Jarred
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There now follows the TSR Government's Budget on behalf of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt. Hon. Birchington MP.

Budget Report, TSR Government
Budget 2014

Fairness, sustainability and responsibility are the three cornerstones of this budget. This is a budget for an aspiration nation, tackling issues of the present and ensuring future prosperity for all.

Introduction
As we begin this Budget, Britain is emerging from years of economic uncertainty, of squeezed living costs and unpredictable employment opportunities. The shackles of the global financial crisis are finally easing, and Britain’s economy is beginning to thrive once again.

Complacency is not an option, however. Public debt remains unacceptably high, unpredictable living costs continue to affect hard-working families, and the sustainability of our economic recovery cannot be guaranteed fully until these crises are solved.

The economy of TSR is likely to be performing better than RL, from growth and expansion to the extent of the deficit. The primary aim of this budget is to secure jobs and sustainable wealth, and also tackle the debt mountain that we must avoid passing on to future generations.

Discussion of Current Growth Forecasts
The ONS has reported the following figures for the final quarter of 2013:
→Stronger than expected economic growth in 2013 has resulted in the forecast for GDP growth being revised as a whole from 0.6% to 1.9%, or 2.8% seasonally adjusted.
→Whilst production industrial output remained sluggish in 2013, it is forecast to grow by 2.7% in 2014 as confidence improves and exports increase, particularly from foreign markets.
→Manufacturing output at the end of 2013 was up 1.2%.
→Britain's services sector grew by 0.8% in the last quarter of 2013, but output of the construction industry remained flat with an overall drop of 2.2%, primarily due to decreases in public capital projects.
→Household final consumption expenditure increased by 1.7%, but wage rises remained inconsistent, unstable and largely flat throughout 2013 and into 2014.

It is great to see the economy growing again after years of recession, but it is important we do not begin wearing rose tinted spectacles at the sight of positive economic news.

This growth is still not completely sustainable - although private consumption and housing investment have grown, business investment and net trade are areas for improvement to deliver long-term prosperity and employment.

Consumer confidence and the property have market have increased but productivity and real earnings growth have remained sluggish and unpredictable. Ultimately, productivity-driven growth in real earnings is necessary to sustain the recovery, if we are to deliver long term GDP growth.

According to the ONS, ongoing uncertainty surrounding productivity growth is the “key uncertainty” facing forecasters. This budget will aim to improve business investment, promote our export market and tackle issues behind low productivity rates.

Although wage increases continue to stagnate in the UK, TSR citizens will undoubtedly benefit from our efficient and fair tax system that leaves more money in their pocket. Nonetheless, fuel and living costs are likely to be fairly equal, so this budget will do it’s best to alleviate further the burden on family incomes.

Our economy on TSR is likely to be performing even better than in real life, considering our simple and fair tax system, higher research spending, and a generally lower deficit. However, this government will not rest until growth is sustainable, investment is targeted where it is needed and families can enjoy less burdens being placed on their finances.

Our proposals to achieve these aims are as follows.

Our Proposals:
Starting Point
The politics and economic circumstances of TSR are different from RL in many ways, allowing me greater flexibility than the real life Chancellor. We enjoy additional revenue sources, particularly from the sale of legalised drugs, welfare differences and income from the Ground Rent Tax to name a few.

The RL OBR projection for next month's Budget is -£96 billion. By subtracting differences in spending here on TSR we reach a TSR deficit of -£63.5 billion. This creates a suitable starting point from which we can work to achieve the aims outlined in the introduction, and we'll be a month ahead of RL forecasts.

It is vital we prioritise sustainable growth, expand employment opportunities and give everyone more pounds in their pocket. The overarching theme of sustainability must also include long-term targeted reduction of this deficit, which remains unacceptably high.

I will be able to balance this budget - although public debt as high as Britain's will take many more budgets to tackle fully, sensible spending decisions will help to deliver a small surplus this year. By prioritising growth, maximising revenue streams where possible and doing our bit to balance the books, we will go a long way to returning Britain’s finances to long-term security.

There are some TSR bills which significantly affect expenditure (i.e. +/- £5 billion) on top of the RL budget and thus must be counted in this one.

These bills are:
*B408: +£87.4bn
*B438: -69.8bn
*B441: +£6.7bn
*B489: +£1.1bn
*B517 +£49.9bn
*B518: -£15.9bn
B547, B553, B556 and B566: approx. -£14bn

Spending commitments outlined in motions are largely negligible, excluding the thorium nuclear power motion, and the desalination plant motion. -£2 billion will be allocated to facilitate the construction of 3 desalination plants (the remaining £2.5 billion required will be sought from private capital investment).

Funding the transition to thorium nuclear power will be very expensive, but can be deferred until the next financial year and therefore will not be included in capital spending.

