Does this mean what I think it does?

That’s without considering the impact of disadvantage on pupils who find learning harder

Thick kids are disadvantaged because they find learning harder?

She also thinks we’re thick as mince:

Conservative 2017 manifesto to force independent schools to sponsor a state school or risk losing their tax breaks (she later quietly dropped it). These are not insignificant sums. Between 2017-22, private schools will get tax rebates totalling £522m as a result of their status as charities.

£100 million a year in tax breaks. The education budget is some £90 billion. Yes, b. It’s not even a rounding error, is it?

The private schools also save the state the cost of educating 7% of children. At a very rough guess that’s a saving of £6 billion a year, isn’t it?

But then we all do think that Frances Ryan is thick as mince, don’t we?

32 comments on “Does this mean what I think it does?

  1. This is breathtaking chutzpah:

    “Advocating using children in care as human shields to protect private school funding is a particularly grubby move…”

    This woman repeatedly proffers the halt, the sick, the lame as human shields to advance her policies!

  2. The problem is not private schools, it’s that the rich work to educate their children. Similar problems are seen in the state sector – where being in the catchment area of better state schools boosts house prices by about the present value of school fees.

    The real problem is that the state education system is terrible in general. And abolishing private schools will do nothing to solve this. If this cretin wants to improve education she should campaign to force the abolition of the NUT and blacklist all the leftwing agitators in teaching.

  3. There is a myth that private schools get tax breaks. They are not taxed because they are not trading with a view to making a profit. Just like state schools.

  4. 1. All Guardian animus towards private education is never reflected on their own children, who they educate privately.
    2. Forget the arguments they put forward, they are all incidental. They are motivated by hatred, that’s it.

  5. Not sure if there isn’t an argument that educational establishments shouldn’t be in the charity sector. It’s a legacy anomaly, from the days when charity provided kids with education, wouldn’t otherwise have got any. Nowadays it’s simply a service industry. You don’t get your car repaired by a charity.
    Let them be what they are. Businesses. Then they would have the freedom to tell the Frances Ryans of the world to FOAMYOFB

  6. There is nothing to stop a private school operating through a ltd company then gifting all its profits to charity (the parent company). The parent company can the make grants to individual children to cover the cost of their education.

  7. @bis “Not sure if there isn’t an argument that educational establishments shouldn’t be in the charity sector.”

    Maybe, but if you argue that education is not charitable. The receipt of education for “free” becomes taxable. Similarly, if private schools lose their rates exemption, then so do state schools. The tax system is blind to the ownership of institutions. Publicly and privately owned bodies will be taxed in the same way if they perform the same functions.

  8. Yes, the tax break is small potatoes, this is solely about envy.

    We have the same thing in Australia where one third of children go to private schools. Taxpayer funding for state schools is about $12k per pupil per year, for private schools it is about $6k per pupil per year. We endlessly hear how poor people are subsidising rich people’s kids. In reality, poor people don’t pay enough tax to cover the cost of their kids in state schools, let alone subsidise kids at private schools and if private schools closed down, the states would be incapable of providing schooling for everyone.

  9. Ah but she’s against fascism, she says so.
    She just wants everything inside the state, nothing outside the state and definitely nothing against the state.

  10. “The receipt of education for “free” becomes taxable.”
    Presumably the parent(s) of the beneficiary can’t afford private education for their offspring, or they wouldn’t be getting it free.
    So they end up with a small tax bill. What’s the problem?
    Likewise, if the school loses the rates exemption then it shows up in the books as an operating cost. Like any business.

  11. If you must have charities, charities can sponsor individual children. That a charity might feed a child doesn’t require Tesco to be a charity.

  12. A deal. You can charge rates and VAT, but I get a 6k voucher that I can spend anywhere on my children’s education.

  13. Why should education of any kind be taxed? It’s all explicitly tax & VAT exempt since it’s seen as a noble cause and a social good.

    Swing at the private schools out of spite, and you risk hitting all kinds of paid-for education (adult education colleges, language schools, universities etc.)

  14. BiS, private schools are charities because there’s no money in it.

    A very few might be able to earn a profit, but even then it would never cover return on investment and they’d be sold.

    In the US there are for profit charter schools, but they take tax payer money at full, so don’t save the state anything. Also, they’re mostly shit unless it’s a nice area, in which case the public schools are just as good.

  15. OF COURSE children who find learning difficult are disadvantaged. That is WHY we have special schools for those with Moderate Learning Difficulties with a teacher:pupil ratio of about 1:5 and even *more* special schools for those with Severe Learning Dificulties with a staff pupil ratio nearer 1:2.
    Hands up anyone who thinks that is what she means!
    The amounts spent per pupil in these schools are rather higher than that spent by Eton but the nation regards this as acceptable.

  16. Why not just scrap the business rates exemption for charities? As a bonus, we’d clear out all the charity shops from the high street.

