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BS: Brexit & other UK political topics

Dave the Gnome 10 Sep 21 - 03:33 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Sep 21 - 03:27 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Sep 21 - 07:23 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Sep 21 - 07:22 PM
Bonzo3legs 09 Sep 21 - 04:19 PM
Dave the Gnome 09 Sep 21 - 09:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Sep 21 - 09:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Sep 21 - 04:52 AM
Backwoodsman 09 Sep 21 - 04:44 AM
Backwoodsman 09 Sep 21 - 04:39 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Sep 21 - 04:14 AM
Allan Conn 08 Sep 21 - 05:29 PM
Dave the Gnome 08 Sep 21 - 04:01 PM
DMcG 08 Sep 21 - 03:33 PM
DMcG 08 Sep 21 - 03:31 PM
Dave the Gnome 08 Sep 21 - 01:17 PM
Steve Shaw 08 Sep 21 - 12:59 PM
Dave the Gnome 08 Sep 21 - 12:05 PM
Dave the Gnome 08 Sep 21 - 10:12 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 Sep 21 - 10:12 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 Sep 21 - 10:03 AM
Allan Conn 08 Sep 21 - 09:57 AM
Bonzo3legs 08 Sep 21 - 09:34 AM
Backwoodsman 08 Sep 21 - 09:09 AM
Backwoodsman 08 Sep 21 - 09:05 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Sep 21 - 08:45 AM
Allan Conn 08 Sep 21 - 08:23 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 Sep 21 - 08:03 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Sep 21 - 07:37 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Sep 21 - 06:47 AM
Nigel Parsons 08 Sep 21 - 04:55 AM
Nigel Parsons 08 Sep 21 - 04:48 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 Sep 21 - 03:02 AM
Bonzo3legs 08 Sep 21 - 02:05 AM
DMcG 08 Sep 21 - 01:40 AM
DMcG 08 Sep 21 - 01:23 AM
Rain Dog 07 Sep 21 - 05:50 PM
Rain Dog 07 Sep 21 - 05:24 PM
Dave the Gnome 07 Sep 21 - 05:21 PM
Nigel Parsons 07 Sep 21 - 03:02 PM
Dave the Gnome 07 Sep 21 - 01:06 PM
Backwoodsman 07 Sep 21 - 11:16 AM
DMcG 07 Sep 21 - 11:13 AM
Backwoodsman 07 Sep 21 - 11:04 AM
Bonzo3legs 07 Sep 21 - 10:49 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Sep 21 - 10:07 AM
DMcG 07 Sep 21 - 10:03 AM
Bonzo3legs 07 Sep 21 - 09:36 AM
Backwoodsman 07 Sep 21 - 09:28 AM
DMcG 07 Sep 21 - 07:59 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Sep 21 - 03:33 AM

Bonzo - I know what you mean but you are not quite right. Both my Mother and Father went into care with dementia that was not NHS funded but local authority. Both times were means tested and, had they have had any assets, they would have been taken into account. That is also something that needs to be addressed as there is inequality in funding some illnesses and not others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Sep 21 - 03:27 AM

Steve - I had to smile at the part in the letter that said they bought a house for £10,000 in 1974. That was the year we bought our first house and it was £950 :-)

Two up two down in Walkden. It had a small bathroom upstairs but the lavvy was still downstairs and would have been outside if not for the fact that a lean to kitchen had been put on the back. Sort of...


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Sep 21 - 07:23 PM

By the time I'd typed all that shite, today's Guardian became yesterday's Guardian. Wouldn't want youse searching in vain... :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Sep 21 - 07:22 PM

A letter in today's Guardian:

I have some sympathy with my fellow pensioners saying that they have already paid their whack. But there are two major caveats to that (Letters, 6 September).

First, contributions to the state pension in the 1960s and 70s were based on people living to their late 60s or 70s, not over 80, and didn’t cover social care – so we have not really paid what we are now drawing. And even my workplace pension was calculated on my living to just about 80, not considerably longer.

