David Cameron's conference speech - live stream from 11.15am today

(221 Posts)
JaneGMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 10-Oct-12 09:09:25

Hello,

David Cameron's conservative party conference speech will be live streamed here at 11.15am today, if you're interested in taking a look:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19890459

MNHQ

JeanBillie Wed 10-Oct-12 11:32:02

Right then Dave, let's have it hmm

hoodoo12345 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:10:19

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

slug Wed 10-Oct-12 12:11:33

Best tweet so far

Jamie Reed ‏@jreedmp
I want to hear more about how Dave struggled to get on the housing ladder. Shush, everyone.

sunflowersfollowthesun Wed 10-Oct-12 12:16:01

Such open minded, critical thinking hoodoo

slug Wed 10-Oct-12 12:25:00

Sophy Ridge ‏@SophyRidgeSky
Cameron says successful Harris Academy uses "Conservative methods". Interesting how Tories are taking credit for Labour initiative #cpc12

Jamie Reed ‏@jreedmp
"I want or your children, what I want for mine" No, Dave. You took away the child trust fund.

<<The live feed has failed me at the moment>>

NanaNina Wed 10-Oct-12 12:26:17

I don't want to listen to it - would raise my blood pressure. I think this govt is evil and is waging war on the poor in a way that I have not seen any govt do in my lifetime (I am 68) - I think it is very scarey what he is doing to all public services, the NHS etc and pulling the rug from under anyone who is sick, disabled, out of work, etc etc. Just hope to god it is a one term parliament but they are making sure that the privatisation of public services will not be able to be reserved. They are taking us back to the 1890s and the Poor Law.

hoodoo12345 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:26:49

^ I couldn't of described myself any better smile

NanaNina Wed 10-Oct-12 12:27:03

sorry meant reversed not reserved!

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 12:31:42

I liked the use of 'one notion', since that is a line that I came up with also on the Ed Miliband thread.

Speech had some good points, but overall not a very rousing speech. It lacked a consistent theme and didn't emphasise and punch home a line that really distinguished the Coalition from Labour. It had some good points, but overall a bit flat.

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 12:39:06

The speechwriter missed a great opportunity to stem the tide and sway the public. A speech has to get people out of their seats, clapping like the clappers. This didn't do it. It will have to get much better nearer the election or the public won't pay attention.

Not really any point listening to it at all as all us poor are doomed and there isn't anything we can do about it unless more full-time permanent jobs are created!
He sucks his silver spoon like its a lolly the pompeous git

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 12:45:43

'the pompeous git'

What has he got to do with Pompeii?

chipstick10 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:48:50

I think it was deliberately flat, it was a contrast to milipeads theatrics last week.

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 12:50:11

Sounds like a good mobile banking company that he spoke about, but why focus on a company that has increased employment from 100 to 700 jobs? Britain has bigger companies that employ thousands and earn billions. They've got to think big to solve the big problems. We are in a crisis and small-scale won't fix it.

Who cares anyway, it will all be lies.
Lies like he told to get elected.
He's a plum

