UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Zamfir » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:05 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:Corporation's post-tax take-home income, generally called profits, is generally spent on capital accumulation, particularly the expansion of that business. Moving that money from corporations / investors to the poor is very unlikely to result in increased capital accumulation. Note also that taxes on corporate profits make successful businesses worse-off, but do not make unsuccessful businesses worse-off. They're profit taxes, not revenue taxes. The higher corporate taxes are, the smaller the edge successful businesses have on unsuccessful businesses; leading to lower gains in allocation (where an expanding good business is able to eat market share of a stagnant bad business).


Tax systems have entire systems of deductions for reinvested profits. Capital expenditures, takeovers and reorganizations for example are deductable expenses. That's of course a major reason for creative bookkeeping, but the general principle works fairly well. If you use profits to expand a business, it's not taxed as profit.

EDIT> That doesn't mean corporate taxes are that brilliant, just that their problems are more subtle. The complexity itself can easily become a problem.

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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Vaniver » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:49 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Tax systems have entire systems of deductions for reinvested profits. Capital expenditures, takeovers and reorganizations for example are deductable expenses. That's of course a major reason for creative bookkeeping, but the general principle works fairly well. If you use profits to expand a business, it's not taxed as profit.

EDIT> That doesn't mean corporate taxes are that brilliant, just that their problems are more subtle. The complexity itself can easily become a problem.
A valuable correction, but while that works for capital accumulation in that business it still runs into problems when you look at capital accumulation and allocation as a whole (because you get inefficiency from overinvesting in that business rather than disbursing capital to investors due to taxes on the second being higher).
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Game_boy » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:35 pm UTC

VAT is not regressive, because the 'basics' that poorer families would spend most of their money on are exempt. If anything, VAT is a luxury tax.

Exempt: Food, water, sewerage, books, children's clothes, insurance
Rate reduced to 5%: Electricity, gas

During the boom, many children I know through school whose families are on benefits and have sufficient children to get a free house and significant child benefit could afford flat-screen TVs and multiple holidays a year. That is beyond the country's means to support now; those things should only now be afforded by those who work. For all the basics, the VAT rise won't affect them.

And the revenue was extremely necessary. The choice was more cuts (on top of the 25% on most departments) or more income tax rises than there's already been.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Griffin » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:56 pm UTC

Oddly enough, here in New Hampshire the ONLY sales tax is on food. I never understood how they justified that one.

Back to Britain, I don't think this is all around a bad thing. Its good to see governments taking some fiscal responsibility - now I'd just like to see them use the money responsibly (like paying off that debt) and not use it to find new ways to enrich their corporate sponsors.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:11 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:VAT-chargeable goods will cost about 2.1% more than they did before. £200 divided by 0.021 is about £9500. In other words, you'd need to be spending more than £790 per month on VAT-chargeable goods to be worse off under the new rules. I'm as middle class as they come, and I don't spend nearly that much on VAT-chargeable things. Someone with less income than me will spend even less.

Obviously I'm not taking into account benefit freezes and the like because I haven't the foggiest idea how they work.


The two groups who will be hit hardest by this are students and the unemployed, both are ineligable to pay tax meaning they don't benefit from the increase in personal allowance, and both have an income which is fixed, minimal, and dictated by the government. I find it ironic for these two groups to be lumped together somehow.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Vaniver » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:16 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:The two groups who will be hit hardest by this are students and the unemployed, both are ineligable to pay tax meaning they don't benefit from the increase in personal allowance, and both have an income which is fixed, minimal, and dictated by the government. I find it ironic for these two groups to be lumped together somehow.
Why? Half of them are jobless and seeking degrees, while the other half are jobless and seeking jobs (since I'm assuming you're not counting students with jobs among the fixed-income students).
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby ian » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:17 pm UTC

You could do though, as students with jobs are unlikely to be anywhere near earning the old personal allowance anyway.

