Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story by Martin Durkin

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
I watched that program last night, and actually though it hit the nail on the head.

His argument was basically the one I've been spouting, which is the state is too bloated, it costs too much and too much private money is being taken out of the productive part of the economy to bank-roll it, which is crippling the productive part.

He very cleverly used Hong Kong as an example of how to get an economy right, and showed how the Chinese in Hong Kong venerate a British Civil Servant (to the point of having bronze statues of him all over the place) who reduced taxes massively, leading to the very first 'Asian Tiger' economy.

He also completely destroys both Alistair Darling and Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC in a friendly interview.

Well worth watching.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
Concur. Absolutely in line with my every thought on this matter. We have been turned into a failed Socialist slave state and the Cameron/Osborne junta is just fiddling round the edges because they are not real Tories, indeed have yet to break away from the basic Socialist fallacy that where the State has a duty to ensure provision (in education and health) then the State has to be the provider. All that results in is a rotten service on a payroll bloated with a stage army of unnecessary parasites. When the State does try to cull, it hands the job over to a management which immediately cuts the teeth in order to retain the tail.
 
#3
I stopped watching after 30 minutes because the whole thing was economically illiterate. As soon as you say private sector = 'productive part of the economy' you are heading downhill. I would not argue for a moment that the public sector is not much, much too large, but some things can only be done by the state, as anyone who has served in the armed forces, the police or the courts system, for example, will know. The real question about most of the public sector is efficiency, not whether the role should exist at all (though that question is always worth asking from time to time).

The emphasis on making physical things and the statement that you can't export services was also laughable. What have the banks and insurance companies been doing for the last couple of hundred years? I have spent the last 6 weeks preparing some training material that is going to be sold to students overseas. What is that but exporting a service?

The really annoying thing about Durkin is that he squanders his opportunities. He could have made a convincing and reasoned case for reducing the size of the public sector but he blew it - in the same way he blew his opportunity to put the warmists back in their box a couple of years ago.
 
#4
I agreed with every word; it reflects exactly what I've always thought.

Its a real "emperor's new clothes" experience when you come back to UK after working in a low-tax regime - its immediately apparent how the burden of tax and regulation (direct and indirect) is crushing the dwindling productive part of the economy.

I absolutely despair at the socialist mindset of the politicians, and the system that ensures there can be no real radical change in this country. My father could see the way the country was going in his time; he always urged me to emigrate and now, belatedly, I'm planning to do just that.
 
#5
The emphasis on making physical things and the statement that you can't export services was also laughable.
Quite. One of the cornerstones of the Empire was our ability to offer services and credit both to our own people and to those of other nations. It's been argued that the flexible use of cheap credit and services was one of the main reasons for the last 200+ years of Western dominance on the world scene. Certainly the USA, Canada and Australia wouldnt exist as 'New Europes' without European Bankers.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
I stopped watching after 30 minutes because the whole thing was economically illiterate. As soon as you say private sector = 'productive part of the economy' you are heading downhill. I would not argue for a moment that the public sector is not much, much too large, but some things can only be done by the state, as anyone who has served in the armed forces, the police or the courts system, for example, will know. The real question about most of the public sector is efficiency, not whether the role should exist at all (though that question is always worth asking from time to time).

The emphasis on making physical things and the statement that you can't export services was also laughable. What have the banks and insurance companies been doing for the last couple of hundred years? I have spent the last 6 weeks preparing some training material that is going to be sold to students overseas. What is that but exporting a service?

The really annoying thing about Durkin is that he squanders his opportunities. He could have made a convincing and reasoned case for reducing the size of the public sector but he blew it - in the same way he blew his opportunity to put the warmists back in their box a couple of years ago.
Yes, he did screw up on a couple of points, but the salient bit about low taxes boosting the economy, as they did in Hong Kong, allowing people to reinvest the proceeds of their own hard work and thus incentivising them to work even harder and employ more people, rather than working their nuts off and still being skint was well made.