We differ from the real world in various ways, with tax differences including:
→Ground rent tax
→Carbon tax
→Council tax abolished, VAT, business and NI rates abolished.

It is evident TSR’s finances allow greater flexibility and room for manoeuvre when compared to RL. Our public finances are already faring better, but there’s still work to be done.

This Budget will aim to keep our deficit below £-63 billion, whilst doing everything possible to achieve fairness, sustainability and responsibility.

Taxation
Income Tax
As a government, we are committed to fair taxation. We want to give people more pounds in their pocket and give hard working families more take home pay. To help achieve these aims, we will remove over 15 million people from income tax altogether.

We want the highest earners to pay the biggest burden, but not to a level that penalises their success. We have therefore reduced the top rate of income tax to 45 per cent, a fair and competitive figure.

Therefore, income tax rates will be set as follows:
(a) The first £20,000 of income above Residents' Income shall not be taxed.
(b) The next £20,000 of income above £20,000 shall be taxed at 15 per cent.
(c) The next £20,000 of income above £40,000 shall be taxed at 30 per cent.
(d) All income above £60,000 shall be taxed at 45 per cent.

Revenue Changes
RL Pricing Reference
TSR Calculations

Together, this produces a revenue change of +£87.863 billion.
Cumulatively, this brings the budget surplus to +£24.863 billion.

Narcotics Sales Tax
Narcotics were legalised by V397. This Government continues to support the Narcotics Act, viewing it as a valuable revenue source.

We will increase Narcotics Sales Tax from 19.5% to 20%. We do not wish to penalise individual drug users, but believe fair and sustainable increases in tax revenues will be beneficial for enabling both our spending commitments in other areas and also reducing the deficit.

Alcohol and tobacco will be exempt from this tax, and shall continue to be taxed under the current duties system.

The previous Budget of 2012 forecast revenues of slightly less than +£4 billion.

Increasing tax on narcotics by 5% will deliver revenues of +£4.3 billion - this is indeed a conservative estimate and could well be much higher.

Cumulatively, this brings the budget surplus to +£25.29 billion.

Corporation Tax
This Government is committed to making Britain a business-friendly nation. We want entrepreneurs, innovators and start-up owners to base themselves here. We must create a competitive environment for job creation and economic stimulation.

Due to our lack of business rates and corporation NI contributions, plus minimal VAT contributions, means TSR-land is already vastly better off. We will do our best to keep Britain at the top of the global race and ensure economic growth is sustainable.

We will keep corporation tax at a sustainable and effective flat rate of 17%.

This will retain our position of having the lowest corporate tax rate in both the G7 and G20. North Sea taxation will remain unchanged. The Effective Marginal Tax Rate, as judged by the Oxford Centre for Business Taxation, will be used to calculate income from Corporation Tax.

In this tax year RL Corporation Tax is predicted to bring in revenues of +£43.4 billion.

Calculating differences created by TSR's simplified tax system and lower rate results in a total revenue change of -£10.445 billion.

Cumulatively, this brings the budget surplus to +£14.85 billion.

Fuel Duty
To promote both fairness and sustainability, we will reduce national fuel duty from 5p to 3p per litre. This will come into effect on 1st April 2014.

Combined with the abolition of all VAT in the previous Budget, we believe this move will continue to ease the burden of fuel costs for households and business across the nation.

This creates a revenue change of -£6 billion.
Cumulatively, this brings the budget surplus to +£8.85 billion.

Tax Avoidance
The avoidance of tax by individuals and in the corporate world should not be tolerated. We certainly want Britain to be a competitive destination for foreign and domestic investment, but we should not achieve competitiveness by permitting widespread abuses of tax loopholes.

In light of our commitment to fairness and sustainability, we will prioritise the immediate closing of tax loopholes and ensure HMRC receives sufficient funding to recoup monies owed to the state.

In the 2014/15 financial year, we will seek to recoup +£3.5 billion of unpaid tax, primarily in the corporate world.

Cumulatively, this brings the budget surplus to +£12.35 billion

Departmental Spending
Department for Business, Work and Pensions (DfBWP)
Our commitment to laying the foundations for new enterprise, investment and prosperity is demonstrated by the following spending commitments.

We will invest in a national building programme of affordable business premises, providing affordable accommodation for thousands of new start-ups and businesses.

We will allocate -£3.3 billion to deliver this.

Continued investment in science and research will keep Britain at the forefront of global innovation. To this end, we will increase research spending by 30% (+£3 billion) to -£10 billion.

This produces a revenue change of -£6.6 billion.
This brings the cumulative revenue change to +£5.75 billion.

