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jack1 23.09.2009 09:58 PM

Politics
 
Just thought we should start a thread on my favourite subject, Politics?

First topic of debate, are we taxed too much?

Csonka#39 23.09.2009 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jack1 (Post 973417)
Just thought we should start a thread on my favourite subject, Politics?

First topic of debate, are we taxed too much?

Yes but what are you going to do when we want prisons, clean streets, police, armed forces, healthcare. . etc etc etc the list goes on. .

NEXT. .

Lagunium 23.09.2009 10:21 PM

Why do I sense fun coming up for us Mods? :p Ok, pre-emptive warning on what's always an emotive topic, keep it polite and respectful!

My personal opinion is yes, we are taxed too much - however it's very difficult to do anything about it no matter what your philiospohy is, because there's no political incentive to match up spending with what you're providing - causing all manner of fun problems. I'm about to do my Masters in Finance after doing Economics and Politics at undergrad and when people ask me what the key lesson of the subject is, I always say (using the more-polite version so I don't have to warn myself) "How the latter completely screws up the former."

You can see where the trap lies. As a induvidual politician, if you can spend on stuff and defer payment to later (and preferably another leader) you have the perfect situation for you - lots of nice stuff you can point to and say "aren't I great" without having to put up the tax bill. Your support is therefore maximised.

It's only when the inevitable barrage of debt built up over many years finally reaches horrific proportions that people suddenly start murmuring and speaking of "prudence" despite the fact that the sudden attack of "prudence" is far more expensive, and causes much more pain than ever needed to be caused. If you get a rare politician who tries to stop things before they hit breaking point, either through cutting services or raising taxes depending on your political persuasion, the public will backlash against them regardless.

Cornishman32 23.09.2009 10:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by syborg (Post 973421)
Yes but what are you going to do when we want prisons, clean streets, police, armed forces, healthcare. . etc etc etc the list goes on. .

NEXT. .

Yeah of course we need all these things... but he asked are we being taxed too much for those things? I think we probably are. ...For starters, perhaps our taxes wouldn't be so high if we didn't keep getting involved and wasting money in pointless wars (pointless in my humble opinion). ...And there are countless other ways in which the government wastes our money.

Oh Jeez... I agree with Lagunium... this thread can only be trouble. It's bound to end in tears!

IronHammer 23.09.2009 10:54 PM

Its only a matter of time before race and religion gets involved, rightly and/or wrongly. And we all know how that ends.

Swearing, tears, and the eventual realisation that I'm right.

Csonka#39 23.09.2009 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cornishman32 (Post 973463)
Yeah of course we need all these things... but he asked are we being taxed too much for those things? I think we probably are. ...For starters, perhaps our taxes wouldn't be so high if we didn't keep getting involved in pointless wars (pointless in my humble opinion). ...And there are countless other ways in which the government wastes our money.

Oh Jeez... I agree with Lagunium... this thread can only be trouble. It's bound to end in tears!

Possibly we are but without a look at the books and honest accountants I dont kn ow how much the NHS costs us each year in real terms. . I agree with the wars thing although we DO need our forces and weaponry etc which can only come from our taxes. .

I dont know we do pay enough or maybe I should say I dont think the right people pay enough. . High end earners etc. . I know we are billions in debt and so we have a leaky tap somewhere and yet the Government still borrowed to get us out of recession. . maybe I just dont understand but when Im broke I stop spending and make do with what i have. . radical I guess but there it is. .

We all want these services and better care and delivery but then complain when they want to tax us. . I am a realist and know it hurts but it is a necessary evil. .

Lagunium 23.09.2009 11:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by syborg (Post 973468)
Possibly we are but without a look at the books and honest accountants I dont kn ow how much the NHS costs us each year in real terms. . I agree with the wars thing although we DO need our forces and weaponry etc which can only come from our taxes. .

I dont know we do pay enough or maybe I should say I dont think the right people pay enough. . High end earners etc. . I know we are billions in debt and so we have a leaky tap somewhere and yet the Government still borrowed to get us out of recession. . maybe I just dont understand but when Im broke I stop spending and make do with what i have. . radical I guess but there it is. .

We all want these services and better care and delivery but then complain when they want to tax us. . I am a realist and know it hurts but it is a necessary evil. .

NHS spending is approximately 8.5% of GDP. Even for someone like myself who's a "if it's not nailed down it's best left in the hands of the market" libertarian I have to conclude it works remarkably well, although that's not to say that there isn't any waste and efficiency. We're about 13th in the world in terms of health spending per head (from all sources) and 13th in outcome. It's the adminstration side that is shockingly cheap - I was genuinely taken aback - it's amazing how much having to bill people costs in systems not free at the point of use.

