Tuesday, February 22, 2005

ITV News

Just been told that ITN had a bit on their news about our Council Tax policy being a real boost for candidates in target seats like North Norfolk where 36% of the population are pensioners. Actually it is 38%. This is one policy I will need to sell, sell, sell.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Iain
Now about this integrity thing ..? Don't you think that the only acceptable basis for taxation is the ability to pay? Otherwise it is an oppressive tax. We are not just talking about pensioners - we are also talking about young, middle aged and old low income families who are sometimes left at their wits end trying to meet the council tax committment - over which they have absolutely no control. The same type of taxation [the poll tax brought down Mrs Thatcher and the Conservaive Party is still trying to recover]. Incidentally - unless you get a proper grasp of the real policies for all the parties and forget the sound bites, you will be shot out of the water within weeks! But then you are used to that on most issues that to try to get to grips with!
Robb

Anonymous said...

Iain
Now about this integrity thing ..? Don't you think that the only acceptable basis for taxation is the ability to pay? Otherwise it is an oppressive tax. We are not just talking about pensioners - we are also talking about young, middle aged and old low income families who are sometimes left at their wits end trying to meet the council tax committment - over which they have absolutely no control. The same type of taxation [the poll tax brought down Mrs Thatcher and the Conservaive Party is still trying to recover]. Incidentally - unless you get a proper grasp of the real policies for all the parties and forget the sound bites, you will be shot out of the water within weeks! But then you are used to that on most issues that to try to get to grips with!
Robb

Anonymous said...

Iain
Now about this integrity thing ..? Don't you think that the only acceptable basis for taxation is the ability to pay? Otherwise it is an oppressive tax. We are not just talking about pensioners - we are also talking about young, middle aged and old low income families who are sometimes left at their wits end trying to meet the council tax committment - over which they have absolutely no control. The same type of taxation [the poll tax brought down Mrs Thatcher and the Conservaive Party is still trying to recover]. Incidentally - unless you get a proper grasp of the real policies for all the parties and forget the sound bites, you will be shot out of the water within weeks! But then you are used to that on most issues that to try to get to grips with!
Robb

Anonymous said...

I think that your comments on here are a little bit sad, Robb. Constant attacks don't help - why do you read this site if Iain annoys you so much?

Personally I worry about local government finance. Sad, but true. The Council Tax hits the elderly and those on fixed income, BUT the Local Income Tax hits young hard working families at a time when they don't need it. My wife and I, both public sector workers, struggling in our first home with a massive mortgage, would have to pay £300 more under LIT - figures according to the LibDems own on-line calculator. What's so "fair" about that? I do believe that Council Tax worked BEFORE 1997 so why not after? Clearly Labour's favourite stealth tax.

As I say, neither system is perfect, but the Tory plan is a better step along the road than the LIT.

Lady Finchley said...

Crikey, Robb - you've posted the same comment 3 times. You are starting to sound like a stalker! I know how much you love to tease Iain but really...

As far as the LIT goes, typical Lib Dem thinking - to them somebody on £20,000 pa is filthy rich but in London(and I suspect in most places) that's chump change and people like me and my husband (who already pay extortionate council tax) would pay twice as much. As the correspondent above pointed out it is hard working couples most likely with children, who both HAVE to work who will be clobbered by LIT.

You know the saying 'cocaine is God's way of saying you have too much money'? Well paraphrase that - Voting Lib Dem is God's way of saying you have too much money'. Notice how it's usually people with quite comfortable incomes who can afford to vote Lib Dem. It also helps that the Lib Dems don't have a chance in hell of EVER getting into Government so their potty ideas will never be put to the test.

I didn't realise you were such a wealthy man, Robb! Will you marry me?

Liam said...

Lady Finchley - if £20,000 is "chump change" to you and your husband then I have little sympathy for you if the Lib Dems want to abolish Council Tax and get you to pay somewhat more. I myself would pay significantly more under Local Income Tax but think it is fair enough that I should pay more than my grandmother on a state pension and my sister on a teacher's salary.

Iain - I note that back in January on this site you said the Lib Dem pledge to increase state pensions was an "outrageous bribe". Now you say that Howard's new policy is something you want to "sell, sell, sell" to the one-third plus in North Norfolk who are pensioners. I have no question to ask you, but would invite readers to enjoy the irony with me.