Reform of Residents' Income Payments
We will scrap Residents’ Income handouts for higher earners. We believe that giving over £8,500 each per year to higher earning adults is simply not fair or justifiable.

To this end, Part 1, section 2, sub-section 2 of the Welfare and Tax Reform Act 2012 will be repealed from 1st April 2014 and will be replaced by the following:
(2) (a) All those legally resident within the United Kingdom and who earn no more than £30,000 per year are eligible for the Residents’ Income in full.
(b) Those earning between £30,000 and £60,000 per year will receive half of their Residents’ Income entitlement.
(c) Those earning over £60,000 per year will receive no Residents’ Income.

This produces a revenue change of +£43.3 billion.

Cumulatively, this brings the budget surplus to +£49.15 billion.

Transport, Communications, ECC and EFRA
Although responsibility for the above portfolios was devolved to local authorities in the previous Budget, we will allocate capital spending to fund projects of national importance.

We will allocate -£4 billion to kick start a national programme of road repairs to clear a huge backlog of potholes and essential repairs. This spending will benefit the motorist and improve the efficiency of our road network.

We will increase spending on installing high-speed broadband across the nation. Every £1 spent on high-speed broadband equals an estimated £20 in business, so our commitment of -£700 million is worth every penny.

This produces a revenue change of -£4.7 billion.
Cumulatively, this brings the budget surplus to +£44.45 billion.

Department of Health
As part of our wide reaching agenda to reform and improve public services, we will increase public spending as part of our ongoing reforms to the NHS.

Total funding requirements of -£150 billion will be allocated this financial year, an increase of +£7 billion.

This results in a revenue change of -£7 billion.
Cumulatively, this brings the budget surplus to +£37.45 billion.

Department for Education
Combined with our investment in science and research, we will increase education spending by 10%, an increase of -£8.9 billion.

This will be invested particularly in TSR legislation committing the House to improvements for vocational training and apprenticeships, plus ongoing building improvements to ensure our schools and universities remain fit for purpose in the global race.

Cumulatively, this brings the budget surplus to +£28.55 billion.

Office for Foreign Development Affairs and Ministry of Defence
Spending commitments remain unchanged from the previous budget.

Monetary Policy
It is expected that interest rates will remain at their current (historically low) level during the first quarter of 2014, but improving employment will require the launch of a Monetary Policy Exploration Committee to assess what changes if any can be made to benefit savers and sustainability.

Other Proposals
National Debt Ceiling
Alternatively titled the 'Balanced Budget Bill', this idea has been discussed as a future legislative goal in the government subforum.

Essentially, the Bill will create a maximum spending limit for the TSR government to prevent reckless spending and deficit increases in future.

At its strictest, this Bill will make it illegal for any TSR Government to pass an unbalanced budget after 2016, except in extenuating circumstances. At its most generous, this Bill will allow the government some flexibility to go into the red but legally enforcing a maximum 'fiscal cliff' in the States, say -£100 billion.

Spending Document
Rakas and Qwertish in particular have created a fantastic spending record for TSR, that itemises spending commitments for each post-reset Bill, plus TSR tax differences and other changes from RL.

In the next Parliament, I intend to create a Spending Document to compliment our existing constitution, guidance document and Hansard to record all this information for public viewing.

Periodically updated by the Speaker or Chancellor, this will give the House a much better picture of where we stand financially, tax rates and other information that can influence and improve legislation writing.

Accountability for local government levies
Due to the Socialist Party's Finance Bill (B517), local government was prohibited from further levying it's own taxes but no provision for funding was made. As a result of this local government budgets have been slashed by an estimated 66%.

We would allow local government to levy its own taxation.

Sovereign Wealth Fund
Another idea considered in the government subforum, for further discussion in future as an additional source of revenue.

State of the Public Finances
Surplus (real life) without TSR bills passed so far included: -£96 billion.

Surplus with TSR bills passed so far included but before this budget: -£63.5 billion.

Factoring in all of the changes in this Budget along with the calculated TSR deficit we arrive at a final, overall surplus of:
+£28.55 billion


The following graph depicts comparison between real life and TSR budget deficits, plus forecasts for both up to 2017-18. The blue line is deficit forecast for RL, red line for TSR and pink line showing most optimistic deficit reduction forecasts that can be achieved from the deficit reached in this Budget. We're ahead of schedule, but the annual deficits forecast for TSR should be used as an accurate target to keep deficit reduction on track.

Image

Concluding Remarks
We have delivered our aims of fairness, sustainability and responsibility. Our deficit reduction programme is well on track, reducing the TSR deficit from -£85.468 billion in 2012 to +£28.55 billion today. We have delivered a budget surplus, well ahead of our deficit reduction targets and laying the foundations for future solvency.

