Wednesday, May 05, 2010

..and what was gained ?

In the pre recession three years to 2007-08 people in households living on less than 60% of median income rose by 1.3 million –a total worse than in 1989.People in extreme poverty are 700,000 more numerous than when Labour took office and the average real incomes of the poorest tenth declined by 2% in the 10 years to 2007-08.40% of additional incomes has accrued to the richest 10% .Inequality is higher than at any point since consistent records began, in 1979.So 13 years of Labour government produced higher levels of inequality than 18 years of Tory government
( From George Moonbat )


Bill Quango MP said...

That's impressive. They don't mess about do they?

P.J. O'Rourke. Parliament of Whores.
The most surprising thing that the welfare study discovered
"You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money"

tory boys never grow up said...

However if you go and look at the recent IFS survey you will see that the impact of Labour's tax and benefit policies have been clearly redistibutive from the rich to the poor. It is just that they have been more than offset by the continuing increasing inequality of gross pay levels.

So the only logical conclusions which can be drawn from this is you actaully want the Governemnt to reduce inequality is that either (a) Governments should interfere in markets so as to address the inequality in gross pay levels or (b) the tax and benefit system should be even more redistributive - or some combination of both alternatives.

Somehow I don't see any of these alternatives fitting too well with Conservative philosophy - unless you wish to take the rather bizarre and statistically unsupported position that free and unregulated markets reduce inequality by their own accord.

Newmania said...

However if you go and look at the recent IFS survey you will see that the impact of Labour's tax and benefit policies have been clearly redistibutive

I know ( they also show the top rate loses revenue) , and that would appear to be neat demonstration that redistribution does not cure poverty whereas it certainly does reduce growth.
Its a balance ,I see a smaller role for the tax system in directly reducing inequality over time . It provides a safety net and might be carefully used as a provider of opportunity but simply throwing money at the problem is positively harmful.

It is not a simple problem lets admit it , but at least I have an interest in an answer. I want the country to be full of smug little Conservatives not state dependent Labour voters .
When you look at the citadels of socialism , for example London`s Social Housing Empire, the suggestion that keeping poverty in situ suits too many people looks less fanciful.
That is what has happened anyway

tory boys never grow up said...

"they also show the top rate loses revenue"

No they didn't - they were just not as certain about the additional amount that would be realised as the government.

Of course it is not a simple problem - but if you are not going to use the state to address inequality as you would appear to not want to do (and certainly Thattcherite Tories were opposed to doing in the past) then you either have to come up with some mechanism by which you think that markets will address inequality (hugging huddies or invoking the cuddly Big Society do not have the ncessary degree of rigour - so don't try) or it becomes very difficult to see that the Tories treat the subject with any degree of seriousness - and prefer just to use it for political point scoring.

On the other hand if you want to get your thinking hat on start "Tories for equality" then I would see that as another sign that our civilising mission of the last 13 years is continuing to bear fruit.

Of course if you do accept that there is a role for the state in reducing inequality then there is still plenty of room for debate as to how that role may be carried out - i.e where and how the money should be thrown.

It should always be borne in mind that VAT used to be 8% - and that a rate of 17.5%(or higher) which applies to most expenditure rather than income is pretty regressive.

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