Interesting from Polly, interesting

Though the sum is puny, there will be indignation at the injustice to all those families denied it – widows, deserted wives, abused women escaping violent partners – while a philanderer on his third wife draws the tax break as a godly married man.

It wouldn’t do to mention the philanderer on their second wife, of course. Given that Polly’s husband’s first wife is still apparently rather bitter about the entire affair.

44 thoughts on “Interesting from Polly, interesting”

  1. Severe reality adjustment : you mean someone, anyone, left another woman to shack up with P ? Incredible.

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    Polly complaining that someone has been manipulating stats for political gain plumbs new depths of chutzpah.

  3. ”What was wrong with the first wife???”

    Maybe she didn’t have tons of dosh and a villa in Tuscany.

  4. So Much for Subtlety

    Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice devised this, as family breakdown tops its five causes of poverty – all personal failings in the poor themselves.

    As all the evidence, as well as common sense, seems to suggest. Notice Polly doesn’t dispute this. She just sneers.

    As those who marry are often from wealthier social classes, IDS claims marriage itself causes social success: the married tend to be richer, healthier, better educated and longer lived, with children more likely to be “cognitively and emotionally successful”. Duncan Smith likes to blur cause and effect, correlation and causation, his reports concluding that “marriage alters the behaviour of those who get married”.

    Anyone who has been married knows that marriage alters behaviour. I doubt that any sane person would even bother to dispute that. But of course La Toynbee.

    Again she is disputing causation but she is not proving he is wrong. Just sneering.

  5. So Much for Subtlety

    Though the sum is puny, there will be indignation at the injustice to all those families denied it – widows, deserted wives, abused women escaping violent partners

    Will there be? How can she tell from Umbria? There is a whole raft of benefits designed for widows, deserted wives and the like. The real problem with this is the stupid and transparent dishonesty of her claim. Widows are a very small percentage of women getting any sort of benefit. The entire category of deserted wives all but does not exist. What she means, but is too dishonest to say, is single mothers. Who are not a group we want to encourage. Some of them may have had a husband who left, but even then, it takes two for a marriage to fail. The over-whelming majority of divorces in the UK are initiated by women and if you ask them for a reason, their reasons are mostly trivial. Domestic abuse is so rare it is hardly worth considering as a category either. Both are utter dwarfed by women who choose to raise their children alone even though that means the child will be worse off in virtually every category we can measure – performing worse at school, socially, in terms of mental health, in terms of crime and violence and so on.

    But she is only interested in emotive pap serving her base constituency. Not in the truth.

  6. Polly really is a dozy cow, but is she merely stupid, or is she also evil?

    Bastardy is a serious problem in Britain. Kids in fatherless households are more at risk of poverty, sexual abuse, drug addiction, educational failure, jail, and suicide.

    We can say, with a mountain of evidence to support it, that family breakdown imposes significant externalities on society. This is the legacy of decades of feminist-inspired welfare policies that financially.incentivise single motherhood.

    Now, as for the Tories. Their personal allowance wheeze sums them up: half-hearted, and weak. As the Yanks would say, a day late and a dollar short.

    They’ve been in government for five years now. A whole half a decade, and *this* is the best they could do?

    I’m going to be selfish here and point something out to explain what pisses me off about this: I don’t get a personal allowance. On top of my huge PAYE bill, every year I now also have to fill out a self assessment form to pay HMRC back my allowance – thanks, Conservatives!

    So I won’t see a penny of the princely sum of £197 that the Tories are offering to give back to married people. But more worryingly (if I were Lord Ashcroft) neither will the vast majority of potential Conservative voters!

    This isn’t an incentive, it’s pointless, tokenistic tinkering around the edges of the tax system. It is a mere gesture, so the Tories can go into the next election boasting of supporting working families, and never mind the detail.

    By the point in its life, Margaret Thatcher’s government had privatised BP, Cable and Wireless, British Aerospace, BT, and council housing. She had won a war in the Falklands. She cut income tax by 3p in the basic rate, and 23p at the top rate.

    What has this government achieved, except to make Ed Miliband look like a potential Prime Minister?

  7. Matthew L,

    “It turfed Gordon Brown out of Number 10. Eventually.”

    he pretty much turfed himself out. It’s pretty damning that a Conservative government couldn’t get even a slim overall majority against someone with the record and personality of Gordon Brown.

    Cameron’s problem is that he has no idea about the floating voters. Provincial and suburban types like Thatcher and Tebbit did. He swallowed all the Guardian stuff about the environment and foreign aid in a desire for “detoxification”, none of which did him any good. Blair won in 1997 by not listening to those people, and instead he spoke the language of the floating voters – better schools, dealing with young offenders, cutting waiting lists, getting young unemployed back to work, and no increase in income tax.

