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Rod Liddle: What I’d like to see in the Budget

13 March 2014

3:27 PM

13 March 2014

3:27 PM

  • A new National Minimum Wage of £8.80 per hour, both in London and beyond. Plenty of money set aside to police this arrangement.
  • Four per cent stamp duty for all homes over £250,000, two per cent for all those under. We need to dampen down the housing market which has again become absurd.
  • 60 per cent taxation on all incomes over £200,000.
  • Cap on CEO pay to no more than 12 times the pay of their lowest employee.
  • Re-nationalisation of the utilities and railways.
  • Cut in subsidy to local councils of 98 per cent and a cap on the amount of money they can raise in council tax. Just empty the bins and shut up. Oh, actually – yes. Empty the bin, singular. You want to sort out the rubbish, you do it.
  • Cancellation of all money paid by central government to the third sector. If we wish to donate, we will.
  • Duty on cigarettes and alcohol reduced to whatever it is in Moldova or Slovakia, whichever is lowest. I accept that this is a purely selfish aspiration.
  • An end to subsidies for windfarms. A budget of £1bn put aside for dismantling existing windfarms.
  • Remember the bonfire of the quangos? Wouldn’t have been able to barbecue a marshmallow on that one. Cull 80 per cent of all quangos randomly, by sticking a pin in a list. And see how we get on without them.
  • Overseas aid donations limited henceforth to countries which seem to like us, and support our aims. Whatever they are.

And that’s for starters……………


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Show comments
  • Raw England

    And if I may add a few more budget policies:

    *Total, immediate halt to all immigration

    *Multiculturalism to be criminalised immediately

    *Dispersement of Muslims/other immigrants out of our cities, and into less developed areas. This would be the tolerant option; the other would be deportations

    *Instant end to all foreign aid, and any other money going to foreigners

    *Repatriate English people into London and all other cities

    *Seize all London assets of rich foreigners – assets would be given to poor English

    *With the many hundreds of billions now saved, every single native English man and women to be given £20,000 in cash to boost them immediately; with many, many more benefits to come as we quickly rebuilt a brand new, radically different system

  • Seldom Seen

    Just get rid of local councils. After all, they’re nothing more than a device for keeping unemployment down. They don’t actually do anything

  • GraveDave

    On all that I’d vote you in Rod.

  • Squire Western

    I love the Nu-bonfire of the quangos idea. It would work too. 80% a little conservative?

  • DougS

    Get rid of all (so-called) jobs that’ve got ‘climate change’, ‘sustainability’ or ‘bio-diversity’ in their titles.

    Not just wind farms; eliminate all subsidies to energy production.

    Dump all Quangos, then add a few back that can prove they’re useful – slowly.

    Repeal Ed Miliband’s egregious 2008 Climate Change ACT – surely the biggest piece of lunacy in the history of the UK.

    Invoke Article 50 of The Treaty of European Union – then get on with it, as soon as poss’.

  • The_greyhound

    Serious issue omitted.

    Got to get the number of unemployed down – unemployment drives all sorts of costs to society besides directly paid benefits. Therefore end absolutely all forms of immigration until full employment attained.

  • artemis in france

    Brilliant.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    I cannot buy another ‘home for £250,000’ in today’s markets.
    I could however invest in a garage or shed with a toilet for that amount though which would align my standards of living with those on the Subcontinent.

  • StephanieJCW

    There are a few good ideas in amongst that though. I like the idea of a higher minimum wage although I think many employers will continue to ignore it. But I don’t see how it’s justifiable for the state to subsidise low wages through tax credits.

    Ditto overseas aid and state payments to charities.

    I could, maybe, potentially be swayed on state ownership of railways and utilities, quango bonfires and anything that tackles our housing crisis.

    The rest made me chuckle.

  • StephanieJCW

    This made me laugh out loud 😀

  • bwims

    YES!

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

      NO!

  • Daniel Maris

    “A new National Minimum Wage of £8.80 per hour, both in London and beyond. Plenty of money set aside to police this arrangement.” Excellent.