Lady Finchley said...

Well James, you try to live in a modest 3 bedroom terrace in London with a large mortgage, feed and clothe a growing son, heat your home,pay life's basic bills, pay outrageous petrol bills; London transport fares are raised over the rate of inflation every year and you'll see that there's nothing left over. If single well off people want to be generous than go ahead, it's married people with families who are penalised left, right and centre. I have the right to live in London and all it has to offer without getting penalised for it. As it is we struggle to even raise the cash for uniforms and educational schol trips yet we make too much money - what a joke - to rate any help. I certainly don't begrudge pensioners tax breaks and that is what Michael Howard is doing but don't expect me and my hard working family to enjoy being fleeced some more. As it is we can only afford to eat meat once a week or do you think we should eat cake?

Lady Finchley said...

P.S. In the States, federal, state and city tax is deducted from your pay cheque but unlike this Government's ridiculous and confusing tax credit system, what you pay is based of course on gross salary but also on the number of dependents you have. And quel horreur - married couples aslo have a tax allowance! Both Labour and the Lib Dems are hell bent on punishing people for marrying and raising children. How can you think of supporting a tax which looks at gross income and does not take into consideration the fact that a person may be earning say, £36,000 a year, already pay 40% tax
and have a wife or husband and several children. Get real, James.

Liam said...

First, Lady Finchley, it is wholly inaccurate to say that somebody earning £36,000 per year pays 40% tax. They pay that rate on the top slice of their income (i.e. that bit over £31,400) only. Overall, they pay around 20% of their gross income in income tax, taking into account the allowance, starting rate and standard rate bands.

Secondly - and I am sorry to be the one to sound like a Tory - the examples you give of the outrageous costs you face all seem to me to be individual choices. If you want to live in a three bedroom terrace in London with the mortgage that entails, fine. If you want to raise a family, fine. If you want to work in London and pay the transport costs, fine. But don't whinge to me about it and don't blame the Government or anybody else for it.

It is you who should get real if you think that married people are "punished" by the tax and benefit system. It is your choice to raise a family and the fact that young(ish), free(ish) singles like Iain and me choose to spend our money in other ways is no business of yours. Overall, we subsidise you substantially paying for tax credits, education for your offspring, discounted transport for children and so on. I don't begrudge it in general because it's the price of a civilised society and all that jazz (not that you people believe in society) but I have my doubts when you then turn around and complain about the bed you have made for yourself to lie in.

I will sign off before I start sounding like the Protestant fellow in Monty Python's Meaning of Life.

Lady Finchley said...

No doubt James you think we should all live in communes!

And it is London and the Southeast, single and married, young and old who are subsidising Labour's Northern constituencies.

If people like me didn't have families, there would be no society nor would there be enough people to help subsidise single people's NHS costs and pensions so that rather silly student argument won't wash with me.

The LIT is unworkable and you know it!

Lady Finchley said...

Robb-

Come back, all is forgiven! James is even a bigger pill than you are!

Anonymous said...

I can't afford to have a mortgage because I don't earn enough to qualify for one. A 3 bedroom HOUSE in London sounds like luxury (especially for 1 adult and 1 child) compared to my small rented 1 bedroom flat for me and my partner. But I agree with James. Why should the elderly retired couple in the flat downstairs, who earn nothing, pay the same as my partner and I (both working albeit in poorly paid sectors)? And why should I subsidise Anonymous who has chosen to take out a "massive mortgage". That, as James points out, is his choice. His mortgage also does not make local services any cheaper either for him or anyone else. So I'm not sure why it should be taken into account.

The point about the Council Tax is that it is intrinsically unfair. Pensioners are badly hit - which seems unjust and on a communal level selfish of the rest of us. It's not their fault there's not enough money in the pot to give them a decent pension even though they have contributed enormously to the society we live in.

As for Lady Finchley - she seems awfully sure that 'society' owes her something although listening to her, it might just be a right good slapping for being such a judgemental greedy aspirational so-and-so...

Liam said...

Don't be ludicrous, Lady Finchley. Just because I have no difficulty paying more in tax than I am ever likely to consume in public services does not mean I think people should live in communes. That is just absurd.

