Austerity Cuts – We Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

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  • Austerity Cuts – We Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet
  • Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    I’ve got to admit thm that this present move is far from natural territory. But removing a universal benefit from someone earning 50k plus is hardly socialism, is it?

    My worry is that with the ‘Universal Credit’, and other reforms, these moves (that have a fairly miniscule impact on the middle classes), are a precursor to people on benefits at the bottom end (people on min wage, relying on tax credits to feed their kids, for example, amongst many others) getting absolutely clobbered!!!!

    Ironically, the title of this post ‘Austerity Cuts – We Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet’. Is absolutely true. These lot are only just getting warmed up. But any idea that the tories have changed their spots is fanciful.

    I think we all know who is, proportionately, going to bear the brunt of all this! Despite the protestations of clueless middle-class professional whingers, who don’t know they’re born (the OP).

    The most disadvantaged in society are the ones who are going to be hit hardest. Stuff like means testing child benefit is merely a fig leaf for business as usual. Same old Tories, at the end of the day!

    And lower earners paying (slightly less) tax is just the minimum the spineless Lib Dems would accept to allow Dave and Chums to let rip at everything else. There’s no way they’d have worn that particular concession unless they absolutely had too!

    I agree that the title of the thread suggested something very different (and more accurate?) !!!

    We shall see about the wider attacks though Binners. In the end, welfare spending is not the biggie that people imagine. What we are seeing (IMO) with the latest noise on capping welfare etc is just a reverse political stunt. Labour pulled it off spectacularly with the 50p rate of tax stunt, but I suspect that the Tories will be less successful with the workers should not lose out to non-workers stunt. Both make great headlines but dubious economic impact.

    patriotpro
    Member

    3 pages and counting, good trolling spongebob…

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Agreed thm. I think they’re just looking for people to blame for the ballooning defecit (you can’t keep blaming Gordon Brown for ever, after all), and they’re just having a pop at the usual suspects, with a helping hand from a compliant right wing press!

    Like you said, the facts bear little resemblance to the ‘Skivers versus Strivers’ narrative they’re trying to build up. Though that’s not to say it isn’t working.

    5thElefant
    Member

    Agreed thm. I think they’re just looking for people to blame for the ballooning defecit (you can’t keep blaming Gordon Brown for ever, after all)

    Not forever, but for a generation or two at least. By 2100 he’s definitely in the clear.

    But we can thank him for not being in the euro, forever.

    Junkyard
    Member

    X-post there JY. I take part of your point, but isn’t part of the reason why the welfare and tax system is such a mess at present the very fact that both have been subject to constant tinkering and interference. Woods and trees springs to mind!

    well you can have fair or you can have simple – saddly in the attempt to get the former we get complex
    Yes means testing reduces claimants [ ie those eligible dont claim]but so what – if they dont claim what they are entitled to is that not the freedom of choice the right love so much?

    Under a Tory, sorry coalition, government, lower income families are paying less tax and higher income more tax than they did under Labour

    You mean the Lib dems raised the threshold for the lowest as a commitment and the labour party increased the top rate of tax [ cut by the tories but stil lhigher than under labour – its obvious what you say is true and it is obvious it has nothing to do with what the tories would do – careful lest the halo of impartiality falls to the floor 😉

    The main issue with universal credit IMHO is that they no longe rpay rent to the landlord but to the tennant
    There are going to be alot of evictions over this and then the state still has to pick up the tab of re housing them [ at greater expense- law of unintended consequemces]
    I get IDS about helping them to be responsible [ its a godd idea if support is given] but some folk do actually need the state to control theis spending like a parent does witha child

    I get IDS about helping them to be responsible [ its a godd idea if support is given] but some folk do actually need the state to control theis spending like a parent does witha child

    True, which is why there is a project going on at the moment between DWP and several UK financial institutions to help tackle this – the idea of basic bank accounts for benefit claimants with a “jam jar” budgeting system, so they can shift money into different pots for different bills. DWP is also commissioning some work to provide basic financial education, so hopefully everything is being done to help to get most people away from needing that nannying.

