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Post on TSR and win a prize! Find out more... 10-04-2014
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    (Original post by Jarred)
    I find your attack dissatisfying, I was born in England, and I'm pretty sure Rakas was born in Scotland, so even in our leadership team we already have a representation for the two largest constituent nations of the country. To say we have no respect is unfounded when we come from all over the UK and thus have an interest to keep things good in our home constituent nations.
    Rakas is on the record as not having any respect for Wales, so pull the other one.

    First, consider that a typo overlooked by myself and the Government, change "Arts Council" to "Arts Councils". Arts in each constituent nation can be managed by their respective arts councils without the need for an entire ministry devoted to it. I like art, but we don't need a department for it so the councils can manage it, and I'm sure they'd do a much better job of it too.
    Convenient excuse, which I don't for the minute believe but alright let's let this one slide.

    Secondly, whilst these SoS positions are to be removed, they will be replaced with Minister of State positions, taken on by people who shall be invited to Government meetings in the same way which current SoS's are. These ministers are very much their respective Secretary of States in everything but name. The only reason they can't be called SoS is because they no longer head-up a whole department. But they can easily work within DCLG, and in fact prosper there. With all four constituent nations based there, cohesion between the ministers and each nation's interest can be better handled. Closing down these departments has nothing to do with making savings or clinging to crude figures of whatever you claim which I find offensive: the savings are tiny, way within the margin of error so that is not what we are trying to achieve with this. It is about making Government smaller and working better, having these ministers working in the same place is an improvement as they can work together, along with the resources of the DCLG which I am certain will be useful at some point in their day to day operations. Why have smaller departments dotted all around when you can have similar portfolios operating out of the same place, it makes more sense and actually can improve the services provided. And the small cost of their operations will bring no negative impact to DCLG at all.
    The role of the Secretary of State for Scotland (and his colleague for Northern Ireland) is similar to that of Governors-General in Australia and Canada, albeit on a smaller scale. That's what you seem to have forgotten in the rush simply for figures. These departments aren't simply about "cost", they don't simply exist because the expand government and spend money. They exist because they have a function. A function that cannot be done by a minister of state (too junior) or by a department whose primary role is overseeing local councils. Is Scotland a local council to you? Is Wales?
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    Okay, this is far more reasonable than I expected (though that's not saying much), one or two provisions it contains strike me as sensible. Others... well... I'm in the Socialist Party, what else can I say? Firstly, I agree with Paddy that it just looks silly to spout off about how the budget deficit is down to the previous Labour government; it's 2012 and each party have now experienced office during this period of economic depression so perhaps we can falsely stop attributing it to each other? (Well, that said, I do believe that the austerity drive has severely retarded efforts to shore up economic growth. As you mentioned, the construction industry, one part of the economy responsible for employing a large chunk of the workforce, could have been easily stimulated by reintroducing the Building Schools for the Future programme and putting into place other Keynesian projects.)

    Now onto a certain point you make in the preamble to your proposals. " Unfortunately, I will not be able to balance this budget, though I doubt anyone was expecting me to do so." I can't say that I was expecting you to do so, what I can say is that were this a Socialist budget there would be no deficit. We proposed a financial transactions tax earlier this term that would have closed the gap. An economically sensible policy, it would have relieved the country of the current defificit and in years to come provided funds for improving living standards in Britain. Though that's history. The other measure open to you would have been to finally take action against the offshore tax havens that conceal (at a conservative estimate) twenty-one trillion dollars of the world's wealth. We could have also seen more robust action against domestic tax avoidance, and in particular the brand of cronyism that sees companies like Vodafone get off scot-free from paying the billions of pounds worth of tax that they owe the country.

    Instead we see a Budget Report professing to value "simple taxes" presiding over the biggest, most complicated, labyrinthine web of local income tax - a policy that sees areas with higher service costs having to charge their often poorer denizens for running the public services that they are reliant on. The local authorities with the lowest wealth are those that have to charge their people most under this system, and all those on the left resent that. It makes tax avoidance incredibly simple as changing one's domicile to skip paying for services can be done on a county-by-county basis rather than on the international scale that we see in the real world.

