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Signs of things to come

Nick Robinson | 17:24 UK time, Monday, 13 September 2010

An angry Lib Dem MP succeeded in having the chancellor hauled to the Commons this afternoon to explain why he briefed the BBC and not MPs about a plan to cut £4bn from the welfare budget.

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Bob Russell made clear that:

"While I have no time for the welfare cheats, to try and blame this country's financial ills on that small category of the population, I think, is unethical"

before adding:

"I find it somewhat immature, this turf war between your office and that of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions."

The chancellor replied that his relationship with Iain Duncan Smith was "strong" and blamed Labour for the need to cut a welfare system which they had failed to reform.

Yvette Cooper for Labour attacked George Osborne for not being straight with the Commons - a charge she had to withdraw as "Unparliamentary".

It is a picture of politics for the next few months to come. Lib Dem unease, Tory attacks on Labour for causing the problem and - worth a few bob at the bookies perhaps - Yvette Cooper as the woman facing George Osborne at the despatch box.

As discussed here recently, whichever Miliband becomes leader may conclude that they can't live with her husband as shadow chancellor.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    You aint seen nothing yet. The cuts have only just begun and when the public decide they would like the deficit cut but the effects elsewhere and they complain to their MP's or worse vent their spleen on the LD's in local and by elections there will be defections to the Labour Party. What the LD's dont seem to have grasped is that Osborne is far more anti public sector than Mrs Thatcher or even Tony Blair. On the other hand the cuts will hinder the police in controlling strikes and demonstrations.

  • Comment number 2.

    I agree - the LibDems need to be clearly seen as "fighting them on the beaches" when it comes to ensuring that:

    (1) the poor and the weak do not suffer disproportionately from the cuts to Government spending; and

    (2) the rich/powerful are seen to be suffering/contributing.

    Come on Nick et al lets see a bit of the "Blitz spirit". Your party's future may depend upon it.

  • Comment number 3.

    It's not all that surprising that a Lib Dem MP criticises the Tory Chancellor. The Lib Dems will never be comfortable with this coalition. For years they have advocated electoral reform which would make coalition government much more likely, but when push comes to shove, they are much closer to 'old' labour than they would like to admit.

  • Comment number 4.

    Bob Russell is more left wing and por big state than any Labour MP. He is always going to be devils adocate spreading doom and gloom about any cuts.

  • Comment number 5.

    I do not know about YC as Chancellor , EB would prob be here special adviser through. What about the LD leaving the coalition, given that they might not win the AV referendum, decide to pull out just after Labour elect a new leader ?

  • Comment number 6.

    The reason for the large number of people on benefits is that if there aren't enough jobs the only way to keep the 'unemployment figures' down was to muddy the waters in the complexity of the benefit system. That was a Labour invention. But it resulted in many believing that they were incapble of work.

    I am not going to pass comment on the workings of the benefit system, as that will get in the way of the point I am making. At the moment there are many deserving people on benefit, quite a few who could do some sort of work and some who are lazy parasites.

    The only point I wish to question is the declaration that rewarding work was 'absolutely central' to his policy on welfare. Now in a way I agree with him. But has he considered the conditions that are necessary in order to carry out this policy? Yes, George, have you got it? Yes!!! There have to be jobs for people to go to!! Simples. The most effective way to cut the benefits budget is to provide jobs. If you also wish to cut the size of the public sector, then jobs have got to come from SMEs. What do SMEs need? Three things. Finance, less regulation (perhaps) and a market. Market comes from fuller employment. Less regulation well that is open for discussion. And finance? George, you are the chancellor.

    My guess is that all this focus on welfare is a very clever smoke screen. It affects most of the population by way of bus passes for the over 60s, Child Benefit, Tax Credits and will be the main focus of Union action. In the background loads of other cuts will go through almost unnoticed.

  • Comment number 7.

    If Russell is so anti Tory then why doesn't he cross the floor and join the opposition ? Maybe he's scared there would be an election sometime in the near future and there would be no place for him on the gravy train. Taking exception to generalities is one way of raising one's profile but Joe public isn't stupid enough to believe that all of the country's ills are at the door of a few lazy lowlifes who fiddle the benefit system. If he can't come up with something more constructive to bleat about, then his acceptance of his inflated salary is no better than cheating the benefits system.

  • Comment number 8.

    Nick will you be taking strike action on 5, 6, 19 and 20 October with other BBC staff?

  • Comment number 9.

    6. Boilerbill.
    My guess is that all this focus on welfare is a very clever smoke screen. It affects most of the population by way of bus passes for the over 60s, Child Benefit, Tax Credits and will be the main focus of Union action. In the background loads of other cuts will go through almost unnoticed.
    --------------------------

    i think the union action has the chance to be bigger and more widespread than some may think. although they are legally restricted in some ways they have an opportunity to galvanise public support against these severe cuts. if they grab the momentum i believe they will be hugely damaging tho this govt.

  • Comment number 10.

    Hurrah for new politics!

    A Conservative back bencher wouldn't have brought the matter up. A shadow minister would have been undermined by finger pointing and culpability. The 'old' Lib Dem voice would have gone unheard.

    All that's changed now - and democracy is all the better for it.

    A coalition partner brings the Chancellor to account and ensures that the Commons (for the first time in many, years) has some power to scrutinise the Cabinet.

    Like it. Like it a lot.

  • Comment number 11.

    I have always supported reform of benefits - the issue of people refusing to work when, a few years back, a million east europeans could come over and instantly find a job is clearly ludicrous.

    But Bertie Wooster is talking about work or starve tactics for those people at a time when millions of skilled people with decades of work history are put out of work and will be competing for the last few jobs.

    If Wooster had any experience at all in the real world of work he would understand how ridiculous that is.

    It's a shame the other libdems don't have the integrity to break ranks and say what they must know is true - it might go some way to save them from the effects of their betrayal of their voters.

  • Comment number 12.

    Yvette Cooper as Chancellor is fine - more than fine - but where does this leave Ed Balls? Foreign Sec? Mmm, not sure about that. Guess she could shadow the role until March 2012 and then, following the election, move aside for her husband. She herself could then be Foreign Secretary. With David Miliband as PM, and his younger brother Ed as Home Sec, this could be quite a fizzy and formidable top team.

  • Comment number 13.

    The old, oh so very old chestnut of getting those "scroungers" back to work.....Yeah right Georgie, we'll see!!.

    This is the problem and I'd love someone to dissagree or come up with a soltion that I haven't seen.

    The reason you won't get the persistent claimants/long term unemployed (The ones that Georgie says make a lifestyle choice)/those on incapacity etc back in work is that Employers will NOT employ them!!!!! especially as competition for jobs increases as the Tories do the usual hatchet job on our public services.

    Imagine the average vacancy, up for the job are several recently redundent workers with great refences citing good attendance, reliability, hard work etc and then someone who hasn't worked for two years, recent depression/bad back OR simply not used to work any more, these people in many cases through no fault of their own simply have zero appeal to any employer. I'm sorry but I know from years of experience involving recruitment.

    That is the insouable problem, NOT in many cases unwillingness to work by the individual BUT unwillingness to employ by the employer.