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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby ianf » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:16 pm UTC

Game_boy wrote:VAT is not regressive, because the 'basics' that poorer families would spend most of their money on are exempt. If anything, VAT is a luxury tax.

Exempt: Food, water, sewerage, books, children's clothes, insurance
Rate reduced to 5%: Electricity, gas


It's easy to pick things like this, but plenty of non luxury items have full VAT on them. Things like fridges, cookers and petrol.

The priorities also need updating. In the 70's, books and newspapers being made exempt was sensible and fair. But the purpose behind this (presumably access to knowledge and awareness of world events) has moved away from those channels to TV and the Internet. A family with a child at school who does not have access to the Internet will find it difficult to compete at school. So I would argue that some things labelled as luxuries (like computers and internet access) are closer to necessities.

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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby bigglesworth » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:18 pm UTC

The book exemption helps the educated middle class the most.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby casiguapa » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:07 pm UTC

I've seen comparisons between the UK and Greece in this thread which is my cue to leave. Still can't believe people are buying that bullshit. The UK debt is nothing, I repeat nothing, like the Greek problem. To say otherwise is just completely disingenuous and downright scaremongering.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Game_boy » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:57 pm UTC

@casiguapa

We're not about to collapse, no, but the debt does need to be paid off and Labour's excessive and wasteful spending does need to be reigned in. Having the budget deficit so high is worse than the debt.

Maybe VAT should cover internet access and certain appliances. Agreed. But +2.5% on all purchases is going to be offset, for the very poorest, by the increase in tax-free allowance to £10,000 anyway. And if the poor are still hit by the measures? So is everyone else, about the same. The budget does not penalise the poor more than anyone else.

But what I really hate, the most, was seeing families on benefits able to afford what our family couldn't on £50000 total earnings from actually working (holidays, TVs, new cars every year) , because they had i) more children, ii) their house paid, free school meals, parents were divorced so the child's mother got tax credits / child got £30/week EMA while the father still earned enough to pay for anything anyway and iii) didn't have to save up £55k+ to pay for university expenses like we did, because the money was given to them by the government.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Dream » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:58 pm UTC

Game_boy wrote:VAT is not regressive, because the 'basics' that poorer families would spend most of their money on are exempt. If anything, VAT is a luxury tax.

VAT is regressive because it is levied on whatever wealthy people choose to spend rather than save or invest, while being levied on 100%* of a poor person's income. As long as there is a gap between those who choose to spend their income, and those who must spend it, VAT will be regressive.

*ish. I know.
Labour's excessive and wasteful spending does need to be reigned in. Having the budget deficit so high is worse than the debt.

So, if it's all the fault of Labour's overspending and waste, why not limit the cuts to wasteful spending by the previous government? Link all cuts directly to clearly wasteful spending that is part of the problem. Of course, it wasn't just Labour's profligacy, and it isn't just a benevolent Conservative government trying to undo the damage. It's Osborne diving into the budget like he's been lost in the desert and just found a swimming pool.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Game_boy » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:00 pm UTC

Dream wrote:
Game_boy wrote:VAT is not regressive, because the 'basics' that poorer families would spend most of their money on are exempt. If anything, VAT is a luxury tax.

VAT is regressive because it is levied on whatever wealthy people choose to spend rather than save or invest, while being levied on 100%* of a poor person's income. As long as there is a gap between those who choose to spend their income, and those who must spend it, VAT will be regressive.

*ish. I know.


And the effect is offset for the poorest by the tax-free allowance increase, isn't it?

I believe also that poor families could afford too much for their income during the boom, because the level of redistribution via tax credits and benefits under Labour was so high. This is a correction.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Dream » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:03 pm UTC

How is it possible to be able to "afford too much for your income"? That's absurd. If you're talking about too much credit, then you're blaming the banks, not Labour.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:09 pm UTC

Looks like he was just referring to how welfare benefits afforded a much higher standard of living then the gov't should by his standards, so he feels that lowering it wouldn't be horrid.

