UK Chancellor: I must cut tax benefits for working poor to help them

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War is peace!

The real stinger, though, is that business rates will now go direct to councils instead of going to a central pool from which councils will get a distribution. This means that richer areas will get more, poorer areas will get less. As the poorer areas are the ones with the highest social costs (and are mostly in the North) this will further impoverish the North. But who cares, they don’t vote Conservative.

And in other Conservative-related news, the delightful Liam Fox (perhaps worth googling for) told a meeting that the Conservatives should cut benefits to retired people because they wouldn’t be around to vote in the next election.
[correction - it was someone called Alex Wild of the “Taxpayers’ Alliance” who made the remark; Fox just agreed with it. The Taxpayers’ Alliance seems to be an association of tax avoiders.]

We’re going the way of the US, Australia and Canada. Even our politicians are sounding the same.


Fuck the Tories.

Fuck 'em like a dead pig’s head.


Certainly not. I have my standards, you know.


I don’t see why people are getting so worked up over this; it’s a modest proposal.


I see what you did there :smiley:

But in short, I will let stephen fry answer the question, “will cutting credits help the poor?”


And we all know who voted for the Tories.


Coutries are not companies - well put! This is a zombie meme that needs to be fought at every turn. If anybody actually ran a nation’s economy like a small business (or a household) the result would be instant chaos. Fortunately, they never do. Unfortunately, they use this broken metaphor as a stalking horse for all kinds of fiscal violence.

A related lie is the frequently-heard one about how “a child born today is already xxx dollars in debt.” This is false - babies cannot carry debt. More importantly, national debt is not distributed on a per-capita basis, any more than wealth is. The rich pay a far greater share of the nation’s debt service, but they want you to worry about it.


Everyone knows that public education to give the population literacy and numeracy is a massive economic boon. Whatever you pay for it is worth paying because you’ll just be getting that money back in economic activity a generation on. I’ve read analysis that suggests it’s like investing at a 70% interest rate. So if you take on debt to get public education, unless you are paying 71% interest on that debt, the correct plan is to take on as much debt as you possibly can as long as you can buy education with it.

For some reason what is obvious about public education is denied about every other social program by conservatives. Economists recently studied Quebec’s daycare program (the province funds daycare so that there are daycare spots for $7 a day for everyone {I assume not everyone, but they’ve got better access than anywhere else in Canada, and the point is it isn’t means tested, it’s just available to all}). They estimated that the province gets back $1.5 in taxes for every $1 they spent on it because when people have access to affordable daycare, it means they go to work. But when the NDP says, “Let’s do that nationally” everyone says, how are we going to pay for it?

If I could invest at 15% and borrow at 3% (and I knew I could continue to do this reliably) do you know how much money I would borrow? As much as they’d let me have. And do you know when I’d pay it back? Never, I’d just keep borrowing more and more and more. Because I’m not an idiot.

There are two real problems with large national debts: 1) Some of the things that governments spend money on are awful and stupid (foreign wars, anyone?) and they should stop spending money on those thing, not because of the debt, but because they are stupid; 2) Some day, some asshole conservative will come along and decide to pay the debt back.


I just wanted to thank you for this analogy. I remember when you’d said so on your blog, because I thought it was the best explanation I’ve ever heard, and I repeat it every time someone deigns to discuss government spending with me. If only it would catch on, we would all be a lot better for it.


All the money. Every last clam. (Can I invest in your fund?)


It was even more Nasty Party™ than that - The Wild/Fox hybrid said

“The first of which will sound a little bit morbid - some of the people… won’t be around to vote against you in the next election. So that’s just a practical point, and the other point is they might have forgotten by then.”
He added: "If you did it now, chances are that in 2020 someone who has had their winter fuel cut might be thinking, ‘Oh I can’t remember, was it this government or was it the last one? I’m not quite sure.’

So the elderly will either be dead or senile by 2020 and forget which party left them cold in the winter.


Also, no one cares one bit about you killing their Granny as long as you aren’t doing the same to them. Narcissistic sociopaths all!


Where’s the G+ Share button?
I want to post this but not the rest of the articles on the page

Yep, my little brother did. And now his family is losing their tax credits.


I wish some with balls, perhaps a journalist… I mean a real one, would go up to Osbourne and ask, “we’ve had several years of austerity now; is the deficit down? If not, then why?”, and keep asking why (100s of times if necessary) until he finally admits that he and his buds are pocketing it all.

Another thing: please would BB post on the peaceful anti-austerity protest that took place in Manchester yesterday and highlight the fact that several police snipers were photographed by different witnesses, on the roofs of local buildings, with their rifles trained on said peaceful protesters?


To be fair, they’re there for the Tory party conference. So it might not be the protestors in their sights.

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This is a weird argument - at least here older voters are more and more driven to conservative parties. Is this different in the UK?

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I think it’s probably just outright stupidity.