Welcome to my day: 10 January 2022 – tax doesn’t need to be taxing…

Good morning, everyone, and welcome!

Your day editor is a slightly wounded one today, as my right shoulder doesn’t appear to have taken kindly to being fallen on three weeks ago. A sign of increasing old age, I fear. But the show must go on, and so it will…

As the Government finds itself in a “cost of living” crisis, a series of decisions already made look like making matters worse. Freezing the personal allowance and tax rate thresholds will bring more people into the income tax bracket, and more into the higher rate bracket too, as noted previously.

Perhaps it is time for Liberal Democrats to remind the public why we introduced the policy we did in Coalition, raising the personal allowance to take the poorest workers out of income tax. Tony Greaves was of the view that we should then have done more to support those beneath the tax threshold. Perhaps a next step should be to raise the National Insurance threshold to match the personal allowance, as this would help those at the bottom end more than further above inflation rises in the personal allowance. It does seem ludicrous and administratively needless to take money away from people only to give it back to them via another mechanism. Or, given that the living wage is more than that, to take money away from those who have just enough to live with dignity. Just a thought…

And what is it with Conservatives and freedom? The MP for Ipswich is seemingly not alone in opposing the idea of jury trials – apparently the people are the enemy of the people now. They act on the Colston 4 verdict at their peril though, having apparently forgotten that, if you give yourself powers as a Government, you should first reflect on what an extremist government of a different colour might do with them. Mind you, they’re a pretty extremist government…

Apparently, on this day in 1493, the first sighting of a manatee was made by Christopher Columbus, whilst in 1760, the Afghans defeated the Maratha Empire at the Battle of Barari Ghat. And, to mark England’s unlikely survival in the fourth Test, on this day in 1868, the last convict ship arrived at Fremantle.

And so, on that note, let the day begin…

* Mark Valladares is the Monday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice.

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  • William Francis 10th Jan '22 - 11:57am

    The cost of living crisis is yet more reason why we need a UBI. Cuts to direct taxation a poor substitute.

  • @ Mark And also on this day, 10, January (1776), that great English radical, Thomas Paine, first published his pamphlet, ‘Common Sense’…… surely something that should be on any radical’s reading list

    It was the most widely read pamphlet of the American Revolution and a clarion call for unity against the corrupt British court, so as to realize America’s providential role in providing an asylum for liberty. Written in a direct and lively style, it denounced the decaying despotisms of Europe and pilloried hereditary monarchy as an absurdity.

  • nvelope2003 10th Jan '22 - 1:28pm

    What did Thomas Paine have to say about slavery ? The founding fathers seem to have been a group of slave owners and tax avoiders but maybe that is considered common sense if you want a lavish life style. It all depends on the circumstances. I wonder what he would have thought about all those republics (the majority) run by gangsters and hooligans or authoritarians compared to the remaining European monarchies which are probably the most democratic and pleasant places on earth.

  • @ envelop2003 A tad bit of looking, Mr envelop, and you would have discovered that Tom Paine always called for the abolition of slavery in jis personal correspondence and he was a close friend of many of the leading abolitionists of his day. Recent research into his previously undiscovered works has revealed more abolitionist tracts and letters, and the influential pamphlet written in London, “Old Truths and Established Facts”, to get the abolitionist Slave Act passed has confirmed that it was written by Paine and the great Joseph Priestley.

    Priestley, incidentally, was born just a few hundred yards away from my childhood home in the Spen Valley. Very sadly, Priestley’s statue in Birstall Market Place became the focal point for the many hundreds of floral tributes laid after the tragic murder of the late Jo Cox.

  • David Raw: Thank you for the information about Tom Paine’s views on slavery. What is tragic is the way the Republicans who emancipated the slaves during the Civil War, possibly to get black men to fight for the Union, have become the party of the extreme right which uses every trick to undermine the democratic process, particularly with respect to voting rights. One of their Senators is alleged to have said that the US is a republic but not a democracy. Unfortunately this seems to be the way things have gone historically, for example Rome.

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