Although, I'm not sure if Game_boy's logic quite works - I'm not horribly familiar with the intricacies of British welfare, but if benefits are distributed as a mix of goods and money payments, then those on government assistance will ultimately be less impacted by families like his that had no such aid even if before they had comparable purchasing power.

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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:28 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:The two groups who will be hit hardest by this are students and the unemployed, both are ineligable to pay tax meaning they don't benefit from the increase in personal allowance, and both have an income which is fixed, minimal, and dictated by the government. I find it ironic for these two groups to be lumped together somehow.
Why? Half of them are jobless and seeking degrees, while the other half are jobless and seeking jobs (since I'm assuming you're not counting students with jobs among the fixed-income students).


I would argue that far far less than half are jobless and seeking work, rather than seeking to eak out a living on benefits. This is tangential but I'm sure benefit reform to further decrease abuse of the system would save more than most tax hikes could.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby casiguapa » Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:19 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:I would argue that far far less than half are jobless and seeking work, rather than seeking to eak out a living on benefits.

Not this bullshit again.
poverty.org wrote:The most commonly used threshold of low income is a household income that is 60% or less of the average (median) British household income in that year. For a discussion of why this is the most commonly used threshold, see the page on choices of low-income thresholds. The latest year for which data is available is 2007/08. In that year, the 60% threshold was worth: £115 per week for single adult with no dependent children; £199 per week for a couple with no dependent children; £195 per week for a single adult with two dependent children under 14; and £279 per week for a couple with two dependent children under 14. These sums of money are measured after income tax, council tax and housing costs have been deducted, where housing costs include rents, mortgage interest (but not the repayment of principal), buildings insurance and water charges. They therefore represent what the household has available to spend on everything else it needs, from food and heating to travel and entertainment.1


Someone on Jobseekers doesn't even have £115 a fortnight before rent let alone £115 a week disposable income, so how exactly are they seeing to eke out a living unless you're about to tell me that living under the poverty line.

In fact, working or not, 22% of the population live below the low income threshold. That's just over 1 in 5.

Whilst people may well be working the system, they are a very small minority and should in no way form the logic behind measures that will greatly hamper the others.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby bigglesworth » Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:22 pm UTC

In any case, where are these jobs going to come from?
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Game_boy » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:12 pm UTC

Dream wrote:How is it possible to be able to "afford too much for your income"? That's absurd. If you're talking about too much credit, then you're blaming the banks, not Labour.


No, not credit. I meant that unemployment benefits + tax credits + child benefit added up to a lot more than a basic living wage. Thus poorer people could afford many things that they wouldn't normally. This was paid for through unsustainable levels of government borrowing, and by taxing the middle classes (defined as those who earn too much to qualify for tax credits et cetera).

What it shouldbe is:

- Unemployed; you get enough to live on and no more so there's an incentive to go to work
- Low income; you afford X amount of goods
- Higher income; you afford more than X amount of goods

What is is (was):

- Unemployed, low or high income; you can afford more than X amount of goods

Because of the redistribution via taxes and benefits. I agree with welfare, but not to the point where an unemployed family (and it has to be family, so the child and housing benefits are large) can afford as much as a higher-income family. Then there's no incentive to work and government spending is too high to support that too.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Dream » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:21 pm UTC

Game_boy wrote:I meant that unemployment benefits + tax credits + child benefit added up to a lot more than a basic living wage.

Do you have any figures to back that up? Do you have any studies that factor in the basic human desire for more than one currently possesses? There's a Nobel Prize in it for you if you can demonstrate that your "X" amount of things is significant enough to affect human behaviour on a large scale.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Vaniver » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:23 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:I would argue that far far less than half are jobless and seeking work, rather than seeking to eak out a living on benefits. This is tangential but I'm sure benefit reform to further decrease abuse of the system would save more than most tax hikes could.
It should have been clear from the context that "half" referred to half of the two groups- i.e., one half is students and the other half is the unemployed- rather than the unsupported claim that the number of students and number of unemployed are the same.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby casiguapa » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:47 pm UTC

Game_boy wrote:
Dream wrote:How is it possible to be able to "afford too much for your income"? That's absurd. If you're talking about too much credit, then you're blaming the banks, not Labour.


