Election 2019 - promises

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by mawallace, 20 Nov 2019.

  1. Justapunter

    Justapunter Member

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    It’s been rubbish for years. But it’s not been Greek, Italian or Spanish levels of disaster. And that’s because the thankless policy of trying to get close to book balancing got done. And much as I hate to say it, Gideon Osborne did manage to do that.

    It would be much more use to find a way to charge Foreign HGV tractor units to be in the UK. They use our roads, battering them, cause a disproportionate amount of accidents, arrive with fuel tanks loaded up so don’t contribute to the Treasury and and keep wages down and prevent a fair deal for our trucks and truck companies. And break so many of the ta go and other rules with relative impunity. Arrive, get an electronic tracking box fitted when on boat/waiting to load train), get charged per mile and fine for outrageous tacho breaches . Big deposit and refund when you leave UK). Raise money off them first! (But won’t be popular with the Left as will be seen as anti-EU and the Right sees it as standing up for workers and pushes wages up).
     
  2. underbank

    underbank Established Member

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    Maybe, once we've Brexited, we'll be able to do that. Should have been done decades ago. How can it be fair that UK drivers have to pay road tax but foreign ones don't. UK drivers have to pay European road tolls etc.
     
  3. al78

    al78 Established Member

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    To make public transport more attractive, you also have to bring down the cost.

    For me to drive to visit family: £40 in petrol return.
    For me to go by train and bicycle to visit family: approx £90-£100 return.

    Both methods have approximately the same journey time.

    This is for me, a single person, for which the cost of public transport should compare most favourably to driving.

    This is before you get onto the logistical advantages of the car, e.g. the much greater load carrying capability.

    If it weren't for the privilige of wealth, my choice would be to visit family by car or not visit family at all.

    It is madness that in this period of climate emergency and environmental responsibilty advocation, I get financially penalised for using one of the more space efficient and less polluting modes of transport. This happens because externalised costs do not feature on any balance sheet.
     
  4. underbank

    underbank Established Member

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    I agree. We've been doing Uni open day visits all over the country with our son. Every single time, I looked at train travel but the cost for 3 of us was absolutely extortionate even with a 2 together card- still several times more expensive than petrol and parking.

    Not only that, but journey times were often far longer too, often with a couple of changes, so inconvenient.

    And of course, the petrol and parking at the local station in the first place.

    Outside the major cities with excellent public transport, there's a hell of a lot of improvements needed in terms of more infrastructure, new lines & stations, better timetables, cheaper fares, etc. I don't think people who live in city centre bubbles realise the realty for those living in smaller cities, towns and villages.
     
  5. muddythefish

    muddythefish On Moderation

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    Rather than slash fares, which would push further demand on to a system that is already struggling to cope, would it not have been better to have promised to freeze fares for the next 5 years ?
     
  6. Justapunter

    Justapunter Member

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    long Bailey was on the radio saying that no one deserves to be a billionaire. The Jock responded they “if someone mortgages his house to start a business, and puts everything on the line, employs thousands, pays billions in taxes, and keeps thousands of supply chains gokng and people in work and families in homes, should he not be allowed to keep his rewards for his effort and risks?

    LB response was basically - he needs to pay his fair share of taxes. The employees do his work. They get paid hundreds of times less than he does for doing more. He sells the product for a lot more than they get paid and it makes him rich. It isn’t acceptable. And we will make it right. Jock tried to explain gross and net margins, and costs of doing business. She didn’t want to listen. All use wanted was to put out some quasi communist message about giving all the money to the workers. Which isn’t true anyway.

    FWIW - I listened to Dominic Raab as well (a contemporary of mine in the city and at university), and my former MP, he was just as empty promising (this time to the family of Harry Dunn (the poor dead teenage motorcyclist) and spouting all sorts of diatribe tosh about Labour without trying to actually deconstruct it.

    It was just laughable playskool politics and economics. from both.No substance in it at all. But they just don’t care. Both are awful. And the LibDems are even worse. Why can’t we just have a sensible bunch of centrists who act mostly in everyone’s interests.... (let’s call them Blairmajorites (without them warmongering genocide for personal gain and philandering obviously))?

    The more this goes on, the less I want to vote for any of them. And I think that is the country majority feeling. Where are the Barbara castles, the principled ones, those who actually believe in what they say and what they do? There are so so few who I’d actually actively vote for. They’re all coming across as plastic two two dimensional grabbers. Except McDonnell, he scares me for the future of Britain.
     
  7. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

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    The situation in Staffordshire Moorlands seems to be quite common in seats in the midlands where Labour has to win to have a majority in government Newcastle-under-Lyme, North West Leicestershire, Dudley North, Wolverhampton South West and Derby North are all seats which Labour would have to win but don't have a station.