  8. The Stigler: “…and instead he spoke the language of the floating voters – better schools, dealing with young offenders, cutting waiting lists, getting young unemployed back to work, and no increase in income tax.”

    And how much of that actually came to pass?

  9. Steve

    About you not getting a personal allowance: that isn’t random is it. So, in the interest of objectivity, would you tell us about all the benefits you get from your employment thay eats away your personal allowance?

  10. Ironman, I should think Steve loses his personal allowance because his income is over £100,000. The personal allowance is no longer for everyone.

    Just a guess though.

  11. @Steve
    “I now also have to fill out a self assessment form to pay HMRC back my allowance – thanks, Conservatives!”
    If that is the reason why you have to do it, then it seems like a waste of the Inland revenue’s and your time. Please tell me it isn’t true.

  12. Ironman – what Richard said.

    I don’t get any company benefits out of the usual.

    What pisses me off is, I’m not rich. I wasn’t born into wealth like Cameron or Osborne. No Oxbridge for me. When my parents die I can expect to inherit a quarter share of an ex-council flat, if it hasn’t been sold to pay for care fees. I’m not poor, but if I lost my job I’d be homeless within about 3 months. It’s a constant worry.

    I just want to pay my mortgage, put a bit aside into my pension, and raise my kids. But the harder I work, the more I’m fleeced.

    I’m the sort of person Maggie won over to the Conservative cause: a working class boy aiming to do well, without expecting much from the state. I’d happily rely even less on the state if they’d let me keep enough of my own earnings to afford private healthcare and schooling for the kids.

    Yet I’ve seen no benefit from this Conservative government being in power, they’ve given me no reason to vote for them. I’m supposed to feel grateful that they are keeping Labour out. Well, if Labour gets back in and hikes up tax rates I’ll just work less, earn less, and pay less tax. I’m already at the inflection point of my own personal Laffer curve.

    Being forced to do self assessment as well as PAYE adds insult to injury. And that, for me, has been a hallmark of David Cameron’s Conservatives: a big “fuck you” to their base. I’m not sure who they think they represent these days. Matthew Parris? Guardian readers who really like the colour blue?

  13. David – it is a waste of time for everyone involved, and I had no idea about it till I was sent a penalty notice and plunged into the Kafkaesque nightmare of dealing with HMRC. Apparently they sent out a self assessment form to my old address.

    You’d think they would just change your tax code and claw it back the following year, but why do that when you can force people to fill in forms? Or wait on hold for an hour trying to speak to a human at HMRC?

  14. “Yet I’ve seen no benefit from this Conservative government”: you mean coalition government.
    ” I’m already at the inflection point of my own personal Laffer curve”: insofar as you mean anything you probably mean turning point.

    One of the wonders of capitalism is that someone who’s too dim to cope with self assessment can earn so much money.

  15. dearieme – you mean coalition government

    Coalition schmoalition. Nobody forced David Cameron into a shotgun wedding with Nick Clegg.

    One of the wonders of capitalism is that someone who’s too dim to cope with self assessment can earn so much money.

    It’s not that much money after the taxman takes his share. I’m not a Premier League footballer or nuthin’.

    As for being dim, well, stupid is as stupid does, as Mrs Gump used to say. Why should I be inconvenienced as well as tax-raped? HMRC should be sending me a thank you card instead. And a free pen.

    Yours Aye,

    Steve Nice-but-dim

  16. I think you are all absolutely darling. Darlings …

    BTW – the £100k limit for self assessment has been in place since 2007 at the latest. Which, although it doesn’t make the not-Conservative-really government any better, does mean that that particular carbuncle on the arse-end of government finance and bureaucratic imposition isn’t their fault. They should have binned it though.

  17. SE – Might be wrong here, on account of me being dim and not an expert on graphs, but I think the personal allowance clawback* came in with the new FY in April 2010. Which does slightly predate the Libservatives, by about a month.

    *granted, not the same thing as self assessment, but is the reason why a lot of folks end up having to pay a tax bill via self assessment despite also being on PAYE

  18. Ultracrapitarian–If memory serves you have contributed a couple of times–mostly cryptic shite that vaguely seemed to endorse leftist bollocks. Before you talk about “nice” you would do well to reflect on the 150 million murdered by socialism so far.

    “Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice devised this, as family breakdown tops its five causes of poverty – all personal failings in the poor themselves.”

    Personal failings Pol?–like smoking and drinking and eating foods that commissars like you don’t approve of?