    All this so called policy will achieve is to reduce the quality of life of those already at the bottom of the pile to an even lower level.

    Welcome to Tory Britain...........Punish the poor, protect the rich.

  • Comment number 14.

    When are the public sector going to realise that they need to suffer the same pain as the private sector. They work far to few hours are paid to much & have a far to genorous pension to look forward to..... WE CAN'T AFFORD IT!!! Why should the private sector support such a bloated & inefficient public sector if the public sector are so concerned about job cuts they would take a pay cut like i have done my salary has been reduced by £3500.00 plus l now work 6 days a week doing 65 - 70 hours a week show me a public sector worker who has done that to keep there job....... Plus l have lost all my bonuses l don't have time for public sector workers winging all the time..... they are better paid, work fewer hours & can look forward to a GOLD plated retirement..... l don't have enough left each month to put in my pension. Why shoudl l subsidise someone elses. They will now discover what real work is & about time!!!!!

  • Comment number 15.

    Peter @14:

    1. Does this mean you do not support the 4 days of strike proposed by BBC workers?

    2. Given your views of the advantages of public sector work can I ask if you have ever worked in the public sector?

    If yes why did you leave?

    If no how is it you know so much about what it is like to work in the private sector?

  • Comment number 16.

    14 Peter

    Which Public Sector workers are you talking about?

    Paramedics, Nurses, Childrens Home Staff, Prison Officers, Home Helps, Police Officers???

    Which Private sector staff??

    Shop assistents, delivery drivers, car salesmen, Bankers, wheel clampers??

    Can't you see that generalisations like yours are purile and ridiculous and are in danger of making you look the same.

  • Comment number 17.

    re #3
    But they are getting Goverment experience. Might not the electorate possibly forgive them this one time a give them an Obama moment at the next GE?

  • Comment number 18.

    re #12
    Yvette Cooper as CoE? Saga! Words fail me.

    OK, I've recovered.

    Yvette Cooper as CoE. Shortest suicide note in history?

  • Comment number 19.

    14. At 8:27pm on 13 Sep 2010, Peter wrote:

    "When are the public sector going to realise that they need to suffer the same pain as the private sector. They work far to few hours are paid to much & have a far to genorous pension to look forward to..... WE CAN'T AFFORD IT!!! Why should the private sector support such a bloated & inefficient public sector if the public sector are so concerned about job cuts they would take a pay cut like i have done my salary has been reduced by £3500.00 plus l now work 6 days a week doing 65 - 70 hours a week show me a public sector worker who has done that to keep there job....... Plus l have lost all my bonuses l don't have time for public sector workers winging all the time..... they are better paid, work fewer hours & can look forward to a GOLD plated retirement..... l don't have enough left each month to put in my pension. Why shoudl l subsidise someone elses. They will now discover what real work is & about time!!!!!"

    Sounds like a bit of a whinge there Peter. Hope not, because we don't like whingers, do we? I hope that your position is not under threat like so many in the public sector. Many public sector workers are likely to lose more than £3,500. Of course, if the Company you work for is dependant upon Pulic Service employees using your service or buying your products, you may like to prepare yourself for yet another pay cut. It's all sounds like a bit of a nuisance which every way you care to look at it.



  • Comment number 20.

    Peter @ 14

    Sorry to hear you are having a hard time at work. But as various others have pointed out, it's impossible to generalize. For example, I work in the private sector and earn a fortune for a relatively modest number of hours. I am not unique. (Not in that sense, anyway.) Public sector job? No thank you.

  • Comment number 21.

    12 & 18

    Of course the word "shadow" is quite important here.

    First the Iron Lady, followed by the Iron Chancellor, coming soon the Iron Lady Chancellor. Completes the trilogy.

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    No14 Peter,
    With all your problems,do you think the time might be right to join a militant workers group? Private or public sector? 'Workers of the world unite, all you have to lose is your chains' We will find out how clever the 'socially useless' reckless, greedy, incompetent bankers and their spokesmen at Westminster are when the power goes off.If the proposed action destroys the political and economic system, that is rotten to the core, what is the problem?

  • Comment number 24.

    "Might not the electorate possibly forgive them this one time and give them an Obama moment at the next GE?" snuff @ 17

    Now that's a thought. I did have Clegg down, just for a brief period during the campaign, as "our Obama" - until his v poor performance in the second TV debate.

  • Comment number 25.

    @14 Peter

    Would you care to share with us what is is you do and where you do it?

    It would help my understanding of the point you are making.

    At the moment is just sounds like a jealeous rant against my hard earned pension rights.

    Sorry to hear you have lost all your bonuses. Personally, I've never received one. I signed up to do a job for a given salary. I delivered and so did my employer.

    An example of the "bloated and inefficient" public sector would also be helpful in understaning your perspective.

    Regards

  • Comment number 26.

    Peter, you seem to need a Union to defend your position.

    Has your employer had to suffer the same reduction in earnings as you and has it had the same dramatic effect as it obviouly had on you?

    There are lots of people who seem to have got jobs where they do not have to work that hard, but they are not confined to the public sector. There are amny more in both public and private sector who work very hard at the jobs they are asked to do.

  • Comment number 27.

    23. IPGABP1.
    indeed. it is very liberating to find yourself in a room with people who hold the same moral principles. gives a bit of confidence when dealing with the right wing apathy and imorality on here ;-)

  • Comment number 28.

    I think when Mr Cameron used the phrase "Broken Britain" during the election, he confused observation and aspiration in that, rather than being a broken society, his intention is to smash it to pieces. The 'Nasty party' are back and have still not learnt that you cannot have a cohesive society by declaring war on the weakest sections of it! When Osbourne talks of benefit cheats yet ignores the fact that 10 times more revenue is lost through tax evasion. The tories created this 'aspirational' society under Thatcherism. People now have far more to loose and the liberal demoncrats are about to discover that as society polarizes into a have's and have not's ,that if you stand in the middle of the road, you get run over by traffic going in both directions!

  • Comment number 29.

    It is interesting to find out that tens of thousands of police officers are to be thrown on the scrap heap by the sons of Thatcher. It will just be a short time before they and their families will be being denounced as scroungers by the gutter press.
    I wonder how many of them will remember when they appeared to delight in acting as her storm troopers during the industrial battles of the 80's.
    They will at least have the satisfaction of knowing that the savings from their lost salaries will be transferred to the 'socially useless' louts in the City and their tax exile friends that fund the current Tory party.

  • Comment number 30.

    Reading the chatter of the politico's about which 'android' is next in line for the trough at the top of the Labour party makes me sick! We have created a political class with as much individuality as a ford focus! and can change their colour just as easily. C'mon Britain, there must be a few hundred people out there with honesty,integrity and some sense.There must be a new way that isn't loony, racist or hateful? There must be good people that think 'us'rather than me, surely? Lets dump the whole damn lot and start over!

  • Comment number 31.

    Given Gordon's old preference for announcing policy on the hoof via You Tube from the bunker with his gurning antics rather than in the commons, for them to accuse anyone of being unparliamentary is a hoot!

    Naughty boy, George. Dont do it again!

    {snigger}

  • Comment number 32.

