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S33 - Budget for Parliament XXVI watch

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    There now follows the TSR Government's Budget on behalf of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon. Saunders16 MP.

    S33 - Budget Report: Parliament XXVI, TSR Government

    TSR MHoC Budget Report, Spring 2018


    Executive Summary

    Mr. Speaker,

    I present to you what can only be described as something unique. A liberal budget for a liberal government that supports and seeks a fairer country, where everybody - regardless of background - possesses the opportunities and tools necessary to thrive. We provide a unique opportunity to pass a budget that is truly in the national interest.

    The instability caused by the collapse of the previous government has left our precious country in a weaker position than it has seen in many years. It is time to pass a budget that will enact change and this government is strong and unwavering in its fight to provide our economy with much-needed security.

    First and foremost, we have written this budget to take decisive action against the budget deficit. Our rising national debt may not yet be a visible problem, but it is quickly growing to be unsustainable. If we tell our future generations that they can continue spending as lavishly as we have, our economy is doomed to fall to the same fate as many of our neighbours in Europe.

    Austerity measures may hurt in the short-term, but it is the view of this government that we must finally finish what previous governments have started. Consequently, this budget has addressed areas where cuts must be made and where cuts can be withdrawn. Despite austerity, we must not be a country of pessimists. We are beginning to move past these tough years and this budget reflects that by investing in our future, ending the public sector pay freeze and pursuing major tax cuts.

    Secondly, we have written this budget to challenge negative perceptions surrounding Brexit and to generate confidence in our economy. While negotiations may be ongoing, it is our job to show businesses and entrepreneurs from Europe and beyond that we remain one of the best places in the world to invest. By creating a more business-friendly environment, we will prove that our departure from the European Union does not mean we will not remain a thriving country.

    In a post-Brexit Britain, our lives can be even more fulfilling. With the passing of this budget, you will be able to take home more of your wages. With the passing of this budget, the welfare state will finally be tackled. With the passing of this budget, the National Health Insurance Service will care for you. With the passing of this budget, you will be able to live in a better-off country.

    Changes to Taxation

    This government believes we must send a message to the rest of the world that we are open. Many have called Brexit a cliff-edge, where we will descend into a national decline. We believe that will only be the case if the government adopts a similarly pessimistic stance. To this end, we will reform Corporation Tax by returning to a flat rate alongside tax relief for small businesses. Under the new system, businesses due to pay under £10,000 will be exempt from paying tax and businesses due to pay between £10,001 and £50,000 will be able to pay half the flat rate. These changes will cost £0.13 billion.

    Another measure to pursue a country where people’s work is rewarded more effectively is by reforming National Insurance into a Pension Fund. National Insurance has failed to fulfill its purpose, instead being used to raise taxes by stealth. The Pension Fund will be used solely for state pensions. These changes will cost £26.3 billion. To fund National Insurance’s replacement with a Pension Fund, the Personal Allowance for both will be set at £10,165.60.

    The aforementioned changes allow cuts to Income Tax for the working class to become feasible. Before the merge with National Insurance is accounted for, a Working Rate of 15% will be created for those earning up to £20,000 per year. The Basic Rate will cover those earning between £20,001 and £50,000 and the Higher Rate will cover those earning between £50,001 and £140,000. Due to the new Personal Allowance, these changes will generate £8.1 billion.

    The following example of an individual earning £15,000 will show the effect of these reforms:

    £15,000 (Income) - £10,165.60 (Personal Allowance) = £4,834.40 (Taxable Income)
    £4,834.40 (Taxable Income) x 0.15 (Working Rate) = £725.16 (Taxed Income)
    £725.16 (Tax under new Income Tax system) - £630 (Tax under old Income Tax system) = £95.16 (Extra Income Tax)
    £851.45 (Tax under National Insurance System) - £518.49 (Tax under Pension Fund System) = £332.96 (Reduced Pension Fund)
    £332.96 (Reduced Pension Fund) - £95.16 (Extra Income Tax) = £237.80 (Tax reduction)

    Moving on from the big three taxes, Value Added Tax has been addressed by this government as a cause for concern. Ultimately, it is a tax that undermines the progressive nature of Income Tax by hitting the poorest in society the hardest. To challenge this reality, food and drink establishments will be made exempt from Value Added Tax and the Standard Rate will be reduced from 20% to 17.5%. These changes will cost £17.2 billion.