  17. “The problem is not private schools, it’s that the rich work to educate their children”

    There’s a whole load of correlation about both private and “good” comprehensives. The school nearest to us has tons of kids that want to go, but it’s one of the worst schools for improvement. They’re the second best school in town because of the kids and their parents they get. But even then, the variance between schools is small. A few percent variance between the best and worst comprehensive, when you compare the level kids are at before and after that school.

  18. Or – on the basis of less tax rather than more tax – scrap business rates?

    Lefties are complaining about Amazon and similar avoiding brick costs and hence destroying the high street. Therefore tax them with some sort of levy (as in “more” tax).

    An alternative way of helping to level / simplify that partcular playing field might be less tax for the high street sellers? Apols, off topic.

  19. Business rate relieve for charities is and interesting opportunity to test tax incidence theory. If business rates are paid by the landlord then charities should be paying more in rent than commercial operations.

    Has anyone looked in to this?

  20. These kids can’t be very disadvantaged, because they all have jobs at the BBC.

    News on at the moment.
    Voice over: One in Twenty pupils got an A* grade.
    Visuals: 8% A*

  21. She may be thick as mince but if so it’s the mince your Ma served you. She’s a good deal thicker than watery school dinner mince, I bet.

  22. “Similarly, if private schools lose their rates exemption, then so do state schools”

    State schools DO pay business rates because they aren’t charities. That’s one of the main arguments for removing that relief for independent schools.

    The tax incidence is absolutely clear though:
    – there are no shareholders
    – teachers pay rates are largely fixed/tied to national scales so cannot – to a first order approximation – change
    Hence the increase in rates will either appear as a reduction in bursarial aid or an increase in fees: the cost falls on the consumer

  23. @ Bloke on M4
    What matters to the parents is how well *their* son or daughter will do so they don’t want to send them to a school where they will have lessons disrupted by kids who don’t want to learn.
    If your nearest school does significantly better on outcome but marginally worse on “value added” than the schools that have shed-loads of cash and other resources thrown at them because they have kids getting free school meals, then they’re probably not too bad.

  24. “Business rate relieve for charities is and interesting opportunity to test tax incidence theory. If business rates are paid by the landlord then charities should be paying more in rent than commercial operations.

    Has anyone looked in to this?”

    Doesn’t quite work because charity shops are not the same business model as commercial shops. The rent is about the same but business rate relief allows less economically profitable businesses to occupy the same space.

  25. “Business rate relieve for charities is and interesting opportunity to test tax incidence theory. If business rates are paid by the landlord then charities should be paying more in rent than commercial operations.”

    Tax incidence says the tax is paid by parties in inverse proportion to their elasticities of suppy or demand. That is, the more easily you can find alternatives to the trade, the less you pay.

    So the usual argument is that customers can easily shop out of town if prices rise, and businesses can easily move out of town if profit margins fall, but the owner of a city centre property cannot move the building, re-purpose it, or avoid business rates being paid on it, so they tend to be the one to pick up the tab.

    However, they *can* avoid the business rates if the building is left empty (for up to three months at a time) or is rented out to a charity. So they can shift some of the burden back.

    Without charity shops, a massive rates rise would lower the value of the property to commercial tenants, reducing demand for the same supply, forcing rents lower. With charity shops a massive rates rise would shift the balance towards charity shops, leaving fewer for commercial tenants. Supply drops along with demand, and so the reduction in rents is less.

    The party on which a lot of this incidence falls is actually the taxing authority. Because instead of commercial properties paying business rates, they suddenly get a high street full of empty shells and charity shops paying none, the total tax revenue goes down! The elasticity of demand for property of charity shops is perfectly inelestic with respect to business rates – it makes no difference to their costs – so they pay none of it. The taxing authority in effect ‘pays their share’ (by not charging it). So business rates only affect charity shops indirectly, through the amount of competition they face from commercial tenants.

    From the landlord’s point of view, while the overall rent level goes up and down in counterpoint to tax rates (and therefore they end up paying much of the burden), there’s no actual differential in their costs between commercial and charity tenants. For the landlord, the only difference between them is whether it’s the council or the commercial business they’re fighting with over tax incidence. So the landlord will charge the same rent to both.

    Although I guess if the landlords got together and colluded to charge lower rents to charity shops (at a small cost to themselves) with the deliberate intention of shifting more of the burden onto the council rather than commerce, they might skew the Laffer curve left and induce the council to reduce the rates. I’m not totally sure if that would work as a strategy – it sounds like an interesting Game Theory problem…

  26. @ NiV
    Landlords do not need to get together.
    Under the Labour mis-government, there was a business mini-sector organising lettings to charities at nil rents – including some totally artificial lettings in name only – to avoid the burden of business rates on empty properties.
    Try comparing your theories with reality.

  27. “Under the Labour mis-government, there was a business mini-sector organising lettings to charities at nil rents – including some totally artificial lettings in name only – to avoid the burden of business rates on empty properties.”

    Interesting! I didn’t know that.

    It fits the theory. Isn’t it nice when that happens?

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