    For instance, the people that make their money out of London are more than likely to live in neighbouring local authorities to those of the city. The leafy home counties, the commuter belt. These suburbans will use the transport network to enter the economic activity zone, and then make their money from working there. And yet the people paying for the services needed to maintain the conditions for high activity are those stuck in the innercity themselves without benefiting from it. Local levies are unfair and this Budget only increases reliance on them through the dropping of transport to the local level.

    Its nice to see that you managed to sneak in a flat tax. As you could probably guess, I don't think it's right to have a situation where your local shop pays the same percentage of Corporation Tax as a massive conglomerate. It's anti-small business and a regression from the current system, which is already very flawed.

    The income tax proposal for a tax on the rich is an improvement on the current set of rates but still far from what I would consider ideal as, well, it perpetuates the local income tax which as I've said is likely incredibly unfair. Locally-set taxes have been shown to be perceptible to a number of problems that nation-wide taxes aren't. You only need to look at the situation with the public finances in California to see this. I don't believe that councils that are often elected on turnouts of 30% should hold any powers over taxation, nor do I believe giving them such a power would boost turnout amongst any people other than those that would benefit from cutting taxes. We need to see a return to a national income tax.

    I don't at all agree with the idea that fuel duty should be cut. The Carbon Tax Act raised it by fifteen percent and I completely believe this figure should be made to increase steadily rather than face gradual snips to appease the short-term interests of a consumer's bank balance.

    Abolishing VAT is a good move and it'll have my support provided you don't mash the proposal in with the other nefarious intentions.

    Finally, I disagree with the massive cuts to the bureaucracy. They will just serve to make the government even less effective at handling all of the responsibilities it is committed to; were they feasible I sincerely believe that real-life governments would have acted on them. That sentiment deals with most of the cuts, to the ones specifically made in the Home Department I believe that they are perhaps partially justifiable (though it should be noted that I vehemently oppose the Narcotics Act) - what I would say is that there are plenty of useful things law-enforcement agencies could be getting to grips with, eliminating one of these problems doesn't mean the others disappear as well. Drug-related crime may have evaporated but I'm damn certain rape is still as prevalent and ill-handled as ever. The cuts to Government go too far and this Budget, I feel, doesn't adequately inform MPs of the many functions that will be lost.

    The Budget Report as a whole is very well done, and (although I'm sorely disappointed by the lack of pie charts) I commend the Chancellor for his efforts. One thing I'm confused about is the projected increase in RI payments - how will this come about?
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    (Original post by Jarred)
    Allowing transport issues to be devolved to the local level will lead to improvements where they are demanded by the electorate. We here up at central Government have no grasp over what the transport needs of a tiny little town in say Wales would be, but the local representatives understand the needs of this town and it's people, so one would hope that its interests are served much better. That being said, as Rakas has said already, there will still be a Minister for Transport within the DCLG itself. For a long time, Transport and Local Government were actually part of the same department in real life anyway, and that worked fine for years. If there needs to be a railway that spans several local Government jurisdictions, then the Minister for Transport can help facilitate communications between these bodies, it is just the funding will come from local sources instead.
    Under the Railways Act 2005 the DfT has the power to award Rail Franchises, and rolling stock specifications.

    Rail Franchises run over several Local Authorities., there is no SRA. This is ugly, you could have one authority favouring one bidder and another local authority favouring another bidder
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    (Original post by jesusandtequila)
    This is full of errors. Your treatment of B397 is odd. The VAT reduction in there takes into account the lower costs from enforcement, so to then reduce the budgets here is double counting. You've made no effort to account for the improved state of the economy. It's also odd that you'd want to pick an arbitrary figure for Narcotics taxes, and to continue with the (far too high) taxes on Alcohol and Tobacco (which are incredibly regressive).

    The income tax changes are odd, I'd much rather keep bringing it down across the board, corporation tax is one of the least damaging taxes - since it's on profits not revenues (and so I'd much rather focus on getting rid of income tax completely first). You've also completely misunderstood the Resident's Income - people being laid off will not increase welfare payments. On that note, you guys really should be increasing the rates in line with the new 2012 research on the topic.

    In addition, I think it's a bit irresponsible to be increasing the deficit with it standing at circa £78bn.

    It's an odd one, and there some stuff in there I support, but it's very muddled. Needless to say, I think we'll produce a better mix of tax changes in the near future. Oh, and how are you going to let local authorities fund the extra spending they now have to take on?
    We tried to iron out the errors as much as we could and I wouldn't say it is plagued with them as you seem to suggest. Maybe an oversight here and there but with a budget as comprehensive as the one we've produced, that was unfortunately always going to be unavoidable.

