Thursday 25 October 2018

UK Budget 29th October 2018

With Brexit at its most stressful point yet (my gut says the shit deal is nearly signed now for May, with one last capitulation on Northern Ireland to go), we also have a domestic budget next week.

The Prime Minister has already boxed in the Chancellor in a few areas. Promising a tax rise to pay for more NHS, ending caps on borrowing by councils for social housing and promising to freeze fule duty.

On top of all of that, arch-remainer Hammond will be keen to build-up a war chest for the coming years Brexit debacle (as he sees it).

So with all that in play I expect a New Labour budget to be forthcoming. Some tax rises in esocteric areas, such as the self-employed rates. A holding of down of various thresholds and some pretend tax cuts in areas that don't really raise revenue. Also maybe something wild like a Vaping tax to generate the necessary distraction.

Of course, for all my cynicism the Tories overall have done a good job of fixing the Country's finances, albeit it has taken a decade and they would have been better to slash earlier rather than slowly choke pubic spending. Now they have left it all set for the incoming Labour Government to go ape with in a couple of years time.

One thing we won't see in the budget is a major move to reduce taxes in anyway. These days are over, if you are concerned with paying too much in tax then I cannot think of a single party in the Country you could vote for at the next election. Every single one is promising more taxes and a bigger state for the future. Oh for the 1990's!


Thud said...

The thought of a future Labour govt worries me constantly, I need to get out more.

Anonymous said...

Yep - it's almost like a conspiracy of acquiescence; a post-post war consensus of bland and unquestioning ramping up of state interventions even though most metrics clearly determine that the service provision is utter shite. I guess May's dementia tax was one of the most honest policies she's outlined - crap, punish those who've been prudent and reward the feckless. This could go on indefinitely, frankly. How tedious.


Charlie said...

Anon - I wouldn't say the dementia tax punishes the prudent. It could just as easily impact someone who had borrowed recklessly in order to build up a BTL empire. The feckless will get looked after regardless. Funding elderly care probably warrants its own post, because it's not getting any cheaper. Personally, I hope euthanasia is an option by the time I get in that state. We keep hundreds of thousands of old folks alive, living miserable "lives", enduring suffering that would see us take an animal to the vet for the last time.

hovis said...

Charlie - indeed whole post on its own is needed on LT Care- with far reaching issues on many things moraly, socially politically and economically;
so without going down that road so far I will only mention I was involved in looking at developing a product in this area for a company with an interst in a less young demographic - in the end close but no cigar - commercially even where numbers added up the reputational risk was too high for the one case that would always "get away".

E-K said...

Such as the police authorities are having to carry pensioners - in one or two cases more than serving police officers. To get the returns my recently retired mates have would have been the same as hitting a £1m jackpot - no way did their contributions amount to that.

My father drew an index pension for longer than he served and Mum is still alive drawing half of it.

The country cannot afford to go on like this -especially if state pensioners go on to live into their 100s.

The iniquity with care is that the prudent can go into a home and pay their way (fair enough) but what isn't fair is when they pay
double to subsidise the costs of residents who did not put anything by. This can hit families after they've already done years of caring but cannot cope with high intensity nursing and medicines that offspring were not required to administer previously because those medicines did not exist.

I'm for euthanasia too.

Anonymous said...

Long term care is a nightmare, and highlights the problems with how social care has been setup. I agree with with euthanasia - looking at someone who is still physically alive, but their personality and life force has gone, it's a kindness to put them to sleep. When I see the godbothery types whine their little "but.. but.. gawwwwd." Yeah. Fuck off and find a fire to die in, you inhuman freaks.

With taxation, my gripe is just how badly things are spent. I'd cheerfully pay a bit more tax if I could expect the basics of a modern functional society. Like main roads not looking like they're in the arse-end of Mongolia. Police actually turning up. A local supermarket was informed the police had no interest in coming out to look at the CCTV of fuel being stolen.

It's no wonder the police are worried about unrest post-Brexit, at what point do enough people realise they can get away with quite a lot of things before the bindings of a civil society unwind?

I'd love value for money for my taxes, but I'll take a functioning society to start with.

The trains are insanely bad too, but hey, we get HS2 which will be fucking useless to 99% of commuters. Shocking enough Corbyn actually said something I agreed with on that.

The disconnect between the population and the government is pretty bad. Which leads me into Spreadsheets IR35 expansion.

We're about to leave the EU, Parliaments fingernails dragged across from Brussels whilst kicking and screaming and we're - what now? Punishing the most flexible part of our workforce? The ones who pay quite a lot of fucking tax thankyewverymuch. And not every one is quite as open to paying more tax as I am.

I'm already getting headhunted by companies in EU nations and Hong Kong. I've rebuffed a potential move to Ireland to go work for Amazon twice. I'm too settled to relocate abroad. Others aren't. And there are remote working opportunities with US companies, which I may look into.

And that's the supply side. On the demand side, I can't imagine private companies tolerating whats happened in the public sector. NHS or HMRC project slides by 12 months, that can be papered over, for private companies that's a potential existential threat.