If you got rid of the waste, at some points incompetence (I've just had a very bad time dealing with the NHS where they sent some wrong patient records causing many problems) and over-management it could be a truly excellent system, rather than the merely good one it is at the present. You must remember however, that it's only possible because we vastly underpay medical staff.

jack1 24.09.2009 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by syborg (Post 973468)
I dont know we do pay enough or maybe I should say I dont think the right people pay enough. . High end earners etc. . I know we are billions in debt and so we have a leaky tap somewhere and yet the Government still borrowed to get us out of recession. . maybe I just dont understand but when Im broke I stop spending and make do with what i have. . radical I guess but there it is. .

We all want these services and better care and delivery but then complain when they want to tax us. . I am a realist and know it hurts but it is a necessary evil. .

High earners alreay pay an unfair rate of tax, IMO there should be a flat rate of tax for all.

On you second point, speak for yourself I think we need a cut in public services.

jack1 24.09.2009 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lagunium (Post 973470)
NHS spending is approximately 8.5% of GDP. Even for someone like myself who's a "if it's not nailed down it's best left in the hands of the market" libertarian I have to conclude it works remarkably well, although that's not to say that there isn't any waste and efficiency. We're about 13th in the world in terms of health spending per head (from all sources) and 13th in outcome. It's the adminstration side that is shockingly cheap - I was genuinely taken aback - it's amazing how much having to bill people costs in systems not free at the point of use.

As I personally am a conservative libertarian I think its strange that someone with a libertarian view point would support the NHS.

Quote:

If you got rid of the waste, at some points incompetence (I've just had a very bad time dealing with the NHS where they sent some wrong patient records causing many problems) and over-management it could be a truly excellent system, rather than the merely good one it is at the present. You must remember however, that it's only possible because we vastly underpay medical staff.
If people are willing to accept the money they are being payed then we are paying people the right amount, if we have a staff shortage then people need to be payed more.

Vincent 24.09.2009 04:03 PM

More money for the police!! :D :p

Csonka#39 24.09.2009 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jack1 (Post 973817)
High earners alreay pay an unfair rate of tax, IMO there should be a flat rate of tax for all.

On you second point, speak for yourself I think we need a cut in public services.

Oh the high end earners on ludicrous bonuses and salaries. . they pay over the odds do they. . flat rate for all. . so someone on 150.00 per week should pay the same rate of tax as someone on 150.000 a week should they. . wow when are you running for office :rolleyes:

jack1 24.09.2009 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by syborg (Post 973830)
Oh the high end earners on ludicrous bonuses and salaries. . they pay over the odds do they. . flat rate for all. . so someone on 150.00 per week should pay the same rate of tax as someone on 150.000 a week should they. . wow when are you running for office :rolleyes:

Surely the two figures you have posted are in fact the same? Unless you have mistakenly put full stops instead of a commas.

But back to the point, yes of course there should be a flat rate of tax, not to mention council tax should also be based on income, because it rewards sucess and creates a fairer system where people don't get punished for achieving.

Vincent 24.09.2009 04:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jack1 (Post 973842)
Surely the two figures you have posted are in fact the same? Unless you have mistakenly put full stops instead of a commas.

But back to the point, yes of course there should be a flat rate of tax, not to mention council tax should also be based on income, because it rewards sucess and creates a fairer system where people don't get punished for achieving.

Another Jack1 hall of shame post

jack1 24.09.2009 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrvincent1 (Post 973845)
Another Jack1 hall of shame post

What a stupid comment to make.

Hannibal 24.09.2009 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrvincent1 (Post 973827)
More money for the police!! :D :p

Gwent Police yes, but not South Wales Police.

Vincent 24.09.2009 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hannibal (Post 973853)
Gwent Police yes, but not South Wales Police.

Haha, now thats just mean!



Jack, not as stupid as a fixed rate of tax for all. That kind of suggestion deserves to be derided.

jack1 24.09.2009 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrvincent1 (Post 973865)

Jack, not as stupid as a fixed rate of tax for all. That kind of suggestion deserves to be derided.

As usual JR your berate people without coming up with a sensible arguement, sorry that I want to encourage sucess.

Vincent 24.09.2009 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jack1 (Post 973868)
As usual JR your berate people without coming up with a sensible arguement, sorry that I want to encourage sucess.

I am sorry, I keep forgetting that its only you who can state opinions as fact.



Its all about spreading the wealth. Why cant that happen without encouraging success?

Lagunium 24.09.2009 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jack1 (Post 973824)
As I personally am a conservative libertarian I think its strange that someone with a libertarian view point would support the NHS.



If people are willing to accept the money they are being payed then we are paying people the right amount, if we have a staff shortage then people need to be payed more.

Well, I was opposed to it before I studied it in depth (I wrote a dissertation on the NHS as opposed to the Massachucetts Health Care reform bill) but I'm an empirical libertatrian - I believe that most (and just about everything for that matter) things operate most effectively and efficiently under a market system, but healthcare is one of the few things that simply doesn't (although introducing some quasi-markets can improve internal efficiency.) There are too many complications that throw the market off efficiency - the third party payment problem, adminstration costs, drug company contracts to name but a few.