    Cor, one person pipes up being in favour of the public sector sharing some of the pain and you're all over him like rats.

    Nothing new then I guess. Seems like most of you only sing when you're winning, when this board is open.

    How do you keep a lid on all that frothing militancy when Nick's censors pull the shutters down after about 200 posts?

  • Comment number 33.

    "it is very liberating to find yourself in a room with people who hold the same moral principles."

    All the rest of us need now is the virtual Zyklon B through a hole in the roof. That should do the trick.

  • Comment number 34.

    No30 Vince,
    Thank you for the invitation.

  • Comment number 35.

    14. At 8:27pm on 13 Sep 2010, Peter

    I'm not a tory so I have every concern for your predicament - a tory would just say that if your employers business is failing then so what.

    When they cut billions out of public spending thousands of people in both public jobs and private sector jobs dependent on government contracts will be unemployed and not spending. Estimates suggest 17,000 private firms are likely to fail as part of this. Millions in both public jobs and private sector jobs dependent on government contracts will be scared and will stop spending. More shops will close, more car dealers will go bust, all their ex-staff will no longer be spending.

    The last few customers your employer has will dry up.

    Will you be as gleefull about the cuts when you are one of the unemployed?

  • Comment number 36.

    "Imagine the average vacancy, up for the job are several recently redundent workers with great refences citing good attendance, reliability, hard work etc and then someone who hasn't worked for two years, recent depression/bad back OR simply not used to work any more, these people in many cases through no fault of their own simply have zero appeal to any employer. I'm sorry but I know from years of experience involving recruitment."

    "That is the insouable problem, NOT in many cases unwillingness to work by the individual BUT unwillingness to employ by the employer."

    Actions have consequences then, dont they? 'Course, nobody out there (except the babyeating tories, naturally) EVER got themselves into the predicament they're in, did they? Noooooo..... course not. Honest as the day is long, all of them, eh mate? Sheesh......

    Welcome to Tory Britain...........Punish the poor, protect the rich.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Always someone elses fault, aint it mate?

    Come on, get them slogans going, you know you want to. I can see you all going into the cupboard under the stairs or into the lofts looking for your banners and placards from the 1980's, itching to get stuck in! Arf!

  • Comment number 37.

    12#

    Balls as Foreign Sec? Millibanana was a abject disaster, saying that terrorism could be justified and lecturing the Indians about the Mumbai attacks telling them they had it coming (Jesus wept, what an idiot...) but Blinky, at the FO? Yvette as Chancellor?


    Have you been sniffing the Vim again mate? Do you really think this is some big game? What possible reasons could anyone have for putting Yvette into the Treasury???

  • Comment number 38.

    Yvette Cooper? Isn't she just 'window dressing'?

    It's a great time to be a tory...

  • Comment number 39.

    6&7#

    At least some considered, realistic comment, devoid of the hypocritical dog-whistling that is in the remaining 80% of the posts on here. Well thought out.

  • Comment number 40.

    38. At 08:57am on 14 Sep 2010, rockRobin7 wrote:
    Yvette Cooper? Isn't she just 'window dressing'?

    Wouldn't entice me into the shop, let alone to make a purchase!

  • Comment number 41.

    40 John..

    me neither. In fact, the more one thinks about Caroline Flint's remarks about women in the cabinet the more one wonders what on earth she was talking about? Or about whom?

    I mean, Jacqui Smith? Hazel Blears? Margaret Beckett? Window dressing for what exactly?

    Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. God bless them.

  • Comment number 42.

    Fubar @ 39
    Thanks goodness we have you around to ensure standards don't slip.

    Gas chamber gag, anyone?

  • Comment number 43.

    Yvette Cooper ? Apart for her talent for producing fairy tales and looking scary , her uselessness as a part of government was demonstrated when with the rest of the Labour party they dragged this country to the brink of banktrupcy. She and her colleagues have now found their true vocation, out of government where they can't do any more damage.

  • Comment number 44.

    40/41
    Indeed, more like wound dressing. But still, an undignified topic to wander off into. I can't see Michael Gove moonlighting as a Chippendale, but that doesn't make him any less of an asset.

  • Comment number 45.

    42#

    I'm merely keeping my foot on the head of the discussion PD, at its appropriate gutter level where it seems to be happiest.

    Dont want these lefties getting above themselves at the first sniff of trouble, do we?

  • Comment number 46.

    No38 RockingRobin,
    It must be great to be a Tory now that Downing Street has been turned into a doss house for discredited, third rate Murdoch hacks.

  • Comment number 47.

    Oh what a silly Lib Dem MP! Does he not realise that he is shooting himself and his party in the foot?

    If it weren't for the coalition his party would be no way near to having the priveleges they now have - they will be able to put forward their policies for consideration much easier than if they had not been joined at the hip to the Conservatives.

    The Lib Dems are a naive party indeed, they should muzzle 'im!

    Have faith in the coalition, and its leaders. They want what is right for the country not a few greedy trade unionists who, by the way, are also shooting themselves in the foot because their membership now down to 6% does not hold favour with the country.

    The "Trades Unions" whatevery THEY are, are about to ensure that the Labour Party will be wiped out of this country for decades if not for ever. So, yes, militant leaders and despots - carry on PLEASE!!

  • Comment number 48.

    I think the main issue here is the Government is doing exactly what the previous lot did ! Announce policy via the BBC and produce policy based on what they think the public want to here

    I'm not interested in that - just do what is right

    The welfare system does need a massive overhaul, there are people who can live more comfortably on benefits than working - this is wrong. The problem is that it's very difficult to separate the folk who genuinely want to work and those that don't. The numbers who don't want to work are a lot less than those who do, and the vast majority of people out of work want to get back

    We need to create jobs for them to go to, but there is also a genuine need to make life less comfortable for the people who refuse to work because they don't want to; and these people do exist

    I agree with several on here who advocate a voucher system for benefits, I do appreciate that this can be demeaning so I would propose a 'switch' card issued that is tied to an account where the benefits are payed. This can then be used to pay for bills etc over the counter or online just as everyone else does. The account can be locked so that only bills can be paid, the user will not be able to do cashback on the account to get cash money. I realise it needs more thought, but it should be workable - this would remove the stigma of paying for goods with vouchers

  • Comment number 49.

    46#

    as opposed to one for recovering alcoholic former porn writers, Sout?? :-))

  • Comment number 50.

    46

    no, you're right. It was so much better having 'Mr September Dossier' himself in Downing Street... the man detained by the police while in hospital for alcoholism, the lifelong supporter of Robert Maxwell and the man fianlly denounced by Blair as a 'mad man'...

    How lucky were we and we didn't know it?

    Too much protesting on Coulson. It will get you absolutely nowhere.

    It's a great time to be a tory...

  • Comment number 51.

    48

    Good idea Chewst. Considering the amount of other stigmas for far worse things that have fallen by the wayside in the last 40 years, I wouldnt have thought there would have been much stigma left in handing over vouchers to pay for bills....

  • Comment number 52.

    Poor old Fubar - I think you are the one stuck in the past. You need to remember that the Tories did not get a majority at the election. You need to keep the LibDems on side to stay in power.

