New figures reveal that families with children have paid an average £1,800 more in tax, as a direct result of the government’s VAT hike.
David Cameron and the Tory-led coalition government increased the rate of VAT from 17.5% to 20% in 2011. A move which has had a devastating impact on low-income families, many still struggling to cope with rising energy prices, cuts in welfare benefits and years of below inflation wage rises – a real-terms cut in income.
VAT can be charged on a number of different items including food, adult clothes, gadgets and household appliances – among others.
Items such as gas and electricity for the domestic home is usually charged at what is known as the ‘discount rate’. Some other items are ‘zero rated’ or ‘VAT free‘: such as baby wear, children’s clothing, children’s footwear and newspapers.
However, treasury figures analysed by Labour reveal how the 2.5% hike in VAT costs a couple with children £450 a year on average. This means that over the course of this parliament hard-up families have paid a total of £1,800 more in tax under David Cameron.
Food bank charity Trussell Trust helped to feed more than 913,000 people with three days worth of emergency food aid in 2013, including 330,205 children – up from 40,898 in 2009/10.
The second most common reason given for turning to food banks is ‘low income’ (20.29%), while benefit delays are cited as the primary reason (30.93%).
Labour said the Tories have gifted the top one percent of earners with tax cuts, “while everyone else faces a cost-of-living crisis”.
Shabana Mahmood MP, Labour’s Shadow Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:
“Before the last election David Cameron and George Osborne said they had no plans to raise VAT, but that’s exactly what they did after they got in.
“Raising VAT on families and pensioners is what Tory governments always do”, she said.
> And everyone who isn’t part of a family or a pensioner too – please lets be inclusive about this . We all pay VAT.
“These figures show that over the last four years a family with children has paid £1800 more in higher VAT under the Tories.”
“The truth is that the only people who have got a big tax cut under this Government are those earning over £150,000.
“And while everyone else faces a cost-of-living crisis, the Tories have refused to rule out another VAT rise in the next Parliament to pay for their £7 billion of unfunded tax promises.”
Shabana Mahmood said a Labour government would “balance the books in a fairer way”.
Adding: “We’ll cut taxes for 24 million people through a lower 10p starting rate of tax, freeze energy bills, cut business rates and expand free childcare for working parents.
Labour would also reverse “David Cameron’s £3 billion a year tax cut for the top one per cent of earners.”
Sourece – Welfare Weekly, 04 Jan 2015
> As noted elsewhere, ConDem posh boy George Osbourne gave a speech today, at Tilbury. It might have been nice if a few dockers had decided to heckle him, but as that doesn’t seem to have happened (perhaps no nasty rough types were allowed in), here’s a section of his speech, wherein he refers to his plans for those of us on benefits, with a few heckles added…
The culmination of this week that sees the biggest reduction of business and personal tax in two decades.
It’s only possible because your hard work is helping us fix the economy – and it is only part of our plan to create jobs.
> Oi, posh boy ! Was cutting all those public sector jobs in the North East also part of your plan to create jobs ? How did that work, then ?
For it’s no good creating jobs – if we’re also paying people to stay on welfare.
We inherited a welfare system that didn’t work
There was not enough help for those looking for a job – people were just parked on benefits.
> There was not enough jobs for those looking for a job. That was, and is, the real problem.
Frankly, there was not enough pressure to get a job – some people could just sign on and get almost as much money staying at home as going out to wo
That’s not fair to them – because they get trapped in poverty and their aspirations are squashed.
> Hang on, George… if people could get almost as much on benefits as they would working, how do they get trapped in poverty ? Is this a tacit admission that some jobs pay as little as benefits ?
It’s certainly not fair to taxpayers like you, who get up, go out to work, pay your taxes and pay for those benefits.
> How about tax payers like me (we’re all taxpayers – VAT, council tax, bedroom tax) who left school in 1977 and over the years has paid a lot of tax and national insurance on the understanding that, should I fall on hard times, I could claim benefits or, should I be lucky enough not to need to, my national insurance payments would go to help those who did need help ?
National Insurance is payed for a reason. Stop perverting that reason.
