Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI.

Which brings us to my modest proposal. The income tax allowance, the national insurance thresholds and the national minimum wage should all the same amount. We should pass a law that says that they must, always, be the same amount. If the minimum wage is £6.08 an hour (and the normal working week 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year) then one starts to pay income tax and NI at £12,646.40 in annual income and not a penny before. If we want to raise the NMW to £7 an hour then that\’s fine: but no one then pays tax before £14,560. If some fool Chancellor of the future (and we can bet on having at least one of those) decides that he wants income tax to start at £5,000 then the NMW must, at the same time, fall to £2.40 an hour.

If there is indeed a moral case that there is some minimum permissible price for an hour of someone\’s time then there is exactly that same moral case against our rulers helping themselves to some of that pittance. This system would make clear and apparent that moral argument. By enshrining it in law we remove any possible wriggle room for the future.

We also encapsulate into law the most obvious and simplest truth about poverty. If you want to increase the incomes of the poor then just stop taxing them so bloody much.

 

37 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. We should pass a law that says that they must, always, be the same amount.

    You know that we can’t do that, right? That no parliament can bind its successors?

  2. Tim: amen. Great piece.

    Ian: The point isn’t that the law would be unrepealable, but that it would need to be repealed by both Houses of Parliament rather than simply set aside by a minister who didn’t like it.

  3. Nonsense. Everyone must be taxed to be part of the social contract.

    if you don’t believe in that then you live on a different planet to reality.

    Which, of course, you do.

    Blithering Idiots.

  4. @Arnald: Leaving aside the questionable validity of your initial statemente as an argument foir another day, I would rahter point out pretty much everyone does pay tax and would continue to do so under our genial host’s Modest Proposal. In order to make sure they’re aware of this fact, all one would have to do is adopt the American system of explicitly stating the tax element of each purpose on receipts…

  5. No. I’d say you lot were the parodies.

    Nearly everything Worstall says is either part of a failed ideology, or worse, theoretical nonsense with no practicable evidence.

    You lot slavishly lap everything up because you are all deluded extremists.

    None of you even believe in the role inequality has on the social dynamic of communities. Hell, most of you don’t even believe in humans being social animals at all.

    Worstall doesn’t believe anything except what he writes and what his school chums say.

    How can anyone take the ASI, the IEA and all those other crackpots seriously.

    You must live in a very stragnge place.

    A bit like Guernsey. Utterly mad.

  6. Suprisingly, this is actually a good idea. I would add a further constraint that the withdrawal level for any means-tested benefit should not be below this point either.

    And the executive can effectively bind parliament; the government can enter into a treaty which obliges it to implement certain laws. This is how the EU is structured.

  7. Well done Arnald. An improvement on yesterday’s submission. And it looks as if you’ve found spell checkers, as well. Congratulations!

    But up so early. You wet the bed again?

  8. I don’t think the moral logic works. If it’s not moral to receive less than that per hour, why would you think it moral for someone who works 41 hours a week at NMW to do so? Doesn’t the tax free allowance need to be adjusted for hours worked?

  9. The other problem is that it will lower the tax take from income tax unless marginal rates across the rest of the distribution are raised.

    I recall before you’ve said you don’t think marginal rates are much of a problem (in the context of the very high ones that would accompany a flat tax) but many disagree.

    I suppose (I might be wrong?) this is what has happened with the increase in those paying 40% thanks to the increase in the personal allowance.

  10. I agree with Tim – not so much with his proposed law as with the general policy. I agree also with Ian Duncan Smith that Marginal Deduction Rates are much too high.

    However, Arnald, who is evidently more right-wing than Tim and the rest of his commentators, has got a point too. It may not be best for large numbers of people to perceive government spending as cost free.

  11. Yes. I am very right-wing.

    You can twist what I said anyway you like. It’s not about cost, but about inclusion.

    Or does real life not exist?

  12. Arnald // Jul 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm
    ….. Or does real life not exist?
    ———-

    In your case Arnald, the jury is still out.