  19. Steve,

    Yes, personal allowance clawback was yet another of Mc(B)Ruin’s knives in the front of the incoming government (like reducing the Prime Minister’s salary.) However, when I was working on strict PAYE and earning more than £100k that way, I had to self-assess but didn’t get clawback.

    I now have to self-assess because I’m a director, regardless of how much I pay myself. Which isn’t more than £100k because “favourable NI treatment of dividends.”

    So I’m clearly an neoliberal tax avoiding scumbag.

  20. SE – So I’m clearly an neoliberal tax avoiding scumbag

    Neoliberal tax avoiding hero.

    God bless you. I wouldn’t give the bastards another penny if I could get away with it.

    But I am a mere salaryman in a big corporate machine. Where is our Moses, to lead us out of tax slavery?

  21. On the basis that I earn less than Steve and SE can I start whining about inequality and injustice please? Can I start calling them the 1% of Worstall World?

    Steve’s earnings are having a significant impact on my health and well being and I think it only fair that some of them are confiscated, sorry redistributed to me.

  22. Steve

    To have a salary of £100k+ and then to whine that you haven’t much left over after paying for your children and mortgage suggests you have a massive sense of entitlement. If you choose to have more children and a better house than you can afford, that’s not this or any other government’s problem.

    Also, if you can’t be bothered to complete a self-assessment form, get an accountant to do it for you. Indeed, an accountant might find some allowances that you can claim.

    Finally, Labour, not the coalition, was responsible for the abolition of the personal allowance for those earning £100k+, as SE points out. But if you vote anything other than Tory, you will be more likely to get more of the same from Milimarx.

  23. Surreptitious Evil

    But I am a mere salaryman in a big corporate machine. Where is our Moses, to lead us out of tax slavery?

    I think you refer to the entity known as the “personal service company”? Watch out for IR35 (another Brownian invention, iirc.)

  24. Surreptitious Evil

    GlenDorran,

    To brighten up your day, can I suggest you meditate on the difference between “I earn” and “I am paid.”

    It continually amazes me that people are willing to pay me what they do (apart from the MoD, who clearly know they are on to a winner.) Especially for what I actually do, which is to got to pointless meetings and to write reports telling people stuff they already know.

    Mind you, it almost certainly doesn’t piss you off nearly as much as it does my daughter. Who has real trouble getting her head around the fact that I can make as much in a couple of days of sleeping at the back of meetings as she can in a month of proper hard work.

  25. SE:

    I know what you mean. I have a magic piece of paper which means that financial companies are prepared to pay me more than others equally capable who haven’t got that magic piece of paper, and there is some work that they aren’t even allowed to do without that magic piece of paper.

    Sometimes, if I wake in the dark of the night, I’m sure I can hear Milton Friedman shouting abuse at me for hiding behind that paper.

  26. GlenDorran – I don’t have any money to redistribute. I’m married. 🙁

    Theophrastus – you have a massive sense of entitlement.

    I do feel massively entitled to my earnings, yes. Selfish, I know.

    If you choose to have more children and a better house than you can afford, that’s not this or any other government’s problem.

    In other words… “fuck you… vote Conservative”.

    I’ll pass.

  27. Steve

    Your lot seems truly awful, how do you get by? However, I can’t help thinking about the large majority of the country who would quite like what you call ‘tax slavery’.
    No offense but I’m not exactly crying a river for you mate.

  28. It seems you are a masochist as well as a whiner, because people like you are going to be rogered good and hard by a Milimarx government. Still, you’ll have stuck it to the Tories, won’t you? Though I imagine that won’t stop you squealing like a stuck pig.

  29. Am I getting paranoid or do I see what bete noire Richard Murphy called a ‘multi-headed hydra’ of trolls attacking Steve (whose contributions have historically been of such stellar quality they have led to many calls, always rejected by the man himself, for him to start his own blog) As usual, what he says about the Conservatives and the Cameron administration is unarguable, so a number of his critics (some of whom seem to have got the URLs for Tim’s blog and Tax Research UK mixed up) resort to ad hominems and pedantry.

    The ‘coalition’ government (well pointed out , Dearieme – but it’s not an assessment shared by your beloved Labour party – remember the 50s B movie pastiche advert from Labour during the euro elections, ‘The incredible shrinking Clegg’? – wouldn’t suggest they think it’s a Libdem controlled administration) has disappointed so many, The Tories are really left with only the argument that the Labour party is so bad that people need to vote Conservative to avoid Miliballs as PM – it’s not much of an argument and is struggling to resonate with voters. Only the SNP seems to stand between Miliband and an overall majority.

