to each person
    = (x * n) / n
    = x

    Case B:
    everyone contributes 'x' amount, you have a small <10% of 'managers' who increase productivity globally
    total contributed
    = x * 0.9n * m :: (m = management / coordination bonus, say 1.5x)
    = x * 0.9n * 1.5
    = 1.35 * x * n :: (so total contribution is greater in this society thanks to managers)

    ==>
    now what we have in our society (or at least, without intervention), is that people receive 'x' still, but managers receive ALL the additional created wealth i.e.
    = (1.35 * x * n) - (0.9 * x * n) :: (total wealth - wealth given to workers)
    = (0.45 * x * n) / (0.1 * n) :: (remaining wealth - wealth given to managers)
    = 4.5 * x :: (per manager)

    My personal view, is we should acknowledge that the managers / enterpeneurs / investors / whatever did facilitate that extra of course, but we should also acknowledge that they would have not have had anything but for the work of everyone else, and as such they should be taxed of some of their rewards (4.5*x each) and that given back to everyone else.

    Sorry if this is a tiny bit hard to follow it's all very arbitrary but I hope it illustrates my point about how we will always screw the working man over if the economy allows it because there is no incentive for those with the power (managers) to pay anymore than the minimum these people will accept. Obviously, they contribute more than this to the economy - the simple way to look at it is would a company hire you if they didn't make money out of the work you did (i.e. your contribution minus your wages)? No.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    If you really are suggesting that people who earn more than 150k a year are 'hard hit' to begin with, or that the extra 10% tax on earnings above 150K is going to make things really tough for them, I suspect you need many, many years of real life experiences and meeting people who can certainly talk to you about being hard hit for real.

    There is a valid point though if their excess money has dried up so they stop investing and maybe even sell some of their investments, which means jobs dry up. I think 'hard hit' in the context used doesn't mean living next to poverty, but instead unable to perform their usual function in society of investing in ventures that in turn provide jobs and economic growth.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Somehow, and I don't know why, but I'm finding it very difficult to have some sympathy for people earning over 150k having to pay another 10% on top
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    Basically it's about investment. People with tonnes of money want to find some way to make it grow. By reducing taxation on them, they are more likely to want to ways to grow their money in our country. Which means they are more likely to open up a new business here than say in France (random coutnry, dont know about frances tax other than the government panders to the populous and wrecks its economy in the process).

    Considering that there are lots of different countries, then there is competition for this investment so thats why the people who make the policies should be aware of the need to pander to this group of investors. Buttttttttttttttttttttt and a big but, there are a lot of other factors at play and I don't think the return on capital expenditure for rich people is the sole factor the government should try to maximise.

    Despite my liking my free market economics, I am a raving socialist at heart and think that the poor get shafted at every opportunity because they don't have the 'power' to choose otherwise, and so we should always try to protect their interests as otherwise they will be exploited. After all, rich people wouldn't be rich if it were not for the working classes... a fact many rich philanthropists and entrepeneurs have recognised over the years. But generally speaking they are in the minority, and so I think legislation and taxation should be used in order to share the wealth around.

    Case A:
    everyone contributes 'x' amount
    total contributed to society = x * n (number of people working)
    everyone receives reward in exchange for their labour - reward to each person
    = (x * n) / n
    = x

    Case B:
    everyone contributes 'x' amount, you have a small <10% of 'managers' who increase productivity globally
    total contributed
    = x * 0.9n * m :: (m = management / coordination bonus, say 1.5x)
    = x * 0.9n * 1.5
    = 1.35 * x * n :: (so total contribution is greater in this society thanks to managers)

    ==>
    now what we have in our society (or at least, without intervention), is that people receive 'x' still, but managers receive ALL the additional created wealth i.e.
    = (1.35 * x * n) - (0.9 * x * n) :: (total wealth - wealth given to workers)
    = (0.45 * x * n) / (0.1 * n) :: (remaining wealth - wealth given to managers)
    = 4.5 * x :: (per manager)

    My personal view, is we should acknowledge that the managers / enterpeneurs / investors / whatever did facilitate that extra of course, but we should also acknowledge that they would have not have had anything but for the work of everyone else, and as such they should be taxed of some of their rewards (4.5*x each) and that given back to everyone else.

    Sorry if this is a tiny bit hard to follow it's all very arbitrary but I hope it illustrates my point about how we will always screw the working man over if the economy allows it because there is no incentive for those with the power (managers) to pay anymore than the minimum these people will accept. Obviously, they contribute more than this to the economy - the simple way to look at it is would a company hire you if they didn't make money out of the work you did (i.e. your contribution minus your wages)? No.

    which is why anyone who earns enough will have their wages paid in capital investments or shares, which get taxed at only 18% in CGT or 34% in dividend taxes, whilst someone who works full time on minumum wage will still be in the 20% band (yes i know it won't be 20% total really cause there's a tax free range)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    If you really are suggesting that people who earn more than 150k a year are 'hard hit' to begin with, or that the extra 10% tax on earnings above 150K is going to make things really tough for them, I suspect you need many, many years of real life experiences and meeting people who can certainly talk to you about being hard hit for real.

    It's comforting that I can always rely on you and Bashir whenever I don't quite feel patronised enough.

