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Jack, so where is this powerty you are talking about? You will find that real powerty does not exist in the UK (except in a few extraordinary unsolverable cases).

You are mixing the word 'poverty' up with 'relative poverty' and the difference between those two words is the difference between Conservatism and socialism: redistribution of wealth.

David, no, I certainly will not. We need a total tax reform. Friedman's ideas still work.

The real issue here is that of the underclass, it is they who are a threat to our cohesiveness as a nation. This is the group that labour has left behind in its obsession with targets and we can see the result on our streets.

The choice we face is to leave them be, with the concomitant rise in drug crime, lawlessness and ghettoisation or to provide the means by which this is broken up. It's a balancing act between providing some funds to assist this and having greater problems further down the line.

"You are mixing the word 'poverty' up with 'relative poverty' and the difference between those two words is the difference between Conservatism and socialism: redistribution of wealth."

It isn't though. I agree on one thing: the term 'relative poverty' is unhelpful. However, the term poverty can refer to the inability to afford the basic necessities of living, such that those in that situation become increasingly left behind. To dismiss that as un-Conservative is to dismiss Disraelian conservatism, which identified the inherent dangers to society of allowing that.

Those necessities tend be seen as they were 100 years ago; this is clearly nonsensical given the fact the world has changed.

"the term poverty can refer to the inability to afford the basic necessities of living"

That is absolute powerty.

DavidDPB ,Don't really make us all roll on the floor in fits of laughter. You are saying that Polly Toynbee's analagy is like an update of Disraeli's 'Two Nations'. You are not serious in giving this woman a place alongside Disraeli. If that is the general thought in this 'new' Party then it's time for us to go back to the real Tory Party.You and folk like you can take Dave with you and all join the Lib Dems and be along with all the other Guardian readers

"David, no, I certainly will not."

So your professed concern for those forced into debt due to a tax burden is not in fact your primary concern at all then.

"We need a total tax reform."

Yes, we do. But reform does not equal = drop taxes. It can in fact equal a rearranging of the current tax burden so that those you did mention are lifted from that situation by those in a position to afford to help fund those services that are needed.

"Friedman's ideas still work."

Yes, they do in certain circumstances. In fact, a successful Chancellor will have both Friedman and Keynesian tools in the cupboard; their principles work for different types of economic circumstances. I must confess a slight bias in favour of Friedman however.

But returning to your point, I take it you are calling for lower taxation. That would be good, however one has to appreciate that there is still some cost to running a country. Presumably you aren't arguing for a zero taxation rate, which means you do agree that a level of taxation is necessary. That logically leads to the assumption that you do agree that there will come a time that simply calling for lower taxes will not be practicable.

Were we in the 70s, or even mid 80s, where taxation was above 60%, there would indeed be ample scope for calling for a reduction in taxes. However that is no longer the case. We are now at the margins. Tax cuts can to some extent pay for themselves, but not totally (In the US, the Bush cuts have helped growth to defray 50% of the costs, but the US economy is slowing slightly, which suggests there is a limit, as the remaining 50% seems unlikely to be accounted for by future growth). The fact that we are at the margins suggests that in trying to tackle such problems, purely relying on tax cuts may have only diminishing effect. The effects seen when cutting taxes from above 60% to below 50% may not be replicated as strongly from the position we are in now.

That is not however to say we should give up the goal of trying to lower the tax burden where possible. Keeping that in mind will hopefully decrease the propensity for Government to simply look to increase spending for answers.

"That is absolute powerty."

Yes. That's my point. The term of relative poverty is incorrect and unhelpful.

"You are saying that Polly Toynbee's analagy is like an update of Disraeli's 'Two Nations'. You are not serious in giving this woman a place alongside Disraeli. "

One does not of course follow from the other. However, please explain how the caravan analogy is so different from that of the Two Nations. As far as I can see, Toynbee describes a situation were those at the bottom of society fall so far behind they are effectively separated from the rest of society. The Two Nations described a situation where the divide between rich and poor was growing so large, that they were effectively separated.

David, I thought you said we were not just to hand out money???

Various system has been proposed and for example a flat tax rate looks promising enough to be looked closely at. An active society is the best one for everyone, especially the unfortunate who wants to get back on their feet.

#"That is absolute powerty."
#Yes.

Now we are getting somewhere. Show me that it exists in the UK.

"David, I thought you said we were not just to hand out money???"

And where have I said that we should?