    Then there are other areas such as Mansfield and Ashfield which have stations but the service is not very good so lightly used and therefore a reduction in rail fares isn't much of a vote winner.

    The whole rail network in the midlands particularly the East Midlands needs a massive overhaul for it to be a big vote winner but that would never happen as the government hates the East Midlands.
     
  8. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    The Tories have announced more funding for local transport outside London, in the metro mayor areas.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2019-50651235
    However the money doesn't cut in until 2022 (so only 2 years in this parliament).
    The funding is £840m per year, which is not enough for all the schemes listed.
    The mayors would also have to bid for the funds and match it with local input.
    Doesn't sound like a bonanza, with the poor record of previous local schemes getting approval (eg Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol).
     
  9. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    It is the first time I've heard the West Yorkshire proposal before tough. Though as its in West Yorkshire they won't bid properly and Manchester will get the money...
     
  10. quantinghome

    quantinghome Member

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    These statements stand in contradiction. You say Long Bailey is giving a 'quasi-communist' message about taxing the rich and increasing earnings of workers. But this is precisely what the Labour governments in the 1960s did, when Barbara Castle was a government minister.

    It's a sign of how completely unbalanced economic debate has become when Labour's policies of a top income tax rate of 50% on earnings above £125,000 and reverting corporation taxes to similar levels as other developed countries are being described as 'quasi-communist', when they are both less than they were for most of Thatcher's time in office.
     
  11. Justapunter

    Justapunter Member

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    The difference is that I don’t have to agree with them. But they believed in what they said.
    Almost all of the current throng of politicians don’t have the faith or credibility. All they want is to further themselves. Not to serve. And their principles are expedient. They just say what it takes to get elected. To put themselves in a position of power and influence. To ruin JFK, they don’t ask what they can do for the country, but they manipulate the country to see what it can do for them ...
     
  12. notlob.divad

    notlob.divad Established Member

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    Sounds to me very much like pitting different regions against one another, and putting local officials incharge without putting in place an adequate funding structure. Therefore the central government will be able to deflect the blame onto the local politicians, whilst still controlling the purse strings. The next step would be to mandate these devolved transport areas raise their own funds locally through business rates in order to further cut national government support and further entrench the divides between the areas that have a tax base that can fund growth and those that don't.

    For the record, I am all for proper regional devolution of transport, particularly local rail services. But that needs to be linked to a complete and costed funding system that redistibutes the countries wealth in a sensible manner, rather than this repeated focus of regions having to 'bid' and 'compete' for funding essentially setting the differnet regions against one another.
     
  13. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Yes, that would have been a lot more realistic and sensible (as long as the Government is prepared to throw some more money in to cover it. Perhaps paid for with some inflationary increases in VED). And then perhaps voice a long term aspiration for fares to be reduced by 33% in real terms as and when the network is in able to cope with it.
     
  14. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    I thought there was already a disk system of some kind foreign lorries were meant to purchase for using UK roads

    Just imposing huge increases in transportation charges only raises prices of the products they’re carrying or makes it cheaper to site factories/wharehouses elswhere in Europe. However if we’re all perfectly happy to pay a bit more for lots of items then it won’t be a problem
     
    Last edited: 4 Dec 2019
  15. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    I think there are two things here. Top rates of taxes around 50% were, as you say, lower than they were under Mrs T. I don't see anything remotely objectionable about a 50% tax rate for those on the highest incomes.

    On the other hand talk of how no-one should become a billionaire, along with hints that people who are very wealthy are somehow automatically exploiting others - is a different ball-game. To my mind, those kinds of comments are deeply worrying, and they seem to reflect a fundamental lack of understanding of how business works, combined with some prejudice towards the mega-rich. (Although I will still choose Labour in an instant over the awfulness or the Tories).
     
  16. notlob.divad

    notlob.divad Established Member

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    Do you actually realise what a billionaire is? Billionaire gets bandied about like it is a millionaire with a little bit more money. So for the benefit of those who cannot grasp the numbers when it comes to personal wealth I provide an example.

    last year Jim Ratcliffe was recognised at the richest person in the UK (now resident of Monoco for tax purposes so not sure he still counts). However he has a net worth of £21.05 billion (short scale). Jim Ratcliffe has 3 children.
    If Mr Ratcliffe gave each of his 3 children, £80 000 a year (putting them each in the top 5% of earners) for absolutely no work. He would be able to continually do that for 87 000 years and still be a multimillionaire.
    If Mr Ratcliffe gave each of his 3 children £1 million every year for absolutely no work, he would be able to do it for 7000 years.
    None of this requires Mr Ratcliffe to risk his money, to invest his money or even gain interest on it. That is what he could do with the assets he has available to him. Yet still he chooses to excile himself in Monaco to avoid paying tax to contribute: to the roads and rails that bring his emplyees to work everyday and take his products to market; to the health services that keeps his employees from dying; to the education system that educates his future employees.
    I have nothing against people working, risking their own money, making investments and reaping the rewards. But there is a point where people have so much money that they cannot possibly spend it all or even find ways to give it all away. If the bench mark for 'taking the piss' and having more money than you desrve is set at billionaires, then I struggle to see how this can be classed as quasi-comminist.