    “Four per cent stamp duty for all homes over £250,000, two per cent
    for all those under. We need to dampen down the housing market which has
    again become absurd.” Good – but let’s put that into a green energy fund and bring down everyone’s power bills.

    “60 per cent taxation on all incomes over £200,000.” Yep, if we want Scandinavian standards we need to pay for them.

    “Cap on CEO pay to no more than 12 times the pay of their lowest employee.”
    Yes, this is essential, though we may need to get this agreed across the EEA as well.

    “Re-nationalisation of the utilities and railways.” They are natural monopolies and so I would agree we need to do this. Not sure it would be my first priority.

    “Cut in subsidy to local councils of 98 per cent and a cap on the
    amount of money they can raise in council tax. Just empty the bins and
    shut up. Oh, actually – yes. Empty the bin, singular. You want to sort
    out the rubbish, you do it.”
    You would find out very quickly that local government does a lot of other things: providing swimming pools, libraries, maintaining parks, mending pot holes, looking after abused and neglected children, cremating your granny. You want them to give up doing those things?

    “Cancellation of all money paid by central government to the third sector. If we wish to donate, we will.” We should certainly reduce the amount going to the third sector. Charities are among the most inefficient organisations in the country.

    “Duty on cigarettes and alcohol reduced to whatever it is in Moldova
    or Slovakia, whichever is lowest. I accept that this is a purely selfish
    aspiration.” How about a compromise – reduce duty on alcohol in pubs, which are under a lot of pressure.

    “An end to subsidies for windfarms. A budget of £1bn put aside for dismantling existing windfarms.” Yes, let’s all be more dependent on that nice Mr Putin’s gas fields. This is a very short sighted approach. Look at Denmark one of the wealthiest, most successful and happiest countries in the world – it regularly supplies ALL its energy needs from wind turbines. I suppose you’d prefer we poured £50 billion into nuclear power.

    “Remember the bonfire of the quangos? Wouldn’t have been able to
    barbecue a marshmallow on that one. Cull 80 per cent of all quangos
    randomly, by sticking a pin in a list. And see how we get on without
    them.” I think there are good quangoes and bad ones.

    “Overseas aid donations limited henceforth to countries which seem to like us, and support our aims. Whatever they are.” We certainly shouldn’t funnel any money to dictatorial governments and aid to their oppressed people should be aimed at improving their lot and undermining the dictatorships.

  • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

    But the CEO might be more than 12 times as valuable to the company, the customers, and the stockholders…. Some people take on more stressful and demanding jobs because the rewards *mean* more to them, Rod. What you’re suggesting will encourage the bright people to turn to other endeavours, where they can still make the really big bucks. I’d prefer to keep bright people in charge of firms and therefore of the economy.

    60 percent income tax is a nerve. People want to work primarily for themselves, with some left over the common good. Asking some people to work more for the common good than you ask of others is communism, and it’s morally wrong as well as destructive of everyone’s prosperity.

    • Daniel Maris

      The idea that there is any rational relationship between CEO pay and their effectiveness is nonsense, unsupported by any evidence. What’s happened is that the managerial class has attached its suckers to productive companies and is taking money that rightly belongs to shareholders.

      I am not quite sure what alternative careers these CEOs would pursue: professional footballers? Nobel Prize winning physicists?

      Do you’re saying that Danes, Swedes and Norwegians are living under communism?

      • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

        They’re on their way to it, Daniel. They’re a lot closer than I would ever like to see for any of my three countries. They can just about bring it off because they are relatively small homogeneous, culturally cohesive populations. So far.

        • Daniel Maris

          Three countries? Aren’t you being a bit greedy – and incohesive?

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

            No, it’s just the merry-go-round of life. I didn’t plan it. And they are all flowers of the Anglosphere: England, Canada, America.

            • msher

              Swanky
              OT
              Watch your email tomorrow. I’ll be writing you. I think I know what happened to our New York posts, among other things.

              • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

                I’ll be there as ever, M.

                • msher

                  I actually just sent off the email.

            • Daniel Maris

              I think the Francosphere might dispute that assertion.

              • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

                What has the F–sphere got to do with it?