As regards to the pay issue - you're quite right in many ways. What I mean is there's a disparity in terms of pure market value (what someone could charge for their skills and recouping the cost of training, stress of the job and hours worked) - I.E what top healthcare professionals earn in the states, compared to what they are paid here. Generally it's the old "non-cash" job benefits explanation that's applicable - people are prepared to work for a lower cost because they believe their work has social value, and thus are prepared to accept being paid below skills. Plus bleed-off is reduced because medical licensing issues means it very difficult to transfer to another healthcare system if dissatisfied with pay.

If this low wage cost ever changes though (and there is some pressure) then we'd be better off scrapping the NHS. It's just at the moment the benefits of price outweigh the costs of inefficiency. If I felt the system would work better under a market at present I'd support it like a shot.

jack1 24.09.2009 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrvincent1 (Post 973876)
Its all about spreading the wealth. Why cant that happen without encouraging success?

I would hope it isn't about that, and it is more about giving people the tools to suceed.

The reason the two can't work together is because for example say I was a sucesful lawyer who had spent his whole life working to get to this position, why on earth should I fund someone who has no intention of working and has spent his whole life doing no work?

That surely can't be a fair system.

Vincent 24.09.2009 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jack1 (Post 973888)
I would hope it isn't about that, and it is more about giving people the tools to suceed.

The reason the two can't work together is because for example say I was a sucesful lawyer who had spent his whole life working to get to this position, why on earth should I fund someone who has no intention of working and has spent his whole life doing no work?

That surely can't be a fair system.

I appreciate your point (and do apologise for the cocky tone earlier, just woke up from nights grouchy), but your point it confused.

You are confusing the lame & lazy with the hard working low earners. There are millions who slog their guts out day in day out who earn a pittance for doing so with little prospect for significantly increasing their earnings through no fault of their own. Not everyone have the means or opportunity to further themselves through university etc.


Now if you are talking about people who have no intention of working - I have no problem with stopping any form of benefits for people who make no effort to contribute to society.

Dave_R 24.09.2009 06:15 PM

Personally on the subject of tax I think that the overall tax gathered is probably about right but should be gathered from other sources such as increasing the taxes on cigarettes and alcohol and slightly reducing on more essential products. I go out most weekends and would have no qualms about paying more for alcohol because its my choice to drink. I don't smoke but again that is all by choice and in turn the increase in taxes on these people would help the NHs (not massively maybe but every little helps).

As for the financial crisis I don't think Labour have done too bad a job with the banks etc - it does however greatly scare me that Osbourne may be let loose as chancellor come 9 months, the man is an idiot.

The other political issue of the moment that I'm angry about is the Trident subs. On the larger scale of things the savings are minimal and to be honest I'd rather have the extra sub for the price. One area I don't believe you can cut corners are the armed forces.

I'd also say that there is a great need to streamline the NHS and police. Get rid of all the tiers of management and community support officers, and get more standard nurses and officers

Gengar 24.09.2009 06:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jack1 (Post 973817)
High earners alreay pay an unfair rate of tax, IMO there should be a flat rate of tax for all.

On you second point, speak for yourself I think we need a cut in public services.

First things first, the poor pay more tax than the rich, which ever way you slice it. There are more poor people by some way, but far fewer tax evaders within their ranks. The rich (and by the rich I mean those who actually own the means of production or enough land, everyone else is just less poor) take more out of society. They've got more assets, and are therefore disproportionately catered for by the police, fire brigade etc. Not to mention the armed forces - mostly made up of the working class but run for the benefit of the political and financial elites. The rich also tend to be the ones who do the best out of immigration, as it keeps labour cheap and expendable but rents and house prices high.

Taxation is simply the most efficient way the government have yet come up with for the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. If you want a perfect example of this, look at privatisation. The government took state assets, which we'd paid for through taxation and sold them off to the private sector, below market value to ensure a buyer. Now the cost of traveling on a train rises above inflation every single year but the service degrades and the private companies sure as hell have no interest in putting any real investment into the network. The government give a little back in the form of benefits because it's actually easier and probably cheaper to keep people placid and alive than to come up with a scheme that would ensure full employment* or to police all the crime that would ensue if we just dropped everyone off the benefit roll and told them to get on their bikes.

Public services are a remnant of a bygone political era, the days when our returning war heroes, fresh from defeating the ****s, came back and voted in the Labour government which built the social institutions their predecessors have been so slyly running down. They built them because the country was such a mess our grandfathers realised that the only way to rebuild it was for society to work together - rich and poor. The welfare state and NHS are about the only thing the government has done since WWII that makes me proud to be British.

A cut in public services is about the last thing we need right now. The NHS is what, the 3rd largest employer in the world? You wanna send more people on to JSA and HB? How about instead of cutting public services, we cut our obligations for trident (£75bn proposed cost) missiles which we can't even fire ourselves, pointless ID Cards (£20bn or more with ongoing costs), subsidies to the arms industry (£4bn p/a). Plough all that money back into public services which will create jobs and prop up this ailing economy.