No, not credit. I meant that unemployment benefits + tax credits + child benefit added up to a lot more than a basic living wage. Thus poorer people could afford many things that they wouldn't normally. This was paid for through unsustainable levels of government borrowing, and by taxing the middle classes (defined as those who earn too much to qualify for tax credits et cetera).

What it shouldbe is:

- Unemployed; you get enough to live on and no more so there's an incentive to go to work
- Low income; you afford X amount of goods
- Higher income; you afford more than X amount of goods

What is is (was):

- Unemployed, low or high income; you can afford more than X amount of goods

Because of the redistribution via taxes and benefits. I agree with welfare, but not to the point where an unemployed family (and it has to be family, so the child and housing benefits are large) can afford as much as a higher-income family. Then there's no incentive to work and government spending is too high to support that too.


someone in receipt of unemployment benefits is not necessarily receiving tax credits and child benefit. That's because, SHOCK HORROR, not everyone who is unemployed is a jobless mother of 4.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Dream » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:02 pm UTC

casiguapa wrote:someone in receipt of unemployment benefits is not necessarily receiving tax credits and child benefit. That's because, SHOCK HORROR, not everyone who is unemployed is a jobless mother of 4.

You still don't understand how this all happened. The Labour Government gave £147bn to a single mother in Birmingham. She used that money to get a loan off Northern Rock to buy a massive telly and and a set of 22 inch rims for her four baby pram. Northern Rock traded that loan to an American bank for a mortgage on a weatherboard shack in rural Tennessee who's owner turned out to be fifty million low income families, and it had a leaky roof. The families refused to pay for it, so I lost my job in Australia.

God, get some perspective, we're all in this together you know.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby hoot the mottle » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:04 pm UTC

Don't forget the £20bn housing benefit bill that pushed up tax, inflation, interest rates and house prices at various times.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby casiguapa » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:19 pm UTC

Dream wrote:
casiguapa wrote:someone in receipt of unemployment benefits is not necessarily receiving tax credits and child benefit. That's because, SHOCK HORROR, not everyone who is unemployed is a jobless mother of 4.

You still don't understand how this all happened. The Labour Government gave £147bn to a single mother in Birmingham. She used that money to get a loan off Northern Rock to buy a massive telly and and a set of 22 inch rims for her four baby pram. Northern Rock traded that loan to an American bank for a mortgage on a weatherboard shack in rural Tennessee who's owner turned out to be fifty million low income families, and it had a leaky roof. The families refused to pay for it, so I lost my job in Australia.

God, get some perspective, we're all in this together you know.

I heard that benefit scrounger used her benefits money to buy herself a ticket to the World Cup as well. That bitch.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Dream » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:21 pm UTC

She bought a vuvuzela too.

And she scripted a press conference for John Terry.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:25 pm UTC

casiguapa wrote:Whilst people may well be working the system, they are a very small minority and should in no way form the logic behind measures that will greatly hamper the others.


I grew up in an area which has a significant problem with people playing the benefits system, I've seen enough of it to believe it's more widespread than you think.

And before you go telling me about how hard it is to live on benefits whilst playing the world's tiniest state funded violin:- From the age of 11-13 my dad was on jobseekers allowance, there aren't many openings for HR professionals who's whole career has been based in the Timber Trades and who aren't in a position to move round the country (he eventually found a job in london which was willing to give him an allowance to live there during the week and travel home, which was by that stage a perfectly acceptable, but unpleasant compromse), so he occasionally suplimented his jobseekers with a variety of small temp jobs, religiously declared them and from time to time lost his allowance when he went over the maximum income for a particular time.