He worked out correctly that over 50% of everything the middle classes and the poor earn goes back to the state in taxes. The poor stay poor because half of their money is taken back off them. The middle classes work all their lives and get **** all in pensions because half of everything they earn is taken off them in taxes, from VAT to PAYE, to Road Tax, to Fuel Duty, Booze Duty, Fag Duty and more. It leaves them with precious little to put away or to improve their lives. Hell, even the pension profits are taxed, followed by the pension income being taxed when they draw it.
 
#7
I only managed to Watch parts of this Programme however will be reviewing again as I agree with much of Durkin's contribution however 'hit nail on head' is probably the best description

Even to see the Interview with Mr Darling & Barber squirm
 
#8
A very accurate analysis of the Communist State that the UK has become. We have an abundance of public sector departments that do nothing, other departments that do something but do it badly and very expensively and another massive department that is the State Welfare System that encourages people to do nothing, which is also very expensive.

How on earth can anyone come on hear and say that the guy was talking bollox…?

I operate from a tiny High St retail unit of a mere 20sqm and my annual Non Domestic Rates are a whopping £6750pa, and that's after the rebate which is a paltry £127pa. So, for anyone in the Public Sector, or for those on benefits, next time you go shopping and do nothing but whinge and whine, like you do every day, about how expensive stuff is to buy, remember this. You’re job, your benefits and your perks and pensions are the reason why we have to pay such high taxes, which is also why we have to charge high prices...

But the public sector workers won't see that, because in their tiny little cushty world everything that goes wrong is always "managements Fault" and never theirs...
 
#9
He over-simplified it, but then again this is the sort of message that has to be pitched to the ignorant masses in easy-to-understand chunks.
 
#10
Last night really brought home how fekked this country is, and how badly the already damaged country was made even worse by 13
years of NuLab.
The fact that tax revenue doesn't even cover the welfare bill is truly frightening .
As mentioned by other posters , Call me Dave does not have the cojones or the political power to sort this one out .
If that programme is shown abroad would anyone ever want to invest here again ?
Repeat after me... We're doomed !
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
A very accurate analysis of the Communist State that the UK has become. We have an abundance of public sector departments that do nothing, other departments that do something but do it badly and very expensively and another massive department that is the State Welfare System that encourages people to do nothing, which is also very expensive.

How on earth can anyone come on hear and say that the guy was talking bollox…?

I operate from a tiny High St retail unit of a mere 20sqm and my annual Non Domestic Rates are a whopping £6750pa, and that's after the rebate which is a paltry £127pa. So, for anyone in the Public Sector, or for those on benefits, next time you go shopping and do nothing but whinge and whine, like you do every day, about how expensive stuff is to buy, remember this. You’re job, your benefits and your perks and pensions are the reason why we have to pay such high taxes, which is also why we have to charge high prices...

But the public sector workers won't see that, because in their tiny little cushty world everything that goes wrong is always "managements Fault" and never theirs...
Good point well made. I employ 2 members are of staff. Want to know why goods are so expensive? The business rates tax on my premises, which loads up the price of the stock, as does the employee wages which include a large percentage of tax, not just their own contribution, but my employer's contributon too; it goes on the price of the stock. Did I mention the VAT? Yep, as of January next year, everything you buy from me or anyone else will have a 20% loading on top in the form of VAT (in the simplest possible terms, your goods are 20% more expensive because the goverment is taxing your purchases. Of course, I'm paying VAT on lighting and heating my store, and I'm paying VAT on all the goods I purchase like computer systems, phones, internet, well, I say that I'm paying the VAT on this, in actual fact, you the poor, middle class and rich are all paying for these taxes every time you buy goods off me.

So, a manufacturer makes a product, and he's loaded that product price up from the original 20p it cost him to make with all the usual business costs like staff and rent, but also staff PAYE costs, employer contribution tax costs, Staff and personal National Insurance Tax, obligatory company pension scheme employer contributions, vat on all his business services costs, road tax, fuel duty, corporation tax costs, business rates tax, carbon tax and of course the VAT he has to charge on everything he sells. The 20p cost, plus the taxes, plus the profit margin make the product now cost the next in line £1.50 with a paltry 30% gross margin for the manufacturer (a lot less than the tax man took during the process).

