Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tax credits, keeping the plebs down.

I've mentioned the following subject once or twice in the past, but current 'goings on' at work has brought the subject to the top of my 'things to get pissed off about' list.

I'm talking about tax credits. Or to give it the correct NuLieBore code name, 'let's not encourage people to better themselves because they may start thinking for themselves and we wouldn't want that now because they may realise what a bunch of arses we really are'. It's closely related to the 'let's give money to the idle workshy' and 'let us, the state, take responsibility for everything in your pathetic existence'.

To my overseas reader, tax credits basically means that the government will 'top up' the wages of the low paid. They top up by using cash from taxes, which the low paid have probably paid, so if you are low paid and receive tax credits money is taken from you via taxes and put through the bureaucratic magic box, costing millions a year to administer, only for you to get it back by the wonder of tax credits.

I have a problem with tax credits. To be honest, I have more than one problem.

It's a yoke around the necks of the low paid. There is no incentive for people to 'better' themselves, to study and work hard. Why should they? The state will provide. Rather than look for a better paid job people will stagnate in the tedium they are currently in, poor wages are topped up in accordance with how many times you have impregnated your partner/how many sprogs you have dropped.

Employers don't give extra wages to those who have more children. Why should the state, (ie the taxpayer)?

On a more personal level, the reason I am incredibly pissed off with the whole shambles at the minute is that tax credits encourage the 'working idle'.

In the midst of the busy holiday season at work, one of my main guys is off sick with a broken leg. Thus, we are short staffed. I am allowed to 'cover' his hours, (shock!), but I am struggling to do this.

"But why"? I hear you ask. "Surely others would be glad of the extra hours".

Well. a few are. Unfortunately, most of them are on holiday. Those that are willing are covering as much as they can. Jolly good stuff.


The 'hard core' group of part timers will simply not do any extra hours. As I've mentioned before, the 'hard core' consist of the same type of person. They are male. They are married or live with a partner. They have children. They receive tax credits.

The state will pay them anyway, so why work any extra? One part of me can't blame them really. After all, they are only human. I would be tempted. The other part of me feels like screaming at them. Where is their dignity and self respect? Generations of men and women have worked their fingers to the bone to provide for their families, but they draw the line at sixteen or twenty hours a week.

The group of 'hard core' part timers also enjoy set shifts, (protected by employment law), which is another bug bear.

I'm sure the same scenario is repeated up and down the land. It would be interesting to see figures, if any existed.


Anonymous said...

Agree. I know what you are up against. I think it's time to stop the Idle from breeding. Even include the morbid obese, unless the are working and contributing to society.

Anonymous said...

Its all very well and good to condemn some for their attitudes and lifestyles but on the other side of the coin are the 'I'm alright Jack' and 'Fuck You' brigade of whom I deplore.
I don't have kids, don't use the health service, fire service, libraries, prisons etc etc etc so should I be entitled to a 90% rebate on tax?
If only.

Anonymous said...

You are one of the fuck you brigade. Any more o yer rubbish and you deserve to be using the prison service!

Anonymous said...

9.02 PM

First class analysis.
You must be a fanny.

Delphius1 said...

Rab I agree with you. Where's the sense in a system that declares a minimum wage, but then taxes that wage? Not only that, but to add to the idiocy, it pays that tax back in the form of tax credits back to the minimum wage taxpayer!

Far better to remove the tax at source, which removes the cost of administration. The downside with this of course is that it removes the ability of government to control the person receiving the benefit.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Rab, you were right before and still right now. Tax Credits are an abomination. I don't mind simple redistribution for redistribution's sake (i.e. a Citizen's Income, at whatever level) but Tax Credits are wrong on just about every level.

Please don't forget that your "shirkers" stand to earn less than £1 per hour net for their extra shifts, and face a whirlwind nightmare of paperwork if their hours and gross income change and then change back again during the year.

I'd say that are acting very sensibly - surely they'd rather go without that extra £10 a week for a few weeks, than have to explain to the Mrs at the end of the year why they have to repay £1,000s in 'overpaid' Tax Credits?

Blame the f***ers who invented the system, not those who appear to be abusing it.*

* That doesn't apply to MPs' expenses, where the f***ers who invented the system are the same people as are abusing it.

Captain Ranty said...

I claimed this crap years ago when it first came out. I was on a low (ish) salary and they said I could get some extra cash. Fast forward 2 years and I got a couple of promotions and some seriously cool pay upgrades, so I called the tax credits people and informed them that my circumstances had changed and that I no longer needed tax credits. I backed this up in writing, several times, and assumed all was well. Fast forward another two years and I throw the tax credit reminder in the bin, thinking I am done with it all. I get a letter a month or two later informing me that they fucked up and that they overpaid me by £5,400. They wanted it back. I told them to fuck off. They got nasty. Eventually, a wifey phoned me up and said "Look, if you want this to go away, just please fill in the form every year and we will never ask for the money back".

"Fairy nuff", says I.

I have filled those damn forms in for years and I will carry on forever if it means NOT giving them £5K.

captainff said...

Can I disagree on one point (but not the overarching theme)?

Fixed part-time shifts for fathers possibly allows them to work around their partners jobs so that one of them is always there for the kids. I've got a similar situation with two of my employees .. .. they won't work when their partner is.

That may not be the case where you are though .. .. ..

The whole Tax Credits / Benefits Threshold is wrong .. .. as you say it does nothing to encourage people to work more as they then start to weigh up the loss of benefits against the extra income. Why bother?

Barking Spider said...

I've got nothing to add that you haven't already said, Rab.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Rab, The state already pays them to have kids in child allowance. Why the fuck should I pay for some bastard to have five of a family. If you want to have kids you should provide for them yourselves.

Angry Old Man said...

Labour have got to keep their core vote happy.

John Bull (the arisen spirit of) said...

Ye Gods, my mind is in a spin,im sure i qualify for tax credits, but if i go down that road ill be seduced into the lair of Labour zombiedom, never again will i free my mortal soul from their vice like grip,an eternity of state manipulation would be my lot.Stay free of the soul eaters!.

Anonymous said...

while i agree that the tax credit system is all the things you have said......the answer surely for any employer who unhappy about it is for them to pay their employees a decent wage that is sufficient for them to live without the need to get tax credits in the first place

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

anon 10.56, you talk pish.

Anonymous said...

The most simple and cost effective way of disposing of the 'Great Tax Credit Scam' is to raise the taxable allowance accordingly. That way the waste of running the scam would be more beneficial to the taxpayer.
Or am I completely raving?

Dark Lochnagar said...

Anonymous. That is no use for the self employed who are going on their previous years profits/losses.