Boris Johnson proposes a Worstall policy:

Increasing the starting point for national insurance contributions to £12,500
Cost: £11bn. At present people pay NICs when they earn £166 a week and income tax when they earn £12,500 a year. Johnson wants to gradually align the two systems by raising the NICs ceiling to an annual £12,500. Doing this in one go would cost £11bn a year and take 2.4 million people out of paying NICs altogether, but would still offer most benefits to those on higher earnings.

Huzzah and Gloria etc.

And how do I know it’s a Worstall policy? Because of the £12,500. That’s what the full year, full time, minimum wage was when I made the proposal. Which was my proposal – income tax and NIC should be aligned with the full year, full time, minimum wage.

Sure, inflation and minimum wage changes have moved the number on, but the policy is still living in that old form.

32 thoughts on “Huzzah!”

  1. but would still offer most benefits to those on higher earnings.

    These people just never let up do they! “Can’t make poor people better off if richer people may also be made better off. Only policies that make rich people less rich are good!”

  2. Well done. I’ve been pushing it when I bump into party bods, but the pushback is usually “but rich people will benefit!!!!”.

  3. My lefty American in-laws moved to the UK on 2-3 times median income and were shocked and OUTRAGED that they wouldn’t be able to access free childcare places!

    “But we’re paying for that through our taxes!” Yeah, for people less well-off than you. Then you pay for your own spawn directly. It’s part of “making the rich pay more”, which you’re normally in favour of (but I guess you never thought it meant you). You might not feel rich, but compared to someone on median income, you very much are…

    “Liberals” mugged by reality right there! 😀 😀 😀

  4. Why is this a good thing? Why is it good for low income persons to not contribute to the general fund? Why is it good that the Free Shit Army gets even bigger?

  5. @ PJF “Why is it good that the Free Shit Army gets even bigger?”

    My thought too.

    It will be interesting to see what they do with the Lower Earnings Limit.

    The LEL is currently £6,136 and it’s a salary at that level that would count as a contribution year for state pension purposes, despite no NIC being paid.

    This allows someone to contribute £0 in NIC throughout their working life and still get a full state pension.

    That’s £8,777.60 p.a. pension (and conservatively you’d need a private pension pot of around £200k for that) having contributed nothing. That’s a pretty good return on investment.

  6. PJF & AndrewC, I agree wholeheartedly. The more people moved out of paying anything, the bigger the group of freeloaders becomes. By all means, set the rates very low, but FFS make people pay something.

    So Tim & Boris, this commentator doesn’t agree with you.

    PS. How much NI do you pay, Tim?

  7. Amen, abacab. My father was a pinko communist (considering the circumstances of his youth, it was a likely outcome). In later life, after a successful career, his tax bite got big. It infuriated him. I think he died with the cognitive dissonance of believing in “tax the rich” and the government taxing him.

  8. ‘Increasing the starting point for national insurance contributions to £12,500
    Cost: £11bn.’

    SAVING! Not cost.

    Povs will be saving £11 billion otherwise squandered by the parasitical class.

  9. I would be more impressed by an amalgamation of income tax and ‘national insurance contributions’

    While he’s at it he can reduce the tax rules by, say, 75%?

  10. Harry Haddock's Ghost

    ‘but would still offer most benefits to those on higher earnings.’

    How would it? I lefty land, everything is *relative* not *absolute* so, surely, relatively:the poor would benefit most as a % if their income, no?

  11. Bloke in North Dorset

    NI is just a general tax, there is no NI pot, its all pay as you go.

    Scrap it all together and increase income tax if necessary and end this national fiction which just complicates everything.

    Simplify benefits as well. If someone hasn’t made all their contributions their pension will get topped up in other ways.

  12. I’m with PJF, Andrew C and Excavator Man. Everyone should pay some level of income based tax. Having a large proportion of the population being net receivers from the state leads to a tyranny of the majority. The freeloaders have sufficient numbers to vote for a party that will tax the ‘rich’ and give them even more handouts.

  13. Everyone should pay some level of income based tax.

    Disagree. No-one should pay any level of income tax. Income tax should be abolished, and the government should keep to its promise of it being a temporary tax.

