YouGov’s regular voting intention poll for the Times has topline figures of CON 41%(+1), LAB 42%(+1), LDEM 7%(-2). Fieldwork was Tuesday to Wednesday and changs are from early January.

The regular tracking question on “Bregret” finds 45% of respondents saying Britain was right to vote for Brexit, 44% think it was wrong. This is the first time YouGov have found more people saying right than wrong since last August, though I would caution against reading much into that. On average this question has been showing about 2% more people thinking it was the wrong decision than the right decision, but normal sample variation from poll to poll (the “margin of error”) means that with figures that close random chance alone should produce the occassional poll with “right” ahead, even if public opinion is actually unchanged. As ever, don’t get too excited over one poll, and wait to see if it is reflected in other polls.

Full tabs are here.


602 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 41, LAB 42, LD 7”

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  1. Land value tax seems sensible to me, but equally I’m not sure what was really wrong with the rates. They raised (I believe) a lot more than Council tax and were truly proportional to the asset, so a kind of gentle wealth tax. Also provided a very mild counter to the perverse incentive to hang onto a house that’s far bigger than you need on the basis that it’s a good tax-free investment (and safe as houses). A cap on how much capital gain on a main dwelling should be tax free is another idea that makes sense to me.
    In the good old bad old days there used to be something called the investment income surcharge – 15% as I recall – which is where the legendary 98% tax rate came from -83% top rate of income tax and another 15% for your investment income.
    These days we have an investment income subsidy – ISAs et al for one thing, exemption of investment income from NI for another. Another example of how we pamper accumulated wealth as compared to the fruit of labour.
    I was rather astonished that I stopped paying prescription charges at 60 and started getting free public transport when I was I think 61 and 2 months, though there was some special London thing which meant I could get free travel earlier if I applied (which I eventually did). I also learned that I could have got winter fuel allowance for 2016, when I was 64, had I known to apply for it before April 2017.
    Why doi we have all these bonkers inconsistencies?

  2. Pete B

    “it’s the system that needs to change”

    Agreed. But voters “happily” continue to vote for the same old parties who want the system to remain unchanged,

  3. Guymonde
    ” Also provided a very mild counter to the perverse incentive to hang onto a house that’s far bigger than you need on the basis that it’s a good tax-free investment ”

    I think in those days there was more the concept of a family home which would be passed on to one of the children.

    “…which is where the legendary 98% tax rate came from -83% top rate of income tax and another 15% for your investment income.”

    I believe it reached 102% at one point.

    ” I also learned that I could have got winter fuel allowance for 2016, when I was 64, had I known to apply for it before April 2017.”

    I got mine while I was still working and made a point of thanking my colleagues for their gift. Just to wind them up of course! :-)
    ——————–
    ON
    But what serious parties propose anything dramatic? Mind you would changing company tax from profits to turnover win many votes? I doubt it.

    G’night all.

  4. @S THOMAS

    When the UK decided it wanted to sell opium to the chinese it decided an approach and executed it. It made perfect sense in that they had leverage and the ability to deliver it.

    When Trump decided that he was putting tariffs on Chinese Steel and the UK decided it was not in thier interest to do the same. each side used their leverage to do what was in their best interest.

    My view of EU referendum is that each side is trying to leverage their best position. The UK want the relationship to favour themselves and the EU want’s it to favour themselves. Who has the leverage is the question. It is not about morality or right versus wrong or good versus bad. If it was about that the UK would not have had a the British empire, slavery would not have existed, Maggie Thatcher would not have been in favour of an all white nation for south africa, I could go on.