    Personally I think jokes about the holocaust (see comment @ 33) are in extremely bad taste and something the vast majority of the population would find offensive. Still I guess it shows just how out of touch you really are.

  • Comment number 53.

    Industrial action should be the weapon of last resort in the event of a dispute between employers and employees. It should not be a political tool to attack the policies of government - particularly when the last election gave the voters a clear choice between more of Gordon's irresponsible spending, or cuts to reduce the record deficit. The reason Labour lost so many votes is because people rejected Brown's 'send-spend-spend' policies.

    But now we see Hatty is supporting industrial action carried out by Trade Unions to fight the cuts.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11283048

    The Unions do not represent the voters. Crow and his TUC comrades have learnt nothing from the 1970s, New legislation is now needed to discourage strikes which do not directly relate to employees' disputes. Thousands of people have been unable to get to work thanks to Crow. Customers who have pre-paid for their travel should be entitled to compensation from the Union - and Courts given power to sequestrate their funds.

  • Comment number 54.

    #51 Fubes,

    It could work, you could organise creditors to accept or decline payments from cards with certain account codes - most definitely possible today

    You can then accept payments for gas/water/electricity/utilities etc but then also block payments to non-essentials such as Sky TV, drugs, etc

    OK, you then have to get into the 'what is essential' argument but that's no massive hurdle. Food, shelter, utilities should about cover it. A small amount of cash money is needed but the majority of anyone's expenditure is utilities

    Besides which, most of the folk that get Daily Mail readers salivating usually work on the black anyway; and have access to cash from working. All the JSA is is a government top-up to their beer fund!

    @pdavies - I really, really wish you hadn't put the thought of Micheal Gove as a chippendale into my head !! Now i'm getting visions of Yvette Cooper as a GoGo dancer !! Yikes :)

  • Comment number 55.

    Where ever cuts are made it will be painful. Britain has become very reliant on the state in many ways. The private sector upon which the wealth of Britain relies, for this state support, has already shrank and will continue to do so unless something is done. The private sector has seen its pensions benefits decline, hours cut, earnings go down and loss of jobs. Why should a low paid worker in the private sector pay towards public sector pensions, for instance, through taxation, when he cannot afford one for himself. This is something which should be addressed and public sector pensions brought in line with the private sector.

    Welfare and benefits has been the biggest area which has grown in Britain over the years that Labour were in Government and should be the first one to be cut. Quickly followed by other public sector cuts. This will not effect producing good quality services if the right cuts are made. Non jobs were created by Labour in the public sector to keep votes. Immigrants were allowed in to do the jobs British people would not do, ensuring that should there be a downturn the state would have more people to provide for. You can ask anyone who lives in any estate in Britain, and they will say the same British people are still unemployed after the Labour administration as there was before. Yet polish people and other immigrants can find work. These people just do not want to work. It is now time for these people to feel some of the pain for their inactivity.

    As to the police, it is not their place to threaten or be politically active, it is their place to carry out the Government of the days wishes. To try to frighten the public in this way, is to prove how much they have be removed from their proper duties under Labours administration. With the knowledge that only one in ten policemen are actually on the beat, it should accur to them that the public will hardly notice should there be cuts. The police need radical reform and quickly. It has become a bloated, uneffective service.

    As to Unions I will take no lessons from overpaid Union leaders. These people themselves are high earners, much increased under Labour, and have nothing in common with their members or working class people. They are not independent bodies, as they are tied to the Labour Party, and on average only have the support of 20-30% of their members. As the majority of the public are not in Unions, they have no right to hold Britain to ransom, for their own means. I would therefore bring legislation in to curtail their activities.

    As to Britains place in the Global setting. The rest of the World is moving on. Developing Countries, have overtaken Britain, what were socalist countries are embracing the capitalist system and are now Britains competitors. Even Cuba wants to now join in the capitalist world. The socialist experiment is dead and has been for some time. I would not allow these dinosaurs who spout this socialist nonsense, to spoil any chance Britain has to recover. It will be hard enough without this problem.

    It is to be remembered by unions and people on here who are socialist, that it was their own form of ideology which has brought Britain to this sad state, as it was under Labour that Britain declined. The Conservatives and Lib/Dems were not in power. Indeed during these years of Labour, opposition was sadly lacking therefore the responsibility is solely on Labour.

    I find these people from Unions and the left-wing do a lot of moaning but do not present an alternative way forward for Britain. Windfalls on the banks would not touch our debt and they would simply relocate which would speed up Britains decline further. Tax on the high earners at some points at 65.4% of their income, can go no higher without wiping out growth completely, something Britain needs to create jobs. You could tax the rest of society more, something that may have to happen anyway, but this would not only hurt the economy but hardworking families. This also would not be enough, borrowing would continue and certain decline would soon follow.

    The message the Coalition should send to the public is modernize into the new Global age or decline as a Nation. However I doubt they are brave enough.


  • Comment number 56.

    52#

    Dont be so touchy Cassandra. I'm fully aware the tories didnt get a majority. I'm just not so sure that Labour have finally accepted that they lost.

    Thankfully, the vast majority of the population dont inhabit boards such as this. This board is for people who whether they are in or out of work, have too much time on their hands. And considering how often I have defended Israel on these boards against the usual knee-jerk pro-Hamas/Anti Semetic/Anti American left wing crass garbage, saying I'm making a joke about the holocaust when I clearly did not (if it offends your sensibilities, change it to Sarin or VX or Phosgene, or any one of the other persistent nerve agents instead).

  • Comment number 57.

    54#

    Ewww.....

    Now imagine Ed Balls as being the er... other erm, "entertainment"....

    Mindbleach please. Industrial quantities of.

  • Comment number 58.

    12. At 8:04pm on 13 Sep 2010, sagamix wrote:
    Yvette Cooper as Chancellor is fine - more than fine - but where does this leave Ed Balls? Foreign Sec? Mmm, not sure about that. Guess she could shadow the role until March 2012 and then, following the election, move aside for her husband. She herself could then be Foreign Secretary. With David Miliband as PM, and his younger brother Ed as Home Sec, this could be quite a fizzy and formidable top team.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just one big problem with this or perhaps two. Firstly they would have to win an election, but more importantly how long before the knives are out. They may be brothers but the Milibands walk on opposite sides of the street. Would Edd Balls play the game, he didn't with the previous dream team and even stabbed his best mate and mentor Gordon in the back. There is also the issue of the union block vote, this surely will not go the the right wing so David will miss out on hat support. I feel that we are in for a surprise with a shift to the left and Labour becoming more traditional in its views and policies. A good thing as we will at least have an option when the election comes around. We may even see the Liberals returning to their old values. What a refreshing time rather than them all trying to squeeze onto the central right ground. Conservatives with a big "C" and nu Labour with an even bigger "C". At times nu Labour were further right than Thatcher had dared.

  • Comment number 59.

    #55 Susan Croft wrote:
    "Tax on the high earners at some points at 65.4% of their income, can go no higher without wiping out growth completely, something Britain needs to create jobs."

