Tuesday, 7 October 2014
A message for Vince
I hear Vince Cable reckons that, if the Lib Dems have anything to do with it, a future government must both increase taxes and borrow more. Why? So they can engage in more of the fiscally intemperate nonsense that caused us to be in the shit we’re in already. Lib Dems; Labour in lambs' clothing and just as dangerous - never forget the Fabians' famous emblem.
Remember Gordon Brown’s “Are you claiming all you’re ‘entitled’ to?” public service announcements a decade ago? I do; I remember being utterly astounded that any government could be so blatant as to offer such a transparent bribe in return for power. And all paid for by those who could never bring themselves to vote Labour; that’s practically genius in political terms. Or is it? Short term electoral popularity at the cost of the whole ship; free drinks and canapés as cruise liner Great Britain turns turtle and sinks without trace.
It’s called freeloading, living off the efforts of others. ‘Tax Credits’? That sounds like getting some of your tax back, but many people get tax credits far in excess of what they earnestly believe they pay in. Add to that Child Benefit and Housing Benefit and a per-capita share of the cost of the state and it turns out the majority – yes the VAST majority – of working families are net recipients. I’ll say that again – the majority of working people will NEVER pay into the system more than a fraction of what they take out.
So who does pay? Who would Vince punish more for the crime of being a net contributor? Last year I worked out you’d have to earn at least £30k as a single individual, claim no benefits and pay every penny due in tax to just make up your ‘share’. You’d also have to have no kids and never get ill, pay top-whack road tax and never use any public services, otherwise the balance tips back into debit. I think I was way out; it’s got to be more like £50k before you owe the state nothing and start to make a net contribution. (And this does not include a single state worker - the tax-take from public service employees is a fiction as every penny paid to them has already been taken from others.)
£50k per annum does not make you rich in the UK, but you can live like a king in many parts of the world on that sort of money. Anybody with the wherewithal to earn a half-decent level of salary will pretty soon begin to feel aggrieved when Vince’s sheriff’s men come a-knocking. Those at the top of the earnings league already have the choice and will only pay what they are comfortable with. Some have already chosen to depart these shores; those lower down the scale, the fifty-kickers will pretty soon realise the price for patriotism is too high to pay.
But still Vince would speed them in making that decision. Soak the rich? Eat the rich? Why not just send them into exile? But before you adopt that jaw-jutting, heroic, 'man of the people' pose, Vince, just remember a few little, inconsequential things. Without the rich there would be no welfare. There would be no NHS. There would be no state. Make the rich pay more? The rich pay your salary and that of the Queen; the rich already pay for everything.