Evil Diaries: Barking Mad Tories

1 mins. to read
Evil Diaries: Barking Mad Tories

Apparently, some Conservative MPs resent raising of National Insurance on the grounds of its being a breach of the 2019 manifesto. They must be mad since, surely, there is an implied term allowing exceptional circumstances to override such an undertaking. Covid-19 is undeniably one such.

As to how income should be taxed is a different matter. It seems to me that the elderly (i.e. I and my wife) get away with blue murder on the taxation front. Accordingly, I favour taxing the elderly on the net wealth of their homes. The elderly have had too easy a ride here for decades.

That said, from HMG’s point of view, this is a case of light blue touch paper and retire quickly.


Pelatro (LON:PTRO) have provided an update this morning. It is a little unclear but I would sooner be a buyer than a seller at the current level. Now c. 43p.


Spectra (LON:SPSY) offers a results statement this morning. Clearly it is going well. Now 175p offer it looks a fairly safe buy..


By way of idle enquiry yesterday afternoon during the Test, I checked the price of Beximco Pharma (BXP) in Dhaka. Astonishingly it is now 175p as against a London price of 87p. This is barmy and, since BXP is going gangbusters and will continue to do so, it is time to climb aboard after the rush up here a few months ago.


Finally, my wife and I have had a frustrating exchange or two trying to open forex bank accounts for one of our customers whose business is importation and distribution of sports bikes and associated kit. Since this is pretty innocent stuff I cannot understand why any bank would fear “compliance issues”. But they do.

However, apparently, this disease of stupidity on the part of regulators and high street banks is not confined to customers of my small practice. It has broken out all over the place and must be costing GB PLC a fortune. Time for ministerial intervention.

Comments (9)

  • Richard Carton says:

    The introduction of an annual asessment on housing wealth would be controversial and difficult to implement. Firstly why should housing be singled out but not shares and other investments? Secondly, this would involve revamping the whole tax system for an annual declaration of wealth. Living in a country where there is a wealth tax requirement (Switzerland), data is collected assiduously much to the locals chagrin..On a slightly different topic the Swiss are thinking of abandoning the equivalent of Schedule A and at the same cutting back on tax relief for interest! Quel horreur! There is a serious problem with the tax base in the UK because there are too many reliefs (dividend relief, ISAs, ability to use Trusts, multi-nationals not paying their fair share) and to borrow Napoleon’s phrase we are a nation of accountants, so avoidance is rife.

  • Anthony Stirling Minns says:

    Evil Knievil comments in his article today that UK money laudering compliance “must be costing GB PLC a fortune”.
    It is indeed costing a fortune. A recent joint study carried out by Lexis/Nexis and Oxford Economics claims that the current cost is £28.4 BILLION a year and that this will rise to £30 BILLION by 2023.
    Enough said !

  • Robert edwards says:

    I don’t think anyone uses Uk high st banks for forex anymore .people like wise and revolt have it all . You can transfer to them put it in a wallet for later or just exchange it . I save about 18 gbp per thousand with them and in wises case can have the money exchanged and in your bank in seconds

  • roger bennett says:

    Isn’t it time NIC’s were scrapped, they are just an extra tax on the working poor as I see it. But I suppose that’s the idea.

  • Daniel Victor says:

    Raising NICs is just plain daft.The treasury has been coining it via the stealth tax of fiscal drag. The prospective rise in NICs is making banner headlines because it is a manifesto breach,and is alerting people to the fact that taxes are rising.It will cost the treasury money.

  • Mark says:

    “I favour taxing the elderly on the net wealth of their homes.”

    I thought you rented?

  • John Atkinson says:

    Could a tax on electricity work? I raise this since it would tax even those working in the black economy. It would be balanced by raising the personal allowance and giving an allowance to the most needy. The cost of collection would fall. As the cost of electricity could fall if renewables continue to become more efficient, raising tax this way could be painless and cheaper.

  • TonyA says:

    No need for an annual declaration of wealth. Property is a sort of proxy for overall wealth – people with lots of assets tend to live in posh houses – and the nice thing about housing is that it is easy to tax: the building is just sitting there waiting for the Government to tax its embedded value. It could for instance triple or quadruple council tax on properties where a resident is over age 66, and the pensioner either pays up cash from income or savings, or if they can prove they can’t afford the extra tax on income grounds, the Government will take a charge on the property’s title, to be paid when the property is sold. Of course people will respond by not selling their houses, but the charge on the property will be a document of record, the debt will build up and up, and the Government will be able to point to it as an accumulating national asset.

    It’ll probably be a good idea to do a new council tax valuation at the same time, because the Government will want to capture the hidden value represented by all the extensions and outbuildings added since 1991 by a property-obsessed citizenry. There should probably also be a good many extra council tax bands at the top end, so the houses worth millions don’t stop at band H.

    But there are also other ways of raising cash revenue: why for example are pensioners exempt from National Insurance? The average pensioner now has an income equivalent to an employee, those on low incomes can be protected by thresholds, and the rest ought to be truly grateful to be able to pay NICs and get cheap insurance, paid by everyone, against the cost of needing domiciliary care at home or to live in a care home as they grow frail or acquire a degenerative illness like dementia. It is almost impossible to isnure yourself as a private individual against dementia, and the cost is prohitive, especially if your own parents have had it. This New Deal for social care would be available for the first time on the welfare state, so let’s have none of this nonsense about “I paid my fair share when I was working”. No, old people today didn’t pay anything like as much as today’s employees and employers: there were far fewer old people per worker, old people died much younger, there were far fewer expensive life-extending treatments available, and there was little or no social care provided by HMG.

    Or HMG could choose to abolish the 40% income tax refund on pensions, and stick at 20% for everyone. This would also be an opportunity to double the Lifetime Allowance to over £2 million, as it is utterly ridiculous that highly-experienced hospital consultants at the peak of their careers feel they have to retire at 58 or something, to avoid prohibitive levels of tax because the implied value of their pensions have exceeded £1 million odd.

  • David G says:

    There are more holes in the public purse than there are holes in a watering can. Why raise tax to pay for the elderly when we are paying Foreign Aid to support the like of girl bands in the Sahara and the Space Exploration of China and India? We have a housing crisis is because of mass immigration that no one voted for. Nothing works anymore. No one takes responsibility for the likes of the fire at Grenville Towers and cladding. Have you tried getting an appointment with your doctor recently? Newly qualified doctors and nurses are voting with their feet to get a better life abroad. Have you seen the size of the national debt run up by politicians? It is so big that it can never be repaid.

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