    Yes. It's interesting that the coalition has rejected the advice of the OECD, which I quote:

    "Consider reducing the top rate of PIT [personal income tax], which is substantially above the OECD average and likely to adversely affect work incentives and entrepreneurship, particularly of high skilled workers. Consideration should be given to reducing the top rate of PIT to close to 40%"
    (source: OECD 'UK Policies for a Sustainable Recovery' July 2010)

    The coalition should be bold and accept the OECD's recommendations. No tax veto for Vince Cable.

  • Comment number 60.

    Let's put things into perspective. Of the total workforce of the UK (26 million), public sector accounts for 6 million. In the last 2 years private sector employees have shown flexibilty, adapatability and understanding of the economic climate by working fewer hours, multi-tasking jobs, and taking pay cuts.

    Until the public sector do the same, I have no sympathy for them. And yes, I have worked in the public sector (GMP) I have seen the different working practices and the reason I got out was the enormous bureaucratic hoops to get anything changed it became mind numbingly paralysing.

    So please, accept that change has to come. And by the way, until the Public Sector understand that their paymasters are not the government, it is Mr & Mrs Joe Public, the better they will appreciate the 20million taxpayers who are fed up of their whingeing.

  • Comment number 61.

    58

    "Labour lurch left" ... will make a nice headline when they finally announce the result. And will keep them out of office for some time to come.

    And I see sagamix is still using the old Blairite language of a 'fizzing team' ... is this 'fizzing' as in 'the blue touch paper is fizzing and about to explode'?

    Yvette Cooper for chancellor...what a ridiculous idea. 'It's the right thing to do...' (as she triples the national debt, watches interest rates go to Greek levels of 11.5% and sees our credit rating crucified)

    Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition...

  • Comment number 62.

    John @ 59

    What evidence is there to suggest that the UK's current tax rates are stifling growth? Susan-Croft's favourite economic model, Sweden, has a tax burden higher than ours (albeit lower than it once was) and yet continues to enjoy strong growth. How does that square?

    By the way, I believe the figure of 65.4% only applies to earnings between £100,000 and £112,950 as it combines tax rates with the phased withdrawal of personal allowances. Above 112,950 the rate drops again. Is that right?

  • Comment number 63.

    This only shows how more problems can arise from a coalition than from a single party government.

    I doubt the Tories or the Lib Dems are happy with the things going on and it's nice to see some discussion taking place between them rather than an all out war in public, that would be bad for the coalition when both parties have put their hopes on trying their best to make this work so that they can put a positive spin on their time in office instead of creating an image that will lead to flocks of people turning away from the Tories and Lib Dems, maybe to Labour or possibly the BNP or maybe it will help to curb voter turn out to even lower levels than what we're generally used to.

    No matter what happens, things are going to be bad and I'm sure that many people will suffer despite what the government say about protecting people. All the government can really do is try to minimise the effects but considering the state of the economy I can see that being a very tricky situation to deal with.

    If life was meant to be fair then all would be fine but as we all see, whether or not people want to accept it, is that life isn't fair as we so often hear about from statistics even though it's obvious. We are all different and people are not the same as families, environments and circumstances are all different.

    I would like to see much more done to target the rich and those who are more able to afford such a burden but in our world of competitive trade and globalisation with the rich minority driving the majority of business investment and growth then it's hardly surprising that nobody wants to upset these people because otherwise their money would disappear from the economy. More should be done to tackle the wasters that abuse the welfare system and the tax evaders who don't want to contribute to society. However, the culture of this country and its society has led us down the path of people choosing to and even being allowed to abuse the system for their own benefit while the rest of the law abiding masses have to suffer for it.

    It's like the whole dangerous dog issue with deciding whether or not to bring in new licensing laws. How much would it cost to manage and control the system against how much money would be collected because the law abiding people would be forced to suffer the burden as it would be illegal not to do such a thing while the people who wouldn't do it still wouldn't do it and is it worth throwing money away to chase them down only to receive a level of money that doesn't cover the costs of chasing down that money, which should have been paid.

    This is really a simple matter of choice of following what has always gone on before, putting our own individual interests above everything else as our society has grown accustomed to, or finding ways to pull together to solve the problems by not just reforming and restructuring our economy but also the society upon which we all live in.

    All the parties insist on drawing lines in the sand, sparking needless arguments when what people want to see is everybody pulling together, acknowledging the problems and reaching a solution that may not be perfect but can help move things in a better direction. This argument has overflowed in to all parts of society to the point where we can only see the dividing lines between cuts or no cuts to sort out the current mess without truly facing up to the collective responsibility that has brought our country to this point and how we can all continue the pointless arguments over drawing lines in the sand or acknowledging the problems and facing up to the realisation that we need to deal with those problems so that we can move towards a better future for us all.

    No matter what is said, it is still down to the government who have the final say and instad of simply waiting to react to what everybody realises is going to be painful, let's start trying to be more proactive in coming together to tackle the problems of the past to lay the foundations of the future where we aren't individualistic, selfish only living in the present day seeking whatever we can today while letting tomorrow burn but realising that as the UK's community we need to stand strong against the currents that threaten to capsize the ship, and acknowledge that we will all have to suffer part of this burden until the storm has passed by.

  • Comment number 64.

    sc @ 55

    "Where ever cuts are made it will be painful."

    Yes, Susan, so let's not overdo it. Let's keep self flagellation where it belongs ... not sure where that is but I do know it's nowhere near fiscal policy.

    Otherwise - i.e. apart from not making this "don't overdo it" point - a good post. Why? Well, quite a few lines but not a single reference to The Wealth Creators (starring Roger Moore and Tony Curtis). Shows you do listen to me sometimes. Can't tell you how much that means.

  • Comment number 65.

    pdavies65 62

    Davies do not start telling stories again. People have only to read my posts on Sweden to know you are not speaking the truth. Swedens tax went high because they overspent in the public sector. Canada and Sweden were my examples of Countries who made successful Government spending cuts. Now tax is on the way down for high earners in Sweden with the abolition of wealth tax, inheritance tax etc and these measures have seen growth increase. You lost on this one the last time, give it up for heavens sake.

    Furthermore people on high incomes have to pass the 65.4% upwards thus I said at points it reaches. However you are fogetting the new puntivie measures on pensions that come into force for high earners in 2011. Which will mean they not have to pay tax on their contributions to pensions but those of the employer as well. Not forgetting of course the extra tax on dividents which goes up to 42.5%.


  • Comment number 66.

    #62 pd65

    I was quoting the recommendations of the economists at the OECD, who tend to understand these issues (much) better than I do.

    I have drilled down into the research papers of the OECD (and IMF and EU) in the past, but not today. If you care to do the same you will find reference to some of the studies supporting the OECD's economic policies.

  • Comment number 67.

    johnharris66 59

    I dont know john you seem to be everywhere these days, wherease before you used to send very few posts. Not so much to do then these days, maybe. Odd that you should pick on the OECD for your reference, because I was just talking about them this morning. I mean there are many more better quality organisations out there saying the same thing, maybe you missed those.

    Still, so be it, if, and I have not checked, the OECD are saying this then it is a very sensible approach.

  • Comment number 68.

    "Yvette Cooper for chancellor...what a ridiculous idea. 'It's the right thing to do...' (as she triples the national debt, watches interest rates go to Greek levels of 11.5% and sees our credit rating crucified)" - rr7 @ 61

    Oh do stop it, Robin.

