Sometimes it’s difficult to see the woods for the trees. And I think that both Ed’s are having this problem.
I think it’s a universally agreed fact that we need to get the debt of this country down. For the average Joe like myself, the complexities of the debt itself is something that is difficult to understand – The coalition is bragging that they’ve managed to get the deficit down by a third. Which is great, but then suddenly we have massive borrowing. Very strange.
So let us try and un-complicate things.
First, people need to spend, they need the confidence to spend and the only way they can do this is if they have a little more money. But we all know that money doesn’t grow on trees (which is unfortunate) so we need find a different way.
The argument for a “living wage” is a great one, However not in a million years will it happen. It was recently announced that minimum wage would rise by 12p. Which by the time it comes into effect will not make a shred of difference to low income families.
so, what we need to do is this:
1. We need to cap the profit margins of energy companies. After privatisation, everything got out of control. Companies do not care about service, they care about PROFIT. They have a single goal and that is too keep their shareholder happy. Do you honestly think that BP gave a shit about the spill in the Caribbean? Don’t be so naïve, they did however care very much about the share price and the billions of dollars’ worth of oil that was lost.
Every year the price of electricity and gas is going up, and since the war in Iraq it’s been going up at an extortionate rate. Apparently this is because the wholesale price is higher – however, when the wholesale price goes down, this is not reflected in our bills and in recent years, the energy companies have been recording record profits and recently it was discovered that Npower hasn’t even been playing it’s fair share of corporation tax. (tut tut);
David Cameron has decided that the best way to ensure that people stop fighting over the price is to ensure that people are put on the best available tariff. Now this is something that I don’t get. Say for example, I want a pint of milk , I have a choice of stores where I can get milk from. The milk is the same, but the price differs from store to store. However, I do not expect to go into Tesco and find that the price of my milk will differ depending of where in the store I purchased it. Do you see what I’m getting at. There should be a single price of energy – perhaps they want to have day and evening/weekend prices, however I don’t agree with this as it penalises pensioners and the vulnerable who are at home during the daytime.
Anyway, back to this retarded idea of David Cameron, if you force the energy companies to give people their lowest tariff; they are just going to increase their bottom line. The truth as I mentioned before is that these Companies have only 1 purpose – to protect their profit margins.
You want to be on the side of the consumer Mr Cameron and if Ed Milliband has an ounce of common sense, he will follow the model that has been used in Ireland – Cap the profit margin of the energy companies at 2.5% – should the wholesale price fluctuate, so will our bills in tune with this. We spend too much money on energy at the VAT is only 5%. How about you put some of that money back into the pockets of consumers where they can spend it in stores where VAT is higher. It will help the high street and help the economy.
2. Scrap the 10p tax band idea; and raise the tax free threshold to £13,000
Another way to get money into the pockets of people so they can go out and SPEND it, is to raise the tax-free allowance. Currently (2013-14) the tax free allowance (the amount a person can earn before they start paying income tax) is £9440 and next year the government will increase this to £10,000. Brilliant stuff, However, labour intend on reintroducing the 10p tax rate. That’s a silly idea – just as the coalition has taken people out of tax; labour come a long and throw them back into it.
Also, people equate the 10p tax rate with deception. Gordon Brown when he announced that he was getting rid of it, along with rising costs proved that he was not on the side of the working man; The labour party has always been about the working classes coming together, supporting one another and Brown threw all that away during his time in Number 10. Ed Milliband needs to put money into the pockets of people who are going to spend it.
I would suggest that raising the threshold to £13,000
For example, if a person is earning £20,000 a year in 2013/14 they take home £1,368.22 – raise the threshold to £13k and suddenly they net pay rises to £1467.33 – The government would put an extra £99.11 a MONTH into people’s pockets – and in to the pockets of people who will actually SPEND it.
It’s important to understand that growth isn’t something that will happen overnight, however, it’s not going to happen either is the public is being strangled and the division between the wealthy and the poor just keeps getting wider.
How will this be paid for? Well good question; first of all I think Vodafone, Amazon, nPower and all those organisations that are using tax avoidance should have their tax bill backdated 3 years. Every penny that is owed should be paid; if they were able to use legal loopholes, then some boffins in government need to close those loopholes and ensure companies who owe it pay their fair share. They have been avoiding paying tax for years – well, we can thank they for funding a large-scale income tax cut.
Once this money has run out the economy should get moving again.
The only way to get this country moving is to put money back into the pockets of the people