    As the Stigler points out, there’s now wide consensus from every part of the political spectrum other than the PC Left that the Brown administration was the worst government in British history. That a majority couldn’t be found against such a rabble is a staggering indictment. I appreciate the use of massive postal voter fraud and employment of a million Labour voters in non-productive public sector jobs (buying votes) presented hurdles, but as pointed out Thatcher seemed able to overcome similar handicaps. I actually think Cameron on a personal level seems a reasonable choice in the age of social media – but the policies seem timid, half hearted and often an attempt to appease groups that would never countenance voting conservative under any circumstances.

    Despite all the waffle about a ‘big society’ what is the point in offering sops to hard core Greens? (for example) – they need to be specifically targeted for additional levies (and indeed incentives for assisted emigration to places like Venezuela or Cuba should be an option) The Brown administration and its ghastly proxies in London (for example) did not hesitate to levy additional taxes on people they knew would not vote for them – Cameron needs to show that same ruthlessness – bringing 6% of the UKIP vote back would push him over the line.

  30. Theo:
    “To have a salary of £100k+ and then to whine that you haven’t much left over after paying for your children and mortgage suggests you have a massive sense of entitlement. If you choose to have more children and a better house than you can afford, that’s not this or any other government’s problem.”

    A man who earns £100000 a year and wants to keep it has a sense of entitlement? Cos he doesn’t want to give it to your favourite POS hero –so that he can keep paying £150000 a year to his Daddy-in-Law for the windfarm scam that Cammy-or more like his wife- has created for all his Guardian sucking eco-freak pals?

    Now your true colours are revealed Theo– a malicious BluLabour creep. Big tax, big-spend kiss-the-arse-of-tyranny-so-long-as-my-investments-are-alright clown. I suspect part of the venom comes from an ordinary guy being on 100 grand while some of the legends (in their own minds) on here aren’t.

    And the best bit Theo is that your investments are going to be fucked whichever set of bookends get in.

    Oh yes–ZaNu may have removed the allowances. Nobody is holding their breath waiting for Camorgueron to give them back.

  31. @Theophrastus
    I do not earn a 100k – far from it. However it is not that great a salary nowdays. For example you would not be able to buy the sort of flat that Jihad John’s family got for free on 100K a year.

    @Theophrastus
    “Also, if you can’t be bothered to complete a self-assessment form, get an accountant to do it for you. Indeed, an accountant might find some allowances that you can claim.”
    Do you want everyone’s time wasted?

  32. “As the Stigler points out, there’s now wide consensus from every part of the political spectrum other than the PC Left that the Brown administration was the worst government in British history.”.

    Hmmmm, some of us remember Wilson, Heath and Callaghan.

  33. @Ironman
    “Your lot seems truly awful, how do you get by? However, I can’t help thinking about the large majority of the country who would quite like what you call ‘tax slavery’.”
    I don’t know Steve but what do you know about his conditions maybe he is young or divorced and doesn’t have lots of equity?
    A 25 year old today needs to earn £150K+ to afford a house that my dad could buy in the 1980s (and my Dad’s job would pay nothing like £150 k today)

    More income doesn’t (any more) mean richer. You have to look at the equity etc as well.

  34. Andrew K

    The sheer stupidity of most Brownite politicians (especially those from women only shortlists) was awesome to behold. I do accept without hesitation the contention that the Heath, Wilson and Callaghan governments were all dire – only that the Brown regime was worse.

  35. David – exactly right. A six figure income meant something 20 years ago. Today, it just means you can afford a fairly average house and a car and let your wife stay home to look after the kids. We’re more like Tom and Barbara than Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous.

    Van_Patten – I think it’s blatant Stevophobia. Good job I never started that blog. 🙂

    Mr Ecks – Sometimes I think Theo is a black propagandist secretly working for UKIP. His unique combo of passive-aggressive threats and insults aren’t helping the party he purports to support.

    Ironman – I won’t lie to you: it is good to be Steve. But that would be the case regardless of whether I had a million pound note in my pocket or just £1.

    I’m not after sympathy – what would I do with it, after all? Just explaining my various disappointments with the present government. I wanted to have reasons to support them, but they’ve given me none.

  36. @Steve
    “David – exactly right. A six figure income meant something 20 years ago. Today, it just means you can afford a fairly average house and a car and let your wife stay home to look after the kids. We’re more like Tom and Barbara than Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous.”
    A crazy situation – although of course if you had bought your house 91-97 you would be so well off.
    Buying it now just gives you the sort of house some refugees would refuse (speaking from personal experience).

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