The FT notes this morning that:

The prime minister will say Britain needs to move from a “low-wage, high-tax, high-welfare society to a higher-wage, lower-tax, lower-welfare society” as he hints at a radical overhaul of the tax credit system.

Increase the minimum wage, significantly, then Mr Cameron. That’s the obvious first step in that process.

Cut tax, if you want too.

But making benefits cut the first stage is just callousness when there is no guarantee on the others. And everyone knows it.

They’ve already taken the first step. Raising the personal allowance significantly. Which cuts tax, raises take home incomes and reduces the amount of welfare necessary.

Ritchie should actually know this: he’s been whining about it enough after all.

33 thoughts on “Idiot”

  1. The argument that the poor (in which I think we include people working full time on minimum wage) *should* pay tax which is then recycled through welfare and tax credits so as to “feel part of civic society” is one of the most specious and pompous piles of crap ever to be inflicted on my eyes. Anyone would think that just because the LHTD takes money from the civil service unions and that such a scheme makes work for them that he’s in some way biased.

  2. Re: Flatcap Army

    Not to mention that said recycling wastes gargantuan amounts of money in transit.

  3. Flatcap army

    When I was still persona grata at TRUK, I challenged him on this as I felt the low paid in particular would benefit from not paying any tax. He responded by saying the next step following removal from taxation was ‘removal of the franchise’ – Oddly when I replied that that was a ‘grotesque argument’ he ended the exchange without threat of a ban, use of the word troll, accusations of time wasting, appealing to his own authority or one of the many ways in which his ‘deep and complex understanding of economics’ (to quote Howard Reed) wins so many arguments. He is one of the most brazen charlatans currently operating in contemporary politics.

  4. I find it bizarre that lefties don’t count the increase in the personal allowance. They don’t even disagree with it; they just utterly discount it, as if it’s not a thing. They go on and on about “tax cuts for the rich”, when the Coalition and the Tories have actually enacted major tax cuts for the poor.

    Course, if you’re earning a fortune, the increase to the allowance means very little. If you’re on a very low or part-time wage, it can be a very big deal. So lefties’ failure to notice it should tell us something, right there.

  5. VP,

    > He responded by saying the next step following removal from taxation was ‘removal of the franchise’

    Oh, that fabled Next Step that the Left are always warning us about. Restrict immigration and before you know it we’ll have Nazism in the streets and “NO DOGS NO BLACKS NO IRISH” signs on pub doors. Obviously.

    Any sign of those TORY NHS CUTS yet? Anyone? Come on, it’s been forty years now; they’ve got to happen sometime.

  6. Always amuses me, this ‘tax cuts for the rich’. Have not come across any. Yes, tax cuts for high earners – from a short lived increase applied to them that was then reduced down but still higher than just a few years previous. But high earners are not ‘the rich’.

  7. The Meissen Bison

    Squander Two: I find it bizarre that lefties don’t count…

    I’ve noticed that numbers are pressed into service to fit the narrative. Perhaps, like me, you were astonished at the reports that 250,000 people had participated in the anti-austerity march at the weekend?

    250,000 people crammed into Parliament Square? 250,000 demonstrating against a freshly re-elected party with an enhanced mandate?

    It turns out that the number, unsubstantiated yet blithely put out by the BBC on the midnight news on Sunday morning, was ten times larger than the true number according to the Guido Fawkes site today.

  8. I’m not sure about taking the low-paid out of tax. Yes, it’s the obvious, and simplest way to operate, but what’s the affect on behavior?

    The opposite alternative is for everyone to pay their full share. Even allowing for progressive tax rates, the minimum wage would have to rise enormously.

    So, for the sake of argument, we may have someone on 15 pounds per hour, but paying 8 of that in tax.

    The immediate flaw is that lower-end labour would become affordable. But that can’t be right because this is the situation already; it’s just hidden.

    Assuming for a moment that the flaws could be worked out, imagine the difference in attitudes. For example the next time a minister asks us to love him because “I am giving …. “

  9. JC,

    > I’m not sure about taking the low-paid out of tax. Yes, it’s the obvious, and simplest way to operate, but what’s the affect on behavior?

    My wife was a part-time worker till recently, and this actually happened to her. She continued to work her arse off. She also became less reluctant to work longer hours if requested, because the wage for those extra hours ceased to be execrable.

  10. Squander

    Absolutely – odd how the buffoon in any other instance is completely oblivious (or indeed purposefully ignorant) of second or third hand consequences but when it suits his purpose is willing to extrapolate ad idiotam – who can forget classics like – ‘Osborne reverts to neo feudalism’ or ‘the coalition is delivering the JP Morgan state’?