                • Daniel Maris

                  For some reason, the French claim to have got to Canada first. Perhaps you never noticed!

                • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

                  They only got to Lower Canada first. The Brits had Upper Canada. Who should have got the whole thing? Well, they still speak French in Lower Canada and sometimes elsewhere and a lot of money it costs the non-French-speakers, too. Besides, Napoleon was a git — and that’s my nice comment about him when I’m in a generous it’s-Friday mood.

    • Matthew Blott

      Do you really believe that bollocks?

      • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

        It’s not a matter of belief, Matthew. The last century had its chance to show us what Marxism, Communism, and warmed-over Leftism could do, in all its sad permutations. 100 million murdered bodies later, so say nothing of the countless other million lives cramped, crushed and ruined by this ideology, we can say on the evidence that liberal democratic capitalism helps people and is the best solution for living in this world that humans have ever found or devised.

  • gerontius

    The one where Rod goes ape.
    (He has my sympathy).

  • Count Boso

    Why not a minimum wage of £100,000 per annum, then we could all be well-to-do at a stroke?

  • In2minds

    Very good, you seem to have a better grasp of economics than Ed Balls!

  • tjamesjones

    Not bad, we’d be basically ahead IMO with this list. But how about a few things for business, Rod? Lower corp tax, scrap unfair dismissal (or remind me what incentive managers have to sack good staff?). And I don’t see how or why the state can or should even try to enforce that 12x rule. Shareholders perhaps, but they don’t bother even though it would be in their interest if it was easy & beneficial to them.

  • John Smith

    After several years of operation of the minimum wage it would be worth some sort of investigation by an independent body.
    To see if it really does what it says on the tin.

    Anyone think Fast food joints & car wash emporiums pay it? Or any tax for that matter?

    Its a big turn off to anyone thinking of a start up in say Rod’s native North east
    The figure for skill less young people is just plain daft & has reinforced youth unemployment

  • Flintshire Ian

    The stamp duty threshold is a bit low even around here never mind “dahn sarf” but that aside and apart from the job destroying increase in the minimum wage (and no, I wouldn’t want to work for £8 hour either) and the 60% tax rate, the rest seems to be really rather sensible for a member of the Labour Party.

  • Peter Saunders

    Following Rod’s economic insights, we might also nationalise Millwall FC, cap their chairman’s salary, and slap a 60% tax on all their players’s wages. Good way of ensuring their relegation in successive seasons to the Ryman Div II.

    • Sean L

      How should that be? Where does he stipulate that it should apply exclusively to Millwall players? Anyhow Millwall were at about the same level when the top tax rate was closer to 90% When Britain was possibly a better place in many ways. Not necessarily for that reason. . .

  • chrisphillips

    £8.80?? Well that’s my small business gone to the wall and ten more people on the dole.

    • Sean L

      Yes but you could easily fund it by tax breaks paid for by the cuts he otherwise proposes. Never gonna happen. But that’s another thing. . .

      • chrisphillips

        He’s not proposing reducing, or even better abolishing, the national insurance I have to pay for them though is he? A tax on being an employer and nothing else, it’s preposterous. If employers are not rich, workers won’t be prosperous. It is in the national interest to make as many rich people as possible.
        Government should gradually abolish unemployment benefit, sell every council house in the land, grant businesses huge tax cuts and then leave us to it without interference. Let wealth creators create wealth. Left to its own devices the private sector could bring unemployment to well under a million without breaking sweat, then get to work on the rest. I’ve got ten employees. Under Liddle’s plan I’d have none. If I had hundreds everyone would benefit.

