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Showing posts from March, 2015

The Government Tax and the Wealthy

Another of Labour's misleading comments about tax relates to the government and tax cuts for the rich. It is true that the government cut the top rate of tax to 45% from 50%. It is worth noting, however, that it was only at 50% for one month of the Labour Government from 1997-2010. However, if you want to look at how fair policies are then you need to take into account more than just income tax. Unusually this government has done "distributional analyses" for policies.  There is a distributional analysis that relates to the 2015 budget.  That can be found: here This chart from it looks at the effects from June 2010 through to March 2015 by expenditure decile. I prefer the expenditure analysis to look at the spending power of households which in many ways is a better indication of economic power than the formal income. You should note from this that the top 10% (the richer households) are paying a lot more in terms of tax than those lower down the expenditur

Parliamentary Expenses 2005-2010

Labour seem to be concentrating on issues relating to parliamentary expenses from 2005-2010. I am not really surprised that they are trying to mislead constituents about what happened. At the moment Jess Phillips is avoiding questions as to what she is alleging. It remains that an inquiry was done into those expenses for all MPs. I copy the response letter from the enquiry below: The whole list for all MPs is here

Firefighters Pensions

I have been working with Mike Thornton on the issue of ensuring that the government's commitment to firefighters in terms of their pension (in the case of natural unfitness) is adhered to. He has put a statement on his website (see above for link) which confirms that we continue to press for a letter of comfort for firefighters.

Nailing the Labour Lie

Labour have just started delivering a dishonest newspaper in the Yardley Constituency. There are a number of false and misleading items in that newspaper, but one is so spectacularly false that it warrants an immediate response. The claim is that "while people here are forced to foodbanks". I made an expenses claim for subsistance or food.  They then say "Why were you paying for his dinner." The facts are easy to find.  Firstly there are two foodbanks that serve people living in Yardley.  The only one actually in Yardley is in Stechford and opened on Friday February 28th 2014.   The other one is in Sparkhill and was I believe created some time in 2011. It is slightly more complicated finding out what I have claimed for dinner.   The new rules came in at the start of the 2010 financial year (just before the new parliament). There is a link from which the aggregated expenditure can be identified here:

Birmingham St Patrick's Parade Tipperary Association 2015

So many people take photographs of the parade these days that I don't take a lot of my own and concentrate on playing the guitar instead. Here is the Tipperary County Association's end of parade rendition of "a long way to tipperary".

Attending today's e-conference

Today's e-conference is about Parents Want a Say.  That is about the issues of policy on term time absence at the request of parents and the new rules. If someone wants to watch the e-conference it will be on Youtube.   When the conference starts (or re-starts) the link will appear on my twitter feed.  Others may copy it elsewhere.  If you wish to watch then simply click on that link. I am likely to stop and re-start the conference one or more times (depending in part on how hot the central processor on my laptop gets). If you wish to ask questions then you need to have skype working on your computer. Someone will act as chair's aide.   This person will handle requests to ask questions.   I will update this blog post with the skype account name of the person dealing with this.  If you want to ask a question you will need to send a skype text message to the chair's aide.  At the right time the chair's aide will give you a s

Greece and Austerity

This is an interesting article that looks at the question as to what extent Greece was inherently a financial disaster waiting to happen. It summarises as: " Greece never had the productive structure to be as rich as it was: its income was inflated by borrowings that weren’t used to upgrade its productive capacity." There is a difficulty with macroeconomic theories that ignore the nature of the economy and the extent to which it is shored up by unsustainable public spending. Once you take out that which is unsustainable you then see that which left is far less substantial.  Another useful extract is: " Until 2014, the country did not pay, in net terms, a single euro in interest: it borrowed enough from official sources at subsidized rates to pay 100% of its interest bill and then some.  " It is, however, only a question as to how big the problem has become by the time that the nature of the new clothes of the emperor has been finally determined  What

Affordable Housing and Housing Benefit

There was a debate in Parliament yesterday which was interesting because Labour admitted that the Labour government was planning to bring in a flat rate housing benefit payment in the Social Housing Sector.  In Labour's current Phraseology "Labour planned a Bedroom Tax for Social Housing". The full debate is here: More importantly, however, I asked a question of the Shadow Minister: John Hemming:  I am aware of the proposal to transfer housing benefit money to local authorities with a view to building more properties. Let me ask this: what pays the rent of the people who are already in tenanted accommodation while the new properties are being built with that money? Helen Goodman:  That, of course, is the great conundrum.  [... where she does not answer this question ...] The Shadow minister did not answer this.   If Labour bring in such a policy it will only work by top-