ouryve Wed 10-Oct-12 12:51:52

~~~tumbleweed~~~

Fishwife1949 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:57:01

I liked it, i really
Enjoyed the bit about education aqnd also teh dig about borrow borrow borrow

I always hated the way labour allows shools exuse poor performance useing the childrens race,religon or finical backround When you can almost always find other schools of the same make up excelling.

Fishwife1949 Wed 10-Oct-12 12:58:10

pumpkinsweetie oh right because the millionare milliband cares so much about the poor

Fishwife1949 Wed 10-Oct-12 13:00:07

slug we didnt have the money in the first place labour borrow borrow borrow

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 13:02:32

Wonga is a company that has probably increased employment as well.

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 13:08:42

No, it was not good enough. The speechwriter wanted us to believe that Labour is holding us back, stopping us from aspiring and that all they wanted to do was borrow. It won't wash. We know Labour are progressive and get some things wrong, but they aren't out to stop us doing well. Some people will prefer borrow, borrow, borrow in order to invest, invest, invest in public facilities, rather than lend, lend, lend to banks in order to invest in their profitability.

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 13:10:30

I missed Gove's speech. I suspect that that was a cracker, shame that I missed it.

Boboli Wed 10-Oct-12 13:11:47

To go off on a small tangent, I'm sorry but I hate that

1. every time there's a political debate on here, you can bet that some immediately launch into personal (in my view often offensive) attacks and name calling of the politicians instead of debating the issues.
2. it seems widely accepted that inverse snobbery is ok. How much control do individuals from wealthier backgrounds have over where they were educated and brought up anyway? It's pure discrimination to dismiss someone who isn't like you surely!?

On both points, what message does this send? That
1. to get your point across, verbally attack the individual making it
2. don't aim too high as you won't be considered one of 'us'. As someone said on the Ed Milliband thread, then the lowest common denominator is what you end up with.

sunflowersfollowthesun Wed 10-Oct-12 13:13:10

I was delighted (although despair at its necessity) at Cameron's words of one syllable explanation to Miliband, regarding the ridiculous notion that the government was handing cheques to the rich.

sunflowersfollowthesun Wed 10-Oct-12 13:17:32

I don't think Gove's speech was broadcast Claig. I've been watching the conference broadcasts (including labour's, God help me) daily. I would have liked to have seen it too.

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 13:26:13

One of the themes was 'hard work', that the Tories are the party of 'hard work'. What does that say? That the millions of Labour voters aren't hard workers. 'Hard work' will get us out of this was one message. But nothing about what got us into this? People were working hard, before the bankers ruined the economy, when Gordon Gekko gamblers gambled with teh public's savings while regulators looked on with 'light touch regulation'. The gamblers made 'easy' money off teh hard work of the public and then when it all crashed, they held out their hands and got bailed out with the fruits of the public's hard work. At least Miliband wanted a full enquiry into the banking crisis and asked questions about what got us where we are today.

All the hard work under the sun won't be able to put Humpty back together again unless we sort out the rate rigging in the financial system.

cakeandcustard Wed 10-Oct-12 13:37:02

I watched a bit and then gave up, I got fed up of being talked to like I was a slightly backward child.

slug Wed 10-Oct-12 13:51:10

Eh?? I made no comment about borrowing Fishwife.

But since you brought it up...

chipstick10 Wed 10-Oct-12 14:00:23

cakeandcustard i felt like that lisnening to harriet harperson, i feel like it when we are lectured by Yvette bums mouth cooper. Its what Labour do best, patronising, nannying and lecturing like we are all slightly incapable.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 10-Oct-12 14:21:13

It was a lecture, not a speech. He was patronising and didn't come across at all as a nice person. He appeared hectoring, smug and dismissive of ordinary people. Admittedly I wasn't a fan before the speech of him or any of his colleagues. I can't get my head round the way they despise the poor and people who claim benefits. They seem to have bought into and be encouraging the myth that people want to just live off benefits and not work. It plays to the daily mail and express audience and is horribly simplistic.

And the arguments that Labour caused the recession are getting boring. Had the Tories been in power the banks would have had as much if not more freedom to gamble away their clients' money. Wanting to privatise even more public services when the ones which have already been privatised aren't working out is just stubborn and illogical.

They appear to be helping each other out, and forgetting about the rest of us, and nothing he said today changed my mind on that.

sunflowersfollowthesun Wed 10-Oct-12 14:23:38

slug When the money's already been borrowed and spent by the previous government, the incoming government still have to service that debt. As you surely must know, borrowed money = interest payments added onto the original debt, therefore borrowing goes up.
Anybody with an ounce of brain realizes this and therefore understands that this increase in borrowing is unavoidable and not down to reckless spending in an attempt to buy votes a la Blair/Brown

sunflowersfollowthesun Wed 10-Oct-12 14:25:17

Petite I don't think we watched the same speech.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 10-Oct-12 14:37:41

I think we did, but everyone comes to these things with some kind of opinion already.

sunflowersfollowthesun Wed 10-Oct-12 14:41:17

Yes, they do, don't they.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 10-Oct-12 14:49:50

I watched it having followed the speeches made by his colleagues earlier in the week, wondering if he would prove himself to be any more human than some of them, or any more likeable than I have ever found him in the past. I was disappointed.

Maybe if I was a true blue Tory I would have been able to pick out parts of the speech I agreed with. As it is I remember what life was like under Thatcher and Major, hoped thios lot would be better and have been disappointed.

slug Wed 10-Oct-12 15:02:43

If they'd stuck to the Labour spending plans rather than the tory ones they wouldn't be having to borrow at the rate they are now. All those unemployed people cost the state an awful lot of money you know.

BridgetBidet Wed 10-Oct-12 15:04:12

Good speech but despite the fact I tend to lean towards the Tories this speech has not done enough to dispel the spectre of George Osborne's speech earlier this week. After that speech which went much too far in saying that ALL the responsibility of reducing the deficit must fall on the shoulders of the poor Cameron could not really have said anything which would repair the damage.

Didn't like the dead baby being wheeled out and the story about his Dad's disability. It seemed extremely exploitative to me.

sunflowersfollowthesun Wed 10-Oct-12 15:12:18

Thatcher and Major, that would be the Conservative government that took over after the Callaghan years. Yes, I remember those too. Callaghan's Labour government induced such rampant inflation that it had to grovel to the IMF for money and then allowed the unions to hold the country to ransom over the winter of discontent.
Thatcher's Conservative government then had to sort out the godawful mess the previous Labour government had left behind. Bit of a pattern emerging here.

sunflowersfollowthesun Wed 10-Oct-12 15:26:28

Are we talking about the unemployed people made redundant by public sector cuts? The ones who were being paid by the state from the tax receipts raised by the private sector anyway?

threesocksmorgan Wed 10-Oct-12 15:31:41

did he really use his child agaiN?
what a vile man

ttosca Wed 10-Oct-12 15:31:43

Boboli-

1. Sometimes is right to call a spade a spade. I have no trouble calling a party 'scum' when they attack the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, causing them misery and death. Yes, death. The attacks on disabled people by this government is killing them. Sometimes there are worse things in life than being rude - killing disabled people is one of them.

2. You miss the point. I couldn't give a crap what Tory toffs got up to except insofar as they make policies which destroy people's lives. The Tory party receives 50% of its funding from the City of London, and 1/4 of of Tory's are rentiers. You'd have to be naive in the extreme to think that these factors don't shape Tory policies. Yes, it's very much about class warfare - and the Tory's are waging it. That's the reality of politics.

If you criticised the Labour party for being influenced by unions, you'd also be right. That's the way politics works. Under Capitalism, the nation is divided by class. Either you support policies which make the richest 5% wealthier and make it easier for them to extract more money from the rest of us, or you support the 95% who have to earn a wage to survive and make a living. I know whose side I'm on.

sunflowersfollowthesun Wed 10-Oct-12 15:55:05

And who decides when "sometimes" is ttosca ?
Who gets to decide that it's fine to label all Tories scum, but God forbid you mistakenly use the wrong term to refer to a disabled person?
Why can't you just posit your case without insults, you would emerge all the more credible for it?

ttosca Wed 10-Oct-12 16:04:02

I refer mainly to the Tory party which has the power, and uses it, to destroy people's lives.

However, if a disabled person wants to enable cuts which kill other disabled people, then he or she is also 'scum'. I have no problem with that.

Why can't you just posit your case without insults, you would emerge all the more credible for it?

I can do both, and it's perfectly reasonable to be angry at a group of people who are destroying lives.

BridgetBidet Wed 10-Oct-12 16:04:36

threesocksmorgan Yes he did. Makes me very, very uncomfortable when it's a speech like this which is vital for votes. It just seems like exploiting the child's memory. And SamCam cried. It all feels like a cynical attempt to win the female vote so as well as being exploitative of the child it's deeply patronising.

sunflowersfollowthesun Wed 10-Oct-12 16:14:38

But this speech was to the Conservative Party Conference, Bridget and threesocks. Quite literally, preaching to the converted. He already has these peoples votes.
Could it be, that rather than a cynical plot, he was just demonstrating that these experiences are part of the man he is? Oh no, of course not, because he and his wife are tory scum, out to kill disabled people.
Sheesh! but the Tories are the inhuman ones!

morethanpotatoprints Wed 10-Oct-12 16:21:41

Sunflower, correct.

Tory scum taking money of the poor to give to the rich. You can't get much lower. Apart from using your dead sons memory, of course.

BridgetBidet Wed 10-Oct-12 16:23:16

Sunflowers if you think that the party conference speeches are designed purely for the people in the main hall you're either naive or deluded. The fact we're discussing it on here might be a clue, as is the fact it's one of the top stories on most news outlets as were Milliband and Clegg's speeches.

Party conference speeches are an opportunity for the parties to set out to the wider pubic the parties agenda and to win votes whilst the speech itself is given a decent reception before a sympathetic audience. The speeches certainly aren't designed purely to appeal to just to the delegates when they know it will be reported to a much higher audience.

I don't have a problem with him discussing Ivan (or his father's disabilities) in the right context but when it's done in a speech which is vital for winning support for the Tories it makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable.

And I say this as someone who tends to support the Tories, I just don't like it, it's crass and exploitative.

sunflowersfollowthesun Wed 10-Oct-12 16:30:07

Party conferences are held to rally the troops. Obviously they will receive some degree of coverage by the news, but they are not party political broadcasts.

I'm really at a loss to understand how such comments as
the dead baby being wheeled out
is fine, but him refering his own real, life is wrong.

BridgetBidet Wed 10-Oct-12 16:46:29

They ARE party political broadcasts. I suspect you are being disingenuous pretending that this isn't the case. They are the main showcases for the party's policies, of course they are intended as party political broadcasts.

And yes I used the phrase 'the dead baby being wheeled out' because it seems descriptive of the cynical attitude of using this event in his life to drum up votes.

His son's death although incredibly sad doesn't affect how good or bad his policies are. Child mortality isn't just exclusive to virtuous people who would be good at running the country.

If he wants to win votes he should stick to his policies rather than courting the sympathy vote.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Oct-12 17:18:36

What I liked about the speech was that, unlike Labour, at least the PM doesn't try to make out that there is some easy solution, some government magic wand that will suddenly create prosperity. I really don't understand the hostility towards a man referencing his late son in a speech when talking about the legacy of the Paralympics. If he never mentioned the child presumably the same people would be accusing him of being cold-hearted?

ttosca Wed 10-Oct-12 17:52:50

Oh yes... 'tough' choices... mmm... <furrows brow>... tough on the public, easy on the rich.

BridgetBidet Wed 10-Oct-12 18:04:51

No. If he hadn't mentioned his child I wouldn't have called him cold hearted. I don't expect politicians to reference their personal lives in their speeches and would prefer if they didn't.

I happen to be of the opinion that Gordon Brown was the worst PM we've ever had but to his credit despite him being in dire straits politically he didn't wheel out the dead baby or harp on about Fraser's illness at his party conference did he?

DesertOrchid Wed 10-Oct-12 18:05:15

Politics aside I think it is absolutely despicable to use a phrase like 'wheeling out the dead baby' in ANY circumstances about ANY person.

To suggest that someone uses a reference to their deceased child for political leverage is a very strong accusation, and to use the kind of phraseology above calls into question not only the judgement of the person using it but their general moral worth.

There are many politicians I distrust and do not like. Name-calling and offensive jibes I consider inappropriate for grown-up political debate.

BridgetBidet Wed 10-Oct-12 18:08:18

*Edit, sorry just googled and he did give an interview to Piers Morgan before the election when he did just that. But whoever it is from I don't like it.

BridgetBidet Wed 10-Oct-12 18:10:58

I will say again, I disagree, I think that turn of phrase illustrates perfectly the cynicism involved in using his child in that way. You can be as sanctimonious as you want but to me that's a strategy of trying to minimise the unpleasantness of what Cameron did by blaming me for saying it rather than him for doing it.

NanaNina Wed 10-Oct-12 18:28:32

GO Ttosca go - I agree with you wholeheartedly but haven't the emotional energy required to argue with tories. I did hear that DC wanted all children to have the same oppotunities as his children. That shouldn't be a problem, make all parents millionaires -job done.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Oct-12 19:37:22

You think the only way a child gets an opportunity is if they're the offspring of millionaires? hmm Does that mean - assuming you're not a millionaire and assuming you have DCs - that you think they might as well not bother trying & just give up now, because they're automatically going to be a big failure?

ttosca Wed 10-Oct-12 19:42:46

You think the only way a child gets an opportunity is if they're the offspring of millionaires? hmm Does that mean - assuming you're not a millionaire and assuming you have DCs - that you think they might as well not bother trying & just give up now, because they're automatically going to be a big failure?

If Cameron and the Tory party get their way, then certainly.

chipstick10 Wed 10-Oct-12 19:47:47

My brilliant children, whose parents are not millionaires both educated in a state school, who worked hard to get to uni, who both came away with first class and high 2 1 degrees, are certainly not big failures. They are the children DC was talking about.

BridgetBidet Wed 10-Oct-12 19:54:51

Would they have been able to go if they'd had to pay £30,000 tuition fees? I don't see how plunging the children of poorer parents into huge debt if they want a good education is offering the opportunity for all?

Certainly not going to help them with saving up a deposit to get on the ol' housing ladder he's banging on about is it?

ttosca Wed 10-Oct-12 19:55:36

Great username, BridgetBidet. ;)

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 20:07:52