    "ITRTTD" did get annoying, I'll give you that, but certainly being rivalled now by "Labour left us SUCH a mess". Sick and tired of hearing this from all and sundry government spokespeople. Not true for starters (that the "mess" is Labour created) and also it's such an unattractive mantra. Stop whinging for heaven's sake and get on with butchering the public sector or whatever else it is you want to do.

    As for Yvette as Chancellor being a ridiculous idea, well not really. She's pretty talented for one thing and even if she wasn't, that we have George Osborne in the job rather reduces our "ridiculousness" threshold, don't you think? Cracks the field wide open, I'd say. Lembit Opik? Fabio Capello? Jonathan Ross? Jedward? Why the hell not. I can even imagine William Hague in the job.

  • Comment number 69.

    Yes, indeed Mr & Mrs Joe Public do pay for the public sector.

    But they are a diminishing breed, surely? Not that some of the commentators on here would understand. In their heads the public sector are a) paid with money created by fairies and b) the public sector is the main economy of the country without which the private sector would shrivel and die...

    I lost my private sector job two years ago. I love the way some people on here are talking like the private sector hasn't already been through the hardship and that the public sector are being picked on.

    I worked for an energy company. Any public sector employee on here like to put up an argument about why they should pay more on their electricity bill to keep me employed?

    Thought not.

    The best thing about not working and now living in Germany means that our household now only contribute a tiny amount of taxes towards the UK public sector. Teachers who don't teach, nurses that don't nurse, police officers that don't police, armed forces that fight political wars...Pleeeease. We may contribute instead to the German public sector but at least the police are visible, the streets are clean, the parks are plentiful, the snow is cleared and children can get themselves to school on their own without some meddling social worker sending threatening letters.

    Interesting comment about Sweden. Not sure how other countries make it work and this probably needs more investigation. I'm not anti public sector (just fed up with paying a fortune for it and getting very little in return). I think it's too easy just to say "Sweden have high taxes and a large public sector" and leave it at that. That's like saying someone earning £50k a year will be just as wealthy as another person earning £50k a year.

    However Sweden has done it, let's get one fact straight. A public sector that costs more than the private sector can pay for is not (in the long term) viable. Doesn't matter how much public sector employees and their unions rant and shout. However if you disagree, tell you what...you send me a tenner, I'll give you a fiver and you can consider yourself five pounds better off. Considering some of the economical thinking one sees on blogs nowadays, there are folks out there who would think that's a marvellous idea....!!

  • Comment number 70.

    Susan-Croft @ 65
    It is nonsensical to accuse me of lying when nothing in your comment contradicts or corrects what I said in mine. People can read both comments. I even mentioned myself that tax rates in Sweden had been cut.

    Are you saying that Sweden is no longer a high-tax country? Can you back that up with figures? Is my assertion that Sweden currently has the second highest tax burden in the world, coupled with continuing growth, incorrect?

    You can either answer those questions directly or have another go at me. I know which is easier!

  • Comment number 71.

    66@66

    Doesn't sound like much fun, and I'm terribly busy today, so I'll take a rain check. But I've enjoyed our little exchange. It's been too long!

  • Comment number 72.

    So Susan Croft I would like to know precisely which countries you consider to be good role models for the UK to learn from? Do you really suggest this government should follow the policies of Sweden or Canada?

    Oh and by the way your understandig of what is socialist is hilarious - seems to cover everything from Cuba to Sweden to Germany.

  • Comment number 73.

    It is good to see someone calling the chancellor to account. I am concerned at the way that announcements on suggested public spending and welfare cuts have been made through the media, rather than being discussed as they should be in the House of Commons. With a coalition government with a slim majority I had expected reasonable discussions and debates to come up with a realistic plan to deal with the effects of the credit crunch/economic down turn.

    I agree with Boilerbill's comments from yesterday 6.36pm -

    The spending cuts suggested will equal more people unemployed, chasing the few jobs that will be available in the private sector which will push up cost of welfare state and increase public spending. The minority of people who have prehaps made a lifestyle choice of claiming benefits will stand no chance of getting jobs.

    MPs should be asking the leaders of the Coalition government questions and demanding proper debate on the suggestions being put forward.


    The tory's are coming out with their usual rethoric which doesn't seem to have changed since the 80's. I don't think what they are suggesting suits the times that we are in if we want a stable economy and fair society then real debate is needed. Not having proper debate on subjects of what kind of society we want, whether the percieved deficit is a problem or not and about what risks there are with public sector cuts, not reforming the banking system and whether we need to rethink our approach to growth is bugging me.

    Plus what also bugs me is that you can't make generalisations that everyone who works in the public sector are not doing worthwhile jobs that support society. Also annoying is the seeming belief that the market knows best, however hasn't history shown that leaving everything to the will of the market, doesn't work and leads to ineffeciencies in itself.

    I agree with Boilerbill's comments from yesterday 6.36pm.

    The spending cuts suggested will equal more people unemployed, chasing the few jobs that will be available in the private sector which will push up cost of welfare state and increase public spending. It will also increase divide between rich and poor and make more people worse off. The minority of people who have prehaps made a lifestyle choice of claiming benefits will stand no chance of getting jobs. Osborne in his announcements doesn't seem to grasp this likely consequence of the action he suggests.

  • Comment number 74.

    we need systemic reform, such as like in the Child Protection area of public services. A family where told a 20 yard walk to a bus for there child without an adult was a child protection issue.

    Child protection has become a creeping cancer of an industry to keep public serives jobs going.

    What we need to do is accept that we cannot put a ring of steel around our children for there protection but we will do our best to protect them by

    1) remove the sex offenders registor
    2) Jail ALL sex offenders for like that are a threat to anyone, putting them of a registor DOES not help anyone other than Public sector jobs.

    3) employ staff and build more jails for the sex offenders
    4) CUT the number of people involve in the Child protection racket.

    Thus stopping taring everyone else with having to go through a vetting process.

    This is were the state needs to be rolled back from the intrution of private citesens lives.

  • Comment number 75.

    Alphaphantom - agree with comments in last 5 paras of your post

  • Comment number 76.

    I see the S-C Comedy Politics Roadshow Tour continues unabated. I think the old jokes are the best jokes. Like the one about Sweden being a model for what we should do. It's the way you tell 'em. By the way is Sweden the place you've got your bags packed and ready to go off to? I think your very brave even to consider moving to a High Tax, High public spending haven.
    The one about the Trades Unions blacKmailing the nation and holding it to ransom was a classic too. Tell me now, all those rich people like yourself who threaten to pack their bags and take their assests with them, why isn't their brand of blackmail any different? Were all in it together? We must all pull together for the good of the country? Except of course if our wealthy lifestyle is threatened, in which case we'll bail out at a moments notice. Don't make me laugh.

  • Comment number 77.

    pdavies 70

    Davies I am not playing your game, for the very last time, Swedens tax rates went sky high because of their overspend in Government spending much the same as the position Britain has got itself into.