    Land Value Tax was introduced and then repealed, but this government believes that - if implemented correctly - it is a considerably superior method of taxation than that which taxes income and revenue. With the aforementioned tax cuts, we believe it is the appropriate time to reintroduce Land Value Tax at a rate of 5%. This will generate £82.6 billion, which will be used to repeal Business Rates for a cost of £29.5 billion and Council Tax for a cost of £31.3 billion.

    Finally, we wish to go one step further. This government is committed to abolishing Inheritance Tax, which merely serves to harm the families of those who have spent their lives generating wealth to pass on to their relatives. This change will cost £4.8 billion. This is a large set of changes and the focal point of this budget, providing assistance to all sections of our society.

    Department for Education

    To make life easier for university students, we will re-introduce maintenance grants. These changes will cost £3.5 billion. Grammar schools are an effective way to encourage an academic pathway to a traditional higher education setting, and creating grammar schools in areas with low social mobility will be able to support young people onto this pathway if it is right for them.

    The cost will be offset by the expansion of grammar schools being balanced with a reduction in the creation of other schools, with this government’s aim being to have a grammar school in each LEA. The cost of building new schools will be £0.45 billion. Furthermore, this government appreciates that food poverty is a growing issue and that is why we will pursue free school meals for primary school-aged children. This change will cost £0.85 billion.

    Lastly, a voucher system will be created to match the changes to the healthcare system by putting power into the hands of parents, with the spending allocated decided by the schools that parents choose rather than central government. This new formula will allow overall education spending to be reduced by £5.3 billion in FY 2018/19, with an extra 2% allocated towards education every year after that.

    Ministry of Defence and Department for International Development

    In these testing times, it is essential that the defence budget is not seen as something that can be cut. It is pivotal we ensure the safety of the country and the legitimacy of the military. To allow our military to serve as intended, we will ensure it is completely up-to-date by following the real life “Joint Force 2025” scheme. Furthermore, it is necessary that we keep increasing spending by 2% a year in light of current threats.

    Our International Development budget must also be as effective as possible, which is why we will phase the British Peace Corps out over three years, as they fulfil a purpose that supranational organisations do more effectively. The 20% of the budget that funds them will instead be allocated towards more noble causes, with the International Development budget increasing by 2% a year. Put together, these changes will cost £1 billion.

    Department for Work and Pensions

    This government is committed to helping ordinary people. People tend to assume that economic liberalism would entail hardship for the people that drive the economy, but this could not be further from the truth. This government appreciates their hard work, while also wishing to create an easier environment for their employers through tax cuts and other measures to be outlined in this report. We will show this by replacing the outdated welfare state and Universal Credit with a modern welfare state based upon the Negative Income Tax.

    With everyone in the Personal Allowance and Working Rate being eligible for assistance, the Negative Income Tax will cost £41 billion in FY 2023/24, with the changes being phased in over three years. To fund these changes, child benefits, child tax credits and housing benefits will be halved over three years, generating £33.8 billion. An additional £14.5 billion will be generated from the abolition of other benefits over three years. Overall, these changes will generate £7.3 billion in FY 2019/20.

    Other Measures

    This government will move towards a focus on the private sector in healthcare. The cost of these changes will be negligible due to the regulations and provisions surrounding its reform and, consequently, the healthcare budget will be frozen in FY 2019/20, with an extra 2% allocated towards healthcare every year after that.

    This government notes the importance of allocating the correct amount of money towards the Ministry of Justice. For that reason, we will be increasing funding towards the Ministry of Justice by 2% a year to protect the integrity of our justice system. This will cost £0.12 billion. Secondly, we will also be allocating £0.5 billion per year towards a protected legal aid fund.

    This government is aware of the poor morale among public sector workers, with the public sector pay freeze hitting those who dedicate their lives to helping us the hardest. It is estimated that bringing pay in line with inflation will cost £4.1 billion per year. This will be partially funded by the removal of universal Winter Fuel Allowance, which will save the taxpayer approximately £2.1 billion per year.

    The TV license fee is a thorn in the side of those who are already struggling. The taxpayer only raises a small amount of money for the BBC, yet this marks a significant amount of money for those struggling in our society. Therefore, this government will abolish the TV license fee for a cost of £3.7 billion a year. This change will not impact the funding allocated towards the BBC, as it will continue to be funded through general taxation and the budget surplus.

    State of the Public Finances

    Links:

    Calculations
    Costings for Income Tax, NIT and Pension Fund
    Revenue and Projections

    Costings for bills since Great Repeal Bill:

    This includes any bills with a revenue of more than £0.1 billion that are not included in the Revenue and Projections sheet.