    The point that many people make over the EU is that it has leverage, now sometimes I believe the UK hides behind decisions it would make but would be seen as utilising leverage of the kind that is ‘unacceptable’ sometimes the UK does things that clearly sets itself on a path that I presume we would say was a mistake.

    the argument about financial services is about leverage in part and it is also about control. I have written about this in relation to greek debt as an example. So the reasons that the EU would not want UK having full passporting rights is very clear indeed the EU tried to wrestle the same features form the UK when it was in the EU. It is in their interest to do it and it actually overrides much of the issues that they face if they do not do it

    We have voted to leave because we believe it is in our interest to leave. The EU will do what is in their interest. It is as simple as that.

  5. Worth remembering that income tax make up only 25% of our tax revenues, National Insurance 19%, the rest is made up of indirect, property, corporation and property taxes.
    In addition to this there is of course Government borrowing to bridge the gap between income and expenditure of the Government, so in reality these figures would be even lower as a percentage of Government spending

  6. “the EU want’s it”

    Good grief !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. @”In fact nowadays you raise as much as you can because there is always stuff to spend it on!”

    McDonnell would be proud of that one :-)

  8. @nickp – “Wealth taxes look attractive but they need to take into account that they need to be universal (i.e unavoidable) and also not effectively take away all the value of the asset by being set too high. Personally property should be easiest being registered and possibly based on a % of rental value – but keeping values up to date and including homes and also MP’s homes! would have to happen.”

    If we are talking about property, this is the easiest tax of all to track and levy. Any transactions need to be registered with the Land Registry, which means we have an ongoing database of ownership. The example of a a small levy after death to fund social care is extremely straightforward and can be made unavoidable if gifts and disbursements are included – so if a living older person decides to place their home into their children’s ownership for anything less than ‘full market consideration’ as the legal definition goes, at the time that this transaction is registered they would need to pay the relevant tax on the difference in value between the transfer and full market consideration.

    Personally, I would also block any tax benefits from trusts, unless those trusts are established specifically and eclusively for charitable purposes. Setting up a family trust to benefit your own family should not help you avoid personal taxes that others have to pay. Banning offshore ownership of property is another step.

    Loads of things that be easily done if we have the balls. It’s just that we’ve been told for 40 years that we need the super rich, we can’t do that, and there is no alternative.

    We don’t, we can and there is.

  9. Fascinating to see George Soros taking aim this morning at Google and Facebook, claiming they are a threat to society through their exploitation of ‘social resources’ and excessive power.

    I think this is quite something, when leading global financial figures start to attack their own money train. Again, this fits into my last post. We are told that business needs to be left to organise and develop, with governments deregulating and getting out of the way.

    When you have one of the world’s richest men telling us that governments need to regulate the biggest economy sector to avoid catastrophy, then I think it’s safe to say that the deregulation mantra has gone too far.

  10. @ToH

    Sorry to have taken so long to come back on this – busy times in the real world!

    I partly agree with you – the analysis of outcomes of changes to tax and benefits to the various centiles shows that the top 10% and bottom 10% of earners have carried the largest hits, with the group 30% – 70% carrying virtually no burden at all; the IFS analysis is very clear and duplicates similar studies.

    What is interesting is the key sentence in your quote: ‘a longer-run trend driven by above-average increases in top incomes’.

    Yes, changes to allowances and thresholds have increased the relative tax take from the wealthy since 2010. Changes to the treatment of pension deductions have also had an impact.

    But over the longer-term the wealthy are paying more tax not because their tax RATE has gone up, but because they are receiving an increasing share of national income and own an increasing share of national wealth.

    This reinforces the logic behind the interesting discussion on this thread about increasing the tax burden on wealth-producing assets; it is the most logical and effective approach to the challenge of insufficient tax-raising, but is viscerally opposed by the wealthiest – and they have disproportionate influence in the media and corridors of power…

  11. ALEC

    Agree 100% about use of targetted taxation after death to pay for or at least substantially contribute to the costs of proper adult social care. It would be very easy to target such a measure so the large majority of people with “normal” houses dont get clobbered. Say, a 15% surcharge on estates worth more than £1m coupled with a substantial tightening up on the use of inheritance tax avoidance schemes, ‘gifts’ and the like. Most usage of family trusts, Will trusts etc should be banned. In many cases they are nothing other than, in effect, legalised tax evasion for those in the know.