    Sweden along with Canada is an example of a Country that decided because of its high taxation due to too much Government spending to make cuts and deal with the deficit. Growth was being impeded due to this overspend. They discovered that companies were leaving Sweden because of high tax. They decided to cut their deficit and cut back on Government spending. They began to cut their deficit early and found they were able to deliver high quality services on much less money. Swedens tax is still high, however they are making tax cuts and it is on the way down. Because business now see the direction of travel that taxes are being cut for particularly high earners and the deficit has been dealt with the growth which eluded Sweden before is returning.

    The Swedish PM has said tax will continue to fall, they want to make Sweden a business friendly Country. Their aim is towards flat tax. However because of the problems of the past their recovery will take time, as would Britains if they adopted this approach, however they are getting there.

    I never said at any point that Sweden was a low tax Country, that was your invention, what I said was their taxes went high because of overspend in the public sector. In other words they were spending more than they earned as a Country and had to keep putting tax up for everyone and because of this, growth declined, much the same as British situation. Now the cuts to Government spending are made and the deficit dealt with taxation is on its way down and growth returning.

    This is my last post on this subject, if you do not understand now you never will.


  • Comment number 78.

    68. At 12:50pm on 14 Sep 2010, sagamix wrote:

    "ITRTTD" did get annoying, I'll give you that, but certainly being rivalled now by "Labour left us SUCH a mess". Sick and tired of hearing this from all and sundry government spokespeople. Not true for starters (that the "mess" is Labour created) and also it's such an unattractive mantra.

    Firstly, Labour did leave the country in a mess FACT - it is perhaps debatable whether it was their fault. Some of it was and they do have form - remember 1979. Once could be seen as unavoidable twice is becoming a habit.

    Secondly, no its not a particularly attractive mantra but understandable for the next 12 months or so. It will become very, very unattractive if in 20 years labour are still being blamed in the way that you still seem to blame Thatcher for just about everything that is wrong in the country.

  • Comment number 79.

    Cassandra 72

    I am not particularly bothered, if you don't want to know my opinion, dont read my posts. simple.

  • Comment number 80.

    #69 tinkertaylor

    Good post, I don't mind paying for services that I get!

    Remember the days when NI went to cover the NHS and your pension pot, road tax went to cover the cost of maintaining the road networks; and income tax covered the other bits?

    Not so any more - it's all in one big pot now but we still have too many different taxes

    I live in Holland at the moment where tax is also high, but you see what you are getting for your money. I see lots of police on the streets - actually walking round! And they are very polite and helpfull, and also not dressed like SAS troopers

    The local councils pay towards public events and put on lots of district activities (street fairs, music events etc) and it's all public money. You pay a bit more but you get a lot more, the streets are tidy and public transport is both reliable and inexpensive (this is a public/private company here though)

    I can't remember the last time a saw a policeman on the beat in the UK (I don't get home that much though) and you certainly don't get any civil activities organised for free

    My tax money here goes on services I see and use. When I was in the UK i'm not entirely sure what it went on! It certainly wasn't effective policing and good public transport! It used to cost nearly 6 quid to go 5 miles on the bus where I live

    I'm happier out of the UK to be honest, plus the current tax system makes it impossible for a contractor like me to work in the UK, I have IR35 to contend with, then I need expensive umbrella companies and the need to employ people like AndyC555 to help me through the minefield that is the tax system. What's wrong with just being self employed? Declare your earnings and pay your tax, simple!

  • Comment number 81.

    J73 #75 wrote:
    "The spending cuts suggested will equal more people unemployed, chasing the few jobs that will be available in the private sector which will push up cost of welfare state and increase public spending."

    I will respond as follows:

    Failure to reduce the deficit will result in higher borrowing costs. Higher borrowing to fund current consumption will result in cumulative higher debt interest payments, which will in turn eventually reduce the amount available for (non-debt servicing) public spending. This will lead to lower public sector unemployment and push up the cost of the welfare state. Alternatively, or almost certainly as well, taxation of the private sector will rise, reducing private sector employment, and resulting in higher unemployment (etc).

    Put simply, an ever-increasing proportion of public spending will be taken up by debt interest payments, crowding out any more worthwhile use of public spending that we may wish for. Now that they are in opposition Labour seem to refuse to acknowledge this.

  • Comment number 82.

    73#

    Yeah, thats what happens when you cut and paste. You end up tripping over yourself.

    As for "It is good to see someone calling the chancellor to account. I am concerned at the way that announcements on suggested public spending and welfare cuts have been made through the media, rather than being discussed as they should be in the House of Commons"....

    ... its rather a pity that no one had the guts to do the same to the last incumbent, eh, when he resorted to announcing policy on the hoof whilst gurning on YouTube from the No10 bunker?

  • Comment number 83.

    Idont Believeit 76

    It is no good just repeating the same thing and hoping it will be true. You lost the argument before over this and I am not going through it again with you.

    Sweden and Canada are success stories because they dealt with their deficit and cut Government spending, these two things are what had caused their taxation to go so high and lack of growth. Now they have taken these measures, taxation is being lowered, particularly for high earners and growth is returning. Something Britain still has to do.

    As to your other point, the high earners are not holding anyone to ransom. I do not see them threatening to bring the Country down with strikes. They simply and quietly taking their skills and business elsewhere where operation of this is easier and the burden of tax less. You would do exactly the same in their place, if you believed a better life could be had.

  • Comment number 84.

    "Tell me now, all those rich people like yourself who threaten to pack their bags and take their assests with them, why isn't their brand of blackmail any different?"

    Because it isnt blackmail.

    Its their right as private citizens.

    They can live, work, set up businesses anywhere in the world that they choose. If that doesnt impact directly on you, its not worth you getting worked up about it.

    Its not your decision. If they want to take their money and skills out of the country, then thats their right. Nothing blackmailing about it. May even open up vacancies for some other people, probably from outside of the EU to come in and do what they used to do, so that you dont get disturbed from your daytime TV.

    Some leave the UK because what they used to do, they no longer can, because there may be no vacancies for it. Or maybe they just got sick of the country going down the gurgler and got out before it got any worse.

    Trade unions on the other hand, in this particular case, are representing a membership who are employed to provide public services which the public, funnily enough have to pay for. By saying that the public must continue to pay for those services and not get them because some bunch of jumped up self-inflated Stalin-a-likes think that they and their memberships should be immune to the effects of the global economy, then yes, that could possibly be considered blackmail. Stretching it a bit, but nonetheless... And expecting the public to support them too, into the bargain.

    It is naive, egocentric, tub-thumping political chicanery at its British Best.

  • Comment number 85.

    Oh Suzie @79 - don't be like that. I was simply pointing out that your posts will be more interesting if they are consistent and constructive - putting forward positive proposals rather than just attacking.

    You apparently want to slash government expenditure and reduce taxes. Yet you do never seem to be able to say how that should be done. That is why I asked you to name a country that you considered could be a role model for the UK. You have refused to do that - I think we all know why.

  • Comment number 86.

    80#

    Ditto chewst. I'm in exactly the same boat as you, just a further 100Km's along the E40.

  • Comment number 87.