So if Tuesday is when we help businesses creating jobs; and Sunday is when we help hardworking people with jobs; next Monday is when we do more to encourage people without jobs to find them.
Benefits will only go up by 1% – so they don’t go up faster than most people’s pay rises, as used to be the case.
> Missue of figures alert ! Its not the percentage of the rise that matters, but the benefit or wage it’s an increase of.
A 10% rise for someone on basic Jobseeker’s Agreement would only amount to little over £7 a week – or £1 per day.
Meanwhile, our MPs are happily accepting an 11% rise – that’s 11% of some very good existing rates of pay. Got anything to say about that George ? No ? Thought not.
When I took this job, some people were getting huge payouts – receiving £50,000, £60,000 even up to £100,000 in benefits. More than most people could get by working. That was outrageous.
> £50,000, £60,000 even up to £100,000 in benefits – what ? Yearly, monthly, weekly ? How were these benefits made up ? How many cases were there ? Were there any or did you just make it up ?
If ‘some people’ ever really did get that much, then it must have been a very minute percentage of the total. So why are your policies designed to hit those much further down the chain, those on basic benefits ? Hardly fair, is it ?
So we’ve capped benefits, so that a family out of work can’t get more in benefits than the average working family.
> Define the “average working family”.
We’re now capping the overall welfare bill, so we control that. That came into force last week.
And we are bringing in a new Universal Credit to make sure work always pays.
From this month we’re also making big changes to how people go about claiming benefits.
We all understand that some people need more help than others to find work.
So starting this month we’ll make half of all people on unemployment benefits sign on every week – and people who stay on benefits for a long time will have to go to the job centre every day so they can get constant help and encouragement.
> so they can get constant help and encouragement – there speaks a man who’s never had to claim even the most basic benefits. Constant harrassment and discouragement would be nearer the mark.
To claim benefits people will also have to show they can speak English, or go on a course to learn how. It is ridiculous that people who didn’t speak English, and weren’t trying to learn it, could sit on out of work benefits in this country.
If people can’t speak English it is hard to get a job. Starting this week it will be even harder to get benefits if they’re not even attempting to learn it.
> How about posh boys who can speak English but talk bollocks, George ? How about people with regional accents ? Cut their benefits until they learn to talk proper ?
We’re going to require people to look for work for a week first before they get their unemployment benefit.
When people turn up at the job centre they’ll be expected to have a CV ready and to have started looking on our new jobs website.
> By which I suppose he means their old, discredited, scam-riddled and generally ridiculed Universal Jobmatch.
From now on the deal is this: look for work first; then claim the dole. Not the other way around.
> Then slowly starve as your claim for basic benefit help takes weeks to be processed…or get evicted for not being able to pay your rent, bills, council tax, bedroom tax, etc.
We will ask many of the long term unemployed to do community work in return for their benefits -whether it is making meals for the elderly, clearing up litter, or working for a local charity.
> I do like the use of ther word “ask” – as if you’d have a choice. But George, if there is all this work, why not pay people a proper wage – you know, the National Minimum Wage – to do it ? Working for benefits means they are no longer benefits – they are an illeagal, sub-NMW, slave labour rate job.
They will be gaining useful work experience and there’s an important principle here: if you want something out, you’ve got to put something in.
All of this is bringing back the principles that our welfare state was originally based on – something for something, not something for nothing.
That’s fair to the people claiming benefits – and fair to taxpayers who are paying for them.
> As pointed out, I am a taxpayer, we all are, and I have paid in plenty over the years towards the same benefits I now have to jump through hoops for.
And if some of the taxes I’ve paid also go to help others who need it, good – that’s the whole idea of society, at least as I understand it.
The old way has failed. More public spending leading to more welfare bills and more government jobs the country couldn’t afford.
Instead, this week, we follow the new way, our way: backing businesses by cutting their taxes so they can create jobs; cutting the tax on hard working people so their job pays; and holding back welfare rises and imposing more conditions on those claiming the dole, so that getting a job pays more.
> so that getting a job pays more – pays more what ? More costs in poverty, disease, stress, mental illness ? Bigger prison bills, when people are forced into desperate measures ? More homelessness ? Who exactly does this pay more to ?