No doubt Iain would disagree as much as I do when you say London and the South East subsidises the rest of Britain including Norfolk. On average (and only on average) you people pay more tax, but you also consume more tax - transport is more heavily subsidised, teachers, nurses etc get paid more in London, rent on public buildings (schools, hospitals etc) is higher, infrastructure spending is skewed to the capital etc. I could go on. Furthermore, London's key tax contribution - that from financial services - did not spring from the ground fully formed. It grew up to service industry (service, manufacturing and agriculture) elsewhere in the country - and still does to a large extent. And few of the City's big earners are "Londoners", they simply move there from other parts of the country to get jobs.

I also find it revealing that you Tories go on and on about overcrowding due to immigrants but when the overcrowding is due to the fruit of your own loins, suddenly we should all be grateful that you have favoured us by bringing forth another little British worker! And as for the suggestion that you were somehow motivated by the national interest when you decided to raise a family... well really!

With tax, you either personally pay more in tax than you take out over your lifetime or you don't - family status doesn't enter into it and is just a choice you make. Local Income Tax is a slightly more progressive way to tax than Council Tax and tends to assist older people who have moderate property values but low incomes and thus have solvency problems.

Incidentally, I am covered by BUPA through work and have a private pension. Your comment that your offspring will help me through my old age in these respects is insulting and plain wrong.

Lady Finchley said...

How nice for you James that you can afford a private pension and jump the queue for health service - just as I said before 'Voting Lib Dem is God's way of saying you have too much money!

And Anonymous, nobody is asking you to subsidise anyone's mortgage. My husband and I are taxed up the kazoo, plus all of Labour's 67 new stealth taxes, huge council tax so don't tell me I want something for nothing. We work damn hard and tell me what is wrong with having aspirations anyhow. Do you think I should be content to crush grapes just because my grandfather did? No, I want more for me and my children in terms of better education, better healthcare and a better society and I don't see how paying ridiculous council taxes most of which go to wasteful bureaucracy is going to make it better. Nor is a Government who thinks that making £20,000 pa is filthy rich. Tax the seriously rich by all means but not lower-middle earners with family to provide for.

Yes, Michael Howard's policy for pensioners is quite laudable and hurrah to him - he gets my vote for sure. But time too, to help people with families who are frankly struggling whether in London or Norfolk and it's a Conservative Government that will do it.

So sad to see that the politics of envy is still alive and well. Really anonymous, your remarks are uncalled for and quite distateful.

Liam said...

Anonymous and I are not engaging in the politics of envy, Lady Finchley. Even disregarding the irony of making that accusation immediately after having a pop at me for paying into pension and health insurance schemes, all I can say is it is you who is engaging in the politics of whinging.

You are not the only person on this site who works hard and pays tax. Get over yourself! But whereas Anonymous and I get on, do our jobs and pay our subs, you appear to want quality public services without paying for them.

Your remark that "most" of your Council Tax goes on wasteful bureaucracy is frankly deluded. Even the bureaucratic savings which the Tories have supposedly identified (and they are subject to dispute) represent a very small proportion of the tax take by their own admission. They are by no means trivial and it is right that waste is eliminated but to say they represent "most" of your bill shows you to be totally divorced from reality.

Anonymous said...

Hear hear!

Lady Finchley is clearly a dyed-in-the-wool tory and determined to pick holes in all non-Tory policy regardless of logic. One can only hope that the majority of voters in Britain are less self-interested and more forward-thinking.

And it's true that the amount of waste indentified by both the James report and the Gershon report are still the subject of dispute. However slow and lumbering government may seem - and it does increasingly under this government - it may not be as wasteful as we suspect, and the Tories are counting on.

Lady Finchley said...

Any Economics 101 student knows that you don't get better services just by throwing money at them - it's the intelligent management of resources, something that this Government knows nothing about, with its quangos, regional assemblies and layers of wasteful bureaucracy. And no, I don't want my taxes going towards that. We work too hard for our money for frankly sinful waste. I want value for money so that hard working people and pensioners on limited incomes aren't taxed to death. And quite frankly, James, and anonymous, the waspish personal remarks are uncalled for on this site and it's a shame that you are unable to engage in civilised debate. Good night!