    It is unfortunate the Tory party seems unwilling to countenance such measures. I suspect it would be a net vote winner.

  12. @Alec

    I am a firm believer in a low tax economy. And progress towards a balanced budget.

    But we must move towards a more successful redistribution of wealth, which is clearly concentrated in too few hands. And a simpler tax system, with a shift from income towards wealth.

    All this needs to be achieved without damaging the economy: that is one of the core challenges of modern government.

    I agree that the simplest, easiest way of achieving this is a straightforward property wealth tax, or LVT. Almost all property is now registered, so collection would seem to be unproblematic. As Garj points out, much better than taxing property transactions via stamp duty.

    I would use the money to cut the deficit or take the lowest earning individuals out of income tax. That’s where we might differ…

  13. What Soros said is nothing to do with ” the deregulation mantra” Alec.

    You’re just conflating two things which aren’t connecrted in order to try & emphasise an unrelated issue.

    Soros is talking about Facebook & Googles power over peoples minds & behaviour :-

    “Mr Soros cautioned that Facebook and Google purposefully “engineer addiction to the services they provide”, which he called especially harmful for adolescents, and “deceive their users by manipulating their attention and directing it towards their own commercial purposes”. ”
    Indy.

    He doesn’t complain that we have “deregulated” them, but that they have built entitities which escape current regulation because of the way they define themselves:-

    ” “They claim they are merely distributing information. But the fact that they are near-monopoly distributors makes them public utilities and should subject them to more stringent regulations, aimed at preserving competition, innovation, and fair and open universal access,” Mr Soros said, adding that governments would need to step in because tech monopolies have “neither the will nor the inclination to protect society against the consequences of their actions”.
    Indy

    This is just the first of what will be many calls on Governments to address the Digital World and its place in Society & Economies. It is moving much faster than politicians & leaving them behind. Aided & abetted it has to be said , by the voices of those who utilise the unregulated global soap boxes to spread hate & discord.

    His most striking warning is this one imo:-

    “that tech titans could effectively ally themselves with authoritarian regimes in an effort to breach new markets, expanding surveillance and establishing “a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined”,
    Indy.

  14. Taxes on the holding, transfer or appreciation of personal wealth are a relatively minor feature of global tax takes.

    This study :-

    https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/college-social-sciences/social-policy/CHASM/briefing-papers/2013/wealth-taxes-problems-and-practices-around-the-world.pdf

    concludes that :-

    “wealth taxes – whether they are imposed on the holding, transfer or appreciation of wealth – will continue to feature in debates about the appropriate mix of taxes in contemporary society.
    It is unlikely that such taxes will ever be more than a minor part of
    that mix, and taxes on the holding of wealth may well continue to lose ground compared to other taxes and other times, even in the current uncertain economic climate that confronts many governments around the world. But wealth transfer taxes, particularly in the form of inheritance-type taxes on death, and wealth appreciation taxes, as epitomised by the CGT, will
    continue to play important roles in modern tax systems.”

  15. “The preliminary estimate for Q4 GDP growth from the ONS was 0.5 per cent, ahead of the City of London expectation of 0.4 per cent growth.
    That reading means calendar year growth for 2017 is estimated at 1.8 per cent, down slightly from the 1.9 per cent seen in 2016, but ahead of the 1.5 per cent growth forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility in the November Budget”

    Indy.

  16. Good Morning All from Bournemouth East where I have taken new puppy Patrick Lane dog on a tour of a putative gain by the Momentum.

    News on twitter through a Murdoch owned paper, I think, of growing threats to the PM from her own side.

  17. @Pete B – I was at Aston University in 1990. Which course were you on?