The biggest business and personal tax cuts for a generation.
Welfare changes that get people back to work.
That’s our jobs plan and it’s the only plan in town.
And it’s working.
> Look, if you really just want to save money – stop subsidising the royal family (the true benefit scroungers), scrap Trident, stop getting embroilled in foreign wars that are nothing to do with us, 1% pay rises for MPs (and cut down on the expenses as well), stop pouring money into abortions like Universal Jobmatch… and so much more.
Of course, if your plan is actually a gradual reintroduction of the feudal system, then yes, it obviously is working.
It’s the sort of headline you could take in several contrary ways…
The Lost Generation: Conservatives say their plan is working
… but in this case its a mission statement from Rebecca Harris, the Conservative party vice chairman for young people’s issues, so we may suspect it’s not humour or irony….
Even before Labour’s great recession hit in 2008 things were tough for young people. During the 13 years of Labour Government half a million people lost their jobs and youth unemployment rose by 45%. It’s a longstanding problem.
This isn’t good enough.
> You noticed ?
Jobs really do matter. Giving people the feeling of a wage in their pocket every month is the best way to help people plan for a secure future.
> Really ?
That’s why we have a long term plan to get the economy of Britain, and the North East, working again.
> Long term = “we may get around to the North East eventually. Say, 2050 ? But you’ll have to vote Tory first, of course.”
We are creating more jobs by backing small business and enterprise with better infrastructure and lower jobs taxes. Already there are 13,000 more businesses in the North East than there were three years ago.
> Yeah ? But what are they ? One-person self-employed start-ups ? What’s more noticable is that are far more empty shops, offices and factory units than there were three years ago.
We’ve cut Labour’s jobs taxes to make it easier for those businesses to create jobs.
> And added a whole raft of new problems to make creating jobs look like too much hassle… and that’s before Universal Credit lurches onto the scene (if its wheels dont fall off first…)
That means more jobs for young people, as well as greater prosperity for the entire region.
> Why does it mean that ? Proof ?
Once young people find work they now get to keep more of their income as well. By raising the level at which people start to pay income tax we’ve taken 2.4m of the lowest earners out of tax altogether.
> No-ne is ever “out of tax” – there’s VAT for a start. And you’ve made them accountable for Council Tax and, in some cases, the Bedroom Tax too. Give with one hand, grab back with the other.
Ed Miliband used to claim that a million jobs would be lost under this Government – but in fact the private sector has created 1.6m new jobs. Our plan is working.
We’re also making reforms to schooling to increase young people’s skills. Under Labour, rampant grade inflation meant their GCSEs and A Levels did little to help them get a job.
> More GCSEs and A Levels do not equal an increase in skills. They don’t create jobs either.
We’re reforming exams so that young people gain an education that is actually worth something to employers.
> Er, dont you mean: “so that young people gain an education that is actually worth something to them“ ? No, you really dont, do you ?
At the same time we’ve created 1.5m new apprenticeships so that people can learn while they work.
By giving young people decent skills we can help them get jobs, and get jobs that pay well. It’s a long term plan for the future.
> A very, very long term plan. About 2050 ?
The signs are encouraging. There are 7,500 more young people off Job Seekers Allowance in the North East than a year ago. We’re committed to getting even more get off benefits and on to that important first step of adult life.
> Off JSA does not necesserily equal someone getting a job, as we all know too well.
The economic damage Labour did to the economy caused unforgivable harm to the life chances of young people. Even now they offer only short term gimmicks that would do more harm than good. Young people deserve better than that.
> Maybe if that old hag Thatcher hadn’t… oh, I see – you’re revising history here, it was Labour who killed off what was left of industry. Nothing to do with Thatcher at all.
Our long term economic plan is working and young people are working for a secure future once again. Let’s stick to the plan.
> I could suggest somewhere you might stick it…
Interestingly, the original article was illustrated with a photo of Smilin’ Dave Camoron getting down with a couple of apprentices in a factory… in, er, Oxford. Probably as far north as a Tory likes to go…
Source – Newcastle Journal 01 Feb 2014
View original post 1,901 more words
Defrocked UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom, a swivel-eyed loon of the first order, has come up with another one – ban the unemployed from voting.
