“The link between taxing and spending is basic to democracy…”

Newton Emerson hitting several nails on the head and perhaps begins to explain why all our parties have turned (by default) in “tight little Tories”…

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  • Great clip. Newton is bang on the apple

    with the exception of one minor labelling point. “tight little tories” is really not quite accurate.

    There is also a distortive link between the size of the public sector and the propensity of voters to put tax issues very low down the political agenda. The reality is that NI is full of “tight little socialists” as well.

  • Northern Ireland is neither Tory nor Socialist – its more closely resembles G.W.Bush era Republicanism (in its American sense) – low taxes, high spending and filling the hole by other means. Except in NI the sugar daddy is Whitehall, not China, and we don’t have a defence industry to speak of…

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  • Frustrated Democrat

    Tight little Tories is not a description I recognise, Tories is fully acceptable, tight is possible if it means careful with money but where does the little come from, The Conservative Party is not little nor are its members.However the rest of the piece is commendable.

  • Mick Fealty

    Newton’s case is that they don’t have the means to change that without asking for tax varying powers…

  • Barnshee

    “Newton’s case is that they don’t have the means to change that without asking for tax varying powers…”

    No chance – You are either in or out of a fiscal union
    The UK will not tolerate any local changes which impact on the UK tax take without a quid pro quo. The corporation tax shambles is a classic example. Income Tax ? same thing will happen – the block grant gets cut.

    There is sheer terror in the political class at the thought of local tax powers. The subset of Democracy that would arise is that horror -accountability. Currently they can all whinge about westminsters parsimony- who would they blame if they had full responsibility?

  • Barnshee. We can hardly be surprised at the fright they get at Stormont at this bind their in, when they can choose not to have social security powers for fear it would make them unpopular. Shows how unserious they are up there. A real governmenty wouldn’t have such an option. Sammy Wilson is is a particular vice between having a healthy economy and seeing the link with London loosened, giving comfort to the shinners in the process. It would be comical if it weren’t so serious. I always read newton’s columns.

  • aquifer

    The Tories are all for reducing income tax here, but Sammy does not want to. Spending other people’s money is a lot easier than negotiating detailed tax and benefits changes with British treasury officials.

    The price we pay is a smaller economy.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Newton’s analysis to bring up the link between tax and spending is fair, you also have to bring the link of consumption of public services, national insurance, public investment to earnings, profits and the block grant. We would also in adding in the Barnett formula, subtract some higher Island of Britain only spending such nuclear plant decommissioning, and most banking bailouts.

    Also some analysis of regional tax payments including VAT per capita would be nice.

  • PaulT

    Can someone confirm Newtons sums, he sez that the grant is £10billion +taxes raised, I thought it was £10billion minus taxes which are circa £6billion, making the grant circa £4billion in total.

    There is an almighty difference in what I thought it was £4billion and what Newt says £16billion

  • PaulT
  • PaulT 19 May 2012 at 9:33 am

    If the £10m figure is correct, it is probably £10m net of taxes. In 2009, the actual total spending was £19m with £12 million in tax receipts (source Sec of State for NI). The deficit appears to have widened.