  18. If I might throw a thought in to the mix re wealth taxes etc.
    Incentives for savings are understandable and in principle things like save to buy Isas make sense (I know young people utilising this); although right to buy seems to have been abused to an extent with half or more houses bought through the scheme now in the private rented sector.

    I digress, my real question is to ask if it is fair for better off savers to get tax relief on up to £20K worth of Isas?

    Are we subsidising wealth accumulation with such a high allowance. (£40K for wealthy couples of course).

  19. @ Pete B
    Thanks for engaging with my question, but you didn’t answer it.

    “Demand is effectively infinite and it’s easy to see why.”

    Demand cannot be infinite, as the population isn’t, nor is the time available to enable enough repeat visits by those who do use the NHS.
    But demand may easily exceed the resources available to the NHS.

    What I seek to understand is whether the demand is spread over most of the population, or mostly arises from a much smaller section of it – for example, the elderly, or maybe those with more trivial problems that better education might enable them to deal with themselves.
    ” For instance if there was a medical centre next door to me where I knew I could be seen immediately, I’d probably go there if I cut my finger, instead of just putting a plaster on it”
    Good grief.

  20. @Jim Jam
    Yes, absolutely – we are subsidising savings for people who don’t need it in order to secure votes for the government of the day.

    Canny investors can now have around £250,000 of investments that are tax free on both income and capital gain; for a couple living on investment income that means you can earn £35-40k without paying a penny in income tax or NI.

    Which is more than average household income, IIRC… this seems totally barmy.

  21. experts

    colin

    first the OBR says in november that growth for 2017 will be 1.5 % but it is actually..er..1.8%;

    secondly the OBR says the deficit for 17-18 will be in the mid fifties.. then the high forties whereas it looks like it might be in the mid to high thirties.

    Before you know it some politician is going to be saying that experts who pontificate on economic growth are..well… prone to error.

    still it is always heartening when we see a change of tack. I note that the remainers amongst us are even now changing their tune about brexit consequences.The 4 horses were going to ride out originally but now they appear never to have left their stables let alone been saddled up. Remainers now say the damage is more nebulous and the damage will be less growth than would otherwise have been the case. This is just as nebulous as saying Brexit will allow us to grow faster than we would otherwise have done. Endless fun of course because we will never know.
    Although i am willing to concede that the uncertainty has perhaps slowed us down the answer to that is to get on with it and not mess around with a prolonged transition. More Brexit not less.
    As to the transition period the solution seems obvious. During the transition we will be subject to the ECJ on all existing EU provisions but the UK will not implement any new ones or be subject to any rulings on new ones coming into force in that period.save and except if the uK wishes to do so. No taxation without representation. I would have thought that the remainer rebels would from their previous sovereignty of parliament stance be fullly supportive. Or maybe their principles are like corn in the wind.

  22. Did the folks on here miss this? It did happen 12 years ago so it’s possible:

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-1597809/Tax-on-trusts-QA.html

    UNDER the new rules, money put into a trust which is over the inheritance tax threshold, currently £285,000, will be hit by a 20% ‘living’ inheritance tax charge. Every 10 years, a 6% charge will be made on the amount over the threshold. When the trust ends, known as ‘winding up’, there could be a further tax of up to 6%.

    Note: my bold. Trusts have not been good for IHT planning for ages.

    Trusts have not been good for IHT planning for ages.

  23. AL URQA

    I didnt know that (tax changes to will trusts brought in 12 years ago). It is welcome.

    But we could also do with changes to IHT rates. Currently it is 40% on everything above the IHT free band (325k). So whether you leave £1bn or £400k its still 40%. It should be banded so that large estates pay more, in the same spirit as income tax.