I know it's damn hard to live on jobseekers allowance, but it's very much possible to do so and like most austerity it gets easier the longer one does it, If we managed to support 3 people (whilst the payment protection insurance paid the mortgage) then I don't doubt that someone who is provided with dss housing benefit and basic jobseekers allowance could live just fine (I'm not about to claim they could do so in any great degree of comfort; but certainly plenty can and do live without working, which as the name of the allowance betrays isn't really the intention, if it was it would be the "working people support the very lazy in just about surviving alowance").
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby casiguapa » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:14 am UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:And before you go telling me about how hard it is to live on benefits whilst playing the world's tiniest state funded violin
said before playing the world's tiniest formerly state funded violin.

Great, you managed to support 3 people on JSA whilst payment protection insurance paid the mortgage. How about we stop and think about the fact that a) you HAD a mortgage, which meant you owned property which guess what? a lot of people on JSA can only dream of doing. and b)your mortgage payments didn't come out of your JSA, whereas most people who claim have to pay their rent with that money.

In fact, nothing you wrote disproves anything that I said. Whilst there are some people who play the system, they are not the majority and making up legislating which is formed on the basis that they are the majority, is the worst form of labelling and social exclusion there is. It's not only regressive, it's downright class warfare.

Not everybody who lives off the state wants to do so for the rest of their lives and the ones that do are a tiny minority of claimants. I don't know how many spokespeople, ex-claimants and charities have to beat people over the head with this statement before people get it: BEFENIT SCROUNGES ARE NOT THE STATUS QUO OF WELFARE CLAIMANTS. Punishing 80% to deal with 20% is frankly inexcusable. Especially when you're not even looking at the reason WHY there's 20% of people working the system, and the answer isn't just "because they're feckless jobshy scroungers"
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Vaniver » Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:08 am UTC

casiguapa wrote:said before playing the world's tiniest formerly state funded violin.
Is "when my family was on benefits they were more than sufficient" worse than "I've never been on benefits, so clearly they're more than sufficient"? I mean, my primary experience with food stamps in America is when my roommate got enough food for the three men in their 20s on money that was supposed to go towards feeding one person. Does that make it more or less credible when I say that food stamps might be higher than necessary?

casiguapa wrote:How about we stop and think about the fact that a) you HAD a mortgage, which meant you owned property which guess what? a lot of people on JSA can only dream of doing.
In America in 2007, 43% of Americans classified as poor owned their home. I'm not sure how the American poverty line compares to British JSA recipients, but it's somewhat bizarre to see you making the opposite generalizations while lambasting him for making generalizations.

casiguapa wrote:Whilst there are some people who play the system, they are not the majority and making up legislating which is formed on the basis that they are the majority, is the worst form of labelling and social exclusion there is. It's not only regressive, it's downright class warfare.
Do you have numbers on this? Because most of the people I've read that have collected numbers for America suggest that it is the majority of people that game the system by not reporting income or other methods. And when you move from "who is cheating welfare" to "how comfortable is it to live off of welfare," the answer is, for America at least, "not as bad as it looks at first glance."
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby redgrowth » Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:34 am UTC

Sorry if this has been said, it's a long thread. Politicians need to take econ 101 and realize that raising taxes does not necessarily increase revenue. Politicians frequently misestimate budgets by assuming that people will keep buying the same amount of goods but at a higher price. This is not the case.

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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:42 am UTC

casiguapa wrote:Great, you managed to support 3 people on JSA whilst payment protection insurance paid the mortgage. How about we stop and think about the fact that a) you HAD a mortgage, which meant you owned property which guess what? a lot of people on JSA can only dream of doing. and b)your mortgage payments didn't come out of your JSA, whereas most people who claim have to pay their rent with that money.


No, No they don't have to pay their rent out of it; I severely doubt it would be possible to pay rent on the vast majority of properties, and pay for services, and eat on the amount that's given as JSA, especially JSA(B) which is less than the amount shown in the DirectGov figures.

