[Update by gpig 23/08/2006] Unholed because I want to keep the discussion, give me a shout if you object.
(, ,') -- eep
--------It's political correctness gone mad!
Because those of us paid from your taxes only do 37 hours.
How is your new job/not a new job thing going, anyway? Have they sorted you out yet?
Assume a basic rate of 25% income tax on that for the first 25K, then 40% on anything over and above that.
A's net earnings are £15,750, and assuming a 47 week working year, A racks up 1645 hours.
A's net hourly rate is £9.57 and paid £5250 in tax on a year at an overall rate of 25%.
Let's say person B works 50 hours a week, and earns £50K a year.
Assume the same rate of tax on that, and the same number of weeks in a year.
B's net earnings are £18,750 on the first 25K, and then £15,000 on the next 25K. Total net earnings are £33,750 and assuming a 47 week working year, B rack up 2350 hours.
B's net hourly rate is £14.36 and paid £16250 in tax on a year at an overall rate of almost 33%.
B has paid 309% more tax, and that's not even including if person A gets a tax credit.
Does that sound fair to you?
B has paid 32% more tax as a proportion of income.
Alternatively, if you want to talk about absolute figures, I'd work out what constitutes enough to live on, then compare the amount you get to keep after that.
e.g. assume that £10k after tax is enough to live on (which it probably is if you're not in London).
Then A has £5750 to spend on beer, pie and hookers, B has £23750.
B has more than four times the disposable income of A.
Probably, however, B has no time to spend any of this money and barely enough to go back to sleep in the house that he has just managed to afford the mortgage for. A gave up on getting a mortgage ages ago so spends the £5750 on cheap cider and a fast internet connection.
I don't know if that sounds fair. It's just life.---
(, ,') -- eep
And this in Bliar's "fairer society".
What really strokes my monnkey lime green sideways is when A wants to reduce their work hours and their tax contribution, and expects B to pay for the shortfall in their earnings and tax contribution.
As for tax credit, possibly -- if that person is the main wage earner for a family. I haven't got any problem with that really, it's for the benefit of the kids not the parents.
I can kind of see why you're pissed off, even though I don't agree. What's your alternative suggestion? Fixed rate tax all the way up? Minimum working hours?
In my case, I am actually going to try to start a business using my extra working day. So when it all goes horribly wrong, you hard workers will end up having to pay (indirectly through the banking system) for the bankruptcy of my company, too.---
(, ,') -- eep
The alternative suggestion can't really be legislated. It's more of an attitude thing. When I was in my teens, accepting help from the state was something you did if it had all gone wrong (serious illness, redundancy etc). Now it's seen as more of a lifestyle choice to live off the state and I don't see that changing through legislation. People don't see that the nation's money is in fact, our money.
One idea I've been toying with (and not found any research on, either) is have all tax gathered as VAT. Obviously, living costs do not attract taxes (food, heating oil, bog roll, water, nappies etc) but "luxury" goods do. You'd hit an astonishing rate of VAT, but tax would be based on consumption rather than earnings. Not being an economist I'm unsure of how viable it is as a system though. You do get a cheaper to collect, more straightforward taxation system though, which is harder to game by the rich and poor alike.
Without that support you can expect to be placed in a hostel pretty quickly (this has improved loads in recent years), and spend years in this adequate shelter with the various alcoholics, drug addicts and other chaotics you share with. This usually sorts out those who can get it together and rent privately from those who genuinely can't.
Most new single council tenants have issues with addiction or mental or physical illness. Families get housed a lot quicker but will also spend time in a family hostel or bed and breakfast.
And once you get through all that, the houses are crap.
The old days of easy cheap housing are gone, loads of council homes have been sold through the Right To Buy scheme and they're not building many more.
What reforms would you like to see?
The Right To Buy scheme has been put on hold in London and a lot of other cities because it has caused a shortage - once more council houses are built I'd like to see it brought back, it brings more of a social mix to estates with students renting from private landlords, young professionals getting on the housing ladder etc, which makes estates nicer places to live.
A better solution would be to create an environment which encourages more housing cooperatives. (Specifically, it's a pain in the arse trying to get somebody to lend you money as an organisation if you're not trying to make a profit).
Once they get going these should be cheaper than commercial rented accommodation. There's a few still around in Edinburgh, generally they're quite old though (i.e. not many new housing coops around).
If you think Right to Buy is important, well you could implement that as a shared equity housing coop -- you're 'buying' as you pay rent.
I've spent far too long thinking about these things (as a result of a failed attempt to set one up) so I could probably diary about it more later.---
(, ,') -- eep
I think it works really well, a few teething problems aside, and it's a way of doing things that's growing fast.
That said as soon as I realised I didn't have enough people in my circle of friends to get it going I gave up. I probably should have considered getting some Randoms in.---
(, ,') -- eep
I'm not arguing with you here BTW, I like your idea, just unsure of how it'd play out fiscally. Can't seem to find interest rates for a 25 year mortgage on 30 million quid... I can make some approximations though; how much would the average council tenant be able to afford monthly for a 2 bedroom flat do you think?
When I come to power in 2012, I totally have my Housing Minister lined up...
You might be right about it not paying off long-term. There's inflation to consider as well, injecting vast amounts of cash into the economy can cause problems.
And let's not forget that lovely stamp duty that Gordon "Texture Like Sun" Brown is getting at the minute from inflated house prices.
And don't forget, the business could take off and you'll be joining in with me whining about how much tax we pay!
I hope I'll never whine about how much tax I pay. When I get my payslip, I only ever look at the little number. Anyway, the only reason I'm still whole and healthy is some pretty extensive treatment from the NHS (on more than one occasion). Even if I did care about it balancing up, I'd probably still be owing.---
(, ,') -- eep
I've no qualms about paying tax for the NHS save peoples lives and so on. I do however whine when disproportionate amounts are taken from me and squandered or given to the undeserving and the feckless.
Can I have that idea for free? Scanning for domain names now. I favour 'mogmunch' (com or co uk), I would see if it's available but I fear typing any random domain in at work.---
(, ,') -- eep
Personally, I'm in the flat taxtax simplification camp. No rebates, credits or other tools of cack handed social engineering, just income tax, plain and simple.
I don't really mind paying the tax but the complexity of it all drives me nuts.
"flat taxtax (...) camp"
You are Gordon "Texture Like Sun" Brown and I claim my £5! When TLS Brown takes over the reins of Nu Labia, welcome to taxtaxtax!
So, one flat rate of income tax across the board, or banded levels?
A single rate with a much larger no-tax band at the bottom.
It's never gonna happen in the UK so I'd settle for simplification. Sadly, it's not in the Treasury's interest to do it.
The idea of Dave "Nice but Dim" hardly appeals though.
Insert failing educational standards rant here.  <---
He is, after all, making up the shortfall for everybody else.
I'd be irate if I was doing that, too. Poor sod.
I'm going to use the spare time to start taking lessons in Attic Greek at the local university.