1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The future UK, whats the vision?

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Mercenary Keyboard Warrior, May 28, 2019.

  1. Semple

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 5, 2010

    Posts: 5,188

    The thread would be a little dull if we couldn't discuss outcomes or how to achieve those visions - even if the suggestions are wild.

    I have a vision/dream for the UK to be carbon neutral...

    Without discussing how as a country we could achieve that, it would be a pretty short thread. Even though the carbon neutral topic has been widely discussed, so most people already have a general idea of what we all need to do.
     
  2. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 8,362

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    Ok so to clarify I was thinking micro visions, some of the biggest issues we have short term I believe.

    I kind of like the term grand vision. So lets take that as well. Two caribbean nations I have visited could be described as having this. They realised they would not move on without one, so they defined their vision as have well educated people and using that to drive a thriving tourist industry and bring up the wealth of the nation.

    So going back to my points and a little more detail
    Housing, yes i believe in the UK we should all expect to have a minimum standard of housing. As I said to me that should be state owned. Why? Well its an asset as well. In some cases of course this would be free, it would have to be, but equally in many cases it would be like having a council house, you would pay rent. At the end of the day currently (crossing with my tax point) the government have to bail a lot of people out and that ends up going into private hands.

    I knew the taxation one would trigger some debate. I did say a share coming from assets, based on the asset wealth of this nation it would likely be a miniscule percentage. And then there is nothing to stop it being a long implementation, potentially allowing deferment, having certain caps etc. Just as things like pension ages are flexed this could be also.

    I would like a few more visions. or mission statements or something other than debate specifically about a few points I made
    I am genuinely interested and it seems many people say a better or fairer (this is my main motivation fairer) future, yet very few people even attempt to define that at even a very high level.
     
  3. String

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 6, 2013

    Posts: 11,438

    @Mercenary Keyboard Warrior your idea regarding taxation is awful. Sorry, but it is. The issue with our current taxation system can be solved by closing loopholes, and one or two other changes, one example: abolish the facility that allows a person who is clearly an employee from declaring themselves to be a limited company.

    Any assets that a person holds will have been gained via income that should already be taxed, so why a second cash grab? It just feels spiteful.
     
  4. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 8,362

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    Spiteful? Hardly I would expect under that type of regime I would be worse off.

    Anyway, its clear that not all "income" is really so, plenty are not even classified as income per se.
    Inheritance say, the estate is taxed but its not income for the recipient.
    Is it equitable for someone who inherits £100M to be taxed less on income than someone who has to work to earn £20k per annum?
    Yes the person who has the £100M may suffer far more taxes on spending, but equally they could be one of them people who likes to keep the money.

    Its certainly not "my idea", its an idea that is gaining traction in other places as well.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_tax

    Council tax is a wealth tax, its based on value of property (in effect) and not income.

    We already have double dip on taxes, you pay on income and expenditure.
    One of the theories on taxing wealth is that it discourages wealth hoarding.
     
  5. Uther

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 16, 2005

    Posts: 9,144

    Absolutely. I certainly think this is the future. The country as we know it is finished, and will not recover for many years.
     
  6. String

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 6, 2013

    Posts: 11,438

    How many people inherit £100M? People with that level of wealth already employ accountancy firms etc.. to avoid paying their tax, that won't change.

    Well, it isn't really. There will be various levels of personal wealth in a given estate, but they'll all pay the same tax for what is essentially the same service.

    A wealth tax sounds very Robin Hood, but not feasible IMO. In the absence of detail, I'm not even sure it's even fair.
     
  7. Semple

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 5, 2010

    Posts: 5,188

    The idea of it is to stop wealth hoarding, plain and simple. For the majority of people it won't affect them in the slightest anyway.
     
  8. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 8,362

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    I used £100M as an example, equally could be £500k many people will get this in the SE let alone London will be in this range. Its not in the range for clever accounting either.

    I gave you a link, did you look at it? It had examples of geographically close to us nations included (France, NL for example)

    Fair is in the eye of the beholder. Is a progressive tax system fair for example.
     
  9. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 8,362

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    Exactly, its all about implementation.
    Eg main residence could be exempt, less than £1M assets exempt etc
     
  10. String

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 6, 2013

    Posts: 11,438

    I'm more interested in our current system being overhauled to make it fairer, and don't see any benefit in creating additional systems like a wealth tax. If people generate wealth, then they should pay tax as they amass that wealth. I don't see it as a particularly negative thing if someone decides to save and retain a portion of their earnings/wealth.
     