  24. ST: first the OBR says in november that growth for 2017 will be 1.5 % but it is actually..er..1.8%;

    I suspect the OBR was forecasting year-on-year 4th quarter growth, ie the amount of growth between Q4 ’16 and Q4 ’17. Which was indeed… 1.5%, according to the ONS tables:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/bulletins/grossdomesticproductpreliminaryestimate/octobertodecember2017

    UK, Quarter 4 2017

    Most recent quarter on the previous quarter 0.5%
    Most recent quarter on a year earlier 1.5%

    The 1.5% figure is consistent with the 4 quarterly figures of 0.3, 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5. I’m not clear how they get from that to an estimated 2017 growth of 1.8%. Can anyone elucidate?

  25. TO

    “Thus spake Howard the Munificent, who voted brexit for his grandchildren.”

    Yes indeed, as I think believe will be much better off in so many ways once we have left the EU.

    As usual you did not read my post in full so you missed the bit that made it obvious that I was posting very much “tongue in cheek” to point out how daft anothers post was. Go back and read if you don’t believe me.

    Somerjohn

    Having already agreed with NickP I find myself agreeing with your 8.44 post. Wonders will never cease! As you say it really is simple. Raise income tax rates.

    Alec

    I see that rather than a straightforward increase in income tax (which you would have to pay) you want Government to indulge in more triple taxation (Government theft IMO). As a number of us have already posted paying more for healthcare (which I already pay for twice) is OK for some, as long as they are not the people paying it.

    S Thomas

    Splendid speech from J Rees-Mogg. I think it was you who said the votes in the Commons put all the power in the hands of the Brexit Tories. How true that seems to be. Hammond fell back into line very quickly! :-)

  26. @Al Urqa

    You got there before me. Trusts have various uses, but tax planning isn’t one of them. As well as the tightening a while back, they pay tax on income at 45%, higher than most people’s marginal tax rate.

    Now offshore trusts, that’s a different kettle of fish.

  27. S Thomas

    Experts.

    Yes all very amusing.

  28. TO

    Should have read ………….as I believe we will…………

  29. Saying remainers think/post etc or leavers think/post etc is rather simplistic I think.

    For every remainers who preached Armageddon there was others that felt on balance it was best to remain and similarly Brexit supporters ranged in both their level of enthusiasm for leaving and their view of what would follow.

    many on both sides votes based on feelings about identity and/or sovereignty and influence in the world as well.

    I do think that sometimes remainers and leavers on this site are by those with stereotyped as those with the strongest views on the matter understandably post more often.

  30. toh

    yes thank you for remembering.Usual remainer incompetence. i think they have a secret brexiteer in their planning dept :-)

    The only way they can be denied is if labour votes with the goverment on its brexit deal. What a nutcracker for Jezza!

  31. @TOH – Never quite got the double/triple/whatever taxation row. I spend money after paying both income tax and national insurance on the same earnings (double tax) and then I py VAT on much of what I spend (triple tax?). I pay insurance taxes, air travel taxes, council taxes – all double/triple taxes as I’ve already paid tax on whatever I earn.

    If I then buy a house and it shoots up in value, giving me tens of thousands in unearned income, I can sell up and pay no tax.

    It’s a logically bankrupt and completely fooloish argument that you adopt on this, but if you must do so, then at least lets apply the double taxation argument evenly across the board. Also for the record – I’m happy to see my income tax rise, if need be.

    @Colin – “What Soros said is nothing to do with ” the deregulation mantra” Alec.”

    Yes it is. He is complaining that very powerful companies escape the same regulatory environment that other types of business have to work under. It’s all linked, and letting business get on untouched by government is a central part of the Silicon Valley mantra.

  32. Alec

    “It’s a logically bankrupt and completely fooloish argument that you adopt on this”

    Loved it Alec, there, there, I touched a nerve. Glad to hear your happy to pay more income tax. Let’s keep it simple then and extra revenue for the NHS can be raised that way.

    I have always considered any wealth tax (like Inheritance tax) as Government theft. You may not like it but it’s what I believe so you have to put up with it and you will not change my mind by calling me foolish. I am not alone, it’s why reducing inheritance tax was such a vote winner in the past. I’m also not foolish, it’s just that I have a very different view from you on taxation as I do on so many things.