Second, when it comes to saying we worked hard for our houses, that is again not wholly true. Even allowing for inflation, the house bought in 1974 for £10,000 should now be worth only £107,00, not £300,000 – that is a £193,000 windfall gain. Similarly, a house bought for £250,000 in 1988 should now be worth £525,000, not selling for more than £1m.

Let’s not tax the “just getting by”, but have a wealth tax: 50p income tax on those earning over £50,000 and 60p over £100,000. And haul in those with hidden offshore assets and income, and other tax avoidance schemes.

Britain can afford decent health and social services, and to rebuild our battered economy. Now is the time for those who have profited over the last 40 years to pay up.


So cards on the table here. I'm a classic boomer. I bought a house on the edge of Epping Forest in 1978 for £14,750 and sold it for £62,500 eight short years later. So I bought a house in Cornwall in 1986 (this one) for £82,000. Twenty years ago it was valued at £400,000 but we didn't sell it and we're still here, so God knows what it's worth now. The biggest mortgage I ever had was £55,000. That was paid off ten years ago. For the last few years of it, months before the financial crash, I got a fix that had us paying next to no interest on it. Mrs Steve and I were both teachers, now long-retired on "gold-plated" final salary pensions. Mrs Steve, poor thing, had to wait seven whole months after her sixtieth birthday to get her state pension. I got mine at the new rate on my 65th birthday. In the last decade or three we've had a number of handouts from various demutualisation schemes, and I was canny enough to get much of our savings into safe fixed-rate schemes paying four percent or more (not these days any more, of course, though we still have two five-year fixed ISAs at 2.3%).

I have never used an accountant and I have never taken any risks on the stock market, etc., as I don't regard myself as a clever enough chap with finances. Until recently I used to find the good deals on the inside back page of the Guardian, though now I can find out online where the best safe place is to put the dough that I have. When we first got married, Thatcher and Howe made sure that interest rates were sky-high and we struggled for a while, but, of course, massive inflation and the next house price boom soon fixed that.

Are we part of the Golden Generation? Well Mrs Steve and I both think we are. Boomers who fell into decent jobs (which wasn't too hard) were in the right place at the right time by sheer good fortune. Everything has gone right for us. We are now "economically inactive," as they say, and the vicissitudes of life such as austerity and coronavirus scarcely touch us economically. In fact, because Mrs Steve and I haven't been able to go on our couple of foreign holidays a year for the last two years, we've got richer. Not for us the insecurities of furlough, zero-hours or the threat of unemployment. Not for us the sheer impossibility for most young people of getting on "the housing ladder." We've bloody cracked it, we have. But the thing is that we've cracked it mostly by dint of sheer good luck. Which is why it sticks in my craw to hear Boris bleating about the God-given rights of "people who have worked hard all their lives to buy their houses and save up", etc., to pass their fortunes down to their undeserving offspring. They got those fortunes by good luck and because we have an incredibly unequal society. When we boomers die, all that dough should go BACK to society, not to the kids who never lifted a finger to earn it in the first place.

If that makes me a bloody leftie, well that's grand! But I'm a well-off leftie, mostly down to sheer good luck. Do I feel guilty? Yep. Will I give my money away? Er...


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 09 Sep 21 - 04:19 PM

Not that I would wish it upon anyone, but if you are ill - eg suffering from cancer, all care will be paid for.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Sep 21 - 09:38 AM

As ever, Yorkshire Bylines hit the nail on the head.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Sep 21 - 09:21 AM

Alan, you mentioned thzt the employers NI contribution is increasing. I had already brought that up and I do not believe for one instant that this will affect the bottom line. It will be paid for by either reduced wages or increased prices.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Sep 21 - 04:52 AM

Yes, BWM. And a cap of £86000 for care costs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 09 Sep 21 - 04:44 AM

I beg your pardon, the current Class A basic rate is 12%, so a 1.25 percentage-point increase is the equivalent of a 10.42 percent increase. Haven’t had my first cup of tea yet!


