Tag Archives: poor

National Insurance punishment for the poor would mean Johnson lied YET AGAIN

Liar, liar, liar: I know this image was created in relation to Johnson’s Covid-19 policy but it now applies equally to his apparent plan for National Insurance.

We’re hearing that Boris Johnson’s Tory government is planning a National Insurance rise to pay for improved social care.

The Daily Torygraph reckons a one per cent increase is being demanded by Johnson’s office at Downing Street, while the Treasury – Rishi Sunak’s mob – wants a bigger increase of 1.25 per cent.

And The Times says Sajid Javid at the Department of Health and Social Care wants two per cent (although apparently he has denied this, saying he wants a lower figure).

The BBC reckons

For someone on average earnings of £29,536 a year, a 1% increase in national insurance would cost them £199.68 annually.

Most of us aren’t on that kind of pay packet because the national average is grossly inflated by the amount taken by people in the top 10 per cent, but it would still be a huge hike for those on £15-16k – and money that they can’t afford to lose.

Why should we pay any extra at all? Johnson promised in his 2019 election manifesto that there would be no National Insurance increases during this Parliament.

Hear the proof for yourself, from Johnson’s own lips:

The very first thing that occurred to This Writer when I heard about the plan was that Johnson has given so much money in Covid-related contracts to his Tory friends and doners – in return for nothing useful, remember – that he feels justified in saying there is no cash for this.

The corruption in such an act should be obvious to even the most blinkered working-class Tory.

Furthermore (or alternatively; there’s very little difference), this will be another opportunity for him to push working people into poverty. Those of us who receive Universal Credit are to lose £1,000 a year when the weekly £20 uplift is stripped away and now Johnson is targeting those of us who earn enough that we have to pay National Insurance – which also includes people on UC.

Richard Murphy puts it very well on his Tax Research UK site:

In the article, he states,

Rishi Sunak wishes that people should be punished for wanting more NHS spending.

He explains:

NIC is a deeply regressive tax. As the government’s own table of rates, allowances and reliefs makes clear, the tax targets those on lower pay. The charge starts on income below the income tax threshold. It is cut drastically on income above £50,268 a year. It is, therefore a deeply unfair tax already.

But worse are the exemptions from the tax. The retired, however well off they might be, do not pay it.

NIC is not paid at all on unearned income, whether from interest, dividends, rents, trusts or other sources.

And those with the means to manipulate their income – as many self-employed people with their own companies have been able to do – can avoid large parts of their NIC liability.

So, this is a tax on those in paid employment above all else.

This means that this is a tax on those most likely to be least able to afford a tax increase in this country.

Murphy makes very good points that the government doesn’t need to raise NI – firstly because it can just create the money (as it did with all the cash used to pay for the Covid contracts), and secondly because the economic multiplier effect of ensuring that people have proper care and their relatives aren’t distracted by trying to provide it means that the cost – and possibly more – is paid back into the Treasury in an increased tax take.

He adds that Sunak is not proposing an increase affecting the rich because he assumes they have all opted into (inferior) private health care, although there is no evidence to support this.

Read the article for the full details.

His final point is perhaps the most damning of all: by increasing the tax demand on poor and working people, Sunak will cause more stress that harms their health, thereby increasing the strain on our already-overstretched National Health Service.

Sunak knows this and wants it, because it will increase dissatisfaction with the NHS and – he hopes – increase demand for full privatisation (even though that will make the health of the vast majority of the UK population even worse).

Worse still for this policy is the apparent lack of any strategy to use the extra money on improvements in the social care system. It seems the money will simply go into the bank accounts of the private companies that own (we can’t say “run”) social care homes:

And of course people are asking the obvious questions of the prime minister who told us the massive savings we would make from ceasing to pay huge amounts into the European Union could be put to use over here:

What happened to all that money? Where is it?

So we see that Johnson is again making a liar of himself, Sunak is planning to use that lie to punish poor and working people, and the social care system won’t even enjoy any improvement.

It’s another typical Tory cock-up and they don’t care because it only hurts poor people.