Good for you, chipstick. I guess you are proud to have climbed
The ladder and then seen it get kicked away from the rest of the people at the bottom.

The Tories do not want there to be state schools or affordable higher education for much longer. And you support them. Looks as if your grandchildren won't be as lucky as your children were. Hope you're fine with that.

Oh, and the fact that they won't have a health service to rely on either.

apollyg Wed 10-Oct-12 20:09:44

The benefit bill increases and the tax revenue plummet - David should does not avoid this issue so the poor have to pay not the rich- hence 10 bill benefit cuts.
The ending of Housing Benefit to under 25s is ill-conceived-
What about disabled young adults? What about care leavers?
What about young parents? It is pointless empty words. This will lead to damaging legal action based on human rights violation---I am so sorry for all this mess- march on 20.10.12

FFS 'poor', hands up who is really poor rather than having to go back to living on what they earn rather than relying on handouts by way of certain credits from the government.

chipstick10 Wed 10-Oct-12 20:30:39

Thanks domestic i am very proud of my children and their achievements.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 20:41:39

You are poor if you cannot live on what you earn. A private rented house in my crappy area of se London costs 1500 a month. I can afford to live here only because I have a rich ex husband. A property company owns the house, is letting it go relatively uncared for and is
Making a lovely profit out of myself and ex h.

I do not understand how normal middle earning families are supposed to live for as long as we lack affordable housing. I am fine as I've said. If I had to live on what I earn the kids and I would be in a 1 bed flat.

booki Wed 10-Oct-12 20:41:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 20:42:49

Oh and btw I'm in a job which 15 or so years ago would have been considered comfortably middle class.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 20:44:47

I think you should indeed be proud chipstick- but I think their achievements have clearly been partly achieved through state aid in the form of education expenditure which you are now happy to see withdrawn from future generations, and that is not something to be proud of.

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 20:53:29

Cameron is accused of being an out-of-touch toff who is privileged and has never faced hardship. But that is not true, his money and background don't make him immune to suffering. I think he mentioned his disabled son who died young and his father who had no heels and who had his legs amputated, partly to show that he does know about disability and that he is not a heartless uncaring person.

The Tory scum and heartless image that is painted of Tories is a caricature and a cheap trick used by political opponents who are often just as privileged.

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 20:57:09

domestic, I am against tuition fees and would like free university education like they have in Scotland, as far as I understand.

But let's not kid ourselves that this is just a Tory policy. It was New Labour who introduced tuition fees, and I don't believe that they would have kept them at their figure of £3000 per annum. They "are all in it together", this policy has long been planned and the yah boo antics are just a charade.

filetheflightoffancy Wed 10-Oct-12 20:57:17

I agree that DC's experience of having a disabled child is not the same as many people's all over the country - he would have never had to worry about respite care or money or not being able to work because you have to look after your disabled child or any of the things that 'ordinary' people have to worry about.

However the 'wheeling out the dead baby' comment is fucking vile and you should be ashamed of yourself. Ivan was his son and he was talking about him in the context of how the paralympics has changed the way many people see disability.

The lengths that some people will stoop in order to get their hatred of the tories across is astonishing.

ttosca Wed 10-Oct-12 21:04:47

You're such a sucker, claig.

claig Wed 10-Oct-12 21:07:57

Well it's better than being a f***er

Katiebeau Wed 10-Oct-12 21:08:29

The Cameron's have experienced the emotional hurt of loosing their child and dealing with his severe disabilities. They relied on the NHS. Why is it ever OK to minimise their suffering because they are rich which is really what some posters are saying.

Why, given everyone knows about Ivan, do people think Cameron has never suffered grief in his life just because he's rich? Talk about inverted snobbery. It's disgusting to read.

Rubbish speech but he's not an evil person just because he believes in a small state sector versus private sector. That's politics not morality.

I am not a fan but all of you posting "rich fuckers" comments take a look to see who's really killing aspiration in the UK.

chipstick10 Wed 10-Oct-12 21:14:51

Some things written on this thread are vile. Its hateful, bitter and cheap.

threesocksmorgan Wed 10-Oct-12 21:27:00

offensive terms aside.
I see that DC won the sympathy vote.
strange that he can bring up his disabled relatives.
and still cut all the resources disabled people need.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 21:41:59

Ttosca unfortunately claig is right here. They'd all have done the same. Labour originally tripled the fees. Please bear in mind im a university lecturer and about as un Tory as its possible to be: but two party politics is no use here. It just buys into the cheap politics of blame which is finishing the country off. And which the Tories ATM are milking for all they are worth.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 21:42:55

Btw before people start exclaiming about the illiterate lecturer, it's the bloody iPhone auto 'correcting' everything!

edam Wed 10-Oct-12 22:13:19

threesocks is right. Appalling but true - Cameron pretended that having a severely disabled son meant he was not a 'nasty' Tory of the kind Teresa May described but someone who understood what it was like to be vulnerable and to rely on public services.

The minute he came to power, he started attacking kids like Ivan and their families. His government's treatment of disabled people would be disgusting whoever was involved - but in his case it's the most hideous betrayal.

chipstick10 Wed 10-Oct-12 22:14:34

domestic I cant spell, sometimes i set out a post and then have to cancel it because the red spellcheck thing on here is all over the place, so my kids wonderful clever brains dont come from me confused blush grin so the illiterate lecturer is wasted on me.

domesticgodless Wed 10-Oct-12 22:37:53

Hehe chipstick. I am a demon speller but this ghastly device has ruined it all!! It 'corrects' my words to incorrect spellings and capitalises everything! Yet I can't live without it and spend the evening chained to the thing! No good!

LadyStark Wed 10-Oct-12 22:43:06

Just a couple of points, firstly, it's a mid term conference speech. Not many people a) care or b) will remember.

It's also worth noting that the top 1% of earners contribute 30% of income tax revenue. Whilst we should be fair, we shouldn't be whacking higher earners anymore in my opinion.

SomethingOnce Wed 10-Oct-12 22:44:11

IMO what's really killing aspiration in this country is that it's clear to most that social mobility is non-existent, and we're not doing well with inclusion either.

Katiebeau Wed 10-Oct-12 23:04:17

I agree social mobility is none existent. My parents and myself have benefited hugely from social mobility offered by state education. Grammer Schools. That is the foundation of our social mobility from miners 2 generations ago.

edam Wed 10-Oct-12 23:37:57

Ladystark - that sounds impressive but actually all it means is 'people who earn the most have the most'. Yet actually the highest marginal rate of taxes are inflicted on the extremely low paid. Very low earners who may have something like 85p in every pound deducted once they start earning over a tiny amount - something like £70 a week.

He has nothing to say that will interest me.

Listening to him will just make me feel ill.

He disgusts me to be honest.

edam Wed 10-Oct-12 23:40:48

There's another weird stat I found recently - something about only two people are responsible for paying the lion's share of taxes contributed by all the UK billionaires put together. Think one was JK Rowling. Basically all the other billionaires are 'minimising their tax bills'* and leaving far less well paid people to pick up the slack.

* If someone on benefits was doing it, it'd be called cheating, of course. But because it's a rich person paying lawyers and accountants, it's all fine. Apparently.

Claig - I think the fact Cameron has lived with close family with disability makes his policies even more sickening and simply demonstrates how shielded by wealth he is.

LadyStark Wed 10-Oct-12 23:51:05

That doesn't mean we need the tax receipts any less though! The example you give is a flaw in the benefits system, not the tax system, isn't it? And if we want a better benefits system, someone has to pay for it.

I think most people regardless of party wants a good benefits system that incentives people to work. Isn't the whole point of universal credit to avoid things like this?

Don't get me wrong, lots of things about this government I don't like (reducing abortion limit, limiting number of children you can claim for, cutting benefits for under 25s) but I don't think demonisation of high earners is any better than demonisation of the working classes. Both of the main try to engender class war as means of gaining votes - we shouldn't get drawn in. I would just like evidenced based policymaking, couldn't give a stuff which party it is.

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 07:57:29

The Tories do not demonise high earners and neither do Labour. A bit more pressure on them rather than tax CUTS would not go amiss. They can take it; they're rich already.

Class war?! what rubbish. We have it already: a war against the poor.

chipstick10 Thu 11-Oct-12 08:14:24

I dont profess to know my history on politics but wasnt it labour who got rid of grammar schools?

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 08:26:09

I'm not sure either chipstick :S I'm pro grammar schools myself although am concerned that while we don't provide proper non-academic skills training to those who do not pass an 11 plus the rest would end up on a great big scrapheap.

Katiebeau Thu 11-Oct-12 08:36:31

It was Chapstick. That and creating a benefits system which outweighs lower level earnings and low wages paid by employers bolstered by tax credits etc.

Rather than keeping wages apace with real living costs and also inflating housing costs based on incomes shored up with tax credits etc. so people felt they could afford the inflated prices. Didn't they learn anything from the '80's??

The bubble had to burst. Outgoings cannot forever exceed incoming funds. But socialists will insist on the state borrowing to inflate the standard of living.

Benefits first and foremost should ensure no one is homeless, hungry or cold. Any system which fails at that fails overall. I include in that putting families in crappy accommodation instead of freeing up larger council houses with single older residents. Private owners move later in life all the time!!

I say this as someone lucky enough to pay a lot in tax and who agrees no benefit should be universal.

We have had to trim the fat from our life style due to increased taxes and living costs but we had fat to trim. I am under no illusions others do not have anything left to give.

That said I think Milliband forgot that borrowing money they can't pay back isn't accepted on the global stage anymore. Wake up Millband it's 2012 not 2002. Change your ideas man. Your last lot didn't work out so well.

sunflowersfollowthesun Thu 11-Oct-12 08:45:03

oliver How can you possibly make an informed decision if you don't listen to all the parties?

threesocksmorgan Thu 11-Oct-12 08:49:36

Edam so true, but sadly although he uses his child to score points, the very parents/ adults he has stitched up are not allowed to mention Ivan !!
wrong on so many levels.
this puts it so well

sunflowersfollowthesun Thu 11-Oct-12 08:55:41

Cameron pretended that having a severely disabled son meant he was not a 'nasty' Tory
He did absolutely no such thing. He spoke of his appreciation that attitudes towards people who need to use wheelchairs seems to be shifting following the paralympics.
I'm sorry, but the inverted snobbery of people on here is breathtaking – Cameron's son's disabilities weren't as devastating as ours – because he has money???

sunflowersfollowthesun Thu 11-Oct-12 09:01:36

threesocks do you ever have any opinions of your own, or do you always rely on links to blogs and left leaning articles to do your thinking for you? (And that last link was particularly repellent – hinting that Ivan had been posed like a prop. Dissembling of the highest order.)

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 09:20:40

It is clearly less difficult to care for a disabled child or indeed to care for any person who needs care (an infant, elderly person) if you have money to buy the goods and services they need. Hardly 'inverted snobbery'.

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 09:25:36

What wealth will of course not do is insulate you from the grief and disappointment of having to see your child suffer.

Boboli Thu 11-Oct-12 09:32:10

perhaps less difficult financially, domestic but your post suggests less difficult in every sense of the world? A pretty shallow view of a carer.

So DC had it easy because he has more money than most?? Inverted snobbery that certainly is.

Boboli Thu 11-Oct-12 09:32:36

word not world

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 09:35:28

Yes, I think life is easier if you have money. I've lived with and without, and I sure know what is easier.

If that's not the case, then what are 'strivers' striving for? Are they just doing it to show off?

Boboli Thu 11-Oct-12 09:36:45

Not everyone's goal in life is to make money and be rich.

threesocksmorgan Thu 11-Oct-12 09:37:20

sunflowersfollowthesun do you not read the threads?
I have posted on this thread and others.
I think scam using his son is vile.
have posted that often

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 09:37:31

No, and it sure isn't mine either. But to say that there is no additional difficulty involved in being poorer, particularly if you have caring responsibilities which may put you out of work, is nonsense.

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 09:38:16

And if more money isn't the goal of most Tories I struggle to see what is. Cameron himself has just called them the party of the want-to-be-better-off.

threesocksmorgan Thu 11-Oct-12 09:38:56

and money does help
he would not have had to worry about the very cuts he is making.
people my disabled dd will be very affected by them.
if we had money like him, or she did,
we would not be so worried

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 09:41:39

its' simple common sense that money helps in a bad situation. If you are ill, you can afford better care. If your family member is ill or needs 24 hour care, you can afford to pay for that care or if you so choose, to give up work and do it yourself without having to worry about losing your home or cutting down on food.

Simple. I really fail to see how that point can be at all controversial. DC comes from privilege which has insulated him entirely from the difficulties most people in the UK may face, and all the denial in the world will not change that.

sunflowersfollowthesun Thu 11-Oct-12 11:05:21

Undoubtedly, having money oils the logistics of everyday life, but no amount of money can shield you from the emotional trauma of being disabled, or having disability in your life. Having money may mean that access to the latest equipment or respite care (although we have no idea what care arrangements the Osbourne's may have had for Ivan) is not the problem that it is for many, but that doesn't mitigate the heartbreak of needing said equipment/respite care in the first place.
It is the absolute dismissal of the Cameron's experience of disability that dismays me. As if their experience of it was somehow less because they has money. There appears to be an absolute unwillingness to acknowledge the fact that the Cameron's suffered... because they had money.
How many times have I read (with admiration and respect) of the absolute devotion and commitment of carers posting on these boards. They would do anything for their disabled spouses/children, whatever it takes. So if they had the resources they would presumably use them too? Would it make their pain any less? Their sadness diminished – their anguish any easier to bear? Of course not.
The Cameron's were born into moneyed families, that is no more their "fault" than it is any child's "fault" which background they are born into. It is a sad (but entirely logical) fact that the ones who take most from the system are the neediest, but the fact that there is any "system" for them to take from in the first place is down to a welfare state that relies on better off people paying in. The wealthy pay most in, but take least out. Yes, they have the most in the first instance, but it is undeniably their money and they contribute buckets of it to the welfare pot. The most needy only take, ergo, it is inevitable that they will feel the cutbacks most.
