HP sauce

Oh dear! It seems there a bit of a ding dong going on about the relationship between the elected House of Commons and the unelected House of Lords over this Tax Credit business…

Personally, I’m in favour of reviewing the so called tax credit system. It seems stupid to me that in order to encourage people to seek work, the government uses the welfare system to top up people’s wages if they earn under a stated amount. After all, if you can get money for sitting on your arse which is taken off you if you earn more, why not just sit on your arse for the same money?

Tax credits are, of course, a misnomer. They’re not part of the tax system, they’re part of the welfare system and the electorate put the Tory government in place based on a manifesto that undertook to reduce the cost of welfare. ‘Fair enough’ you might think were it not for the fact that Cameron went on TV before the election and stated unequivocally when pressed on the BBC that he would not be changing tax credits. This makes him at worst a liar and at best bloody stupid.

Osborne has buggered this up even further by not increasing the minimum wage at the same time as reducing tax credits – a move worth of the great stealth tax expert Gordon Brown himself! Nice try, but you shot yourself in the foot Gideon.

So the Lords has balked at blocking the move but has voted it should be delayed. The problem now is that instead of cutting welfare before increasing minimum wages, they’re proposing to increase the minimum wage before reducing welfare. Why the hell can’t these people simply employ common sense? It’s beyond me…

Really, you could see it coming. The Lords is flooded with Labour peers put there by Brown and Blair, and Lib Dem peers put there by Clegg as the price of keeping the coalition going. When you think about it, why the hell are we jumping up and down about the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels and then tolerating another set of unelected bureaucrats at home.

What will come out of this? Well, Osborne and Cameron are going to have to rethink and the Lords is going to come under increased pressure for reform.

The Lords has, in my view, had it’s day. It’s fundamentally undemocratic and deeply unrepresentative, There’s loads of Lib Dems in the Lords and practically none in the commons. It’s time it was replaced with an elected Senate and we did it properly…

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4 responses to “HP sauce

  1. It's time it was replaced with an elected Senate

    Wouldn't make any difference as they'd only be the same political place-men.

    Replace it with people selected from a pool of volunteers from the general public. Set a minimum age, education, experience, time living as a UK taxpayer and with no allegiance (current or historic) to a political party. Those selected would work for a single fixed term of five years with civil service support. Like a well-paid version of jury service, but with people who want to be there.

  2. Income tax is an insidious and regressive tax. The idea of taxing the income of the low paid and then deigning to give them back some of their own money is absurd at best. Change the tax code, stop taking their money from them and do away with a plethora of bureaucracy at the HMRC.

    As for the Lords, it is precisely because they are unelected that they can take a long view and act as a brake on the commons' excesses. The commons is always looking with one eye over the shoulder at the next election. Short termism personified.

    Given the alternatives, I'll stick with the Lords – and I would kick out the party stooges and get the hereditary ones back. They understand the principle of noblesse oblige.

  3. Can you get rid of all the fantasist godbotherers too?

  4. Again, not an argument with which I can find fault!