This is news to many journalists

Mr Sunak said it was “reasonable, proportionate and fair” to exclude those with taxable profits above £50,000, including law partners, freelance journalists and other professionals. The chancellor said this group had average incomes of about £200,000.

Regular columnists in major papers maybe. Someone with a sideline in true crime books or ghosting ‘sleb stuff maybe. But your average freelance journo on £200k a year?

It is to larff.

As an actual journeyman (ie, not a name) freelance, and working like buggery (one entire newspaper or magazine piece a working day, which is proper work when you include research etc) mebbe £40k a year?

22 thoughts on “This is news to many journalists”

  1. Seems harsh.

    a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of average profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, benefiting 95 per cent of people who receive the majority of their income from self employment, expected to pay out an average of £940 per person

    Why exclude £50k+ earners? They only account for 5% of the group, and the outlay is capped anyway. It seems petty to exclude them.

  2. Print/online hacks earning £200k+ a year: national newspaper editors, some section editors for big papers, the biggest ‘name’ commentators (Polly, Moonbat etc don’t earn that much). Boris was probably the best-paid hack in the land (per hour), getting £250k pa for his weekly Telegraph column.

    However, you can still earn a lot more than than £40k as a freelance hack, especially if you have a niche, are numerate, and are flexible about who you write for.

  3. “However, you can still earn a lot more than than £40k as a freelance hack, especially if you have a niche, are numerate, and are flexible about who you write for.”

    Sure, as both of us prove. But there’s that word “average” in there……

  4. They aren’t prevented from working though, they can still write the same shit from home, unfortunately.

  5. @Tim – yep sure. I was also thinking that solid newsdesk hacks and sub-editors might do better on a day rate, but looked up what I was paying people in the days when I edited a B2B magazine and it was no more than £200 a day (might be more now). So you’d have to be busy to exceed £40k.

    I wonder what the median earnings for a UK freelance hack actually are? The average would be dragged down by hobbyists and fools churning out thousands of words for tuppence for new media organisations.

  6. So what is £40k pa to the average Portugee? Does that put you at the top of the heap where you live? Self-employed income has taxation benefits relative to PAYE that are necessary to cope with the uncertainty associated with an irregular income.

    The other rule, that self-employed earnings have to be >50% is also rather hard on old greyheads working in retirement (e.g. me), but only in comparison to those who get the full hand-out while they keep on working. So far, I have lost 6% of my self employed earnings this calendar year due to lockdown and none of my pension, and although I think that nice though it would be to get something back for the NI contributions I paid all my adult life (until I got to the cutoff age), it would be simply greedy to clamour for the money.

  7. Sunak is a fuckwit with acting skills. He looks the part so the useless journos hardly listen to his crap.

    Thinking that a CS that in normal times takes 16 wks to do a dole claim from form to cheque could write millions of extra cheques–under a new set of procedures doubtless–in a matter of 4-6 weeks. That is the real measure of how bright Sunak is.

    Ist imported PM? Better hope not.

  8. Bloke in North Dorset

    Why exclude £50k+ earners? They only account for 5% of the group, and the outlay is capped anyway. It seems petty to exclude them.

    Because some twats will make political capital out of it. Might as well head that off at the pass.

  9. What BiND said.
    Also they shouldn’t need much help. I’m excluded too because I get more from my pensions than from self-employment – seems pretty sensible to me.

  10. @Tim

    The way I read it wasn’t “average freelance journo makes 200k” (plainly ridiculous) or even 50k (still stretching credibility) but rather “in that group earning over 50k,the mean is 200k”… Which sounds less daft because by the time you impose a 50k+ restriction then you’ve got shot of most of the no-names, and within this smaller group you’ve got big name columnists and TV journos. I don’t think it soecifically referred to journalists either, just that they would be members of this group, along with some very high earning lawyers, businesspeople etc. I almost wonder if the journalists were thrown in as a form of trolling, knowing how popular they are among the public at the moment, whereas eg mentioning privately practising medical consultants might invoke the members of a presently sainted class.

  11. John 77–No matter where he was born–that doesn’t make him English any more than being a banker makes him suited to be messing about in number 11.