If you want to talk about reforming the tax system then the first move needs to be raising the tax threshold to a realistic level, like £18,000. This would not only save the IR plenty of time and money trying to tax these people, but create a far greater incentive to get off of benefits, right now there are many people who are better off on benefits because the minimum wage is such a pittance. No one who's on 12k a year needs to be paying tax, they're the ones who are getting shafted by the tax system, not the high flying lawyers and city boys.



*FYI anyone moaning about benefit claimaints, there are currently around 450,000 job vacancies in the UK, and around 2.5m working age healthy unemployed people, and that's before you factor in the governments ridiculous scheme to kick everyone off of incapacity benefit and back in to the jobs that just don't exist. Not gonna happen, is it.

BritishBronco 24.09.2009 06:15 PM

Personally, I agree with Jack here, in his support for the Flat Tax, although I disagree with the argument that the rich must have worked harder to be earning more money than the working class, although I see his point in that all taxpayers should be treated equally IMO regardless of income. We pay taxes in order to achieve like health, education, police force etc. as they are things, that we as citizens demand. Therefore, I feel that the burden for these services should be shared equally.

Flat tax is also so much more simple than other alternatives. It's a lot more efficient and can save a lot of time. It can eliminate double taxation as well and doesnt have gaping loopholes, which can benefit Government revenue

Am I right in thinking that Russia has a flat tax?

Gengar 24.09.2009 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ramezes (Post 973934)

As for the financial crisis I don't think Labour have done too bad a job with the banks etc - it does however greatly scare me that Osbourne may be let loose as chancellor come 9 months, the man is an idiot.

It was labour who created this problem. They created the FSA, then forced out it's head when he warned about the risk of complex derivatives and insurance against deficits, as long ago as 2001, and replaced him with the head of the ultra aggressive Lloyd's bank. It's about equivalent to putting a paedophile in charge of a nursery because you're worried the children aren't safe.

Every time Gordon Brown says no one could have seen this coming, he's lying, and he knows it.

Dave_R 24.09.2009 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Secret Admirer (Post 973944)
It was labour who created this problem. They created the FSA, then forced out it's head when he warned about the risk of complex derivatives and insurance against deficits, as long ago as 2001, and replaced him with the head of the ultra aggressive Lloyd's bank. It's about equivalent to putting a paedophile in charge of a nursery because you're worried the children aren't safe.

Every time Gordon Brown says no one could have seen this coming, he's lying, and he knows it.

I was actually talking about the steps made in recovery more than the pre-cursor for it. You're spot on about the FSA being at fault but in terms of recovery we've done ok when you look that it affected more than just the UK and the crisis originated in the US

jack1 24.09.2009 08:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lagunium (Post 973881)
Well, I was opposed to it before I studied it in depth (I wrote a dissertation on the NHS as opposed to the Massachucetts Health Care reform bill) but I'm an empirical libertatrian - I believe that most (and just about everything for that matter) things operate most effectively and efficiently under a market system, but healthcare is one of the few things that simply doesn't (although introducing some quasi-markets can improve internal efficiency.) There are too many complications that throw the market off efficiency - the third party payment problem, adminstration costs, drug company contracts to name but a few.

It would of course be more effcient than the Massachucetts system IMO, on the other hand I personally believe that the US system isn't perfect yet as there is still far more legislative work that needs to be done.

Quote:

As regards to the pay issue - you're quite right in many ways. What I mean is there's a disparity in terms of pure market value (what someone could charge for their skills and recouping the cost of training, stress of the job and hours worked) - I.E what top healthcare professionals earn in the states, compared to what they are paid here. Generally it's the old "non-cash" job benefits explanation that's applicable - people are prepared to work for a lower cost because they believe their work has social value, and thus are prepared to accept being paid below skills. Plus bleed-off is reduced because medical licensing issues means it very difficult to transfer to another healthcare system if dissatisfied with pay.

If this low wage cost ever changes though (and there is some pressure) then we'd be better off scrapping the NHS. It's just at the moment the benefits of price outweigh the costs of inefficiency. If I felt the system would work better under a market at present I'd support it like a shot.

Well I agree with some of what your saying particularly about pay, the issue I have is the potentailly huge medical costs we are about to get from the baby boomers, they could well be crippiling.

jack1 24.09.2009 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrvincent1 (Post 973895)
I appreciate your point (and do apologise for the cocky tone earlier, just woke up from nights grouchy), but your point it confused.

You are confusing the lame & lazy with the hard working low earners. There are millions who slog their guts out day in day out who earn a pittance for doing so with little prospect for significantly increasing their earnings through no fault of their own. Not everyone have the means or opportunity to further themselves through university etc.


Now if you are talking about people who have no intention of working - I have no problem with stopping any form of benefits for people who make no effort to contribute to society.

