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How do we help the poor?

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As part of it's drive to cut the benefits bill, in order to create a balanced budget, the Gov has decided to attack tax credits. On the face of it, tax credits can be viewed as a subsidy to employers who pay low wages, so perhaps something better is required ? The Gov are saying that the introduction of a "living wage" will compensate for the loss of tax credit; but who checks that a living wage is actually being paid to people? An idea that's been floated is a "negative income tax", where low incomes are topped up to an acceptable minimum, but that sound very similar to tax credits. Perhaps it might be better if they looked at a negative VAT on essential items, such as housing (rents), healthy foods, clothing, heating and light etc; in order ensure a minimum standard of living, without the need for direct payment ? Such a universal approach would benefit everyone, regardless of income; but would be funded by the highest paid through taxes.

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You see, i like the Tory slogan of "Making work pay" but to the government that means nothing more than someone taking a lousy job because we will stop or have stopped your benefits.

Apparently,the construction industry needs an estimated 1 million people ,the transport industry needs 45,000 drivers & no doubt there must be other industries with skill shortages.The government should be providing training to get people into proper jobs with prospects to let them experience a good standard of living without relying on benefits . 

Proper training for proper jobs, because i can only think that when the living wage is introduced many of the benefit reliant jobs we have now will disappear altogether.

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Well ver a quarter of it could easily be recouped just by reversing the ridiculous decision to gift over a Billion to the relatively well off via changes to the inheritance tax. There was also the tax breaks and corporate tax rates to the richest companies which cost the treasury over 2 billion. The Tories aren't even bothering trying to pretend that they give a toss about the poorest anymore. All in it together my arse

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Agreed; goes without saying that the Tories are making the poorest in society pay for austerity.  But the question is, is there a better way of cutting the benefit dependency toll and providing a basic minimum standard safety net?  I'm suggesting that benefits "in kind", through subsidised essentials, would ensure such a basic living standard, without the abuses provided by cash handouts.  A universal subsidy on "essentials" would assist everyone, I'm sure we could all do with reduced energy costs for example.

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The problem with the subsidised power is 

a.  The power companies are privately owned, sold by the Tories so that "their" people benefited rather than the people benefitting.

b.  Would you trust the power companies not to help themselves to the subsidies by increasing prices?

c.  Some of the power companies are foreign owned and I imagine a lot of people would balk at Government subsidies going abroad.

 

For other essentials such as food, household goods etc.  whilst providing the items rather than money is fine in principle the problem I see would be it being abused and the goods being exchanged for other things at a reduced value thus exacerbating the poverty and suffering for families and children especially.  It is a difficult question.

 

I suppose credit where it is due though, the Tories have taken millions of children out of poverty by changing how it is measured.  I truly feel this is the most cynical and uncaring Government I have ever witnessed running this country and that includes Thatchers

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Think that is very much the exception Baz, I could find lots of examples of the rich avoiding paying taxes or multi nationals moving money to avoid paying taxes

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Apparently some MP is bringing up in Parliament the subject of hospital parking charges. It was stated on the news that the lost revenue by making hospital parking free would amount to £250million . Lump that together with the welfare bill & we still are happily paying sums much higher to the EU & in foreign aid that would dwarf the amount of money required to make this country prosperous once more. If you get my drift.

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The decision by Gideon to cut working tax credits (and here is the difference between your chap in the link and who it will affect) to WORKING people on low pay is actually going to make more people feel it not worth working.  It is a disincentive. There will always be users of the system Baz,  the man in question takes a lot of money from the system, Facebook recently announced it was paying the princely sum of £4327 in Corporation tax despite paying its execs £35 million in bonuses.  Anecdotal outliers are not helpful.  How can we justify giving the wealthy tax breaks of over 2 billion  and the well off inheritance tax bonuses of over a billion pounds and then take working tax credits off low paid workers even if we have to have a surplus which is doubtful?  Its an evil measure that even some Tories find too nasty to stomach.

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Apparently some MP is bringing up in Parliament the subject of hospital parking charges. It was stated on the news that the lost revenue by making hospital parking free would amount to £250million . Lump that together with the welfare bill & we still are happily paying sums much higher to the EU & in foreign aid that would dwarf the amount of money required to make this country prosperous once more. If you get my drift.

and if parking at hospitals was made free Davy, how many spaces do you think there would be when you needed one?  It would be massively abused by people parking and going to work or shop or whatever.

