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ckn

The impacts of the benefits "reform" implemented by the coalition

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Those moaning about cuts never seem to come up with an alternative other than 'tax the rich'. Any alternatives? 

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Those moaning about cuts never seem to come up with an alternative other than 'tax the rich'. Any alternatives? 

 

Perhaps a more rounded and all-encompassing taxation and benefits policy along the lines of "from each according to his means, to each according to his needs?"

 

Now, where have i heard that before?

 

edited to include "and benefits".

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Those moaning about cuts never seem to come up with an alternative other than 'tax the rich'. Any alternatives?

Taxing the rich would be an excellent start. I think we should do more of it.

And companies. We should tax those more too.

And council tax needs sorting to reflect 2013 prices not 'what would this house have been worth in 1988'.

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Perhaps a more rounded and all-encompassing taxation and benefits policy along the lines of "from each according to his means, to each according to his needs?"

 

Now, where have i heard that before?

 

edited to include "and benefits".

 

Thats just a big non specific statement that can be twisted to whatever you want, a bit like the current lots 'A fairer benefits system that rewards working'. 

It can mean anything.

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Those moaning about cuts never seem to come up with an alternative other than 'tax the rich'. Any alternatives?

Yes, borrow even more and make the national mortgage even bigger

(This is actually whats been happening, called Quantitative Easing)

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Taxing the rich would be an excellent start. I think we should do more of it.

And companies. We should tax those more too.

And council tax needs sorting to reflect 2013 prices not 'what would this house have been worth in 1988'.

What proportion of Govt income comes from personal taxation anyway?

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Those moaning about cuts never seem to come up with an alternative other than 'tax the rich'. Any alternatives?

Yep, lots.

1. Equalise the treatment of companies. Small companies get routinely bullied by HMRC even when they're strictly following the tax laws yet large companies get break after break after break. If HMRC prosecuted large companies to the extent that they do small companies then we'd have a good few extra billion in the treasury. It's also a blunt lie that companies will go elsewhere if we tax them more, they know they get a good deal here even if they played fairly. Also, companies are making decent profits, the FTSE 100 and 250 indices are up significantly but they grudge any single legitimate pound of extra tax they have to pay. This isn't being unfair to the "rich man", it's just getting him to pay his dues according to the current laws of the day like HMRC makes the rest of us pay.

2. Cancel the Corporation tax cuts announced in this year's budget. That's predicted to cost us nearly £750m per year, and that's using the government's figures.

3. Cancel the enhanced capital spending announced in this year's budget of £3bn per year.

4. Cancel the corporate stamp duty and shares changes being implemented, there's £325m per year back.

5. Cancel the two schemes the government are implementing to cut the tax on companies granting shares and share options to employees. £130m per year back.

(Noticed a theme yet? Corporate and high-earner tax cuts being implemented by the Coalition but service and benefits cuts to the poor.)

6. Increase the penalty for benefit fraud. Make it a mandatory jail sentence if there's proven dishonesty and the bill is over £5000. 1 year per £10k as an absolute minimum. Make the same penalty for corporate fraud or tax evasion where dishonesty is proven. Enhance the proceeds of crime laws to include total confiscation orders for all personal goods excluding survival goods for these offences. Might not make a lot of money but it'll help the justice of the situation by evening out the laws.

7. Change the corporate bankruptcy rules. Make it far, far harder to set up phoenix companies. Make it an appealable presumption of automatic disqualification to own or direct a company if it goes bankrupt while you're in charge or on the board. Make directors personally liable for all debts if there is proven dishonesty, right now the burden on HMRC to overturn the veil of incorporation is far too high. An example of dishonesty would be selling assets to another company at under an objective market value or where there's multiple layers of companies between the real assets and the debts. This alone would stop HMRC losing millions per year on companies going bust while owing tax money then miraculously restarting with a slightly different name a few days later, it happens all too often.

8. Make all councils in England unitary. By 'eck there's a lot of people getting paid for being called "Councillor" in the UK, there's the best part of 9000 District Councillors alone. They might not have a good salary, in fact it's quite measly, but it all adds up when you count in their allowances, council halls, paid assistants, etc. Take for example where I live, most of the council services are shared between my District council and the neighbouring one to save costs, it's helped cut costs massively by amalgamating services between the two yet there's still two separate councils with the same number of councillors. Bin every district council, make them county, metropolitan or unitary councils with minimum numbers of residents.

I could go on for a while but i need to go to lunch! If I find time later I may add more but please others feel free to add in.

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I've also no issue with a healthy, fit person being told to do community work for the equivalent of minimum wage in benefits if their out-of-pocket costs are separately met, e.g. travel.  Charities are always desperate for extra help.  I'm certainly not defending people who just sit at home and think their benefits are a right.  What they must have though is enough time and help to hunt for a job, I know myself that when looking for my next contract that job hunting is just as much a full-time job as working itself.  No point forcing someone to work if they can't job hunt or go to interviews during working hours.