    However….I think that for some people (addicts for example) they should continue not to allow them to have the means to spend their housing money – an addict does not necessarily make sound reasoned financial decisions or weigh up the consequences of roof over head versus next fix.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    I wish I shared your confidence littlemisspanda. The work being done into budgeting, and supplying cards for benefits is suggested by Tony’s favourite think-tank Demos, and being carried out by Mastercard.

    I may be becoming very cynical, but I doubt that those two, between them, have the best interests of the benefit claimants at heart.

    When you look at the Universal Credit proposals as they stand, its hard to see it ending well. And its going to cost a fortune to implement. Though I do believe IDS is genuinely trying to do it right, I see ideology and right wing dogma trumping more practical considerations

    I’m a PM on one of the projects binners 🙂 (I don’t work for Mastercard though – or Demos).

    I don’t agree with universal credit or the ideology behind it, as you can probably tell from my posts I’m no Tory, but I do agree with the idea of empowerment of claimants to manage their finances better, given the right tools.

    Certainly where I work there is a genuine wish both to protect and educate the financially vulnerable (for example putting more free ATMs in poorer areas, which tend to be populated by pay-to-use ATMS who cash in on the fact that people can’t afford to or can’t for mobility/access reasons access commercial centres easily where there are free machines. So I do actually think there are some of the right intentions there, even if it is only to help make the best of a bad job that is universal credit.

    Junkyard
    Member

    DWP is also commissioning some work to provide basic financial education, so hopefully everything is being done to help to get most people away from needing that nannying.

    Some suggests it is not national and there willbe cracks the size of chasms

    As I said I think some folk do need the nannying as not everyone lives a fully independent life like a Tory MP and feels empowered by choice and options- we will still pick up the pieces

    Makes no sense to not pay rent to landlord – surely it just save syou setting upa Direct Debit

    Other thing is if you are skint and your washing machine breaks what do you think most folk will do when they have access to this pot

    I do agree IDS actually cares and he is as good as you will get with a Tory but its still full of upper middle clas BS the likes of which dont concern folk on benefits- you can only empower folk on benefits with work or education not with a different delivery system.
    How much funding for jobs or training is there? Both cut FWIW and most came from Europe any way Binners 😉

    Junkyard – Member
    careful lest the halo of impartiality falls to the floor

    Really, what is the point? Even with a smiley? I cant even be bothered to yawn.

    Junkyard – Member
    well you can have fair or you can have simple – saddly in the attempt to get the former we get complex
    Yes means testing reduces claimants [ ie those eligible dont claim]but so what – if they dont claim what they are entitled to is that not the freedom of choice the right love so much?

    Sorry but that sounds really tortured! You can have fair and simple. The tinkering over time has been much less about equality and far more about fudge and obsurification. Most chancellors are guilty but Brown took this to a higher level altogether. The budget is an exercise in open distribution and hidden withdrawals under all parties.

    So are you arguing for mean testing, even if it reduces take up rates from the needy in favour of the principle of personal responsibility? Interesting!

    its obvious what you say is true

    …so obvious, that the reverse spin continues even on this thread!! But there is a STW truism, never let the truth get in the way of a fun (?) debate…..

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    I can understand completely the needs for financial education etc. I’m just extremely dubious about this whole process at the moment. I suspect a lot of this is window dressing.

    Particularly worrying is these changes go hand-in-hand with a very co-ordinated, and focused campaign against ‘scroungers’. Even though those in receipt of most benefits are people trying to bring a family up while in work. Just not being paid a living wage, so we all have to top it up to such, so business doesn’t have too, and can count its profits instead. The Daily Mail et al are somewhat measured in their outrage about this.

    I’m appalled at the suffering of people on 50k who are going to lose their child benefit too. SO much so that I’m considering starting a Downing Street petition and marching on the capital. Are we together on this comrades?!

    johndoh
    Member

    Marching?