I have read about many families experiences of disability on these boards, they fill me with humility and admiration, I just don't understand why they are entitled to bear witness to their experiences, but the Cameron's aren't given the same courtesy.

Rosieres Thu 11-Oct-12 11:40:28

On the point made that It's also worth noting that the top 1% of earners contribute 30% of income tax revenue. Whilst we should be fair, we shouldn't be whacking higher earners anymore in my opinion.

Income tax only represents 27% of government income, I doubt that the contribution of the wealthiest through the other big earners of National Insurance (where you only pay 2% on income over £42K, but 12% on most earnings upto that point), VAT, corporation tax and business rates (which are usually passed onto customers as a cost of the business) and excise duties. But these make up twice as much of government income than income tax.

And until you can quantify how much of the nation's wealth is in the hands of the top 1%, the amount they pay in income tax is irrelevant. If, for example, they had 30% of total wealth, then they should pay at least 30% of the tax take, probably more as they have higher disposable income. I can't find a figure for the UK, but in the US it is estimated that the wealthiest 1% controls 42% of the financial wealth in the country.

And in the UK many of the wealthiest are very adept at tax avoidance, with around 1 in 10 people on £10 million or more a year paying less than the 20% basic rate of tax. If tax evasion and avoidance could be effectively tackled we wouldn't need any of the austerity cuts - they account for tens of billions of lost revenue. But it seems that the government either lacks the wits or the motivation to go after the tax that the super-rich are obliged to pay under the spirit of the law.

So the present system is not fair - the richest, especially the extremely wealthy, don't pay their full whack, so the burden falls on the rest of us through higher taxes and austerity cuts. The current government has hit my middle income family with a pay freeze for 3 years running (OH works in the public sector), a VAT increase, university tuition fees trebled and increased the state pension age by 2 years. Over our lifetime these policies will cost us around £200,000. So when the Prime Minister says his party is not for the better off but for those wanting to be better off, you can understand my cynicism. I have aspirations for my family, his policies have impeded them. Perhaps if we earned enough to benefit from the cut to the top rate of tax I could see what the government was doing for us, but we aren't, so I can only conclude that the extra pain handed out to families like mine is to subsidise tax cuts for the wealthy, whether they actually pay the intended taxes or not.

twofingerstoGideon Thu 11-Oct-12 11:55:32

chipstick I dont profess to know my history on politics but wasnt it labour who got rid of grammar schools?
Katiebeau It was Chapstick.

Er, no, it wasn't.
Look at the facts. How many grammar schools did the Conservative governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major create? Answer: none.

Going further back, how many grammar schools were turned into comprehensives under Edward Heath's government, when a certain Margaret Thatcher was education secretary? Answer: lots.

Indeed, Mrs Thatcher (as she then was) is understood to have signed away more grammar schools between 1970 and 1974 than any other education secretary before or since.

And let's go further back still. Who brought in comprehensive schools in the first place? It is often - but mistakenly - believed that comprehensive schools were introduced by Harold Wilson's Labour government in the mid-1960s.

In fact, the first comprehensive schools were opened during the 1950s and early 1960s, under Conservative governments.

source

I just love the way the Tories like to lay the blame for everything at the feet of the Labour party. Katiebeau it might be worth doing a bit of fact-checking before giving such an emphatic answer...

Despite her own success via grammar school, Thatcher pulled the ladder up after herself it seems...

twofingerstoGideon Thu 11-Oct-12 11:56:37

Great post Rosieres

threesocksmorgan Thu 11-Oct-12 12:16:05

sunflowersfollowthesun no one (imo) would ever say he hasn't suffered, but having money does help when you have a disabled child.
also, please remember he will have used all the services he is now cutting.
DLA his son quite rightly would have got HR , SS and NHS would have funded most if not all of the care, apart form CTC and carers allowance, he would have and most likely did claim everything, quite rightly imo as it should never be means tested,
yet here he is cutting it for disabled people.
I don't have money, I can't pay for my dd's care. so we will just care for her forever, we have no choice, money buys you choices.

threesocksmorgan Thu 11-Oct-12 12:16:53

oh and please also note he didn't mention his mum or his other children.
only the 2 disabled family members!!!

I won't minimise any of the emotional heartache that the Cameron family suffered. Not at all.

But I can tell you they didn't almost go out of their minds because they were unable to go out into the world, to work and be themselves rather than being stuck at home as there was no one to undertake their son's care. They didn't face the social isolation and exclusion that parents reliant on benefits as carers face. They could pay for the specialist nannies and nurses to enable them to keep their mental health.

It wasn't a problem for them that the NHS only provided 3 continence products a day, buying extra wasn't an issue of stretching the benefits money to ensure his comfort and dignity.

They never had to wonder about turning off the heating so they could buy food that week. Whether they could actually afford to put the tumble dryer on because it's raining and you've run out of clean clothes/sheets from continual soiling.

If Ivan had needed surgery and the hospital had said there was a 2 year wait then the option to go private would have been there for them - it wasn't when one of mine needed cardiac surgery. We had to wait, scared witless that any delay could be harmful.

If a much needed therapy had been cut again they could have gone private. We just lost that therapy and I'm hoping it won't be to that child's detriment.

I do believe that the Camerons understand the emotional challenges parents of children with disabilities face in living with that disability, but they know nothing of how their financial situation increases stress and increases isolation. How the cuts to vital services increases the strain on carers. How carers are likely to go hungry from the cuts to make sure the person they care for is provided for.

So no, they didn't really know the half of it.

sunflowersfollowthesun Thu 11-Oct-12 13:59:41

threesocks The Cameron's couldn't choose for Ivan not to be disabled any more than you can, regardless of their financial status.
I don't know the ins and outs of of caring for disabled family members, but I cannot believe that such benefits are cut with malice and glee. It comes back to the sad fact I mentioned in my last post, the neediest take most and contribute least. Who's taking the biggest hit? Low paid, disabled, students, public sector workers– because these are the people taking from the system, so they feel it most.
David Cameron is not king. He cannot autonomously make up policy, nor should he be able to. Eviscerating him personally, maintaining that he is all the more despicable because he has experience of disabilities, is unwarranted and unfair IMO. He leads a democratic party, he cannot pick and choose a preferred group above all the people who all need to take from the pot, and again, nor should he be able to.
So, "clobber the rich" I hear you cry. "Take their money" –actual real money they've earned or inherited, to refill the empty pot that they take so little (proportionately) out of. Just help yourself to their money, to help people who loath and despise them and can't even bring themselves to acknowledge that without them, they would be in far worse dire straights than they already are. I'm not talking about groveling or thanking – just acknowledging their massive contribution, both in taxes and wealth creation, investment and providing jobs. Of course there are despicable tax evaders who should be caught and made to cough up, but that shouldn't tar all wealthy people with the same brush any more than feckless, workshy scroungers should tar all others receiving benefits.

We are not wealthy, we face tough choices in these hard times too. I don't agree with some of the decisions that have been made, regardless of my tory inclinations, but I think the constant insistence that the government are making these cuts with malice and spite at heart is very wrong.

Peachy Thu 11-Oct-12 14:02:16

Some good posts recently.

We have 3 disabled child: one who ahs yet to get a dx, 2 with autism: no prizes for guessing what ds4's dx is likely to be.

When we first had that, dh was on a good income. It didn;t make an ounce of difference to the sheer heartbreak that the dx's brought, but it meant we could afford petrol to visit Mum for a break, a private assessment when one was needed, decent nursery provision for ds1... stuff that made everything ebarable.

DH was made redundant: he is now self employed (and a student) but on a low income.

Now I don't even have a washing machine. I had to say no to an assessment ds4 needed (we don't claim anything for him as yet) and can go weeks without seeing Mum (only respite). Yes it's harder.

sunflowersfollowthesun Thu 11-Oct-12 14:08:46

Glitterknickers How is it that you seem perfectly able to comprehend how much "easier" the Cameron's must have found their situation, but they could not possibly understand how tough it is for you?
I'm sure you don't want my sympathy, but you do have my very best wishes.

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 14:10:27

They may well understand, Sunflower (unlikely though, as they have never experienced deprivation). But they quite clearly don't care.

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 14:11:54

Peachy, expect a few howls of 'but why should the hardworking taxpayer pay for your washing machine?! A mangle was good enough for my mother in the post war years and she had 2 children a year' blah blah blah. Ad nauseam.

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 14:14:50

Sunflower's post is quite the strangest most twisted attempt at 'ethical' reasoning I've ever read.

Even my undergrads do better than that. The ones I teach when I'm 'taking from the system' <vomit> by working in a university which isn't (yet) privatised, although they pay for their teaching now in their massive fees.

dottyspotty2 Thu 11-Oct-12 14:20:25

Having nannies to care for your disabled child will make it alot easier as will not worrying about money for essential equipment. If he is so understanding why the hell is he penalising families for needing an extra room for a disabled child if their in benefits. Plain and simple he doesn't have a bloody clue.

sunflowersfollowthesun Thu 11-Oct-12 14:24:09

Well, I'm not an undergraduate domestic, never have been. In fact, I left school at 16, and have been self employed ever since.
So sorry that my thoughts offend you so, but they are my thoughts and I will air them, just as you feel free to air yours.
You are undeniably paid from the pot – whether you like to see it that way or not. Doesn't mean you don't have a valuable role in our society, but you are paid from the pot.

Katiebeau Thu 11-Oct-12 14:35:19

I bow to your facts Twofingers. How come it's labour who oppose them now? I don't get it. I'm not arguing with your facts but policy today is that labour = no selection or even groupings in schools by ability. Why??

Anyway I still don't think any of the Cameron's money helped ease the pain of losing their son. It offends me that anyone from any political belief would stoop to saying this.

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 14:38:01

So, sunflowers in your wisdom: Am I now 'worth' more since the teaching portion of my work (which isnt' all of it) is paid directly from students' pockets?

Katiebeau Thu 11-Oct-12 14:38:33

And before anyone says it I think Gove is spineless to dismiss the root of so much upward mobility in the UK.

Rosieres Thu 11-Oct-12 14:40:43

Sunflower - you say that the wealthy are having their hard earned money taken from them, it is rarely acknowledged that much of their money can only be earned because of the state, and without a system of taxation and public services they would be much worse off. Let's imagine I was the CEO of a FTSE 100 company earning a few million a year. I can only do this job because I live in a peaceful country with the rule of law (so I have to contribute towards the police, judicial system and armed forces), that the country has infrastructure allowing trade (so I have to pay into the transport budget), that the country can provide me with healthy and educated workers who I can employ and customers I can trade with (so I need there to be a decent health and education system). I could continue this argument through much of the government budget. Only once these things are in place am I able to operate and earn the sort of income that the highest paid in the UK receive. So my hard earned cash would only be possible because the government and public sector ensure the conditions for trade and industry are in place.

Those conditions are not conjured up out of thin air, but need sustained investment. Without them we would become a failed state, like Somalia. But I don't see the wealthy individuals and corporations of the world queueing up to locate themselves in the low tax, low services, low education, low health, crime ridden, warring, failed states of the world.

What I do see are people who want to maximise what they can take out of society while minimising their responsibilities to it through tax avoidance and evasion. In 2006 (when figures were last available) the UKs 54 resident billionaires paid £14.7 million in tax between them. Of this £9 million (61%) was paid by one person - James Dyson. It is widely agreed in the tax accounting community that JK Rowling and James Dyson are the only UK billionaires paying a tax rate even remotely proportional to their income. The UKs richest man, Lakshi Mittal, pays around 0.14% tax. Compare that to your own tax rate. Of course Mittal has worked hard, taking home around £393 million in dividends in 2008. But can you say he works 15,000 times harder than a nurse bringing home £27K a year? Of course not. Any income in that league is out of all proportion to the effort put in, and is only possible because of the public services that ensure a stable, functioning, civilised society. There are no short cuts to providing that kind of society, the type we all want to live in, and those who benefit hugely from it by being able to generate wealth out of all proportion to their effort should return some of that wealth to keep the society they profit from functioning. If they don't (and many don't) they are freeloading on a level that the worst benefit cheat doesn't even come close to.

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 14:40:59

Vodafone et al have egregiously kept their money OUT of 'the pot', btw. The tax money which we should all now be using for essential services and to pay off the deficit run up by private banks and debt.

Should their employees now suffer accordingly? Or is it fine for vodafone to withhold their portion of tax because they don't belong to the 'public sector' (whatever you actually believe that to be- I don't think you're very clear on it).

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 14:43:12

I wouldn't worry Rosie. The likes of sunflowers are only likely to change their tune once something bad happens to them. Which it is likely to given the catastrophic decline in living standards we're all facing.

She is sticking to the 'private good public bad' mantra she's been taught by the press and will only change it once her health insurance company (if she can afford one) withhold care and her rubbish stops being collected.

Rosieres Thu 11-Oct-12 14:56:02

I found Cameron's charge that Labour were trying to split the country through class war disingenuous. The conservatives have been playing class war ever since they came back into office, just supporting the wealthy class against the majority class. If speaking out against injustice is class war, then I'm happy to be a class warrior.

And I say that as someone who didn't inherit money but worked hard, got through university and now runs their own business. So I ought to be someone buying into Cameron's rhetoric, but I see the opportunities given to me in the 80s and 90s being denied to my children's generation.

sunflowersfollowthesun Thu 11-Oct-12 14:59:21

What's with the sarcasm domestic ? Have I hit a nerve?
I haven't suggested that you are "worth" anything at all. Merely agreed with you that as a public sector worker, you are paid out of the communal pot.