    Also the kindest I have ever been re Blojo is describing him as the best of a very very bad lot. I am no member of his cult. He is a natural BluLabour traitor but one who realised Brexit was the winning ticket. Everything else about him is BluLab Bogus. If we had one decent politician at the top Johnson could have spent his entire life in Noo Yark for all I care.

  12. “Why exclude £50k+ earners? They only account for 5% of the group, and the outlay is capped anyway. It seems petty to exclude them.”
    Beyond that point you are assumed to have savings, or at least assets, or at least a credit rating, that will get you through a couple of months.

  13. @ Mr Ecks
    Rishi Sunak is not imported, Boris is – therefore your remark about “First imported PM” betrays your casual ignorance of what you are talking about.

    Being born in England makes him English by definition. Ancestry is irrelevant as we are ALL descended from immigrants – England was totally uninhabited during most of the Ice Ages and only by Neanderthals when they first came here – later variants of humans were immigrants (as were the Normans, described as Orcs by the Anglo-Saxon chronicler).

  14. John77

    English is an ethnicity. Sunak is ethnically Indian. If merely being born here means you’re English then the term is meaningless.
    And everyone except maybe a Khoisan Bushman would be an immigrant according to your argument.

  15. @ silverite
    I said “descended from”. But I should certainly agree that the Khoisan have a better claim to South Africa than the Xhosa or Zulu.

  16. @ Silverite
    English is not an ethnicity – the English are descended from an admixture of all the groups who have settled as traders (beaker people, Carthaginians etc), invaders (Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Vikings, Normans and their mercenaries …), economic migrants (stonemasons, Flemish weavers, etc) or refugees (Huguenots, Jews, Ugandan Asians …).
    Yorkshiremen have a different admixture to Cornishmen or East Anglians or Cumbrians. Which *one* of these ethnicities do *you* define as English?

  17. I will be laughing when Sunak gets toothache and discovers Dentists haven’t reopened as all struck off by GDC for bad debts & not paying GDC Fee or MDDUS premiums


    No. Correct robust response is “They paid taxes and are entitled to same benefits, if they don’t need it they shouldn’t claim. However, we must treat all equally & fairly”

    In USA rich peeps/orgs have been returning their Automatic payments

  18. I recall that there was a quote referring to the Duke of Wellingtons Irish birth along the lines that “just because you are born in a stable does not make you a horse”.
    As Ecks has previously mentioned before, many different creeds and ethnicities get along ok at the moment, mainly due to prosperous economic circumstances. If the economy takes a proper dive to the point where large numbers of people are really suffering, we will soon see how well our modern melting pot really works.
    Its like how I see in parts of Brum how our Pakistani Muslims friends in particular seem to be operating a parallel economy and society within the wider English one.

  19. I was born in the UK. I have 100% Indian origin. I’ve never even been to India. My first language is English. I look forward to learning what you think I am, because I’m not Indian. Chances are, most of you are not “English” either, if you think being white and born in England makes you English. The Welsh kingdoms, Cornwall, all sorts of kingdoms and duchies formed primarily of members of a particular ethnic group (e.g. Saxon, or Viking) used to exist, and while some proportion of the members of such geographic enclaves where they exist today may well be of that one, pure, stock, the majority of “white English” people have some sort of admixture with different races and bloodlines, including the Irish and Welsh. Never mind previously warring kingdoms next door. England as a nation is a political entity within the United Kingdom. Individuals who populate the nation of the United Kingdom are British if they hold British nationality. As for whether you consider yourself English, half-English, quarter-English, half-Scottish or whatever, that’s meaningless. Someone who has French parents and is born in England, and has British nationality and right of abode, is English. Someone who INDIAN, BLACK or CHINESE parents and is born in England and has British nationality and right of abode is also English. Talk of horses and stables just gets you a busted nose because we have nowhere to run and we are cornered so we have to fight it out. Come to think of it, I think we did, and we won, around 1978. Where’s your National Front now?

    Anyway, back on topic. The mean earnings of any particular occupational group is not an indication of what the individuals within the sample set may earn, simply because a single value can have a dramatic effect on the mean. For example, take 9 penniless beggars, and one Bill Gates, as your sample of 10. The mean worth of those people would be astronomical and not a reflection of what their actual worth might be.

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