    Sod that, I’m driving there in my Q7

    elzorillo
    Member

    What never ceases to amaze me are the number of people I know who are intelligent enough to earn a LOT (by my standards) of money yet have absolutely zero intelligence on handling their financial affairs sucessfully.

    Even though those in receipt of most benefits are people trying to bring a family up while in work. Just not being paid a living wage, so we all have to top it up to such, so business doesn’t have too, and can count its profits instead

    But isn’t that the right wing nutters argument – that by propping it up with taxpayers money, you’re not solving it, just kicking the can down the road.

    if you pulled away the benefits, then either companies would have to pay more, or be unable to recruit.

    I think part of the problem is we’re starting to see the first time we’ve had two generations living in retirement.

    Luckily my pensionable age is going up faster than my life expectancy so I won’t have a retirement to worry about.

    Without a land based WW3 or a plague of some description we’re going to have to stop assuming GDP will grow in anything like a sustainable fashion.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    But isn’t that the right wing nutters argument – that by propping it up with taxpayers money, you’re not solving it, just kicking the can down the road.

    Indeed it is Z-11. We’ve had a series of governments and economists who claim to espouse capitalism in its purest form. But only when it suits them and their friends to do so, of course. When it doesn’t, then we won’t mention it. Or look too closely at the cosy arrangements

    Now we’ve got the crazy situation that as taxpayers, we’re effectively subsidising the likes of Tesco to pay their employees subsistence level wages, while making vast profits. Their bleating about not being able to pay more would be palatable if they weren’t making absolutely billions every year!!!

    Its the same twisted form of capitalism that bails out the banks (isn’t that a bit… you know… ‘socialist?) while at the same time allowing their senior staff to continue paying themselves enormous salaries and bonuses

    The whole system is ****ed!!! The worst of both worlds! Its red-in-tooth-and-claw capitalism for most of us. State funded socialism for those who can afford it

    Junkyard
    Member

    Really, what is the point? Even with a smiley? I cant even be bothered to yawn

    well you like to say you are impartial but the presentation above was right wing spin that you knew the reality of it
    It was not intended to cause the offence it did so I am sorry.

    Sorry but that sounds really tortured! You can have fair and simple. The tinkering over time has been much less about equality and far more about fudge and obsurification.

    I dont disagree but you cannot set rules for all 60 million if us and think there will not be anomalies or constant political fudging. Take the child benefit everyone knows doing it on one incomes is daft and it should be done on household but that would cost more that it earns. Hence we get this fudge to look like the rich are paying when it is not targeted fairly.

    So are you arguing for mean testing, even if it reduces take up rates from the needy in favour of the principle of personal responsibility? Interesting!

    I never saw it like that – fair point it does indeed appear to be what I am saying [ feels dirty] – I think i more object to universal and may consider that to be a price worth paying? Mmm not sure but a good point. I do think it is up to the individual to claim. Most of the time its only a form.

    sn’t that the right wing nutters argument – that by propping it up with taxpayers money, you’re not solving it, just kicking the can down the road.

    if you pulled away the benefits, then either companies would have to pay more, or be unable to recruit.
    what binners says – it appears to help the poor in reality it lets the rich pay less in wages.
    I am not comfortable with it but dont have a magic solution

    Cheers JY. My comment was not intended as spin, more a weak joke (Tory, coalition bit) and, more importantly, a note that reality is often very different from rhetoric!! Plus I was enjoying the spat between the IFS and the Treasury about whether some middle class families were facing 65% marginal rates of tax or not at the same time!

    If inclined, go to the IFS website and read the article by Pail Johnson written for prospect last week. He argues that in 2010/11, income inequality fell by more than any single year in the past 50 years. He agrees with Binners about the hit to the bottom earners but notes also the fact that by far the biggest hit has been to the rich. So hence, I challenged the accusation that the current governments policies were designed to help their rich friends. Such a categorical accusation does not appear to hold water!! If that is RW spin, the guilty as charged (accepting that I haven’t studied the data only the article!)