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 09 Sep 21 - 04:39 AM

It may have been commented on earlier in the thread, if so I apologise for repeating, but this is not a ‘1.25% increase’ as touted by the Tories, it’s a 10% increase - the current basic NIC Rate being 12.5%, and 1.25% is 10% of that basic rate.

In fact, the increase amounts to 1.25 percentage-points - not the same thing as ‘percent’, which term the Johnson Gang prefer because it sounds a smaller number.

More weasel words from Tory weasels, exactly as anyone capable of original thought would expect of them. Brings to mind those other carefully thought out weasel words on the side of a certain red bus, dunnit?


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Sep 21 - 04:14 AM

I'm not talking about the last 6 years though, Alan. I was only saying that the NI increase is going to hit the ordinary working person far more than others who can afford to pay more. In my situation, as confirmed by you, I earned £80000 a year yet paid no NI. A health care worker on minimum wage is hit with a 10% tax increase. Crazy! I did say that I knew that other taxes had increased but, yes, I was wrong to say a business owner would be unaffected. I now rephrase that to say that business owners have the mechanisms to minimise the impact. The fact that anyone gets their income from, for instance, rents on properties they own, pays no extra. So the Duke of Westminster pays no NI on his income whereas my daughter, cleaning at a children's care centre while she completes a degree, is hit with a tax increase. Unfair? Yes. Unexpected? Not with this lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Allan Conn
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 05:29 PM

We do of course use accountants. I also work as a mortgage broker and see plenty of other company director's accounts and tax returns etc. Yes there are benefits of running as a Ltd Company but the tax implications have changed enormously in the past 6 years. Yes normally directors take their wages up to the NI threshold which is below the income tax threshold too so no income tax is paid on that. Just as everyone else pays no tax on that amount also. Most companies of course make profits from which they then pay themselves dividends. Corporation Tax is paid at 19% on company profits.

As I said prior to 2016 there was then no tax paid on dividends taken. There is now only £2,000 free of income tax then you are taxed at 7.5% on dividends which you have already paid 19% corporation tax on. That 7.5% is being increased to 8.75%. It is now much less attractive to be a Ltd Company for small businesses than it was just 6 years ago. With the initial move in 2016 to make only £5K tax free; then the change 2 years later to reduce that to £2K. That is even before the new increase in rate payable.

That is not even taking into account that if you have any employees then the employer's NI rates are also increasing. Which of course adds to the cost of employing people and reduces profits in real terms.

I am not saying it is wrong that company directors, especially of small companies, have been hit over the past 6 years and are about to be hit again. I am just pointing out that the idea that they are not affected is incorrect. They have actually been affected by tax rises more than any other group of people over the past 6 years already. https://www.itcontracting.com/april-2022-dividend-tax-rise/


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 04:01 PM

Great minds and all that, Dave :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: DMcG
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 03:33 PM

Sorry, I did not see that link a post or two ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: DMcG
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 03:31 PM

The cap that isn't, quite

Shades of that bus, don't you think?


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 01:17 PM

Probably as many as thought that £350,000,000 a week was going to be given to the NHS if we left the EU :-D

This shower of shysters are masters at it so your missunderstanding is perfectly understandable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 12:59 PM

Whilst in no way wishing to excuse my misunderstanding (which led to that cock-up of a post of mine), I'm just wondering how many other people in the country think/ thought that the £86000 cap covered all care home fees...


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 12:05 PM

This BBC news link goes a long way to answering your question, Steve. Like everything else that bozzer touches it has turned to shite.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 10:12 AM

...final PS :-)

So I stand by my statement!


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 10:12 AM

...it was more than 10 years ago though so I do accept it may have changed. Bonzo will know.