Anonymous said...

Lady Finchley - an offer of marriage you say....? I have though about it [very seriously], and I am honoured that you ask, but from what I read you would be bringing an awful lot of baggage into our relationships. I will still think about it because I suspect that "never answer questions" Dale might have had a bad influence on you and that would need skilled counselling to remedy. You know, a bit of peeling of the old onion skins. I have no doubt that I could help but .... would you really leave your husband and child to live with me in ************? I have a test question for you that will tell me just how honest a person you are. Here is the question: Forgetting for a moment your own distressing personal circumstances [and you do have my sympathy], do you agree with the old and time honoured principle of taxation that all tax should be based on the ability to pay? Before you answer [and I am serious and I would like an honest answer devoid of political point scoring] remember that the Sheriff of Nottingham had taxes which took no account of the ability to pay and that spawned Robin Hood and his Merry men. Mrs Thatcher and the Conservatives had a tax [poll tax] which took no account of the ability to pay and that led to her demise as a politician. Now I do like you lady F and I think in a grudging sort of way I have taken to you but.... before we agree to meet under the clock at Waterloo station [you wearing a blue tulip and me wearing a Purple Emperor imitation butterfly] I need the truth.......
Thinking about your offer.....
Robb
PS Is Iain ok after the disaster in the North Norfolk ward that the Lib Dems won. You know Lady F - sometimes we rail aginst the thing that we love the most - are you sure that deep down you are not Lib Dem? That Norman Lamb seems to be really well liked - he must have a lot going for him, wouldn't you agree?

Lady Finchley said...

Dearest Robb,

Get that butterfly ready!

Yes, taxation on the ability to pay is to me a basic tenet of decent democracy. However, and this is a big however, it should take into account for example, the number of dependents one has as it does in the States. As for pensioners, I don't think they should pay income tax at all if their income is say, under £15,000 and then pay a lower rate of tax after that. I also think that people on a low wage should pay a lower tax. Further, I think the Government of the day should take into account the outrageous price of houses and that salaries and house prices (in terms of inheritance tax) have changed since the 70's and stop acting like £20,000 a year is a handsome salary. Re the dependents issue - £20,000 may be adequate (and in London just barely) for a single adult (not pensioner) but with an adult with two, three or four dependents it is a poverty wage. Now you could get into odious James' arguments about not having a family in that case, this to me smacks of state control and I do believe that James is a closet socialist! If you tax the guts out of people then they cannot be self sufficient or afford to pay into a private pension plan so voila, the State winds up taking care of them.

Now, re the sainted Mr. Lamb, according to my spies in Thetford I am told that he is a local man (although he does not technically live in his constituency)and that Norfolk folk don't take kindly to outsiders, referring to them as Carpetbaggers. He may even do well by his constituents but being a Lib Dem, he can never really have the influence at Westminster that his constituents require. The Lib Dems will never be a serious Opposition nor will they ever get into Government (in my lifetime) so they can put forth any number of Utopian policies without ever having to act on them. So some people vote for them because they may like the principle of their policies but in truth it's like p-----g in the wind. So, dearest Robb that may keep us apart.

As for Iain, not only will he make an excellent constituency MP as he is not only caring but he can actiually translate that into action, he is part of a Conservative Party that knows we have moved on since the days of Mrs. T and while retaining basic Conservative principles of small Government and no State nannyism, we must help all people to raise their game. The less well off do not want to be patronised and have silly initiatives thrown at them; they want the opportunity to raise their game, to become better educated, more well off etc. That is not to say there is no Society, but the truth is that unless you and your family are doing okay you just cannot look after others. If I am constantly worried about where the next meal is coming fro (and believe me I have been there) I cannot even think of worrying about others in this country let alone the Third World. Now there will always be those who are really unable to look after themselves or need a safety net after losing their job, business or illness and yes, the State should should help.

Phew!

So my dear Robb, try and get past Iain as an Southern interlopers and see him as he really is. Try not to take his exuberance as arrogance - he is not. He is passionate and really excited about doing his best for the people of North Norfolk. He was doing quite well for himself, thank you very much, before this and it is his desire to serve that motivates him. He had a thriving business and media career and is popular among all the parties in the Westminster Village so he has no need to do this except for pure reasons. So, Robb, give him a chance and then see how it goes.

