Some theories on recent issues

(29 Posts)
butterfly133 Tue 23-Jun-15 15:11:01

I’m new to mumsnet and used to post on a political board, so apols if this is really dull. (I came off it because it's totally polarised and there's no balanced chat going on).

My position is that I’ve voted both Labour and Conservative pretty much equally in my lifetime. I really battled with what to do this year because I felt that no one was offering what was needed and I have a feeling a lot of people might have been in the same boat.

The short version is that I was scared to vote Labour because I really thought they might bankrupt us and I was scared to vote Conservative because I think they are picking on the vulnerable. What a choice!

I think the super rich should be targeted in terms of wealth taxes. No party will do this - why not? I felt like Labour thought anyone earning over £40k was rich and the mansion tax seemed like a tax on the South East (though Londoners clearly are fine with it as the areas heavily affected voted Labour anyway). Ed M said he would tax non-doms but other than that, didn’t say anything about so called tax relief schemes.

I also think that a lot of people who wanted to vote Labour actually voted Conservative. If you look at where the Conservatives made gains, they must have done, mustn’t they? Lib Dems who felt they were betrayed by the Lib Dems joining a coalition can’t have voted Conservative because that makes no sense. Their votes would either have gone Green or Labour, surely? So the votes the Conservatives gained must have gone over from Labour. I would imagine the increase in the minimum earnings pre-paying tax would have some link to this - as well as fear of bankruptcy.

Plus, I think many believe the welfare state needs to be reformed but….I think many such people would have been on the march at the weekend. There’s a massive difference between believing in reform and picking on the vulnerable. I’m all for reform and encouraging people to be self sufficient. But cutting things like carers’ allowance – hell no! Makes no sense. If that's austerity, no, I'm not in favour of it. Cut waste, certainly, but not this sort of thing.

The super rich are paying to keep their tax bill as low as possible. I’m not asking that they pay 60% tax. I’m asking they pay the same tax as the rest of us. I don’t see why that is complicated. It doesn't make victims of them because they won't really notice. (in fairness, some of them do say that themselves).

Does anyone else think this way? I'd be really interested to hear from posters who aren't committed voters for any political party and just evaluate as they go along. Thanks!

Isitmebut Tue 23-Jun-15 16:26:33

butterfly133 .... clearly as you allude to (and as France found out), there are levels of taxation that not only bring in less tax, but many of the wealthy leave the country - so IF the object of the exercise is bring in more revenues to the coffers, it is a thin line between more or less revenues - especially if the wealthy if staying use legal tax planning rather than pay 'excessive' tax.

Without a political dialog, you might find the following links helpful, as more tax has been collected from the wealthy individuals and plans to stop Corporate tax avoidance are well under way.

May 2014: “HMRC crackdown yields record £23.9bn in additional tax”
www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27576626

”The government has raised a record £23.9bn in additional tax for the year to the end of March as a result of a crackdown on tax avoidance.”

“Noose tightens around global tax evasion as OECD countries sign new agreement”
www.cityam.com/1414597567/noose-tightens-around-global-tax-evasion-oecd-countries-sign-new-agreement

"The OECD just took a step closer to fighting tax evasion on a global scale, with 51 territories agreeing to create “information exchanges” that will help track culprits down."

"The first signatories to the dull-sounding "multilateral competent authority agreement" – which include the UK and Ireland – will launch their information exchanges by September 2017. Others will follow in 2018."

Dec 2014; ”U.K. Financial Firms Paid the Most Tax Since 2007, Report Says”
www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-12-02/u-k-financial-firms-paid-the-most-tax-since-2007-report-says

”The U.K. financial-services industry contributed 65.6 billion pounds ($103 billion) in taxes in the last fiscal year, the highest since 2007, according to a report.”

Feb 2015: ”Britain's highest earners pay a quarter of nation's income tax”
www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/tax/11411790/Britains-highest-earners-pay-a-quarter-of-nations-income-tax.html

“New figures published by HMRC show that the proportion of the nation's tax bill paid by the richest has risen under the Coalition”

butterfly133 Tue 23-Jun-15 16:39:08

Isitmebut - thank you for posting those links. However, I wonder if I haven't put my point across well.

you mention France. They were charging 75% after a certain point, weren't they? I'm not suggesting anything like that high.