    I will say that the treatment of B397 was carried out by another member of Government on my behalf, though I fail to see how it is double counting regardless. There aren't any costings on that particular bill so it seemed to me that they hadn't been taken into account, and from what checks I made, the figures I was provided with seemed correct.

    As this is a mere forum House of Commons, it is difficult to know by how much the economy even is improving, though we certainly did mention that the economy will be faring differently and that it will be performing better. How much by though is not quantifiable, so we couldn't directly account for it in any way imaginable.

    Whilst the current taxes on tobacco and alcohol are high, it is hardly my priority to lower them now, in an action which would effectively be subsidising the usage of these drugs. Maybe in a future year, but alcohol and tobacco do have VAT levied on them, and so whilst the duties remain unchanged, at least the costs that consumers need to pay are lowered slightly.

    Our aims with income tax were to create a system which was flatter which still maintained a slight degree of progressiveness. What we've done is taken the majority of the population out of income tax entirely whilst increasing the rate on the richest slightly. We've then moved the main burden of taxation over to the much fairer, Libertarian creation, the GRT. I did go about with the goal of getting rid of Income Tax entirely, but then decided it would be better for the vast majority of taxpayers if we could abolish VAT, which ultimately would cost us about the same in terms of revenue changes.

    Agreed that CT is less damaging, but with an increase in GRT, we felt something had to be done to increase business's net profit margins which would undoubtedly be decreased with the GRT change and would not be completely undone by our VAt abolition. If we slice less off the top of our corporate profits then we in theory get more businesses investing it back into their companies which has a number of benefits to the economy and to jobs.

    I'm afraid you might be misreading what I had said. I understand the Resident's Income: you pay a certain income to everyone eligiable to ensure they have enough income to survive, I was planning something similar. When people are made unemployed, there are more people who must be paid the Resident's Income in order to keep them out of poverty, this means more is paid out in total, and thus the welfare payments (Resident's Income) increase. Nevertheless, the amount is so small that we assumed it tended to zero anyway.

    We'll look into that.

    Whilst the deficit currently stands at that figure, we're currently only a few months into the tax year, we could be certain that someone would try and spend the surpluses on those bills anyway, in fact doesn't the bulk of it come from the GRT miscalculation from the Tax Act back in '11? To assume that everyone would leave those untouched is wishful thinking, so we decided to keep the deficit under the real one of 90 Bn.

    I'm glad you support some of it at least, the Government beleives what we've outlined here is the best for people and best for the economy, but I am certainly willing to hear other proposals and we're always willing to work with other parties with similar motives on the tax front if you are game. Local Government will fund their new responsibilities by increasing their local levies.
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    (Original post by chrisawhitmore)
    I'm somewhat concerned that the extra responsibilities devolved to councils will require significant extra funding, which will in turn counteract the effects of national tax reductions.

    Well done on putting so much work into the budget though.
    Absolutely, it was a concern of ours too, which is why we're planning to place some restrictions on what councils can actually do on the tax front, so that our reforms can't be completely undone. Obviously, local income taxes will have to increase though only by a very small margin.

    Thank you
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    (Original post by Jarred)
    I'm afraid you might be misreading what I had said. I understand the Resident's Income: you pay a certain income to everyone eligiable to ensure they have enough income to survive, I was planning something similar. When people are made unemployed, there are more people who must be paid the Resident's Income in order to keep them out of poverty, this means more is paid out in total, and thus the welfare payments (Resident's Income) increase. Nevertheless, the amount is so small that we assumed it tended to zero anyway.
    It gets paid to everyone regardless of their circumstances.

    Our aims with income tax were to create a system which was flatter which still maintained a slight degree of progressiveness. What we've done is taken the majority of the population out of income tax entirely whilst increasing the rate on the richest slightly. We've then moved the main burden of taxation over to the much fairer, Libertarian creation, the GRT. I did go about with the goal of getting rid of Income Tax entirely, but then decided it would be better for the vast majority of taxpayers if we could abolish VAT, which ultimately would cost us about the same in terms of revenue changes.
    No, merely made them pay more of it to their often feckless local authorities instead.
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    (Original post by Jarred)
    I will say that the treatment of B397 was carried out by another member of Government on my behalf, though I fail to see how it is double counting regardless. There aren't any costings on that particular bill so it seemed to me that they hadn't been taken into account, and from what checks I made, the figures I was provided with seemed correct.
    Yeah, it's a revenue neutral Bill. The VAT decrease is covered by the estimated costs of all the savings of making drugs legal. This includes the savings from not enforcing drug policies and from not locking people up. To now count a budget reduction is counting these savings again.

