ukip Bedroom Tax Stance Clear Evidence Would Prosecute #WOW Like #IDS? #Heywood #Middleton

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ukip intends in September to confirm its “opposition to the Bedroom Tax” (see paragraph 8).  However, all its other policy ideas are definites, we will cut this, set up that and repeal something else. ukip, therefore, is not committing itself to repealing the Bedroom Tax if it were ever in government.

ukip seems to be setting out to be tough on welfare, despite the contention it is pitching for a bigger slice of the working class ‘left behind’ vote.  I guess saying that you will be opposed to the tax suggests otherwise and may provide some comfort to a few ukip voters, who think the tax is not a national government policy.  I have often sat across the desk from someone on Social Security who was unaware of the difference between a civil service department and their local council.  Although how ukip would cope if they were running a council is anyone’s guess.

To be fair to ukip in one way, they may have inadvertently repeated, without amendment, a pledge made in their Local Authority Elections Manifesto 2014 (see page 9, Environment, Planning and Housing), but failing to amend this policy for its policy launch hardly suggests that they are getting better organised at presenting their policies.  However, the LA Manifesto contains references to policies that would require Parliamentary legislation for local authorities to implement.  And those policies are mostly clear cut, too.

If ukip is attracting a goodly number of the ‘left behind’ then some of them must be paying the Bedroom Tax so why not say you will cut it?  Could it be because of ukip’s Libertarian, small government, everyone should stand on their own feet wing?  Oh and the 50% of its vote who are ex Tories?  Keeping hold of their votes and attracting more implies that ukip will be hard on ‘benefit scroungers’, despite some of them currently being its voters and supporters.

There are three references  to benefits in the LA Manifesto:

Up to 29 million more people are, therefore, entitled to come here, to take advantage of our benefits, social housing, primary school places and free health care, having contributed nothing to them. (Page 3)

We must end benefit and health tourism and give priority to local people for housing, education, health and social services. In planning, the local people’s opinions should be respected and not overruled. (Page 8)

Our membership of the EU costs £55m a day – and another £23m a day goes out in foreign aid – while jobs, services and benefits are being cut at home. UKIP believes that we should save that money to help rebuild our debtridden economy. (Page 9)

Now £55 million and £23 million per day might sound like a lot to most people, especially ukip supporters, but, believe me it is a drop in the ocean of government expenditure.  Our total annual EU subscription amounts to (using Farage’s figures) £20 billion and our Overseas Development Aid to £8.4 billion per year. Now Farage has recently conceded that we get back £7 for every £10 we pay into the EU and that he wants to reduce, but not end ODA. He proposes to reduce it from 0.7% of GDP to 0.2%.

ukipers have assured me on Twitter that the 70% of our EU subscription we get back will be spent in a similar way as now, but instead of on the advice of chaps like me in the Regions (hence European Regional Development Fund), the decisions will be made in Whitehall.  I am sure we are confident, particularly everywhere outside of London and South East, especially in the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament, that this centrally directed money will still go where it is most needed.  I will talk more about that topic in a later post.

£8.3 billion divided by 7 and multiplied by 5 equals £6 billion and 30% of £20 billion equals £6 billion. After an expensive referendum and making a decision that will reduce the UK’s standing in the world we will have an extra £12 billion, ceteris paribus, per year to spend on ukip’s policy proposals.  The proposal to cut Income Tax for those on the National Minimum Wage has been estimated, if implemented, to result in a loss of tax revenue to the Exchequer of £13 billion.  ukip cannot contend that BREXIT and reducing ODA will make any immediate financial difference to those receiving Social Security.

I think it is not unreasonable to assume, given that reference to “debtridden (sic)” above, that ukip may well be considering slicing a further £73 billion from annual government expenditure and some of the policy ideas listed in Goodwin’s article would seem to support that contention. There is also no evidence to support the theory that cutting the top rate of Income Tax from 45% to 40% will, as Farage asserts, raise more revenue than before the reduction and as ukip wants to make sure the 40% starting point is not subject to fiscal drag then something has got to be cut.  I leave you to ponder where the axe would fall, but do not forget that the Hard Right of the Tory Party not only likes the cut of ukip’s jib, but has openly talked about getting into bed with them.

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3 thoughts on “ukip Bedroom Tax Stance Clear Evidence Would Prosecute #WOW Like #IDS? #Heywood #Middleton

  1. Membership of EU costs far more than £55 million a day.

    It leaves the UK open to the inevitable crash when all the indebted nation in Europe crash out of capitalism when they default on debt incurred by the irresponsibility of the EU government, cvaused by the draconian austerity that is wiping out business, in nations where the poorest are taxed from each and every Euro, with no basic tax allowance at all and the EU have morally stolen the pensions from all sources, not just state pension and so cut the pensions however old.