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Starmer, Labour, and the bullying that stigmatises people as ‘undeserving poor’

Starmer: his policy chief tells him to focus on the middle classes rather than the “undeserving” poor – so he sits there in his best suit and haircut waving the flag at us. Meanwhile thousands starve because they’re afraid of being labelled by this posh psychological bully.

Earlier today (August 5) This Site published a piece commenting on Marcus Rashford’s concern that people weren’t claiming food vouchers for their children for fear of the “stigma” that would be attached to them if they did.

Connected with that, I see that advice given to then-interim Labour leader Harriet Harman in 2015 – by that party’s current strategy director – advised her to ignore the needs of the “undeserving poor” and focus on the desires of the middle class.

There is a strong element of bullying in this.

You can bet your bottom dollar that Keir Starmer is wholeheartedly buying into that strategy today – you only have to look at where his priorities lie to see that he couldn’t give a fig for anybody who doesn’t work in a suit and earn a six-figure salary.

And people who don’t have white-collar jobs and huge salaries – the vast majority of us – are aware of this, even if we haven’t been told explicitly.

“Don’t ask us for help because you won’t get it.”

“You are a sponger.”

“You are a scrounger.”

“If you had the slightest value, you would be lifting yourself out of poverty.”

We’ve heard those lines many times before – and others like them.

The fact that Labour endorses those via the policies put forward by its strategy director means people know there’s no hope for them if they admit poverty.

So they do the British thing: stiff upper lip, keep up appearances, pretend to be “managing” even when they aren’t.

And they avoid schemes set up to help them, even to the point of letting their children starve.

(And this feeds in to the policy demands of both the Tories and StarmerLabour, because they can then claim that such initiatives aren’t needed.)

It is insidious and it is evil. Perhaps Starmer should sack Deborah Mattinson and hire Marcus Rashford instead?

Source: Starmer’s strategy director advised Labour to ignore ‘undeserving’ poor – SKWAWKBOX

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#KeirStarmer outwitted by dim #Tories as they leapfrog #Labour #NHSpay demand

Pennies: The Tories offered the NHS a tiny pittance and all Starmer could think to do was offer a tiny pittance more. So the Tories have offered more again and can now say that they are better for working people than Labour.

Doesn’t this just demonstrate the hopelessness of the Labour Party under Keir Starmer?

Seeing the Tories offer the National Health Service a one per cent pay raise – but unwilling to demand the 15 per cent that would level up (to adopt a current vogue phrase) their pay to pre-2010 levels, Starmer’s Labour demanded – what?

Two per cent.

And now the Tories have shown how easy it is to outwit Starmer’s dimwitted band of fake socialists, by offering three per cent.

They can now say that they are offering the workers a better deal than Labour and there is nothing Starmer can do to deny it.

Three per cent is still an almost-useless offer. Inflation currently stands at 2.4 per cent, meaning NHS workers will get a real-terms improvement of 0.6 per cent.

Then there’s this:

There is also speculation that just 1.5% of the 3% would be added permanently to salaries, with the other 1.5% given as a one-off payment. If that proves to be the way the offer is structured then workforce representatives are likely to criticise the 3% figure as a sham and too low.

So the Tory offer could be – in essence – a lie.

But people only notice the headline figure and in it they will see that the Tories are offering more than Labour.

The Tories aren’t clever. But Starmer is plain stupid. He will never beat them because he can’t. He simply doesn’t know how.

Source: NHS staff in England could be offered 3% pay rise | NHS | The Guardian

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Senior Tories including ‘Brexit Steve’ Baker demand continuation of Covid death spiral

The image above may not be the most sophisticated graphic This Site has ever published, but it is accurate all the same.

The Tory rabble who have been pushing for more deaths in a bid to keep the economy going and their paymasters in big business happy have been pressuring Boris Johnson for another early end to the restrictions he has (laughably) encouraged us all to call a lockdown.

The infection and death rates are back at pre-‘lockdown’ levels, they say, so he she start easing us all back into work at the beginning of March.

Shockingly, arch-Brexiteer Steve Baker, clearly believing he hasn’t done enough to wreck the nation, has been traipsing around the broadcast media today, claiming that we need to give Covid-19 a chance at a third wave, for the sake of the poorest in society.

