Archive for March 2012
George Osborne’s pasty tax is bad enough, but to say poor people should buy them cold shows just how insensitive this government and the Tory party are.
What many people forget is that VAT replaced the over-complicated Purchase Tax that had different rates for varying goods and was designed to be a tax on luxury goods, the idea being that those that could afford luxury goods could afford a luxury tax; the problem is, if VAT were only applied to luxury goods, it would have to be at a much higher rate to return the same amount of revenue it does today; rather than do that to the hard-hit millionaires, VAT is extended to goods I would hardly call a luxury, so once again the poor bear a disproportionate share of the tax burden.
We are seeing more and more none-luxury goods attracting VAT; domestic gas and electricity; now hot food bought at a bakery.
They have done this very cleverly; though the fresh-baked bread from Sainsbury’s goes on the shelf warm, it won’t attract VAT because it is meant to be eaten cold. (So are the Cornish Pasties); but the Tories won’t want to upset big players like John Sainsbury, do they?
People, we are being ravaged by the coalition; the Lib Dems are ineffectual, for all their thundering about what they have done in government; the Tories couldn’t care less about anybody that isn’t a millionaire or below the six-figure income bracket; and don’t for one minute think your local Tories are any different. Make the forthcoming local elections in May your chance to protest. Use your vote for anybody but the Tories or Lib Dems. Even if you can’t find a suitable candidate, write ‘ABSTAIN’ across your ballot paper. Show them we have had enough!
This week in parliament, our MP Chris Pincher voted for the Health and Social Care Bill (check how your MP voted here: http://www.goingtowork.org.uk/how-mps-voted-on-the-health-and-social-care-bill/), despite objections from the public and professional and charitable bodies. He chose not to support a delay until the Risk Register could be considered; this means your MP blindly follows the party line without really understanding what he is voting for. Effectively, this is a vote for privatisation of the NHS and a vote against democracy.
Here’s a letter I sent to Mr Chris Pincher:
Dear Mr. Pincher, MP,
I am writing to ask you to reconsider your position and vote against the Health and Social Care Bill in the commons today, Tuesday, 20 March 2012. My reasons are that I believe that this Bill, if passed will so dramatically change our NHS as to make it unrecognisable and introduce privatisation on a scale both unheard of and totally unacceptable.
This Bill was not part of you party’s manifesto, and neither was it part of the Coalition Agreement. Your own David Cameron, PM said the NHS was safe in your hands and that there would be, and I quote “no top down reorganisation of the NHS.”
The governments listening exercise was a pretence; the reasonable and legitimate concerns of the majority of the public and health experts have been ignored. Is this the ‘Big Society’ we were promised? Is democracy a thing of the past? Perhaps more importantly for you, do you want people to vote for you at the next election?
The minor amendments to the bill have done nothing to alter its overall impact; the quality of healthcare for ordinary people will deteriorate in favour of those who can afford to pay; the NHS will be regionalised, resulting in post code lotteries for health care, and again allowing private, profit motivated interests to cherry pick which regions they will invest in.
Finally, the refusal of the government to release the Transitional Risk Register for this Bill, despite an order form the Information Officer and an appeal tribunal leads me to believe there is something to hide; something the government does not want us, the public to know until it is a fait accompli; something the government does not want MPs to know before they vote and expecting them to pass judgement without knowing or understanding the risks.
Now is the time to practice the democracy you preach; now is the time to show us you not only listen you act; now is the time to show us you might be worth a future ballot paper.
Maybe Mr Pincher would care to tell us why he voted for the Bill, despite the legitimate concerns expressed above; perhaps he could tell us why we should vote for him at the next election. It isn’t that far away; I for one will remember.
“Chancellor George Osborne is expected to say civil servants, such as Jobcentre and DVLA staff, should have pay brought into line with private sector salaries in their regions.” (From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17411117)
Hmmmm; does that mean six figure pay packets and million pound bonuses’?
On a more serious note, the treasury says “… public sector pay in some parts of England and Wales is up to 18% higher than the private sector.” Well, I take a different view; shouldn’t we be looking at raising pay in the private sector by 18%?
You just cannot compare private sector pay rates like this; where does the 18% figure come from; are low waged shop workers included in the figure; and what is the comparable private sector job for a Jobcentre employee or a housing inspector?
And we mustn’t forget that private sector jobs, particularly the higher paid ones often have perks that are not a part of the wage agreement and are also often ‘unofficial’.
This is blatantly an excuse to cut wages and cannot be done fairly because of the vast differences between the public and private sector.
Government is planning to suspend Sunday Trading laws to allow shops to open for more than 6 hours on Sundays during the Olympics.
Mark my words; this is the thin end of the wedge. If it is perceived as successful, it will become the norm; and this is being done ad hoc with no consultation with the shop workers or their representatives who will be expected to give up their Sundays.
It appears Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has said there will be no unfunded giveaways in next week’s budget; tell me a budget where there have been- ever. Money doesn’t appear from nowhere; it has to come from somewhere; so all so-called giveaways are funded by somebody; which is why we have to pay taxes and why I don’t mind paying high taxes with three provisos-
- The tax revenue is used to create work, keep people in work and support the a decent benefits system for those unfortunate enough to be unable to work
- The money left in my pocket gives me a reasonable standard of living
- The rich pay a fair share relative to their wealth and income
I do worry about a Treasury Department that makes such a silly statement; every working person who has ever paid taxes or claimed benefits knows that what governments give with the left hand, they take away with the right.