This is the issue we have in that we need to increase opourtunitys for people and show people what options they have such as extra courses etc.

jack1 24.09.2009 09:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ramezes (Post 973934)
The other political issue of the moment that I'm angry about is the Trident subs. On the larger scale of things the savings are minimal and to be honest I'd rather have the extra sub for the price. One area I don't believe you can cut corners are the armed forces.

Completely agree

Quote:

Originally Posted by Secret Admirer (Post 973937)
First things first, the poor pay more tax than the rich, which ever way you slice it. There are more poor people by some way, but far fewer tax evaders within their ranks. The rich (and by the rich I mean those who actually own the means of production or enough land, everyone else is just less poor) take more out of society. They've got more assets, and are therefore disproportionately catered for by the police, fire brigade etc. Not to mention the armed forces - mostly made up of the working class but run for the benefit of the political and financial elites. The rich also tend to be the ones who do the best out of immigration, as it keeps labour cheap and expendable but rents and house prices high.

I would argue with that because alot of your predictions about rich people using more public services are based on assumed use. In fact as you know rich people tend to use the NHS and schools less, so thus they aren't using as many services as people on low incomes.

Some of your other points about "elites" boarder on conspiracy.

Quote:

Taxation is simply the most efficient way the government have yet come up with for the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. If you want a perfect example of this, look at privatisation. The government took state assets, which we'd paid for through taxation and sold them off to the private sector, below market value to ensure a buyer. Now the cost of traveling on a train rises above inflation every single year but the service degrades and the private companies sure as hell have no interest in putting any real investment into the network. The government give a little back in the form of benefits because it's actually easier and probably cheaper to keep people placid and alive than to come up with a scheme that would ensure full employment* or to police all the crime that would ensue if we just dropped everyone off the benefit roll and told them to get on their bikes.
That I hope isn't the main purpose of taxation, it should be to provide services to all, reagrdless of wealth.

The rail system is an example of when privitisation wasn't dealt with properly.

Quote:

Public services are a remnant of a bygone political era, the days when our returning war heroes, fresh from defeating the ****s, came back and voted in the Labour government which built the social institutions their predecessors have been so slyly running down. They built them because the country was such a mess our grandfathers realised that the only way to rebuild it was for society to work together - rich and poor. The welfare state and NHS are about the only thing the government has done since WWII that makes me proud to be British.
Well I completely disagree, if only politicians were removing some unessacery government structures that have weaken this government.


Quote:

A cut in public services is about the last thing we need right now. The NHS is what, the 3rd largest employer in the world? You wanna send more people on to JSA and HB? How about instead of cutting public services, we cut our obligations for trident (£75bn proposed cost) missiles which we can't even fire ourselves, pointless ID Cards (£20bn or more with ongoing costs), subsidies to the arms industry (£4bn p/a). Plough all that money back into public services which will create jobs and prop up this ailing economy.
I am finding it hard not to be demeaning, but we do still need at cut in public services as this will offer better value for tax payers and people will have more money in there pockets. I also disagree with your views that the government needing to be a job creater, it doesn't this will only cause more ineffciency and will eventually result in redunencies, we need to encourage private enterprise and increase educational standards to attract TNC's to provide jobs

Quote:

If you want to talk about reforming the tax system then the first move needs to be raising the tax threshold to a realistic level, like £18,000. This would not only save the IR plenty of time and money trying to tax these people, but create a far greater incentive to get off of benefits, right now there are many people who are better off on benefits because the minimum wage is such a pittance. No one who's on 12k a year needs to be paying tax, they're the ones who are getting shafted by the tax system, not the high flying lawyers and city boys

*FYI anyone moaning about benefit claimaints, there are currently around 450,000 job vacancies in the UK, and around 2.5m working age healthy unemployed people, and that's before you factor in the governments ridiculous scheme to kick everyone off of incapacity benefit and back in to the jobs that just don't exist. Not gonna happen, is it.
Surely then the best idea would be to cut benifets then? It saves more tax money and encourages people to work. Win, Win.

Jobs would exsist if companies had less tax burdens, and there is a fair proportion of people who should not be on incapacity benifet.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BritishBronco (Post 973938)
Personally, I agree with Jack here, in his support for the Flat Tax, although I disagree with the argument that the rich must have worked harder to be earning more money than the working class, although I see his point in that all taxpayers should be treated equally IMO regardless of income. We pay taxes in order to achieve like health, education, police force etc. as they are things, that we as citizens demand. Therefore, I feel that the burden for these services should be shared equally.

Flat tax is also so much more simple than other alternatives. It's a lot more efficient and can save a lot of time. It can eliminate double taxation as well and doesnt have gaping loopholes, which can benefit Government revenue

Am I right in thinking that Russia has a flat tax?

Well said, although my example is not what I think, it was specifically for that part of the thread.

Russia does have a flat rate of tax set at 24%

Brenainn92 24.09.2009 11:52 PM

Personally I can see the argument from both sides and Jack you do make good points but I personally feel that the rich should pay a higher percentage of tax simply because they can and it is the decent thing to do (assuming that the money is going to public services).



