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UNICEF is feeding British children

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1368606.  Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:55 pm Reply with quote

For the first time in its 70 year history, UNICEF is giving grants to UK charities to feed hungry children.

The abhorrent Jacob Rees Mogg, who inherited much of his obscene wealth, sneeringly described this as a political stunt by UNICEF. We are one of the richest countries in the world, and yet our children are starving. The current government is stuffed with multimillionaires, including the chancellor, whose wife is worth about half a billion pounds, and if they had any shame at all, they would be embarrassed by this.

We can be assured that the COVID/Brexit disaster will not be paid for by the millionaires, many of whom have grown richer in the crisis, but by the working man and woman.

It would make you sick and, if you are poor, it probably will.

1368615.  Thu Dec 17, 2020 7:54 pm Reply with quote

At the risk of being barred by the moderators (quite correctly in my opinion) - and after reviewing various media reports to get a balanced view of jacob rees-mogg's comments to put them in context......

I have no hesitation in wondering why this waste of atomic space is allowed to inhabit the "living zone" - there's plenty of better candidates for this limited space.

1368669.  Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:38 am Reply with quote

This goes back to my old argument that charities are a bad thing and that Governments should be held to account for how much is raised by charities for national use.

That money is needed to feed hungry children in the UK is not a surprise, this has been a growing problem even before the pandemic, and has just grown worse.

1368674.  Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:00 am Reply with quote

The problem with everything "welfare (state)" related is there will never be enough money.
All that can happen is the government of the day make an arbitrary level and work with that, as they do with so many other benefits.
The ones that lose out are the JAMs - not the poor, and the only thing you can do is raise the threshold, but all that does is push up the line where people struggle.
I don't even think there is an answer apart from the one the "charity" provides, and that is you go to them - in need, then they assess your need at that moment, and treat you accordingly. I don't think you can do that from government.

*please note - this is in no way telling the poor it's their fault, or they should sell the BMW on the drive and walk. Just that there needs to be an answer to meet the requirements, something that is always going to be unfair if done from central government

1368889.  Sun Dec 20, 2020 3:40 pm Reply with quote

That's accepting the idea that charity replaces welfare.

I'm not talking about extending welfare, I'm talking about changes that will negate the need for welfare and charities.

For example, reducing or eliminating regressive taxes such as VAT would be a substantial start. Changing the way fixed fines are set to reflect income so that some people are not punished by the loss of income\work.

Then there are ways of creating fixed cost controls, such as rents. Some thing I'm already very familiar through my work is Section106, which imposes certain agreed obligations between a housebuilder and a local authority. For buildings and estates this often means a certain number of properties reserved for "affordable housing", but in reality because of the costs involved these properties are not really affordable to most. I would prefer such agreements to be set on the sale of land rather than just building, so that most, if not all the cost of land is taken out of the price of these affordable housing properties, as well as other management costs.

There are lots of other possible changes that can be made to reduce the burden on society that requires such levels of welfare or charity.

1368894.  Sun Dec 20, 2020 4:24 pm Reply with quote

Iím not sure how, with the exception of adult clothing, VAT reduction is something that would alleviate the burden on welfare / charity. Iíve no reason to doubt there is a requirement for VAT at some level on domestic energy, that may change, but what else is Vatable at either reduced or standard rate is something to expect assistance with when you find yourself in need?
It sounds hard, but VAT on things like playstations for example a right.

Iím also not sure how rent control will move the burden from the society - landlords buy property to at worst cover their costs - do you set interest rates for buy to let mortgages at a fixed low level? In which case who compensates the lenders?

I am trying to keep the points separate, as I am open to be convinced that there is a way where those in need are helped when required, and there may be a way, but mixing the two points raised might end up confusing one and another.

1368901.  Sun Dec 20, 2020 4:56 pm Reply with quote

Two things wrong there.

You assume that the small difference in VAT makes little difference to most people. For some it can make a HUGE difference.

You're also only counting VAT on goods people buy direct, but who do you think is burdened with the VAT on various services and goods that businesses use when charging you?

Whilst businesses collect and pay on VAT they pay and charge, consumers don't (except those who actively avoid tax, and they don't tend to be those on the lowest income brackets). For many small businesses that only deal with consumers, it also affects their cashflow greatly because they reclaim their VAT at a later date.

If VAT was abolished and instead replaced with a slight increase in profit tax or other, it would might mean a slight net cost increase at each business transaction level, but could lead to a gross decrease. For small businesses only dealing with consumers, they will see an immediate reduction in gross costs (profit tax to be paid at year end), and if it means lower prices for the consumers it could actually increase purchases.

These are simplistic examples, there's more to it of course, because it will affects certain sectors (especially accountancy and auditing), but my rebuttal would be, is it worth pinning our economy on non producing sectors creating jobs, or increasing revenue and jobs for production jobs?

1368907.  Sun Dec 20, 2020 5:16 pm Reply with quote

Battery is running low (both on the device Iím using and me) and Iíd like to take the time to give a considered response.
But just quickly
You're also only counting VAT on goods people buy direct, but who do you think is burdened with the VAT on various services and goods that businesses use when charging you?