Basically the company earned around £80,000. Of that I paid myself, my wife and my son minimum wage for a short work week so never paid any tax or NI on that. The accountants fees, my travelling expenses and accomodation were all taken as tax free expenses. The remainer was shared between the 3 of us as dividends and we all paid whatever the rate was at the time on that. May have been 20%. So, had I have been employed, earning £80,000 I would have paid 20% on everything between the alowance and the upper limit then 40% after that. Plus National insurance at 12%. Say £3000 lower rate. £16000 upper rate and what, £1000 NI? Total of £20000

As it happened I paid in the region of 20% on around £50000. £10000 in total. Half what I would have paid and all perfectly legal!


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 10:03 AM

I have been in that situation, Alan, and paid an accountant to do the best for me. It boiled down to paying myself a wage under the tax and NI threshold plus genuine expenses so no tax or tax increase there. I did pay didvidends so, yes, I would now have to pay more from that but as my family were all shareholders the individual dividends were never high so an increase of tax there is minimal. I never paid any corporation tax as there was never any profit. Oh, and I did collect VAT at a higher rate than I had to pay to HMRC so I did make a little on that!

As I or someone else mentioned earlier. If you are in a position to hire an accountant, you will pay less tax than the people who work hardest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Allan Conn
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 09:57 AM

Aye I am sure there might be ways for folks to reduce the impact especially for large companies but my comment was not about moaning about the increased tax or looking for ways to avoid the increased tax. It was simply pointing out that Dave's idea that the proposed tax rises do not affect people who own their company is incorrect. In April 2016 I would pay 19% corporation tax then nothing on dividends taken. It has since gradually changed so that I currently pay 19% corporation tax and then a further 7.5% on any dividend taken above £2,000. So there has already been quite a substantial rise. Now it is to go to 8.75% on dividends over £2,000. So simply showing that Dave's assertion that it does not affect people like me is wrong. Don't mind paying the extra tax but kind of galling for folks to suggest it is not affecting me when it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 09:34 AM

So individuals who hold material shareholdings in trading or investment companies will have clear incentives to try and structure their returns as capital gains rather than dividend income, and should so be advised pending any further capital gains tax legislation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 09:09 AM

The Hon. Member for Leeds West presently kicking the living shit out of the Tories in the debate in the HOC. Good for her!


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 09:05 AM

That’s a good question, Steve. We’re told that ‘hotel services’ aren’t included in the £86k cap so, presumably, care homes are going to have to split out ‘hotel services’ from their weekly/monthly charge when either quoting for prospective new residents or billing existing ones.

This is going to get very interesting - pass the popcorn please!


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 08:45 AM

I picked up on that only a few minutes ago in the news, Dave. I don't get it. Does that mean that the cap doesn't include care home fees? My mum was in a residential home which, in effect, provided food and accommodation but not much else you could put your finger on. She was receiving "care," of course, but as far as I know that wasn't itemised! What precisely does the cap cover then?


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Allan Conn
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 08:23 AM

David The Gnome - the increase does actually affect self employed company directors too. Their employer contributions are increasing.

Plus the personal income tax on dividends is going up from 7.5% by another 1.25% so that is actually a 16% increase on the tax using your calculation type.

In fact since 2016 there has been a big difference. Prior to that there was no tax on dividends. From 2016 only the first £5,000 was tax free and 7.5% tax paid above that. That only lasted two years before the tax free exemption was reduced to the first £2,000 only. I also of course pay Corporation Tax on company profits.

I am not actually moaning at all about another tax increase - but just pointing out that your claim that we are not affected is not in fact true. In fact the increases affected me in 2016 then in 2018 and now again in 2021/22.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 08:03 AM

The £86000 is only a cap on care costs, Steve. Accommodation, food, utilities eetc are not capped. So, once again, health care is being defunded (does anyone seriously expect this rabble to make up the difference?) While the property owners can continue to make more profit.

