Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The first cut is the deepest

Although I have stopped reading the national newspapers, on the BBC, ITN or Internet news, all the talk recently has been of huge government spending cuts across the board, regardless of which party wins the next general election, because we are now in a severe recession.

I saw a headline in a newspaper a few weeks back, before I stopped reading them, declaring that "Bankers face tough spending choices". That headline made me think to myself, "Tough spending choices? Such as what? Whether to buy a Porsche or a Lamborgini?". The latter car sounds like an Italian wine doesn't it? However, on a more serious note, there is something cruelly ironic about the fact that those who have precipitated this recession, fat cats and top bankers, are mainly unaffected by it.

With the proposed spending cuts, DLA may be axed or reduced, along with meals on wheels programs. Libraries will almost certainly have their opening hours reduced and spending on books drastically slashed. Educational Maintenance Allowance might be scrapped, removing an incentive for some students to remain in further or higher education. The Sure Start scheme could go. Council services are likely to be shrunk to a bare minimum, and other welfare benefits hit. The NHS budget downscaled. Free television licences for the over-75's and free bus passes for the over 60's are potential targets in the spending cuts, which all three parties have reached a consensus on.

Another ironic thing is, the government should be trying to prevent unemployment, but making huge spending cuts will cause further unemployment, make the recession worse, and reduce the spending power of those which it has made unemployed by the cuts! If EMA goes, then many people may not get their training to learn a skill or trade or acquire further qualifications, because they might not be able to afford it. However, when that occurs, where will they be placed in the workplace if much of industry is closing down due to the recession? The UK will have a workforce with vastly reduced skills. Where's the sense or logic in that?

Have you noticed though, that it is usually the vulnerable, ill or old are affected when such decisions occur? If I had my way with the spending cuts, which are due to occur, first of all, I would keep Inheritance Tax. To abolish that in a time of recession and economic cutbacks would be cruel, as well as economic insanity.

Inheritance Tax guarantees income for the treasury, and only the richest 6 per cent of estates pay inheritance tax. It creates a class of inheritees who have no incentive to work, since they will be rich no matter what they do. I would close tax loopholes for the rich and super-rich. That would be ALL loopholes, particularly for foreign billionaires and private equity experts. To stop the minority of the super-rich who would actually act on their threats to leave Britain, I would lead an international battle to shut down the world's tax havens.

Following on from this would be a windfall tax on the bloated oil companies. Those earning £150,000 a year will pay 50% in Income Tax from April 2010. Too right that they should. The Government shouldn't apologise or be timid about it. There is something wrong with a taxation system where someone earning £40,000 a year pays the same amount as someone earning £400,000 a year. If I had my way, those earning between £50,000 a year and £99,999 should pay 40%, and those earning between £30,000 to £50,000 35%.

Those earning between £100,000 and £149,999 would pay 45% Income Tax. I would bring in a rate of 55% for those earning between £200,000 and £299,999 per annum, and then a top rate of 60% for those who earn £300,000 or more. When the press loudly praise tax cuts, they are right. They can be a good idea - for low and middle earners. Though I didn't like the Thatcher government, which was in power between May 1979 and November 1990, they had the correct top rate of Income Tax between May 1979 and March 1988, which was 60%. The March 1988 budget was an immoral and foolish budget - foolish because it triggered off the recession between 1990 and 1993, and immoral because it rewarded the idle rich.

There should be a windfall tax on private equity firms, to make up for the tax giveaway they have enjoyed for too long. I would say with regards to immigrants that there is no room at present for them in the UK, because we need to employ British workers. ALL immigration should be frozen whilst the recession is occurring. Times are hard for UK people, so we can't take any foreigners until it ends. I hear the UK gives the EU millions a year. Is it really necessary to do so?

I would also stop UK troops getting involved in wars abroad. ALL the troops should be removed from Iraq, and scaled down from Afghanistan. Foreign Aid programmes would be drastically cut. The Identity cards would go. What's the point in ID cards when you already have personal ID? I would scrap the proposed nuclear trident defence, until the recession ends at least. A fine would come in for any bankers who make reckless and irresponsible gambles with money.

The House of Lords would either be abolished, or if kept, they wouldn't be paid for attending. MP's would give up their 3-month summer holidays and have a six week holiday instead. Thus, I am sure these measures would protect our essential services, namely the NHS, Education and public transport, would minimise the impact of the cuts, and will protect the elderly, ill and vulnerable in society, and ensure that the super-rich pay their share, because they aren't doing so at the moment. If Cameron is elected to power, which looks likely now, it probably would be another Christmas party for them again, whilst we all suffer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent sir! Mr Kevin Phillips for PM! You've got my vote!

3 October 2009 at 21:23  

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