Iíd suggest it is the same person that would shoulder the burden on your proposed replacement. Business is there for one reason
, and if their costs go up, so do their prices.

1368910.  Sun Dec 20, 2020 5:45 pm Reply with quote

So how did we manage before VAT came along? I know it happened in my lifetime, but I was very young, so it made little or no difference to me. I have memories of Nationwide doing things about it, Richard Stilgoe probably did a song (he did one for just about everything else, so I doubt he would have missed this one!) and there was stuff in the papers about it all, but I have no specific memories of what went on.

1368914.  Sun Dec 20, 2020 6:10 pm Reply with quote

There was something called purchase tax, but it was only charged on "luxury items". The government had the power to set different rates of this tax for different classes of goods, and this was exploted in predictable ways by governments of different colours.

There doesn't seem to be a great deal about purchase tax on the Interwebs, which I suppose is unsurprising since it was abolished in 1973 when VAT was introduced. It was never charged on food (which VAT actually is, it's just that the UK chooses to charge it at a rate of 0%).

1368922.  Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:46 pm Reply with quote

Purchase tax had just as many odd features and barking anomalies. because these appear when governments give in to what are often perfectly reasonable pleas for special treatment. Purchase tax wasn't charged on toys, because children's toys are not luxuries. But it was charged on hobby and craft items, because they are luxuries for adults. These were often the same items.

Similarly VAT is not charged on children's clothing but is charged on adult clothing. That sounds reasonable in principle, but in practice it is implemented based solely on sizes. Thus children how are larger than average are charged extra for clothes, while "petite" women can often pay less by buying from children's ranges (and I have known several who did). VAT is not charged on "workwear" (a concession to union pressure), but something is only "workwear" if it is not dual-purpose. Female barristers fought and lost an extended battle to be able to reclaim the VAT paid on the dark skirts and ruffled blouses they are required to wear in court because successively senior judges deemed these clothes "dual use". The argument that no woman would be seen dead in such clothes outside a court didn't impress them. The crazy issue of VAT on female sanitary products is widely publicised, akthough in this case it was simply that the UK had granted so many other exceptions that the EU said "no more!".

These would be minor problems if we had kept VAT as the EEC/EU subscription tax, at a rate of 5%. This was our obligation (what we signed up to) and as such it was a small price to pay. That's why the EU had the right to interfere in what we deemed "VATable". Sadly successive governments saw it as an opportunity to raise taxes while tacitly letting Europe take the blame, so they raised the level of VAT ever higher. Only the first 5% goes to the EC and the rest goes into our own coffers. But it's an EU-mandated tax, so any changes we made to what it covered had to be agreed with the EU. If these governments had been less deceptive they could have added a second tax ("Local Sales Tax" or "Almost But Not Quite VAT") which used the same collection mechanisms but was entirely our own. We would then have had 5% VAT whose rules required EU agreement, and then (say) 17% Local Sales Tax whose rules and coverage would be at the whim of parliament. But then the brainless masses would call it a "stealth tax" and start demanding the abolition of all taxes plus an order of magnitude increase in public spending or something.

But Sales Taxes would remain - most of the world has them because they are cheap and effective to collect. In some places in the colonies you will pay local, state and federal sales tax on some items. And then you'll be expected to pay a tip as well...


1368923.  Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:50 pm Reply with quote

The problem with everything "welfare (state)" related is there will never be enough money.


There is an infinite supply of money - there is a finite supply of resources. The current combination of furlough schemes, SEISS, Kickstart, and others demonstrate the truth of the former. The truth of the latter seems self-evident.

1368924.  Sun Dec 20, 2020 7:55 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
For many small businesses that only deal with consumers, it also affects their cashflow greatly because they reclaim their VAT at a later date.

Not really - not unless they are medium-sized rather than small businesses. Small businesses have the option of going on "cash accounting" for VAT which means they only have to pay over the VAT when they receive the money from the customer (where larger businesses must pay it as of the date of invoice).


1368928.  Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:12 pm Reply with quote

Can we follow the rule of 8 here - every 8th post has to remind people of the original rationale behind this thread

ie that the fact that people in Britain have to be fed by emergency supplies through the UN elicits the response from Millionaire Playboy Rees-Mogg that the UN should leave the feeding of our starving millions to our own inept organisations

or - in short - that Rees-Mogg is clearly a plant by the Corbynites since he's too stupid to be a real tory

Either way - can we get this complete tosspot off the bloody planet before he consumes any more oxygen?

If we can't even achieve that - then what the hell is the point?

1369010.  Mon Dec 21, 2020 10:57 am Reply with quote

Rees Mogg IMO is guilty of more than just the latest on UNICEF or his actions since the Brexit vote. I found him deplorable for several years because he was well known for holding up debates and votes on points of old parliamentary proceedings rather than legal or moral issues.

I don't find him stupid, I find him a throwback to the weasly type of politicians, often forgotten by history, who helped brutal dictators and regimes take on a legal and benign appearance that help them claim power quietly.

As for UNICEF's actions, as I said before, it's not surprising to me as I've seen more and more families reliant on food banks and help (our housing waiting lists have grown immensely in the last couple of years). I honestly think that Governments should be judged by both the level of charity, and the level of welfare that is spent.


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