Skip to main content

Never Enough Taxes

I was wrong in my estimation of jobless figures last week. The Sunday Times has been looking at the problem and apparently, the number of “economically inactive” people of working age has risen 25,000 to 7.94m, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.

“There are many reasons”, it reports, “for the rise in economic inactivity. It is a direct consequence of higher staying-on rates in schools and higher university participation — 1.85m of the inactive are students, no joke intended. It is also a reflection of past policies designed to massage down the jobless numbers for political reasons.”

“It includes early retirees (0.6m), and the long-term sick (2.1m). Many of the inactive (2.3m) — and they would dispute this label — are looking after family and home. In all, three-quarters of the inactive say they are not seeking work.”

“But that leaves just over 2m who say they are. Add that to the 1.5m counted as unemployed and you end up with what John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, characterises as “underlying joblessness” of 3.5m.

If that isn’t bad enough, the consequences of the government’s extravagance on spending, and the accompanying increase in the tax burden, are coming home to roost. A decade ago, the tax burden in Britain was decisively lower than in Germany. Measured as a share of gross domestic product, it was — at 38% — close to the average of the generally more successful English-speaking “Anglo-Saxon” economies, and within sight of low-tax America.

But this year, says the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Britain’s tax burden will be 42.4%, higher than Germany’s 42.1% and well above America, which has come down to 32.7%.

Examine the problem in any way you like and you are left with the conclusion that when Tony Blair quits, probably in the next two years. Gordon Brown will be left with a crippled economy and a bed-ridden NHS and Education system, with more than a quarter of the money raised from council tax going to fund "gold-plated" public sector pensions.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Christmas Tale

It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.



I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

Perhaps I should stick to technology but then, the instruc…

A Matter of Drones - Simon Moores for The Guardian

I have a drone on my airfield” – a statement that welcomes passengers to the latest dimension in air-travel disruption. Words of despair from the chief operating officer of Gatwick airport in the busiest travel week of the year. Elsewhere, many thousands of stranded and inconvenienced passengers turned in frustration to social media in an expression of crowd-sourced outrage.

How could this happen? Why is it still happening over 12 hours after Gatwick’s runways were closed to aircraft, why is an intruder drone – or even two of them – suspended in the bright blue sky above the airport, apparently visible to security staff and police who remain quite unable to locate its source of radio control?

Meanwhile, the UK Civil Aviation Authority, overtaken by both the technology and events, is reduced to sending out desperate tweets warning that an airport incursion is a criminal offence and that drone users should follow their new code of conduct. Yet this is not an unforeseen event. It was i…

Merlins over Thanet

Marooned, temporarily at Manston this afternoon are the Merlins over Malta team on the way to the Mediterranean for a display to mark the historic Second World War defence of the island.


Charlie Brown

Unfortunately, the weather over Thanet is appalling this afternoon and the Spitfire and Hurricane can’t get airborne again until it clears, so the celebrity Battle of Britain aircraft pilots, Charlie Brown, Clive Denny and their team-mates are contemplating an evening among the fleshpots of Margate.


Clive Denny (Hurricane) & Charlie Brown (Spitfire) Pilots

I’m rather hoping the weather it will clear through though as they have to get to Jersey before dusk if possible and I have to take some photos of the Spitfire and Hurricane for Pilot Magazine and I’ve always wanted a chance to get in either aircraft!

An Interview with Charlie Brown

They just got off, squadron scramble or what? They were ready and gone in ten minutes towards the nearest patch of blue sky!

An interview with the legendary S…