Outside the marginals

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

Archive for the tag “inequality”

All in it together

A personal fortune of £100m is now required to become one of the 1,000 richest people in the country, up £15m compared with last year’s entry point of £85m.

In 1997 it took a fortune of just £15m to join Britain’s richest 1,000 people.
BBC News Website 26 April 2015 : Music boss Len Blavatnik named as Britain’s richest man

What does this annual reporting of the Sunday Times Rich List? Read more…

“Selective Universities” select students from selective schools

Private school pupils are more likely to go to top universities, despite efforts to widen access, data suggests.

Some 64% of privately educated A-level students got into the most selective universities in 2010-11, against 24% of state school pupils. BBC News Website 8 August 2013: Judith Burns: Private school pupils keep university advantage

Should we be surprised? Read more…

Economics of madness

The current government is leading us in a nasty direction.

They have won the language battle to stigmatise welfare recipients.  Tonight’s BBC News (News channel 23:00 15 July 2013) reported that 70% support the benefit cap.  The government feels that it can demonise the Labour party as “The Welfare Party”.  We use to be a society that was proud that it cared about the welfare of its fellow citizens. No more it seems.

The benefit cap comes in on the same day that the Resolution Foundation reports (Home Truths: How affordable is housing for Britain’s ordinary working families?) that housing costs rule out vast swathes of the country for all but the comfortably off (BBC Website 15 July 2013, Mark Easton: Rent ‘unaffordable’ in third of UK).

It would seem that we don’t care? Read more…

Playing the percentages

Commenting on the benefit changes today (2 April 2013) a number of politicians seem to be saying that if you are poor / unemployed it is fair if you get a lower percentage increase in your income than the “strivers”.  When that increase is less than inflation you are faced with taking a cut – and that hits the poorest regressively – something many Tories either won’t or can’t recognise.

Looking at some examples surely illustrates this: Read more…

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…

Being charitable towards the rich

If a non tax-payer donates £100 to charity the rest of us do not top up his donation.

If a standard rate tax-payer donates £1,000 to charity the rest of us top it up with “gift aid” of £250 (The charity receiving £1,250 – we contribute 20% of that amount to support the individual’s charity)

If a maximum rate (currently 50%) tax-payer donates £1,000,000 to charity the rest of us top it up with “gift aid” of £250,000 (The charity receiving £1,250,000) and then we give a further £375,000 back to the maximum-rate tax payer to “support his philanthropy” – we contribute 50% of the amount the charity receives.

So the richer someone is, the more we have to support their charitable urges – we have to be charitable to them – at the expense of other things on which our taxes could be spent. How so? Read more…

The problem with the rich

I have been thinking about “the rich” quite a bit recently, what with the crash and the budget.  I feel I need to try to get beyond the “bash the bankers” and “soak the rich” rhetoric and work out where my problem lies and whether it is “with the rich” or just some of the blighters. Read more…

Taxation and the behaviour of the rich vs. the rest of us

On today’s (BBC2 13 March 2012) Daily Politics, Lord Lawson (the former Conservative monetarist chancellor, Nigel Lawson) was advocating cutting the top rate of tax because of the “behavioural implication” on the rich which would mean a reduction in rate would result in a greater overall tax take.

Presumably if Lawson thinks cutting tax on the rich from 50% to 40% will bring in more tax, we should also look at cutting it to 30% or even 20% to maximise this “behavioural change”.

Meanwhile taxes on the rest of us can just rise – because the rest of us despite being “all in it together” behave differently! Read more…

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