    As this is a mere forum House of Commons, it is difficult to know by how much the economy even is improving, though we certainly did mention that the economy will be faring differently and that it will be performing better. How much by though is not quantifiable, so we couldn't directly account for it in any way imaginable.
    A little estimation? It's fairly easy to google and get someone else's estimate (wild guess) for how tax affects GDP.

    Whilst the current taxes on tobacco and alcohol are high, it is hardly my priority to lower them now, in an action which would effectively be subsidising the usage of these drugs. Maybe in a future year, but alcohol and tobacco do have VAT levied on them, and so whilst the duties remain unchanged, at least the costs that consumers need to pay are lowered slightly.
    Ending an unfair tax is not subsidising! Furthermore, I'd consider it a priority over and above Corporation Tax. We're talking about two of the most damaging taxes for the poor with no justification whatsoever.

    http://www.adamsmith.org/sites/defau...on%20ASI_0.pdf (page 14 table shows how far out of kilter these taxes are, and how stupid most of the studies done on this are, and page 31!).

    Our aims with income tax were to create a system which was flatter which still maintained a slight degree of progressiveness. What we've done is taken the majority of the population out of income tax entirely whilst increasing the rate on the richest slightly. We've then moved the main burden of taxation over to the much fairer, Libertarian creation, the GRT. I did go about with the goal of getting rid of Income Tax entirely, but then decided it would be better for the vast majority of taxpayers if we could abolish VAT, which ultimately would cost us about the same in terms of revenue changes.
    But you've increase the rate. This means anyone earning over £100K is going to make their decisions in a different way (since, of course we make decisions at the margin). It's just a bit of an odd one.

    Agreed that CT is less damaging, but with an increase in GRT, we felt something had to be done to increase business's net profit margins which would undoubtedly be decreased with the GRT change and would not be completely undone by our VAt abolition. If we slice less off the top of our corporate profits then we in theory get more businesses investing it back into their companies which has a number of benefits to the economy and to jobs.
    Why do we feel the need to restore profit margins that are only gained at extracting land rents?

    I'm afraid you might be misreading what I had said. I understand the Resident's Income: you pay a certain income to everyone eligiable to ensure they have enough income to survive, I was planning something similar. When people are made unemployed, there are more people who must be paid the Resident's Income in order to keep them out of poverty, this means more is paid out in total, and thus the welfare payments (Resident's Income) increase. Nevertheless, the amount is so small that we assumed it tended to zero anyway.
    JPKC covers this below.

    Whilst the deficit currently stands at that figure, we're currently only a few months into the tax year, we could be certain that someone would try and spend the surpluses on those bills anyway, in fact doesn't the bulk of it come from the GRT miscalculation from the Tax Act back in '11? To assume that everyone would leave those untouched is wishful thinking, so we decided to keep the deficit under the real one of 90 Bn.
    No the miscalculation is all accounted for and corrected in the Welfare Bill. I don't think that in a position where we're £78bn behind each year, the best idea is to expand this by £7bn. It's madness.

    I'm glad you support some of it at least, the Government beleives what we've outlined here is the best for people and best for the economy, but I am certainly willing to hear other proposals and we're always willing to work with other parties with similar motives on the tax front if you are game. Local Government will fund their new responsibilities by increasing their local levies.
    So we haven't reduced income tax at all then?

    Want to do a budget? Whack GRT up to 85%, abolish VAT, abolish income tax and update the RI figures. I haven't even looked at the numbers but it should just about balance.
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    (Original post by JPKC)
    Okay, this is far more reasonable than I expected (though that's not saying much), one or two provisions it contains strike me as sensible. Others... well... I'm in the Socialist Party, what else can I say? Firstly, I agree with Paddy that it just looks silly to spout off about how the budget deficit is down to the previous Labour government; it's 2012 and each party have now experienced office during this period of economic depression so perhaps we can falsely stop attributing it to each other? (Well, that said, I do believe that the austerity drive has severely retarded efforts to shore up economic growth. As you mentioned, the construction industry, one part of the economy responsible for employing a large chunk of the workforce, could have been easily stimulated by reintroducing the Building Schools for the Future programme and putting into place other Keynesian projects.)