  33. Hmm, the whole of UKIP’s Thurrock councillors, including MEP Tim Aker, have just left the party to sit as independents.

    I think the party might be essentially dead, especially if, as Bolton suggests, it actually hasn’t got the money to fight another leadership campaign.

    Apologies if I have upset anyone by bringing something to do with polling into this ongoing Brexit forum.

  34. @ToH
    In your view you are at one with the gentry that took the country to the brink of crisis at the start of the last century.

    It’s only a view with as much value as yours, but my personal view is that wealth taxes are demonstrably some of the most effective redistributory measures available, and therefore particularly useful and important at a time when wealth inequality is growing sharply.

    I agree with Alec that viewing taxes on assets differently from taxes on income, spending or transactions is inherently illogical. It removes an entire class of tax from consideration, and places a greater burden on the income and spending of poorer people. It also incents asset-holders to construct situations where assets do not generate taxable income but accrete non-or low-tax gains, leading to lots of opportunities for tax avoidance.

    And anyway we DO tax assets – Business rates and council tax are exactly that… it’s just that – bizarrely – we structure those taxes to favour the wealthy.

  35. BFR

    @”Canny investors can now have around £250,000 of investments that are tax free on both income and capital gain; for a couple living on investment income that means you can earn £35-40k without paying a penny in income tax or NI.”

    Could you point me to low risk investment returns of 14% pa to 16% pa please.

    I can supply email address.

    Thanks

  36. S THOMAS

    Thanks :-)

  37. @TOH – “Loved it Alec, there, there, I touched a nerve.”

    Thanks, but you didn’t. I’m quite comfortable that other people have different views to my own. I can’t help the fact that to argue one form of double taxation is wrong and another isn’t, is, well, illogical and a somewhat foolish argument. It just doesn’t stand up.

    “I have always considered any wealth tax (like Inheritance tax) as Government theft.”

    Which rather makes the point. There is no logical reason why a wealth tax is any more or less a theft by government than an income or sales tax. In fact, it’s a slightly weird distinction to make. I accept that you take a different view – that is your right – but equally I have the right to point out that you are taking a completely illogical stance that has no reasoned underpinnings. In that sense, yes, it is a very foolish argument – which you should note, is not the same as calling you foolish.

    For the record, as a reasonably wealthy householder, I would fully support allocating a proportion of my estate upon my death to fair taxation. I don’t have a problem with that at all, and that would probably be a bigger contribution that any increase on the salary taxes I pay.

  38. I never knew this:

    ‘In 1999, Donald Trump proposed for the United States a one off 14.25% wealth tax on the net worth of individuals and trusts worth $10 million or more. Trump claimed that this would generate $5.7 trillion in new taxes, which could be used to eliminate the national debt.’

  39. @Colin
    “You could argue that healthcare is no different. I merely ask what the objection to continental systems like Germany is , if they provide sustainable funding solutions , good healthcare & don’t discriminate against low income groups.”

    ————————————

    I don’t have any objection to Germany’s health care system. I would merely ask what is the objection to a healthcare system, like ours, which is free at the point of delivery?

  40. @Millie – there is a lengthening list of seriously wealthy people who are openly calling for greater wealth taxes. Warren Buffet (second richest man in the world) said the scrapping of the estates tax in the US would be disastrous, and Bill Gates and many others are also calling for a rebalancing of tax to draw in more of the assets held by the wealthy.

    They are doing this not just because they recognise the logical absurdity of a tax system that applies far greater latitude to those parts of the economy tied up in personal assets when compared to income, but also because they know that eventually, if we don’t sort out the mess, it’s the rich and very rich that are going to lose the most.

  41. Something to please everyone here on UK Brexit Report.

    Some polling that combines brexit and polling!

    Guardian ICM finds a significant majority in favour of a final vote on the deal – but find leave/remain essentially neck and neck.

