Laurie Penny is on cracking form in the current New Statesman, paragraph after paragraph of sensational sanity about benefits and taxes. It will appear on her blog in due course, I guess (here) but for now you need to get a print copy and read it.
One of the key points she makes is one that has been made by Access All Areas, a new Conservative ginger group that aims to connect the tories with working class voters, especially in the north. It is simply this: benefits are high because wages are low. Taxpayers are subsidising the appallingly low wages paid by hugely profitable companies (who are often avoiding paying their share of corporate taxes.
If every employer paid the living wage, the tax credits bill would fall by two-thirds to three-quarters and the housing benefit bill would plummet. More than 50% of housing benefit is paid to people in work but paid so badly, they need the state's support to pay their bills.
It is also absurd, as Penny points out, to pit taxpayers against benefit recipients as everyone who shops pays VAT and excise duty depending on what they are buying; so we are all taxpayers in one way or another.
The social security system undoubtedly needs reforming. But part of those reforms include setting much higher minimum wages and curtailing tax breaks to the exceedingly wealthy.
Friday, July 19, 2013
A little benefits sanity
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"It is also absurd, as Penny points out, to pit taxpayers against benefit recipients as everyone who shops pays VAT and excise duty depending on what they are buying; so we are all taxpayers in one way or another."
No it isn't when I first got a permanent job the best place I could afford to leave was a flat in grove park. A pro single mum I know was given by the taxpayer a nice house in Lee, now if the taxpayer had given people like her a home somewhere else - a flat in the west end of Newcastle people like me could have afforded that house.
(The Government could have used the savings to reduce employers NI contribution which as I am sure you know causes increased unemployment)
"More than 50% of housing benefit is paid to people in work but paid so badly, they need the state's support to pay their bills."
Watch it fall as the benefit cap makes Landlords reduce their rents
"everyone who shops pays VAT and excise duty "
So why bother about people in the city getting paid loads after all they do pay tax on it
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