    B724: -£3,300,000,000
    B775: -£390,000,000
    B801: £13,040,000,000
    B826: -£1,286,336,000
    B836: -£324,019,000
    B838: -£612,360,000
    B870: -£390,000,000
    B961: £3,300,000,000
    B1072: £117,000,000
    B1076: £912,000,000
    B1078: £683,648,000
    B1088: £108,180,000
    B1123: £24,600,000,000
    B1155: £3,550,000,000
    B1319: -£300,000,000
    Overall: £38,613,113,000

    Current Fiscal Year:

    FY 2019/20 Surplus (real life): -£48,100,000,000
    FY 2019/20 Surplus (real life plus the budget): -£48,100,000,000 + -£13,506,616,000 = -£61,606,616,000
    FY 2019/20 Surplus (including all bills on TSR since the last Great Repeal Bill): -£61,606,616,000 + £38,613,113,000 = -£22,993,503,000

    Budget Surplus/Deficit:

    FY 2019/20 Surplus: -£22,993,503,000
    FY 2020/21 Surplus: -£14,915,215,000
    FY 2021/22 Surplus: -£5,850,564,000
    FY 2022/23 Surplus: £4,262,946,000
    FY 2023/24 Surplus: £15,496,937,000

    Concluding Remarks

    The security of our country can never be certain, but the passing of this budget - at long last - will give us the best chance possible of facing the challenges of the coming years. The real life budget deficit is not a problem on TSR, with the changes proposed by this budget taking into account our national debt and making sure it does not continue to increase like it has done in past years.

    However, we have offered a positive vision. While we have not spent irresponsibly, we are pursuing spending increases after FY 2019/20; the days of constant cuts is in the past and Britain now has an opportunity to be unleashed. The tax cuts seen will ensure that we move towards being more of a meritocracy, with the working class and ‘just about managing’ seeing more of their money come home to use for their families.

    The health budget will increase following the introduction of the National Health Insurance Service, ensuring that it can do its job rather than remain just as unsustainable as the old system. The education budget will increase following the introduction of the voucher system, as our children have not been given the upbringing they deserve. The defence budget will increase over the course of the next five years, because our world is only becoming more dangerous. This is all achieved alongside a budget surplus in FY 2022/23 due to the changes seen in FY 2019/20.

    You will not agree with every part of the budget, as we all have different interests and different ideologies that we adhere to. However, rest assured that this will create a better country for all of us, whether we are on the left or the right of the political spectrum. This is a truly liberal look at society and a hand to all of those who feel marginalised and neglected by Britain. We are proud of this and we ask you to join us in voting for your country. I commend this budget to the house.
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    Aye!
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    A budget in the national interest for working men and women across this country. I'll be proud to walk with my honourable friend the Chancellor and others through the division lobby together when this goes to a vote.
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    Strongly in favour, this is a well thought out, detailed, and heavily ambitious budget made all the more impressive by the fact that we have had less than 2 months in government to produce this.

    Words cannot express the plaudits that I must give to my friend Saunders16.

    And I now call upon EVERY MP in the house to get behind these measures!
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    Frozen healthcare budget in real terms, so more people will die in winter and crises become year-round.
    No extra money for energy efficiency, nor for housing.
    No new investment in transport, especially in the north of England.
    A widely optimistic growth forecast given the uncertainty in the world but particularly the act of economic self-harm that is Brexit.
    Abolishing the TV licence instead of looking at alternative means of funding to lessen the burden if there is any on those on lower incomes (who often are more than happy to spend money on Sky or other subscription services).

    A budget for the House to reject.
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    A strong nay from me ...

    1) Why are we missing around with VAT? Why not just keep it at the current rate?
    2) Land Value Tax of 5% is a bit too much and I don't think it's necessary
    3) Changes to National Insurance and Pensions
    4) FSM for all primary school children - Should only be for those from families with lower income and not made universal.
    5) Maintenance grants are unnecessary as we have maintenance loans
    6) Voucher system for education isn't necessary a good way to improve social mobility
    7) Expansion of grammar schools ONLY ... Why not expand other good/outstanding schools as well? Let's not go down the one-size fits all approach.
    8) Abolishment of council tax is not a good idea - Council tax should ideally be low and should only be risen if the council can justify reasons for doing so, i.e. providing the best possible services for the council such as street cleaning etc.
    9) Nothing at all on the DEFRA brief which is extremely worrying. Is this because nobody is leading environmental policy now that Afcwimbledon2 has defected?!?
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    Flat tax that isn’t really flat
    Getting rid of Council and business rates which fund local councils without dedicating more money to local councils to match it.
    Abolishing inheritance tax, so making the state less egalitarian and telling people that their parents matter to who they are, further entrenching the class system.