In point of fact, the money isn't coming out of the students pockets (yet). It's borrowed money, which they will have to pay back when and if they earn over a set threshold. I am sure you are well aware of this, as am I with one child just finishing uni this year, another just starting and, most likely, a third a few years behind. I'm certainly of the opinion that it's better that students pay for their higher education, rather than taking more money from the disabled, for instance, much as I would like them to get a free university education.
I am delighted my kids will benefit from a university education I would have dearly loved to have had one. Personally, I feel it is right that they make some contribution for the benefits they will reap later in their lives.
I just hope they have the benefit of having lecturers who are more respectful of differing opinions than you seem to be, and who resist the urge to belittle people's apparent intelligence.

Katiebeau Thu 11-Oct-12 14:59:22

Rosie I think most of us know how much of the countries infrastructure is run by the state. And paid for by taxes of many types.

Tax avoidance; at least this government is tackling some of the loop holes and chasing payments. the last one didn't do much there.

For the record I don't think a disabled child should suffer at all from these cuts but I do wish people using state benefits when relatively well off (very subjective I know) just because they are there quit moaning when they aren't there anymore to help divvy out the smaller pot to the much more vulnerable in society.

Relatively well off to me means been able to afford to get to a job, house/feed/clothe/warm the family and support their children's education with broadband etc which is necessary today.

sunflowersfollowthesun Thu 11-Oct-12 15:17:22

Really, Domestic, you're coming over more than a little arrogant if I might say so. Just because I don't agree with your (obviously superior) views I am deluded?
I have not been "taught" by the press. I have lived it. You would do well to be a little less condescending and a little more open to POV's that differ from your own.
You have no idea whether anything bad has happened to me (it has, and then some) or if it would make any difference to my outlook (it hasn't).

Rosie that is a great post that deserves a thoughtful answer, which I don't have time to construct just now. I will come back to you though, but it might not be until tomorrow now.
Or you could always ask Domestic what I think. grin

yellowvan Thu 11-Oct-12 15:22:38

To add to Domestic's point re: tax : Perhaps if wages were higher amd more people were in work (we had growth), more people would pay into the tax pot and our hearts would not have to bleed so much for that over-taxed 1% who are apparently keeping us afloat. paying tax is a good thing. I want to pay lots of lovely tax, but wages need to be higher.
And another thing, here are some people scrounging off the government: a4e (gvmt contracts) serco (govmt contracts) capita (local gvmt contracts) amazon, vodaphone (tax exemptions and avoidance). I'm sure you can think of many more corporations who are only kept afloat by a) the avoidance of tax, so effectively a handout and b) contracts previously fulfilled by public sector, so effectively a state handout.

threesocksmorgan Thu 11-Oct-12 15:26:04

"I don't know the ins and outs of of caring for disabled family members,"
no Sunflower you obviously don't, if you did you wold know that it is something that money does help. money enables you to buy in services.
and no cameron did not choose to have a disabled child.
but he did choose to use both his child and his father in his speech,
sick!
why? if not to try and make himself look "caring"

twofingerstoGideon Thu 11-Oct-12 15:53:03

Katiebeau Anyway I still don't think any of the Cameron's money helped ease the pain of losing their son. It offends me that anyone from any political belief would stoop to saying this.

I don't think anyone has said the Cameron's money helped ease the pain of losing their son, although several people have said that money would have eased some of the stresses around having a disabled family member (eg being able to pay for respite, nannies, private health care etc...)

threesocksmorgan Thu 11-Oct-12 15:56:00

Katiebeau post is proof of how things get twisted as I have not seen or heard anyone say such a thing.

Katiebeau Thu 11-Oct-12 15:58:03

Fairs do's. If that was what I read into some posts and it wasn't meant I apologise.

Katiebeau Thu 11-Oct-12 15:58:30

I'm fair and if I make a mistake I apologise. I'm not twisted angry

No matter how much i don't agree with this goverment and the cuts they are making that was a very low thing to saysad-No amount of money would make up for losing a child, that comment was uncalled for!

Katiebeau Thu 11-Oct-12 16:01:45

Not just me then?

Rosieres Thu 11-Oct-12 16:04:20

Kaitebeau I wish I could be as confident as you about the current government chasing after tax evaders and closing the loopholes of tax avoiders. Certainly Labour weren't brilliant at it when they were in government, to an extent they didn't have to because the financial services sector was overheating and generating huge amounts of revenue , so the government receipts were healthy enough. So Labour didn't have to pluck up the courage to track down the tax avoiders and make them pay their fair share.

Corporate tax avoidance has become much worse since the last election. Businesses feeling the squeeze look to reduce their costs, that includes their tax bill. Once one company finds a way to dodge tax others will seek to copy it. You end up in a viscious circle of companies that want to pay their fair share of tax not doing so because they have to compete with the tax avoiders. This is one of the big problems in the Greek economy, where VAT collection is poor. If you collect VAT on your business activities you end up 20% more expensive than your rivals, so in Greece you have to dodge VAT to stay in business. Corporate tax avoidance is essentially corrupting, and what happened to Greece is happening here. For example, Amazon has annual sales in the UK of £3.3 billion but pay virtually no corporation tax. This is because in 2006 they set up an office in Luxembourg which "bought out" the UK company, and the UK profits are siphoned off to Luxembourg where they pay a much lower tax rate. Since 2006 this has cost the UK government around £250 million. They employ several thousand people in the UK and only 134 in Luxembourg, but claim to be a Luxembourg company. They have repeated this trick across Europe, so all their sales through Germany, France, Spain, Italy etc. avoid tax in those countries. Any wonder that the EU economies are struggling when this is allowed? Since then many companies have followed suit - Ebay (and their subsidiary Paypal), Google, Boots (who were based in Nottingham for 150 years, but now claim they are based in Switzerland for tax purposes).

The government is aware of this tax avoidance but seems powerless to stop it. They often say that if they raise taxes on wealthy individuals then those individuals will just move abroad. But Amazon, Boots, et al. are not going to stop trading in the UK if they have to take a slice of their healthy profits and pay it as corporation tax. And the tax avoidance is unfair competition, because the local pharmacist or local bookshop can't choose to be based in a tax haven for accounting purposes, so it is harming UK based business.

Much of this could be tackled - the European tax havens could be tackled by co-ordinated EU legislation, and many other tax havens (Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, etc.) are Crown Dependencies, so the British Government has massive influence here. That they choose not to act is either (1) they are afraid of the power of those with great wealth salted away in these offshore tax havens or (2) they are supportive of them. I suspect when Labour were in power it was (1), with the Conservatives it is (2). I say this because over 50% of Conservative party funding comes from individuals or institutions based in the City. So when they make policy decisions, whose interests are they working for?

threesocksmorgan Thu 11-Oct-12 16:07:25

pumpkinsweetie Thu 11-Oct-12 15:59:24
No matter how much i don't agree with this goverment and the cuts they are making that was a very low thing to say-No amount of money would make up for losing a child, that comment was uncalled for!

where?
where did someone make this comment??

Katiebeau Thu 11-Oct-12 16:14:16

I agree re the corporate tax avoidance. A huge number of multi EU country companies headquarters reside in Switzerland now so UK gets jack.

As for old UK companies moving there how could the UK stop this? I really would like to hear if it's possible as it grates to be honest. Especially when they employ majority of their workforce in the UK as its cheaper than Switzerland. Companies do need certain numbers to be employed in Switzerland maximise tax savings though. These tend to be the higher level jobs which stifles career progression in the UK (reducing social mobility).

But what's better? Lower corporation tax to be competitive with Switzerland or turn a blind eye where the majority of employment and work is channeled through the UK creating jobs? I honestly don't know what brings in most tax to the UK and where the law lies which allows companies to move HQ to cheaper tax countries.

Yes, please direct me the comments that state money eased the emotional heartbreak. I think you will find there are none.

Comments do exist stating that the family's experiences of living with disability are very different to the vast majority of those who are doing so on benefits.

threesocksmorgan Thu 11-Oct-12 16:35:29

Glitterknickaz glad I am not alone as I have not seen these comments.

Mrsdoyle1 Thu 11-Oct-12 16:39:52

^"Cameron is accused of being an out-of-touch toff who is privileged and has never faced hardship. But that is not true, his money and background don't make him immune to suffering. I think he mentioned his disabled son who died young and his father who had no heels and who had his legs amputated, partly to show that he does know about disability and that he is not a heartless uncaring person.

The Tory scum and heartless image that is painted of Tories is a caricature and a cheap trick used by political opponents who are often just as privileged."^

Claig, political opponents have no need of cheap tricks to paint the Tories in this way or to create any caricature. The Tories do this themselves to perfection. If Cameron is not a 'heartless, uncaring person', why are so many of his policies designed to protect the funds of the wealthy and take away even more from those who have scarcely enough to make ends meet? Cameron and his party are so out of touch with general society (as opposed to the privileged elite) it beggars belief. They have no interest in helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds to better themselves, they simply want to protect the elite and their privileges. Witness the behaviour they tolerate unquestioningly from financial institutions, versus, for example, their decision to cap benefits at £26,000 despite research from the Rowntree Foundation saying that around £36,000 is needed to provide a normal living these days with costs for housing and other basic needs set so high.

Mrsdoyle1 Thu 11-Oct-12 16:46:44

Rosieres, hear, hear - it's good to read such a coherent argument. I totally agree with your points.

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 17:00:29

for further proof of how current and future Tory policies are clobbering small in favour of big business have a look at the Universal Credit stuff. People on there who are EXACTLY the 'strivers' Cameron goes on about- people starting their own businesses from scratch- are being absolutely shafted by a system which will withdraw tax credit support in their early years.

If there is one thing a Tory government SHOULD be doing surely it is supporting startup businesses? The more of these grow and succeed, the better for the economy.

Instead they favour the interests of multinationals which, as Rosieres so sensibly argues, will never pull out of an entire European market due to reasonable tax rises. If that were the case they'd have been out of Scandinavia long ago.

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 17:03:32

Let's also not forget the interests of the City and the big accounting firms in helping rich individuals and companies to hide wealth.

When I worked in tax long ago for a large accounting firm you will all have heard of, the firm was creaming off huge amounts in tax avoidance cash by dreaming up the schemes by which the big companies distribute and account for profit.

These are the Tories true people- accountants, City lawyers, bankers and multinationals. They are the sons of these people, their friends, their milieu. Their interests are entrenched within the party (and New Labour desperately aspired to be the same). Tories believe that what is good for these people is good for the country. The desperately confused individualist moralism of lower-income Tory supporters buys right into that.

domesticgodless Thu 11-Oct-12 17:04:19

sorry that should say Universal Credit thread, active at the moment on MN.

filetheflightoffancy Thu 11-Oct-12 18:31:50

Urgh, could people please stop talking about David Cameron 'using' and 'wheeling out' his dead son.

That boy is his son and he died - DC can talk about him any time he fucking well likes.

Peachy Thu 11-Oct-12 18:41:13

Domestic what you seem to miss is that DH is a hard working taxpayer!

It's the student LOAN that would pay for it- LOAN. We would pay, with interest, but the admin got fucked up.

Peachy Thu 11-Oct-12 18:43:15

OOps sorry I got that messed up didn;t I? My excuse is a bad day with ds1. I do apologise.

DH was a hardworking tax payer before being a student, so was I: at my palce of study 46% of students were adulst, it's really not that clean cut any more.

Peachy Thu 11-Oct-12 18:46:58

Filethe you know, he can.

But the minute he talks about him in political debate, Ivan becomes political property. A politician makes comments that are debated as his profession: you cannot have some areas that are off limits for discussion and yet be able to make political capital from them.

It simply cannot work like that.

claig Thu 11-Oct-12 18:50:37

Anyone reading this would think that Cameron was a machine and that he wasn't human. He understands more about disability than the majority of the public. He was fortunate to have money and didn't have the extra stresses that some other parents of disabled children had, but he understands disability more than most of us.

New Labour was in power when Amazon moved HQ, which is a legal thing to do, and when bankers were pocketing huge bonuses and some companies were paying low rates of tax (which was also legal). New Labour knighted some bankers for "services to banking". There were newspaper reports headlined "work or lose your home" under New Labour which were about some of Labour's policy towards the unemployed.

All the parties look after the great and the good, unfortunately, and "squeeze" the middle in order to pay for the poor.

claig Thu 11-Oct-12 18:58:50

Workfare was introduced into Britain by New Labour, just like tuition fees. Labour just handed the baton over to the Tories and they have run with it. Don't believe the cheap tricks of some of the opposition MPs who claimed expenses for bath plugs, flipped homes, sent their children to private schools and earn a pretty packet.

Peachy Thu 11-Oct-12 18:59:30

Arguing against Cameron does not equate to liking Labour or having been happy with previous policy.

Oh too right. I'll never forgive Labour for ATOS nor Milibean for his assertions that he'd stick by Welfare Reform.

claig Thu 11-Oct-12 19:04:03

Good, because it is not black and white. There is good and bad in both parties. The public decided to kick Labour out because they felt there was more good in the Tories and the Coalition than in New Labour, having seen what they did over 13 years. If the public decide that they were wrong, they will reelect Labour.

I don't agree that there is more good in the Coalition.
I honestly feel we do not have an opposition any more.

Peachy Thu 11-Oct-12 19:05:17

Workfare was introduced by labour yes but fully enacted before the testing rigmarole was sufficiently complete. BOTH parties have a lot to answer for on that score.

Except I am not anti workfare for certain claimants, I just want compassionate workfare. One that realises childcare is not always accessible, understands there is a world of health between full and disabled; that people have skill sets and skill deficits (put me in a a charity and I will fly, in an accounts dept and I will bankrupt them within a week); that is sensible with distance and travel- they could send me on workfare were I not exempt into England, a trip so costly with tolls that DH used to pay £100 a month in those alone!

I am opposed to jobs in real employments being taken by free workers.

OTOH if someone said to me earn your Carer's Allowance by answering phones term time and when kids in school at a charity 10 - 2 a week I will jump at it, I tried volunteering but they were full of students and workfare people. The new local voluntary body (where the receivers pay for the services of volunteers- wtf?) charges people to ask for volunteer work, as so many students need it to complete their courses they were inundated. The organisation can;t manage difficult cases but is used as an excuse not to provide much in our town now- another kick in the respite!

