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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
mandotim BS: Spending Cuts UK - The Thread (249* d) RE: BS: Spending Cuts UK - The Thread 29 Oct 10

Arthuritus; how do you know if I'm boring? You've never met me or anyone who knows me! If you've read every post, then you know what I think should be done. Unless, of course, you are choosing to ignore those posts that you don't agree with. You admit you have no idea what to do about the present crisis, but you feel qualified to criticise anyone who offers information or ideas. Why not take the hint, get some education and formulate some coherent ideas of your own instead of spewing bile over those of other people. Here are some ideas to be going on with;
1. Make tax evasion and avoidance the same thing, and collect the tax due from those who don't pay their fair share. Start with George Osborne and his family trust, include bank bonuses, stop loopholes for premiership footballers etc. and make tax avoiding companies like Vodaphone either cough up what they owe or have all their UK assets sequestered. Pursue tax avoiders through the courts and apply the same draconian penalties proposed for benefit fraud. This measure alone is enough to reduce the deficit by the Tories target amount over one parliament. Prosecute accountants who encourage their clients to avaid tax. Once the deficit is down to manageable levels, reduce corporation taxes, but only for companies that can demonstrate that the money they save is going into reinvestment, not dividends.
2. Freeze an amount of UK bank capital equivalent to the taxpayer bailout, and prevent this money from being moved abroad. Set a fair rate of payback and interest to the taxpayer, perhaps 15 years to pay back the entire sum, and pass legislation to make it illegal for a bank to trade unless they meet this obligation. Any bank that refuses to play ball should be nationalised immediately with no compensation to shareholders.
3. Instead of slashing benefits, apply a progressive tax regime to all income (including benefits), with a threshold for tax exemption at or around the level of net income on minimuum wage.
4. Increase the minimum wage to a point where the employed no longer need to be in receipt of benefit to achieve a living wage. This would prevent employers riding on the back of the taxpayer by paying low wages and leaving the benefit system to pick up the rest of the tab for their employees' work.
5.Restore top tax rates to pre-Thatcher levels and place severe limits on the movement of capital abroad.
6. Use a significant proportion of the increased revenue to invest in infrastructure projects, training/retraining (compulsory if necessary) for the long-term unemployed and further and higher education. This investment is necessary to ensure future competitiveness in a knowledge economy, and investment in infrastucture (eg fibre optic cabling for broadband) provides employment, thus reducing welfare costs and increasing tax revenues.
7. Reconstitute the Industrial Training Boards and place a training levy on employers which they can avoid paying if they carry out effective training for their employees. Proper apprenticeships should receive a high weighting for rebate.
8. Place restrictions on personal credit, with a mandatory 20% deposit for any credit purchase and a salary check for all loans above £5000.
9. Do some proper research into the level and types of benefit fraud (at the moment no-one knows what the level is, apart from the Daily Mail, apparently) and tackle the true fraudsters without penalising those in genuine need.
10. Take a long-term view of health spending and invest heavily in health promotion and public health initiatives. Raise the price of cigarettes to £10 per cigarette. In 20 years time health spending will be reduced by 35% in real terms (W.H.O. estimate)

The rich and the large corporations will squeal and try special pleading; this should be ignored, as history (remember history?)tells us that they will not actually be able to do anything about it without risking their own wealth even further. They will claim that paying people more will cost jobs; history (there it is again)tells us that economies that specify a proper minimum wage create jobs at a faster rate than those that don't. Bankers will claim that large banks are too big to allow them to fail; fine; nationalise them and break them up into local or regional banks, with a remit to serve their communities. History (damn, again!) says that this type of banking system is much more resilient in the face of global financial crises.
Come on Arthuritus; I showed you mine, now show us yours!

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