Not everybody who lives off the state wants to do so for the rest of their lives and the ones that do are a tiny minority of claimants. I don't know how many spokespeople, ex-claimants and charities have to beat people over the head with this statement before people get it: BEFENIT SCROUNGES ARE NOT THE STATUS QUO OF WELFARE CLAIMANTS. Punishing 80% to deal with 20% is frankly inexcusable. Especially when you're not even looking at the reason WHY there's 20% of people working the system, and the answer isn't just "because they're feckless jobshy scroungers"

I'm aware of this, but don't you think that 20% of claimants being paid "jobseekers" to not seek works is excessive? (TBH I figured you pulled the figure out your arse for illustrative purposes, but let's run with it) because I would certainly say so. As for looking at the reasons that this 20% of people don't work, then if it's not a desire not to work, what is it? Being simultaniously too stupid to be employable and having never had a single claims officer notice and refer them to long term sick or disablity support? Lack of skills and education, there are plenty of grants and free courses for that, for everything from basic adult literacy to diploma and degree level qualifications. How about substance dependance, that's probably not going to help with interviews? the list could go on and on, but support exists for most of the plausible reasons, If people want it enough to go and get it.

I'm sure this will put people up in arms, but why actually pay jobseekers allowance to the 20% who don't seek work? I'm sure it would place them in a precarious position, but that is the position they'd have been in under the original welfare state (if they attended a labour exchange, were sent to interview and offered the job, benefit was terminated regardless of whether they took the job. Equally failure to attend interview or consitantly applying for jobs which would be unfeasible also resulted in termination of benefit).
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby hoot the mottle » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:03 am UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:No, No they don't have to pay their rent out of it; I severely doubt it would be possible to pay rent on the vast majority of properties, and pay for services, and eat on the amount that's given as JSA, especially JSA(B) which is less than the amount shown in the DirectGov figures.


Yes and you can claim Housing Benefit even if you aren't on JSA, if you are on low income it is sufficient. Hence the £20bn bill for it.

TheKrikkitWars wrote:As for looking at the reasons that this 20% of people don't work, then if it's not a desire not to work, what is it? Being simultaniously too stupid to be employable and having never had a single claims officer notice and refer them to long term sick or disablity support? Lack of skills and education, there are plenty of grants and free courses for that, for everything from basic adult literacy to diploma and degree level qualifications. How about substance dependance, that's probably not going to help with interviews? the list could go on and on, but support exists for most of the plausible reasons, If people want it enough to go and get it.

There are jobs available if you want them. I've seen plenty of people with Down's Syndrome working in McDonalds, newsagents and supermarket counters. By my reckoning that means the vast majority of unemployed could get jobs if they want them and aren't too choosy.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Dream » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:47 am UTC

hoot the mottle wrote:There are jobs available if you want them. I've seen plenty of people with Down's Syndrome working in McDonalds, newsagents and supermarket counters. By my reckoning that means the vast majority of unemployed could get jobs if they want them and aren't too choosy.

I'm sure I'd be banned for reacting to this the way it should be.

People with disabilities do not carry the stigma of being unemployed. They also receive a great deal of support that allows them to do the jobs they do. So it's not the same thing, and you;re an idiot for thinking along these lines.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Felstaff » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:00 am UTC

Dream wrote:I'm sure I'd be banned for reacting to this the way it should be.

No no, be my guest. It was an ignorant remark made by an ignoramus who equates disability with inferiority. Then again, I've seen people with Downs Syndrome post on forums, so by my reckoning it's only reasonable to assume that the vast majority of lazy, ignorant people can too.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:12 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
casiguapa wrote:said before playing the world's tiniest formerly state funded violin.
Is "when my family was on benefits they were just about sufficent so long as we were inside the grace period afforded by the insurance (Housing benefit will pay morgatge interest, our morgatage required a minimum amount of capital repayment per year)" worse than "I've never been on benefits, so clearly they're more than sufficient"? I mean, my primary experience with food stamps in America is when my roommate got enough food for the three men in their 20s on money that was supposed to go towards feeding one person. Does that make it more or less credible when I say that food stamps might be higher than necessary?