    Junkyard
    Member

    If i am struggling to sleep i will give it a read 😉
    i cant see the article on IFS or prospect from a quick serach
    I heard a programme on Radio 4 some time ago about how poverty was tumbling. it was to do with the way poverty is calculated relative to average wage [ a certain % iirc]. Wages fell but benefits increased with inflation and it moved thousands and thousands out of poverty even though we were all worse off in general. hence why we need to look beyond the statistics sometimes.
    Is it possible that it is another artefact of the recession rather than a real change?

    I challenged the accusation that the current governments policies were designed to help their rich friends

    Now I dont like the govt but even i did not realise they were so bad that they failed with their prime directive 😉
    Do you have a link to the article ?

    http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/6557

    I have never read propsect (believe it or not) but smiled that they are reviewing two books on the rise of neo-classical economics with pictures of Reagan. And this so-called free market guy did what with the level of government spending!!! 😉

    All the comments on here regarding the OP’s wife being minted or loaded are potentially well wide of the mark; especially if you live and work in London or the SE and didn’t own property purchased in the 1990’s or before.

    Either renting or paying a mortgage in London will probably see a monthly outlay of around £1500 – £1800 for a ‘decent’ family home near a ‘decent’ school. If you choose to move out of London to bring that down you’ll probably be spending close to the difference on rail fares for the daily commute.

    Also don’t forget that if she is earning £50k she will proportionally be paying more tax than someone on half that. Forgetting about NI for now her monthly tax contribution will likely be approx. £820 compared to the £280 for someone on £25k. Even subtracting the monthly child benefit she is receiving it would still see her contributing over 100% more than someone on £25k i.e. around £680. If the person on £25k also had two children and was receiving the same child benefit subtracting that from their net monthly tax contribution would drop see theirs fall to less than £150 per month. Therefore in that scenario her contribution could be as great as 200% more than someone on £25k – now who is paying for who?

    Finally to the comments that she should move somewhere else or to a cheaper house that cuts both ways. If you begrudge someone that earns £50k a year you have the option to find out what industries/career paths pay that sort of money and find a way into them. It might not be easy but it is certainly possible in this country.

    Teamhurtmore I’m struggling here. Are you seriously suggesting I should pay more tax so that someone can be paid to collect, countless others process it and then even more people paid to give it me back as a benefi?.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Therefore in that scenario her contribution could be as great as 200% more than someone on £25k – now who is paying for who?

    The person with the most money is paying for the person with the least money. i think we all know this is what is happening and I am not sure what your actual point is.

    I think we have all worked it out that if you live in an more expensive area of london with good schools you need to earn more and pay more thna if you live in a less expensive area? It appears we agree the person with the most money has the most money, the nicest house, lives in the best area a, gets better education [ for their offspring]and has more money than the poorer one. Should we be subsidising so they can have even more advantages than someone poor?

    PS your figures [ the 50 k tax]appear to include NI

    mefty
    Member

    Teamhurtmore I’m struggling here. Are you seriously suggesting I should pay more tax so that someone can be paid to collect, countless others process it and then even more people paid to give it me back as a benefi?.

    But that is a sunk cost which we already pay for, uplifting the tax rate costs very little in administration costs, likewise benefits that are paid to everyone are relatively cheap to administer. However, any means testing system involves a totally new system that costs new money to deliver which is economically of limited value. This money could instead be spent on things that generate more economic value such as infrastructure.

    A_A, sorry not sure I understand your question. I don’t think I am saying that but thIs may be because I am not sure what you are asking. Can you elaborate?

    The person with the most money is paying for the person with the least money. i think we all know this is what is happening and I am not sure what your actual point is.
    I think we have all worked it out that if you live in an more expensive area of london with good schools you need to earn more and pay more thna if you live in a less expensive area? It appears we agree the person with the most money has the most money, the nicest house, lives in the best area a, gets better education [ for their offspring]and has more money than the poorer one. Should we be subsidising so they can have even more advantages than someone poor?