The other thing I thought of was the employers NI contribution. That is increasing. Fine, but who will pay that increase? Big business will not allow it to impact their bottom line so they will increase prices, reduce wage costs or both. I'm not sure if we are on a double or triple whammy for the working class now.

Smoke and mirrors, half truths and blatant porkies. And still they fall for it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 07:37 AM

A comment from a reader of the above article: "As a care worker myself, the thing I can't help but notice is that I'm effectively taking a pay cut to fund my own clients..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 06:47 AM

Andrew Fisher, writing in the Guardian:

But rather than truly fixing the causes of the social care crisis, the Conservatives seem more concerned with protecting the property rights of the wealthy and the inheritances of their children. Raising NI contributions to fund social care will mean that working-age people on median incomes will effectively pay to protect the inalienable right to inherit a home. Moreover, the effects of the social care reforms are highly unequal: how much you lose will depend on where you live.

In many parts of England, where house prices are considerably lower than in the capital, people stand to lose a much higher proportion of their wealth under the new system. For example, a person paying for care whose assets are worth £186,000 would be left with £100,000 under the new cap. If they owned £1m in assets (because they owned property in London, for example), they would be left with £914,000 under the new system. Johnson may be hoping no one notices this untidy fit with his promises to level up.


Mrs Steve and I own our home, a 4-bed detached house with a big garden in a nice part of Cornwall. It's not a "property" to us (the incessant use of that word is a big factor preventing me from watching those daft programmes about escaping to the sun/country, etc.). It's our home. So we haven't a clue what it's worth as we've been here for 34 years and take little interest in "the market." We have modest but decent incomes, no debts and some savings. So what happens if, heaven forfend, we both go into long-term care?

Well our savings would soon get used up, even taking our pension incomes into account. We would then have to sell the house, assuming that there would be no prospect of either of us moving back in. That would provide for several years of care costs, I'd assume. If one or both of us lived long enough, that would leave £23000 each in the bank and we would still have our pension income. That doesn't seem too bad to me. There's not much point in having a house we could never live in and we wouldn't want sentiment over it to oblige the state to pay for our care.

That's as things stand now. But under this new regime our lifetime care costs would be capped at £86000 each. We would manage to meet most or all of that with our savings and pensions. Then it's free forever, and the house would be sacrosanct. Our two children's inheritances are protected. I might have to remind them of that should they moan about the extra NI contributions they'll be paying.

However, if my kids were, instead, the offspring of parents with no house and savings to pass on, there would be no inheritance. Their bad luck, eh? Not their mismanagement, for sure... But they would still be paying the extra NI contributions, which would be enabling people much richer than them to keep their assets to pass down instead of using them to pay for their care. If you think that's right, then I'm absolutely not with you.

One factor I've not mentioned is one that Johnson parroted out yesterday (part of the Tory mantra), that it isn't fair that hard-working people who have worked all their lives and saved up and managed to own their homes should have to lose it, etc. etc. But he clearly thinks that people who may have been just as hard-working but who have lacked the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time (like me and Mrs Steve, what with several demutualisation handouts and three house price booms behind us) should pay extra to allow the wealthy to have the inalienable right to pass on their wealth to their kids (who didn't do all the hard work, etc., that earned that wealth).

Like I said, there's a big moral issue here, and the Tory bleating about it all I've heard in the last couple of days is no more than threadbare wallpaper with plenty of cracks showing.

.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 04:55 AM

Dave the Gnome:
People who do not need to work because their income is from investments. Those who purposely keep their income low for tax purposes because they own the company. Those who live off the income from inherited property. The list goes on. This tax rise is just on working people and I hope the working class who voted for this shower now appreciate that.
Maybe you missed the associated announcement about an increase in taxation on dividends: Here


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 04:48 AM

DMcG:
And we have another example there, don't we Nigel? It would be so easy to misunderstand that as suggesting the increase in NHS spending has anything at all to do with the message on the bus, but you are not saying it has, are you? Or are you?