 

Community work should be where people are sent to do the required work, not at places like Tescos etc in my opinion. I am sure local councils would love to have an extra few pairs of hands to clean up the local parks for example and as you rightly suggest charities are always desperate for help.

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Thats just a big non specific statement that can be twisted to whatever you want, a bit like the current lots 'A fairer benefits system that rewards working'. 

It can mean anything.

 

Really? Its meaning is fairly clear to me. Never mind.

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Community work should be where people are sent to do the required work, not at places like Tescos etc in my opinion. I am sure local councils would love to have an extra few pairs of hands to clean up the local parks for example and as you rightly suggest charities are always desperate for help.

 

Shouldn't they employ a few more gardeners, then? I do take the point, though. As long as it's not used to avoid providing real jobs for people who want them.

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I do take the point, though. As long as it's not used to avoid providing real jobs for people who want them.

 

Completely agree.

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Shouldn't they employ a few more gardeners, then? I do take the point, though. As long as it's not used to avoid providing real jobs for people who want them.

If it's required work how can it not  be about avoiding providing real jobs?  The only way it wouldn't be is if it was pointless tasks nobody wanted doing.

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If it's required work how can it not  be about avoiding providing real jobs?  The only way it wouldn't be is if it was pointless tasks nobody wanted doing.

 

Shadow the person doing the job in order to learn new skills perhaps?

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If it's required work how can it not  be about avoiding providing real jobs?  The only way it wouldn't be is if it was pointless tasks nobody wanted doing.

 Could you not suggest the same about voluntary work?

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It has to be said that the changes to benefits (in principle, maybe not the implementation) is a very popular move.  Labour support these changes because they see the same polling data.  They are also scared of being called soft and know that when (almost certain) get in power at next election that they will have to do the same.

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Could you not suggest the same about voluntary work?

That depends entirely on the nature of the work.

For example our local hospital has volunteers on the reception. They provide a nice welcome, point people in the right direction and if people need help they call the porters. They also have a nice coffee shop to direct people to.

What they don't do is book in appointments, manage the waiting rooms or process the paperwork. Although this bit is also mainly done on the reception it's done by people paid to work and who have contracts, training and the like.

If the volunteers on reception stopped turning up the hospital would be a less nice place but it would keep going; if the salaried people stopped turning up the place would be screwed. If the salaried were replaced by volunteers - as is occasionally threatened - then we'd lose the guarantee of an effective service.

Any time you're talking about filling 'mission critical' work with volunteers what you're effectively doing is looking for a free way of getting something done that should be paid for.

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Any time you're talking about filling 'mission critical' work with volunteers what you're effectively doing is looking for a free way of getting something done that should be paid for.

The RFU are finding that out about now!  They made all referee development officers across England redundant below a certain level around Christmas time, most of them did stay on as a voluntary role doing fewer duties.  Now, the RFU has sent them all a letter telling them that the role must now be done to a new job spec, startlingly like the one made redundant, but on a volunteer only basis.  The sheer cheek of the RFU and principle of it has had more than a few walking away taking all their knowledge and contacts with them.

 

The question should always be "what happens if this person just doesn't bother turning up one day and walks away without notice?"  If the answer is "we'd be screwed" then the job isn't suitable for a volunteer.

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food banks will have a boom time

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Do we really have a credible political party to lead us to the so-called Promised Land? 

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Do we really have a credible political party to lead us to the so-called Promised Land? 

We have a party, it needs a leader and a good smattering of sensible followers.

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Do we really have a credible political party to lead us to the so-called Promised Land? 

 

 

no, we haven't had one for an awful long time

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Do we really have a credible political party to lead us to the so-called Promised Land? 

 

There is no promised land. 

 

But there can be a more equitable one. 

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These poloticicians don't have a clue what to do. All they talk about is winning the next election rather than what they'll do if they win. Seems to me decisions are made outside of politics for the benefit of those making them and no matter the party that gets in we'll still head in the same direction we are now, nothing will change bar the colour of a tie.

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The Tories simultaneously: -

 

  • tried to capitalise on the success of paralympic athletes
  • closed the Remploy factories that provided dignity and employment for disabled workers

Sums up everything that party has ever stood for.

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The Tories simultaneously: -

  • tried to capitalise on the success of paralympic athletes
  • closed the Remploy factories that provided dignity and employment for disabled workers
Sums up everything that party has ever stood for.
The disabled people I worked with found Remploy to be problematic. Most were happy to see it closed. All were unhappy with the brutal way it was done and with no support for those left unemployed as a result.

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