        • Sean L

          I can sympathise with your view. But I’d want to qualify your point about making as many rich people as possible. The problem iwth this is that the concept of “rich” is entirely relative and socially generated. Everyone in this country, even someone on welfare, is already “rich” in absolute material terms, considered globally or historically, in space and time. But people sitll feel bad about themselves because they haven’t got as nice a car as the neighbours. That would stil be the case if everyone was given an Audi A4 by the state fiat. The A4 would soon become a symbol of poverty, because we can only measure ourselves against others. There’s no solution, and that’s the point of the conserivative point of view.. Which lately has been confused with economic liberalism so that people who call themselves conserivative imagine that is consists in the application of some economic doctrine. Otherwise in the 70s people would go on strike on account of what were called “differentials”, i.e if roadsweepers got a pay rise, the bimen would immediately dmend a commensurate increase to preserve their differential: Which in truth means nothing more than their idea of themselves as superior to the roadsweeper. Noting to od with how rich or poor they are as such. Millionaire bankers and lawyers have thrown themselves from windows for comparable dimunitions in status, thier notion of their own worth,

        • Daniel Maris

          So, you are expecting all the haulage businesses to get together to build and maintain motorway systems without government intervention? How will that work?

          Look around the world and you can see that good governance is a necessary condition of wealth creation.

          The idea of business people as philanthropists working towards full employment is risible and with no historical basis.
          In previous historical periods when state intervention was far less, there were huge numbers of unemployed.

        • StephanieJCW

          “Government should gradually abolish unemployment benefit,”

          And if you lose your job?

          “sell every council house in the land,”

          And if the less than minimum wage that you earn means you cannot afford to rent in the private sector?

        • nancledra

          You sound like an appalling person to work for. Good firms look after their staff.

    • StephanieJCW

      So instead you pay less and expect us, the taxpayer, to subsidise your employees through tax credits?

    • Eyesee

      If A decides to set up a printing company and discovers the machinery he needs costs £200,000 which he doesn’t have, he doesn’t set up his company. Whilst I sympathise that what we are discussing here affects an existing company, the same should be true for people. If you can’t make your company work, paying people at least £8.80 then you can’t afford the company. Somehow though, we can see the value in machines but not people. Perhaps companies should pass on some of the profits, like John Lewis do. Seems to be a successful company and for some reason the staff seem more helpful, more motivated. Maybe they have a good Union. Maybe they are just lucky. It could be cause and effect, but the Left don’t believe in that.

  • Sean L

    You’ve got my vote mate.

  • Ricky Strong

    A 90% tax on anyone who earns over £100,000 a week.

    A 90% tax on any football transfer over £30m.

    • John Smith

      Especially the ‘agents’, or Robber Barons

    • Harold Angryperson

      Agreed, and that £100,000 should include “Expenses” as well.

      Whaddya mean “No chance”?!! 😉

  • Eyesee

    And as someone who has always had a leaning away from the totalitarian Left, this is my view on Mr. Liddle’s views;
    1. I agree
    2. Something needs to be done to keep homes affordable, but why giving money to the State solves it I’m not sure. It is helpful in pricing people out of the market I suppose. Maybe if the State is to be involved it is through Planning?
    3. Why? What does this achieve? The more you can earn the more you look to avoid tax, or move somewhere less stupid. Most of the immoral salaries are in the public sector and we know how to deal with those and even that isn’t via tax.
    4. Again, why punish success and make people look for dodges? What should be more rigorous is the shareholders, holding executives to account. No more bonuses for failure.
    5. Yeah, not sure it could be worse than handing what are basically monopolies to private companies who then charge what they like whilst some Quango or other ignores their role in preventing such abuse.
    6. The figures might not be right but the sentiment is. You can bet that any squeeze on Councils sees no ‘outreach worker’ let go, but meals on wheels cancelled instead. They should go back to being servants, not masters, and do what is asked of them; basic services and stop all the other crap.
    7. Oh yes. Not just the answer on charities though, but on tax generally; leave the money with us and we will make the decisions as to what we spend it on.
    8. Tax again and yes, it should be low.
    9. Top marks! Wind farms only farm subsidies and without them, they wouldn’t happen. They are pointless objects and need to be got rid of. History will look at the appearance of this idiocy and wonder where our brains went. How do we generate electricity when the wind doesn’t blow (and these people are paid regardless)? With loads of diesel generators in special parks all over the country. Earning subsidies too. Then chucking out CO2 which, according to anti-capitalists causes something they call Global Warming.
    10. Yep, there cannot be a wrong move if the result is a shut Quangos. So, picked specially or at random, but at least 80%, with a target of 100%.
    11. We could stop all overseas aid and if we found we had a few coppers to spare at some point and we became aware of a needy nation, then perhaps we could offer some help. That’s needy as in needy, not from a list we drew up, drunk 150 years ago.