I am aware that higher earners contribute more in tax already.

Also, you link to the OECD on tax evasion - I'm talking about ending the legal tax avoidance schemes, a totally different thing.

We've even got people buying homes through company structures and avoiding the SDLT. Why is that even allowed?

Isitmebut Tue 23-Jun-15 19:24:22

"We've even got people buying homes through company structures and avoiding the SDLT. Why is that even allowed?"

I think you'll find Osborne clamped down on that using a few budgets.

2011;
citywire.co.uk/money/government-closes-stamp-duty-avoidance-loophole/a481840

2012; ”Stamp duty avoidance comes under attack”
www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c489a8aa-737b-11e1-aab3-00144feab49a.html#axzz3duW8esuM

2014;
www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/dec/03/george-osborne-stamp-duty-overhaul-autumn-statement

blacksunday Wed 24-Jun-15 08:02:31

butterfly-

The UKgovt. still wants to have a race to the bottom. Don't believe the bullshit.

UK to reject EU plans to combat multinational tax avoidance

David Gauke, financial secretary to the Treasury, insists on tax competition as opposed to Union’s plan to introduce common tax rules

--

Britain will reject plans announced in Brussels this week to combat industrial-scale tax avoidance by the world’s biggest multinationals, the Treasury minister responsible for tax policy has said.

David Gauke, financial secretary to the Treasury, told representatives from the European parliament that Britain would not adopt the measures to introduce certain common tax rules. “He was very clear that the UK is insisting on tax competition,” said German MEP Michael Theurer, who met with the UK treasury minister on Thursday. “It was really a shock from the minister.”

Theurer is part of a committee of MEPs set up to examine how multinationals are avoiding tax in the EU and what can be done about it. The committee was set up in response to the LuxLeaks revelations of tax avoidance in Luxembourg and its members strongly support the reform plans announced on Wednesday by European commissioner for tax Pierre Moscovici.

Moscovici’s proposals seek to resurrect a longstanding tax harmonisation policy, which has been blocked by hostile member states since 2011.

Known as the common consolidated corporate tax base, or CCCTB, the policy would see countries adopt a common set of rules on where company profits arise – removing many of the national differences that multinationals have been able to exploit to lower their tax bill.

Aware of previous resistance, Moscovici has in recent weeks taken extensive soundings from EU members, prompting him to water down key elements of the CCCTB in an effort to make it more palatable. His calculations, however, appeared to have been wide of the mark as the UK Treasury signalled an emphatic rebuff.

In the first phase of the European commission’s plan at least, the common framework would not allow companies to consolidate profits across Europe and file a single tax return. Moscovici had hoped removing the “consolidation” element of the CCCTB would make it acceptable to the likes of the UK and Ireland.

Last month Gauke told the FT: “The CCCTB has been around a very long time. It is a proposal still looking for a justification.”

His opposition does not seem to have softened, though it is understood that the Treasury might not object to other EU member states developing a CCCTB alone.

George Osborne has set great store by Britain’s tax competitiveness, slashing the headline corporate tax rate from 28% to 20%. But it is not just on the rate that Osborne has competed hard: new favourable tax regimes for multinationals with offshore financing subsidiaries as well as new tax breaks for patent-owning companies have also been central to aggressive tax competition policy.

These and other measures have seen a wave of companies shifting their European headquarters or research and development arms to the UK – much to the anger of other member states. The UK has seen an influx of multinationals – among them Aon, Fiat Industrial, and Starbucks’s European operations – looking to gain tax advantages through the optimal location of the often small number of headquarters staff.

Last month the US seed and agrochemicals group Monsanto announced that, should it succeed in taking over Swiss firm Syngenta, it planned to move its headquarters to the UK.