He has attacked the fact that some will still get a vote even if they have “contributed nothing to the national exchequer at all and maybe never will”.
You might well think he’s talking about corporations who pay no tax here, or rich individuals who can afford accountants to bend the rules to avoid paying their fair share, but of course no…Bloom subscribes to that weird right-wing theory that the poorest are to blame for everything, and are probably doing it just to be spiteful.
No, his solution is that the electoral system needs to give “more electoral power” to the wealthy who “create the revenue”.
In other words, a system where the vote of the richest is always worth more than that of the poorer electorate, and those at the bottom getting none at all.
Good thinking Godfrey ! When the worst off in society cant even comfort themselves with the thought of voting idiots like you out at the next election (even though that prospect is a rank outsider at the best of times) then maybe bombs not ballots will become the order of the day. Because once you’re totally disenfranchised, what have you got to lose ?
He explained his rationale further – “I do not expect to vote in a Unite ballot because I am not a member and pay no dues. I do not expect a vote at Marks and Spencer’s AGM because I am not a shareholder. We need to get to a system where the interest of the individual and the state are more compatible.”
Yes Godfrey but… you see, this is a nation, not a company or a trade union. The vast majority didn’t apply to join it, we just ended up here as an accident of birth. If the accident had been slightly different some of us might have been born with silver spoons in our mouths and would spend our days trying to dodge paying taxes rather than scraping by.
And this idea that the poorest contribute nothing. Bloom, who apparently worked as a financial economist (although it may be worth noting that in 2008 Bloom’s company,TBO, was fined £28,000 by the Financial Services Authority for ‘posing an “unacceptable risk” to customers) doesn’t seem to realise that however poor you might be you still pay taxes – Council Tax and VAT at the very least. Some unfortunates also have to pay the Bedroom Tax. So lets have less of this “contributing nothing” crap.
Of course the man’s an arse, although what that makes the people who voted for him I shudder to think (and I am almost tempted to suggest that they are the people who should have their right to vote removed).
He is a member of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a tax-exempt libertarian organization located in Auburn, Alabama. Its website states that it is dedicated to advancing “the Misesian tradition of thought through the defense of the market economy, private property, sound money, and peaceful international relations, while opposing government intervention” and has published views critical of democracy, which authors in Institute publications have called coercive, and incompatible with wealth creation… so I think we have pretty good idea of where he’s coming from.
Bloom, who seems to hate women almost as much as the poor, confessed that has visited brothels in Hong Kong. He claimed however he never consummated the visits (even the most hard up prostitute has to draw the line somewhere …) and also claimed “terrified young women beaten into prostitution often from Eastern Europe […] is only a very small aspect of the flesh trade”, and concluded that “in short, most girls do it because they want to.”
After inviting students from the University of Cambridge Women’s Rugby Club to Brussels in 2004, he was accused of sexual assault, making “sexist and misogynistic remarks” and using offensive language during a dinner party. One student handed a formal letter of protest to the President of the European Parliament, heavily criticising Bloom’s behaviour.
Bloom who sponsored the club with £3,000 a year, admitted making misogynist comments but denied sexual harassment. Perhaps, given his Hong Kong experiences, he thought his three grand actually entitled him to act like that.
In December 2008, Bloom was carried out by an intern after making a speech in the European Parliament while drunk, the second occasion on which he was accused of being drunk in the chamber. During the speech, Bloom denied that MEPs from Poland, the Czech Republic or Latvia have the ability to understand economic relations.
On 24 November 2010, Bloom was ejected from the European Parliament after directing a Nazi slogan at German MEP Martin Schulz who was speaking in a debate on the economic crisis in Ireland. Bloom interrupted Schulz and shouted “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer“ at him.
Bloom was filmed at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen congratulating the French for bombing the Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace ship, in 1985.
In the clip, posing in front of the present Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior II, Bloom said, “Here we have one of the most truly fascist boats since 1945, well done the French for sinking (it).”
Truly a prince among men…