We have maintained TSR's proud status as a world-leading destination for business and enterprise. We have abolished income tax for many citizens, kept corporation tax competitive, cut fuel duty, made Residents' Income payments fairer and undoubtedly built sustainable conditions for the creation of many long-term jobs.

We have continued to reduce government to a sustainable and efficient size, whilst giving localised services a helping hand with investment for transport systems and business infrastructure in particular.

We have helped to decrease the deficit and laid the foundations for long-term budget surplus, with a far better outlook than the real life economy.

We are proud of what we have achieved here - helping millions of people with the cost of living, working to deliver lower unemployment, cutting tax evasion and keeping TSR competitive.

This is a Budget for an aspiration nation, keeping Britain fair and fit for the future.
I commend this Budget to the House.
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Birchington
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I'm proud to see this submitted. A great deal of work has gone into it - thanks in particular to Rakas and Qwertish.

For those who don't fancy reading a lot of text on a Saturday evening, here's a list of some of our achievements:
*Raised income tax threshold to £20,000
*Cut fuel duty
*Invested in health, infrastructure and education
*Delivered a budget surplus.

All in all, a very progressive Budget that will deliver jobs, cut the cost of living and boost growth.
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Saoirse:3
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Some real issues with this although it's pleasingly less rabidly right-wing than I may have expected.

Whilst I agree with the introduction of the new top band of income tax, I believe the increase in the rate for middle earners is unnecessary and counter-productive. Do you hold figres on what the revenue is from that?

The narcotics figures look more than a bit dodgy, are you raising them by 5% or 0.5%? Where have the figures come from exactly?

I don't think we should cut fuel duty - if anything, it should be increased to fund public transport subsidies. Dare I say it but stuff the economics, we need to think of our environment too,

Tax Avoidance - let me just say this. If one of the left-wing parties here wrote a Bill saying "We will tackle Tax Avoidance. We don't know what we'll actually do, but we'll close loopholes. Because of this, we're going to generate an extra £XBillion", you would laugh them out of the house. Far, far more detail needed. Do you think the issue is as prevalent with our simplified tax code, and what exactly will you do about it?

Your changes to the Resident's Income undermine the entire point of it - taking the stigma out of welfare and having a system where everyone gets something back. On top of that, the section is completely illiterate economically, as you've created huge ranges where you'd ask for a reduction in your wage to become eligible for RI again. Why would you earn £60,000 and get no RI when you could earn £59,999.99 and get 50% of it? You've suddenly got no-one earning between £60K and £64.25K.

And finally - please, please, please no bleeding Fiscal Cliff type idea. For a start it is completely against our political system to bind future Parliaments and even apart from that the Americans have shown us exactly why it's a dreadful idea with the tribal politics and instability it causes.

As you would probably expect, I'm going to have to vote no to this. There are a couple of decent ideas, but on the whole I think it will do more harm than good and in terms of quality apart from political beliefs doesn't seem up to the very high standards set by previous budgets.
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Birchington
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(Original post by Saoirse:3)
As you would probably expect, I'm going to have to vote no to this. There are a couple of decent ideas, but on the whole I think it will do more harm than good and in terms of quality apart from political beliefs doesn't seem up to the very high standards set by previous budgets.
I accept your criticisms, but feel you are opposing this for the sake of opposing it.

What would you actually do instead to deliver lower living costs, more jobs or growth?

Finally, there have now been three TSR Budgets - 2010, 2012 and 2014. Just out of interest, which one would you personally rank as your favourite?
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Saoirse:3)
Some real issues with this although it's pleasingly less rabidly right-wing than I may have expected.

Whilst I agree with the introduction of the new top band of income tax, I believe the increase in the rate for middle earners is unnecessary and counter-productive. Do you hold figres on what the revenue is from that?

The narcotics figures look more than a bit dodgy, are you raising them by 5% or 0.5%? Where have the figures come from exactly?

I don't think we should cut fuel duty - if anything, it should be increased to fund public transport subsidies. Dare I say it but stuff the economics, we need to think of our environment too,

Tax Avoidance - let me just say this. If one of the left-wing parties here wrote a Bill saying "We will tackle Tax Avoidance. We don't know what we'll actually do, but we'll close loopholes. Because of this, we're going to generate an extra £XBillion", you would laugh them out of the house. Far, far more detail needed. Do you think the issue is as prevalent with our simplified tax code, and what exactly will you do about it?

Your changes to the Resident's Income undermine the entire point of it - taking the stigma out of welfare and having a system where everyone gets something back. On top of that, the section is completely illiterate economically, as you've created huge ranges where you'd ask for a reduction in your wage to become eligible for RI again. Why would you earn £60,000 and get no RI when you could earn £59,999.99 and get 50% of it? You've suddenly got no-one earning between £60K and £64.25K.

