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Paddy O'Connell

Eddie Mair | 10:44 UK time, Monday, 24 November 2008

for it is he, suggested to me yesterday a rather splendid idea which we're going to try out over on iPM. It will involve YOU, it's easy to do, and it will make an interesting listen.

I will share more later.

We are busy preparing for tonight's programme. Carolyn will be at Westminster with the PBR as it's known. One of the parties is refusing at the moment to give us a member of their front bench team to talk to. We're trying to change their minds.


  • 1. At 10:52am on 24 Nov 2008, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Which of the parties is it, Eddie?

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  • 2. At 11:03am on 24 Nov 2008, eddiemair wrote:

    Why don't we see who shows up at 5?

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  • 3. At 11:08am on 24 Nov 2008, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Actually, I usually miss the first 15 minutes of the programme. Not by choice, you understand. It's just that it's rare to leave the office dead on time nowadays...

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  • 4. At 11:20am on 24 Nov 2008, U12196018 wrote:

    "One of the parties is refusing at the moment to give us a member of their front bench team to talk to."

    Well it would make sense if it was the Tories - you couldn't give away one of their front bench team.

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  • 5. At 11:23am on 24 Nov 2008, Fifi wrote:

    Good old Padders. Please may we have back the link to his giggles?

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  • 6. At 12:03pm on 24 Nov 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Try a headlock, Eddie.

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  • 7. At 12:32pm on 24 Nov 2008, Fifi wrote:

    Am I the only one who still finds amusement in the Recent Comments section...?

    QualifiedLoon on Paddy O'Connell
    Fifi on Paddy O'Connell
    Big Sister on Paddy O'Connell

    Paddy O'Connell (cheerfully): "Next!"

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  • 8. At 12:35pm on 24 Nov 2008, Fifi wrote:

    Being serious now:

    If Paddy's idea is for listeners to ring iPM, leave recordings of themselves singing a well known song on the answering machine, and then some producer to splice it all together into a Band Aid-style pastiche....

    It's already been done by PM!

    (OK, not that serious.)

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  • 9. At 12:58pm on 24 Nov 2008, U11204129 wrote:

    The BIG BORROW by the government is supposed to cause two CONCERNS.

    They seem to me to be confused.

    1. One is making sure it's 'funded'.

    2. The other is it's LONG TERM economic effect,

    'Funded' seems to mean 'paying it back'

    But why should that be a problem at all? Using the BIG BORROW, the economy at first will be busy with government builds and projects.

    Then, so the theory goes, the economy will take off. But the govt. projects have been brought forward, and so will tail off back down to the usual.

    As the economy resumes it's growth path, we simply retire the debt, pay it off, at BEST rate - which is a SLOW rate.

    So 1. is not really a problem.

    But 2. is supposed to mean that this BIG BORROW 'crowds out' other spending.

    Alternatively, and sometimes from the same throats, it's inflationary ('cos it DOESN'T crowd out other spending!?!?).

    But the spending it SHOULD crowd out, is ASSET inflation, which can be avoided in housing (by building) and in shares by a proper capital gains tax.

    The argument that the BIG BORROW is inflationary is circular, It goes 'Govt borrowing is inflationary. Our pounds will lose their value. Let's get out of sterling! There, the pound HAS fallen., causing (import led) inflation.

    The money they use to speculate against the pound is what SHOULD go in to productive investment. That sort of investment can be helped by government.

    So don't worry. In the long run we are all.......

    Everything Darling does that you like, is what he should do, everything he says he'll do, that you don't like, he does to satisfy some piece of defunct right wing economic theory/ideology.

    PS In Paris in '68, one student announced s/he was a Marxist, Groucho tendency. Is Alistair Darling morphing into our comic hero?

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  • 10. At 1:11pm on 24 Nov 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Sorry to be an old 'grumpy-guts' but what is the point of now covering the 'PBR' when it has all been 'Pre-Announced' ?

    This is a ridiculous development in modern politics...

    Can you imagine if this extended to other areas of life ?

    You would be standing in the queue for the cinema, when someone comes round to 'pre-announce' what the plot will be..

    You invite your friends round for dinner to let them know your good news about your job promotion, only to find that the company has 'pre-announced' it to your guests...

    You invite your girlfriend's father to the pub to request his daughter's 'hand in marriage' and are somewhat surprised that she has 'pre-announced' that you will be making this request..

    Your missus decides to invite the inlaws around for Sunday lunch to share the happy news that she is pregnant, only to find that you have 'pre-announced' it via text message some hours earlier..

    Time for a sharp exit...

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  • 11. At 1:18pm on 24 Nov 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Eddie, I look forward to Sequin covering today's Pooh Bear Report.

