Forget Snippa, we’ve Ritchiebollocks back!

The first is that 19.3% of all people who are at work in the UK don’t pay tax.

How often has he told us that income taxes are not the only taxes?

More importantly, saying this is good news ignores the simple fact that this means that many of the people in question are almost certainly living in conditions of considerable hardship.

How many are in shared households?

And this is what is really significant about this data: near enough one in six UK employees and more than one in four of the UK’s self-employed people do not pay tax because they don’t earn a figure that is itself only, near enough, just 75% of the UK minimum wage.

Bollocks.

You mean full year full time minimum wage. Which for part timers isn’t the point at all, is it?

And there are 8.5 million people working part time in the UK today….as against the 6 million economically active and not paying tax according to Snippa’s spreadsheet.

Who wants to bet that’s where the difference is?

24 comments on “Forget Snippa, we’ve Ritchiebollocks back!

  1. Oh Tim, Ritchie gets better than that! Apparently if you don’t pay (Income) tax you disappear, you don’t count. The only way to be a valued citizen is to pay income tax. So too many people do not pay income tax. We must not, MUST NOT raise the theshold. For income tax is not a burden; it is privilege provided by the Courageous State.

  2. In other news, when will the hardworking (and long-suffering) Mrs Murphy, who we’re told does much more than 1% of the work, get a payrise?

  3. Personally, I think that the tax free amount is bad politics.

    In my view it would be better to make all earners pay something, and to have a law that when taxes go up, they go up for everybody, and when they come down, ditto. Every taxpayer would have a dog in that particular fight.

    You could make the thing revenue neutral by adjusting NI rates marginally.

    But better still would be to stop pissing money up walls (probably a good idea to have a female chancellor, as women don’t usually have wall-pissing competitions!)

  4. > near enough one in six UK employees don’t earn 75% of the UK minimum wage

    That’s bollocks by definition. I’ll allow for 2% of companies breaking the law, but 98% of employees earn 100% of the minimum wage.

    > more than one in four of the UK’s self-employed people don’t earn 75% of the UK minimum wage.

    That’s not entirely implausible. The ranks of the self-employed include Big Issue sellers, eBay vendors, and the like. But what does Ritchie propose to do about it? Punish their employers? If I sell trinkets on eBay or at car boot sales, and I only make a £30 profit each day, then I’m clearly not earning the National Minimum Wage. But to whom do I address my complaint? To eBay? To the owner of the field where the car boot sale is held? Should the government ban me from car boot sales unless I can prove that I can make a net profit of at least £60 each day?

  5. Murphy’s comments “more than one in four of the UK’s self-employed people do not pay tax because they don’t earn a figure that is itself only, near enough, just 75% of the UK minimum wage.” are, as usual, wrong. I don’t earn £10k but I still pay income tax on my self-employed earnings because, like more than a million other workers, I have a pension.

  6. Murphy: “… do not pay tax because they don’t earn a figure that is itself only, near enough, just 75% of the UK minimum wage.”

    Tim: “Bollocks. You mean full year full time minimum wage. Which for part timers isn’t the point at all, is it?”

    It is for a very large number of them, because it wasn’t their idea to be employed on short hours, they only do it because full time jobs are not available for everyone.

    The fact that a person is on a low income as a result of being part-time doesn’t mean that they’re not really on a low income and thus having a rotten life. They are, and it is disingenuous of well-paid middle class professionals to pretend otherwise.

    And Andrew, it’s obvious that by “75% of the minimum wage” Murphy means “75% of the minimum wage if you were working full-time”. Which is a perfectly reasonable use of the phrase, when you consider that the minimum hourly wage was introduced in order to give people a fair *weekly* income.

    Tim, your pro-laissez-faire-ism articles would be more effective if you acknowledged, just every now and then, that people at the bottom of the pile are being pissed on through no fault of their own. That may be an inevitable side-effect of an otherwise effective market economy, but it’s still a regrettable fact.

  7. @Spiro Ozer: I think you’ll find that among the benefit claiming classes a part time job doing the minimum hours necessary to claim in-work Tax Credits is highly sought after. After all, why work full time when the State just takes away the Tax Credits at an incredibly high effective tax rate, and you’re left with little extra ££ to show for your extra 10-15 hours labour?

  8. This isn’t a comment about the economy. It’s one about the professor of practice of international political economy not having the first clue what he’s talking about.

    He builds to some 6 million being economically active and yet not making enough to pay tax. And isn’t that appalling!

    And yet he misses that there are 8.5 million working part time. Many of who will be entirely happy with their earnings even if they are under the tax limit. That’s why they’re working part time.

    And as to you and your high horse about involuntary part time. The OECD has that at 1.3 million people.

    https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=INVPT_D

    Thus the vast majority of those working part time are doing so by choice. Or reading that same OECD data the other way they present it, 88 % are.

    And thus we can find all the people Spud is talking about just by looking at voluntary part timers. Not all of whom will be under the tax limit of course but still, it is indicative of how far wrong he is, isn’t it?

    And you of course.

  9. Spiro,

    It is for a very large number of them, because it wasn’t their idea to be employed on short hours; they only do it because full time jobs are not available for everyone.

    From the ONS [Excel spreadsheet]:

    [Total] in employment: 31,916,000
    Want neither more nor fewer hours: 18,526,000
    Want more hours: 3,363,000
    Want fewer hours: 10,027,000

    There are three times more people who want fewer hours than want more hours.

    Besides, what do you propose to do? Force companies to hire people full-time?