And finally - please, please, please no bleeding Fiscal Cliff type idea. For a start it is completely against our political system to bind future Parliaments and even apart from that the Americans have shown us exactly why it's a dreadful idea with the tribal politics and instability it causes.

As you would probably expect, I'm going to have to vote no to this. There are a couple of decent ideas, but on the whole I think it will do more harm than good and in terms of quality apart from political beliefs doesn't seem up to the very high standards set by previous budgets.
The Chancellor may be able to provide those, if not now then when the bill comes before parliament.

The last budget postulated that a 20% tax would raise revenue of around £4bn, we took a conservative estimate of a 5% change given the increased number of substitutes (even tobacco) may result in greater elasticity of demand. Such a bill would of course feature a more developed notes section appraising this more closely.

Fair point, that debate will come.

We will highlight such loopholes when a bill comes before parliament.

Undermine the point of it from a socialist or libertarian prospective. I don't believe in universality and consider providing high earners with £8k per year an inefficient use of state resources. Illiterate is also too strong a term given that there are already means tested benefits and i'm sure numerous examples of employers simply raising the bonus or giving their employees shares to stay under a threshold.

It's tribal because it's a two party system. In the context of the game i don't think it's a bad idea to impose a realistic limit. But i'm sure we can discuss in a motion.

You won't be voting at all, ha. Budgets like any departmental report are more statements of intent and appraisals of what has already been done. They are not legally binding and are not voted upon.
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(Original post by Birchington)
I accept your criticisms, but feel you are opposing this for the sake of opposing it.

What would you actually do instead to deliver lower living costs, more jobs or growth?

Finally, there have now been three TSR Budgets - 2010, 2012 and 2014. Just out of interest, which one would you personally rank as your favourite?
What's that supposed to mean? I oppose it because of a mixture of political disagreements outlined such as my opposition to cutting fuel tax, and the fact some of it like the Resident's Income section is, if I may be frank with you, garbage.

I'm obviously not going to write a budget on the spot or give everyone a nice range of policy ideas going into election season, but broadly I think we are already doing far, far better than real life. I think we could go further with the provision of housing as one major area and beyond that look at major infrastructure projects.

I think looking at it objectively it would have to be Jarred's 2012 one. Whilst this has seemingly been based on it, I would say it was generally a more coherent set of ideas and without a couple of the major flaws in this one
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(Original post by Rakas21)
The Chancellor may be able to provide those, if not now then when the bill comes before parliament.

The last budget postulated that a 20% tax would raise revenue of around £4bn, we took a conservative estimate of a 5% change given the increased number of substitutes (even tobacco) may result in greater elasticity of demand. Such a bill would of course feature a more developed notes section appraising this more closely.

Fair point, that debate will come.

We will highlight such loopholes when a bill comes before parliament.

Undermine the point of it from a socialist or libertarian prospective. I don't believe in universality and consider providing high earners with £8k per year an inefficient use of state resources. Illiterate is also too strong a term given that there are already means tested benefits and i'm sure numerous examples of employers simply raising the bonus or giving their employees shares to stay under a threshold.

It's tribal because it's a two party system. In the context of the game i don't think it's a bad idea to impose a realistic limit. But i'm sure we can discuss in a motion.

You won't be voting at all, ha. Budgets like any departmental report are more statements of intent and appraisals of what has already been done. They are not legally binding and are not voted upon.
With the greatest respect, what is the point of presenting us with a budget, then saying we'll debate everything another time anyway? This is beginning to sound like a premature manifesto for any continuation of the current coalition more than anything.

But one main point - illiterate is not too strong a term when you are creating disincentives to earn more. The Socialists were absolutely panned for that a couple of terms back when they at one stage came up with a flawed tax credits scheme. Why on Earth does it make any sense at all for someone earning £30,000 to take home more than someone earning £38,000? That creates a massive distortion in the jobs market with huge ranges of incomes that can no-longer be offered after tax and benefits for very little apparent reason.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Saoirse:3)
What's that supposed to mean? I oppose it because of a mixture of political disagreements outlined such as my opposition to cutting fuel tax, and the fact some of it like the Resident's Income section is, if I may be frank with you, garbage.

I'm obviously not going to write a budget on the spot or give everyone a nice range of policy ideas going into election season, but broadly I think we are already doing far, far better than real life. I think we could go further with the provision of housing as one major area and beyond that look at major infrastructure projects.

I think looking at it objectively it would have to be Jarred's 2012 one. Whilst this has seemingly been based on it, I would say it was generally a more coherent set of ideas and without a couple of the major flaws in this one
https://docs.google.com/a/student.le...rive_web#gid=0

This should impress you a little (assume you've not read it).