Thanks for that Vaniver, clearly I'm not deluding myself about the relevance of my childhood experience.

As for the jobs if you want them argument, it's true to an extent (there are plenty of jobs available which many unemployed people are unprepared to take). But there are plenty of people who are unemployable without making a signigficant change in their life and plenty of people who can't afford to go into a job because of the added costs of things like childcare which they otherwise wouldn't require decreasing their net income to near nil, even if their gross income would be higher than benefits.

I agree with Dream on the issue of the mentally handicapped working, their employers recieve substantial subsidies and/or direct support to make it possible, with the long term goal that once trained and comfortable in the environment the support can be scaled back to leave the person capable of having some degree of independence, as befits any adult. If every jobseeker was given that level of support regardless of actual need, I'm sure the unemployment level would be as low as possible, but we really would be heamoraging money as a country.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Dream » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:17 am UTC

Can we please not have a debate about what disabled people being able to work means for able unemployed people?
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:24 am UTC

Dream wrote:Can we please not have a debate about what disabled people being able to work means for able unemployed people?


That's probably best. Fellstaff would you please be so kind as to provide some red text to that effect?

Indeed - the disability/unemployment equation is at best ridiculous and worst downright offensive. Further discussion on this line = deletion & warnings ("Twofer").

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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby casiguapa » Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:40 am UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:No, No they don't have to pay their rent out of it; I severely doubt it would be possible to pay rent on the vast majority of properties, and pay for services, and eat on the amount that's given as JSA, especially JSA(B) which is less than the amount shown in the DirectGov figures.


YES. YES THEY DO. whether it's £5 or £16, Housing benefit does not cover 100% of your rent because things such as water rates and central heating and hot water which are always included in council rent prices are ineligible for Housing Benefit. How do I know this? When I was unemployed I had to pay it. My rent was £95.76 and my Housing Benefit was £79.40 leaving me to pay £16.36 a week from £50 because my rent includes central heating and hot water and water rates. A friend of mine only pays £5 because her rent DOESN'T include hot water and central heating. Some pay nothing at all because they're in temporary accommodation which means they can't settle down in any community for long before they're moved on.

So your severe doubt is pointless because it's the reality of a lot of claimants.

To compare food stamps with JSA is illogical. There's a reason JSA is paid in monetary terms and not stamps because stamps breeds the unemployed as "second-class citizens" and breeds shame, which a lot of people already feel when claiming JSA. Food stamps would just be the equivalent of putting a "HEY I'M POOR/BROKE/DEPENDENT ON THE STATE, FEEL FREE TO JUDGE ME WHILST YOU SERVE ME" sign on them.

where exactly are all these jobs these unemployed people are supposed to be getting coming from? Or are you saying that because they're unemployed they should work menial jobs that require more hours per week and less money per month whilst making them economically worse off?

Did you know the cut-off point for Housing Benefit and Council Tax is £16,000? Did you know that someone on JSA who pays £16.36 rent would have to be earning a minimum of £19,650 in order to pay the same percentage of income on rent?

JSA claims for one person is not the same as that of a family. Your case has a dependent involved, there is no way your dad was supporting the family on a single persons JSA. If he was, then he was claiming incorrectly. Joint claims are worth twice the single rate i.e £100 instead of £50 a week. If he was a single parent then he would've been put on income support and not JSA depending on your age at the time of redundancy which would mean that he wouldn't have had to consistently prove he was seeking work as he would've been exempt from that. Lastly it's absolutely no good comparing the cost of living in the early 90s to the cost of living in 2010. It's also no good ignoring that these changes will hit those who live in cities the hardest and they tend to have higher living costs than those in rural areas as it is.
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:10 pm UTC

casiguapa wrote:YES. YES THEY DO. whether it's £5 or £16, Housing benefit does not cover 100% of your rent because things such as water rates and central heating and hot water which are always included in council rent prices are ineligible for Housing Benefit. How do I know this? When I was unemployed I had to pay it. My rent was £95.76 and my Housing Benefit was £79.40 leaving me to pay £16.36 a week from £50 because my rent includes central heating and hot water and water rates. A friend of mine only pays £5 because her rent DOESN'T include hot water and central heating. Some pay nothing at all because they're in temporary accommodation which means they can't settle down in any community for long before they're moved on.

