Very Dodgy Logic Here

Very dodgy indeed.

But Angela Eagle, a junior Treasury minister, said: "The Government rejects the notion that there is a windfall, as any increase in VAT receipts from the retail fuel sector is not by design."

Edmund King, the president of the AA, accused the Government of being "disingenuous".

He said: "If you take into account what they are getting in Petroleum Revenue Tax from the North Sea, the Treasury has enjoyed a £4billion windfall."

There\’s three different taxes here. First, I buy the VAT argument from the government side. It\’s a consumption tax levied upon, guess what, consumption, and if relative prices in the economy change that\’s no reason to go mucking about with the rates of said consumption tax.

Second, there\’s PRT, a tax on the crude pumped up. This is a royalty in fact: oil companies are entitled to the value added they provide by exploration, pumping, drilling etc, but not to hte basic value of the oil itself: that\’s a natural resource endowment and should be taxed, in the same way as a land value tax. It\’s one of the few parts of the economy where we do in fact tax in this correct manner. Further, the rate of that tax makes no difference at all to what motorists pay at the pump. The presence or abscence of the tax makes no difference to the global price of oil and thus not to the price charged the motorist.

If anything, it\’s a transfer from shareholders to government: and rightly so.

Finally, there\’s fuel duty itself. There the govt\’s case is a great deal weaker.

However, I\’d like to ask a question. The fuel duty escalator: brought in by the Tories (?) the intention was to increase the relative price of petrol so as to take account of the climate change effects, wasn\’t it?

OK, so how much has the fuel duty escalator increased the price of a litre of petrol so far? Anyone know?

The CO2 costs of petrol would be fully covered by a 10 p tax per litre. Has the escalator already managed that?


Bungling Whitehall officials got their Newcastles mixed up and gave £2.7 million meant for the North East city to its namesake in the Potteries.

Newcastle-under-Lyme, population 74,000, was handed the cash instead of Newcastle upon Tyne, the regional capital of the North East.

After all, they made the same sort of confusion with the Dukedom.

He\’s Right You Know

In a statement, Mr Malik said: "It is a great thing to live in a country where the Lord Chief Justice takes the time from hearing important cases to see if a group of unknown students have been fairly convicted for reading the wrong kind of literature.

Although I wouldn\’t say that this case was unimportant. The Lord Chief Justice protecting our basic liberties and freedoms seems pretty important to me.

Idiot PR Email of the Day

Some book or other:

….why the sub-prime markets are effecting more than just people looking at foreclosures…

No, it\’s affecting, you sub-literate fool.

Please, fuck off.

Just a short note to boost my post over at the other blog on the subject of

Anyone who would care to help get out the message about said please do so by linking with as your anchor text and linking to the post on the other blog.


Mark Steel: Idiot

New Labour certainly keep their promises. Before they were elected, they promised to reform the loophole that enables the super-rich to avoid paying tax, by claiming "non-domicile tax status". And now, 11 years later, they\’re still promising to do it.

This ruse involves living in Britain while not being an official resident, and is one of the main ways in which the richest 54 billionaires in the country have paid on average 1 and a half per cent tax.

Erm, no.

If you are not resident in the UK you do not pay tax at all in the UK. Non-doms are resident in the UK which is why they pay full UK tax on their UK earnings and full UK tax on earnings from other countries which they bring into the UK. But because they are resident but not domiciled they do not pay UK tax on money that they earn in other countries anddo not bring into the UK. If they were not residents we would call them non-residents: the fact that we call them non-domiciles rather than non-residents might be the smallest of clues to the fact that they are not "living in Britain while not being an official resident"


And to claim that billionaires pay 1.5% tax….1.5% of what? Their wealth? We don\’t even have a wealth tax, dingbat!

Kinky Lifestyle

Our John B:

If someone had told my 15-year-old self that in the year 2008, I’d be a high-powered professional, up at twenty to one on a Tuesday night in the heart of the big city, eating fried chicken and exploring the innermost parts of models, then I’d\’ve been quite pleased about the way my life was going to turn out.

Right On!

The one redeeming feature of the place was the kids. They were anarchic, testosterone fuelled, BMX heroes who could find a way through two insurance padlocks and an engine immobiliser on a piece of site plant in 10 minutes flat. They were fit, lean, lithe, careless of any danger, disrespectful of any authority, infinitely crafty and resourceful and bored out of their skulls. The kids were at war with the whiny minging estate cunts. You can tell I liked them.