The figures for 4 bills need changing (only Qwertish can and he's not back yet) so ignore the overall total at the bottom but myself, Qwertish and Birchington (with others) have costed pretty much each TSR bill individually.

https://docs.google.com/a/student.le...=sharing#gid=1

The costing for the 4 offending bills and some of the working for the budget deficit.

.....

If we can't get your budget support can we at least have your opinion on the (hopefully continually updated) finance review for each bill.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Saoirse:3)
With the greatest respect, what is the point of presenting us with a budget, then saying we'll debate everything another time anyway? This is beginning to sound like a premature manifesto for any continuation of the current coalition more than anything.

But one main point - illiterate is not too strong a term when you are creating disincentives to earn more. The Socialists were absolutely panned for that a couple of terms back when they at one stage came up with a flawed tax credits scheme. Why on Earth does it make any sense at all for someone earning £30,000 to take home more than someone earning £38,000? That creates a massive distortion in the jobs market with huge ranges of incomes that can no-longer be offered after tax and benefits for very little apparent reason.
For the same reason we put forward the defense review the other term, it's highlighting what we intend to accomplish with ideas we feel are worthy of discussion. The guidance document allows for any Secretory of State to release such a report if they so wish. If you feel differently then your government is free not to release one.

Can't remember that one. We'll find away around that.
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Birchington
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(Original post by Saoirse:3)
This is beginning to sound like a premature manifesto for any continuation of the current coalition more than anything.
We took the initiative to use our time in government and plan a Budget - naturally we're going to mention our achievements during the election.

Labour was in government for 12 months between parliaments XIII and XIV plus another 6 months in XVI, so you've had ample time in the past to submit your own proposals.
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(Original post by Birchington)
We took the initiative to use our time in government and plan a Budget - naturally we're going to mention our achievements during the election.

Labour was in government for 12 months between parliaments XIII and XIV plus another 6 months in XVI, so you've had ample time in the past to submit your own proposals.
So I have it from the horse's mouth then. You put out a flawed budget with no real details what so ever, refuse to actually answer any questions on it, and it then shows up in your election manifestos. What a total and farcical waste of our time. Colour me unimpressed.
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Birchington
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(Original post by Saoirse:3)
So I have it from the horse's mouth then. You put out a flawed budget with no real details what so ever, refuse to actually answer any questions on it, and it then shows up in your election manifestos. What a total and farcical waste of our time. Colour me unimpressed.
We have spent a great deal of time and effort to accurately cost our proposals and work out differences between RL and TSR, and we've provided links to prove how we worked these out.

99% of our proposals are properly costed - given the vast differences between TSR and the RL economy, of course some figures are less tight than others. But don't suggest this Budget is fundamentally 'flawed' or 'uncosted' when you know that not to be true.

It's very easy to sit in government and make no effort to write a Budget, like your party did (and the then Lib Dems, I admit), despite having approx. 18 months to do so.

We have put in a great deal of our spare time to write something that will hopefully benefit the HOC community, so please forgive us for 'wasting your time'.
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Cryptographic
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Very nice, well done Birchington.
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Saoirse:3
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(Original post by Birchington)
We have spent a great deal of time and effort to accurately cost our proposals and work out differences between RL and TSR, and we've provided links to prove how we worked these out.

99% of our proposals are properly costed - given the vast differences between TSR and the RL economy, of course some figures are less tight than others. But don't suggest this Budget is fundamentally 'flawed' or 'uncosted' when you know that not to be true.

It's very easy to sit in government and make no effort to write a Budget, like your party did despite having approx. 18 months to do so.

We have put in a great deal of our spare time to write something that will hopefully benefit the HOC community, so please forgive us for 'wasting your time'.
Can you please just explain to me exactly how the idea that you are better off earning £30K than £38K is not flawed? And by the way, I didn't use the word "uncosted", that's one thing I will give this all due credit for. I did however wonder what the point was of saying "We will stop tax avoidance" with zero substance, and then counting revenue from that without actually telling us where it's coming from.

If you've spent a great deal of time on this and we will be seeing these ideas turned into fully-featured Bills then fair play. However, I struggle to see the point of releasing this bare-bones with no structure and no elaboration on points when questioned. What exactly do we gain from this over and above you presenting us with the Bills when they've actually been written? Labour could quite easily release a policy document of what we'd like to do and label it a budget, it's just whether that will actually generate any meaningful debate and be a good use of our and the House's time. This is especially true when it's conveniently timed on the final day of term when you may or may not be in this coalition again, may or may not be in Government and cannot actually release any of this before the next election.
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Cryptographic
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#15
Report 6 years ago
#15
(Original post by Saoirse:3)
Labour could quite easily release a policy document of what we'd like to do and label it a budget,
I suppose so, I've never actually seen a budget written in crayon before.
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That Bearded Man
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#16
Report 6 years ago
#16
Amazing work folks, a fine budget. I disagree with some of your details (such as your increase in fuel duty) but in general this is very impressive.
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barnetlad
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#17
Report 6 years ago
#17
I am supportive of many of the parts of this budget, especially the money for the NHS. I am concerned that local authority freedom to set taxes may be something they are unprepared for and would like it to be introduced in stages. I am as you might expect disappointed you could not provide funding for Ant and Dec Airport in Newcastle or the introduction of the 99p coin.
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MacDaddi
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#18
Report 6 years ago
#18
A fine budget. cOnerning levels of taxation for middle income earners mind you - bur apart from that I like the increases in health, education and research spending.