  10. Andrew M: Besides, what do you propose to do? Force companies to hire people full-time?

    That was one of nice M Mélenchon’s policies wasn’t it? Such a shame that he won’t be in the 2nd round of the French presidential elections – it would have been fun to see that enacted.

  11. TMB,

    Indeed. Why does the Left hate small businesses? Is it because they very occasionally refuse to cater gay weddings? Or simply because they can’t be controlled as easily as big ones?

  12. Andrew M

    I think it’s simply because the Left despises little people.

  13. I’ve averaged 1.5 days a week work for the last few years. When is Murphy going to arrest me for not paying any income tax? Alternatively, who do I sue over the fact that not enough people are dropping cholocate eclairs into their printers meaning I’m not doing enough call-outs?

    I’m involuntarily working 1.5 days a week. I’d love to be voluntariliry working 2.5 days a week. Unfortunately, that would still leave me an EVUL TAX AVOIDER!!! Plus drawing on my pension would make me a satanic exploiter of other people’s work.

  14. One rather weird Ritchie post in that I can’t even work out what his main point is. It’s as if he’s saying “Here’s some data about low earners in this country and it means Great Britain is shit”.
    He could just as well have put up some data on cycling, or injuries chopping veg, and given the same conclusion. I can’t explain it, it’s like whatever the data says the conclusion is the same.

  15. @Bongo “it’s like whatever the data says the conclusion is the same.”

    The conclusion always being that the Tories are evil and the economy is going to collapse any……second……wait for it…….waaaaiit….

  16. Yes, your elaboration is spot on AndrewC
    The message is “Great Britain is already shit, and it’s about to get worse”.

  17. Anecdote alert. There’s definitely a shift in what people want as we baby boomers hit old age and I don’t think policy makers have picked up on it yet.

    I know one 70 year-old who does a couple of evenings a week stacking supermarket shelves and his wife does a couple of days a week in M&S. They have a £1m house and enough cash for him to be be to play golf often enough to maintain a single figure handicap. They aren’t cash rich but definitely aren’t paupers, but like having the big house for their grand children to visit.

    A second anecdote, I was in Screwfix (no, not the local brothel for our non UK readers) and overheard an old guy behind the counter explaining why he’d gone back to work part time.

    In both cases it was for the social contact and because they were bored.

    As we live longer I really can’t see the average person wanting to spend 25 years retired and some form of part time work may even be therapeutic. Hell, I play golf, sail, play bridge and enjoy reading, but if someone offered me an interesting project this winter I may even take them up even though I don’t need the money. I’m not sure I’m bored enough to go shelf stacking though.

  18. Bloke in North Dorset – my father in law worked until he was 82, he retired involuntarily at age 65 as a school caretaker – while teachers could take early retirement he was not allowed to nor was he allowed to stay on in his job after.

    However in his early 70s he started doing Kleeneze catalogues, made a bit of money over the years but he loved the purpose it gave him – and the social interaction with around a thousand customers.
    He had a medical in his late 70s – and the doctor was amazed. He walked around 50 miles a week, he kept active and socialised – and had the heart of someone far younger than himself. There were patients the doctor saw 30 plus years younger who were not as physically fit and capable.

    He did pay tax for those years he was self employed, what with his state and works pensions he wasn’t bad off.
    And he liked having a routine, liked having social interaction, liked having a reason to get out of bed.
    He didn’t like giving it up, but other health issues caused him to become more housebound.

  19. jgh said:
    “I’ve averaged 1.5 days a week work for the last few years … who do I sue over the fact that not enough people are dropping chocolate eclairs into their printers meaning I’m not doing enough call-outs?”

    That’s a very niche business you’ve developed there.

  20. A bit more than twenty years ago, I was managing a subcontract with what was then Lucas Aerospace Power Systems in Hemel Hempstead (which says more about my employers’ desperate shortage of engineering talent, than my abilities or experience back then…).

    However, a fringe benefit was that I made the acquaintance of one of their top technical guys, who was at that point certifying and testing the design he’d drawn up of the JAS.39 Gripen fighter aircraft’s auxiliary and emergency power systems. (For geeks like me, this was fascinating, and it’s evidently worked well since the Gripen has been successful and avoided nicknames like ‘Lawn Dart’ and ‘Widowmaker’)

    He was, then, 72 and had no intention of quitting: he liked what he did, liked his colleagues, enjoyed his work and intended to keep at it until that was no longer true.

  21. Just rembered a 3rd anecdote. I recently met a 72 year-old who wants to learn to sail and crew. He’s just recovered from prostate cancer and is still workin as a Retired Officer.

    Martin,

    I don’t think they can force people to retire now, which is a step in the right direction.

  22. How many people work full time for part of the year, but not the whole year, and so don’t earn enough to pay tax, but actually were in quite decent employment?

    My first job working I was full time at a decent wage, but by the time the tax year rolled on I hadn’t earned that much. I suspect that is true of most people starting employment.

    People retiring are the same. And people leaving to start maternity duties or returning from such.

    There must be well be a million people in the UK each year who are in that situation.

    Then there’s university students, who might earn decent money per hour, but only for a couple of months in their holidays.

  23. Then there’s university students, who might earn decent money per hour, but only for a couple of months in their holidays.

    I used to work full-time (actually about 55-60 hours a week) for ten weeks in the university summer holidays. Fucking hard work in a factory but with overtime I earned enough to just finish below the income tax threshold, which was between about £2600 and £3000 at the time. National Insurance only. Wonderful.

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