  11. dowie

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 38,937

    reply to The_Abyss in spoilers as this meta discussion he initiated isn't likely helpful to the thread:
    By "posting my own stuff" I'm just saying you concentrate on your own posts I'll do mine thanks (i.e. trying to end this pointless meta discussion as I don't believe it is helpful to the thread)... I've "failed" because I didn't then post along the lines you've demanded? Sorry but you've basically just entered a thread, seen posts that don't fit what you personally want to see and then demand that posters post in a way that pleases you WTF? At least I discussed the subject at hand, it is a bit ironic to talk about being argumentative when that is what you've been doing mostly, I don't see any "visions" from you either.

    I'm not sure why you think it is particularly hard either, anyone can have ideas/visions though it might get somewhat pointless if every poster just spams a load in here on various topics and rather futile if none of them can be questioned. In fact it might as well be a thread in GD in that case.

    Exactly!

    Back on topic:

    I think we need much more state owned housing, I'd like to see the elimination of "right to buy" and improved standards in what is acceptable in the private rental sector in terms of room sizes (some box rooms being used as a bedroom), living areas being turned into bedrooms etc..etc... some flats in London have bedrooms, a bathroom and a small kitchen but no actually living area. I think having council flats managed on a local borough basis in London is inefficient, there are blocks in prime central locations full of people who don't work etc.. while there are people who do work, perhaps in low paid roles and have to face a long commute private sector rents etc...

    Council housing should be means tested (and perhaps also based on the need to be in a particular area), shouldn't be allowed to be purchased at a discount, shouldn't be able to be passed on to relatives unless they also qualify for that property/no of bedrooms etc.. and tenants should have to move on when they no longer need the bedrooms... forget the bedroom tax and being able to take in lodgers, if your kids grow up and move out and you're left with a 3 or 4 bedroom property while living alone then the responsibility is on the council to move you... people who can be moved then are moved, people who can't because there isn't anything suitable available don't get fined for something out of their control. The council (or London assembly) then needs to make sure their new building projects take into account current and projected demand for different types of accommodation.

    I don't have an objection on this basis, things get taxed on and on... you pay a form of sales tax when you buy stuff etc.. you'll pay stamp duty on things, CGT, IHT etc..

    I'd partly dispute that, if that were the case then BTL landlords would be liable for it (granted they'd just pass it on). Currently you get a discount for being a single occupant, you're exempt if you're a student etc.. yet you can owe no assets at all and be renting a flat and will be eligible for it. It is a tax on local residents to help pay for local services, yes it is crudely linked to the value of the property lived in but it tapers off/doesn't really scale linearly - like a big fancy house worth millions might only be paying double the rate a much smaller flat worth 1/10th or 1/20th of the value pays.

    Personally I think the way to tax assets is the way we currently do, we tax the gains when they are realised and we tax the transfer of some assets. I don't think it is particularly fair to do otherwise and it can potentially add a whole load more complexity depending on how it was implemented if you're talking assets in general.

    I can perhaps go along with US style property taxes replacing council tax, with certain discounts/exemptions with regards to primary residence vs second home, over 65s etc.. but I guess if you're really going for assets here then the over 65s probably have a big chunk of what you'd like to target. I think if we did move to such a model then local authorities ought to derive their income from this directly and not be reliant on central government funding (aside from perhaps direct funding for specific projects or to assist deprived areas). They're then more accountable to local people and can't keep citing the government/lack of funding as reasons for failing...

    Going back to assets, a big issue we have is in funding the provision of care for the elderly, this is where I think assets could come in, in particular expanding the requirement for asset rich pensioners to have to contribute towards their care costs.
     
  12. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 8,362

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    Which is fine, these are views. There is no "fair" in the world of tax.

    Its my view that purely looking at income and expenditure and ignoring asset wealth will only continue to drive the wedge between the haves and have nots. I see a wealth tax as do others as a way of helping in the balance.
    If you started to implement a wealth tax you would reduce income and/or expenditure taxes. All that should happen is a redistribution of the tax take. This is a constant flux anyway, we have moved to lower income and higher expenditure taxation.

    I take exception however to a recognised model being described as awful. Like all taxes they have their pros and cons. The biggest risk with wealth taxation is actually capital flight, not inequality. The inequality can come from the implementation like with any taxation.
     
  13. Semple

    Soldato

    Joined: Mar 5, 2010

    Posts: 5,188

    This is what grinds my gears the most. Being in the younger generation and getting taxed to hell, all to pay for elderly social care when the majority have far more wealth in assets than i do. Those who have that wealth should be made to pay for their care costs.
     