I would view the RI as a right for residents - rather than something that can be taken away according to income
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PhysicsKid
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#19
Report 6 years ago
#19
Many positives in this Budget, though I am disappointed about a few areas.
1) I think a more graduated tax system is preferable with every £5-10k leading to a few percent increase
2) Resident's income could be reduced to £5k but this should be per person and capped at 4 people per family unit- removing the tax allowance would make up for a large amount of the spending increase, if not exceed it.
3) Isn't an increase from 19.5% to 20% taxation about 2.6% overall? Where does the 5% increase come from?
4) Arguably alcohol and tobacco are narcotics- why not tax them at 20% as well?
5) To prevent over extraction and a more long-term secure supply of oil/gas from the North Sea, I would argue an annual increase in taxation of e.g. 1% should be imposed. For the same reason fuel duty should be increased 1p/litre or so per year. A car renewal scheme and statutory mileage standards would ease the financial burden this may have on households.
6) There is no mention at all of the minimum wage which should be increased to above £7- preferably £7.50ish. This could be staggered across 4 quarters to reduce burden.
7) I still find it astonishing the support for flat tax rates, especially on corporations. Small and micro businesses are going to need support with a hefty minimum wage increase and need the extra competitive edge of a lower tax rate to prevent domination of the markets by the large enterprises in particular. Medium enterprises could well deal with a slightly higher tax than 17%, while the multi-million pound businesses should be taxed well above 20%. If the US can levy successfully at 30%+, why can't the UK levy in the mid-high 20s?
8) The support for business premises should be extended to a major green home modernisation project. Aside from listed, protected or historic homes, all homes built before 2000 will be gradually demolished and re-built to the highest efficiency standards, with complete insulation, underfloor heating, ground/air source heat pumps, efficient triple glazing, and built south-facing where possible, since whole streets would be re-built at once. Not only would this slash energy bills, provide a high level of UK energy independence/resilience, but also it would provide hundreds of thousands of job opportunities every year in the glass, materials, energy, fitting and construction sectors. Furthermore, since the government would provide accomodation for anyone who cannot stay with friends/family for whatever reason, the ailing hospitality sector would be boosted for the foreseeable future. Annual growth/GDP could be boosted several percent by such a move. If the government were to commit £25bn annually, at least 50,000 homes could be re-built each year. Higher commitments could provide an even greater gain; maximising reduced future expenditure and sustained, large-scale economic growth simultaneously.
9) NHS expenditure could do with being higher, perhaps increased to £153bn (+£10bn).
10) With regards to education, I think there should have been a move to cap headteacher salary to £100k and management salary to £50k. Furthermore, textbook prices could have been capped since they are often exorbitant, with minimum quality standards to prevent a dip in quality. These savings in addition to a commitment of around £1bn could cover the cost of setting up and running a national online educational platform which provides courses all the way from Level 1 up to Level 7 (PhDs and the like are heavily research driven so could not be studied for), like the Open University but for free. Removing the barriers to education access would mean a more educated general population and, except for perhaps scientific/practical areas, people would not need to go to university. This would allow tuition fees to be reduced. You would have to take exams at a local exam centre though to ensure authenticity, which is a problem with current distance courses. The fees would be covered as part of the programme. Unfortunately subjects such as David Beckham Studies would not be available
11) The Trident nuclear weapons arsenal could be reduced by say half as a compromise, which would save £48bn over the next 30 years (£1.6bn a year). Since military capacity is needed solely for self-defence and to respond to foreign crises, we could cut back on frontline forces and use these savings to ensure state-of-the-art equipment as standard. Reduced tensions through ending immediately all foreign arms exports would further reduce the risk of over-stretching our military capacity.
12) To supplement renting standards legislation, price controls could have been explored by the government. These would reduce massively housing benefit expenditure, allowing for the 'spare bedroom subsidy' to be repealed whilst enabling higher spending elsewhere. (I'm assuming these 2 exist on TSR).
Overall, I would judge this Budget as good. Major areas have been ignored or neglected by this Budget, which I can understand, but I'd have liked to see action on rents for example. The detailed costing deserves my full praise, however as I've said above, there are many areas that could not get my full or even partial support. If Budgets could be voted upon, I'd have abstained
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Rakas21
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#20
Report 6 years ago
#20
(Original post by PhysicsKid)