    And £55 million a day would pay to:

    – Raise the lowest state pension in the rich nations of the world, that we have in the UK, when huge numbers of pensioners have only the basic state pension as income in old age. And link the state pension back with average wages.

    – Give back the lost £100 taken off the most elderly’s Winter Fuel Allowance, and given to MPs within their second home allowance to offset energy price rises.

    – Get rid of green taxes on residential energy bills, so saving 30,000 premature deaths of the elderly each winter, or even Free Electricity for the lowest income people as promised by Syriza’s most current election promises in Greece.

    – Give back the 100 per cent Council Tax Benefit to the poorest, lost when the budget holding was devolved to cash-strapped councils.

    – Bring back social care for all ages being lost more and more to the spending cuts being done by all parties in their manifestos.

    – And end the political lie that the state pension is funded from tax, when the ring fenced National Insurance Fund has been full for decades, not needing a top up from tax. As the NI Fund is not a tax, it cannot be used for general expenditure, and any money temporarily used incurs interest.

    The raised retirement age, means women born from 1953 have lost state pension for life –
    housewives, divorcees or widows – with a great many with no other income for food/fuel
    and from the poorest men born from 1951
    with the bulk of new claimants from these getting a massive cut to their state pension.
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

    – More than offset The Greens’ 2015 manifesto pledge of a universal Citizen Wage, non-means tested and non-withdrawable, to end the 70 per cent rise since 2010 of starvation, even ending in hospital admission or even death (it takes a month to die of hunger).

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    • Where are your figures that it does cost more than those used by Nigel Farage?

      Frankly, your second paragraph makes no sense at all, except as an anti EU diatribe.

      Whatever the merits of raising the value of the basic State Pension, I would argue that increasing the amount of Pension Credit that someone may claim would focus the support on those most in need. Such a policy would require extensive efforts to increase take up of PC. You omit to mention increasing the State Pension in line with the RPI rather than the CPI, though you do mention in line with average wages. I would have thought that in today’s economic climate that would result in the real value of pensions falling rather than keeping pace with prices? I would go further than re-establishing the link with RPI (CPI minus housing costs) and set up a Pensioner Price Index, instead.

      What is the connection between the WFA and MPs’ second home allowance? Surely, it would be better to improve insulation, energy efficiency, double glazing etc in the homes of those most in need rather than subsidising the Big 6 energy companies through an increased WFA? A more energy efficient home means lower energy costs.

      Removing green taxes (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24646527) and/or invest to save intiatives would be unlikely to lead to a reduction in energy prices. Our demand for energy is almost, but not quite demand inelastic. One pensioner death is one too many, but where do you get the evidence from that 30,000 premature deaths each winter of the elderly are solely down to heating costs and/or actually premature? Syriza’s free electricity idea is a non starter, for example how would you determine who should receive it?

      Surely you should be talking about returning CTB to where it was before the ‘reforms’, without exception?

      Returning social care to some past point is no answer to future demand. A number of parties do address this issue in a serious way and will make that point again before next May.

      There is, to all intents and purposes, no such thing as the National Insurance Fund (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/19/benefits-system-overhaul-stability-challenge) and there never has been. Put simply, were that the case, it would have been decades before the first state pensioners accrued enough stamps to receive one. That was not the case. In addition, it is UK custom and practice not to hypothecate tax revenue.

      The whole issue of when people should retire needs serious consideration. One might, for example, argue that men should be able to retire before women, because women live longer. Some favour a flexible age of retirement. Simply going back to what was there before would be unacceptable to many people.

      Have you got something against the Green Party and green policies, in general? I am not clear as to whom you are referring in your last praragraph.

      You, like ukip, seem to think £20 billion to be a lot of money. It is only 3%, at most, of total Government expenditure. You, like ukip, are seemingly proposing to spend many times that amount on leaving the EU. In addition, we do get back £7 for every £10 we put into the EU (and our membership is worth a lot more than that). I know, I have helped spend 10s of millions of pounds of ERDF and ESF monies. Quite a lot of that money went to help people on low incomes. Some got free insulation as a result. Are you seriously saying that you would not continue with funding such projects, if we left the EU?

      Finally, I note you have said nothing about ukip’s Social Security policies and, in particular, the Bedroom Tax. May I ask why not? As these are what my blog post is about I am surprised you did not. Moreover, in future, I am afraid if you do not at least try to address the substance of a post then your comments will be deleted. I invite comment, even mini posts, but not posts tenuously connected with mine own.

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