But in reality I think you will all want to know about the major piece of legislation which was passed in the Northern Ireland assembly, restricting the height to which hedges can be grown when as a garden “wall”. And do you know what is the most annoying thing is, after a rise in dissident republican activity, the party’s are still squabbling over who is entailed to the Policing and Justice seat in the executive. :rooleyes:
The options are give it to the SDLP (moderate nationalists and co-creators of the Good Friday Agreement) and are also entitled to the next executive post under the system of selection, the Alliance (the equivalent to the lib dems) a nice neutral party who won’t rub the DUP up the wrong way or reinitiating the entire executive selection process. All to the backdrop of an amateurish assembly which is sectarian, sexist and bigoted. Forced coalitions don’t work and that’s what we have and majority rule doesn’t work because that’s what we had and look were that led. One hell of an ultimatum.

Also double jobbing does my head in, being an MP and MLA and collecting both salaries plus expenses. I have to commend Mark Durkan for his move to quit as an MLA if he is re-elected in the general election (which couldn’t have come at a better time as far as I am concerned. :D just in time for my first year studying politics and around the time when we focus on the Westminster system of government.)

Gengar 25.09.2009 12:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jack1 (Post 974083)

Jobs would exsist if companies had less tax burdens, and there is a fair proportion of people who should not be on incapacity benifet.


I could go through point by point but I'd rather just start with this. You don't know anything about incapacity benefit, do you?

Facts about incapacity benefit
1) You have to be approved by two medical professionals to get on to IB, your own GP and a less qualified ATOS assessor appointed by the DSS. This second test is farmed out to private companies who, it seems, attempt to reject as many people as possible, regardless of their grounds for claiming. This creates a problem in that those not entitled to IB go back on to JSA, but many are so ill that they are unable to even look for work, meaning claiming JSA is fraudulent.
2) The form to apply for IB is 60+ pages long, many applicants have their first attempt rejected simply because the form is so complicated. This creates frustration both for the applicant and the jobcentre staff.
3) The net result of these two points was outlined in a government investigation into IB in about 2005 - the rate of fraud and erronous claims for IB is so low it's impossible to reliably measure - it's more likely that there are more people who are entitled to claim IB but are unable to or have been incorrectly turned down.

The DWP, under the 'guidance' of James Purnell, decided that one million people could get off of IB and back to work. Really? One million? Seems a bit of an arbitrary figure. Probably because it is. No employer is going to take on someone who's been out of work for years, in many cases decades, due to health concerns. And yet the govt plans to shove one million people off of IB and on to ESA, a glorified JSA. It's true that many IB claimants do want to work, it beats sitting around all day doing nothing. However many are just physically unable to fit into the rigid 9-5 job patterns which are a pre-requisite for most positions.

Even if this idea made the tiniest bit of sense, it's just not going to work on a practical level, not now and not for at least a few years. Look at the economy. There aren't 1m jobs to be filled and even if there were, there definitely aren't 1m jobs which are compatible with the impairments these people have, and if these magical jobs that anyone with a severe pain/physical impairment/mental health problem could just be slotted into actually existed, those people would be the last chosen to fill them by potential employers.

It's typical Labour spin nonsense. Government by press release. Figure out what people want, announce it, and then figure out if it works once you're half way there and you've spent hundreds of millions of pounds and thousands of man hours on it. Just like ID cards, except no one ever wanted those anyway.

Reforming IB is going to save very little - it's a kick in the teeth for the poorest and least able people in society. Here's a better idea, crack down on corporate tax fraud. Not avoidance (which is much higher, but legal), but the actual fraud, the bits are criminal. That adds up to over £10bn, more than ten times what benefit fraud costs - I bet there's no hotline where I can grass up naughty employers and no advertising campaign with sinister music in the background explaining that even just a little bit of fraud is a crime. Why is it only worthy of attention when the poorest in society do it?


BTW: About demeaning me, be as unpleasant as you like, I've heard it all before. If you do though, I have just one question, how old are you?

Gengar 25.09.2009 12:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jack1 (Post 974083)

Some of your other points about "elites" boarder on conspiracy.

Who do you think benefits the most from war, and who loses the most?

Here's something you might want to check out before answering. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptzml1qQvZE
(yes, it's a youtube link, usually I laugh at anyone who dares put up a youtube link to back up a point, but this is a fine piece of comedy, yet it contains all the relevant facts).

jack1 25.09.2009 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Secret Admirer (Post 974155)
I could go through point by point but I'd rather just start with this. You don't know anything about incapacity benefit, do you?

Facts about incapacity benefit
1) You have to be approved by two medical professionals to get on to IB, your own GP and a less qualified ATOS assessor appointed by the DSS. This second test is farmed out to private companies who, it seems, attempt to reject as many people as possible, regardless of their grounds for claiming. This creates a problem in that those not entitled to IB go back on to JSA, but many are so ill that they are unable to even look for work, meaning claiming JSA is fraudulent.