A mandatory common approach to setting the tax base for companies, as proposed by Moscovici, would remove many of these central elements to Osborne’s tax competition strategy. “The current rules for corporate taxation no longer fit the modern context,” Moscovici’s plan claims, “as corporate tax planning has become more sophisticated and competitive forces between member states have increased, the tools for ensuring fair tax competition within the EU have reached their limits.”

The Treasury declined to comment on reasons for the UK’s prompt rejection of Moscovici’s tax reform proposals. It said: “Direct taxation is a matter for EU countries, and any direct taxation matters require unanimity across all EU countries. We’re fully involved in international discussions on tax issues and have consistently supported global measures, through the EU, G20 and OECD, which will strengthen international rules to prevent corporate tax avoidance.”

www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/18/uk-reject-eu-plans-combat-multinational-tax-avoidance

Isitmebut Wed 24-Jun-15 12:01:22

The Eurozone/EU with very different countries, with very different economies, will always struggle with a one-of-anything-fits-all, be it a currency, interest rate, or anything else.

So until it become a honking great European Super State of gloop, hoping that if each European country is as economically un competitive as each other, it will somehow protect itself from other nations/trading blocks with lower taxes/labour costs - countries should remain as individually competitive, as they can.

Why would any company, wanting to be involved in the EU with over 500 million citizens, ever want to be located in the far Western outpost called the UK, across a channel, if every country with had the same of everything????

Only a head-up-bum-socialist without the first clue what drives a viable business, wouldn't understand why individual nations need to be 'different' to be competitive - or why those countries who are currently struggling without the reforms the UK made over the past 30 odd years - would WANT a uniformed Corporate Tax rate.

butterfly133 Thu 25-Jun-15 10:47:57

thanks for the input, that's given me some new information!

Still wondering if anyone had the same dilemma in terms of who to vote for - but I can't see how the Conservatives made gains, if not from Labour, if that makes sense.

butterfly133 Thu 25-Jun-15 11:04:01

just realised Labour weren't planning to save the ILF either!!

Isitmebut Thu 25-Jun-15 11:07:34

The "ILF"?

Isitmebut Thu 25-Jun-15 11:15:16

Butterfly133 ... If you listen to political party propaganda;

- The Conservatives since the Industrial Revolution 'are only for the rich'.

- The Labour (movement) are the high tax/high spending, anti business, and so 'party of the workers'.

Based on your opening posts, I suspect that you came on here looking for information the former, but in truth based on the RECORD of both parties in power (over the past 45-years), especially on the state of the State they leave - the two main party politics have moved on from those 'stereotype' perceptions. IMO

butterfly133 Thu 25-Jun-15 12:16:58

isitmebut - gosh, I'm wondering what I said wrong. My position is yours - as I said, I am tired of the polarised left/right debate. Based on what I know of their records they are surprisingly similar, but the main debate at the election seemed to me to be choosing a spendthrift party or choosing a mean one.

I am very surprised that no one seems to be offering a happy medium and I think there's a huge gap that can be filled there. Leaving aside lefts, rights and middles, I think every party panders to the super rich and I wonder if or how we can ever change that.

the ILF - Independent Living Fund. If both Tories and Labour wanted to do away with it, again, the divisions are far fewer than we think.

I was very alarmed by Ed Miliband saying that he didn't think Labour had overspent in their last few years and also very alarmed by David Cameron showing his complete indifference to the increase in food bank use.

Props to them for being honest though I guess.

I think a lot of people felt what I felt at the polling booth - that the choice was being cruel, going bankrupt or picking a party who would have very little influence in what ultimately happened.

I am interested now that so many people are saying "xx didn't vote for this govt" yet I see no agitation for PR..? Is it there and I am simply not seeing it?

Isitmebut Thu 25-Jun-15 13:29:37

If you start from the incorrect premise that both the main party’s records are similar (and nothing could be further to the truth when looking at core policies), you will always accept the earlier stereotypes e.g. the Conservatives are (your words) “cruel” and “mean”.

Clearly what Labour inherited in 1997, was totally different to what they handed back to the Conservatives in 2010.