So your severe doubt is pointless because it's the reality of a lot of claimants.


NO, NO they don't they have to pay their services, as deducted from their rent where services are included; that is a world of difference (£79.40 a week different in your case) I don't actually think that this is massively fair; as a house with no water or energy to cook with, is actually still not very useful, but it's better than being expected to find the full rent from JSA.

where exactly are all these jobs these unemployed people are supposed to be getting coming from? Or are you saying that because they're unemployed they should work menial jobs that require more hours per week and less money per month whilst making them economically worse off?

I reffer you to one of my statments above:-
    TheKrikkitWars wrote:As for the jobs if you want them argument, it's true to an extent ... [there are] plenty of people who can't afford to go into a job because of the added costs of things like childcare which they otherwise wouldn't require decreasing their net income to near nil, even if their gross income would be higher than benefits.

JSA claims for one person is not the same as that of a family. Your case has a dependent involved, there is no way your dad was supporting the family on a single persons JSA. If he was, then he was claiming incorrectly. Joint claims are worth twice the single rate i.e £100 instead of £50 a week. If he was a single parent then he would've been put on income support and not JSA depending on your age at the time of redundancy which would mean that he wouldn't have had to consistently prove he was seeking work as he would've been exempt from that. Lastly it's absolutely no good comparing the cost of living in the early 90s to the cost of living in 2010. It's also no good ignoring that these changes will hit those who live in cities the hardest and they tend to have higher living costs than those in rural areas as it is.


As I'm sure you're aware, JSA is means tested after the first 183 days (or from the start if you don't have 2 years of NI contributions/only made NI contributions as a self employed person), my mum had a part time job, which she had no desire to give up (both my parents are too proud for that) and as was revealed to me recently (I'm 20 btw, so the cost of living in the early 2000's is significantly more relevant to the cost of living now than the 1990's, and even so we can assume that JSA has been increased in line with the Retail Price Index at the very least) we were worse off like that than if my mum had been out of work too, (Dad recived ~£20 a week, Mum earned £65 a week plus my monthly family allowance money, which just about paid for me to go though clothes at an alarming rate as I grew from 5'9" to 6'2" in that time). The point that a small family can survive (just) on the money allowed it holds, presumably the same applies to a single person on single person's benefits etc...

In fact the fact that you yourself haven't starved to death, or ended up on the streets indicates that the benefits system provides enough money for people to sustain themselves albeit not comfortably.

So how exactly did all of this get mixed in with the argument over the fact that a significant minority of benefits claimants are making little or no effort to work, even though they could do so without penalty (and that ignores the other signigicant minortity who aren't seeking work because they'd be worse off due to an ill thought out gap in the social security system).
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Re: UK VAT rate to be raised to 20% in Jan 2011

Postby Dream » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:20 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:In fact the fact that you yourself haven't starved to death, or ended up on the streets indicates that the benefits system provides enough money for people to sustain themselves albeit not comfortably.

One person isn't proof of anything. For instance those with good extended family support are far more likely to live well on benefits than those who are alone.

TheKrikkitWars wrote:(I'm 20 btw, so the cost of living in the early 2000's is significantly more relevant to the cost of living now than the 1990's, and even so we can assume that JSA has been increased in line with the Retail Price Index at the very least)

Consider that the current economic climate is far from as bad as it gets. I see that you weren't around for the 1980s, for instance. Consider also the likelihood that if cutting benefits is what happens the way things are now, imagine what a Conservative government would do if things were even worse?
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