  11. You did used to have a tax system where the “everyone has to contribute a bit” element was to provide an incentive to voters to feel included in the system. Not disenfranchised
    The Community Charge.
    Much maligned as the Poll Tax.
    Do I hear a clamouring for its reintroduction ,by the left?
    Do I fuck.

  12. S2,
    Yes, I know the arguments in favour, and your situation is really not what I’m thinking of.

    The government spends x amount, and it’s quite a big x, on every one. Governments also like to bribe us with our own money from time to time.

    If you’re not paying in, then you’re going to be naturally sympathetic to additional government spending (until you find out it’s not coming your way, but going to that utter bell-end across the street).

    If you’re paying the true reflection of what it costs to maintain a 21st Century Briton, then your attitude will change. We may even have minimum wagers writing appalled letters to the Telegraph harrumphing about NHS waste.

  13. Have been on multiple marches in cities including London. In my experience the organisers always vastly inflate the numbers. Factor of 10 – 15 is common.
    More than once counted less than a thousand people at events where ‘tens of thousands’ marched.
    Still gives the 20 million plus who voted for austerity something to watch.

  14. People on minimum wage still pay VAT, Council tax, booze & fag duty, etc. I think we taking enough off them to feel “enfranchised”.

  15. bloke in spain

    Well said also – to quote the much lamented Lady Thatcher:

    ‘A whole subsection of society was being asked to contribute, in some small measure to society, rather than being a net drain – their response was to riot, and the capitulation by a ‘Conservative’ government was one of its greatest ever defeats’

  16. There are two arguments (clever trick really: one source; two different arguments) put about on this.

    The first says that that the poor don’t really benefit. On examination, however, this turns out to mean “other people benefit as well”. So the poor don’t benefit if others do as well; a bit sick really.

    The second is that they are disinfranchised, leaving the rich, the taxpayers with a disproportionate influence on the political process. To which the answer would seem to be indeed tax cuts for the rich so that they no longer enjoy this unwarranted and unearned (ho ho) advantage.

    In short, Ritchielogic of the highest order. And it has spread to unusual and unexpected places.

  17. “A whole subsection of society was being asked to contribute, in some small measure to society”: alas, the Blessed Margaret completely cocked that one up, as Nigel Lawson amongst others kept warning her. If she’d had the sense to limit the contribution to being “small” it might have been a flyer. But she didn’t so it wasn’t.

  18. “People on minimum wage still pay VAT, Council tax, booze & fag duty, etc. I think we taking enough off them to feel “enfranchised”

    No doubt, intellectually, there’s people think these things are dependent on the government they vote for. But not many of them & not with much conviction.
    Problem is, both/all parties are inclined to pass off those sort of taxes as inevitable “Nothing to do with us” Fag tax & booze duty? All part of the process of not letting us drink or some ourselves to death. Fuel duty? “The environment, innit?” Council Tax? “Don’t look at me. It’s his fault”
    They certainly don’t cultivate the impression we could do much about them at election time. Not saying we could. They don’t offer any alternatives, do they?
    So pretty well everyone votes on the figures below “Gross Pay” on their pay slip.

  19. Last I checked the law said the law extends the franchise to anyone over the age of 18….tax or no tax.

  20. Tyler,

    Yes, exactly. One man, one vote. So what the fuck is this bollocks about those who pay more tax having more influence?


    > The second is that they are disinfranchised, leaving the rich, the taxpayers with a disproportionate influence on the political process. To which the answer would seem to be indeed tax cuts for the rich so that they no longer enjoy this unwarranted and unearned (ho ho) advantage.

    Oo, that’s brilliant. I look forward to deploying that one in a conversation.

  21. The story of Carl Thompson tells us a fair bit about the insanity of modern Britain.

    He has just died, aged thirty-three, weighing sixty-five stones.

    According to news reports, and they sound plausible, he consumed ten thousand calories a day, had Chinese or Indian takeaways five nights a week and said he spent a tenner a day on chocolate.

    He couldn’t walk or dress himself, natch, so was looked after by NHS carers.

    Needless to say, he was not gainfully employed, had not worked since the age of seventeen, and lived off incapacity benefits.

    I appreciate that one shouldn’t get steamed up about this kind of thing – tabloid sensationalism etc though the Graun cover the story too – and to an extent I actually feel sorry for the poor fat bastard.

    But what the fuck is going on here?

    The very same state which lectures us about our weight via our GPs and various nannyist statements has facilitated this.