"Various system has been proposed and for example a flat tax rate looks promising enough to be looked closely at. "

To some extent. In practical terms, flat rate taxes have been most successful in societies where the economy is at a developing stage, and where there is a chronic level of tax evasion. The increase in revenues that occurs by making it almost impossible to withhold taxes accounts for much of their success.
In the UK, amongst personal taxation at least, it is questionable whether we would see the same effect. Arguably, the prime candidate for flat taxes are corporate taxes, where the various loopholes inherent in a legally complex system means that the tax collection rate is not at its optimum level.

It would be interesting to know at what level you'd place the threshold at which one would begin paying the flat personal tax, and the rate you'd think one would be paying.

"An active society is the best one for everyone, especially the unfortunate who wants to get back on their feet."

Definitely.


Where you said we should hand out money? Here since you want me to:

""David, no, I certainly will not."

So your professed concern for those forced into debt due to a tax burden is not in fact your primary concern at all then."

"Show me that it exists in the UK."


http://www.oxfamgb.org/ukpp/poverty/thefacts.htm#2

"Over 10.5 million people live in financial insecurity: they can’t afford to save, insure their house contents, or spend even small amounts on themselves. About 9.5 million can’t afford adequate housing – heated, free from damp, and in a decent state of decoration. The crucial factor about these findings is that they are based on a survey of what the general population sees as necessities.

We also know what a dark shadow poverty casts, particularly over children’s lives and their futures. Eighteen per cent of children go without two or more items that the majority of the population says are necessities, such as adequate clothing, toys, or three meals a day.

One in five non-working families on low or moderate incomes reported being unable to afford some basic food items on most days in 2000."


Note this has nothing to do with relating income, (the 60% figure mentioned in the paragraph above that one in the link), which I believe is pointless. These are concrete issues-what people are unable to afford, regardless of the earnings of other people.


Re tax: I don't know as my first concern is for the us Conservatives to get our party back again. Then a total reform of both direct and indirect taxes should be formed.

"Here since you want me to..."


So, reducing taxation is handing out money? Which you don't want? But you want to reduce taxation?

"Over 10.5 million people live in financial insecurity: they can’t afford to save, ..."

Yes, no wonder, as direct and indirect taxes have raised the prices incredibly.

"Re tax: I don't know as my first concern is for the us Conservatives to get our party back again. Then a total reform of both direct and indirect taxes should be formed."

A total reform in what direction? What are the aims? Simply saying 'Lower taxes' is one dimensional analysis.

"Yes, no wonder, as direct and indirect taxes have raised the prices incredibly."

Although you've said you don't favour reducing such a burden on these people by lowering their taxes, and having those that can afford it pay for it to happen.

But I am glad you accept those examples of poverty.

Can we get back to the thread please?

Sorry, I thought it was on topic.

I have to be off anyway.

But ... OK, Editor, you are the boss.

Anyone has any comments to Heffers article in Telegraph? (link above). I don't need to say that I agree with him wholeheartedly.

DavidDPB

If comments were aimed at me let me clarify my views.I believe in meritocracy. I despise class consciousness or as you call it envy whether it be of upward or downward form. I know it exists having witnessed and experienced it at school, at university, and to a much lesser extent in the City.

I do believe Cameron has surrounded himself with a clique both before and after becoming leader. The impression I get is that many of them are privileged (but not all) and that they have a metropolitan orientation. As such I think they have difficulty resonating with many what might be called traditonal conservative voters. I also believe that that does not bother Cameron in his desire to occupy the centre ground. So be it.

It might be said that it is in the nature of conservatives historically to be deferential to leaders and authority. As such the gamble might pay off. I however do not buy deference for deference's sake. And I do not like being patronised and to be frank a lot of the guff coming out of Project Cameron strikes me as simply that: patronising.

As for your comment about being a party member, I could not give a fig. I was brought up to be a conservative and until Cameron took over I have always been a vigorous supporter of conservatism and the Conservative Party. The shame is the two under Cameron appear to have parted company. I hope I am wrong but I do not think so.

"I think that should have been 'Nice try' rather than 'Nioce', a word that doesn't appear to exist..."

Instead of responding to the comments Ive made, Cardinal just goes for the childish pointing out of a typo, something which happens with understandable frequency in blogging. I suffer from a relative poverty of typing skills. Please forgive me.

Perhaps you'd like to respond to the actual comment, Cardinal?

James, if you look back you will find that the Cardinal was the one suffering from relative poverty of typing skills. :)

And you will also find that the word does exist, so he didn't really.

James, I did respond and I was correcting my own typing mistake from that response.