No I am not making that claim. I'm just pointing out that harping on about a 'promise' which was not actually made is a bit pointless, particularly when the increase in the budget is a greater amount anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 03:02 AM

How come the media are saying that NI is going up 1.25%? A rise from 12% to 13.5% is actually an increase of over 10%. Another example of right wing misinformation.

I'm lucky in that I no longer pay this because I am past pension age but it did set me off thinking about people that do not pay NI for other reasons. People who do not need to work because their income is from investments. Those who purposely keep their income low for tax purposes because they own the company. Those who live off the income from inherited property. The list goes on. This tax rise is just on working people and I hope the working class who voted for this shower now appreciate that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 02:05 AM

The NI rise seems reasonable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: DMcG
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 01:40 AM

... it did not say what a lot of people read it as saying.
....And as I have pointed out above the NHS budgets have increased by more than the amount on the side of the bus


And we have another example there, don't we Nigel? It would be so easy to misunderstand that as suggesting the increase in NHS spending has anything at all to do with the message on the bus, but you are not saying it has, are you? Or are you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: DMcG
Date: 08 Sep 21 - 01:23 AM

Well it remains to be seen what plans, if any, the government have for social care

I thought Tom Peck in "The Independent" summarised it very well:

"Look, that’s not to say that raising £35bn of new taxes in the name of social care, directly from the people who can least afford to pay them, and then spending three-quarters of it on something else entirely, isn’t a moment of great national significance. Of course it is."

There is definitely a plan to raise money. How much of a plan there is beyond that remains to be seen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Rain Dog
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 05:50 PM

Stay out of the water.

Environment Agency Published 9 July 2021

Record £90m fine for Southern Water following EA prosecution

++

From The Guardian today.

"Sewage treatment chemicals have been added to the growing list of products in short supply because of the UK’s chronic lorry driver shortage, it has emerged.

The government has told wastewater plants in England and Wales they may be able to discharge effluent that had not been fully treated because of disruption caused by “supply chain failure”.

In a regulatory position statement issued on Tuesday, the Environment Agency introduced a waiver that would mean some companies would not have to go through the third stage in the treatment of sewage if they did not have the right chemicals.

The waiver relates to a feared shortage of availability of ferric sulphate, an acidic solution used to suppress the growth of algae, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

It said the temporary relaxation of the rules would last until the end of the year to allow “discharges from water treatment works that cannot comply with permit conditions because of an unavoidable shortages of chemicals to treat effluent”.

A government spokesperson said the water supply to consumers would not be affected and any waste company that wished to avail of the waiver needed prior approval from Defra.

It also said that no water company had yet notified it of a shortage of ferric sulphate but it was introducing the regulatory position as a precautionary measure.

The chemicals industry is the latest in a series of sectors hit by the chronic shortage of lorry drivers caused by Brexit and the pandemic."

Sewage discharge rules eased over fears of chemical shortage


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Rain Dog
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 05:24 PM

Well it remains to be seen what plans, if any, the government have for social care. We will have to wait and see what they will come up with in the next few weeks. The system, or rather lack of it, does need reforming. As is usual with this country, it would appear that the government have not agreed anything with the other parties. In fact they don't appear to have consulted their own party members.

From The Guardian

How Johnson quelled Tory anger over manifesto-breaking tax rise

"Foreshadowing a tricky autumn for Johnson, a minister acknowledged anger at the prime minister from his own MPs could be at its highest level yet. “Nobody knows what the PM stands for other than winning elections, so their loyalty is only to his success,” they said. Another frontbencher said: “He’s developing very early what Margaret Thatcher did quite late on in her premiership – an inability to distinguish what is popular. He’s not as loved as he thinks he is.”