It's a mess.

Peachy Thu 11-Oct-12 19:06:47

I don;t think people understood the coalition would be so unbalanced. It's Tory under another name.

I'd prefer Labour of the two because I know I felt safer then than now. I'd prefer something different entirely.

claig Thu 11-Oct-12 19:08:17

Labour never reversed outsourcing in hospitals and I think they were the ones that started giving contracts to A4E and many other large providers. They can spin all they like, but the public has a long memory.

But opposition towards current policies are also important, because if there is enough fuss, then the politicians will have to listen and do some U-turns, as the Tories have already done.

claig Thu 11-Oct-12 19:11:12

'I'd prefer Labour of the two'

That's fine. But you are only one person. It depends what the entire public think. But let's not paint individuals as Tory scum when to a great extent they are only continuing with New Labour style policies.

claig Thu 11-Oct-12 19:16:11

I think they should slash the foreign aid budget and in these dire times, should spend that money on disabled people, the elderly, on hospitals so that not one more person dies of dehydration on a ward, and on building houses and creating employment. But we all know they won't do that, and New Labour wouldn't have cut it either.

Peachy Thu 11-Oct-12 19:17:35

I haven't though, I work hard not to even though I feel it more and more as time goes on. I DO feel they are quite happy to paint me as claimant scum; the universality of UC is going to reinforce that image I feel. When tax credit claimant cannot be separated from IS claimant, we all become 'scroungers'.

Feel pretty sure in my own mind that is intentional.

Actually I'm not one person in that opinion: my family like many from the SW are Lib Dem and have been for many years, I remember spending my childhood treading up and down delivering leaflets, Dad stood and I was invited to, massive signs in Dad's garden and my home as the local base address....

Last count that was another 11 new members for the Labour Party. The only Lib Dem voter in my family who remains is my BIL, who makes Schnapps look like a campaigner for the Yellow Softies Party.

I am not convinced Labour will get in next time, after all they are fronted by a PR man who is very talented at his job. I am pretty certain if they don't DH will end up losing his business as it just becomes harder and harder to fall within their rules and regs- workfare if your business has a bad month and you don't make MW? Really? We have good months and bad ones, it's the nature of the industry.

claig Thu 11-Oct-12 19:17:51

Some people say they will maintain that budget because they are "caring".

claig Thu 11-Oct-12 19:21:41

If they can swing it, then there will be a recovery soon. They put us through hard times to gain the approval of the "markets" and have built up good faith with the "markets". If they want to remain in office, they know they will have to turn the economy round. They will try their best to find a way. If they don't succeed, then there is every chance that they will get kicked out.

twofingerstoGideon Thu 11-Oct-12 19:39:39

Peachy Arguing against Cameron does not equate to liking Labour or having been happy with previous policy.

Thanks for that. It pisses me off, too, this assumption that disagreeing with Tory policies mean that we must be blinkered, labour-voters. I hated a lot of what New Labour did, particularly Iraq/Afghanistan etc.

But I know who I would rather have in power...

MiniTheMinx Thu 11-Oct-12 20:00:07

I'm also relieved to know that I can now argue against Tory policy without acquiring the labour voter badge grin

I listened to the speech while I was trying to work yesterday. I have to say I thought that Cameron made a bigger impact upon his own party than Ed did. It was by far the more engaging speech. DP and I were so engaged & amused we were howling with laughter. It was entertaining except for the fact that Dave was deadly serious. He actually thinks that penalising self employed strivers like me will produce more of the same! Bless.

claig Thu 11-Oct-12 20:07:24

Are you saying that he has thrown the striver down the river? I missed that bit, how is he penalising the self-employed?

MiniTheMinx Thu 11-Oct-12 20:37:24

How many times did Dave say striver! The UC that replaces tax credit will penalise people who are working for themselves who fail to make enough profit in the first year or so. It seems that many self employed people who claim tax credits are having to rethink. It won't effect me but many unemployed people might work for themselves given the right incentives and support, this isn't it clearly.

claig Thu 11-Oct-12 20:52:55

'How many times did Dave say striver!'

Not enough for my liking. I feel he missed an opportunity there.

sunflower I read all the manifestos, I read, I listen to the radio - I know exactly what all the parties stand for.

I am just sick to the stomach of this unelected government dismantling our public services and attacking the most vulnerable in our society for reasons totally unconnected to austerity, but totally connected dogmatic ideology. I don't need to listen to their rhetoric.

Don't judge me by one slightly flippant comment.

MiniTheMinx Thu 11-Oct-12 21:38:42

grin claig

The deficit is growing, the recession is deepening, the right are out in force attacking the scroungers. Thing is, if you strip people of every last penny whether it be through tax or through benefit cuts everyones job security is threatened.

threesocksmorgan Thu 11-Oct-12 22:09:44

"scroungers"
and that also includes disabled people!
that is what the government have painted them as.

(I notice that the accusations made earlier in the thread were not backed up)

claig Thu 11-Oct-12 22:29:07

I agree I don't like all this stuff about scroungers and strivers, 'hard work' and the feckless. It is divide and rule and is certainly not 'one nation', just as I don't like teh socialists divide and rule of Daily Heil and Tory scum. They are all at it - class war and divide and rule.

TurquoiseTranquility Fri 12-Oct-12 01:20:04

Sorry haven't read the whole thread. Neither have I bothered listening to what nonsense the public school boy had to say for himself.

One thing stuck in mind though.

"Work is the only way out of poverty".

"ARBEIT MACHT FREI".

You know what, Dave, if you can't come up with anything original, at least you should be bolder. Do as your austere Nordic predecessors did - get those scroungers to donate their clothes and shoes to charity before sending them off to labour camps for their benefits. Oh, and why burn them afterwards, you could mince their meat and feed it to more scroungers. Coz they just keep coming ain't they hmm

domesticgodless Fri 12-Oct-12 07:46:40

Peachy I am quite sure your DH IS a hardworking taxpayer!

It won't matter of course to those who decide he is 'not earning enough'.

Education is becoming a matter of privilege alone. It is indeed an utter mess as you say above.

BridgetBidet Fri 12-Oct-12 09:43:40

Reading through this thread the bit of his speech about Ivan seems to have had the desired effect on some people. 'Sod what his policies are, he's suffered and I feel sorry for him.

FFS, it's a party political conference, not a Jeremy Kyle style competition to see who's suffered most.

Apparently the Tories are suffering most with the female vote and unfortunately there are a fair number of women voters (and it is women) who will watch something like that and decide he looks like a nice sensitive man who in the style of Peter Andre loves his kids and go out and vote for him.

This isn't an off the cuff remark about Ivan, it is a speech that will have been carefully considered and signed off with exactly this kind of effect in mind. It IS cynical.

domesticgodless Fri 12-Oct-12 09:57:17

agreed Bridget. Nothing that man does is spontaneous. The same could be said for any politician.

threesocksmorgan Fri 12-Oct-12 10:00:39

BridgetBidet too true.
but sadly people do get sucked in and will gush over him,
You only have to look at this thread and how he has managed it.
It then makes it hard for parents who care for disabled children/adults to question his morals, as they just get shouted down, or their words twisted.

sunflowersfollowthesun Fri 12-Oct-12 11:07:30

Morning Rosie
Re-reading your post this morning it strikes me that you are likely an economics lecturer/student of some description, and as has already been stated, I'm not. So I can't bandy statistics and theories with you ( and no bad thing to my mind, we all know what they say about statistics and theories), however DH and I have lived the life of "strivers" and self employment for the last 30 years, so I do feel our experiences can be observed as valid opinion.
It is in every citizen's interest that a country is peaceful and has good infrastructure, not just those with the initiative and drive to start new business'. Everyone needs these conditions to thrive, so I feel that is a non argument, personally.
Indeed, if the country wasn't in such a state, why on earth would anyone locate their FTSE 100 company there in the first place? They'd set up somewhere else and that country would benefit from the investment, jobs, tax etc.
A proportion of everyone's tax bill goes towards defense (sticking with your example), 7% was the figure I found. So, 7% of £2,000,000 = £140,000 compered to 7% of £26,000 (nat. average wage) = £1,820. I know these are gross rather than net figures here, but I have neither time nor inclination to work it out net. Proportionally, it illustrates my point. So the country's defenses receive a boost of £140,000 from our "imaginary" CEO whereas it only gets £1,820 from the average paid chap that works for him. Seems like the CEO is paying handsomely towards the defense of the nation that everyone needs to me. Not to mention of course that if that CEO hadn't set up his company, the defense budget would also be short of hundreds/ thousands of £1,820's because those folk wouldn't have jobs!
As regards your point about whether a "boss" deserves to be paid more than his workers I posit this:
If you have two men working on site, do you get twice the work done? NO.
If "the boss" isn't on site, does the remaining worker achieve as much as the "boss" would have? NO.
Does the worker care about client relations? NO
Would the worker stay 10mins longer to clean up the site properly? NO.
Does the worker give a toss where the jobs come from in the first place? NO.
OK, fair enough, he's paid to work set hours, is entitled to set breaks, doesn't have the vested interest a "boss" would have BUT he is always paid first and on time, doesn't have to go home, unload trailers and set them up for the following day, come in, eat tea and start working on the books, fall asleep in front of the football then wake up in the middle of the night worrying where the next jobs are coming from, spend weekends following up new enquiries, doesn't have to spend a fortune on advertising, doesn't have to maintain a business phone line, doesn't have to pay public liability insurance, doesn't have to not take any wage at all occasionally if the booking board is looking a bit ropey. I could go on.
So when things are going well and the board is full, do I think the "boss' is perfectly entitled to reap the benefits?
You're damn right I do!
CEO's of mega companies are just a scaled up version of this, our life. Someone, at some point, has had the idea, has taken the risk, put in the time, done without starting a family they weren't sure they could support, taken no holidays, run nails of cars, ensured their employees were paid before they were. And if it works and your children take over that business, are they entitled to reap the benefits? Again, you're damn right they are.
Anyone can take the self employed route. Anyone
If you don't want to take the risks and put in the time and effort, fair enough, take a regular, paid job, but don't bleat about it not being fair.
There will always be folk who play the system, at every and any level, but what really pisses me off on these boards is the consistent vilification of anyone who strives to make a go of a business and succeeds, and is then observed reaping the benefits, at whatever level.

sunflowersfollowthesun Fri 12-Oct-12 11:26:04

Turquoise
That is the single most disgusting thing I have ever read on these boards.

domesticgodless Fri 12-Oct-12 11:29:50

Sunflowers absolutely nothing in your encomium to CEOs justifies the vast tax evasion taking place in this country. Justify that if you will. The most brilliant life saving scientist or surgeon, the greatest teacher, the star employee who brings in more to her company than any other has to pay full tax through PAYE. So justify that. You can't. Full stop.

sunflowersfollowthesun Fri 12-Oct-12 11:30:30

Domestic
Education is becoming a matter of privilege alone
Oh! I'd better tell my boys they're not going then. hmm
You know very well you don't need the cash up front to pay to go to university Domestic. Every child can apply for student finance and pay it back when/if they're working. Why would you, of all people, indulge in this scaremongering?

domesticgodless Fri 12-Oct-12 11:30:58

re Turquoises' post, she merely translates into German what is now openly said by Atos and their apologisers within government.

If you think labour camps could never happen in this country and the workhouse will never return, you are so dead wrong.

domesticgodless Fri 12-Oct-12 11:32:14

Sunflowers, because I am seeing the type of students I am getting and 95% are middle class or above. And this is not at a 'top' university although it is a law school.

domesticgodless Fri 12-Oct-12 11:33:49

although tbh in the new economic climate quite a few graduates will never reach the earnings threshold of 21k that a good few will never pay the loan back. Not sure how much of a gift from government that really is.

sunflowersfollowthesun Fri 12-Oct-12 11:35:00

I have never attempted to, nor would I, justify tax evasion.

In fact, if you read my post properly, you would see I stated that:
"There will always be folk who play the system, at every and any level,"

domesticgodless Fri 12-Oct-12 11:36:35

what I want to see is Lakshmi Mittel and his ilk paying 20% tax the way I do.

Then we can start sorting out the rest of the 'scroungers' if we still need to.

sunflowersfollowthesun Fri 12-Oct-12 11:41:32

Domestic
There is a "class" restriction on applying for student loans then?
I hadn't noticed that. Nor had I noticed a class restriction in the companions of my two university student boys.
There are undoubtedly problems in some schools with regards to boosting the aspirations of some children. That is an entirely separate issue to university education only being available to the "privileged" few.

domesticgodless Fri 12-Oct-12 11:46:33

Riiiight... so now it is the schools' fault....

hmm I don't think I can engage with your 'reasoning' any more. It's just so far away from my experience and way of thinking that it makes my head spin.

Conclude from that that I'm an argumentative lightweight if you wish :D but actually I've got to write a bloody article and sharpish then update the family law module outline argh :/ or else I shall be working the weekend! (Nb this frequently happens to us public sector 'shirkers' in education)

sunflowersfollowthesun Fri 12-Oct-12 11:50:30

quite a few graduates will never reach the earnings threshold of 21k

And this has nothing to do with the ridiculous target of 50% of students going to university, leading to mindbogglingly useless courses?

There is nothing second rate about vocational training. Trade has given us an immensely rewarding (if challenging) living. Apprenticeships are what we need! Let the academically able go to university, provide excellent apprenticeships for those who prefer the trades. The only subject I would make compulsory modules for both would be common sense!

claig Fri 12-Oct-12 11:53:13

Good posts sunflowers, and agree with you about Turquoises's post.

I am starting to agree with Xenia that there should be a limit on the tax that these super wealthy individuals pay. Why should they pay 40% of the millions that they earn, when the majority of people pay thousands as opposed to millions?

Reading up about Mittal, he provides lots of jobs and asking him to contribute millions in tax seems a bit excessive given that most of us only contribute thousands.

sunflowersfollowthesun Fri 12-Oct-12 11:54:59

For goodness sake domestic get a grip!
Whats with the persecution complex?
Who's ever called you a shirker? (although if having to put in a couple of hours at the weekend is enough to give you the habdabs perhaps....)

Gotta go out on site for a couple of hours now but will try to catch up tonight.

twofingerstoGideon Fri 12-Oct-12 12:02:05

sunflowers Although there is no 'class restriction' on applying for student loans, do you not think that leaving university with a debt of £45,000 may deter students from low income families from applying? My DD is almost 16 and is already questioning whether she can 'afford' to go to uni and worrying about the degree of debt she'd incur if she did. However much you say 'oh it doesn't have to be paid back until a certain income level is attained, blah blah...' the idea of a debt of that magnitude when you come from a family which survives on, say, less than £20,000/year is worrying. Conversely, if you come from a family where £45K is chicken feed, you probably won't be deterred from applying. Anyway, haven't we all had the 'debt is bad' message shoved down our collective throats? Of course, low income families are going to think twice about taking on such an enormous liability.