    Susan @ 77

    I can see why you want to escape this particular debate. You can't duck the fact that Sweden is a high-tax country which also has high growth rates. This may not sit comfortably with your view of how the world works, but that doesn't make it any less true. Sometimes, we have to alter our views to accommodate reality.

    Shame you don't want to continue this conversation - it's such fun! - but I do understand why.

  • Comment number 88.

    Looking at the 2009/2010 tax figures that show what HMRC actually receives it is striking that the bulk is Income Tax and NI at 55 percent followed by VAT at 17 percent of total received. Corporation Tax surprisingly only makes up 8 percent of the total especially in the light of the large profits made by banks. In the good times these percentages were the same bar corporation tax hit 10 percent.

    The other 20 percent comes from duties (petrol, alcohol, ciggies etc). Inheritance Tax and capital gains Tax are very small beer indeed. I assume that HMRC are doing the job but equally that could be wildly optimistic. I would have thought that a strong economy would have corporation tax as a bigger contributor percentage wise to all taxes received by HMRC. The data I saw covered the period 2001 to 2010: it would be interesting to see if these percentages have changed over time.

  • Comment number 89.

    Mightychewster @ 2.05pm

    Thank you for your response, glad to hear Holland is providing a good service for monies paid.

    Something often lost on our current public service.

    I totally resent having to pay the high taxes in the UK but still feel that the best education for my child is a fee-paying school. Or if I want the best of health, I'm going to need private health care on top of paying rediculous sums for the NHS.

    But even more I resent the fact that the six months my child did spend in a state school, the teachers failed to teach maths and english but were more than eager to spread their ideologies of how marvellous the EU (in their opinion) is. Along with all their other fantasies about multi-culturalism, feminism and global warming. Using the public sector to spread state propaganda and other dodgy ideologies and opinions as "facts" is unhealthy for democracy and to force me by law to pay for it is, to be frank, immoral.

    Once the public sector had a lot of public sympathy. The problem now is that my personal experiences of the public sector are, I believe, not isolated. I think a lot of the public are fed up at the dreadful service the public sector gives and the haughty way in which its employees look down on those unfortunate enough to use them.

    Worse than that, I think the public are starting to view the public sector with suspicion - such as the politising of the police who can't arrest a thug hanging outside your home but will soon sort you out if you dare to have a debate about Islam, or our armies being sent to fight wars because God told Blair it was the right thing to do.

    A well run and efficient public sector with fairly paid employees has an important role to play in any society or economy. That I am happy with. But the public sector should never get too large or too controlling or believe itself to be the economy. But that's the stage we've got to - it's become like an asset bubble, overpriced and full of speculators and chancers. And like an asset bubble - it will burst.

  • Comment number 90.

    Fubar I appreciate that you did not want a coalition government and that Mr Cameron is a bit left wing for your liking (Susan would probably label him a socialist) but I am afraid we all (even you) need to live in the real world.

    I know you do not live in this country but Gordon Brown and Tony Blair are yesterday's men. It makes your arguments look very weak if any criticism of our new leadership is met by - well Brown/Blair/New Labour did it so the Tories/Lib Dems can too. You're still consumed with yesterday's battles.

    Why not try to put together a post that puts forward some positive proposals to deal with the deficit that are likely to be supported by both partners in the coalition.



  • Comment number 91.

    Cassandra 85

    I guessed you were a wind up merchant. My posts address the issues and I have told people like you, dozens of times how I believe the problems of the economy can be addressed. However because it is not what you want hear, you dismiss it. It is your posts, I believe, that fit into attack mode not mine.

  • Comment number 92.

    86. At 3:16pm on 14 Sep 2010, Fubar_Saunders wrote:
    80# (= bloke in Holland)

    Ditto chewst. I'm in exactly the same boat as you, just a further 100Km's along the E40.
    ====================================

    Hang on a minute. Are you in HOLLAND?

    So you are not even in the disunited kingdom????

    Yet you feel free to devote several hundred posts a day telling us how best to wreck what little is left of the country?

    Isn't there something similar in Holland where you could advise them on how to wreck Holland?

  • Comment number 93.

    80 & 86 - so let me get this straight - each of you is saying that the tax and benefit systems in Holland and Belgium are better than the UK. SusanCroft aren't they both socialist countries?

    Neither Fubar or MightyChewster live in this country but apparently spend much of their spare time telling us what should happen to this country. That is what I call having the courage of your convictions - bleating from the sidelines.

  • Comment number 94.

    pdavies65 87

    No I do not want to escape the Swedish debate, I just do not want to debate it with you, because your intellect does not allow you to take simple information in, it seems.

    Such as my 77, you cannot understand, or you wont, either way it makes no sense to carry on in this fashion with you.

    As to it being fun, yes I guess somebody of your particular nature would find it so, nothing better to do I suppose. Teaching must be an easy job these days and maturity level very low.

    Besides there are some interesting posts come on from Fubar, chewster etc which I would rather read than have to answer time wasters.




  • Comment number 95.

    Given the changes in legislation since the 1980s it is absurd to say the unions can,or indeed, want to" hold the country to ransom"...it is such remarks that belong in the 1970s,not the unions.

    Re Sweden: The country is a high tax,high public spending country. 80% of blue collar workers are unionised and nearly the same goes for white collar workers. Indeed the largest unions have a long-standing relationship (and influence over) the ruling Social Democrats.

    Fubar and Robin would love it...

  • Comment number 96.

    #90 see my comment at #74.

    What we required is a complete systems overhaul of many areas of "PUBLIC SERVICES" particulary those that have arose in the last 13 years in an attempt to control and invade most of the populations private
    lifes but still letting the perpitrators of serious crimes that others have to be judged against to get a job when they have done no wrong all in the name of "protection" BUT it does not actaully create protection.

    No one can protect against an event like Rauol Mote or the man from cumbria other than to have many more police on the ground, which I'm for.

    But then to use a figure like 23 homicides in 10 years which actually is split between male/Female 50/50 approx to then use this to tarre every father that enters the Family Courts saok up huge personal funds and state fund too boot needs looking at. We are not looking at a odd million here the bill runs into Billions and over the last 13 years is a massive amount that could have been depolyed in a much fairer manner like reduced tax or less debt mountain for starters.

    Why should one sections of the populus have uptapped resources at there disposal to create mayhem for others.

  • Comment number 97.

    excellent 88

    Very interesting ecellent, it gives you some idea of the mess Britain is in.

  • Comment number 98.

    Susan I am afraid I have been through many of your past posts. Lots of attacks on unionists, public services and Blair/Brown/New Labour. Lots of complaints about high taxes, the BBC's left wing bias, benefit cheats and "socialists".

    To date I have been unable to find one positive proposal to reduce the deficit that is likely to be supported by the coalition partners.

    It would make my day for you to prove me wrong.

  • Comment number 99.

    Susan, very surprised to see you offering up the Swedish high tax and spend model as the one for us to follow. Surprised but nonetheless gratified. That plus the end of "The Wealth Creators" (with Lewis Collins and Martin Shaw); we're going to end up in a really good place at this rate, you and I.

  • Comment number 100.

    #85 I have put up proposals to be discussed , something that ZaNu_liebour have refused to even listen too for the last 13 years ?

    So what is your opinion of them ?

 

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