Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Archive for the tag ““all in it together””

“old solutions to old problems, not new answers to the problems of today”

Yvette Cooper has turned her fire on the frontrunner in the Labour leadership race as the party prepares to start sending out ballot papers.

“old solutions to old problems, not new answers to the problems of today”
BBC News Website 13 August 2015 : Yvette Cooper: Jeremy Corbyn’s economic policies ‘not credible’

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If it smells partisan, if it sounds partisan, then …

It probably is partisan.

Let’s look at the proposed exemption for “family homes” in the Chancellor’s proposals for “reforming” Inheritance tax. Read more…

Guest Post: Saving is for Mugs?

ITV’s Tonight programme on Interest Rates (1 October 2014) is starting to wind me up.

All this damned worrying about what happens when interest rates go up – how will the greedy blighters who have bought heavily into property funded by cheap mortgages survive?

They will have to do what those us who have been savers will have had to do. Suffer, Suffer and Suffer! And about time, I am sick of subsidising a so-called recovery that I am not seeing.

Read more…

Pay and market forces

Our “blue in tooth and claw” market-forces system leads to pay situations that (to most of us) just seem wrong. One example might be

… the Chief Executive of Southend University Hospital has picked up an extra £20K in a year that has seen her A&E department branded amongst the worst in the UK. …

Her staff’s potential evidently is not reflected in decent pay rises – whilst Ms Totterdell struggles to get by on £175K, her staff have been offered a below inflation 1% rise.
Julian’s Musings 30 July 2014 : Rewards for failure – what the increasingly privatised NHS brings

Unfortunately Pay is determined not by quality and results but by rarity.

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Resigning and Redundancy

I don’t get it. “Embattled Culture Secretary” Maria Miller has resigned. Good – it was overdue in my view.

Now the BBC is reporting (News Channel 23:00 9 April 2014) that “she is giving her redundancy payment to a local charity”. According to the BBC Website the pay-off she is entitled to on leaving the cabinet is £17,000.
BBC News Website 9 April 2014: Maria Miller quits: Cameron defends ‘honest’ Parliament

*(The first £30,000 of Redundancy payments is tax-free)

Resign? AND Redundancy Payment? Does not compute! Read more…

Bankers bonuses – history repeating itself

So Barclays results are not as good but their bonus pool is up.

The bank’s total bonus pool for 2013 rose by 10% to £2.38bn, from £2.17bn in 2012, with the investment bank’s bonus pool increasing by 13%.

The details come a day after Barclays released its full-year profit figures.

The bank’s statutory pre-tax profits for 2013 rose to £2.9bn, while adjusted pre-tax profits fell to £5.2bn.

Barclays said its profits were hit by restructuring the bank last year, including its withdrawal from certain lines of business, as well as legal costs.

Overall, the bank’s pay-to-income ratio rose to 43.2% from 40% in 2012, well above the bank’s mid-30s target.
BBC News Website 11 February 2014 Barclays to cut up to 12,000 jobs as aims to trim costs

How does this work? Read more…

Reflections in a dark pool

We have had media saturation covering Thatcher’s funeral (17 April 2013) and some provocative comments about her legacy and importance.  A number have claimed that she was a unifying force. Read more…

Neilisms and out of context factoids

Andrew Neil was lambasting the Liberal Democrats today (BBC2 Daily Politics 24 September 2012) with the unreferenced factoid: the “top 10% pay 55% of all income tax paid”. Out of context it is meaningless and does nothing other than make Andrew Neil look like a bully.

I wonder how much of all income does the top 10% snaffle? More than 55%? If it is more than 55%, I very much hope that they are paying at least 55% of all income tax paid.  Looking at Wealth Accumulation and Total Tax might be even more illuminating.

Are similar figures available for the top 1%, the top 0.1% and the top 0.01%?

Once we know this we may be able to have a more educated debate about the progressiveness of our tax system.

Impoverish the poor or soak the rich?

Suppose you want to raise £1M per week? How might you do it? I suspect the two sides of the coalition will have different views. Read more…

Elites and Elitism – the latest “row”

Earlier this month (7 April 2012) the papers reported “Shock and Oar” as a protester interrupted the (Oxbridge) Boat Race by swimming into the path of the boats.

The person concerned, Trenton Oldfield, has a rambling blog explaining (I think) that he was protesting against the Elitism typified by the Boat Race and claiming that “Elitism leads to Tyranny”.

Leaving aside that the boat race competitors were about as far away from the stereotypical Oxbridge student as is possible – often being specifically recruited athletes (many from America), there is an issue to tease out and examine about Elites, Elitism and being Elitist. Read more…

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