    PS your figures [ the 50 k tax]appear to include NI

    Flicking through this long thread I am not sure that is clear to all – there certainly seems to be an under current of thought that those who earn less were disproportionately paying for those who earn more through child benefit. Which I don’t believe to be the case even when the ‘better off’ were receiving child benefit.

    My own view is that very few people in full time employment should actually receive child benefit (they should probably be taxed less by a better system) and it was never enough to give any notable advantages the children of someone who earns £50k a year. It would however contribute to either the (very) basic clothing or feeding requirements of children whose parents earn very little.

    My figures for tax contributions I believe are fairly accurate:

    Combined NI & Tax contributions on a salary of £50k would be approx. £1185 and approx. £460 on a salary of £25k give or take a few quid.

    You said we should have universal benefits so we get back some of what we put in. Wouldnt it be more efficient to put in less only get back if you need it?

    Junkyard
    Member

    My figures for tax contributions I believe are fairly accurate:

    yes my maths fail 😳

    A_A, that is not what I meant to say, so I cannot have been clear if that is how it came across. Actually, that is completely not what I am saying.

    But in order to go to sleep hiding behind a veil of impartiality ( 😉 ) let me leave you with a link to The Guardian’s Peter Beresford arguing “Why means testing benefits is not efficient or fair.” Sad that the editor missed the neither and nor bit, standards must be slipping at The Guardian. Sleep well!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/social-care-network/2013/jan/14/means-testing-benefits-not-efficient-fair

    Premier Icon aracer
    Member

    You said we should have universal benefits so we get back some of what we put in. Wouldnt it be more efficient to put in less only get back if you need it?

    No. Not when the cost of taking money off you is almost the same no matter how much they take off you, and means testing has administrative costs.

    Am I allowed to change my mind on STW? I think I’ve previously argued that changing CB from being universal to this new system is a good thing. Now I’m not about to argue that it’s the worst thing in the world, and I have no more sympathy with the OP’s troll (?) than anybody else on this thread. But actually I’m very taken by the Beveridge argument, that the best solution is simply to give benefits to everybody, but tax the richer more. Does this make me more socialist than Junkyard? 😉

    Aracer, I will admit to changing my mind on this as well. At first glance the idea of universal benefits seems odd especially at a time of economic malaise. On top of that the wife on £50k and the Alan Sugar examples appear strong arguments on the face of it (albeit red-herrings in practice). I had to go back to some economic and social history stuff and understand why the NHS was built on the principal of universal benefits in the first place and the history of means testing/insurance (the forerunner of US Medicare!?!) before it and then compare this with the criteria for a sensible welfare system before I understood the logic of the historic system. At that point I changed my mind.

    The interesting thing about the history of the NHS is the extent of opposition from doctors at the time and the true nature of the “bribes” required (the legacies of which remain today?) before they could be persuaded. And we thought bankers were bad!!!!

    konabunny
    Member

    No. Not when the cost of taking money off you is almost the same no matter how much they take off you, and means testing has administrative costs.

    There is a cost to collecting and distributing money. Why bother doing it if you don’t need to? Is there really a big cost to means testing – surely it’s just cross referencing income against entitlement, just like IN contributions are cross referenced against pension entitlements or NHS access?

    Junkyard
    Member

    Does this make me more socialist than Junkyard?

    You have much further to travel…wehn you wish to burn the rich you are nearing me 😉

    the NHS was built on the principal of universal benefits

    CB is not like the NHS
    I have no problem with universal access to the NHS , education or other services that they need. It is a different thing altogether to give money to folk who dont need it.

    The interesting thing about the history of the NHS is the extent of opposition from doctors at the time

    yes it interesting how much they opposed and now look at them- see regulation and forcing folk changes attitudes just like with your banking example – that was what you meant right 😉

    re guardian link

    One of the great strengths of universal benefits is that it is simple and economical to administer and operate.

    and of course unfair as we give millionairres benefits they dont need

    I dont get why we would not asses someoens need re benefits.
    Its like me going to the hopital and demanding an xray and them giving it to me irrespective of whether i need it or not simply because i have paid into the system and it is simpler than a doctor assessing me and filling in some paper work.

