Category Archives: government spending

Vote!


Frankly, I just can’t be bothered with apathy any more!

A General Election is IMPORTANT! If you choose not to exercise your vote – and I will grant you that you have this right – then you abdicate your right to complain.

If you vote and your party loses, then fair enough you can criticise the winner.

If you vote and your party wins, then you can complain that you don’t like the way they are doing things.

If you don’t vote at all, then shut the fuck up! I don’t want to hear it!

And, frankly, I think if you vote for Corbyn, Abbott and McDonut then you need your bumps read – but you have the right to be that naive and at least you’ll also have earned the right to complain when they screw you over next week…

Paying for care in old age


So the Conservative manifesto is out and now we know their plans for dealing with car in our old age. Of course, the Labour cretins are already spouting that they’re penalising defenceless pensioners and are going to risk killing a few off…

Let’s look at the simple one first – the winter fuel payment. Every year each pensioner household gets a coupe of hundred quid towords their energy bills. I general spend it on a case of decent wine, but I digress. Labour say that abolishing it will hit the worse off and pensioners will die because they can’t afford to heat their homes.

This is patent scare mongering from McDoughnut and co. The Tories are not intending to take it away from the poorest people because they’re going to means test it. So people like me won’t get it and I’ll have to buy a case less of decent wine at Christmas or fund it myself. To me – and I suspect many other in my financial position – it’s sensible. for the poorest pensioners, it’ll not effect them. More Project Fear from Labour!

Now let’s look at care costs and what’s proposed. At the moment people who are looked after in residential homes must pay for their care if they are judged to have assets worth more than £23,250 and those assets include their property.

Under the new scheme, they will be assessed to get a picture of their finances and if their combined savings and property are valued at more than £100,000, they will need to pay for their care. If they want to hang on to their home, they can defer payment. The state will deduct the cost from their estate when they die.

So on the face of it, instead of selling your home to fund care you’ll get to keep it until you die. Those in residential homes currently pay when they have assets of £23,250 and that will rise to £100,000 so it’s hard to see how this can be spun as leaving them in a worse position however hard the other parties may try.

What’s labour’s solution to addressing pensioners paying for their care? Well, I studied the manifesto. On page 54, it bangs on a lot about what it calls ‘dignity for pensioners’ yet strangely there is no mention of care costs. If I’ve missed it, please tell me where it is.

It’s a knotty problem, but as far as I can see the Conservatives are at least talking about it and putting forward a plan. Labour just seem to be ignoring and accepting the status quo, whilst at the same time slagging of the Conservatives. Predictable really…

More taxing stuff


My ‘friend’ Longrider has been sounding off again ripping apart my ‘logical fallacies’ in the recent posts I published about tax. You can read his latest here.

Normally I would comment on his article at his place, but as he blocks me from commenting I reluctantly have to respond here.

The thrust of his argument is twofold. Firstly he continues to insist that the self employed shouldn’t pay the same NIC for unequal benefits. It might surprise him to know that I agree with him. However, the fact is that even after the proposed NI increases, the self employed will still be paying less than employed.

It is sensible that the government has delayed the changes until later in the year. In the summer the House will examine benefits and it will be made clear how the benefits the self employed enjoy have been improved to bring them closer – not equal but closer – to those given to the employed.

Secondly, he regards all taxation as theft. This is patent nonsense. He sites the waste of government as his justification for this stance. Again he may surprised that I agree with him that much government spending is wasteful and shameful, but that is not the real issue. There has to be collective responsibilty for the operation of a civilised society.

He rightly points out the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. As a chartered accountant I am well aware of the difference. Avoidance is perfectly legal and a thorough knowledge of tax legislation should always be used to ensure each person or organisation pays the proper amounts required by law and no more.

The morality and fairness is irrelevant when one is filling a tax return, as I do every year. Several of them, in fact! However, it is proper to consider such issues when framing the laws that govern what level of tax is appropriate.

I am criticised for citing large companies who pay little or no UK tax on their profits. They do this by setting up complex corporate structures to artificially move profits to tax shelters, thereby paying little tax in countries when their profits are generated. There are laws – too lax in my view – that make such practices illegal in the UK.

And are such schemes immoral? Well it’s answer that depends on which side of the fence you’re sitting, isn’t it?

So let’s have a direct quote from the self appointed expert. He’s fond of quotes so how about this one from him?

“So, to summarise, there is no morality in taxation; merely theft”

Right on the first, but the second is ‘a logical fallacy’ and ‘cockwaffle’

Feel free to comment because I don’t censor you the way you censor me…

Scottish EU propaganda

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One thing I noticed about my recent jaunt to Scotland was the proliferation of Fourth Reich propaganda. Every day without fail you’d see loads of signs proclaiming “This project was part funded by the European Union” particularly on road building. I’d say I saw around 50 or 60 during the week I was touring around.

Now I’m not against spending money on Scottish infrastructure. That’s all well and good, but the EU does seem to have a penchant for self promotion and half truths.

What actually happens is that the Scottish government puts up half the money but the money it puts up is heavily bolstered by the English contribution through the Barnett formula. The EU money that it puts up is 50% the money we’ve contributed in the first place that they’ve graciously decided to give us back.

It reeks of SNP hypocrisy that they claim to so hate the English and yet they are happy to take English money via Barnett and via the EU.

The truth is that these projects are 75% funded by the UK taxpayer and 25% by the EU. Wouldn’t it be so much better to fund these things ourselves and for our own government to decide which project the money would be spent on?

And it would save an awful lot of money on road signs too…

Foreign Aid – again!

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Now I’ve banged on about Foreign Aid many times in the past, Charity, in my view, begins at home and we should look after our own people first. It’s certainly ridiculous to borrow money to give away.

But it seems that the whole sorry mess is collapsing around the government’s ears at the moment and the public and even senior MPs within the Tory party are getting hot under the collar. A one MP so rightly put it “We shouldn’t be looking around for people to give money to just to hit some arbitrary target. This is of course the UN arbitrary target adopted by the EU and forced on the UK by Nick Clegg as the price of keeping the coalition in power.

And it was reported over the weekend that Justine Greening – the token Tory totty in charge of the Department for International Development – commented when offered the job that ‘I did not bloody well come into politics to distribute money to people in poor countries!’ and yet now she claims to be 100% behind the rise in aid spending. It’s an odd comment for a woman whose father and grandfather were Yorkshire steel workers. One wonders whether she doesn’t reckon the money could be better spent on the UK steel industry.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, the US has suspended its aid program to Tanzania after it was accused of rigging the elections in Zanzibar. Liam Fox has demanded a review of aid to Tanzania, but the government seems so set on meeting its 0.&% aid target that they are ignoring calls to follow the US example.

Meanwhile the petition raised by the Daily Mail to force a debate on the Aid budget has reached its 100,000 signature target in record time, so now Parliament will be forced to debate the issue. Personally, I wouldn’t hold my breath expecting a sensible outcome from that discussion…