So with the backdrop of the best legacy in several decades, a 10-year global boom (1997 to 2007) and £trillions to spend, I would call “cruel” is offering the populous a mediocre education (by global standards), leading people to believe an enlarged Welfare/Benefit UK State was sustainable – and the allowance of 3 million net new workers over a short period of time – affected the poor’s life chances further, by reducing job prospects, putting pressure on services, and leaving 5 million needing social homes by 2010 (according to Shelter).

I would call “mean” being totally free to implement their OWN policies, putting up taxes over 13-years so less able to cope in a recession e.g. Council Tax up an average of 110%, badly unbalancing the economy away from the possibility of early private Sector growth so there were no easy/early solutions - and having nearly doubled the National Debt to £1 trillion on their watch – then left an annual budget deficit/overspend in 2010 of £157 billion (accumulating that National Debt annually), to sort all that out now, or leave it to our children’s children.

If the voters ever decide to look at ‘the big picture’ and judge a main party on what they inherit versus what they leave i.e. up to 1979, 1979 to 1997, 1997 to 2010, and 2010 to 2015 – they would neither see that the Labour gives 'a leg up to the poor', or that the Conservative ‘put them down’ – in fact, quite the opposite.

In which case with false perceptions aside, PR to bring into the balance other parties with a voice in parliament without the first clue how to run the economy, becomes less urgent - as straight away there is already more choice to put their ‘X’ against. IMO.

P.S. Any other party coming to power in 2010 would have needed to rebalance the economy and address the annual overspend eventually, the question is how long would it have taken and why should future generations pay higher taxes and have larger spending cuts.

Isitmebut Thu 25-Jun-15 14:26:43

My point being to your OP, maybe more voters than people thought, saw through the 'labels' of both main parties and LOOKED at the records of both main parties, thereby shunning the (then) third largest party, as being neither fish nor fowl - which was the LIb Dem platform I thought was a good one for the many 'undecideds'.

butterfly133 Thu 25-Jun-15 15:16:58

I'm probably being incredibly thick but I'm still lost as to whether you have a view on whether or not Conservatives gained from people who have previously mostly voted Labour.

I also said in my post - I look at their records too, I don't follow a simple stereotype. I'm afraid I do think the Conservatives have shown a mean and callous attitude, yes. I sensed that in DC not even bothering to know about food bank figures. But I don't have it in my head that one group is always the same. That's why I pointed out here that Labour would have done away with the ILF too.

I do think they looked at records, and with Labour's record on the economy, they ran away. But to me this means there is a big gap and another party could fill it - if they do what no one ever does and target the super rich even more.

Isitmebut Thu 25-Jun-15 15:47:49

Butterfly133 .... recessions are never good news, that is why they are called recessions and under Labour, we had the worst one in over 80-years.

From 2008 around 1 million private sector jobs were lost, and 'real' (inflation adjusted) earnings began to fall, so clearly the deeper and longer the recession, the worse things would get.

So in 2010, with NOTHING done by Labour to rebalance the UK economy back to private sector growth, other than keep putting up taxes e.g. National Insurance and 'real' earnings still falling - off course the usage of food banks that were not advised in Job Centres under Labour, went up.

Are you SERIOUSLY trying to tell me that in 2010 under another Labour government putting up taxes, rather than a Conservative led coalition CUTTING taxes, the use of Food Banks would not have INCREASED, probably even further??

I doubt if many core Labour voters switched to the Conservatives, as similar to you, they believed all the Labour Party blame for their mess, put onto the Coalition - and pretended for 5-years that THEY had the solution for more economic growth and higher paid jobs and wages - WE NEVER SAW by May 2015.

UKIP took 3% of the vote in 2010 and stopped the Tories getting a majority, so 12% in 2015 took further votes away from the Conservatives.

Remember apart from the Scottish votes/seats, Labour had the boundary advantage over the Conservatives, the latter needing far more voters to win an election, said to equate to a 20 seat advantage.

All that said, I suspect many Labour voters who could not bring themselves to vote Labour, couldn't bring themselves to vote for anyone else.

