Whatever you think of Gordon Brown/New Labour, you cannot lay all the blame for the problems with pensions on them. Pensions have been fouled up by companies keen to cut their contributions and get rid of final salary pensions; pension funds have also been hit by the reckless behaviour of Banks and the financial turmoil that resulted.
As far as the storm in a teacup arguments about NI increases, the reason big business are making such a fuss is that taxes such as corporation tax can be avoided by skilled accountants, whereas NI cannot. Nobody points out that NI is a fairer tax in the sense that everyone pays, both public & private sector employers & employees and nobody can duck it.
The Tories are kicking up quite a storm over 1% NI increase, they didn't make much fuss about Labour freezing local govt pay rises which would have been at a similar level if recent years are to go by... but of course the Local Govt Association is controlled by Tory Councils....
The problem is that NI ,is not ringfenced for health purposes, just like road tax is just added to the pot. It is a method of general taxation. And it is a fact that we as UK workers have never been as highly taxed as we are now, it's just that most of it is by stealth.
No idea to be honest, i aam just repeating what the BBC said
The BBC (allegedly) just repreat what the govt says too.
Tonight's farce in the House of Commons just shows democracy is dead... Digital Economy Bill passed, 180 something bs 40 something. Only 30 MPs actually sat in on the Reading. Shut your eyes, throw a dart at the polling card. S'about as useful as public opinion.
Better install Smoothwall Guardian on all domestic PCs from henceforth if you wish to keep your net connection...
I've seen some of the debates going on, it's pitiful when only four or five MPs turn up. This is what their paid for, you'd like to think that when serious decisions are taken all MPs at least know the background!
At a local level things are better, I'm tweeting with my local councilor, who gets things done. It's rare to have a PM from a Tory saying "cheers dude"!
I think there are two sometimes conflicting forces at play within the Govt;
One, the traditional Labour view that says taxes need to fairly spread, and two the 'New Labour' view that tries to emulate the Conservatives....
The traditional view is that people have no choice about paying direct taxes, whereas they have when it comes to indirect taxes such as VAT, VED, etc.
The reality is of course that this only applies to the poorest people who work for a living; wealthy people employ accountants to avoid taxes.