  13. But while I agree with Tim in practice, I’m not sure his theoretical argument works.

    If the minimum wage were for the benefit of the worker, then he would have a point. But it isn’t; the minimum wage is for the benefit of the State, a misguided attempt to reduce the cost of in-work benefits.

    Once that is conceded, it is not conceptually different to say that the employer also has to chip in a bit for the State’s other costs.

  14. Morality of whether everyone should pay tax aside, its got to be more economically efficient to allow someone on NMW to keep all their wages, rather than take some off in tax, then give some back in the form of benefits. The costs of the State doing all that must be huge.

    On the morality point, I assume that Arnald must therefore support a flat rate tax with zero tax allowances then? After all if your income is very low (below £8K) you pay no income tax, and if below £107/week, no NI either. So presumably those people are not paying their contribution to the ‘social contract’ right now? How terrible. We must remove all tax free allowances immediately, the poor must pay. Arnald says so!

  15. If the minimum wage were for the benefit of the worker, then he would have a point. But it isn’t; the minimum wage is for the benefit of the State, a misguided attempt to reduce the cost of in-work benefits.

    That kind-of assumes that in-work benefits would exist in a State of Nature, doesn’t it?

    I mean, yes, in the actual context of the actually existing UK, the minimum wage reduces in-work benefits, but that’s only because the UK is a country that (rightly, I believe) has chosen to pay them for the benefit of workers.

    its got to be more economically efficient to allow someone on NMW to keep all their wages, rather than take some off in tax, then give some back in the form of benefits.

    The short answer is yes, because means-tested benefits are heinously expensive to administer. The slightly longer answer is yes-ish, because although means-tested benefits are heinously expensive to administer, PAYE tax costs next to nothing to administer (“company looks up rate in table. Company applies rate. Company pays employee and Revenue. Nobody faffs with tax returns for low earners. Job done”).

  16. Arnald: That sounds suspiciously like an argument for a poll tax. I didn’t realise you were a Thatcherite?

  17. Jim
    Don’t be pedantic. It’s shit.

    Flat taxes are nonsense. There has to be relief at the VERY bottom.

    I’m not sure why Tim wants the UK to go the way of the US. It’s like his brain is wrong.

  18. Matthew L
    No it doesn’t.

    Everyone has a right to vote, not an ability to vote because you’ve paid a tax. Quite different really.

    Of course, everything is predicated on taxing the rich more than they are now and making it illegal to structure income and wealth using vehicles that have no other use than to circumvent existing tax laws.

    That’s very thatcherite, hmm?

  19. Arnald: what is your problem with Tim’s proposal? He’s not talking about flat taxes here. He’s talking about – benefits completely aside – people who earn the minimum wage not paying any tax. You’re the one who blethered about that involving people not having a stake in society.

  20. “He’s talking about – benefits completely aside – people who earn the minimum wage not paying any tax.”

    No he isn’t: he’s talking about people who earn the minimum wage not paying any DIRECT tax.

    His argument has something to commend it. So has Arnald’s. (Miracles never cease, etc, etc.)

  21. @ Arnald

    ‘Everyone must be taxed to be part of the social contract.’

    We already are, you twat. Every time I put a litre of petrol in my car, 60-odd per cent of it goes towards the upkeep of junkies, wasters, the fathers of multiple children, the children, the women, and some who deserve it.

    If you mean that no-one gets to sit on his arse at my expense, but must contribute to his own upkeep, then sorry, brother, I misunderstand you, and Amen to that. /sarc

  22. Randall

    It is not anyone’s fault but your own that you havve a dysfunctional perspective on life.

    You simply have no clue how the last few decades have eroded the individuals responsibilty towards their various social existences.

    That’s all a cause of wankers like you and worstall saying the bullshit you have just said.

    You are a poor, deluded, emotionally stunted cock.

  23. @Arnald: Ah, sorry. I didn’t realise that when you made the broad statement ‘Everyone must be taxed to be part of the social contract’ it actually meant ‘Everyone must be taxed to be part of the social contract, except those below a certain level that Arnald agrees with’. My mistake.

