2016-03-16

UK Budget 2016

Looking at the main points of the UK 2016 budget, I'm pleased that the Chancellor is cutting spending, but I'm not happy about where he's cutting it. Here are some comments on the specific items:

  • Abolition of Class 2 National Insurance contributions. Good. National Insurance is a regressive tax, and should be abolished entirely.
  • The threshold at which people pay 40% income tax will rise from £42,385 to £45,000 in April 2017. Bad. If there's money to spare for tax cuts it should be used to cut the taxes of the poor.
  • Tax-free personal allowance to rise from £11,000 to £11,500. Good. This is cutting taxes for the poor, which tackles inequality.
  • Capital Gains Tax to be cut. Neither. Capital Gains should be taxed at exactly the same rate as income.
  • Annual Isa limit to rise from £15,240 to £20,000. Bad. ISAs should be abolished. They're bureaucratic and the money should instead go to abolishing taxes on the poor.
  • New "lifetime" Isa for the under-40s. Bad. As above.
  • New state-backed savings scheme. Bad. As above.

2016-03-05

An Anarchy Of Nations

Walking through Green Park Station in Bath, a man from the Leave the EU campaign saw me and proffered a leaflet. I said that I was in favour of remaining in the EU. He asked why and I explained that at the European level we've got democracy at the moment, but if we were to leave the EU we'd go back to having Europe as an anarchy of nations (two world wars etc). He said, 'well if you follow that logic we'd have a world government!', I said, 'yes we should have a world government', at which he recoiled and gave me up as a hopeless case.