“Think of the poor!” How disgusting.

As the infographic above points out, he couldn’t care less when he voted against letting the poor keep the Universal Credit uplift they need to get by.

In this light, he seems clearly revealed as the kind of opportunist who says whatever he thinks will get him what he wants.

And he isn’t the only one:

Lockdown-sceptic Tories have piled pressure on Boris Johnson, calling on him to commit to a timetable for lifting coronavirus restrictions with a complete end to controls by the end of April.

In a letter to the prime minister, the leaders of the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) said the “tremendous pace” of the vaccination rollout meant restrictions should begin easing from early March.

They said ministers must produce a cost-benefit analysis to justify any controls that remain in place after that date, with a “roadmap” stating when they would be removed.

The letter was organised by the CRG chair and deputy chair, Mark Harper and Steve Baker, and was said to have the backing of 63 Conservative MPs in all. However, scientists advising the government are warning that lifting restrictions too quickly risks another wave of the disease as big as the current one.

Of course, 63 Tory MPs in rebellion isn’t enough to bother Johnson – the Tory majority in Parliament is 80 – but it might be enough to rattle his cage, reminding him that he needs to keep his members happy.

He has already said he hopes to map out a “cautious” route out of lockdown on February 22 – next Monday.

The CRG people, led by Baker and Mark Harper, reckon they can dictate its pace – demanding that schools reopen by March 8 and hospitality businesses by Easter.

So we’ll be well on the way to another surge by Whitsun, then.

Source: Tory MPs tell Johnson to commit to lifting Covid restrictions by end of April | World news | The Guardian

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Education Secretary denies refusing cheap internet for children, to ensure they couldn’t learn at home

Gavin Williamson: so stupid, he thinks his daft excuse about quality control will hold water. His Tory government doesn’t have any?

It seems Gavin Williamson is making a fuss about this.

According to the Mirror,

Gavin Williamson turned down an offer to get free or cheap broadband for thousands of disadvantaged families, the Mirror has learned.

Broadband giant BT offered to supply families basic connections to allow children to access online learning with schools closed for months during the Covid-19 pandemic.

And the firm’s Chief Executive revealed they had given free wifi vouchers to the Government in June but the Department for Education ‘struggled to distribute them effectively’ and returned them.

Williamson tells a different story:

A spokesman for the education department said a pilot of the scheme had not provided “reliable and consistent” internet connection.

Who do you believe?

Well, BT is an Internet Service Provider of very long standing, with experience in providing a reliable service to many thousands – if not millions – of homes.

And the Conservative Government of which Williamson is a member has also displayed consistency – in wasting public money on services offered by cowboy companies cobbled together by Tory donors or spoilt friends of Cabinet members.

It looks like another ideologically-motivated attack on the poor; pretend the offer doesn’t meet what passes for Conservative government quality control and reject it – to ensure that poor kids miss out on the education that might otherwise give them an advantage over rich kids who tend not to have two brain cells to rub together.

How does it look to you?

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Just desserts as MP who wants to starve children in holidays receives graffiti critique

What did George “Useless” Eustice expect?

After the Tory Environment Secretary defended his government’s determination to starve poverty-stricken children during the school holidays – including Christmas – people in his Cornwall constituency have retaliated with a “Banksy”-style graffiti criticism.

The text reads:

“Georgie Porgie pudding and pie,
“Starved the kids and made them cry.
“#endchildfoodpoverty”

The artist even painted it onto a board that was then discovered attached to the front door of his constituency office:

Tories like Eustice thought members of the public have short memories and would forget that the decision to starve children at Christmas had been made by them.

Responses like this make the point clear:

They thought wrong.

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Now the #ToryScum are squabbling among themselves about #FreeSchoolMeals

Gavin Williamson: did he really ask Rishi Sunak’s Treasury for £150 million to provide meals for poverty-stricken children during school holidays?

Conservative cabinet ministers have started in-fighting over responsibility for blocking the provision of meals to poverty-stricken children during school holidays.

Somebody, it seems, has claimed that the Treasury blocked a request for £150 million to pay for such a scheme.

But Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hotly denied this, claiming that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson never asked for the funds.

Treasury sources said there had been no request from the education secretary for the £150m to provide meals for 1.4 million disadvantaged pupils during the holiday.

It seems perfectly reasonable to suppose that Sunak is right, in fact.

The call for the government to fund the meals came originally from footballer Marcus Rashford, and it was Labour who took it to Parliament in an Opposition Day debate last week – when the Tories ensured that it was rejected.

So it seems to me that Williamson would have had no reason to ask for the cash to make it happen.

Boris Johnson has since said that his government will not u-turn on the decision, no matter how hard public opinion turns against it.

His comments, along with the claim that no request has been made for the cash, will make it very hard for him to change his mind (as he often does if the focus groups tell him he needs to).

And he managed to cause trouble for himself by claiming local authorities could draw on a £63 million fund that his government has already created.

Council leaders angrily pointed out that the fund was intended to cover a wide range of hardships created by the Covid-19 crisis and most of it has been used.

Meanwhile, Nadhim Zahawi told Kay Burley of Sky News that kids were more interested in football than food:

The Tories have argued themselves into a corner and are digging themselves a hole in order to escape.

If I didn’t have some already, I’d be buying popcorn.

Source: Treasury rejects claims it refused extra £150m for free school meals | Education | The Guardian

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#PoorBoris – UK citizens give what sympathy they can to PM ‘complaining about money’

Don’t cry, Mr Johnson: we all know it’s hard for you to feed yourself, your paramour and four of your six kids on a £150,000+ income, with your accommodation supported by the state. But we’re not sure you or anyone you know should be in charge of the nation’s economy if you can’t. It was Tories like you who said the economy was like a household budget, after all.

If you behave more like a performing monkey than a prime minister, you get what you deserve when you complain.

It seems the UK’s performing monkey – Boris Johnson – is complaining, as his fans in The Times explain:

The headline defies reason! Overburdened, underpaid and ‘misery on his face’!

Overburdened? This is the prime minister who has spent more time on holiday then any of his recent forerunners – possibly than all of them put together, if you average it out for a single year.

Underpaid? Let’s see how that plays out for our £150,000-a-year public servant in some of the comments from those he is supposed to serve:

 

Well…

Here‘s Phil Harrison: “This piece is jaw-droppingly offensive. a) He earns five times the national median wage at a time when millions are losing jobs. b) He’s already minted. c) He only looks after 4 of his 6 kids?! YOU WHAT?? Does he want a medal? He should be in court.”

Indeed. Johnson probably claims Child Benefit for the other two…

Indeed. If Johnson had not wanted to support his children, one wonders how he came to have so many. Lost In The Shire has a thought about that: “I sometimes imagine his supporters think he slipped and accidentally impregnated a host of women and so that’s why he doesn’t need to pay to support or acknowledge all of his own children.”

Still, there’s a lot of good advice for him, such as this, from WeeHalfPint: “If we all clap, that should help him put food on the table, yeah?”

Queen Neferure has more practical help for him: “Hi @BorisJohnson I’m sorry to hear you are struggling on £150k. I get ESA, which for the over 25s is less than £4k per year. If you need any help with budgeting, do not hesitate to contact me or contact your local jobcentre, @CitizensAdvice or @StepChange for help.”

How about this?

Alternatively, perhaps he could try taking advice from a fellow right-winger, as suggested here:

Sara Anzani adds: “He should try living on £5.65 a day, like he and the rest of his government expect asylum seekers to.”

Of course, Johnson isn’t struggling to pay the bills on his own; he has a partner. These Novel Thoughts was prompted to make the following suggestion with this in mind: “Is Carrie working? If so, surely that’s another salary coming in. If not, why do they need a nanny? And given the fact that Johnson only works about a day a week, can’t he do some cleaning?”

As for the misery on his face. Well, The Times stated that being a performing monkey prime minister was his life’s ambition.

Perhaps he has discovered the truism that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting.

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Fat Boris’s war on obesity is an insult to the poor

Fat Boris Johnson: his crusade against obesity ignores the fact that people cannot afford to buy healthy food, so none of the measures he has announced will have any effect at all.