    I wasn't for a minute suggesting that people on £150k and over will be living in the street. If you think that, then you need your head examined. However, the only way for the economy to recover is for people to spend, and reducing the ability of those people who actually might have some disposable income to throw about the place isn't the correct course of action. We need to encourage spending in order to aleviate the economic gloom. I'm not saying that £150k is the minimum income required to have disposable income to throw at the economy, it's the rather arbitrary figure chosen by the Government to introduce this 50% bracket.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Somehow, and I don't know why, but I'm finding it very difficult to have some sympathy for people earning over 150k having to pay another 10% on top

    You are showing some symptons of the medical condition commonly known as envy. You will be kept under observation.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    which is why anyone who earns enough will have their wages paid in capital investments or shares, which get taxed at only 18% in CGT or 34% in dividend taxes, whilst someone who works full time on minumum wage will still be in the 20% band (yes i know it won't be 20% total really cause there's a tax free range)

    Or have income of less than £6475 and put zero in the trough.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's comforting that I can always rely on you and Bashir whenever I don't quite feel patronised enough.

    I wasn't for a minute suggesting that people on £150k and over will be living in the street. If you think that, then you need your head examined. However, the only way for the economy to recover is for people to spend, and reducing the ability of those people who actually might have some disposable income to throw about the place isn't the correct course of action. We need to encourage spending in order to aleviate the economic gloom. I'm not saying that £150k is the minimum income required to have disposable income to throw at the economy, it's the rather arbitrary figure chosen by the Government to introduce this 50% bracket.
    Most people on a 50K salary could spend, spend, spend until their head explodes, crisis or not. Those on a 150k certainly have more disposable income and spending power than 99.9% of the population of the country will ever see.

    Let's look at the figures again. The new proposed tax means that someone on a 175K would have to pay an extra 10% on those 25K above the threshold. So all this "50% tax shock" mock outrage would simply mean an extra £2500 on this person's tax bill. Which, on a salary of 175K, frankly is fuck all.

    It is preposterous to suggest someone whose top rate tax bill this year is 58000 would have their spending power curbed because next year it will be 60500 instead. If they coped and were able to spend after a tax bill of 58 grand, they sure as hell can still do so with a tax bill of only 2.5 grand more.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wasn't for a minute suggesting that people on £150k and over will be living in the street. If you think that, then you need your head examined. However, the only way for the economy to recover is for people to spend, and reducing the ability of those people who actually might have some disposable income to throw about the place isn't the correct course of action. We need to encourage spending in order to aleviate the economic gloom. I'm not saying that £150k is the minimum income required to have disposable income to throw at the economy, it's the rather arbitrary figure chosen by the Government to introduce this 50% bracket.

    When has an increase in consumerism ever been the result of concentrating the money at the top of society? You increase consumption by increasing the disposable income of ordinary people, not the people at the very top. So to sack a bunch of public sector workers to allow those at the top end to keep more of their money (and they will keep it in this economic climate) is insane.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    When has an increase in consumerism ever been the result of concentrating the money at the top of society? You increase consumption by increasing the disposable income of ordinary people, not the people at the very top. So to sack a bunch of public sector workers to allow those at the top end to keep more of their money (and they will keep it in this economic climate) is insane.

    It seems to me that consumption is the cause of the depression that is only just beginning. Over consumption that is.

    Everyone must produce more than they consume, otherwise they are parasitic. Governments by definition are parasitic. If their numbers are not culled any problem is just prolonged. Yesterday's budget just prolonged the agony for those that will suffer in the depression.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You increase consumption by increasing the disposable income of ordinary people, not the people at the very top.

    This is one of the contradictions in Capitalism, that no economist (FM, Marxist, Keynesian, neo-Liberal or otherwise) has been able to solve (indeed the extent to which it is a 'solvable' problem is unclear).

    What is needed is both a body of consumers able to purchase commodities and drive markets, but the production of commodities also requires the continual rationalisation and steamlining of the production process to increase surplus generation (by reducing the number of workers, increasing efficiency, lowering wages, lowering the long term commitments of contracts, de-skilling where feasible etc.).

    There was a move to try and mediate this process, which was one reason for the rise of financial services - loan people the money to buy the things they aren't paid enough to have enough of to keep the wheel turning.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The only thing I disagree with on this budget is that the £150k threshold is £75k too high. If you're earning over £75k you have enough to put back into the system. The tapering of the personal threshold should help too.

    I don't believe that 'entrepeneurs' will be going anywhere. They haven't gone before and they won't go now. Their money used to go abroad but they didn't. Lets just hope that Darling gets rid of the loopholes too, to prevent money migration. If they want to put their money in Liechtenstein they can move there permanently; few will want to.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It seems to me that consumption is the cause of the depression that is only just beginning. Over consumption that is.

    Everyone must produce more than they consume, otherwise they are parasitic. Governments by definition are parasitic. If their numbers are not culled any problem is just prolonged. Yesterday's budget just prolonged the agony for those that will suffer in the depression.

    That may be a long term aim if you believe that, but all you'll be doing at the moment is moving people from public sector employment, where they are at least contributing something, to unemployment, where they're taking money out of the system for no return at all. But I don't agree that governments are parasitic by definition. Many of the things they do actively improve the profit-making potential of the country. Roads don't make a profit, but plenty of businesses do because they exist and are well maintained. The investment sees a return in increased profits for UK businesses, and therefore increased tax income.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You are showing some symptons of the medical condition commonly known as envy. You will be kept under observation.



    No, just that a lot of people in that tax bracket are amongst the people who shafted us in the first place.
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