    Pooh, a bear of very little brain, is an eternal optimist, unlike dour Eeyore. Will taxes on honey be lifted? Will Tigger's bouncing be constrained? Will I be able to get some sleep before I go completely doolally?

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  • 12. At 1:24pm on 24 Nov 2008, Shininnit wrote:

    Has nobody else noticed that dropping the VAT rate to 15% is something the EU central tax planning people have been after for years? Our government has been under pressure to standardise VAT rates across the EU for a long time and now they've caved in, only they're spinning it as an economy saving move, not just a kow-tow to Brussels.

    It'll make very little difference at street level. 2.5% off gross price is very little and the chances are that retailers will absorb some of the savings anyway rather than pass them on.

    As for increasing the income tax rate for higher earners, this is another smokescreen as it will only really affect public sector earners like Doctors. Anyone in business who takes home that kind of money does so in the form of dividends, the tax rate on which will undoubtedly stay exactly as it is.

    The only attempts they've seriously made to save the economy are telling everyone that's what they're doing in the hope that the public believe them and start spending more. There have been no meaningful attempts to put more money in the pockets of the consumer which would improve goodwill and increase spending. Even the claims that they'll extend the 10% tax embargo is not giving us money, it's deferring taking it away.

    Darling is clearly out of his depth and the government reels from crisis to crisis with nobody willing to take decisive action and do something meaningful. Gordon Brown is doing everything he can to avoid upsetting the people who will be paying for his directorships and after dinner speeches once he finally gets the boot and Cameron is incapable of saying anything against him as the Labour party are operating a raft of Conservative style policies and speaking against them would make him look a massive hypocrite.

    We're never going to have any decisive moves made to stem the economic crisis whilst the majority of politicians are too busy lining their own pockets to care.

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  • 13. At 1:25pm on 24 Nov 2008, vainly_here wrote:

    VAT was raised from 15% as a temporary measure while we made the transition from Poll Tax to Council Tax.
    Previously it had been raised from 8% to 15% to cover the cost of Income Tax reductions. Before that it was reduced from 10% to help reduce inflation.
    So, if it is reduced today from 17.5% to 15% (a reduction of 14.285%) it should both indicate that the transition to Council Tax is at last complete and reduce inflation.
    I read on another thread that reducing VAT has little effect on the less well-off because it isn't applied to essentials such as food. However, it is applied to essentials such as soap and toilet paper, as well as edible products such as choccy bars.

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  • 14. At 1:43pm on 24 Nov 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Vyle (13):

    What? Chocolate is classed as a non-essential item? It'll be books next!

    As for the VAT reduction, I've just worked out that on the telescope I'm just about to order (a fair size purchase by my standards), I'd get a whopping GBP 6.45 off if the reduction was applied. Woo-boodly-hoo.

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  • 15. At 2:03pm on 24 Nov 2008, Bigsyboy wrote:

    I realise this PBR thing is important ... -ish ... but I am surprised that the online petition to reinstate Gaunty at TalkSport isn't top of the journalistic tree?! :)


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  • 16. At 2:26pm on 24 Nov 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    More on this 'pre-announcement' / 'leak' [delete to taste] nonsense..


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  • 17. At 3:35pm on 24 Nov 2008, Simon wrote:

    You said "Anyone in business who takes home that kind of money does so in the form of dividends, the tax rate on which will undoubtedly stay exactly as it is."

    Dividend income is a distribution of profits, which have already been taxed at Corporation Tax rates and the resulting Corp Tax remitted to the Treasury.

    Once the net profit is distributed to shareholders as dividends there is no Income Tax liability unless the recipients total income passes the higher tax threshold. Income tax is then paid at the higher rate as usual. So if the total income passes this proopsed higher-still threshold of 45 percent then that tax IS indeed due.

    The REAL saving in receiving a portion of income as dividends is that no National Insurance payments, either employers or employees, are due at all on dividend distributions. So you save on paying a decent whack of NI to the Treasury.

    I'd note, lest someone thinks this somehow immoral, that it is the right of every British taxpayer to minimise their tax payments by any legal means. Tax Avoidance is completely legit, Tax Evasion isn't.


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  • 18. At 4:11pm on 24 Nov 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    Eddie 2, Is this a bit like Antiques Roadshow drumming up business by saying that they are going to have something valued at one million pounds on the program?

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  • 19. At 6:01pm on 24 Nov 2008, RxKaren wrote:

    David_N (18) It does mean that if it doesn't work it's already known to be Paddy's idea!


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  • 20. At 6:04pm on 24 Nov 2008, RachelG wrote:

    If so many people seem to think that a 2.5% point cut in VAT is a small amount, perhaps they won't complain if and when it needs to be raised again.

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