    It provided the food, and the ‘carers’, to kill him like a stuffed goose.

    Is there any fucking reason why someone somewhere didn’t say ‘Sorry Carl, we’ll buy you three square meals a day but we’re not going to help you kill yourself.’

    Equally, is there any reason why whoever sanctioned his benefit payments isn’t drummed out of their job?

  22. Interested – the same state that allows you to make your own decisions about contraception, drink, food and where to live.

  23. @Martin

    The same state also that now takes fat kids away from their parents and won’t give you certain medical treatment until you lose weight… that state that ‘allows you to make your own decisions about food’?

    Hey, don’t get me wrong, I don’t give a shit if people want to eat themselves to death.

    I do think that if you want to ‘make your own decisions about food’, and those decisions involve eating 10,000 calories a day and getting to 65 stones, that you should probably consider paying for it yourself (maybe your idea of the welfare state is more generous than mine, which would allow 2,500 calories a day for a man), but my main point is actually WHAT. THE. FUCK.

    State functionaries are ladling curry into this whale and you think that’s cool?

    Strange world, bro.

  24. can we stop talking about one stupid fat fucker and talk about another.

    Murphy has promised to stop blogging for a bit as he’ll be soooooo busy over the next few days. Want a bet he doesn’t stop?

    So what’s he up to? Selling the idea of the Fair Tax Mark to Denmark apparently. I hope they ask him how he’s getting on with it over here in the UK where it’s reached the point that he can’t even give FTMs away.

    Their target after 3 years was 350 companies (maybe more). After 18 months they’ve awarded 10.

    Better get a move on Richard……

  25. Oh Andrew, really. Add in those who have taken the pledge ( including Mickey Mouse btw) and you’ll find it’s well over 350 now.

  26. Carl Thompson had provided his local takeaways with keys so they could deliver food right to his bed. News to me that takeaway delivery drivers are state functionaries.

    Personally, I don’t want to pay the cost of the inspection regime necessary to check every single recipient of benefits is spending their money non-self-destructively.

    Thompson appears to have been a tragic figure who ate himself to death in his grief over his mother’s death. The scandal is not that he was given money for food but that — given that he’d realised what was happening and asked for help — he was not admitted to hospital and put on a drip. In other words, more money should been spent on him, not less. Doctors said he was being killed by the kindness of his neighbors. Well, he wasn’t bring saved by the kindness of doctors, was he?

    Anyway, I’m not sure what broader lessons may be learnt from a case that is so obviously an outlier. There will always be outliers.

  27. @Andrew,

    It does always make me laugh when he says “I’ve got to go to Paris and back today” or “I’m up at 5am to go to London today”.

    Some of us do that every fucking day, every week. Some of us fly to the otherside of the world for a day for a meeting. A meeting to get an order that pays for your beloved state.

    This week, he’s got a full week of actual travelling and work. No time to piss about on his Mac, in his home/not office annexe. Enjoy that Richard as after July the lack of JRCT funding will mean even more need to do real work.

  28. Noel

    Apparently his wife is not well so I’m guessing that source of income has also dried up – who knows where the next meal ticket is coming from! I almost feel sorry for him – then I read one of the blog entries and realize the old parable ‘you reap what you sow’ is never more apt. A loathsome purveyor of disinformation, fomenter of discord and relentless opponent of freedom of speech and association – he is getting his just desserts.

  29. @Van_Patten

    I agree entirely.

    It’s seldom that I’ve come across a more disagreeable person than Murphy. Stupid, smug, arrogant, intolerant and a pompous fraud on his so-called areas of expertise, which seem in his own opinion to extend to just about everything.

    Taxation’s Ozymandias.

  30. AndyC

    I’m hoping Arnald isn’t lurking in these nether regions of Tim’s site but you’re absolutely spot on with the Ozymandias comparison – I admit to hoping he suffers a similar fate and his work only exists as a historical footnote. A genuinely nasty piece of work.

  31. Noel – spot on. Ritchie writes about his trips in the same way a kid talks about days out at the seaside. It’s almost as if he expects to be rumbled at any time!

    Van patten – agreed. I bet his wife is on generous NHS sick pay though. I doubt the family will be shopping at Lidl just yet.

  32. And Ritchie’s post today attacking the government for redefining child poverty is hysterical. It’s not like he spends half his time redefining tax avoidance!

    The comments from Howard Reed and Ivan Horrocks are in real tinfoil helmet territory.

  33. Sam Jones

    I think in the case of all three of these Social Justice Warriors they need sectioning for the good of society as a whole, as well as their nearest and dearest. Deeply disturbed people to be sure….

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