Not quite sure what this means:

In a co-ordinated move, general secretaries have compiled a set of policy proposals they wish to see implemented, including the right to take supportive strike action,

Is that like secondary strike action? We\’re not arguing about our own employer, we\’re on strike to support our borthers and sisters up the road?

Eeek.

This is worse though:

They want the lower earnings tax threshold reduced to £30 a week to allow poorly-paid workers access to sick pay.

Just as we\’ve all got to the point where we agree that we need to take the working poor out of the tax net, they\’re suggesting that the NI limit be heavily reduced, so as to bring more working poor into the tax net. Not sensible.

8 thoughts on “Union Demands”

  1. Tim, I’m not in agreement that the working poor should be taken out of tax. This divides society in taxpayers and non-taxpayers. I’d rather increase benefits so that the poor can afford to pay a lot of tax, even if it is mostly returning what was given to them; that way everyone would appreciate what the tax burden actually is.

  2. I wouldn’t get too worked up about the secondary strike action. My guess is that the media will be encouraged to fixate on this one item (out of 130) before Gordon subsequently and triumphantly announces that he didn’t give in to the unions on it.

    Which will provide a nice smokescreen for the scores of areas where the government *does* sell our future to the unions 🙁

  3. I’m not in agreement that the working poor should be taken out of tax. This divides society in taxpayers and non-taxpayers.

    No, they are still taxpayers – they would still pay NI and VAT.

    I’d rather increase benefits so that the poor can afford to pay a lot of tax, even if it is mostly returning what was given to them…

    I’d rather not fund the bureaucracy that is needed to run such a system (and the inevitable dodges and fiddles it encourages), thanks all the same…

  4. Tim, I believe the lower earning limit is not the rate at which NI becomes payable. I think this govt. decoupled it so that those on low incomes could access the benefits without being taxed. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/rates/nic.htm

    Tim adds: OK, that does make a difference. Not as silly as I first found it then.

  5. Richard G Brown hits the nail on the head. Its the carper sellers approach in the Bazaar. Start high, then concede.

  6. Thanks for the clarification Vindico. As it appears that Gordon Brown has delivered income tax relief on tax that has not been paid – stakeholder pensions for non-earning children and charitable payments by non-taxpayers – alongside National Insurance benefits for which no qualifying National Insurance contributions need be paid, each system is as bad as the other and merging the two should not matters any worse.

  7. Got to agree with JuliaM, income tax is about 25% of total tax, so “non-tax payers” are still paying other taxes.

    The give with one hand and claw back with the other approach is just an expensive way to create high marginal tax rates and dissuades people from improving their incomes.

  8. The right to not go to work in protest at something is fundamental, though it might clash with the right to no longer hire someone who has exercised their right not to attend work.

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