There is also the question of what graduates can do afterwards, now that a degree doesn't guarantee employment. Again, the middle/upper classes may be able to afford to do an internship/go and work in mummy or daddy's law practice/whatever, but lower income families do not usually have this means of entry into the job market and are probably questioning the value of an 'investment' in higher education.

Throw the removal of EMA into the equation and some promising students may not even be able to afford to go down the A Level route...

domesticgodless Fri 12-Oct-12 12:24:47

how the heck do you know how many hours I have to put in at the weekend, sunflowers?

And don't lecture me to get a grip. I already deal with severe mental illness (which I didn't make up to get benefits, as I do not receive any), two kids (alone) and a full time job. I've got a grip, thanks. A very hard one.

Rosieres Fri 12-Oct-12 12:40:56

Hi Sunflowers, thanks for your reply. First off, I'm not an economics student - I did a bit at A level, but my degrees are in Psychology and Theology. But I read widely, discuss frequently, and Google is my friend.

My specific argument was trying to take on the point that there are some who put in more than they take out, and others who take out more than they put in. I was trying to show that what we "get out" of society is more than just direct payments we receive from government (whether benefits or wages), or even the services we directly use (such as our schooling or going to the doctor). We also receive indirectly by the benefits to society as a whole which we all need to thrive, and are needed particularly by those who receive the highest pay. I am a self employed sole trader, and I know exactly what I am worth - what I earn. But if I were the head of a multinational and earning millions it is more complex, and my pay would only be possible because the state has educated my workers, kept them healthy, given me infrastructure, etc. My million pound plus salary would not just be down to my hard work, but how I could make the most of the hard work of others. So those who make money through employing others and needing a large customer base are receiving a lot more indirectly from the state than a low earning sole trader like myself. But it is common, particularly by those who feel they contribute more than they receive, to overlook these essential indirect benefits, and assume that government should be shrunk to the size of only those services we personally use. But we indirectly use services all the time - for example, if I am served in a shop, unless the assistant was privately educated, my taxes have contributed to the fact they have been taught to read and add up. Which is why I want everyone to pay their fair share of tax - as you and I do and as many large companies and multi millionaires don't.

As mentioned before, Amazon UK pays virtually no corporation tax even though they have annual sales of £3.3 billion, and Lakshmi Mittal (the UKs richest resident) only pays tax at 0.14%. But Amazon and Mr Mittal can only make money in the UK because of all the infrastructure and services that you and I have paid for. Which is why, for me, they are worse than benefit scroungers - because they take far more out of the system than anyone cheating the benefits system. Not that I approve of benefit cheats, but I would rather be cheated out of £30K by a benefit fraudster than £250 million by a corporate tax dodger - personally I'd rather neither happened!

I also don't think that everyone should be paid the same, and I don't think I said that. There should be rewards for people who work hard, or are creative, or inventive, or who take some risks. I'm self employed and the link between my pay and how much I put in is very clear to me. But the ratio between the average wage and the highest wages seem out of all proportion to the ratio between the hard work put in by an average worker and the highest paid workers. But I am not convinced that someone who takes home £26 million is a thousand times harder working than the average worker. Maybe five times harder, perhaps ten times harder, but a thousand?

I don't mind people earning huge amounts, I am proud of some of our industrialists (such as James Dyson) who have made something new, taken the risk, provided employment and pay tax on their income. And they are hugely rewarded when it works. I do have concerns about some operations of the City, such as derivatives trading, which don't seem to add any genuine value to society, just shuffle money around in some theoretical meta-game and then take huge amounts of cash out, usually siphoned off to some offshore tax haven so they don't have to pay tax. And when it goes wrong, you and I bail them out. So while some very weatlhy people are earning it and taking the risks themselves, others are withdrawing money from the system without adding genuine value and we are underwriting them. I have a problem with that. I also have a problem with the main party of government receiving over half of their funding from the City, with 1 in 6 of the House of Lords receiving payments from such financial institutions. It is a clear conflict of interest and not good for democracy.

So, in a nutshell, my case is that we can only flourish as a society if we have a given level of services and infrastructure, and the indirect benefits of public services are huge but usually overlooked. These benefits can only be accrued if we invest in them, and that means taxation. Taxation should be proportional to wealth, partly because the wealthy are more able to pay (and will still be wealthier than the rest once tax has been deducted), but also because the generation of their wealth has needed a greater reliance on the indirect benefits of public services than someone who generates less wealth (i.e. they can only have the multi million salaries by making use of a large number of workers, consumers and infrastructure provided by an organised state dependent on tax revenue). However, it becomes unfair when a person or corporation is so wealthy that they can bypass the tax system through tax avoidance schemes such as offshoring their assets. When this is tolerated it leads to a greater tax burden on the less well off and an erosion of public services, and therefore the organised society needed by the next generation of entrepreneurs to generate wealth from. So government should be spending every waking hour trying to figure out how to make sure the high wealth tax avoiders can be made to pay their fair share of tax - because if they did all the headaches about the deficit and where to make the cuts would disappear. Estimated tax avoidance in the UK is about £70 billion a year, tax evasion is about £15 billion, while the budget deficit for 2012/13 is £90 billion. Forget demonising the disabled, closing care homes, sacking police and saddling the next generation with huge debts. Just make everyone pay their fair share and we're just £5 billion short, which in governmental terms isn't a huge amount to find.

Rosieres - you talk a huge amount of sense in a non-confrontational way. Have been following this thread and have learned a lot from your posts and others.

If you ever feel like going into politics you've got my vote.

sunflowersfollowthesun Fri 12-Oct-12 20:27:59

£45,000 is a daunting figure for most people twofingers. I can only tell you the thoughts and discussions that we had about it.
We feel that having received a free education up until the age of 18, it is right that the student should contribute for the higher education that should stand him in good stead for the rest of his life. Why should someone who leaves school at 16/18, and starts work, pay through their taxes for the degree that is only going to benefit our son.
Student tuition fees and maintenance loans need to be paid back, and you can also apply for a maintenance grant (which you don't have to pay back) if your income is below a set amount (about 25,000 as I recall). EVERYBODY has access to these.
Nothing needs to be paid back until the graduate (hopefully grin) is earning £22,000 a year, and even then the repayments only come in at £7.50 a month, because the repayments are spread out over a long period. If they lose their job, the repayments stop, if they take a lower paid job having decided thats not what they want to do after all, the repayments stop (unless they start earning over £22,000 again) The potential to earn far better money makes this a very favourable investment AS LONG AS your child is studying for a "proper" degree.
Languages, history, maths, sciences, medicine, geography, law – "proper degrees.
Pop music production, Adventure tourism, Events management – wouldn't touch them with a barge pole.
It would be a tragedy for your daughter not to have this opportunity for fear of figures on a piece of paper that have no significance whatsoever until she is earning good money, potentially great money.

Have a look at www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/student-loans-tuition-fees-changes#9this site with her, it might help you make your minds up.

I wish her the best of luck, whatever she decides.smile

sunflowersfollowthesun Fri 12-Oct-12 20:42:41

Apologies Domestic The comment was intended as a spot of gentle teasing, but I omitted to add the grin at the end leading to misinterpretation.

However, given that you have demonstrated yourself to be a little thin skinned, it might be an idea not to chuck about such comments as:
^Sunflower's post is quite the strangest most twisted attempt at 'ethical' reasoning I've ever read.

Even my undergrads do better than that^
or
I wouldn't worry Rosie. The likes of sunflowers are only likely to change their tune once something bad happens to them.
or
She is sticking to the 'private good public bad' mantra she's been taught by the press

Just a thought.

sunflowersfollowthesun Fri 12-Oct-12 20:45:23

Blimey, Rosie, I think I need a wine, or even winewine before I tackle that one!
Will open a bottle and give it some thought.smile

Rosieres Fri 12-Oct-12 21:20:02

Enjoy the wine sunflowers

Emphatic - thanks for the vote of confidence blush. Should I ever run for high office I'll be in touch. Although with two children, a delightful OH, a small business and various voluntary work I think it's unlikely that I would add politics to my commitments!

sunflowersfollowthesun Sat 13-Oct-12 21:28:51

Hi Rosie, sorry I didn't get back to you last night, a rl friend dropped in and helped me finish off the wine. Happily, she'd bought another one with her.
OK,*Domestic*. Gird your loins, here's another dose of twisted Sunflower thinking. (Hey! I like that, I might namechange to TwistedSunflower. grin)

My first quibble is with your assertion that it is the highest paid who benefit most from "society" being educated and kept healthy. This could be true if people were educated/cared for specifically for them to employ, but that patently isn't the case. The fact that a person is educated gives them power in their own right. They can choose who they want to work for or even if they want to work for anyone at all, they could choose to go down the self employed route, as we did. Goodness, just think for a second about the breathtakingly heroic Malala Yousafzai – shot in the head by the Taliban because she protested her right to an education. Just so she could be useful enough to employ? I really don't think so.
Putting that aside for a moment, I ran our "imaginary" CEO and average wage examples through a tax calculator this time, so the figures are accurate.
Our £2 million CEO already does contribute £136,937 to an education system that in all likelihood neither he, nor his children use (based on the fact that 18% of the £978,126 tax he pays goes to education). Meanwhile, our average wage earner (£26,000) pays £501. I would say he already contributes handsomely to the education budget of his employees, whether or not you accept that they are educated purely for his benefit (which I don't).
Then we need to also consider that the employees, themselves, pay for their education through their taxes, the education that empowers them and gives them the tools to make of life what they will.
There's also the fact that the employee's parents, through their tax contributions, have paid for the education of their child.
How many times does one person's education need paying for?
Looking at the health aspect, once again, CEO contributes £176,062 to the health budget, average worker £644. (Based on 18% of tax bill going to health) Again, quite probably, the CEO has private health cover and does not use the NHS except perhaps A & E and potentially ICU)
PLUS Companies have to pay Employers NI for every employee (I think I'm correct in thinking it is NI that is supposed to cover health and pensions) I don't mean the employees own NI contribution, which is automatically deducted from his wage, I mean the Employers National Insurance . The employer has to pay 12.8% of every single employees salary in a NI contribution, that's £3,328 for every single average wage person they employ.
Again, I think that's a handsome contribution, whether or not you agree he is responsible for his employees general health.
Now, I have no clue about the ins and outs of Amazon and Mittal (I confess I had to google Mittal-I had no idea who he was) My concern is that vast amounts of high earners do, year in, year out, contribute these vast sums to our society.
The indirect benefits of public services are huge, but so are the amounts the high earners contribute to them. I for one, am happy to acknowledge that they do so.
God help us if they do decide they've had enough of being despised and vilified because some of their number use every loophole going to minimize their tax bill.
However,these people are trying to hang on to their own money – benefit fraudsters, at the other end of the scale, are stealing other peoples money. They steal from everyone who pays tax and they steal resources from groups like the disabled who really need it. I really don't understand why people aren't, at least as disgusted and angry at them as they appear to be at "rich bastards".
Tax avoidance, off shoring – I know less than nothing about such things, obviously it would be wonderful to be able to pull in tax from these companies. But such organizations, by their nature, really don't care where they operate from, and will up sticks and move on without a second thought. 1% of a vast amount is still a massive sum, certainly better than 50% of bugger all. Its up to the government close the loopholes, but I feel it's equally important that they drop like a ton of bricks on the benefit thieves.
The harsh fact is, none of this can happen quickly, and we are flat broke (Thanks Gordon!angry). At this moment, this government has to work with what they have (or more correctly what they haven't) got.
Magical thinking about how brilliant it could be if everyone paid their fair share is all very well, but it ain't gonna happen anytime soon. Unfortunately, the bottom line is, those who need it most are inevitably going to feel it most.

Good Lord – now I need to open another bottle!

Rosieres Sat 13-Oct-12 23:10:41

Thanks for the reply. My point about someone earning £millions being dependent on the labour of others, and therefore on the inputs that allow those others to work, comes from this observation. As a sole trader I know what I am worth, exactly what I earn. If I worked twice as hard (or maybe twice as smart) I would probably earn twice as much. But at some point I am going to reach a limit on what I can earn purely by my own efforts. So if I take someone else on I am permitting them to earn an income, and my income is increased by their work. Scale that up enough and you can get people earning millions - not because of their own work, but because they have thousands of people working for their organisation, all contributing part of the wealth they generate to the person at the top. So when the person at the top says "I earned this money", what they are really saying is "I created conditions for others to earn this money, and I take a cut of what they earn". nothing wrong in that, we need leaders and entrepreneurs. But it shows that the conditions that have equipped their employees to create that wealth (e.g. health and education) contribute hugely to their £million(s) salary, and therefore they are receiving indirectly from those public services. And I would say that a person whose income is dependent on thousands being healthy and educated is receiving more from society than an individual on a low wage who has only benefitted from their personal use of health and education services.