Isitmebut Thu 25-Jun-15 15:51:17

It should be .........."Labour had the English boundary advantage over the Conservatives,"

butterfly133 Thu 25-Jun-15 17:22:09

"Are you SERIOUSLY trying to tell me that in 2010 under another Labour government putting up taxes, rather than a Conservative led coalition CUTTING taxes, the use of Food Banks would not have INCREASED, probably even further??"

no. I didn't say that at all, why would you think that?

I was just making the observation that I thought it was clear DC didn't really have it on his worry list.

I think we are totally not understanding each other to be honest and clearly no one is interested in this thread so I'll assume my theory is pants smile it was just a theory after all.

Alfieisnoisy Fri 26-Jun-15 07:19:46

Butterfly, where I used to live was always a LibDem stronghold. The same LibDem MP was in place for years. The votes nearly always went LibDem, Tory, Labour and then various others.
This year for the first time in nearly 30 years they have elected a Tory MP.

It might seem to make no sense but I suspect most of those votes came from disgruntled LibDem voters. It might make no sense at all but people in that part of the UK just don't traditionally vote Labour.

I now need to find the result and look at the breakdown of figures to see how the vote divided up I suspect though that the Tory vote was made up of people who didn't want to vote LibDem but neither did they want a Labour MP. In the absence of much else I suspect most voted Tory.

Just an opinion though. ...I could be wrong.

LineRunner Fri 26-Jun-15 07:29:53

Alfie, I think you're right that a lot of the Lib Dem vote went Tory.

The Lib Dems in 2010 very deliberately targeted the 'soft Tory' vote, and in 2015 those voters simply reverted to their former voting pattern, because what they got in 2010 was the Tories in government anyway.

It was another ill-thought through consequence for the Lib Dems of the coalition.

butterfly133 Fri 26-Jun-15 10:44:14

Alfie & Line, that is really interesting. I have a neighbour who voted Lib Dem all his life, and he voted Tory because he thought the Lib Dems had "betrayed" their voter based. And I said to him "you think they betrayed you by joining the Tories, but you voted Tory?" and he said "of course". And I was a bit confused but maybe more people have done that. My neighbour went on to say he actually wanted a Tory/Lib Dem coalition but thought voting Tory was the best way to secure it.

LotusLight Fri 26-Jun-15 12:55:57

People voted Tory because they have the best policies and because Labour would have bankrupted the country yet again. We cannot carry on living beyond our means.

Alfieisnoisy Fri 26-Jun-15 18:00:05

Only 37% voted Tory, I don't think they had the best policies but i did not vote Labour either for the same reason.

Squidzin Fri 26-Jun-15 20:54:05

I think a lot of disenfranchised labour voters drifted to UKIP for the voice of the working classes.
Ukips existence benefited the Tories by splitting the left electorate.

It looks like ukip will also be the party to push for PR too. The lib dems have tried in the past but labour and Tory lobbied against it v successfully.

The main problem we have at Westminster is that whether labour/Tory whatever, politics is in the pockets of big business and money, the everyday person is not represented.
Westminster is full of carbon-copy brainless carreer politicians with no original thought, only The free market capitalist ideology (proven incorrect) that Oxbridge spews out.

Isitmebut Fri 26-Jun-15 21:18:49

UKIP right up to the election was said to 2 to 3 Tory votes to 1 Labour vote, and while that might have tightened on the day towards Labour votes, I doubt that anyone in the know could show UKIP took more Labour votes (than Tory).

As to anyone "being in the pockets of business", what does that mean in everyday life when large companies are mobile within a global market place?

I'd say the problem in Westminster is too few understand what makes businesses tick which drives our economy/spending, as far too often politicians don't realise how to keep, never mind create private sector jobs - and end up loosing them.

Can you name WHICH large non free market country/economy with original thought IS thriving?

Squidzin Fri 26-Jun-15 22:27:32

France first, then take a look at the Nordic countries, where markets are regulated. Wealth is divided more equally, everyone benefits.

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