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General Election 2015

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Stretch, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. Mr Jack

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 19, 2004

    Posts: 18,396

    Location: Kiel, Germany

    GDP was growing by 1.0% when the coalition took over.

    The deficit was falling when the coalition took over and there's nothing illusionary about governments investing to generate growth. It's exactly what competent governments do in response to recessions.

    Debt payments were and are going up but, remember, that the deficit has fallen by a bit over a third under the coalition despite their bluster. The major reason for this is that the coalition have failed to produce growth in the economy.

    Prior to the credit crunch, the debt-to-gdp ratio was lower than it was when New Labout took over. The vast majority of the rise in both deficit and debt was down to the global recession. I agree with you that Gordon Brown should have balanced the books better during the good years but it is not the major cause of the medium term deficit problems we face.

    The state in this country was too small even before the Tories ideological assault on it. Our more successful European neighbours spend much more than we do.
     
  2. ubersonic

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 26, 2009

    Posts: 20,886

    No he didn't, the Torys had enough of a majority to form a government without the LibDems, it's just alone they would have had a hard time passing many policies as Labour/LibDems could just band together to vote them down (like they did anyway to veto the EU membership referendum).
     
  3. Judgeneo

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    Joined: May 15, 2010

    Posts: 10,019

    Location: Out of Coventry

    We have neighbours that spend more, and are more successful (i.e. Sweeden, Austria), we have neighbours that spend less, and and more successful (i.e. Germany).
    We are however, more sucessful than most of our neighbours.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_spending#As_a_percentage_of_GDP
     
  4. Stretch

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 14, 2004

    Posts: 12,114

    Location: Peoples Republic of Histonia, Cambridge

    It's impossible to say what growth would have done under a Labour government, However, I'm very sceptical that it would have continued at any reasonable pace. There were too many external factors working against them.

    Spending is fine if it works, it's catastrophic if it doesn’t. The recession we've just experienced wasn't a typical recession. Spending your way out of this one would have been very high stakes. The current government’s approach was more cautious.

    I think this is recognition that the government has been pragmatic about cuts. It wasn't the all out offensive on public spending you describe, though it may have been depicted as such.

    I fully expect at least similar cuts next parliament regardless of who's elected.

    That’s not really unexpected. 1997 was the tail end of a recession.

    Gordon made the mistake of believing his own hype, and buying votes with other peoples money. He is not responsible for the vast majority current debt, but he responsible for getting caught with his pants down.

    That's really a matter of opinion. But any party that stood on a ticket of expanding the state by increasing taxation would lose. So I don't feel your views are shared by a majority of people in the UK.

    Also, governments having a periodic look at how it spends our money can only be a good thing. Unfortunately, they only tend to do this when they're forced too, and this one of those occasions.

    My biggest criticism of the government is there hasn't been enough focus on job creation, especially in areas of the country that traditionally struggle. Some areas just aren't going to prosper without some form of government assistance.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  5. RDM

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 1, 2007

    Posts: 20,349

    Radio Four's More or Less programme did an interesting bit on the new Labour criticism that "public spending is less than the 1930s" line. Yes, it is indeed, but only for 1938 and 1939, can anyone think of a reason why public spending might have been increasing massively during those two years?

    Not that it even makes sense as a comparison.
     
  6. elmarko

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    Joined: Sep 22, 2011

    Posts: 10,429

    Location: Portsmouth (Southsea)

    In this system would higher rate tax payers be better or worse off?.

    (Distributional changes are what matter is the reasoning behind this question).

    Is the reason why I ask, as based on your ideological stance & indifference to the pressured put onto the least able to shoulder the burden.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  7. StriderX

    Capodecina

    Joined: Mar 18, 2008

    Posts: 24,719

    But why punish even the moderately successful people?

    Surely they would just use their money on the market anyway, and you'd get VAT off them regardless and increased economic safety.

    The Rich will totally ignore these systems anyway, so there is no point in bothering to irritate them and thus the middle class by squeezing them into depressing boxes of tax.
     
  8. robgmun

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    Joined: Apr 30, 2006

    Posts: 15,783

    Location: London

    2 seats...in that last 12 months
     
  9. ubersonic

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 26, 2009

    Posts: 20,886

    They weren't exactly won fairly though were they, in both cases they won by-elections which were forced because the reigning MP defected to UKIP and stood down, and in both cases they were areas where the people vote for the man not the party, they could have defected to any party except the BNP and still got re-elected!

    Put simply they bought the seats.
     