    This has now gone way off topic with respect to the Rail nature of this forum and suggest further dicussion should be moved to a different thread in a general discussion area.
     
  17. Justapunter

    Justapunter Member

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    I’ve acted for several (real) billionaires and a number their own press people like to claim are. Ironically including for Ratcliffe during Ineos’ main growth period. And on trains, on the other side of a number of virgin deals.

    They spend masses of money. They don’t just sit on it. I have done loads of private funding from very rich people into startups and growth vehicles. Employing thousands. Paying a lot of bills. Just taking the money and spending it on social welfare is not the solution. And really that’s what labour’s plans are....
     
  18. Grumpy Git

    Grumpy Git Member

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    So how do you justify Osborne's 5% tax cut (from 50% to 45% for those earning > £150K), when that single act gave some Premier League footballers an EXTRA £14,500 a week in their pockets? That is more than some people earn in a year.

    The problem with giving rich people more money is they don't spend it.
     
  19. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    I think each point you make is largely correct (including the need for this to go in a new thread), but you're conflating a few different things.

    Yes, being a billionaire means having an absolutely huge amount of money - the the point where it's hard to imagine how you could reasonably even begin to spend it all. And - without knowing the individual details of Mr. Ratcliffe's situation, going into tax exile seems a bit unethical. I would hope that some means can be found to subject whatever he continues to earn to income tax. I would point out though that, to the extent that he employs people, his company will be paying national insurance contributions etc.

    However, the point that brought up this discussion is that some politicians are claiming things along the lines that billionaires somehow should not exist and that being a billionaire must mean you are somehow exploiting people, etc. And that seems wrong to me. If people become billionaires through setting up very successful businesses (and therefore, presumably, making and selling things that make other people's lives better), then, good luck to them. What would you do? Would you declare that, once they've made more money than they need, they should not be allowed to make any more money? It ought to be obvious that that would just probably stop those people from doing any more work, and so cause more harm than good.

    No, by all means make sure that everyone pays a fair amount of tax on what they earn. By all means increase the top rate of tax back to somewhere around the 50% mark, and start looking into ways to prevent people avoiding taxes. But you can do all that without attacking rich people just for being rich, or making the kind of rather daft remarks that some politicians on the left have started making.
     
  20. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    But that is the only way that Labour think. They only have one button to press and that's the one that says 'Increase tax and give it out in ever-increasing benefits'. No wonder they're an utter joke.
     
  21. Justapunter

    Justapunter Member

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    We are lucky enough to earn above that. We work hard and pay just under 200k a year in direct PAYE employment taxes and employee NI. Plus, being as open as I can be on a forum, some tax efficient structuring to try to get advantage of tax allowances and breaks as well (not without risk). Plus employer NICs. We don’t burden the NHS particularly (private healthcare), we don’t use the state education system resources. We pay a lot of consumption taxes as well. We know we are on decent/ good/ great/ crackers money (delete as appropriate).

    In return we rise at 0515, go to work before rush hour and return after, work until work’s done (through the night if needed) we work away, we take risk and responsibility for thousands of people and their livelihoods (and in her case, actually life or death...), we are on call 24/7 and during holidays - we work hard and have a lot of stress. At what point should we “have paid our fair share”? At what point in taxation do we feel that “do you know what, why bother, we’ll cut our effort to keep under tax brackets and cut our spending accordingly. See the doctors and them refusing to work as it just hits them via their pension cap and extra tax. If we did the latter, as I said before, we will spend less. So we would earn less, so less tax take, and we will generate less, so less corporation taxes and we will spend less, so less will trickle into the economy. How is that a net gain for anyone. It’s a short term take with potential long term negative consequences.

    We fully accept we should pay a lot in tax. We do. But you can’t keep milking us. And just wasting the tax take on social welfare. Not investing and building the UK. And that’s the problem. Neither party spends our (and your) money wisely.
     
  22. underbank

    underbank Established Member

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    You mean the tax cut that actually generated greater tax revenue? After it being introduced the year before by Brown which caused a drop in tax revenue?

    As for footballers, they won't be earning all their wages via UK PAYE scheme. The foreign ones are probably arranging their visits to the UK so as to not become UK tax resident at all. The UK ones will probably have their income split into different "pots" some taxed under PAYE but some elements channelled into a limited company (within or outside the UK) claimed as image rights etc. People earning that kind of money have the ability to organise themselves to avoid punitive tax levels. Wasn't there a recent court case re Glasgow Rangers who were paying their players in the form of loans instead of wages to avoid them paying tax and NIC?