Now the distributor gets the product and he's loaded that product price up from the original £1.50 it cost him to buy by adding all the usual business costs like staff and rent, but also staff PAYE tax costs, employer contribution tax costs, Staff and personal National Insurance Tax, obligatory company pension scheme employer contributions, vat on all his business services costs, road tax, fuel duty, corporation tax costs, business rates tax, carbon tax and of course the VAT he has to charge on everything he sells. The £1.50 cost, plus the taxes, plus the profit margin make the product now cost the next in line £3.50 with a paltry 30% gross margin for the distributor (a lot less than the tax man took during the process). He then sells it to a retailer.

The retailer gets the product and he's loaded that product price up from the original £3.50 it cost him to buy by adding all the usual business costs like staff and rent, but also staff PAYE tax costs, employer contribution tax costs, Staff and personal National Insurance Tax, obligatory company pension scheme employer contributions, vat on all his business services costs, road tax, fuel duty, corporation tax costs, business rates tax, carbon tax and of course the VAT he has to charge on everything he sells. The £3.50 cost, plus the taxes, plus the profit margin make the product now cost the consumer £7.50 with a paltry 30% gross margin for the retailer (a lot less than the tax man took during the process).

There you go Mr Consumer, the item you just purchased hasn't just cost YOU the 20% VAT, it's also cost you about 300% in other taxes, but then, you've had to buy a car with VAT on it, tax it, MOT it with VAT, insure it with VAT on it, fill it with fuel with DUTY on it, simply so you could drive to the shop to go and buy it with money that you've worked for but is less than it should have been because you've had to pay tax on your wages, plus a National Insurance Tax. Then there's the house you bought at paid a lump sum of tax on, plus VAT on all the fees and services, plus the capital gains tax on the increase in value of the property, plus the interest on the mortgage which is loaded with the banks tax dues (see above), and of course you've got a pension, the funds for which are taxed, as well as the net payments to you when you retire being taxed. Even to light your own home and heat it, you've got to pay VAT. It doesn't end when you're dead of course. Death duties take over from there and your estate (what you've got left after working all your life and paying millions in taxes as a MIDDLE CLASS worker) is then taxed to make sure that your children and loved ones have to work just as hard for the tax man. Hell, they are going to have to work even longer than you as the retirement age gets moved back and back and back by the government so that they can ensure even more tax revenue.

Still, we need to pay these taxes because the government provides such a brilliant services eh?
 
#12
sorry did'nt sell it too me mate rather too
much wibble about flat taxes beloved of tom clancy and other liberatrians not doing terribly well in the blatic states with those.
we are not singapore or hong kong.
 

skid2

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
He over-simplified it, but then again this is the sort of message that has to be pitched to the ignorant masses in easy-to-understand chunks.
Durkin 'We need to revive manufacturing'
Mans a f**king genius.
We used to have it all, if it existed it was made here. If it didn't exist it was invented here.
Where did it go? When did it go? and Why did it go?
 
#14
Thanks Biped , you have depressed me even more than the programme did last night.
You forgot one point though.. The retailer also has to bear the cost of "leakage" which is a polite way of saying shoplifting
and I understand this is an astronomic cost in certain areas.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
Thanks Biped , you have depressed me even more than the programme did last night.
You forgot one point though.. The retailer also has to bear the cost of "leakage" which is a polite way of saying shoplifting
and I understand this is an astronomic cost in certain areas.
Yeah, sorry about that - there's more, but it was off the top of my head, the above.

No, the retailer doesn't have to bear the cost of leakage - you the consumer does. The business is kept in profit by the margin, and if leakage reduces that so there's a loss, the margin is increased accordingly. Same with insurance.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#16
sorry did'nt sell it too me mate rather too
much wibble about flat taxes beloved of tom clancy and other liberatrians not doing terribly well in the blatic states with those.
we are not singapore or hong kong.
Yep, have to admit I'm with brighton on this, his a polemic, I wouldn't deign to call it an analysis, was overtly simplistic. This was especially brought home when he blithely skipped through the 19th Century urbanisation and industrialisation. Wages may have been a little higher in the towns and cities, but the working conditions were horrendous, child labour, real dangers of maiming and disability, slum dwelling and no recourse to medical aid, seriously what good is a little better quality cloth when your family is riddled with TB, rickets, blackened lungs, no hands or fingers. No appeal to the law to overturn frankly exploitative working practices.