  14. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 8,362

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    Thanks Dowie. I heavily abbreviated my thoughts on housing but we are not far off. I was specific in that I mentioned not being aspirational. In that I mean't people who could afford better would be highly inclined to do so.
    I also think there is possibly opportunity to ask for example large pension providers to be involved in the housing. The asset value should be pretty consistent and there will be income.
    I was trying to avoid getting into great detail though as I was hoping to see other views, it seems my examples have really mainly triggered discussion into them specifically and I was only really trying to see others thoughts on the change people seem quick to ask for, but yet seem to have nothing to say when being prompted to discuss :(
     
  15. dowie

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 38,937

    Ah ok, I just felt your suggestions were interesting to discuss first. Though if you want then how about crime? I didn't want to muddle things initially.

    I'll keep it brief and perhaps general to start off, I think prison should mostly just be used for violent crime and perhaps persistent offenders, the main benefit of prison IMO is simply keeping dangerous people away from the rest of us, at least for a period of time. I think we're too soft sometimes with regards to violent criminals and we're perhaps locking up people needlessly in other cases (shop lifters, drug users, women who haven't paid their TV license).

    I do think there is a lack of accountability though for some people when it comes to alternative punishments, in particular fines or compensation people would ordinarily pay etc... and I do wonder if we should maintain some sort of account for every citizen, almost like a student loan. Have a disposable amount factored into benefits and have a potential claim on anyone's estate too (and/or paid into when someone benefits from an inheritance). If/when someone can't pay a fine, compensation as ordered by the court then rather than paying £1 a week they get a dent in their account and the disposable part of any benefits payments get diverted to it (or indeed if they're in employment then they get a new tax code when the account is in deficit).

    So PA steals 20k from boss, rather than just a suspended sentence and a plea that the money is gone the PA now has that debt attached to her that just gets steadily paid off or indeed her gran dies and her share of the inheritance gets diverted to the account. Likewise Darren takes his pitbull to the park, it attack's another dog incurring vet bills, Darren's dog is destroyed, Darren can't afford the vet bills... offers to pay £1 a week... nope, Darren's account is debited with the vet bills + fine and his benefits take a significant hit for the next few months.

    (these are a bit hypothetical and no doubt flawed/open to discussion - obvs this is for charges a court might impose as a result of a criminal case, not just general debt, there is also the funding issue w.r.t. does the government make an immediate payment to the victim and how large an amount can this extend to)
     
  16. String

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 6, 2013

    Posts: 11,438

    That's an interesting point of view. I appreciate you may not wish to give up too many personal details, but I'd be interested in the detail of how you are being taxed to hell? And the wealth in assets; are you referring to property ownership and that the elderly should sell their home to fund their care?
     
  17. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 8,362

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    No probs happy to debate.

    Crime is a really tricky one agree. I had actually thought historically all crime should be a points based thing. So each and every crime would incur points, based on these points you may have opportuities to reduce them in the case of minor points with cash, to be used for other things such as education etc, or doing "soft" time to improve areas with stuff like litter picking. More major crimes would immediately take you past the point of actual true ramifications from your actions. Your solution seems similar but from a slightly different angle.
    Maybe the account could go wider, taking into account other things as well, such as benefits claimed.
    I would say in general that prevention via opportunity, more beneficial to society punishments and keeping the inmates pretty well locked down sounds like something on the face of it I would support.
    Son in law and Father in law are both ex/current prison officers so its slightly tricky for me. I hear what inmates do, but equally how the system treats them and wonder if the system creates as many issues as it solves.

    I know someone who was basically tax payer funded after becoming single, this part is grey even now, she wont talk about it. But she went approx 10 years without working, bringing up 2 kids on the state. Towards the end of that when they were at school she did a degree, again at tax payer expense (pre tuition fees). She didnt live a great life, but it wasn't terribad either. (nice council house for example). After the kids left she using her new degree went and got a good job and started paying the same tax as everyone else. Not saying its wrong, but it felt a bit wrong, quite a lot of people I know were miffed at how she went from everything handed to her to getting a good job because she had everything given to her and the slate was wiped clean so to speak.
     
  18. The_Abyss

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 15, 2007

    Posts: 11,258

    Location: Ipswich / Bodham

    Isn't that how the State is supposed to work though? I'd view what happened to her as a success.
     
  19. String

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 6, 2013

    Posts: 11,438

    I would agree with that, she got her help and is now self sufficient and contributing back.
     
  20. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 8,362

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    I think the answer is yes and no. I think the issue some had was she was more than capable of actually getting a job, bear in mind at the end we are talking secondary school age kids here, but she managed to get herself funded to do the degree (plus a feeder course I think).
    Its kind of mute, since she would have ended up with some debt now, so the attraction of staying as she was and doing the degree would be slightly less attractive than it was then.