    Link here for someone with more time to post up the full details.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jan/26/britons-favour-second-referendum-brexit-icm-poll

    Worth noting that the question was “should we have a vote on the final deal?”. I suspect if the question was “should we have a 2nd Brexit referendum?” the answer may have been different.

  42. Given that the economic and political ‘elite’ have gathered in Davos, I wonder if the President Club are holding any dinners. They would be right up Trump’s street .

  43. VALERIE

    Because 100% “Free” is-imo-unsustainable.

    Tax as the sole source of funding **, leaves the NHS at the whim of political priority.

    Taxes result from Political decisions and are always subject to “events”.

    The German system provides separate-mandated- income sources for their Health Care Service, and -imo- the co-payment model encourages patient “awareness” of purpose & cost which is helpful .
    So far as I can tell, no barriers to availability because of financial circumstances are permitted.

    At the end of the day we all pay for healthcare one way or another. It is merely a question of the proportion paid by us a taxpayer & the proportion paid as a patient-and I think that balance needs reviewing here in UK.

    ** as has been pointed out already here, co-payments are already a feature of the NHS funding system for some services.

  44. Westminster voting intention:

    LAB: 42% (+3)
    CON: 39% (+2)
    LDEM: 9% (-)
    UKIP: 3% (-1)
    GRN: 2% (-2)

    via @IpsosMORI, 19 – 23 Jan
    Chgs. w/ Nov

  45. @Colin
    ‘Because 100% “Free” is-imo-unsustainable.’

    Thank you for your considered response Colin, but I think the sentence above illustrates the difference between us.

    I don’t see why healthcare, free at the point of delivery, is unsustainable. What is lacking is a model of funding which protects the NHS from being a political football.

    I, for one, am prepared to pay more income tax to bring about improvements. And with our increasingly ageing population, there needs to be some serious thought about how to integrate health and social care. I guess we need political leadership and that is sadly lacking. Perhaps that is something we can agree on.

  46. THE OTHER HOWARD: TO – As usual you did not read my post in full so you missed the bit that made it obvious that I was posting very much “tongue in cheek” to point out how daft anothers post was. Go back and read if you don’t believe me.
    You cannot possibly know how much of your post I read. But, hey, if there is no convenient fact to hand, why not make one up?

  47. @Colin

    Why is a 100% ‘free’ NHS suddenly unsustainable, having been sustainable for 70 years?

  48. Meanwhile, the number of homeowners under the age of 45 has fallen by a million in recent years:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/housing-crisis-home-ownership_uk_5a69decbe4b0dc592a0fb8fe

  49. COLIN

    I don’t see any reason why the NHS remaining free to use should be impossible. One way or another healthcare will be paid for, whether it’s out of taxes or from the pocket of the individual receiving it. There might be an argument for small charges to put an end to the people who see their GP for no good reason multiple times, or to bring down the frankly rather alarming 15% of appointments that are missed. The latter might be better addressed by fining patients who miss appointments though.

    One thing that is unsustainable is health spending consistently growing at a faster rate than GDP. Yes, spending went up by 4% a year for much of the NHS’s history, but growth was higher for a fair amount of the latter half of the 20th century than it is now, and healthcare has already grown from 3% of GDP in 1955 to nearly 10% today. If it were to keep going up at double the rate of GDP growth then that would only increase exponentially (someone else will have to do the maths). Long term growth in health spending is going to have to slow down at some point in the future, it’s a mathematical inevitability.

  50. TO

    Well if you did read in full, your comment was rather silly.

    Alec

    Well I think it is a perfectly logigical and reasonable argument if like me you believe in a low tax economy, so you are calling me foolish. Why don’t you just say you totally disagree with me. I always feel that when you resort to abuse it is a sign of weakness, but i guess you woudn’t agree with that either.

    If you happy to pay a Wealth tax then good for you. As I say I think like Inheritance tax it is a form of Government theft.

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