    Re-introducing maintainance grants: pointless and stupid, does nothing except for the most well off graduates who don’t need the money anyway.
    Education voucher system: You are just taking money away from the state to put it in the hands of private businesses. Utterly pointless and stupid.

    Getting rid of the peace corps, stupid.

    Cutting benefits and a negative income tax is a nay

    Freezing the healthcare budget?! That’s stupid and will not do anything but make the health of this nation worse.

    And cutting the TV licence is also stupid and risks affecting the money the BBC gets if it is too critical of a government in future, also the TV licence funds the emergency communications network in the U.K., will this be protected?

    All in all this is a budget for the rich and well off, it ravages the services the working among us so desperately rely on, the NHS and local government, whilst simultaneously cutting the tax the wealthy pay and makes life easier for them by giving them money off of private education and helping them to keep their children rich.

    I urge the house to reject this monstrosity of a budget and end this government.
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    I disagree with quite a lot of things in this Budget, including the existence of the waffle and soundbites at the end of it. I'll air my criticisms later.
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    Real-terms cuts to an NHS that is under more pressure than at any other time since its inception is utterly preposterous.
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    (Original post by Saoirse:3)
    Real-terms cuts to an NHS that is under more pressure than at any other time since its inception is utterly preposterous.
    The NHS won't really exist. If that's your only criticism then I look forward to voting Aye with you on this in division.
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    Ideologically questionable ‘conservatives’ out in force opposing our historic TAX CUTS and overall reduction in spending.

    But remember! They’re an economically liberal party everyone!
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    (Original post by CoffeeAndPolitics)
    A strong nay from me ...

    1) Why are we missing around with VAT? Why not just keep it at the current rate?
    2) Land Value Tax of 5% is a bit too much and I don't think it's necessary
    3) Changes to National Insurance and Pensions
    4) FSM for all primary school children - Should only be for those from families with lower income and not made universal.
    5) Maintenance grants are unnecessary as we have maintenance loans
    6) Voucher system for education isn't necessary a good way to improve social mobility
    7) Expansion of grammar schools ONLY ... Why not expand other good/outstanding schools as well? Let's not go down the one-size fits all approach.
    8) Abolishment of council tax is not a good idea - Council tax should ideally be low and should only be risen if the council can justify reasons for doing so, i.e. providing the best possible services for the council such as street cleaning etc.
    9) Nothing at all on the DEFRA brief which is extremely worrying. Is this because nobody is leading environmental policy now that Afcwimbledon2 has defected?!?
    I'm going to let Saunders deal with most of this, but I wanted to make a point on VAT.

    It is such a regressive tax, hitting the poorest the hardest, and it's absolutely right that we lift that burden off of those most vulnerable in our society.
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    (Original post by CoffeeAndPolitics)
    A strong nay from me ...

    1) Why are we missing around with VAT? Why not just keep it at the current rate?
    2) Land Value Tax of 5% is a bit too much and I don't think it's necessary
    3) Changes to National Insurance and Pensions
    4) FSM for all primary school children - Should only be for those from families with lower income and not made universal.
    5) Maintenance grants are unnecessary as we have maintenance loans
    6) Voucher system for education isn't necessary a good way to improve social mobility
    7) Expansion of grammar schools ONLY ... Why not expand other good/outstanding schools as well? Let's not go down the one-size fits all approach.
    8) Abolishment of council tax is not a good idea - Council tax should ideally be low and should only be risen if the council can justify reasons for doing so, i.e. providing the best possible services for the council such as street cleaning etc.
    9) Nothing at all on the DEFRA brief which is extremely worrying. Is this because nobody is leading environmental policy now that Afcwimbledon2 has defected?!?
    1) I was not aware you were against giving tax breaks to the people who need it, but fair enough that is your choice.
    2) It is replacing other taxes, its not a "new" tax in the fact it is adding onto the burden of people
    3) Why?
    4) The first actual "valid" criticism of the budget, even if I disagree with it strongly.
    5) Giving relief to students to avoid them paying back a lot of money, what is wrong with that?
    6) Why?
    7) We are not, other schools are already able to expand we are not stopping 100% those schools expanding.
    8) Council tax is being replaced by a LVT - the money is still being given to councils to do those sort of things.
    9) PetrosAC can confirm DEFRA is not being abandoned. There are lots not mentioned in the budget which will be mentioned in other places.
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    (Original post by Conceited)
    The NHS won't really exist. If that's your only criticism then I look forward to voting Aye with you on this in division.
    You know it’s not right wing to abolish the NHS it’s just idiocy but I don’t expect more from this government.
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    It is a shame to see a Tory opposing tax cuts, but maybe that is the new brand of Conservatives which we will see in the future.