I have never been able to work out what he stands for. He seems to want to be liked by everyone and seems to say whatever it is that he thinks people want to hear. I cannot believe a word that he says. It might turn out to be true but then again it might not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 05:21 PM

it did not say what a lot of people read it as saying

Yes, you are quite right, Nigel. Which is why I will always quote it as an example of gross missinformation. It was not a lie in the same way as my saying that it would be far better if Nigel gave up pushing cream cakes up his bum and gave them to the needy instead. Not a lie exactly but many people could well beleive that you do indulge...


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 03:02 PM

It wasn't a lie, it was advertising, and it did not say what a lot of people read it as saying.
The fact that it is frequently re-quoted, complete with the misunderstanding, does not change what was actually written on the bus.
And as I have pointed out above the NHS budgets have increased by more than the amount on the side of the bus.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 01:06 PM

I know the £350,000,000 was a lie, Nigel. You know it was a lie. Enough people believed it to tip the balance in favour of brexit and I will use it as an example of gross misinformation for as long as this shower of devious lying cheats remain in power.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 11:16 AM

Fair comment DMcG. Have a nice break.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: DMcG
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 11:13 AM

I don't deny that inequity, BWM. I was simply pointing out that you can raise additional taxes if you keep the rates the same but change the boundaries. So while the focus is on the change in rates, it is possible that the government slips in a change in the boundaries as well, relatively unnoticed. There is also talk of taxes on things like dividends.

We will see when the legislation comes out, though as I will be on a week's break and offline, I doubt if I will get to read it until it is all over.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 11:04 AM

DMcG, even if the rate banding are changed, it remains a fact that those with earnings above the higher level limit will, as their income increases, pay a lower overall rate. The question for me is, “Why should someone on e.g. £20,000 pa be taxed at a higher rate than someone on e.g. £120,000?

It’s inequitable and unjustifiable, AFAIC.

What would make more sense would be to leave NICs alone, but close some (or preferably all) of the tax loopholes which permit businesses to pretend that the bulk of their UK profits were made in a country outside the UK’s taxation jurisdiction. But we’re talking about the greedy, selfish Tories and their supporters/donors, so it ain’t gonna happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 10:49 AM

We may indeed!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 10:07 AM

You may wish to contemplate, Bonzo, what might have happened to the country had all those "lucky" people not been treated that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: DMcG
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 10:03 AM

You highlight another aspect of it, Backwoodsman, that I didn't, partly because I did not want to lose my point in the detail. But as I understand it, your description is right.

So another thing to watch for is whether the points at which rates change are altered. I haven't heard any rumours that they might, but it is worth keeping an eye open for.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 09:36 AM

And yet, all the lucky people - millions of them who received furlough pay for doing nothing since March 2020, and all the self employed who received government grants for doing less work since March 2020, may have wondered just how the £billions it all cost are going to be paid for!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 09:28 AM

"It is an specialised form of income tax where income under a certain age is taxed, but the same level of income over that is is not. It has a deliberate bias, therefore, that taxes younger age groups more heavily than older ones."

Only partly true. Or rather, it appears to contain a conflation of income-level and age. NICs are payable by everyone in employment between the age of 16 and state pension age. The rate is 0% on earnings below £797/month (£184/week), then a varying rate, depending on the individuals’ NI Category, of between 2% and 12% on earnings between £797.01/month (£184.01/week) and £4.189/month (£967/week). Earnings above £4,189/month (£967/week) attract a flat rate of 2% with no upper limit.

My take on that is not so much that it hits younger age groups more heavily than older ones (except insofar as it’s usual for younger people’s pay to be lower generally than older employed people), but more that it’s regressive in that, over the £4,197/£967 upper earnings level, the rate overall is likely to be lower than on earnings below that level.

In other words, it’s not loaded specifically against younger people, but against poorer people - it protects the well-off, exactly what you’d expect of Tory tax policy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: DMcG
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 07:59 AM

I take that correction, Nigel.

"It is an specialised form of income tax where income under a certain age is taxed, but the same level of income over that is is not. It has a deliberate bias, therefore, that taxes younger age groups more heavily than older ones."

Happy now?


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