    My only concern would be whether those entitled actually bother to claim

    Premier Icon aracer
    Member

    Is there really a big cost to means testing

    Yes. A lot more than the cost of just distributing the money.

    and of course unfair as we give millionairres benefits they dont need

    Not when said millionaire pays huge amounts of tax, so they still have a large net input to the system. As THM says, SAS getting a bus pass and a winter fuel allowance is an irrelevance in the grand scheme of things – real politics of envy stuff complaining about that, when it doesn’t have any negative impact on poor people.

    I dont get why we would not asses someoens need re benefits.

    …because…

    My only concern would be whether those entitled actually bother to claim

    Its like me going to the hopital and demanding an xray and them giving it to me irrespective of whether i need it or not simply because i have paid into the system and it is simpler than a doctor assessing me and filling in some paper work.

    No it’s not – whilst superficially that might seem a similar situation, it’s actually totally different, and in fact a strawman.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Not when said millionaire pays huge amounts of tax, so they still have a large net input to the system.

    We covered this earler the issue is does he need the money of not wehy are wer goiving it to himm. we are not debating whether those with the most money give the most as we could achieve this even with a regressive taxation system

    As THM says, SAS getting a bus pass and a winter fuel allowance is an irrelevance in the grand scheme of things

    as is CB to anyone then so why are we debating this

    real politics of envy stuff complaining about that, when it doesn’t have any negative impact on poor people.

    Lefties really should bother to develop a lazy, empty pointless insult to use in these circumstances 🙄 Its not about envy it about fairness. Giving money to millionairres who dont need it [ when we are skint as well] has no impact on the coffers at al

    No it’s not – whilst superficially that might seem a similar situation, it’s actually totally different, and in fact a strawman.

    THM brought up the NHS I said it was nothing like CB above but responded using his example

    Feeling your love and attention to detail equally there

    Lets just debate the issue rather than do this eh?

    aracer – Member

    “and of course unfair as we give millionairres benefits they dont need”

    Not when said millionaire pays huge amounts of tax, so they still have a large net input to the system.

    Exactly.

    And I have to say aracer, it really speaks volumes with regards to the impotence of the British Left that two Tory sympathizers such as yourself and THM should have to make the case for the universal welfare state.

    I blame almost two decades of New Labour 😐

    Junkyard
    Member

    I dont see why the “left” should be campaigning to give money to the rich. I assume none of us think Lord Sugar needs it [ envious or otherwise].

    With the NHS/ education it is about access based on need- you have it as right and you get it when you need it. Its both universal and not depending on need
    I dont see why the welfare state , in general,and CB in particular should be any different.
    If you need it you get it , if you dont you dont.
    From each according to their ability to each according to their need would apply here I assume.

    I dont see why the “left” should be campaigning to give money to the rich.

    It is an entitlement, not a special provision for the poor. You don’t talk about “giving” medical care to the rich, even though that is exactly what the NHS does, because it is seen through the perspective of an entitlement.

    The universal welfare state is a fundamental social-democratic principle, to attack it and replace it with a US style safety net for the poor would be an obvious ambition of right-wing neo-liberal conservatives.

    So it will be attacked piecemeal and in stages. Child Benefit was singled out early and the argument against this universal entitlement was won – with no small thanks due to the lack of any opposition from New Labour or the LibDems. That same argument will now be used for attacks on other benefit entitlements.

    Junkyard
    Member

    You don’t talk about “giving” medical care to the rich, even though that is exactly what the NHS does, because it is seen through the perspective of an entitlement.

    it is done based on need [irrespective of wealth] which is what we should do elsewhere.
    We dont give the benefit of healthcare to the healthy so why give a benefit to the wealthy ….i sound like a nu labour spin dr now dont i 😳

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