There may have been one or two pertinent points regarding the increasing bureaucritisation of the state, but he glossed over the abject failure of the private sector to behave in anyway responsibly or compassionatley.
 
#17
But the public sector workers won't see that, because in their tiny little cushty world everything that goes wrong is always "managements Fault" and never theirs...
As a Public Sector worker:- Its not exactly cushty anymore and hasnt been for me ever. I've worked in Local Government for 10 years. In that time I've been through 5 rounds of redundancies. Not too disimilar from my mates out there in the private sector. Okay I got paid less than those mates but I got decent holiday and working conditions. I've been on less than inflation pay rises for half that time. (Which I can live on but its hard to explain to the new father on 14k a year why he's not likely to get a pay rise, well ever really). Swings and roundabouts. Apart from the holiday and other nice terms and conditions are all for the chop after Central Government cut our funding by 30%. But oh by the way Central Government also mandates targets on just about every damn thing which means we have very little flex about where to save that cash. If you dont think thats going to impact front line services then you're probably already receiving some attention from those services on a out patient basis.

Of course those services we deilver are often wrongly targeted or inefficent and thats what needs fixing and is mostly determined by various elected officals. Therefore what will that happen is a flat reduction in service plus a brain drain of the competent while only a small handfull of the useless are lost as we cant be seen to discriminate even against those that cant do their damn jobs. Meanwhile the 3rd chief exec in 6 years, having delivered 'savings' will pocket their severance fee and head off to repeat elsewhere. Leaving behind a smaller, equally inefficent organisation.

Whats needed in Local Government, the NHS, The Armed Forces, Civil Service and so on is some decent management that looks at the longer term and isnt afraid to cull dead wood rather than just chainsawing x% off the live tree. I dont see any Government willing to do this of whatever colour or blend. The recent military spending review apears to confirm that opinion. Maybe we need a spell with Liz II running the show directly for a while again?
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#18
My local council has to save £45m over the next few years, they seem to have celebrated this by having lovely shiny new bin wagons, lorries and vans. If a haulage contractor had a wagon that worked as few hours as a local bin wagon he'd be out of business. A bin wagon working less than 40 hours a week, no shift system so you have three times as many wagons and men as you need. The council are also saving money by employing one consultant for ten weeks who I imagine will be earning £750 a day, they may of course have more doing other pieces of work. The report this consultant did was 6 pages long and double spaced, was spoke about in a meeeting for 5 minutes and forgotten about.
 
#19
"There may have been one or two pertinent points regarding the increasing bureaucritisation of the state, but he glossed over the abject failure of the private sector to behave in anyway responsibly or compassionatley."

Public Sector is not much better in that respect. And the program wasn't covering the failure of the private sector, it was covering the abject and utter failure of the Public Sector.

And let's be compeletely honest, the abject chaos that is our current Tax system in this country practicly invites you to avoid paying tax by any means possible. When HMRC can not advise tax payers correctly on the excessive number of rules dreamt up by the last bunch of no hopers a simple Flat Tax system looks very attractive and cheap to run. "Progressive tax rates "is just code for 1 dimmisonal school boy envy.
 
#20
Durkin 'We need to revive manufacturing'
Mans a f**king genius.
We used to have it all, if it existed it was made here. If it didn't exist it was invented here.
Where did it go? When did it go? and Why did it go?
It went abroad, Hong Kong typically, because raw materials were cheaper, labour was cheaper and fuel was cheaper.

The skilled manufacturing craftsmen retired &/or died. You can't replace them from the young, there's no-one to train them. If you close down an industry, like ship-building say, you won't ever reopen it. The skills have gone, scattered.
 

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