Monday, 14 September 2009

Double standards

I apologise before I start because this is likely to be a bit of a rant. This week saw the publication of a couple of low profile reports that never really caught the press’s attention but nevertheless were very important. A joint report from the Institute of Directors and the Tax Payers Alliance made some rather worrying recommendations on how a Tory government should put right some of the issues with public spending. The two groups are suggesting removal of unproductive items of government spending which include:- Getting rid of free bus passes except for the most needy. Freezing the state pension for one year. Let me point there are thousands of pensioners affected by Pension protection fund and financial assistance schemes that have had their pensions frozen for the last five years. This is a result of the actions of some of their members who allowed their companies to go bust taking pension funds with them. Free TV licenses would be abolished along with child trust fund and child benefit. A spokesperson for the Institute of Directors said something like they are having to make savings so why not everyone else. Another report highlighted by TUC claims top bosses pension pots rose last year by 23% workers were being forced to work longer whilst bosses could retire very comfortably at 60. What utter hypocrisy. I have commented before that I did not want my grandkids to have to pay for the financial cock up which surrounds the Brown government but expecting the poorest and most vulnerable in our society to be making these sacrifices is immoral. These groups are associated with the Tories in fact through CBI help to payroll them so their opinions will in my view eventually become Tory policy. As far as I can see the Tax Payers Alliance represent big business and they seem to be against any tax of any kind. The following is an extract from their web site.
"The TaxPayers' Alliance is Britain's independent grassroots campaign for lower taxes. After years of being ignored by politicians of all parties, the TPA is committed to forcing politicians to listen to ordinary taxpayers.
Taxes keep on rising but there is very little improvement in the quality of schools, hospitals and transport provided by government. Most recently, British workers, employers, consumers, homeowners and pensioners have been hit by higher national insurance contributions, huge council tax increases and higher taxes on pension funds.
To this end, the TaxPayers' Alliance will:
• Oppose all tax rises• Oppose EU tax harmonisation• Seek the abolition of inheritance tax• Criticise all examples of wasteful and unnecessary spending• Champion opportunities for votes on tax and spend"
So there you have it. They certainly don’t represent me and I’m an ordinary tax payer and I don’t want them to. Taxation is an inevitable part of living in a civilised society. It must be one of the important tools used by any government to correct the anomalies that our society creates as people get old and sick and to run our services efficiently. The child trust funds and child benefits help millions of under privileged kids to live half decent lives and to get them out of poverty and give them a better life when they leave school. It is a total disgrace that organisations like these who are over privileged themselves should consider suggesting to government they be shelved. What is needed here is some good old fashioned socialism where the rich are taxed until it hurts starting with Institute of Directors and Tax Payers Alliance. I would agree that public service pensions have got out of hand but so have top paid private sector pensions. Benefits such as free bus passes to these individuals is potty but let’s deal with it by increases to taxation to these groups.
The nasty party is still alive and well. Pensioners have not done well under Brown but it looks like we will do much worse under the Tories. This must act as a wake up call to all those pensioners and families who are feeling sorry for themselves and thinking of voting Tory to start to think again. I know I certainly am.
Brown however is not the solution he is the problem. Labour has to drop him to stand any chance of winning. It is not too late but the eleventh hour approaches.

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