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Energy as with rents, could be subject to caps. Theoretically OFGEM supposed to modify their behaviour, but don't seem to.

There is no rent cap and lets be honest, it would be virtually impossible to implement as there are now millions of BTL landlords.  What should the cap be Observer?  Should it be the same countrywide?  The same in Kensington as it is in Warrington?  

 

If OFGEM are ineffectual now why should they be more so in the future.  How do you cap what a foreign company charges for its products?  How do we control the price of energy when we are totally reliant on imported gas and electricity? 

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It would be for Local Authorities to set rent caps, in the light of local markets - the problem with subsidised rents, is that landlords can just keep upping their rents, so some kind of fair rent assessment would be required. The answer of course would be to return to LA housing. As with energy, renationalise; as the so-called competition experiment has been a smoke and mirror exercise from the beginning. While were at it, subsidies have existed for the renewables, so the idea isn't new.

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It would be for Local Authorities to set rent caps, in the light of local markets - the problem with subsidised rents, is that landlords can just keep upping their rents, so some kind of fair rent assessment would be required. The answer of course would be to return to LA housing. As with energy, renationalise; as the so-called competition experiment has been a smoke and mirror exercise from the beginning. While were at it, subsidies have existed for the renewables, so the idea isn't new.

so you wish to lock in regional rent differences and buy up enough housing stock to do away with private landlords and get everyone in a council house.  Then buy out all the power companies, and don't say just take them as we know that is impossible.  You live in a strange world Observer, I would love to see all the things you mention happen but it will never happen under a Tory government and will never happen under a Labour one.  We sold our utilities , and once they were sold they were gone.

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It is strange how the renewables seem to have fallen on stoney ground. Unless the government can create a thriving market for it's wind/wave/solar alternatives then no manufacturers will be tempted into the market. Any really concerned government would be more forceful in applying these principles instead of relying on luke warm market forces.

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If we are to believe the rich, the poor will be fine as the wealth will trickle down. Laughable really if it wasn't so wrong

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Ideas merely require the addition of political will, which makes anything possible; with no ideas, nothing is possible.

Political will does not make everything possible and pipe dreams don't produce political will, with this lot only cash does that

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Think that is very much the exception Baz, I could find lots of examples of the rich avoiding paying taxes or multi nationals moving money to avoid paying taxes

 

and there are many cases of people screwing the system too.... you can't even say that some of the "poor" are screwing the system because judging by some of the sums they get in benefits; they are anything but poor

 

 

As for facebook, what business does it generate in Britain? all of its servers etc will be in the states and they don't charge to be a member. If a company advertises and pays a fee that is paid to either Ireland or the US, not Britain so the actual generated income in UK terms may well be very small

 

If there was common consensus that any business generated in a given company would be subject to tax in that country that would be fine. Personally I would lower the corporation tax levels to what Ireland charge and it would attract more business surely?

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and there are many cases of people screwing the system too.... you can't even say that some of the "poor" are screwing the system because judging by some of the sums they get in benefits; they are anything but poor

 

The example you chose is unemployed and therefore nothing to do with working tax credits.

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As for facebook, what business does it generate in Britain? all of its servers etc will be in the states and they don't charge to be a member. If a company advertises and pays a fee that is paid to either Ireland or the US, not Britain so the actual generated income in UK terms may well be very small

Here is something I really never thought I would see, somebody actually justifying a huge corporate giant avoiding paying tax on the £105 million sales made in the UK.  Robbing Britain of millions in tax revenue.  Are you George Osbourne in disguise :wink:

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Here is something I really never thought I would see, somebody actually justifying a huge corporate giant avoiding paying tax on the £105 million sales made in the UK.  Robbing Britain of millions in tax revenue.  Are you George Osbourne in disguise :wink:

I didn't know how much they made in Britain.... that's why I said what I did.... if they are actual physical sales in the UK then yes, they should pay tax on it....if not they shouldn't

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How do we help the poor?

 

Send 'em all on holiday to Calais, spray 'em all brown then smuggle 'em all in to the country in lorries, they'll never want for anything!. :wink::D

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