I don't feel that the tax rates applied to the wealthy are penalising. From your figures above, our £2 million CEO takes home £1,120,874, which is a massive reward and enough to live an incredibly high standard of living. And I salute wealthy folk like James Dyson and JK Rowling who pay their tax. How do we handle the tax avoiders? You're right, it is down to government to do it. It could pay for 94.7% of the budget deficit if they did. But why aren't they? I don't think Labour did it because until the banks crashed enough money was coming in and they were afraid to upset the wealthy vested interests. And I don't think the Conservatives are doing it because they are anti-tax, anti-public services and don't want to alienate those who support them financially (such as Belize based tax avoiding multi millionaire Michael Ashton). Labour were afraid of the big tax avoiders, the Conservatives are in league with them. And the size of tax avoidance and evasion dwarfs benefit fraud. Yes, benefit fraud is wrong, but the damage it causes to the UK economy and society is tiny compared to that done by tax avoiders. And tax avoiders are trying to keep hold of money they have only been able to earn because other people have provided services for them (such as educating their workforce for them, or having a police force that stops criminals preying on them).

The harsh fact is we are not flat broke as a country. There is enough money in the system. The problem is the government doesn't want to collect the taxes that are due, which would close the deficit and avert the majority of the budget cuts. Instead of closing the loopholes and going after those who don't pay their taxes (which means you and I have to pay more, or put up with worse services, probably both) they are actually reducing the number of tax inspectors. The HMRC is having to lay of 13,000 staff and has big cuts to its revenue and capital budgets. This is a totally wrong-headed move if the government is serious about collecting the taxes it needs to sustain public services. So the government are either plain idiotic (because if they strenghtened the HMRC it would bring in much more revenue than they would spend on it) or don't really want to go after the big tax avoiders. Either way, I am not confident in a government whose actions are either stupid or corrupt. And that's what makes me angry - the decisions to try and resolve the budget deficit are largely driven by service cuts (which hits the vulnerable) and there is little consideration for collecting the full taxes that are due (which would affect the wealthy). Not even raising taxes, just collecting those that are due under the spirit of the law at this point in time. And because of this ideologically driven approach we are seeing police officers getting sacked, serving soldiers returning from Afghanistan to find their jobs under threat, construction companies going bankrupt because they no longer have any public contracts, students starting their adult working life £40K+ in debt, care homes being closed, etc. etc. etc. The government may not be wanting to make these cuts, but it comes across as if they are saying "Well, we couldn't possible ask Sir Philip Green or Vodaphone to pay their fair share of tax, that wouldn't be proper, so we'll just have to demonise the disabled, sack nurses and make the under 25s homeless".

And because the government has cut too quickly and too far any hope of growth in the economy has been choked off. From the little economics I do know, the reliable approach to managing public finances is to save in the good times and spend in the bad, even if you have to borrow some to get things going. If you look at the American economy in the 1930s you see laissez-faire economics at the start, with government stepping back and hoping the markets would sort it all out. It didn't work. Then you had Roosevelt and the New Deal spending on projects such as the Hoover Dam, getting people back to work, and that started to get growth going again. Ironically it took the massive borrow and spend under a centralised command economy during World War 2 to really get everyone back to work and out of the Great Depression, it wasn't austerity and the private sector. I hope it won't come to that, but it shows that sometimes drastic spending and government intervention are necessary. At present some heavy weight economists, such as Nobel prize winner Joseph Stieglitz, are saying that the UK government's policy of austerity will kill off growth and send us futher into recession. I hope they are wrong, but the data so far is showing they are right.

One final point, and that's to do with the relative unimportance of money. I have been reading about happiness and what makes people happy recently (my first degree was in Psychology!). By and large, once people have a minimum income level (and it doesn't have to be much), having more and more money above that level does very little to improve their happiness. Far more important are factors such as the quality of relationships, having control over things in your life, and doing things for other people. An experiment at Harvard gave one group of people money and told them to spend it on themselves, and gave a second group some money but told them to spend it on other people. The first group went out and spent their cash, and at the end of the day were no happier than they were before. The second group spent the money on someone else, maybe gave it to charity, and it made a lasting impact on their well being. I find a lot of political discourse over who can get how much money a bit depressing, because it misses the point that money is a means to an end, not an end in itself. I don't mind paying my taxes (perversely I quite enjoy it) because I know society needs it and because I know the really important things in my life (family, friendships, culture, faith, voluntary work) will be unaffected by me giving away the 20% that I earn above the basic threshold. On my modest income I have more than enough to live a good and happy life.

But I suppose that if I am idealistic in expecting the government to chase after the wealthy and powerful who dodge taxes, I am more so if I hope people will take a step back from the rat race and ask the question of what is really important in life. That's far more important than clinging onto some extra pennies (or £millions), but we are ruled by bankers rather than philosophers.

Take care,

Rosieres.
(Who is getting far too verbose in old age).

sunflowersfollowthesun Sun 14-Oct-12 00:12:29

Cough/choke/splutter emoticon
We're going to have to agree to differ on the idea that the country isn't broke Rosie
Will be back tomorrow at some point.
(nothing wrong with verbose, have been known to get a bit inclined that way myself. smile )

ttosca Sun 14-Oct-12 19:47:29

Sunflower-

We're going to have to agree to differ on the idea that the country isn't broke Rosie.

You can disagree if you like, but you're wrong. Debt, as a percentage of GDP, as at historically low levels:

www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/debt_brief.php

As you can see from the charts, immediately prior to the financial crisis, the debt level was almost at a low point for the 20th Century. Post-crisis, it's roughly what it was around 1970.

Interest payments on debt also follow roughly the same pattern, with the level before the crisis being at an almost record low, and still quite low post-crisis, historically speaking.

Perhaps you should put down that copy of the Daily Mail?

Also, the austerity measures in the UK and europe are deepening, not helping the crisis:

www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/9607828/Eurolands-debt-strategy-is-an-economic-and-moral-disgrace.html

Rosieres Sun 14-Oct-12 23:17:31

I think saying the country is broke is hyperbole. To me broke means bankrupt, absolutely no money in the account, no money coming in. I've just been looking on a GDP stats website, and at present UK GDP is the same in real terms (i.e. when you filter out the effects of inflation) as about 2004. We weren't broke in 2004, unless I missed something, so we can't be broke now.

Yes, the level of government debt is higher now, largely due to the banks being bailed out in 2008. The National Audit Office in 2009 said that the cost of covering the banks was £850 billion. Not all of that £850 bn passed directly into national debt (some of it was underwriting risk, some of it was quantitative easing which contributes to inflation rather than government debt), but it still contributed a significant proportion of the current £1064 billion debt. Perhaps you can see why I feel it is important that those who profited so much from the banking crisis, and who are still making a lot of profit out of the financial sector, to give something back and pay their fair share of tax.

Of course, there will always be people who stand to gain from making out that there is no money. Usually people with money. I have a relative who is on a village Parish Council. The Parish Council covers 500 people in her village and they raise £7 per person to cover the council's costs. All year they comment on planning applications - people building extensions, having swimming pools put in, putting solar panels on roofs, etc. For the Jubilee celebrations they raised £2000 in an evening's fundraising do. But when it comes to looking at whether they raise the annual parish precept above £7, the Councillors all talk about how everyone is hard up and there isn't much money around. In spite of the fact that many in the village are professionals and the average house price is over £400,000. It's a bit like when I was in a regular office job - everyone said they were always busy, not because they were, but they knew if they said that they had just enough work that they would be given more to do.

So is it any surprise that people not wanting to pay more make out that the country is broke, because then the only way to close the deficit is through spending cuts. The people with cash don't pay, the people reliant on services do. And when the current main party in government is largely funded by financial institutions and individuals based in the City, many of whom were involved in the 2008 crash (and bailed out by you and I to the tune of hundreds of billions), is it any wonder that the government chooses to believe them? I gather that 1 in 6 members of the House of Lords receive funding from financial institutions (fancy a non-Executive Board membership m'Lord?), another example of how big money influences politics. The Leveson enquiry has also shown how the press has sought to use its power to bend politicians to its will, and I can't see the Rupert Murdochs and Richard Desmonds of this world trying to persuade politicians to increase taxes, quite the reverse. If I had a few billion quid, a media empire and no scruples I would do the same.

It seems to me that those with money and influence are batoning down the hatches, moving money to the Cayman Islands, and leaving the mess of the banking implosion to be sorted out off the backs of the poor, the elderly and the disabled. And all the while they say there isn't any money, yet the bonus culture hasn't gone away and the companies are still making millions and hide it offshore, handing a fraction of their profits to the Conservative party while telling them to stick with plan A.

MiniTheMinx Sun 14-Oct-12 23:31:01

Well said Rosieres,

I would also add that the same people with money who have offshored all that money will only invest where there is growth. So whilst they may have earned their money here, when they do invest it will not be in the UK. We are, what economists like to call a "mature" economy. That is one that is in decline just as the states is. For that reason alone I do not buy into the rich will hop on a plane should you seek to collect their taxes, they already have and no one told us.

Rosieres Mon 15-Oct-12 10:31:21

The other point about not taxing the rich for fear they would leave is that companies avoiding tax won't leave. Boots has avoided £100 million in corporation tax each year since it "moved" from Nottingham to Switzerland. But if you introduce measures to ensure that trade in Britain pays corporation tax in Britain Boots aren't going to close all of their shops and re-open them in Zurich. Of the 100 biggest companies listed on the FTSE100, 98 have subsidiary or holding companies based in tax havens. Between them these 98 companies have around 1200 offshore companies. Some might be for genuine operational reasons (it's hard to penetrate the secrecy of these arrangements), but most will be for anti-tax money laundering.

So there is money around, it just isn't being collected. The government has no interest in collecting it though, they don't want to penalise the top 1% which provides their support base. Which explains why they are reducing the staff at HMRC by 13,000, which is counter-intuitive at a time when we need to be collecting every penny that is legitimately owed.

MiniTheMinx Mon 15-Oct-12 18:51:37

Yes they left the building some time ago. Or rather these big companies set up head offices for tax purposes elsewhere to avoid tax. Very impressed with your level of knowledge......what have you been reading Rosieres?

I think the mansion tax was a good idea. The people who make money here but bank it elsewhere are happy to live here and indeed many own property and have assets which could be taxed. I know at one time it was possible to live in your own property whilst have that property registered as the property of some offshore fund. I don't know if many do this, I suspect some do but the mansion tax may have been a good way of taxing assets if we are unable to tax income. Would it have worked? I don't suppose for one minute it would raise all the tax that should be collected from the corporate dodgers though.

What might be an interesting programme is on R4 this evening about alternative economies.

Rosieres Mon 15-Oct-12 19:22:40

My interest comes from hearing several speakers this August at the Greenbelt Festival (an annual Christian arts festival with a broad social justice agenda). These included Giles Fraser (the priest from St Paul's Cathedral who resigned after supporting the Occupy movment) and Peter Tatchell (who was there with a general brief about human rights, democracy and fair taxation). Christian Aid also have a campaign about tax justice, not just for the UK but also in the developing world (where multinationals take vital tax revenues out of developing countries, with a terrible cost to society). Otherwise it's a case of research online, some stuff from UK Uncut and some economics I studied at A level (many years ago).

I occasionally think about trying to organise a boycott of a tax dodging company, such as Amazon, to see if we can make an example of one company and try and change the culture. If the big tax avoiding companies felt that their actions lead to big reputational damage we might be able to shift the corporate culture to being a bit more ethical.

MiniTheMinx Mon 15-Oct-12 21:00:53

I think the boycott idea is really great. I joined the boycott against Tescos over workfare and also fired off several letters to their CEO. We all got the same stock response but it certainly rattled them. I believe they are still using workfare and over Christmas I guess they will certainly be cashing in on free labour. One of the main problems is keeping the pressure up because in an age of instant gratification and consumerism most people drift off when they discover the next thing or something isn't being reported everywhere in the media.

I recently read The Silent Takeover by Noreena Hertz, in which she talks about the death of democracy. People now tend to lobby businesses directly because they are losing faith in governments regarding social justice. It's quite interesting because you see the corporates changing culture (at least on the surface of things) when they feel that they may lose the battle for customers.

One thing that really amused me in the book was the story of the greens buying up shares in a petroleum company and then gate crashing the general meeting dressed as polar bears! It was a ray of light in what was otherwise an interesting but very glib picture of democracy and human rights.

The IMF and the WTO trade in misery to the third world, I was very shocked by watching this interview with Susan George on Neoliberalism
www.youtube.com/watch?v=_viNHVzadeM where she explains how the WTO are exploiting the third world and that their debt is growing and will likely never be paid down, keeping them in perpetual poverty.

Rosieres Tue 16-Oct-12 19:29:48

In case anyone was wondering whether corporate tax avoidance was a significant factor in the government's budget deficit, I would encourage you to look at today's news on the BBC about Starbucks:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19967397

In brief, Starbucks dodge corporation tax and have only paid £8.6m over the last 14 years, despite having sales of over £3 billion, an effective rate of only around 1%.

Why are we cutting staff numbers at the HMRC and letting these big multinationals get away with it? Surely we need to be subjecting their arrangements to more scrutiny, not less? It's as if the government didn't want to tax these big companies.

MiniTheMinx Wed 17-Oct-12 12:15:38

Lego has just started a thread in AIBU about starbucks and asking people to consider boycotting them smile

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/1589682--ask-MNers-to-boycott-Starbucks

ttosca Wed 17-Oct-12 13:54:11

I've been boycotting Starbucks since they opened. Not only are they a fucked company, but they charge ridiculous prices for coffee which is basically all sugar and cream compensating for bad coffee.

Brilliant and informative posts Rosieres

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