    Now onto a certain point you make in the preamble to your proposals. " Unfortunately, I will not be able to balance this budget, though I doubt anyone was expecting me to do so." I can't say that I was expecting you to do so, what I can say is that were this a Socialist budget there would be no deficit. We proposed a financial transactions tax earlier this term that would have closed the gap. An economically sensible policy, it would have relieved the country of the current defificit and in years to come provided funds for improving living standards in Britain. Though that's history. The other measure open to you would have been to finally take action against the offshore tax havens that conceal (at a conservative estimate) twenty-one trillion dollars of the world's wealth. We could have also seen more robust action against domestic tax avoidance, and in particular the brand of cronyism that sees companies like Vodafone get off scot-free from paying the billions of pounds worth of tax that they owe the country.

    Instead we see a Budget Report professing to value "simple taxes" presiding over the biggest, most complicated, labyrinthine web of local income tax - a policy that sees areas with higher service costs having to charge their often poorer denizens for running the public services that they are reliant on. The local authorities with the lowest wealth are those that have to charge their people most under this system, and all those on the left resent that. It makes tax avoidance incredibly simple as changing one's domicile to skip paying for services can be done on a county-by-county basis rather than on the international scale that we see in the real world.

    For instance, the people that make their money out of London are more than likely to live in neighbouring local authorities to those of the city. The leafy home counties, the commuter belt. These suburbans will use the transport network to enter the economic activity zone, and then make their money from working there. And yet the people paying for the services needed to maintain the conditions for high activity are those stuck in the innercity themselves without benefiting from it. Local levies are unfair and this Budget only increases reliance on them through the dropping of transport to the local level.

    Its nice to see that you managed to sneak in a flat tax. As you could probably guess, I don't think it's right to have a situation where your local shop pays the same percentage of Corporation Tax as a massive conglomerate. It's anti-small business and a regression from the current system, which is already very flawed.

    The income tax proposal for a tax on the rich is an improvement on the current set of rates but still far from what I would consider ideal as, well, it perpetuates the local income tax which as I've said is likely incredibly unfair. Locally-set taxes have been shown to be perceptible to a number of problems that nation-wide taxes aren't. You only need to look at the situation with the public finances in California to see this. I don't believe that councils that are often elected on turnouts of 30% should hold any powers over taxation, nor do I believe giving them such a power would boost turnout amongst any people other than those that would benefit from cutting taxes. We need to see a return to a national income tax.

    I don't at all agree with the idea that fuel duty should be cut. The Carbon Tax Act raised it by fifteen percent and I completely believe this figure should be made to increase steadily rather than face gradual snips to appease the short-term interests of a consumer's bank balance.

    Abolishing VAT is a good move and it'll have my support provided you don't mash the proposal in with the other nefarious intentions.

    Finally, I disagree with the massive cuts to the bureaucracy. They will just serve to make the government even less effective at handling all of the responsibilities it is committed to; were they feasible I sincerely believe that real-life governments would have acted on them. That sentiment deals with most of the cuts, to the ones specifically made in the Home Department I believe that they are perhaps partially justifiable (though it should be noted that I vehemently oppose the Narcotics Act) - what I would say is that there are plenty of useful things law-enforcement agencies could be getting to grips with, eliminating one of these problems doesn't mean the others disappear as well. Drug-related crime may have evaporated but I'm damn certain rape is still as prevalent and ill-handled as ever. The cuts to Government go too far and this Budget, I feel, doesn't adequately inform MPs of the many functions that will be lost.

    The Budget Report as a whole is very well done, and (although I'm sorely disappointed by the lack of pie charts) I commend the Chancellor for his efforts. One thing I'm confused about is the projected increase in RI payments - how will this come about?
    I'm glad it was better than you expected.
    Ok, yes I guess I shouldn't have put that little jab to the previous Government in, but to tell the truth that was one of the first things I wrote about two months ago. It was pretty much all I wrote back then because my exams came calling, but nevertheless I kept it, almost as a token of the past. Anyway...

