Blimey, Ritchie suggests something sensible

I would increase the national insurance threshold at the lower end to match the income tax threshold for the time being, providing a direct boost to those on lowest pay.

How in buggery did he find something sensible to propose?

21 thoughts on “Blimey, Ritchie suggests something sensible”

  1. If you are trying to change the world forty times a day, eventually random chance will allow you to hit on something not completely insane.

    Given him, though, I’m surprised that he has managed quite so quickly.

  2. The Taxpayers’ Alliance should offer him £100k a year to produce some ‘research’ for them. I reckon he’d flip quicker than a gasping mackerel.

  3. Where did he get the idea? He got it from screaming matches on his blog withe and with Van_Patton and with Noel Scope. We insisted it would help the low-paid; he and his friends thought it would ‘disenfranchise’ them!!!

    I’m delighted to see we have won and won well. Big wave from me too Ritchie.

  4. WTF? Isn’t his normal argument…

    – increasing tax thresholds doesn’t help people who don’t fall into the threshold (more free money!)
    – everybody needs to pay some tax to feel part of society
    – tax isn’t a cost to you as it is the government’s money anyway

    Even by Ritchie standards, that’s a u-turn!

  5. The M.B.

    Good paraphrase, but the reality is:

    Less sex surely engenders less joy.

    Mr Murphy is obviously cut from different cloth!

  6. Dear Mr Worstall

    The low NIC thresholds have always been simply government sleight of hand to keep the poor impoverished, doubly so when government call the second NIC tax ’employers NIC’, which makes most employees think the government are taxing their employer, not them. Double tax poverty all round, eh?

    “I would increase the national insurance threshold…”

    Would he not have to be Chancellor to that? Just askin’.


  7. Dear Mr Worstall

    I’ve just had a look at the source. Mr Ritchie has been playing with the dressing up box and found a Chancellor of the Exchequer costume.

    If I ruled the world…


  8. Ironman/ Noel

    Given the length of the post and the sheer tedium of a 57 year old (I think) man recycling the same teenage bromides, it’s hardly surprising that he proves the adage that ‘even a blind squirrel stumbles across the odd acorn’.

    Sadly the forensic demolition of the rest of the piece is probably too tedious to undertake. The first paragraph looks to Mugabe’s Zimbabwe as an inspiration for Economic policy. Various restrictions on tax reliefs echo back to the 1960s. It aims to lock in ‘progressive values’ (or at least his idea of them) by law in defiance of the general election result and as such seems to harken over to Eritrea and North Korea as inspiration. The comments of Andrew Dickie in response to the intervention underneath the piece give some idea of the Brechtian mindset of Murphy and his acolytes.

    As often mentioned, we need to be looking to implement a ‘Socialist tax’ along the lines of the windfall levy enacted on the privatised utilities under Brown. This should be accompanied by a program offering funding for assisted emigration to Venezuela, Cuba and suchlike for Murphy, Dickie, Horrocks, and the like – they are really becoming too tiresome to have to placate in the UK.

  9. If N.I. payments are reduced or removed, won’t employers just reduce pay? I mean, they won’t need to pay so much as before for the employee to take home the same amount of money.

  10. ” they are really becoming too tiresome to have to placate in the UK”

    Well, Ritchie is now having influence on the U.S. Presidential election if his latest post is to be believed.

  11. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I imagine some employers would, and some wouldn’t, and the ones that didn’t would have the advantage since they are no worse off than before but can attract better employees. Or there’d be a continuum between the two extremes. Either way a new equilibrium would be reached. But this is just a hunch. I am not a Courageous Tax Expert™.

  12. @dearieme

    Laws of supply and demand mean that over time, the money not paid as employers NIC would find its way into the workers pockets rather than employers.

    Short term there would be a transition as most employers probably won’t just hand the money over, but wages will be bid up until the cost of staff to employers is once more ~= to the employee value added by said employees.

    It’s not really possible for anything else to happen in a vaguely free market economy – if wages are much below the value staff add, others making tighter margins poach your staff, if wages are above, you eventually go bust.

    (The exception to this is of course the public sector, where funding recived and value added tend to have a rather tenuous relationship at best – however private wage levels will generally at least provide a floor to public sector wages).

  13. Stupid question coming up.

    Why hasn’t a left wing government – and we have had a few – not tried all but abolishing income tax, and instead “shift the burden” to employers by making them pay a “boss tax”, in general proportion to the pay of the employee. This would largely politically neutralise their desire to raise income taxes, indeed if right wingers demanded “abolish the boss tax” or “lower the boss tax” they could hardly be seen as being on the side of the workers could they?

    I understand that the French socialists have done something like this with the top rate of income tax being partly paid by the employer.

  14. He’s also been reading Uncle Milton. He would pay individuals the shortfall of their earnings under the PA… which would make the basic wage piss’all of nothing.

    Well done Ritchie. Cos you’re not just a tax tax expert are you. You’re also an economist, a POLITICAL ECONOMIST. Wooh wooh.

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