    Look at the withdrawal of tax free personal allowance on incomes over £100k. To "tax the rich". Well, that worked didn't it? Doctors, dentists etc just reduced their working hours to get their earnings under £100k. So who lost out there? Yes, their patients who now have longer waiting times for appointments etc.

    People need to look at the unforeseen consequences.
     
  23. Grumpy Git

    Grumpy Git Member

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    Fair point. I guess we need to genetically modify humans to get rid of the greedy gene?
     
  24. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    Worth remembering the 2% NI which is also charged, so 50% is really 52% and 45% really 47%

    Personally I don't think it's morally right to have a tax of more than 50% on earned income. And it's academic with the super rich, as they have a network of companies and off shore bank accounts to shuttle their money around, or would relocate to tax havens anyway, so it wouldn't affect them

    I also don't think the vast salaries and bonuses some people at the top are being paid are morally right either, but that's a separate issue.
     
  25. 45107

    45107 Member

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    What does leaving the EU have to do with this ?
    As you state, UK drivers pay European road tolls, but EU drivers don’t in the UK ?
    How will leaving the EU change this situation. If it can be done in mainland Europe now, why don’t we do it ?
    Another brexiter fallacy that we cant do things that we can if we put our mind to it
     
  26. 45107

    45107 Member

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    And I now understand your view.
    Charge the EU drivers more.
     
  27. quantinghome

    quantinghome Member

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    We're getting way o/t here, nevertheless...

    How are you defining 'social welfare', and what parts of it do you consider to be wasteful? Presumably not the state pension or NHS? In which case you've just accepted two of the largest components of government spending.

    How about payments to people with disabilities who are unable to work or unable to work full time? Wasteful or not? Bear in mind the horror stories we've seen in this area over the last few years.

    How about money spent on caring for the elderly? Wasteful or not?

    Child benefit and family tax credits? Wasteful or not?

    How about working tax credits? Maybe that's wasteful. So why not increase the minimum wage and allow people more collective bargaining power so we don't end up having to subsidise paid work?

    Housing benefit? Is this wasteful? Much of this goes to people in work. Much of it goes to private landlords. Labour plan to invest in council housing and save money for the taxpayer in the long run. Even the Tories see benefit in this. Is that plan a waste of your hard-earned, compared to the present system of housing benefit?

    Unemployment benefit? A grand total of 0.67% of government spending, giving people a princely £73.10 per week to live on. Generous? Wasteful? Remember most claimants have been in jobs and paid in through their NICs.

    The government has attempted over the last nine years to cut back on welfare spending. It hasn't worked. It's allowed them to talk tough on welfare in the tabloids while food banks have multiplied all over the country and the overall welfare bill is hardly dented. We have to accept that we have an ageing population who need support and there will always be people of working age who need long term help. Our welfare system is not generous by comparison to most other developed countries.

    And yes, the government needs to put significantly more than at present in education and infrastructure. Consider it an investment in the future of your country.
     
  28. furnessvale

    furnessvale Established Member

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    HGVs in the UK currently pay a small road use charge. Under EU law this has to be applied to all vehicles UK and foreign. Because UK VED is so low we rapidly reach the point in the UK where discounting VED reaches the zero point which limits how large the road user charge can be. Outside the EU, the UK could arrange its own road user charge system to extract more payment from foreign vehicles.

    No doubt the EU would retaliate, but given that 70% of the UK-Mainland HGVs are foreign registered, EU ability to impose effective retaliation is limited.
     
  29. 45107

    45107 Member

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    So this is not a EU problem. It is something completely within the complete control of the UK government ? We chose the VED ?
     
  30. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    I don't remember Harold Wilson and Barbara Castle being all that radical in the 1960s (and I voted for them then).
    In fact Barbara Castle was a rather stern Minister and continued to cut the railway (though she did put rail on a better path forward by formalising subsidies).
    For me it isn't the planned tax rates, it's the mega-borrowing which will come with every major Labour programme.
    It took Wilson little more than 2 years to reverse into austerity mode because of the extra borrowing (and poor performance of the economy in statist Britain, £ devaluation etc).
    Denis Healey had to go begging to the IMF in the 1970s for the same reason (plus rampant inflation) when Labour returned to power.
    Labour has not thought through the consequences of massively higher borrowing.
    If their proposals were staged over a decade, with progress (ie affordability) reviews every year, I would be more impressed.
    That would mean setting priorities.
    I think rail would not be top of a priority list, just as in 1997.
     
    Last edited: 4 Dec 2019

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