My later comment about the underclass crystallises my view on this.

DavidDPB = classic anti-Conservative TRG lefty, and where's my old mucker Jack Stone been these few last weeks? Confined to his rubber room or what?

I've been missing my daily dose of laughs from Jack the Hack.

Simon Heffer says everything that needs to be said about Cameron's appalling speech with a well aimed quip about the "inner tosser" at the end. That's another one - like "Hug a Hoodie" that's going to stick to Dave like ackermaroo to bumf.

Now here's a nice slogan for Cameron straight from good ole boy Huey Long. Why wimp around with "relative poverty" when you can just proclaim "Every man a millionaire". Go for it Dave!

Yes Siree. Come to think of it I would be delighted to see Dave's career mirror Huey's in every detail from beginning to end.

Yeah. Right to the end.

Yes I learn that Ronald Firbank's novel "Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli" concerns the demise of a priest while chasing an appealing choirboy around the altar.

Frankly Cardinal, you'd be more profitably employed chasing that appealing choirboy than offering increasingly lame excuses for the eccentricities of Dave.

Actually your last piece of psychobabble about "love" was so incredibly nutty I beginning to worry about you.

Ignore the troll people, it's not worth the effort......

Oh come on Cardinal. You can't be that far short of a witty or even an intelligent reply.

On second thoughts, perhaps you can.

So, I note that none of the Camenooners has any comments to Heffers article. That is a shame.

Jorgen
Heffer is a UKIP supporter with a hang up on Dave - why should his opinions concern us any more than those of Polly Toynbee?

1. I can only see that he is a Conservative. He may well be voting for UKIP while Cameron is in power as many other people will. UKIP are heavy on demanding an EU-referendum, but I have never seen Heffer mention that.

2. Unlike Cameron, he lists a set of measures that form a nice basis for a discussion: "Dave claims, in a distressingly Blairist phrase, that he wants to treat the "causes" of poverty. Well, unless he cuts taxes and public spending, aggressively deregulates, provides fiscal incentives for the married family and reintroduces selection in education to help poor children get a decent chance in life, that assertion, too, is just complete flannel."

BTW, you may well have to get interested in Toynbee at the next conference as Cameron apparently is thinking about inviting her. :)

Yet again there seems to be those that exaggerate what DC said and then argue over ever more unreal interpretations of it. It seems to me that by talking about relative poverty we are saying that this issue is more complex than the old thinking that this is just about absolute poverty. Again DC is right here. There is absolutely no way we can truly become an advanced economy to out-compete China and India on value added not cost, if we have so many people falling so far behidn in our society,

Matt

We have had some pretty ludicrous comments from the Cameroons but that last just about takes the biscuit.

Have you any idea, Matt, how many people in India and China are likely to "fall behind" what might be regarded as a consensus poverty line in the UK? It must run into many millions.

Are you actually living in the real world?

Firstly, sorry to Cardinal for the comments about the typo. I misread the post. No idea what came over me there...

In response to your post, I disagree. Any change made to this Party affects any decisions we make in the future, whether it be in Government or outside of it. You can change thing without understanding it. Cameron as leader has the ability to change anything in the Party he wants. He doesnt need to understand the system in order to change it. And since the changes reflect what we want to do in Government, it very much affects out political decisions.

So your argument simply doesnt work.

Cardinal, whats your definition of the "underclass"? The last time I came across it was in AS Level Sociology talking about Marxist thought...

We are being led by rich public school trust fund boys who have never had to make a hard financial decision in their lives.

They haven't thought this through, and neither understand poverty nor how to earn themselves a living. We would be very foolish to follow them.

They haven't a clue Jane.

I would also like to know how much longer readers of the Sunday Telegraph will have to suffer the preposterous drivellings of Matthew D'Ancona, a fanatical supporter of all this nonsense.

Last week I thought he'd gone, but unfortunately he was only on leave.

D'Ancona must be utterly detested by the ST mass readership for his left-wing opinions.

Hows the Spectator mag getting on with D'Ancona as Editor? My relative poverty disuaded me from continuing my subscription and Im not cheap enough to use WHSmiths like a library and read it there.

Cardinal, whats your definition of the "underclass"? The last time I came across it was in AS Level Sociology talking about Marxist thought...

It usedto be called Lumpenproletariat but US theorists didn't like German

Come on Greg, you're better than this.

nice post! keep them coming basically some great things you explained it here.

Fight poverty is a hard thing to do. But if the reason and way is right it will work out great and give wonderful results.

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