  14. Would be more than happy for that to be the case, BiW, as long as it wasn’t replaced with another tax designed to discriminate against the well off. However, for as long as there is an income tax, I believe that everyone earning an income should pay it.

  15. I agree with Mr in Wales.

    When Pitt the Y introduced income tax there was anger and disgust*.

    Imagine that. People supposing themselves sufficiently freeborn that an impost on the fruit of their labour was a disgrace.

    * a temporary measure, to help fight Boney. Ahem.

  16. ‘a temporary measure, to help fight Boney. Ahem.’

    There’s no ahem about it, that’s exactly what it proved to be. Before you sneer at historical figures it pays to get the history right. Otherwise you’re just behaving like a Leftie.

  17. Surreptitious Evil

    There’s no ahem about it, that’s exactly what it proved to be.

    But Monsieur Boney du Grande Conck was beaten 1805 (don’t listen to the Armies making a song and dance of the next 10 years) and died in 1821.

    214 / 204 / 198 years counts, with no signs of slowing down, never mind stopping, counts as ‘temporary’?

  18. DocBud, the poor pay through “indirect taxes” on anything other than necessities or stuff that has massive media support.

    Why should the poor pay income tax (under any of its names) to pay for police to protect those rich enough to have things worth stealing or to pay for the Royal Opera House or for the myriad of bureaucrats who protect the rich from financial fraud or the incmpetence of financial advisers or for gender reassignment asdvisers or ….?
    [For those who ask why I don’t send a cheque to HMRC: I pay the tax due and then contribute to charities who do far more good £ for £ than HMRC]

  19. Wondering why we don’t cut income tax and increase consumption tax, with some kind of luxury items tax? Maybe with thresholds and savings accounts, so if you’re a teacher who is obsessed with owning sports car and spends 20 years saving for it then it’s taxed less than when a footballer on a splurge buys one.

    Just seems that how rich you are is more to do with your consumption than your income. You may be a high earner bit the only one in the household for example.

  20. “by raising the NICs ceiling to an annual £12,500.”

    Shouldn’t that be “NICs threshold”?

  21. There is a tension between “poor people should pay tax to have skin in the game” and “poor people shouldn’t be impoverished further by paying taxes”. However, the political argument is that the minimum wage is the minimum that would allow a single person to (full-time) earn the minimum our society deems an acceptable standard of life. So, why should somebody on that deemed absolute minimum have some of the absolute minimum take off them in taxes?

    On that basis, I agree that the minimum wage and the floor taxation level should be bidirectionally welded together. Raise the minumum wage, personal allowance goes up. Raise the personal allowance, minimum wage goes up.

  22. PJF said:
    “Why is it good for low income persons to not contribute to the general fund? Why is it good that the Free Shit Army gets even bigger?”

    I understand the point (it’s one Lawson makes as well, so you’re in good company).

    However, against the “more free stuff” argument, is the “entitlement” argument – “I’ve paid my NI, I’m entitled to [insert massively expensive government spending]”.

    Raising thresholds increases the “vote for more free stuff” rick but reduces the “I’ve paid so I’m entitled” risk.

    I don’t know which effect is stronger or more dangerous, but it’s not a one-way street.

  23. “Why should the poor pay income tax (under any of its names) to pay for police to protect those rich enough to have things worth stealing or to pay for the Royal Opera House or for the myriad of bureaucrats…”

    So that the poor are inclined to vote for less government spending rather than more. If they’re not paying for it they’re going to vote for more of it. Why the fuck wouldn’t they? “Hey, free shit! And the ‘rich’ pay. Ha ha.”

  24. While I agree about the pay for it makes you more responsible when you have people paying tax and then getting benefits back that seems inefficient (just shuffling money around) and makes them just as inclined to vote for the ‘free’ bit anyway. Minimum wage being in line with tax allowances and benefits system always seemed to make more sense to me and would certainly be easier to deal with than the current universal credit mess

  25. Surreptitious Evil said:
    “But Monsieur Boney du Grande Conck was beaten 1805”

    1805 was a splendid victory, but hardly ended the war.

