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UK politics is broken - what would OCUK do?

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Dolph, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Fusion

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

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    Location: Notts

    And yet nationalisation was supported and maintained by both major parties in office between 1945 and 1979. As Meridian says, nationalisation is a cornerstone of left-wing politics, always has been. Much of what is deemed extensively left wing such as rail and power nationalisation are much more common on the continent and are seen as sensible, moderate ideas, and easily at home in a market economy.
     
  2. Dolph

    Man of Honour

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    Location: Plymouth

    The problem is nationalisation didn't work. Take the railways for example, the pinnacle of the railways in the UK was pre ww2 and pre nationalisation. Beeching happened while the railways were nationalised.

    There are problems with our railways, but they are not the result of privatisation or nationalisation, but a culture of mediocrity and a failure to invest, either for financial or political reasons. Look at the opposition to the only major rail developments of the last 20 years (crossrail and hs2)...
     
  3. Meridian

    Man of Honour

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    Well, apart from when East Coast trains were nationalised and actually did far better than under private hands. But then you are talking mantra, not data. I should also point out that railway lines have pretty much always lost money - even during what you describe as the "pinnacle". The were nationalised because the losses were so horrific that it was likely that they would fold, not because of ideology. Despite being propped up with huge amounts of money during the war to keep them going they were still a basket case. The history of UK rail lines is pretty much bankruptcy after bankruptcy, right from the start. Every other country in Europe runs them as a vital service, not a profitable industry. And yes, that costs ****-loads of money. But so do ours, because they all lose money hand over fist as well. The private companies bid on the basis of who require least government support, a tacit admission that they will NEVER make money. OK, they would if the rail service only consisted if a few inter-city trains. But how much traffic would that put on the roads?

    But I agree about the investment bit.
     
  4. Meridian

    Man of Honour

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    Which is why Labour became a right-of-centre party in order to win. Which was exactly my point.
     
  5. Dolph

    Man of Honour

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    Well, post war nationalisation was largely driven due to the total starvation of investment and materials during the war bringing the companies to their knees, not just of the railways, but the various industries as well.

    As for the East coast mainline, what it showed was that being profitable is easy when you don't have the contractual payments for being allowed to run the service to make. In essence, It shows that the method of privatisation makes it destined to fail, or destined to be more expensive than necessary. Again, not really a pro nationalisation argument.

    The issue is not one of ownership, it's one of poor management, either directly or indirectly, where we keep things going because it is popular, not because it makes any economic or social sense.
     
  6. Dolph

    Man of Honour

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    Here's an interesting one to consider.

    50.5% of all households, and 37.2% of working age households receive more from the state than they pay in taxes (direct and indirect). (pensioner households come in at 88% due to the state pension being classified as a tax benefit due to it being funded from current taxation because it is unfunded by past contributions, that were used to pay past claimants rather than saved).

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopula...fitsonhouseholdincome/financialyearending2016

    So in the context of the thread, how high do people want to raise the proportion of people who are net recipients?
     
  7. Tunney

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 11, 2004

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    Location: London

    London’s transport network is publicly owned and does a remarkable job considering the age of the infrastructure and number of people it carries.

    TfL is capable of the kind of joined-up, long-term planning that is almost impossible under privatisation.
     
  8. Fusion

    Sgarrista

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    Location: Notts

    Bingo. Manchester and Nottingham both have extensive, publicly owned tram systems with high satisfaction and ridership levels. Metrolink is still expanding further and is able to do partly because of revenue generated, retained and invested by Greater Manchester Council. This model I believe is most effective of all, as it bypasses, or reduces reliance on central government for funding and decision making. Strategic decisions can be taken at the local and regional level.

    Compare local transport in Manchester and Nottingham to somewhere like Bristol, where First Group dominate the bus market and have a poor reputation. There's just not the same incentive for a private enterprise to invest and provide in the same way. Transport allows monopolies, as do utilities (I should know, having shares in SSE- the dividends are great! Probably not so great if you're on the breadline in winter though). Not difficult to see why investor interest in transport companies might wane at the prospect of heavy investment in rolling stock, or indeed anything.
     
  9. Meridian

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    Interesting that you should raise this. Of course the primary reason is the race for the bottom on wages, with the company boss taking a larger and larger share for themselves rather than sharing it more equally. Tax avoidance by those (companies and individuals) more than able to pay their tax is also a major factor. And yet the Right of the Tory Party thinks that the glories of Brexit me we can become a tax haven. Why bother? If the rich are creaming off so much of the take that their workers are below the threshold, and they send all their money out of the country to avoid tax, why bother to encourage the rich in?
     
  10. Dolph

    Man of Honour

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    I love the way you blame the people who are having their property taken by the state, rather than the state or the 50% of households that are contributing nothing.
     
  11. Freakbro

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    That's a little disingenuous to use the 50% figure, since that is households, not individuals...how much economic contribution to society do you expect children to make?
     
  12. Dolph

    Man of Honour

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    How is it disingenuous when I reference it in full as households in the post?
     
  13. Freakbro

    Capodecina

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    Because in the context of the conversation that was going on the 37.2% figure seems more relevant than the 50.5%, especially as people will take the wrong extrapolation from that if they didn't fully read the article
     
  14. Dolph

    Man of Honour

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    They'd also have to fail to read my post as well, as I specifically called this out, but the bottom line is that placing all the blame on the people who are already paying for it is wrong, or at least, unfair to do in isolation as meridian did.
     
  15. do_ron_ron

    Sgarrista

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    What property is this??
     
  16. Meridian

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    No, I pointed out that they can't afford to be contributors because they don't get paid enough, because the Fat Cats running the companies take all the money. And while I accept that sometimes I can be obscure, I'm fairly certain I was about as obvious as I could be on that point. You can't get people to pay tax if they have no money left. The question you should be asking is not "how can we widen the tax base", but "how the hell did we end up with so many people on minimum wage?" Except that you know the answer, and you actually agree with it.

    If the bosses spread the wealth around, more people would be in the wage brackets that were overall contributors. As endless economists have pointed out, the way to spend your way out of a recession is to spread the money about. People on minumum wage don't spend, and people on maximum wage send it out of the country. It's the people in the middle paying the tax and spending the money.
     
  17. Lord-Jaffa

    Soldato

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    Real term poverty does not exsist in the UK. These children have free education healthcare and housing untill they are adults.
     
  18. Dolph

    Man of Honour

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    Missed this one, apologies.

    The net contributor calculation contains three aspects, not just one.

    Tax paid in
    Benefits paid out
    Services received

    You appear to be focusing exclusively on the top one, and then focusing exclusively on one aspect of it. No mention of whether the tax burden is correctly distributed, whether the thresholds are correct and so on.

    The top 1% already pay a quarter of all income tax paid, for example.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39641222

    The top 50% pay 90% of all income tax.

    How much more you want?

    If you want a workable, sustainable solution, you have to look at all three aspects of the calculation,and the components that make up the three aspects with an openmind, rather than blindly and ideologically attacking the people already paying nearly all the money in.
     
  19. RDM

    Capodecina

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    How much of the income do the top 1% and top 50% get? If it is close to 25%/90% then that will be why.
     
  20. VincentHanna

    Capodecina

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    The top 1% of earners pay 27% of income tax, but income tax raises just 27% of the UK’s total tax revenue. This is less than is raised by VAT and other indirect taxes (29%) and not much more than is raised by national insurance (19%).