Fat Boris Johnson really is an ignorant dimwit, isn’t he?

He has started a crusade against obesity, claiming he realised the need to lose some of his own tonnage after realising it was hindering his own ability to recover from Covid-19.

But here’s the problem: Under Tories like Fat Boris, obesity isn’t a personal choice; it’s a political one, made for the poor by national leaders like him.

He has chosen to make millions of people across the UK poor, thereby restricting the food we can afford to eat.

The cheapest food is high in sugars and fats – the ingredients that make us obese.

So we don’t have a choice. Until we can afford to buy healthier food, we will continue to struggle with weight gain.

And Johnson won’t let us earn enough.

So all his protestations about the need to lose weight, to be able to fight Covid-19, are pointless. We might as well listen to a whale spewing water out of its blowhole.

The Tory attitude is ridiculous, too – have you heard the nonsense spouted by the government about its “world-leading” plan?

Top of the list is a ban on adverts for “unhealthy” food before 9pm, when children can see them. Pointless if the adults left to watch them are financially bound to buy those foods in any event.

Next is an end to BOGOF – Buy One, Get One Free – promotions, meaning cash-strapped families will be forced to pay even more for their unhealthy food, while still being unable to afford better fare.

Large restaurant, cafe and take-away chains will be required to add labels to the food they sell, showing their calorie content. Again, this will make no difference to people who are forced by financial circumstances to buy what they can, rather than what they want.

There are other measures including diverting NHS time and effort to promoting weight loss, but this will not help people who simply don’t have the wherewithal to follow the recommendations of dieticians in the service. It will simply waste even more scant NHS resources.

Ultimately, Fat Boris isn’t helping you. He’s selling you a pup and asking you to swallow it.

Source: Poverty causes obesity. Low-income families need to be better off to eat well | Business | The Guardian

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Tories should blame their own bad messaging for the Covid-19 deaths of poor people

Johnson’s Covid-19 strategy: muddle the message.

Here’s another reason to abolish hereditary peerages: Lord Bethell.

This Tory health minister, who inherited his place in the House of Lords rather than earning it, tried to blame poor people for making poor decisions that result in their own deaths from Covid-19.

He said there were “behavioural reasons” for these deaths, listing “the decisions that people make about social distancing, about their own health decisions”.

But those decisions are influenced by his Tory government’s messages!

The Tory response to Covid-19 is now well-acknowledged as muddled, confusing and dangerous.

Boris Johnson made bad decisions before the virus even arrived in the UK that increased the death toll when it did – and he has continued as he started ever since.

The fact is that more poor people have died because poor people have not had the opportunities to hide from exposure to the disease that the rich have enjoyed – mostly because Johnson’s administration told them to stay at work.

So people in service industries were told to put themselves in danger – and many of them died as a result. Black people and those from ethnic minorities were particularly hard-hit because more of them work in these low-paid jobs due to the systemic racism underlying the UK’s culture.

The government said hospitals should send care home residents who had the disease back to those homes, even though those places did not have the facilities to treat them – and tens of thousands of them died.

The government said people could go to the beach, to the pub, back to work – and Covid-19 infection rates spiked every time.

So now nobody at risk trusts a word the Johnson government has to say about Covid-19.

survey by King’s College London and Ipsos Mori has found that 52 per cent of British adults aged 16 to 75 were sceptical about the relaxation of lockdown.

It also showed that more people thought the coronavirus crisis had been handled badly in the UK (42 per cent) than believed it has been handled well (36 per cent).

The figures revealed that Labour voters, who are more likely to be poor, were three times more likely than Conservative voters to believe the response was mismanaged. Because they have been twice as likely to die as rich Tories?

It follows that people should not trust the government’s advice on when it is safe to return to work, school and leisure activities – even when it may actually be accurate.

The result is a much more dangerous society – because the Tories made it that way. Crocodile tears from a know-nothing toff won’t change that.

Source: Minister Accused Of ‘Blaming The Poor’ For Their Own Deaths From Coronavirus | HuffPost UK

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