    Income tax was indeed introduced (by Pitt) in 1799 to fight the French (not really yet the Napoleonic Wars; more the tail-end of the post-1789 revolution).

    In 1802 we signed a peace treaty with the French, so Addington abolished income tax.

    The peace didn’t last long; in 1803 the war was re-started, and so was income tax (to a more efficient design by Addington).

    The Napoleonic Wars finally ended in 1815, and Vansittart duly abolished income tax the following year (unwillingly, since although the war was over, we hadn’t finished paying for it).

    In 1842 Peel reintroduced income tax (pretty much on Addington’s model), but without first starting a war with France, which was thought to be bad form. It is only since 1842, over 25 years after the death of Napoleon, that income tax has been continuously reimposed every year.

    The 1842 tax was said to be temporary, but it doesn’t seem to have been justified by reference to the Napoleonic War debt; so far as I can see it was used to reduce or abolish many excise duties, and the debate seems to have swung around that.

    Gladstone later used another war to justify income tax (the Crimean; something went wrong there, with us fighting on the same side as the French), but since 1842 it has mostly been reimposed without reference to war.

    So although the income tax was indeed initially a temporary measure to fight the French, it was actually abolished when the war ended (twice), and on its current reintroduction it wasn’t tied to the war at all.

  26. @PJF July 29, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    +1 This was the point of Mrs Thatcher’s Community Charge – sadly it was destroyed by Left & MSM lies and Major’s weakness

    Tim W misses one vital point: No vote without Taxation (“invisible” tax like VAT, APD etc don’t count)

  27. Boris Johnson – Patriotic Brexiter or Snake Oil Salesman?

    The truth that Boris needs to grasp

    …Johnson’s speech in the House of Commons last week depicting Britain in 2050 as a carbon-free, silicon-valley Elysium can only prove to be a ‘pyramid of piffle’

    In the short term, though, Mr Johnson looks likely to prove to be a very effective Prime Minister. He has assembled a talented, meritocratic team in government and himself appears to have the leadership character to inspire the collective loyalty and commitment that can, even in this fallen world of ours, deliver political and economic improvements.

    The socially Marxist establishment in Parliament across the political parties certainly looked uncomfortable during his ‘sunlit uplands’ speech in the House of Commons, and that is a good sign.

    Mr Johnson cannot do this country much long-term good unless he grasps this truth, which is bound up with the British Monarch’s Coronation Oath. Only the benign social fruits of such a revival of Christian faith, can save this country from descending into disorder followed by dictatorship, whether that takes an Islamic or a politically correct form….

    A contrasting view:

    Big Bad Boris is just a Remainer appeaser

    …The truth is that Boris has offered Remainers not so much an olive branch but the entire tree, minus the Brexit off-shoot, and one that they would be very foolish not to accept. He has signalled in no uncertain terms that if they play ball their liberal ascendancy will remain otherwise intact, with mass migration, the net zero carbon lunacy, the championing of the LGBT agenda and so on all to continue under his premiership.

    Western societies are governed, both at home and abroad, by institutions and networks, including our own Parliament, that have become instinctively liberal, internationalist and imperial. For this reason, without further profound democratic reform globalist liberalism will bounce back quickly from Brexit, and far more quickly than both friend and foe think. Even in Europe, the elites found the EU useful but not essential for assuring the domination of their ideas. Prior to Brexit, focus has already begun to shift towards the United Nations, as witnessed by the immensely disturbing UN global compact on migration. Expect much more of that in the future.

    Last week Boris signalled that in return for Brexit he is perfectly happy to leave the broader liberal hegemony more or less in place. To social conservatives that is Brexit In Name Only. Do not lower your guard, do not trust, and beware the silent thief stealing the silverware as everyone else enjoys the Brexit party…

    I’m trying to be optimistic and believe No Deal Exit will happen; the way to ensure this is Priti et al to make it clear they will resign if he capitulates. He hates losing and resignations are a lose. imo a large threat is his Remoaner family & woke Carrie.

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