Archive for - Abertillery Online Discussion Forum - Croeso i fforwm Abertyleri ar y we

For the old board click here
 


       - Abertillery Online Discussion Forum - Forum Index -> The Soap Box
cymrocymraeg123

Fiscal federalism (tax power) ?

What do forum members think about the Silk commission's recent findings? Are we in Britain looking at a federal union, in terms of the constitution and now also monetary matters? Hereís Paul Silkís main recommendations on tax devolution:-

1.  The aggregates levy, which is a tax on the commercial exploitation of sand, gravel and rock.
2. The stamp duty paid by house-buyers.
3. Landfill tax on licensed waste sites.
4. Air passenger duty for long-haul
5. Business Rates

Also, one of the bigger ones, Income Tax. Welsh ministers would be able to vary Income Tax and also receive half of it directly. For example, for every £1, the Welsh Gov. would be able to vary and receive 50p and the Treasury the other half, meaning joint up responsibility.

So we would get control over the ''peanut taxes'' and a level of (albeit limited) control over Income Tax. However the report says Wales should not have Corporation Tax, National Insurance and other big ones, as they are ''too complicated'' to devolve at the moment. Silk also thinks a referendum should happen before fiscal devolution

According to ''Welsh'' Labour, i.e. the ones who would rather keep Wales and its people in a period of adolescent democracy with no real responsibility, they don't want to have them as it could lock in underfunding to the tune of £350 million and also that Wales would need to have a Treasury to deal with taxation which would cost money (yet again, any new Welsh insitution always costs the earth). They also agree to a referendum on the matter.

How can we expect the Assembly to be responsible and a mature legislative when all it does is receive money in the form of a block grant and just spends it? How is that accountable? We should have fiscal devolution, and we don't need to waste millions on a referendum.
Saeson

Well it might (but probably won`t) stop the English complaining about having to "pay" for Wales. Of course, they wouldn`t have to if somebody hadn`t destroyed our ****ing industrial base. Now who could that have been?  Confused
cymrocymraeg123

Exactly, of course this whole idea that Wales, as is Scotland in fact, just funded and contributes nothing to the Union will be blown out of the water when fiscal devolution actually does happen, whenever that will be, people will realise that actually the tax yield and net contribution of Wales is enough for Wales to survive, as other even smaller countries do in Europe and the rest of the world. Can't see the current Assembly pushing for it any time soon though.

The foundations of our communities and economies in Wales has ripped out, the people who relied on them however weren't and ever since have been left in a perpetual economic struggle. Westminster and the Assembly systematically fail Wales and everyone who lives here on a yearly basis. Maybe with some ability to actually change the economy for the better things will improve, not to mention the fact the parties will now have actually justify how and why they spent our money and be truly accountable, this block grant situation looks like big brother giving the little a few quid to play around with.
Jim Nicholas

It amazes me that someone (usually Maggie Thatcher) continues to be blamed for the loss of welsh industry. The era of steam power created a demand for coal to drive railways, shipping, and factories and to heat homes. This entire market disappeared and the nation just could not afford to allow the pits to continue to receive millions of pounds to produce coal which nobody wanted to buy. The money to pay for the losses of this nationalised industry came from the taxpayers including our manufacturing industry which had to absorb this additional cost, which made them less competetive in the world markets.
Saeson

Jim Nicholas wrote:
It amazes me that someone (usually Maggie Thatcher) continues to be blamed for the loss of welsh industry. The era of steam power created a demand for coal to drive railways, shipping, and factories and to heat homes. This entire market disappeared and the nation just could not afford to allow the pits to continue to receive millions of pounds to produce coal which nobody wanted to buy. The money to pay for the losses of this nationalised industry came from the taxpayers including our manufacturing industry which had to absorb this additional cost, which made them less competetive in the world markets.


Ah, but the point is that people (i.e. industry) did want to buy coal. And they continued to do so from the likes of Vietnam and Colombia. In fact, to this day millions of tons of coal are still imported into the UK.

Thatcher was (amongst other things) an economist who had no time for `society` and was unable (or unwilling - either way the result was the same) to understand the social implications of shutting down huge swathes of British industry. Replacing well-paid skilled manual work with part-time and/or underpaid jobs in pokey industrial estate units was no answer to the damage the Tory Government inflicted on the UK`s industrial heartlands. Those areas are still paying the price of Thatcher`s policies today
cymrocymraeg123

Agree with Saeson, whether or not the coal industry could have survived without state help, Thatcher totally destroyed the economic life of the valleys and we are still suffering today, our young included.