  10. robgmun

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 30, 2006

    Posts: 15,783

    Location: London

    Wow, you'd get gold for those mental gymnastics!! They were both elected fair and square, we have a democratic country and no one forced them vote UKIP.
     
  11. ubersonic

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 26, 2009

    Posts: 20,886

    Because they didn't vote UKIP, they voted for the candidate, just like they did when they were tories, and just like they would if they decided tomorrow to defect to the greens or the monster raving looney party.

    UKIP bought a couple of candidates that they knew couldn't lose and got carried to two seats, it's not a victory for the party, if anything its a defeat because anyone with a brain can see what happened and what lengths they had to go to to appear more relevant than they are.
     
  12. Stretch

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    Joined: Feb 14, 2004

    Posts: 12,114

    Location: Peoples Republic of Histonia, Cambridge

    That all depends on what the universal minimum income is, and what the flat rate of tax is set at.

    However, it's difficult to see how higher rate tax payers could be worse off, without making most other people worse off in the process.

    The last time I done some sums on the this they didn't really add up.

    The working age population is about 40m. If you set a minimum income level of £15,000 pa, the bill would be £600bn, which is the equivalent to the entire UK budget.

    The current income tax take is £155bn. If you wanted the restructure to remain fiscally natural, and give everyone in the UK a share, it would mean everyone would receive around £2,500 a year. This clearly isn't enough to provide a sufficient safety net for unemployment, disability or old age etc.

    It also ignores the fact that much of the £155bn is currently used to pay for public service.

    Obviously it's far more complicate than the way I've described for a multitude of reasons.

    It's an interesting idea, and it would be very interesting to look into the figures in more detail, but I'm having trouble finding the data needed.
     
  13. elmarko

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    Joined: Sep 22, 2011

    Posts: 10,429

    Location: Portsmouth (Southsea)

    Which is the point I was making, the later comments regarding the removal of services from those who are not 'paying in' being of little consequence rang alarm bells.

    It once again falls into the category of confusion, that fair & equal are the same thing or that you can declare that the contribution towards generation profit is fine to be distributed unequally, but not the taxation from the income earned for said transaction.

    A vast majority of 'how things should be' economic suggestions are simply a roundabout method of further compensate the originator with greater wealth.
     
  14. Stretch

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 14, 2004

    Posts: 12,114

    Location: Peoples Republic of Histonia, Cambridge

    I don't think it's a bad idea in principle. It doesn't mean removing service for those not paying in, and it doesn't necessarily have to be "unfair".

    The question is, will the sums allow for a realistic minimum level of income, at a flat rate of tax which is affordable across the full spectrum of earners, and which doesn't cripple the exchequer.

    The sums are quite complicated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
  15. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 47,774

    Location: Plymouth

    The ignorance or dishonesty is present in this post again. The deficit has halved in relative terms, reduced by a third in cash terms during the coalition. Given that you insist on using relative deficits and debt whenever you look at labour's record, it is either highly ignorant or highly dishonest to not do the same for the coalition, to the point where it renders the rest of post irrelevant as you are arguing a false premise...
     
  16. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 47,774

    Location: Plymouth

    Better, as would most lower rate payers whose household income exceeds the tax credit threshold.

    That is the reason why I advocate a trasition period, the current system has encouraged all manner of bad decisions by people via a broken reward mechanism, so it wouldn't be fair to punish them when the system changes, but to ease them into responsible decision making moving forwards.
     
  17. PanMaster

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 12, 2005

    Posts: 1,747

    If only everyone voted for the man. Not the party.

    Too many councillors & MP's are corrupt, lazy, useless wastes of taxpayers money.
     
  18. amigafan2003

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    Joined: Jan 18, 2008

    Posts: 15,858

    Location: Fylde Coast, Lancashire

    People shouldn't even vote for the man:-


    http://voteforpolicies.org.uk/
     
  19. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 47,774

    Location: Plymouth

    That doesn't help because it is back to conflating parties and mps. Not all MPs share the central party vision on every matter.

    Vote for your local candidate, understand what they really stand for. That's the only way parties and policies can be changed by the electorate.
     
  20. Tunney

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    Joined: Oct 11, 2004

    Posts: 14,549

    Location: London

    I disagree, I think both are important. There's no point electing someone whose policies you agree with if they don't have the skills needed to deliver those policies.

    In other news, Cameroon wants to ban strong encryption.

    “I have a very simple principle which will be the heart of the new legislation that will be necessary. In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which even in extremis, with a signed warrant from the home secretary personally, that we cannot read? “Up until now, governments have said: ‘No, we must not’.