Many positives in this Budget, though I am disappointed about a few areas.
1) I think a more graduated tax system is preferable with every £5-10k leading to a few percent increase
2) Resident's income could be reduced to £5k but this should be per person and capped at 4 people per family unit- removing the tax allowance would make up for a large amount of the spending increase, if not exceed it.
3) Isn't an increase from 19.5% to 20% taxation about 2.6% overall? Where does the 5% increase come from?
4) Arguably alcohol and tobacco are narcotics- why not tax them at 20% as well?
5) To prevent over extraction and a more long-term secure supply of oil/gas from the North Sea, I would argue an annual increase in taxation of e.g. 1% should be imposed. For the same reason fuel duty should be increased 1p/litre or so per year. A car renewal scheme and statutory mileage standards would ease the financial burden this may have on households.
6) There is no mention at all of the minimum wage which should be increased to above £7- preferably £7.50ish. This could be staggered across 4 quarters to reduce burden.
7) I still find it astonishing the support for flat tax rates, especially on corporations. Small and micro businesses are going to need support with a hefty minimum wage increase and need the extra competitive edge of a lower tax rate to prevent domination of the markets by the large enterprises in particular. Medium enterprises could well deal with a slightly higher tax than 17%, while the multi-million pound businesses should be taxed well above 20%. If the US can levy successfully at 30%+, why can't the UK levy in the mid-high 20s?
8) The support for business premises should be extended to a major green home modernisation project. Aside from listed, protected or historic homes, all homes built before 2000 will be gradually demolished and re-built to the highest efficiency standards, with complete insulation, underfloor heating, ground/air source heat pumps, efficient triple glazing, and built south-facing where possible, since whole streets would be re-built at once. Not only would this slash energy bills, provide a high level of UK energy independence/resilience, but also it would provide hundreds of thousands of job opportunities every year in the glass, materials, energy, fitting and construction sectors. Furthermore, since the government would provide accomodation for anyone who cannot stay with friends/family for whatever reason, the ailing hospitality sector would be boosted for the foreseeable future. Annual growth/GDP could be boosted several percent by such a move. If the government were to commit £25bn annually, at least 50,000 homes could be re-built each year. Higher commitments could provide an even greater gain; maximising reduced future expenditure and sustained, large-scale economic growth simultaneously.
9) NHS expenditure could do with being higher, perhaps increased to £153bn (+£10bn).
10) With regards to education, I think there should have been a move to cap headteacher salary to £100k and management salary to £50k. Furthermore, textbook prices could have been capped since they are often exorbitant, with minimum quality standards to prevent a dip in quality. These savings in addition to a commitment of around £1bn could cover the cost of setting up and running a national online educational platform which provides courses all the way from Level 1 up to Level 7 (PhDs and the like are heavily research driven so could not be studied for), like the Open University but for free. Removing the barriers to education access would mean a more educated general population and, except for perhaps scientific/practical areas, people would not need to go to university. This would allow tuition fees to be reduced. You would have to take exams at a local exam centre though to ensure authenticity, which is a problem with current distance courses. The fees would be covered as part of the programme. Unfortunately subjects such as David Beckham Studies would not be available
11) The Trident nuclear weapons arsenal could be reduced by say half as a compromise, which would save £48bn over the next 30 years (£1.6bn a year). Since military capacity is needed solely for self-defence and to respond to foreign crises, we could cut back on frontline forces and use these savings to ensure state-of-the-art equipment as standard. Reduced tensions through ending immediately all foreign arms exports would further reduce the risk of over-stretching our military capacity.
12) To supplement renting standards legislation, price controls could have been explored by the government. These would reduce massively housing benefit expenditure, allowing for the 'spare bedroom subsidy' to be repealed whilst enabling higher spending elsewhere. (I'm assuming these 2 exist on TSR).
Overall, I would judge this Budget as good. Major areas have been ignored or neglected by this Budget, which I can understand, but I'd have liked to see action on rents for example. The detailed costing deserves my full praise, however as I've said above, there are many areas that could not get my full or even partial support. If Budgets could be voted upon, I'd have abstained
I'll have to answer this later if Birchington does not while i'm out but i can make two very quick points.

The first is that we would lose revenue regarding alcohol and tobacco if we reduced the tax to 20% and to be frank, i'm not going to encourage people to use these substances by doing so.

The second is that as per B487 trident will not be renewed but the savings do not accrue until 2020.

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