Blue tulips anyone?

Must get my lunch!

Lady Finchley

Anonymous said...

Lady F - your words have moved me. I have some Luncheon Vouchers in the drawer here somewhere - if you give me your address I will gladly pass them on.

All together now, "Fee-eed, Lady Finchley, does she know it's Easter time (nearly)..."

Anonymous said...

Lady F

Gosh. Golly Gosh. What can I say? You started so well [I began to dream of a little cottage somewhere]. You agreed - you actually said "Yes taxation on the ability to pay is a basic tenet of a decent society" You actually said it! And if my experience as a thespian does not decieve me you said it with a passion which caused me some excitement. Then you spoilt it. You rambled on, continually contradicting youself, then starting eulogising about the lad [Iain I mean} then you got really nasty about Mr Lamb. You must know that Iain does not distort the truth or tell lies. He has openly said so and he will not tolerate unfair personal abuse of Mr Lamb. Tell me Lady F, have you ever been involved with Iain in any way? It's just that you seem to be so very enamoured with him. Look, do you know the Savoy? They make a delightful tea on a Sunday afternoon. Lots and Lots of scrummy cucumber sandwiches and cakes [as much as you want] and its less than £40 a head. Shall we meet there or in the cocktail lounge and talk some more. You could wear a large blue "Ascot type" hat and I will wear my tartan cap. Are you game?
Robb

Iain Dale said...

Robb, you were doing so well, but I think you blew it when you mentioned the tartan cap...

Lady Finchley said...

Oh, Robb and here I was being so erudite!

The Savoy, eh? And here's me thinking you were a pensioner on a limited income!

As for being enamoured of Iain, well, now that would be telling!

Night all!

Anonymous said...

Lady F
James [not the one who Blogs here] who is one of the waiters at the Savoy tea rooms, because he knows me well, gives me a 10% discount if I take someone else with me. I didn't mention it before because it would have seemed as though I only wanted to meet there because of the discount. Now what I will do is this - instead of you having to pay your full whack I will get James to give you a discount as well - now what do you say to that? No I am not an old pensioner' I would describe myself as youngish, tall, reasonably good looking, and a wonderful companion. Not everyone agrees with that in detail. I won't mention my tatoos, which I had done to hide a blemish and which I bitterly regret now but that won't matter unless we get to know each other really well. [Has Iain got a tattoo - do tell us and where it's located?] I have been voted as one of the 10 most influencial people in our community at ^^^^^^^^^^^[ my type writer seems to keep going wrong. I once had luncheon vouchers when I worked in the City a few years back. I used to collect them and give them to James at the Savoy and he would give me 75% of their value. I made £219.35p one year. Are you a Conservative when you are not working for that Lord bloke who gives Iain money? Oh I do hope that Lord Whatshisname does not get upset about the Byelection shambles and turns on Iain and stops giving him the dosh. You must tell his Lordship that it wasn't Iain fault - it was the voters who got it wrong and didn't understand Iains careful calculations. My spy tells me that the Lib Dem graphs that Iain keeps slagging off were almost 100% right. Now there is a problem here - with the Lib Dems getting it right and Iain getting it wrong who will the electors believe next time? Still - we will have each other Lady F [Iain comented on my tartan cap] - do you have a problem with tartan - shall I wear my old school boater - do tell me what you think would be best.
With all respects
Robb

Lady Finchley said...

Robb, you really are mad! I should almost be quite fond of you if you weren't so awful to Iain.

Anonymous said...

Only "quite" fond Lady F - only quite fond? I do look for a little more passion in a women! Do you write poetry Lady F? I do. Can you let Iain know that the next race meeting at Fakenham is at the begining of March sometime? I will have another tip for him from my good friend Richard who knows a good deal more about these things than I do. It is an ideal time because I know that Iain likes to go to the races during election periods.
Robb

Iain Dale said...

Robb, sorry to disappoint but you must have missed my post where I explained that I wasn't very keen on horseracing and that I attended the meeting at Fakenham to make a speech rather than watch some horses trot round the track. Sadly therefore I won't be accepting your obviously well meant invitation.

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