    CoffeeAndPolitics - Will you be asking your manifesto to include a commitment to raise VAT at the next election if we lower it in a bill?
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    (Original post by Aph)
    You know it’s not right wing to abolish the NHS it’s just idiocy but I don’t expect more from this government.
    Surely the priority has to be providing free at the point of use, universal healthcare that is of as high a quality as possible, rather than sticking to an outdated, romantic attachment to the NHS as we know it?
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    (Original post by PetrosAC)
    Surely the priority has to be providing free at the point of use, universal healthcare that is of as high a quality as possible, rather than sticking to an outdated, romantic attachment to the NHS as we know it?
    By freezing the health budget?
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    (Original post by Aph)
    By freezing the health budget?
    Throwing money at the NHS does not solve anything. Making healthcare much more efficient, with a variety of providers, at no cost to citizens, does.
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    First, I appreciate the effort and hard work that my right honourable friend the chancellor has put into this budget and all the government minsters that assisted with it’s creation.

    Business Tax

    I welcome this move by the government to introduce a flat rate of taxation for our great British businesses. However, can the chancellor give us more details on how often business rate re-valuations will take place to ensure that corporations are paying what they should be?

    Income and NI

    Again, a tax cut is always welcome from my end. Can the chancellor tell me what the rate for the new pension contribution will be? How much will the employee have to put in the pot as it were? furthermore I assume the higher rate of income tax will remain unchanged?

    VAT / LVT

    As much as I agree with a reduction in value added tax I would have hoped the government would have gone further and completely abolished VAT and duties on alcohol, fuel and tobacco. The institute for economic affairs reported that the average person could be over £1000 a year if the “sin taxes” are abolished. I do understand that it is difficult to abolish VAT under EU law however once we have left this is something to consider.

    I am against a land value tax, Advocates of a land value tax emphasize its efficiency, but efficiency isn’t the only thing that matters for tax policy. Fairness is also important. Similarly-situated individuals should pay similar taxes. A high land value tax fails this test, imposing potentially ruinous taxes on those who have chosen to invest their savings in real estate for the benefit of those who have invested in stocks or bonds.

    while the land value tax is paid over time, the burden of the tax falls entirely on the person who owned property at the time the tax was instituted. The value of future taxes gets immediately priced into the value of real estate. For those who buy property after the tax is instituted, the higher property taxes are offset by lower mortgage payments.

    Education

    Not much to say, I welcome the return of maintenance grants.

    Defence, Foreign Aid

    I welcome the commit (As stated in the MOD SOI) to 2% funding commitment however as I’ve already stated it’s a floor not a ceiling.

    DWP

    I welcome the reduction to reducing benefit payments

    NHIS

    I finally welcome the commitment to reforming healthcare and see an NHIS as a compromise between keeping a universal healthcare system and privatisation.
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    I'll be honest, when the idea of going into government with the Libertarians was first floated, I was hesitant almost purely because of what I feared it meant for this day. Would Libertarian control of the Treasury yield an ideological budget that was decimating to the poor, like the one I delivered nearly six years ago when I myself was on the libertarian-right rather than the centre-left? I am pleased to see my fears were misplaced. Saunders has done a great job on this and has been pragmatic throughout the whole process. This is not some right-wing wet dream, and instead includes a lot of really progressive policies which I am proud of.

    There are some really good measures in here like our commitment to cut VAT to pre-2010 levels, a tax that hits the poor the hardest and harms growth. I was hesitant about the reduction in personal allowance, but consider it in isolation with our VAT and License Fee changes alone and someone on £11850 is better off. I am also pleased with the expansion of LVT, which is not only one of the most efficient taxes with some nice economic side-effects like the disincentivisaiton of land-hoarding, but is also thoroughly progressive since the majority of land ownership sits with the rich.

    On the subject of the license fee, I love the BBC and think a corporation that can take risks and deliver culturally significant programming (e.g. 6 Music) in a time of mass produced trash is deeply important. So I'm very comforted by the fact that we're able to save people £150 a year whilst still ensuring the BBC stays fully-funded and without commercial interests to destroy its character.

    I am also pleased that we are finally ending the injustice of the public sector pay cap, and helping businesses in difficult times by doing away with the very outdated and pretty damaging business rates.
 
 
 
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