    • StephanieJCW

      “. Oh yes. Not just the answer on charities though, but on tax generally; leave the money with us and we will make the decisions as to what we spend it on.”

      He he he – how do we fund shared services such as healthcare, schools, parks, libraries, military, police force etc.

      And when people fall on hard times…how do we fund the welfare assistance?

      • Eyesee

        You misunderstand. We all know that if we must have a government, we must have some taxation. It is just that as the UK government has less and less to do due to the real power being in Brussels, so they seem to spend ever more. Local authorities also accrete ‘responsibilities’ that no-one requires of them and so need money money, via tax to pay for them. There should be as little government as possible (empty the bin and shut up) and a flat rate of tax. Everyone pays, because it isn’t onerous and individuals have to take responsibility for themselves. So all of the attributes of a civilised society (such as you list) can exist, but without all the Leftist subsidies, outreach workers and human rights waffle.

      • Tim

        Healthcare, schools are NOT free. They are paid for by taxation. Give us that money back and let us spend it where we like. Oooh, a bit radical for you lefties, no? Let the government keep a bit for those on hard times but don’t think that government can be the sole monopoly on these things. Police and army – centrally funded through taxes. Libraries – if people want them, set up a charity or shut them. Rod’s right – just empty the bins (fill in potholes / keep the street lights on). A bit of grit in winter would be nice but that’s fluff.

  • Hayek was right

    Agree with much but this cartoon

    https://twitter.com/Mark_J_Perry/status/444094766167248896/photo/1

    sums up whats wrong with raising the minimum wage.

    • StephanieJCW

      Australia has a high minimum wage and very low unemployment. It just strikes me those defending not having a minimum wage, are those who earn well above it. What point is a wage you cannot live on?

      And what is the point in paying wages so low, we have to subsidise them through the benefits system?

      • rodliddle

        what is the point of employers paying high wages when there’s a surfeit of labour from overseas to drive the average down?

        • StephanieJCW

          The impact on immigration on wages is nowhere near as clear as you imply. A number of studies have demonstrated contradictory responses and I don’t recall seeing any that point towards immigration ‘driving down’ wages.

          For starters any impact would not be consistent across all types of skill levels and salary bands. Going back to my mention of Australia, much higher levels of immigration than the UK and much higher wages too. (That has also lead to a much higher cost of living, but that is another blog post)…

          Obviously it would seek logical that increased supply drives down wages, but studies don’t seem to support that.

  • Perpetually Astonished

    Hear, hear – especially, just empty the bins and shut up.

    • global city

      Do you know the reason why we have ll those bins?

      Genuinely, it is to make us feel that we are taking part in saving the world, so will eventually come to be eager to do even more world saving!

      I know it’s mad, but it comes through the EU…..

      • Perpetually Astonished

        That may be the intention, but from my perspective the bins are just somewhere to put the rubbish while I await its collection. I don’t mind having different bins for different things, but I have never once thought that sorting things meant I was doing my bit to save the world. That would be stupid.

        • global city

          Yes. We do not have sane leaders.

        • Daniel Maris

          Why are you working for free then, doing all that sorting, if not from a moral imperative?

  • Tom M

    When I read the first five I thought there will be a punch line to this, but no there wasn’t. You’re in the wrong paper here Rod try the New Statesman or somesuch.

    • Sean L

      No that’s the organ of the quangos and third sector and local authority and wind farm supporters themselves. On what basis should they give a berth to Rod Liddle, who more or less advocates their abolition, or at least radical curtailment?

    • StephanieJCW

      Why is he in the wrong paper? Rod Liddle has always been fairly open about being left wing. He isn’t a liberal, by any stretch of the imagination – but he is certainly an old school leftie.

      • gerontius

        “but he is certainly an old school leftie.”
        I think you’re right on that.
        Unfortunately he doesn’t have a political party that will reflect his views.

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