    Sure, we could have balanced the budget. But it would have messed up the economy if we had. With respect to your financial transactions tax, what I can say is our economy is extremely reliant on financial services, now, that's not a great thing and it's not something to be proud of and something should be done to change that a bit, but to go levying a tax on such an important and mobile sector would be bad for that sector. Who cares, they're bankers right? Well sure, but those same bankers lends to me, they lend to you and they lend to our employers so we need them doing something at least. You cut into their margins and you're hurting the rest of us. It would put our economy into standstill.

    Well, we believe that with a simpler system, the abuse of such havens would be less felt at least, if our system is fairer then it's going to become less attractive to go an pay tax somewhere else.

    Yes, local income taxes do make it easier to pay less tax by moving to another area. But that's the beauty of it all. Councils will be directly competing with each other to keep their levies low, and that will benefit the taxpayers, both rich and poor. The supposed problems with income tax you talk about already exist, whilst you may think we exagerate them here, that's not really the case in my belief, and our national reforms, such as ensuring most people pay no central income tax at all will greatly help them and counteract the local increases for them.

    Of course you may feel it is wrong that a small business pays the same as a large business, but in real terms, all businesses will pay less corporation tax (and no VAT of course) than ever before. The current small businesses rate is higher than our proposed simpler rate, and so this is an improvement for them. Small businesses will be greatly helped by the VAT reduction, because it will let them increase their margins considerably. I understand you socialists would prefer a higher tax on larger businesses, simply for the sake of having it. But corporation tax is a very tentative issue in how we are looked at by overseas corporations as an option to come do business in. To pretty much have the lowest rate in the developed world is a good thing. What you should think about is who actually pays CT. It's not the corporations, it's me and you. Those corporations won't let it dig into their profits, they'll cut their costs, rise their prices whatever, to make sure that it is me and you and the worker paying for it not me. Sadly this also means that the cut won't be transferred over to us, but we get the VAT cut still anyway so that's not an issue.

    I wouldn't expect a socialist to understand this, but tax is a massive motivator. We all hate it you see. Council powers over income tax sure as hell would mobilize people to go and vote, to keep their tax bill down. If they don't, then that's their loss and we shouldn't subsidise their stupidity with a national tax. With income tax we've ensured that only the richest pay it now, and that's fair.

    Everyone is a motorist or is affected by motorists. My family in particular has found it harder to make ends meet in recent years with the increase in fuel prices, it is not fair to keep rising it. People need cars to get to work or to get to the shop. How you can be in favour of even higher fuel prices is beyond me to be honest.

    Glad to hear it.
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    (Original post by JPKC)
    I don't at all agree with the idea that fuel duty should be cut. The Carbon Tax Act raised it by fifteen percent and I completely believe this figure should be made to increase steadily rather than face gradual snips to appease the short-term interests of a consumer's bank balance.
    You're obviously not a motorist, petrol is ****ing expensive. It costs me tons to fill up my car, why would you want to increase it? Maybe when you can and are driving you're opinion will change. It's easy to say we should increase a tax that doesn't directly affect you.
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    (Original post by Jarred)
    I'm glad it was better than you expected.
    Ok, yes I guess I shouldn't have put that little jab to the previous Government in, but to tell the truth that was one of the first things I wrote about two months ago. It was pretty much all I wrote back then because my exams came calling, but nevertheless I kept it, almost as a token of the past. Anyway...
    You are excused. :pierre:

    Sure, we could have balanced the budget. But it would have messed up the economy if we had. With respect to your financial transactions tax, what I can say is our economy is extremely reliant on financial services, now, that's not a great thing and it's not something to be proud of and something should be done to change that a bit, but to go levying a tax on such an important and mobile sector would be bad for that sector. Who cares, they're bankers right? Well sure, but those same bankers lends to me, they lend to you and they lend to our employers so we need them doing something at least. You cut into their margins and you're hurting the rest of us. It would put our economy into standstill.
    Well actually the bill in question would have divided banks between their investment and retail arms - only one side would have been directly affected by the £50bn tax (relatively small compared to the amount of money made in the City every year). And it wasn't a tax out of spite, it was an attempt at getting financial institutions to put more thought into making investments (at the moment the whole stockmarket is governed almost entirely by reckless intuition), while also making it so that the financial sector paid the same level of tax as other industrial sectors in the UK. The argument that the tax would've destroyed the sector has no basis in truth or evidence, either. You need only look at Stamp Duty to see an FTT at work in British finance.