Say for arguments sake that the industry was on its knees, surely an economic plan for the valleys afterwards and welfare support for those affected by job losses was essential? Instead she thought nothing of society and waded in without due care for the little man. Typical tory, all about the money the people mean nothing.

We still see the effects of our weak economy today. It was released from recent census figures that Wales has the lowest income weekly than anywhere in the UK, there is a huge gap in GDA between the rest of the UK and Wales economic woes are allowed to fester while our young people are jobless and become a lost generation

However eventhough my grandfather and father before him were miners, we should remember there was a devolution referendum in 1979, if it was won Wales would have had a democratically elected Labour government that could have fought against Thatchers economic plans, but instead it was heavily defeated and Wales was left helpless eventhough hardly anyone in the 1980s, especially in the vallyes, voted for the tories.
martyn142

What is about Labour's record in power, locally and nationally, that makes you believe they would have done things much different? Did Blair's government turn its back on Thatcherism or embrace would you say?
cymrocymraeg123

Old Labour died with Blair, his neo-liberal policies were a direct continuation of some of Thatcherís. Thatcherism contained two strains; Neo-liberalism or a restatement of traditional beliefs in individual freedom and liberal capitalism along with Neo-Conservatism, which was a reassertion in the traditional views of the conservatives; a weaker (less welfare) but stronger (more authoritarian and powerful) state, restoring traditional ''family'' values, tougher on law and order etc. Thatcherism wanted to destroy the welfare state as we have seen with recently released Downing Street documents; she was a staunch capitalist and believed strongly in market forces, thinking nothing of the communities whose entire existence depended on a particular industry. Should the livelihood of whole communities be allowed to be decided by market forces alone? No.

Blairís ''Third Way'' was hardly different, New Labour is conservatism lit. Policies to end the dependence on welfare through privatisation, liberalisation  of the markets and strengthening the state are all inherent in Conservatism. Look at Blairís polices in the 1990s; privatization was carried on through PFIs, he was ''tough'' on crime'' thus tending towards weak authoritarianism as Thatcher was, the financial sector (the new market of Blairís time as oppose to the steel and coal industry of Thatcherís time) had its rule and regulations relaxed, hence marketization (the effects of which we are all feeling now).  All Thatcherís anti-Trade Unionism legislation remained and was not repealed by the New Labour government, it actually got stronger.

Apart from in Wales, where the ''clear red water'' does seem to be a reality thanks to a growing degree of devolution. Any one who was anti-devolution before the ConDem coalition and has seen what it being done in England to health service and education must be glad of some sort of protection the Welsh Government offers.

Do I think New Labour would have done things differently? No. Old Labour would have though as then they were still socialist and had close connections with Trade Unionism and their traditional ideology. Nowadays it is true to say ''they are all the same''. Even the Liberal Democrats are in a coalition with the Tories

Plaid Cymru the Party of Wales is the only party that will genuinely have Wales and its people at heart, not the south of England, rich bankers or trade unionists.
martyn142

A bit confused if you don't mind me saying.

Besides missing what was the defining characteristic of the Thatcher governments - monetarist economics (maybe it wasn't mentioned in the textbook?) - you on one hand praise old Labour which "had close connections with Trade Unionism" and in the next breath praise Plaid because it is not beholden to the trade unions.  Confused
cymrocymraeg123

You asked me if I thought old Labour would have done things differently were they to have been in power instead of Thatcher.

And I never gave a defining characteristic I gave a few examples of typical thatcherite policy that were similar to social and economic policy areas in Blairs' Third Way

I then said that Plaid are the party free from all this rubbish and truly represent the Welsh people. It was off topic if I'm honest but I'd thought Id' throw it in as Welsh independence would mean an end to right-wing policies like Thatchers, or at least make them a lot less likely.

I never said that I have a problem with Old Labour's connection to trade unionism, that is one of the reasons I gave for me thinking a Labour government would have acted differently.

I never praised Old Labour, I just think they would have done things differently to the conservatives.

As you can probably tell I'm not an economist, I'm coming from Sociology's understanding of the construction, growth and contraction of the British state, so forgive some things that I'm wrong on or things you don't agree with. By the way, you're right it wasn't in the textbook as I havn't got one on it.

       - Abertillery Online Discussion Forum - Forum Index -> The Soap Box
Page 1 of 1
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum