Last night’s YouGov daily poll has some initial questions on the Autumn statement, full tabs are here. As we regularly see in the trackers on the Sunday Times polls, the public are deeply negative about the state of the economy and how they will fare over the next 12 months – that hasn’t changed. 56% of people think the government is handling the economy badly, with 34% thinking they are doing well. That said, while people think the government are doing badly, they think Labour would be worse: 37% of people think the economy would be even worse were Labour in power, with only 25% thinking that Labour would be doing a better job.

There is a similar picture if you replace the government & Labour with Osborne and Balls. People think George Osborne is doing a bad job as Chancellor by 49% to 24%, a sharp decline from when YouGov asked the same question after this year’s budget when 34% thought he was doing a good job. However, Osborne’s lead over Ed Balls on who would make the better Chancellor has grown. 30% would now pick Osborne, with Balls on 24%, compared to a lead of 25% to 23% in July.

The survey goes on to ask people’s preferred party on various aspects of economic policy and here views are a bit more nuanced. People see the Conservatives as the party best able to reduce the country’s deficit, steer the economy through the crisis and support British business. However, Labour are seen as more able to create jobs, keep prices down and encourage growth.

Asked what is most to blame for the much lower growth forecasts, the government are continuing to avoid the largest share of the blame, with only a minority blaming them for the current state of the economy. Asked to pick the two main factors for slow growth the largest group of people blame the debt crisis in the Eurozone (44%), followed by the last Labour government (32%), the banks (31%) and 28% the current government.

YouGov asked about the specific measures contained in the Autumn statement, with mostly predictable results – it goes almost without saying that large majorities approved of the cancellation of the January hike in fuel duty, a lower rate of increase in rail fares and an increase in the bank levy. Interesting ones are the public sector pay freeze (supported by 47%, opposed by 41%), increasing the state pension age to 67 by 2026 (supported by 40%, opposed by 51%) and increasing the discount on right-to-buy (supported by 34%, opposed by 50%). The decision to update benefit payments in line with the 5.2% rate of inflation split opinion down the middle – 40% of people thought it was the right thing to do, 44% think it was wrong.

Finally YouGov asked about perceptions of what parts of the country the statement helped most. I thought this would be interesting given many of the big infrastructure projects were in the North, and whether that would be picked up at all. It doesn’t seem to have been! There were large chunks of don’t knows on all the regions, and those who did answer percieved it to have helped the South the most. Of course, in floating the possibility of regional pay scales for public servants the statement could indeed help the South the most, but I expect the answers to this question actually just reflect people’s pre-existing view of the Conservatives caring more about London and the South than the rest of the country.


298 Responses to “YouGov poll on the Autumn statement”

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  1. @colin
    Lefty sees owning an appreciating asset like a house as an immoral disgrace, we see your Perm Sec as a “right good stitch up”. The Police are past masters at this kind of daylight robbery. Retiring Inspectors of 50, on 40k pension with 150k gratuity, start work on Monday as a civilian scene of crime specialist for 35k plus pension and car allowance.

  2. Chou

    Yep-to the left of that ilk it’s all very simple:-

    Tax the rich ba**ards & the banks.
    Write off the debts.
    Print money.
    Carry on spending.

    It comes to something when a Chinese Communist is able to see truths about European productivity, competitiveness & welfare state, which a european Marxist cannot see ( or admit)

    Don’t want to upset NeilA unduly-but re the retirement ( & other) practices of the senior boys in blue-absolutely.

    I think Mr Wen would have something to say about it if he knew :-)

  3. Why should anybody vote for an opposition who wants to do the same as the Government?

    This will be an important call for Ed M…spending or austerity.

  4. Lots of interesting posts, but somehow none of them are nearly as interesting to me than that my grandson took his first steps – walking across the living romm holding my hands.

    There is still real joy in the world! :-)

    (A little off topic, I know – but I just had to tell someone!)

  5. Ahh, Ken, Ken, Ken. I have visions of you and Roland like the old major on The Fast Show, rambling incoherently except to suddenly pipe up, “Ahh, bladdy Socialists!” It’s like a tutorial in “Combating anyone with a view to the left of Norman Tebbit 101” Tutorial 1: “Shout ‘Socialist’ at every opportunity.'”

    I don’t doubt that you have worked hard and earned every penny of your earned income. I salute you for that.

    The wealth embedded in the rise in your house value over and above the average wage is, however, in my opinion, fair game for taxation.

    You castigate Labour in particular and society in general for living in a debt bubble. Yet you come out swinging punches when someone suggests a correction to one of the results of that bubble.

    But I’m not expecting agreement. I learned long ago that there were few things likely to producer fiercer and less logical arguments than to tell a successful person that not every penny in their pockets was the result of their own sweat and genius.

  6. @CHOU

    Simple answer would be to prevent pension payouts if earning over ‘x’. That’s doing someone else out of a job, while taking money out of the economy in pension money.

    Has to end.

  7. “In the 1950?s the Conservatives, who won three GE’s were led by men who believed in helping the poor as best they could, since Harold MacMillan remembered the 1930?s, was a good man, and served his country in the war (although his post Yalta phase is controversial)”

    The officer class got used to the idea that in war, “we are all in it together” and maybe it wasn’t so bad an approach in peace too..

  8. @NICK P

    Ed Balls dodged answering that earlier this week. He (and his party) need to make their minds up, and either call for an alternative, or get behind some or all of the current plans. Trying to do neither won’t help the country or the party one bit.

  9. @OLD NAT
    You remind me of the young male student who walked into a Catholic Church and confessed to the priest he had slept with 4 different girls the previous night. The priest said, “are you a Catholic my son”, the student said ” no, I am Jewish actually, but I just had to tell someone”

  10. I wrote a long post in reply to Robert c and Lefty earlier. Unfortunately just as I was almost finished my phone crashed, blöödly android blöödly Google (whose grave should I dance on?) So I wasn’t being rude to those that replied to my peak oil post, however I’m not going to rewrite now but will wait until the subject comes up again.

  11. Oldnat

    Congrats with the wee one

  12. @john b dick
    The officer class got used to the idea that in war, “we are all in it together” and maybe it wasn’t so bad an approach in peace too..

    The big difference is that 80% of the men would rather have not been there between 39 and 45. Officership was coaxing amateurs to do things they did not want to do.

    Subsequently, if a regular professional soldier has not got “we are all in this together” engraved on his heart, he is (as Monty used to say) useless, quite useless.
    Professional Officers fight for their men, the men fight for each other, Queen and Country have not much to do with it.

  13. Roland

    Do you think our professional officers(MP’s) are fighting for their men(voters) or just fighting over them

  14. @ Colin

    It comes to something when a Chinese Communist is able to see truths about European productivity, competitiveness & welfare state, which a european Marxist cannot see ( or admit)
    ————————————–
    The above is a rather silly comment (not quite on the Jeremy Clarkson scale but still..)

    You are happy to repeat the memes uttered by people who should know better (e.g. Michael Portillo, on This Week). China has challenges looming on the horizon which make the euro crisis look like a stroll in the park.
    8-)

  15. NickP

    “Why should anybody vote for an opposition who wants to do the same as the Government? This will be an important call for Ed M…spending or austerity”

    I could not disagree more: it is not ‘doing the same as the government’…but it iscuts lite I’m afraid

    i.e. the really “important call” is ‘does EdM understand the economy and therefore is trusted’.

    If not it’ll be another hung parliament likely another ConLib government as Dave would have the most seats/ if he is trusted- and EdB acknowledges the economic conditions- Labour will likely be largest party and might even scrape a OM.

    Downbeat though this unstoppable fact is, mark my words by 2015 “cuts lite” will be a far more attractive proposition to a punch drunk electorate grown weary of Dave, Nick and George then will be their ‘stay the course/ only two more years of desperate back breaking austerity’ campaign message.

    “Cuts lite” is also part of a campaign strategy to target swing and ABC1 voters- the ONLY way to win. The mistake that lots of observers make (the green benched one is chief amongst these) is saying Labour will only win by targeting voting groups C2 D and E ‘because that is where the votes were lost between 1997 and 2010’. What the widely utilised stat fails to acknowledge is that this is as a proportion of those specific groups.

    In actual fact – as a total of voters actually casting a GE ballot paper- ABC1 are far numerous/ actually turnout. They are more important to Labours chances than are C2DE voters.

    It twas ever thus since the mid 1980’s…..

    ***

    “Cuts lite”

    If (IF) the Labour Treasury team are on-the-ball they will bring this forward to early in the new year by working their socks off on it over the coming two/three months.

    I should imagine key elements would be (very broadly)

    (1) Announce clearly and categorically that the deficit should be reduced. No more deficit denying or pussy footing around. Indeed if they were clever both EDs would mea culpa that element of their leadership campaigns…and move swiftly along;

    (2) Contest the OBR’s ‘model assumption’ that we have permanently lost as much capacity as they claim- by using the IFS amongst others such as Roger Bootle (so not the ‘usual Labour supporting suspects like Murphy and Blanchflower)- such that the ‘structural deficit’ is not as high as the current government pessimistically claimed today (a claim that premiums their preferred philosophy of extensive and rapid hollowing out of the state);

    (3) Explain the fundamental axiom that- whatever figure you calculate/ settle upon for the SD- you do not need to get rid of all your structural deficit in one parliament, or even 7 years: especially if the policies you utilise to achieve that ‘goal’ actually undermine your ability to curb borrowing and bring down the SD by reducing confidence, production and consumption to a screeching halt (the fundamental (schoolboy?) error of George in these last 19 months;

    (4) Utilise the money you have available for the immediate term (outside of the spending cuts package of your policy platform) because of (2) and (3) as this can provide the basis of both an infrastructural (investment) and tax and/or income (demand) stimulus to the economy creating a much more favourable medium term employment and output outlook for the markets and CRA’s to observe

    = So both an expenditure cuts and deficit reduction programme balanced with targeted investment and demand stimuli to boost output and growth: so rather like Osborne’s approach today but much less (gratuitously?) brutal cuts and much more significant growth support.

    As I argued on the previous thread once Labour has an thought through detailed alternative sponsored by various industrialists, business people and the great and good- and you know it’s always possible to get an endorsement (…unless you are Gordon Brown)- that is a whole new ball game.

  16. @LEFTYLAMPTON
    Let me tell you about my “debt bubble” whatever that is.
    I had about 5 different mortgages on 5 different houses.
    I never ever missed a payment on any of them and I lived within my means. My last mortgage was paid off 7 years ago and my house is now worth around 600k. I have no urge toward self flagellation regarding this.

    Funny you mention the fast show, because I imagine you and Nick P to be like the Self Righteous Brothers.

    If Cameron ses to me, live wivin yer means, Id say, Oy Cameron, NO.

  17. @ Old Nat

    :-) That is delightful :-)

    @ Alex Salmond, David Cameron,

    Quick, get Old Nat a ‘Happiness Index Questionnaire’ – he will send Scotland’s average soaring, if you catch him in the next few days. ;-)

  18. @ Old Nat (5.16)

    “Lots of interesting posts, but somehow none of them are nearly as interesting to me than that my grandson took his first steps – walking across the living romm holding my hands.”

    Old Nat,
    Politics are important but I agree that there are some things in life which are even more important. Enjoy!!!

  19. LeftyLampton
    I have tried my best to answer you and am now exhausted and going for my ntea.
    1) Do you think it morally justifiable that a near 20-year long housing bubble has lined the pockets of older middle class folk (me included) and put decent home ownership out of the reach of millions of younger people?

    I don’t think it is a bubble and it has lasted over 40 years; in fact property prices, with up and downs seem to have risen since the war. I understand your example but in my experience that is not what usually happened; I have worked my way up a ladder, buying about 5 properties over 35 years; each one has been a lovely property but in poor condition and we have revived it over 5 to 6 years before moving on; sometimes the price rises because of improvements, sometimes because of house inflation and sometimes because of general inflation; not all is profit as we paid for lawyers, surveyors, new mortagage, estate agents, removals and more recently stamp duty. In the early years we chose to invest in the property rather than have a car or go on holidays away. We bought cheap second hand furniture.

    So I do not accept that all or even the vast majority of profit is unearned or even profit. Your case is different but I can’t speak for you.

    I do not live in London and property prices not far from us are affordable for first time couples as a stepping stone. I think there cannot be a better investment.

    2) Do you think the idea of some form of redistribution of that colossal unearned wealth is inherently morally objectionable?

    Some of the wealth includes services which we have paid for as above, some is earned wealth as above, and some windfall of which we deserve at least a share for inititiative, risk and good fortune (if we lost money no one would have refunded us);
    I think we deserve some of the windfall profit that is left.

    3) If yes to either of the above, why?

    I do not accept the first statement as there is plenty of affordable housing around where I live, given that young people have jobs. Some have but some don’t for a range of reasons we have discussed eleswhere.

    If I was charged a tax on profit, I would pay it, but I would not vote for a Party who proposed it (I expect like a few others). In our case we have earned much of the wealth, and paid for alot in fees etc. It would be a bit harsh to take any of that part.

  20. @Oldnat

    Awww…(big soppy grin)

    @The rest

    One of the Guardian articles states that (I paraphrase) “The Chancellor told the Bundestag that the process of creating union had begun…”

    D’y’know, there are days when you look at the news and think…WTF? I mean, seriously dude, WTFF? The only music you can play after news like that is the “Imperial March”. I mean, what’s next? Palpatine declares the Empire?

    Regards, Martyn

  21. http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/02/news/economy/jobs_report_unemployment/index.htm?hpt=hp_t1

    Here’s some welcome news. This kinda aligns with record Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. I’ve been seeing and feeling some admittedly anecdotal signs of recovery here (new businesses opening up, more people shopping at stores, increased traffic). The stimulus of 2009 in the U.S. was not as immediately effective because there weren’t as many shovel ready projects to immediately put people to work. Now a lot of these infrastructure projects are finally getting built. With that comes increased money circulating in the economy.

    If we’re able to stabilize, that will help Europe through the various debt crises (I hope).

    @ Old Nat

    “Lots of interesting posts, but somehow none of them are nearly as interesting to me than that my grandson took his first steps – walking across the living romm holding my hands.

    There is still real joy in the world!

    (A little off topic, I know – but I just had to tell someone!)”

    Congratulations! That would be joyous I imagine (though it’s not the only joy in the world).

  22. Rob S.

    Bang on. Point 3 in particular.

    Labour has got to take on the argument that TINA to eliminating the structural deficit in the quickest possible time. It has no rational economic support; it’s an argument designed to allow an ideological assault on the public sector.

    Labour has three years to push the line that a more balanced approach to spending reduction can and will end up with a better deficit outcome. It is a very easy case to make.

    Thatcher & Saatchi did a brilliant job of insulting the public’s intelligence in 1979. I recall a part political broadcast which showed a Jeux Sans Frontiers-style race, with the British competitor weighed down by weights bearing the word “tax”. Then along came a Tory coach and took off the weights one by one. Sure enough, the British competitor roared past the French, Italian and German. (I remember as a 14 year old, cringing at the gaucheness of it, but it clearly did them no harm.)

    I guess we are in slightly more sophisticated times today, but Labour need to make a similarly simple case.

    If you have debts, you need a job to pay them back. If you have to work short-time, you have less chance of paying back your debts. If you scrimp and save and cut back on the bus fare, meaning that you have to leave work early to walk home, you might feel virtuous, but in the long run, you lose more than you save.

    There you go. Send that storyboard one off to Walworth Road or wherever the HQ is these days. No charge.

  23. Henry.

    I hear your points. I guess you haven’t looked at the graph I put up earlier. That is the context in which this discussion needs to take place. There is a clear and unmistakable housing bubble, which started in the mid-90s and has roared on for the best part of 20 years.

    I don’t begrudge anyone’s house improving in value if that improvement is a reflection of the general state of the economy. Sometimes it will be a bit better than that, sometimes a bit worse. The clever ones will play that market and make a bit more than the dumb ones. Good for them.

    That is not what we have seen though. House prices, buoyed by cheap credit which fostered an unsustainable debt bubble have become totally disconnected from the state of the real economy. (Roland – I’m sure you’re not as stupid as you try to appear – THAT is the connection between debt and house prices, not your own impeccable personal finances).

    I think it is pragmatically (pace Ken) a very, very bad thing when house prices increase so much faster than average earnings. You say that there are many affordable houses in your neck of the woods. I don’t see that here in Sheffield. I see extremely modest 2 bed terraces in not the most affluent areas going for more than 5 times average wages. It is an extremely bad thing for the future cohesion of society.

  24. @ Amber Star

    “China has challenges looming on the horizon which make the euro crisis look like a stroll in the park.”

    I’m not going to take any lectures from the Chinese. As I explained to Colin the other night, I have my own theoretical views about public sector employment. I believe the private sector should be the main source of employment. Government should typically be small (or lean smaller) as government jobs should be generally for the best and the brightest. Generally, not everyone should be able to get a government job as they’re limited in number. There are exceptions of course, things like post office workers and temporary hires and the like. Though even then, jobs with the military, they’ll take anyone but they will train you to be the best and the brightest. Post office workers still have difficult jobs. That’s why I believe government employees are generally entitled to the large amount of benefits they get. It’s also part of a trade off.

    With that said, that’s the theory that I support and that’s how I look at the government in the U.S. If you have bloated public sectors in Europe as Colin argues, I don’t think you can just sort of start mass layoffs. Because that type of action will cause massive damage to the economy, far more than bloated pensions and benefits will have.

    “Quick, get Old Nat a ‘Happiness Index Questionnaire’ – he will send Scotland’s average soaring, if you catch him in the next few days.”

    Let me say this about Alex Salmond and David Cameron. Both made “It Gets Better Videos.” Both have earned my respect and admiration for doing so.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isYARareENE

    h ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2GBmqtOOmw

    Ed Miliband hasn’t made one (I think Jim Murphy should make one, just to be ruthless).

  25. @ Rob Sheffield,

    If Labour are not making ground with the voters on the economy by this time next year, were I Ed Balls, I’d draw up ‘shadow budgets’ & offer it for the OBR &/or IFS to review.

    Okay, it’s a bit of a gamble but if he did it for the Spring budget 2013, there would be still be time to say: “We’ve taken on board the OBR/IFS critique & are revising our proposals accordingly”.

    If it did seem to achieve reasonable outcomes whilst being fairer, then we’d really be off to the races.

    Sometimes you just have to do something that’s risky, if you are hoping for a reward.
    8-)

  26. @ Old Nat

    Delighted about your Grandson. The nicest thing I’ve heard today – and probably the most important to you and yours in the great scheme of things, and rightly so!

    Now to matters “greasy pole”
    @ John B Dick
    Re: Officer class and being decent after the war. Absolutely! The 1945 to 1975 “compromise” political and economic mixed economy system, adopted in most of western Europe as well as Britain now looks like a golden age of European civilization for ordinary working people compared with the hungry violent 30s and the Thatcherite dream of global buccaneering capitalism we have had since…..ah those halcyon days of the early 70s when I was a lad.
    However, I wonder if the real reason the global capitalists were good to their populations was that they were afraid if they weren’t countries would switch sides and join Comecon? Certainly true of the way Italy and France were economically propped up in the 40s and 50s to keep them onside? Today they (“the market”) don’t give a fig, as there is no alternative vision of human organisation on offer.

  27. @LEFTY LAMPTON
    (Roland – I’m sure you’re not as stupid as you try to appear – THAT is the connection between debt and house prices, not your own impeccable personal finances).

    My point is exactly that. One can be fiercely stupid, as only a Tory can be, but you don’t have to be feckless.

    I think you should certainly put a tax on homes in your manifesto. The next GE result would make Foot look like Frankly Roosevelt.

  28. @LEFTYLAMPTON
    That’s FRANKLYN Roosevelt.

  29. Rob Sheffield
    ‘“Cuts lite” is also part of a campaign strategy to target swing and ABC1 voters- the ONLY way to win……….

    In actual fact – as a total of voters actually casting a GE ballot paper- ABC1 are far numerous/ actually turnout. They are more important to Labours chances than are C2DE voters.’

    This might be true as a cynical political calculation, but don’t Labour actually care about the working class any more? I thought they were supposed to be idealists compared to the wicked Tories? If Labour abandon those people, they will not carry on voting Labour for ever. There would be an increase in the Working-class Tory vote, and/or a drift to extremists like BNP or communist parties. Which of these outcomes would Labour prefer I wonder.

  30. OLDNAT

    @”Lots of interesting posts, but somehow none of them are nearly as interesting to me than that my grandson took his first steps – walking across the living romm holding my hands.

    There is still real joy in the world! ”

    Indeed-never to be forgotten moment.

    ……..except perhaps…..when vaguely recalled when he holds your hand to help you walk across the living room.

    I wish him & all our grandchildren a future they can enjoy.

  31. Amber

    “The above is a rather silly comment (not quite on the Jeremy Clarkson scale but still..)”

    Well I’m grateful for the caveat !!!-though interested that you should even think of comparing them…….you are , as ever, entitled to silly opinions of your own Amber :-)

    @”You are happy to repeat the memes uttered by people who should know better (e.g. Michael Portillo, on This Week).”

    Am I ?
    No idea what you are talking about.

    The opinion was prompted by Mr Wen’s response to the EZ request for China to lend them some money.
    I quoted it here a while ago.

  32. Pete B

    Its far from cynical- you CANNOT help the poor and oppressed if you are not in government.

    Winning the next election is now the key tactical AND strategic objective for Labour. The route to that is not ‘be more left wing’.

    That is something the recent crop of under 35 year old Trots just don’t understand. Whilst those over 35 should already know better by now.

    ***

    Amber

    re: shadow budgets offered to OBR and IFS etc

    Agree 100% !

  33. @old nat
    I don’t know how many Grandchildren you have Nat.
    I do know that for older people who have had their crack at life and seen their kids achieve a decent start for themselves, it is these little ones that you worry about at times like this. Never fear, health and strength is the important thing and I bet your little man has plenty of that.
    Very best wishes to him and his Ma & Pa.

  34. @ Gerard

    (First ever post)

    Labour are viewed as best placed to create jobs etc and Con-LD more likely to reduce the deficit – has the question been asked what people prioritise? Also, if poeple do believe that Cons are best to reduce the deficit and this is what is keeping their stats up can I just ask what will happen when they fail to reduce the deficit in any significant way?

    Is it possible people could move to Labour but still feel that Labour would also have failed to tackle the deficit?
    —————————————–
    Welcome, new person.

    Your post will have been in moderation & we moved to a new page before it appeared. I hope you are still around & some of us will respond to the above (your first comment) .
    8-)

  35. So cal

    Sorry to pop your bubble but the black Friday sales were on negative margin, which means that stores were so desparate to get rid of stock that they sold at a loss across the whole range of goods not just a few lost leaders, the unemployment figures look good on the surface but who’s being counted, a hundred and twenty jobs added sounds good but is less than the number of new workers being added to the workforce. But the unemployment rate fell from 9% to 8.6%, how did that happen? Was that 99ers falling off the list? Or just people giving up looking cos nearly half a million people left the labour force in one month!! And the labour force participation rate fell to its lowest since 1983. Oh and apparently you had a decrease in population last month as well!! Lies damm lies and statistics to quote a Tory.

  36. @ROB SHEFFIELD
    Please stop teaching other Labour supporters common sense and realistic politics. If it takes hold you will possibly get elected. There are a number of elderly Trots on this board who can just get blitzed on GE night and wake up feeling defeated and like death. Some coffee, a bit of lunch and they will feel a bit better (but just as defeated).
    Tory government returned, bish bosh no harm done.

    You with your reckless attempts to teach political nous, risk this outcome.

  37. @ Gerard

    No, quick, run away *now*, you won’t believe what posting here can do to a person, you have to go *now* before they wake up…oh no, they’re here, look, he made me do it OK, HE MADE ME DO IT, TAKE HIM, NOT ME, TAKE HIM, AAAARG (sentence cut off)

    :-)

    Regards, Martyn

  38. HOUSING & PROPERTY TAXES.

    1.. Historically, the bottom 20%+? of income earners in Britain have never owned property & have only experienced decent accommodation when it is subsidised. Eg., The Road to Wigan Pier conveys the sub-standard nature of non-subsidized, 1930s working-class housing with the usual Orwellian clarity.
    2. To state the obvious: no party is going to propose CGT on private houses. That would be the shortest suicide note in history.
    3. The obvious route to [retrospectively] tax a portion of house-price inflation is thru inheritance tax. The Right’s objections to this are, inter alia: a. that it taxes hard-earned wealth, when, in fact, it taxes “unearned” property inflation; & b. that it stifles the “enterprise” generated by inherited wealth, when in fact most people who inherit money — usually in their 50s these days — immediately plan for economic inactivity: i.e., retirement. The Right’s view of inheritance tax thus contradicts their their view that an ageing population must all work until it drops. .

  39. RiN

    Interesting article. I can hear the “S” word forming in an ex-army officer’s larynx right now.

    I wonder if yon venture capitalist will be written off as being consumed bybtbe Politics of Envy?

    Old Nat.

    Many congratulations. Mind, the pleasure will soon wear off of he turns out to be as physical and uncoordinated as my three year old who’s just kneed me in the balls whilst playing rough and tumble.

  40. Robbie et al.

    Of COURSE no party is going to promote CGT on houses. I simply proposed it as an interesting way of finding out on what principle people would oppose it.

    I’ve got it all written down here in my little book. Come the glorious day, we’ll have the morally dubious ones shot. In front of their families.

  41. @Chou

    So good to know that your son is able to afford a 2 bed flat in Wimbledon.
    It warms the heart to know that some people in the public sector are well rewarded.
    BTW I really really am not envious. I have no desire to live in that particular enclave.

  42. @ Colin

    “The opinion was prompted by Mr Wen’s response to the EZ request for China to lend them some money.”

    I admit I’m no expert but seeing as they are a Communist state, aren’t most workers in China employed by the public sector?

  43. @Gerard

    Good post. Welcome :-)

  44. ROB SHEFFIELD

    Interesting responses to NIckP etc.

    I was pondering “but much less (gratuitously?) brutal cuts ”

    What happened to Public Spending under Labour -prior to the recession?:-

    97/8 TME excluding Interest £ 292 .4bn
    07/8 TME excluding interest £551.2 bn
    ie-increase over 10 years , 88.5%

    CPI Mar 98 .90.5
    CPI Mar 08. 106.7
    ie-inflation over 10 years , 17.9%

    Therefore, answer to question is -Increased in Real Terms ( CPI) by 70.6% over ten years.

    What does GO plan to do to Public Spending

    09/10 TME £669 bn (1)
    14/15 TME £736 bn ( 1) (2)

    ie increase over 5 years, 10.0%

    CPI Mar 10. 113.5
    CPI Mar 15 132.2 (3)

    ie inflation over 5 years , 16.4%

    Therefore answer to question is -decreased in Real Terms ( CPI) by 6.4% over five years.

    Notes
    (1) Interest not available for 14/15 , therefore used total TME
    (2) As per OBR NOvember 2011 Report
    (3) CPI actual at Mar 11, inflated by CPI assumed in OBR report to Mar 15.

    ……”Brutal” ( I’ll ignore “gratuitous”) …….after 70.6% Real Terms increase over ten years ?

  45. @ Richard in Norway

    Facsinating article. My personal prejudice likes the idea of taxing the rich heavily and giving the money in tax breaks to the middle class to kick start job creation. However, the evidence is that when we increase the tax rate on the rich, the total take goes down as tax avoidance goes into overdrive. The writer of the article doesn’t mention this, perhaps the American experience is different to ours?

  46. @ Colin

    The opinion was prompted by Mr Wen’s response to the EZ request for China to lend them some money.
    I quoted it here a while ago.
    ————————————
    I have no doubt it was; & I think I pointed out to you then that China is about to be in some financial difficulties, itself.

    Watch what happens next: Europe will resolve its issues & return to growth. China, on the other hand, will soon be experiencing a rapid fall off in growth.
    8-)

  47. tony dean

    “However, the evidence is that when we increase the tax rate on the rich, the total take goes down as tax avoidance goes into overdrive.”

    Please…show me one scrap of such evidence. And I don’t mean draw a Laffer curve on the back of an envelope.

    What evidence?

  48. By the way, the tree’s out of the garage and the youngest daughter and the wife are decorating it.

    oh I wish it could be Christmas every day…

  49. @Chou, Colin, Nick etc.

    Re: retired police officers (and other civil servants) getting well paid new jobs.

    This is a very common practice, and on the face of it seems outrageous. But when you put that initial reaction to one side and give it some thought, it’s not quite as bad as it seems.

    Should a retired public sector worker get paid less money for doing a particular job than any other worker would get? If you’re advertising for, say, and Education Welfare Officer (a job I quite fancy when I retire) and you’re offering a salary of £15,000 pa, which of the following applicants would you give the job to?

    1) 51 year old admin assistant looking for a change of career.

    2) 21 year old graduate looking for a filler job whilst they try and find something better.

    3) 51 year old retired police Child Abuse Investigator, who has spent over 15 years visiting vulnerable and difficult children in their homes and is fully trained in multi-agency working.

    Does it cost the taxpayer any extra to hire the ex-plod? No, the same £15,000 would be leaving the Education Department whoever you choose. If you don’t hire the policeman, he draws his pension regardless.

    Would it be wrong to allow retired public servants to work in private companies? Or to run their own business? If they did so would you suspend their pension rights? To what end? If you allow them to take private sector jobs, why not public sector?

    It seems to me that what you’re really gunning for is the nature of some of the jobs that these people are filling. Is a part-time “consultant” post actually required? But that’s not an issue for the people who take those jobs, its for the people that offer them.

  50. @ Gerard

    Welcome! A really good post too!

    Yes, I think you may have a point. To keep the voters on side the Tories need to maintain a constant “state of emergency” aura about the deficit in people’s minds. Current news from Eurozone is helping them do this. Eventually the electorate will tire of the endless economic “emergency” narrative, and may well drift back to Labour if they see a jobs creation and investment in services narrative as more attractive as they become immune to the “must cut the deficit” narrative. If Tories don’t shift to a tax cuts narrative at the point when opinion starts to shift, Labour might win the argument – it is all down to timing. When will the electorate “tire” of fear about deficit – we don’t know!

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