That can hardly be a fact, what your saying is not nessecarily true is it?

Your claims are near impossible to back up.

Quote:

2) The form to apply for IB is 60+ pages long, many applicants have their first attempt rejected simply because the form is so complicated. This creates frustration both for the applicant and the jobcentre staff.
Well of course there should be less pages than that, and easy enough for anyone to understand.

Quote:

3) The net result of these two points was outlined in a government investigation into IB in about 2005 - the rate of fraud and erronous claims for IB is so low it's impossible to reliably measure - it's more likely that there are more people who are entitled to claim IB but are unable to or have been incorrectly turned down.
I would disagree with you there, although this is only my opinion there are alot of people who should be on JSA rather then IB as although they are disabled in some way they are perfectly fit to work.

Quote:

The DWP, under the 'guidance' of James Purnell, decided that one million people could get off of IB and back to work. Really? One million? Seems a bit of an arbitrary figure. Probably because it is. No employer is going to take on someone who's been out of work for years, in many cases decades, due to health concerns. And yet the govt plans to shove one million people off of IB and on to ESA, a glorified JSA. It's true that many IB claimants do want to work, it beats sitting around all day doing nothing. However many are just physically unable to fit into the rigid 9-5 job patterns which are a pre-requisite for most positions.
Well for once I agree with the government and I do believe it is possible to get alot of people on JSA back to work, it will however require them to do courses etc so that they have something else to put on there CV and thus increase the likelyhood of them being employed.


Quote:

Reforming IB is going to save very little - it's a kick in the teeth for the poorest and least able people in society. Here's a better idea, crack down on corporate tax fraud. Not avoidance (which is much higher, but legal), but the actual fraud, the bits are criminal. That adds up to over £10bn, more than ten times what benefit fraud costs - I bet there's no hotline where I can grass up naughty employers and no advertising campaign with sinister music in the background explaining that even just a little bit of fraud is a crime. Why is it only worthy of attention when the poorest in society do it?
Corporate fraud is of course wrong but at the same time so is benifet fraud, plus anyone can stop it with just a call, these ideas are attacking people who don't work, which is fair enough, as the vast majority of people can work in some way.

jack1 25.09.2009 08:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Secret Admirer (Post 974160)
Who do you think benefits the most from war, and who loses the most?

Here's something you might want to check out before answering. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptzml1qQvZE
(yes, it's a youtube link, usually I laugh at anyone who dares put up a youtube link to back up a point, but this is a fine piece of comedy, yet it contains all the relevant facts).

The people that benifet are the oil consumers those that loose out are the Iraqi people.

Raider12 25.09.2009 11:58 AM

Jack I would like to ask, have you had to go through the system for disability? I have and I am disabled and currently in the process of being retired from my job as I am no longer fit for that purpose. However I am not on benefits i.e JSA or IB. In fact I am not fit for any work so does that mean you are more qualified than the 4 consultants that I have had dealing with me and there opinion is no longer fit, but your opinion a lot of folk are??

"Although this is only my opinion there are alot of people who should be on JSA rather then IB as although they are disabled in some way they are perfectly fit to work."

I can back SA up on this matter, there are many forms returned as it is nigh on impossible to complete them properly as the form has so many questions, which does confuse people. Download the form and have a look.

I am all for folk working, and I would love to be able to work instead of being stuck at home, as a lot of disabled folk would like to do. So don't lump everyone together that is disabled with folk who are not fit, there is a big difference between the 2 definitions. You don't have a medical degree so you are not qualified to talk on Disability unless you have a disability, and in all honesty I hope you don't as I would not wish it on anyone.



Mark

Gengar 25.09.2009 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jack1 (Post 974223)
The people that benifet are the oil consumers those that loose out are the Iraqi people.

The price of oil peaked at 7 times what it was in 2002 and is still three times as high. Not that good for consumers. Not bad for oil companies who now get to reap the rewards of the US' and our armed forces' sacrifice. Not so great for taxpayers, with the cost of the Iraq war being the best part of $1 trillion (one thousand billion dollars) to the US, although that's a conservative figure as it doesn't include things like the cost of lifetime healthcare for the wounded, extra disability pay, the cost to the economy of being deprived of the skills of these working age people and the long term of impact of financing a war by deficit. The UK hasn't yet had a proper inquiry into the Iraq war, so the cost is hard to guess, but the cost of just the military operations is over £8 billion.

Gengar 25.09.2009 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jack1 (Post 974220)
Your claims are near impossible to back up.


I would disagree with you there, although this is only my opinion there are alot of people who should be on JSA rather then IB as although they are disabled in some way they are perfectly fit to work.



Well for once I agree with the government and I do believe it is possible to get alot of people on JSA back to work, it will however require them to do courses etc so that they have something else to put on there CV and thus increase the likelyhood of them being employed.


Corporate fraud is of course wrong but at the same time so is benifet fraud, plus anyone can stop it with just a call, these ideas are attacking people who don't work, which is fair enough, as the vast majority of people can work in some way.