    Well, we believe that with a simpler system, the abuse of such havens would be less felt at least, if our system is fairer then it's going to become less attractive to go an pay tax somewhere else.
    Hmmm. People avoid tax if the system is too complicated, they evade it if they can not pay it at all. The proposals here may be better for reducing tax avoidance (though not by much - 29% top rate compared to 17% for businesses), though it would do little to prevent tax evasion as 29% is still higher than 0%.

    Yes, local income taxes do make it easier to pay less tax by moving to another area. But that's the beauty of it all. Councils will be directly competing with each other to keep their levies low, and that will benefit the taxpayers, both rich and poor. The supposed problems with income tax you talk about already exist, whilst you may think we exagerate them here, that's not really the case in my belief, and our national reforms, such as ensuring most people pay no central income tax at all will greatly help them and counteract the local increases for them.
    Now to me that sounds like a nightmare. How is a government to formulate a sound tax policy if its competing with itself to lower taxes? The answer for you is, no-doubt, that a sound tax policy equal no tax policy. I don't want that political bias built into the government.

    Of course you may feel it is wrong that a small business pays the same as a large business, but in real terms, all businesses will pay less corporation tax (and no VAT of course) than ever before. The current small businesses rate is higher than our proposed simpler rate, and so this is an improvement for them. Small businesses will be greatly helped by the VAT reduction, because it will let them increase their margins considerably. I understand you socialists would prefer a higher tax on larger businesses, simply for the sake of having it. But corporation tax is a very tentative issue in how we are looked at by overseas corporations as an option to come do business in. To pretty much have the lowest rate in the developed world is a good thing. What you should think about is who actually pays CT. It's not the corporations, it's me and you. Those corporations won't let it dig into their profits, they'll cut their costs, rise their prices whatever, to make sure that it is me and you and the worker paying for it not me. Sadly this also means that the cut won't be transferred over to us, but we get the VAT cut still anyway so that's not an issue.
    We've been the only Party so far this term to propose a business tax cut, and that was voted against by all of you. With regards to larger businesses, we'd prefer that they paid any tax before we began to raise the rates! (It's notable that we'd love a 0% rate for co-operatives!)

    I wouldn't expect a socialist to understand this, but tax is a massive motivator. We all hate it you see. Council powers over income tax sure as hell would mobilize people to go and vote, to keep their tax bill down. If they don't, then that's their loss and we shouldn't subsidise their stupidity with a national tax. With income tax we've ensured that only the richest pay it now, and that's fair.
    So the "stupid" people that don't vote deserve ****e public services? Great.

    Everyone is a motorist or is affected by motorists. My family in particular has found it harder to make ends meet in recent years with the increase in fuel prices, it is not fair to keep rising it. People need cars to get to work or to get to the shop. How you can be in favour of even higher fuel prices is beyond me to be honest.
    (Original post by davidmarsh01)
    You're obviously not a motorist, petrol is ****ing expensive. It costs me tons to fill up my car, why would you want to increase it? Maybe when you can and are driving you're opinion will change. It's easy to say we should increase a tax that doesn't directly affect you.
    Well it's not fair that the cost of the pollution incurred by operating a fossil fuel engine isn't covered by the motorist, which I believe it should be. Who else pays? The victims? David you voted for the Carbon Tax if I remember correctly, and I can't drive as I'm paraplegic.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    Do all four really need an individual arts council given the significance of England over the other regions.
    Yes, essentially because the 'arts' are quite different in each region. People express themselves in different ways depending on their circumstances and the environment around them. In that sense England cannot stand for the whole of the UK, not that it ever should anyway.

    There will still be ministers for each region, think of it as a departmental management change.
    It's a massive downgrade and in Scotland's case a reversion of over two hundred years of history...