  24. “Of course, everything is predicated on taxing the rich more than they are now and making it illegal to structure income and wealth using vehicles that have no other use than to circumvent existing tax laws.”

    Classic, the standard lefty answer to just about any problem – tax the rich.

    They couldn’t give a fuck about the “poor”, it’s all about their own bitter envy and hatred of those that have it a bit better. The only use they have for the poor is to trap them on benefits in order to buy their vote.

    And no matter how much the state steals it never turns out to be enough.

    Then what it does steal it pisses away because the people spending it couldn’t give a shit about it as it’s not their money.

    Then the cycle repeats and the mindless little cockwarts such as yourself start the “Tax the rich” chants again.

  25. Andrew
    Again with the deluded perceptions.

    You need to meet some normal people instead of hanging around the mental hospital.

  26. “You need to meet some normal people instead of hanging around the mental hospital.”

    I’ve only ever worked with normal people in the real world. I’ve never got my pay cheque from the state. I’ve cleaned toilets, pushed leaflets through doors, stacked shelves, served on a till, sold cameras, and now I run my own little business.

    I’ve met all sorts of people from all walks of life.

    To smear those who can see what a shitty job the state does as being “deluded” is pathetic.

    Especially when we can see what a massive increase in state spending has led to: People trapped on benefits, school leavers so poorly educated even the supermarkets are complaining, the beginning of a prizes-for-all entitlement culture, businesses being strangled by regulations, etc.

    If you think more state spending will solve the very problems it has created, then you are the deluded one.

  27. You have things the wrong way round.

    By propmoting rampant indivvidualism over the last few decades, people have taken their lives into their own hands and have taken the easy way out. Sod society, I’ll take what I can thanks. That’s what the government tells me.

    Just look at the corps. Why get educated when you can make money Only Fools and Horses style.

    You support a failed and backward ideology.

    And you quite happily slag off the young when you get your evidence from some other fucking nutter with no idea about social dynamics.

    Were you all born yesterday?

  28. To those who feel that not taxing income takes people out of some social contract, it’s worth pointing out there are 2.6 million unemployed and another 2.6 million on incapacity benefit. None of these are currently paying income tax to become stake-holders in society. You can add to them however many of the 11 million pensioners that are receiving below NMW in pension payments.

    The number of people earning the NMW is about a million.

  29. Exactly what MrPotarto said. Why do those in work have to pay tax in order ‘to be part of the social contract’ but those on benefits (often ‘earning’ more than those on NMW) pay none?

  30. Arnald
    “By propmoting rampant indivvidualism over the last few decades, people have taken their lives into their own hands and have taken the easy way out.”

    Taking your life into your own hands is taking the easy way out, are you serious ?

  31. “By propmoting rampant indivvidualism over the last few decades, people have taken their lives into their own hands and have taken the easy way out. Sod society, I’ll take what I can thanks. That’s what the government tells me.”

    Bullshit. The state spends over 40% of GDP and tries to control as many aspects of our lives as possible.

    And thinking that making money is “the easy way out” is stunningly naive.

    “Sod society” the only way you can make money is to serve society (unless, of course, you work for the state or in an industy it’s entangled with).

    “You support a failed and backward ideology.”

    We have big government, it’s been getting bigger, interfering with more and more, and it is failing.

    I support no government at all.

    “And you quite happily slag off the young when you get your evidence from some other fucking nutter with no idea about social dynamics.”

    Fuck you for your pathetic word twisting. I’m not slagging off the young, I’m slagging off the state. It’s attempts at social engineering have failed them, it’s destroying their lives.

    And “get my evidence from some other fucking nutter” – do bosses at Tesco and Morrisons count?

    Morrisons are finding their applicants to be so utterly useless they’re having to give them “remedial pre-job training”.

    State education is (to use your words) a failed and backward ideology. Education is far too important to be left in the hands of people who use it as a political tool and don’t face the consequences of their actions.

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