My claims aren't impossible to back up. They're not particularly easy to demonstrate, but my knowledge comes from having worked in this field. When I tell you that ATOS are basically there to reject as many people as possible, you're just going to have to take my word for it. If you want to remain skeptical because I can't prove it, that's fine, but you certainly won't find anyone who claims anything different, particularly anyone who's had to have their medical or who has worked for them.

Here's a few more facts about IB
1) There are 1.4m people on it (not the 2.7m figure you will sometimes hear quoted, that's the total amount of people who have ever claimed it).
2) There's no short term incentive to go on it, it pays something like £2 more than the adult rate of JSA for the first year. After that it goes up to about £80 p/w, which is significantly less than a 35 hour p/w job at minimum wage.
3) 40% of people on it suffer from a mental health problem. And these tend to be severe, not the sort of thing where you an just take some pills and be fine.

The problem for a lot of people, isn't that they're permanently unable to do any sort of work, more precisely, IME, they tend to be able to do many things at one point, and very little at another. So for a few days, they might be great, up at 8am and out and able to do things, then for another week, just getting out of bed and going to the toilet is a significant challenge. Never mind cooking a proper meal, washing, carrying out every day errands like going to a bank etc. My experience of working with these people is that they would absolutely love to get a job, they feel that most able bodied people don't realise how lucky they are to be able to get one, but it just isn't going to happen if they're honest with potential employers - disabilities aren't really convenient enough to fit in to a nice shift pattern. Most jobs require you to be there, on time, every day, no excuses. Yeah you get a bit of leeway. But if you miss entire weeks because you just can't make it in, then who's going to take you?

Especially nowadays when even basic minimum wage jobs like supermarket work and high street shops have a 6 month probation period during which you can be let go for any reason.

Let's do the math. There are currently 450k job vacancies, and 2.5m people on JSA. Now in the last ten years there was a point when less than 1m people were on JSA, so of that 2.5m, we can assume that at least 1.5m are employable and would like to work. 1.5m into 450k? How do you do that? However, the 450k keeps getting smaller, the 2.5m keeps getting bigger, and you want to dump another 1m people on top of that?

My question to you is, where are these jobs going to come from? What job can you offer to the person who is only physically able to work 2 days a week and can't tell you what two days those will be?

Vincent 25.09.2009 01:40 PM

I really cant comment on the incapacity benefits system, but can say with some authority that there are many who claim JSA who make no effort to work and have no motivation to work. Personally I feel that a good policy would be for the long term unemployed (say, more than 3 months) to be utilised in some way to better their community as part of the requirements for claiming JSA;


The community will benefit by having whichever service is provided (cutting grass, maintaining elderly complexes, litter picking etc etc etc)

The genuine jobseeker will benefit as it will be easier to get back to work when they get a job

The shirker will either stop claiming JSA or be forced to at least give something back for the money they are claiming



I really cant see any way that this could be argued against. It just seems like common sense to me.

Raider12 25.09.2009 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Secret Admirer (Post 974394)
The problem for a lot of people, isn't that they're permanently unable to do any sort of work, more precisely, IME, they tend to be able to do many things at one point, and very little at another. So for a few days, they might be great, up at 8am and out and able to do things, then for another week, just getting out of bed and going to the toilet is a significant challenge. Never mind cooking a proper meal, washing, carrying out every day errands like going to a bank etc. My experience of working with these people is that they would absolutely love to get a job, they feel that most able bodied people don't realise how lucky they are to be able to get one, but it just isn't going to happen if they're honest with potential employers - disabilities aren't really convenient enough to fit in to a nice shift pattern. Most jobs require you to be there, on time, every day, no excuses. Yeah you get a bit of leeway. But if you miss entire weeks because you just can't make it in, then who's going to take you?

?

I dont have ME or similar, I have severly damaged knees and in constant chronic pain with painkillers that are extremely powerful. I cannot walk far and have to use a stick, and with the example of a day you have mentioned able body folk do not begin to ubderstand how different your life is. Some days you get up and don't even get out of bed, not because you are work shy, but because you are in so much pain and have not slept the night before.

I really get annoyed when folk glibbly talk about disability without having the expeirience of disabilty either themself, a family member or in your case working in this field. The facts that you have given are correct, but some folk really do not accept anothers viewpoint when they are qualified to talk about it, when others aren't and actually should listen rather than posting rubbish.


Mark

Raider12 25.09.2009 01:52 PM

JR I am in agreement. There are shirkers out there without a doubt and they are noticeable. I see folk parking in disabled bays jumping out and running into the shops, aye right when it takes me ages to get out the car.

There are jobs out there, it may not be to everyones liking but it is work. It is doing my head in not working, especially since I have always worked. I just don't understand how someone can sit back and not work. But I genuinley feel sorry for the folk trying there hardest to get a job and not getting one, that must be sole destroying, and they are the folk who should be getting looked after.



Mark


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