Then there'll be the court cases, which HMRC lose most of the time.

So potential brain drain and a couple of years of chaos as HMRC get schooled in the courts. Again. Just in time for Brexit.


Anonymous said...

Euthanasia is a dreadful idea because it will end up with coercion - what used to be called murder.

Old people need lots of care
Care is expensive
Govt coffers not full at all
Most elderly are hideously white
Younger generation increasingly non-white, including a lot of NHS staff
No one likes paying tax

I can easily see hospital admin with budget concerns looking the other way while patients are put on massive heroin drips - as happened already with that doctor down South who retired and seems to have got away with it.

Anonymous said...

Money spent on research into cures for dementia would be a good investment for the government. Of course there is some already, but it could be increased considerably.

Don Cox

hovis said...

Anon 9.32: Euthenasia comment - absolutely

andrew said...

on Euthanasia

my ex-OH was a consultant geriatrician. I used to be pro assisted dying but talking to her and her colleagues changed my mind. The points that got through to me were
1 - in every geriatric ward there are a lot of nice old ladies and gents who have a big house and do not want to be any trouble and a lot of children / grandchildren who are sharing bedrooms.
It would be so easy to explain to them how not only can they stop being a burden, but also help out the grandchildren and what they need to say to tick the boxes the examiners need to tick to be eligible.

2 - it is a national _health_ service - the doctors working there generally try to help people live well for longer. They did not sign up to shorten life without a clear medical reason (i.e. you are dying and there are drugs that relieve symptoms/pain, but those drugs shorten life). As the NHS is a monopsony, one concern is that eventually they will be expected to provide euthanasia on demand no matter their personal opinion.

Anonymous said...

andrew - euthanasia needn't have anything to do with the NHS (and, IMHO, shouldn't) The fact is that it is currently illegal in this country and I'd like to see a change in the law.

Anonymous said...

Anon - euthanasia will end up just as abortion has - at the time the legislation passed it was going to be "safe, legal and rare" - now 195,000 a year for England and Wales.

Anonymous said...

Anon - not a Remainer by any chance?

Anonymous said...

Nope, I'm a Leaver just like everyone else who favours free will :-)

Anonymous said...

You need to know what death looks like in 2018 post Shipman.

Doctors are loath to issue painkillers for fear of killing so under-dosing is what happened to my father.

I make no apologies for the following discriptions of the pain my father went through as described by him (dates approximate from memory):

Day 620: Knife shoved between lower vertebra and twisted back and forth repeatedly. Painkillers administered until after diagnosis with prostate bone cancer.

Day 600: Nerves burned out with radio therapy.

Day 600 - 300: Withering and incapacity, tumours growing in every joint and pushing bones apart. Reduced to crouching over a walking frame and using a commode,

Day 300: left humerus smashed to pieces with club hammer for daring to try turning over in bed

Day 300 - 0: Bed bound facing upwards on rubber vibrating matress, pissing in a bottle and shitting on a towel.

Withering, tumours growing - like being stretched on a rack.

Cracked ribs, never to heal again. Vomiting and coughing whilst being stabbed in the chest. Months of it.

Agitation and delirium. Weeks of drug induced dementia - swearing and shouting at loved ones.

Final three days: Being waterboarded, drowning in own mucus. Being sedated but waking into a living nightmare of drowning. Terror ! Marie Curie nurses (fantastic though they are) never near enough to give you the drugs in time (you don't ever see a doctor.)

So. 50% of us face this and will be pleading for euthanasia in the end (going by the way people close to me have passed.)

I know which is the greater evil.

Anonymous said...

Anon - that's not a good reason to kick off mass killing, that's a good reason for doctors to be sensible about the balance between pain relief and longevity. Like you I watched someone I love deteriorate from incurable, spread-to-most-organs cancer over six months (given three weeks to live at diagnosis time), but the doctors kept the pain pretty well at bay - "considering". I'm sure the morphine driver shortened life, but who wants to live in agony? I'm sorry they couldn't do that for your father (although it sounds as if they thought he had a chance at first). Must have been awful.

This was years post-Shipman, btw. Shipman was sentenced in January 2000.

Anonymous said...

@anon 6:54 - sounds like you hit a bad hospital. Having lost a few relations to cancer and another on their way, pain relief has generally been well handled.

Back to euthanasia, I don't get the mass killing paranoia crowd. It's something that should be handled through a court and either at the behest of the patient, or if not at their behest in cases such as dementia, with the family and medical experts giving their input.

A relative of the wife is currently gone mentally, recognises no one and is barely capable of recalling how to eat and has pretty no quality of life. Everyone is suffering. It's just immoral cruelty. The kindest thing would be for her to sleep and never to awaken.

Could it be misused? Yeah, so can anything, it's why we balance thing on probabilities. You can leave the house and get stabbed by the local yoof, but we know it's unlikely so we don't barricade ourselves and survive on Amazon Prime and Uber Eats. It going to be equally unlikely that euthanasia will be misused. Sure, there'll be some cases, but they're going to be in the minority and should be punished heavily.