I had a visit from the local plod sergeant – a weasel faced little dickhead puffed with the stupidity of his own importance but who hadn\’t outgrown his acne scars. He wanted my help to \’trap\’ some of the kids. "We can\’t let PCSOs patrol here because the kids throw stones at them" he said. "Well, they don\’t fucking throw stones at me, mate" I said "Perhaps it\’s because I treat them like adults and have a banter and a laugh with them". He didn\’t like that.

What the place needed more than anything else was a paternal seen-it-all NCO with 20 years under his belt and a pile of attestation forms – these kids were God\’s own natural soldiers. Three months at Catterick and swapping their BMXs for GPMGs and I swear to God they would have out-soldiered, out-fought, out-thought and trounced any other foreign military force on the planet.

We have traditionally produced the finest infantry in the world from precisely those kids: mix in those NCO\’s and add a few chinless wonders to wave batons and drawl, "Come on men, I know you won\’t let The Regiment down" and you can conquer a quarter of the globe, as we did.

We might not want to do the conquering bit again but the (voluntary, of course) training might not be a bad idea, eh?

Stop the War March

OK, so he admits that nothing actually happened as a result but:

While there are always arguments over the size of demonstrations (the 2 million-or-so figure we claim is supported by considerable polling and photographic evidence), there is no dispute that this was not merely the country\’s biggest political protest, but the biggest by a substantial order of magnitude.

Just what is a "substantial order of magnitude"?

One order of magnitude is times 10 (or divide by ten). I agree that there\’s not been a 20 million strong demonstration: but I\’m absolutely certain that there have been 200,000 strong demonstrations (at least one of the Countryside Marches was that large). So it\’s not the largest by one order of magnitude, let alone a "substantial" one.

So what is he talking about?

Bill and Exchange Manager. Northern Rock Bank

Wondered when we\’d start to see these:

Dear Sir,

I am the manager of bill exchange and foreign investment, I am writing to seek your interest over a transaction. In my department we discovered an abandoned sum of Ј16.3m Sixteen Million Three Hundred Thousand United Kingdom Pounds (GBP), in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer who died along with his entire family in November 1999 in a plane crash.

Since we got information about his Death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines but unfortunately we learnt that all his supposed next of kin or relation died alongside with him at the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim.

Yup, usual stuff, just a different header.

Yvonne Roberts

Weird, just plain weird:

The Greeks are abandoning ship. Or, more precisely, they are abandoning the UK and taking their ships with them. According to the Financial Times, the Greek shipping industry is preparing to desert London in response to the planned tax "crackdown" on non-domicilied foreigners living in the UK.

About 100 Greek family-owned shipping companies run businesses from London. They are estimated to contribute about £5.12bn a year to the UK financial industry. There\’s nothing like a little redistribution to send the wealth-soaked scuttling.

She seems tobe glorying inhte fact that the people with money are leaving. Eh?

Under Darling\’s draft proposals, non-doms will pay a 40% tax on items bought with an overseas income, such as paintings, brought into the UK. In addition, non-dom families with offshore trusts – honey tax havens for decades – will now not be able to get anything out of the trust without paying UK tax, regardless of where the funds are going. And this could be made retrospective, going back to 1998.

Nobody knows now much the Treasury may make out of the changes if they go through. But what is absolutely certain is that the flood of scare stories about the flight of capital (over £2bn according to the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners); the brain drain; a Greek exodus; the exit of Russian oligarchs, gangsters and soiree keepers and the general collapse of the British economy will be in abundant supply.

For once, let\’s hope Labour keeps its nerve. For once, let\’s hope it calls the bluff of the rich and apparently nomadic to whom tax breaks matter more than roots and personal connections.

It\’s better that we have higher tax rates but collect less tax? What has this woman been smoking?

Taxing Non-Doms

If this is true:

The climbdown means the tax authorities will be restricted to taxing the UK earnings of non-doms and money they bring into the country.

Then we\’re back to where we started, with the addition only of the £30k annual fee.

Why is it though that I don\’t believe this? The CGT changes, for example, contain the abolition of inflation indexation….what is there still lurking in the Non- Dom proposals?


It\’s true that boys who lack firm parenting and social advantages cause many of the worst problems in our communities, but, generally, if you feed and exercise male children, let them shout "bang", dismantle radios and develop a few hobbies, they\’re fairly simple creatures.

Rowan Pelling.