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Saturday, June 1, 2024

General Election Called, Fake Tory Tax Cuts, Trump is officially a Criminal

General Election Called 

"When Britain last held a general election, the country was still a member of the European Union, there had been no pandemic and the Conservatives had already been in power for nearly a decade."
The Guardian May 23rd 2024

That sounds like so long ago!! This was the newspaper's comment the morning after Rishi Sunak called a General Election. 

There was general relief across the country (apart from in the Conservative party) when the election was called. We now have to endure 5 weeks of electioneering and campaigning, with each party telling us how awful the other is and how much better they are. I am sure the vast majority already know who they are going to vote for. Most people are either lifelong supportes of one party, or have been so disillusioned by the last decade of government that they will switch this time. The result is pretty certain unless there is a last minute upset: on July 5th, we will probably have a new Labour government under Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer.

It's his to lose

"Our prediction model currently gives them (The Conservatives) a less than 1% chance of winning the election."

The Economist May 23rd 2024

Fake Tory Tax Cuts

Jeremy Hunt has made a big deal of the "tax cuts for working people" he has introduced.  Perhaps there will be more in the run up to the General Election. But in actual fact, the cuts to National Insurance tax don't make up for the stealth taxes Sunak's government has introduced recently. The threshold at which taxes start to be paid have been frozen or reduced and in an era of high inflation this can have a dramatic effect. 

For example, the 'Personal Allowance' - the amount of money you can earn before you start to pay income tax has been virtually frozen since 2019, haven risen from £12,500 to just £12,570 in the last 5 years. Inflation over those 5 years has been about 20%. So for no tax increase, the amount at which you start to pay tax would have needed to rise by 20% to £15,000. So most people will be worse off, despite the so called 'tax cuts' announced with great fanfare by the government. Other allowances have been similarly frozen or in the case of Capital Gains and Dividends, slashed dramatically. For Capital Gains, the tax free annual allowance, has been slashed from £12,300 in 2020 to just £3,000 this year!

Total public sector current receipts expressed as a percentage of GDP in the United Kingdom from 1900/01 to 2028/29(in million GBP)

Why do our politicians have to be so dishonest? Why can't they say we need more money for X and Y, so we have to raise more tax?

I wonder how many people actually think they are paying less tax?

The total tax take has been increasing since 1992 as the chart above demonstrates.

Government revenue, percent of GDP (Source: IMF)

It's interesting to see in the world tax take map above (courtesy of the International Monetary Fund) the better places to live are the darker colours - where the tax take is highest!

It's time for the British public to wake up to the fact that if we want decent public services, we need to pay for them and stop trying to do it on the cheap. Just look at the darkest countries on the map - they have the best health services and public services generally.

Trump is officially a Criminal

The first of Trump's court cases has finally found him guilty on all 34 accounts of fiddling his business receipts to hide his payment to his Escort, Stormy Daniels.

Who would have thought that Trump was a liar, a fraudster, a criminal? Will it make any difference to his chances of being re-elected?  Probably not.

"This crime wave ends when Donald Trump becomes president. Believe me."
Donald Trump

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