    'The right way to do things', i believe your historian bias may be getting in the way.
    One is not biased because of being a historian (though that is my profession, yes) but it is usually helpful to actually listen to historians at times...
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    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    It's a massive downgrade and in Scotland's case a reversion of over two hundred years of history...
    I agree... Scotland should be saved humiliation and set free

    That said, I support Scotland keeping various things and getting more powers if need be... they are after all not in the union the same way Wales is... Wales appears to have been overrun or something, IDK but I am sure you will correct me adorno
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    Firstly, congratulations to the Chancellor for this well-researched, balanced Budget. Although I'm about to offer criticism, I also appreciate the amount of work and effort that has gone into this. With that in mind, the Leader of the Opposition's comments suggests a complete lack of commitment to not only his party but the House itself.*

    I'm broadly supportive of this Budget, particularly tax cuts and the consolidation of some aspects of Government operations. I disagree with several of the department closures, however, which I outline below.

    The tax reductions and reforms look promising and have my full support. The removal of VAT *in particular should be supported from all sides of the House.

    I support the decision to close the unnecessary DfCMS, and also the merger of DfID and the Foreign Office. I will oppose any attempts to scale back our international development commitments, but for now I trust the government will remain committed to our obligations to those less fortunate.

    The proposals to close DEFRA, DECC and DFT are reckless. I support localism, but not when devolving powers to local authorities is likely to cost more in the long term. How on earth are we going to have a co-ordinated, national transport strategy if the DFT's responsibilities are assumed by local authorities with distinctly different agendas? At a time when massive investment is needed for our roads and railways, this government has decided to abolish this important department.

    The same arguments apply for the future of our energy and climate change policy. Abolishing DECC at a time when we have a looming energy crisis and investment is again needed for our power stations, the government has acted with terrible shortsightedness and axed this department.

    Localism works for the management of small-scale projects, but the government must answer how it hopes to co-ordinate a coherent transport and energy strategy for decades to come when it will axe the aforementioned departments.

    I do, however, welcome the closure of the Scottish and Welsh offices, which are no longer required as devolution continues to evolve. The creation of an English Affairs minister is a great idea, one which will hopefully end the lack of representation for English interests in Whitehall.

    I think a Balanced Budget bill is well intentioned in principle, but it would risk shackling future governments to spending plans they may wish to alter. Balanced budgets are all well and good, but forcing them on future governments does not accommodate future economic trends that may affect government spending and borrowing.

    All in all, a good Budget for taxpayers and consumers, but one which also proposes some reckless department closures. A mixed bag, which has my broad support. I hope the government consider my comments and elaborate on their decision to close the aforementioned departments.
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    The abolition of VAT is effectively stopping paying towards the EU- so we should have a vote (a TSR referendum) I think on EU membership.
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    I demand teh stimulus spending!
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    (Original post by JPKC)
    Well it's not fair that the cost of the pollution incurred by operating a fossil fuel engine isn't covered by the motorist, which I believe it should be. Who else pays? The victims? David you voted for the Carbon Tax if I remember correctly, and I can't drive as I'm paraplegic.
    What cost of pollution is incurred by motorists? Do you cover the costs for the upkeep of the pavements you no doubt use? Yep, I voted for the carbon tax bill, but on reflection I wish I hadn't. It could easily put companies out of business or move away from the UK, and I didn't realise that you'd increased fuel duty by quite as much as you did.

    Paraplegics can drive, and I'd expect that you would have known that were you actually paraplegic.
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    (Original post by barnetlad)
    The abolition of VAT is effectively stopping paying towards the EU- so we should have a vote (a TSR referendum) I think on EU membership.
    Unfortunately, we're only allowed one referendum per term, and we've already used this term's referendum for an inane attack on the monarchy that was doomed to fail from the start.
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    (Original post by Birchington)
    Firstly, congratulations to the Chancellor for this well-researched, balanced Budget. Although I'm about to offer criticism, I also appreciate the amount of work and effort that has gone into this. With that in mind, the Leader of the Opposition's comments suggests a complete lack of commitment to not only his party but the House itself.*
    I didn't have time to construct a proper reply to it last night, and I think I'll do that today. As far as I can tell though, this budget doesn't actually do anything, and could have been introduced in a series of bills.
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    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    Rakas is on the record as not having any respect for Wales, so pull the other one.
    I am Welsh and Rakas has shown nothing but the upmost respect for me and my opinions.
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    Firstly, congrats on writing this out. A budget is always long and hard word for any government and you don't always have the right people to do it. So good effort! :yy:

    Now, I have just two quetsions (for now.)

    1) How many jobs would go with the closure of the The DfID?

    2) Also, why has nothing be said about the budget for Defense?

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Updated: August 2, 2012
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