Has a bigger shit ever walked the earth?

I speak, of course, about arrogant shitbag extraordinaire, Dave Hartnett, top tax civil servant at HMRC.

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The HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Permanent Secretary responsible for tax denied there had been any errors, and that there was no “need to apologise”.

He said HMRC was justified in asking people who owed more than £2,000 to repay it more quickly, saying they were likely to be the highest earners.

Hmmm… reminds me of something.

YouOweWhatYouOwe

This guy is such a joke that even senior Tories have been able to accuse him of arrogance while keeping a straight face,

AJ

Graduate tax ruled out – surcharges and levies ruled in.

This is really very tiresome semantic bullshit.

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Sounds reasonable on the face of it, doesn’t it?

Addressing senior vice-chancellors, he ruled out imposing a “full-blown graduate tax” after admitting it could drive top students overseas.

Well, that’s a relief. Because punit.. oh wait..

But he said the Government was investigating the possibly of a “progressive” funding system in which students take out loans to cover higher fees – and wealthier graduates pay them back at a more expensive rate.

Analysts have suggested that graduates with the largest salaries could pay for an extra two years or face stiffer charges than those on low incomes.

What. The. Fuck?

Can someone please explain to Mr “two brains” Willets that graduates with the largest salaries ALREADY PAY THE MOST TAX…. at 40% or even 50%. They and their employers also play more National Insurance contributions.

Out of their take home pay, they will pay out more VAT, fuel tax, alcohol tax and, perish the thought that even smart people sometimes like to smoke, tobacco tax.

And, as for ‘ruling out a full-blown graduate tax’… if it looks like a graduate tax and it quacks like a graduate tax, it’s a fucking graduate tax.

The inevitable unintended consequences will depend on the small print, but consider this: In the current jobs climate, a chap could easily come to the conclusion that going back to university for the final year of a bachelors degree would open him up to punitive costs that he’d avoid by quitting, with little or no downside, when you consider how worthless most 1st degrees are these days.

He may initially find it harder to get his foot on the career ladder, but he’ll be 12-24 months ahead of the fools who stayed on and finished their course, possibly emerging with a Desmond or a Douglas.

Same shit, different puppets.

AJ

Another legacy of Gordon Brown

Once upon a time, there was the Inland Revenue, and there was HM Customs & Excise.

When Brown decided to merge these two behemoth bureaucracies, disasters were bound to occur, not to mention the cancerous reach of Customs & Excise being extended to tax collectors.

So it has proven.

We’ve already had overpayments of tax credits, which have been clawed back from those who can ill afford it.

“You shouldn’t have spent what you weren’t entitled to, so what do you expect?” go the cries from the collaborators. Ah yes, because after we’ve filled in a million pages of bullshit questions, and the government finally grants us a tax credit to increase income from below the poverty line to just above it, we should always think, “I’m gonna save half of that money, just in case the government wants it back.”

That has caused stress and misery to thousands of people, at the hands of a bureaucracy that claims to be all knowing and all seeing, until it fucks up, then it comes after you like you’ve just put a cat in a wheelie bin.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that HMRC have also fucked up PAYE as well.

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Between now and Christmas 1.4 million taxpayers will receive letters telling them that they owe money. The total amount owed is £2 billion which means on average those people face a demand for £1,428 each. Some individuals could face higher bills.

So there we are – many will be ’caught out’. Well, I say ‘caught out’ – actually, they’ve done nothing more wrong than accept the tax coding assigned to them at face value. They will not have thought, any more than the tax credits people, “I’ll save a couple of grand of my earnings this year, just in case HMRC decide it belongs to them after all.

The sensible thing to do would be to issue revised codings for next year so the money can be recouped over 12-24 months. But I bet that doesn’t happen.

I bet they want everyone on correct codings next April, so they’ll send letters to millions of people demanding immediate ‘repayment’ (as if the money belongs to the fucking government in the first place).

Obviously, in dual income households, two people could get this letter.

Let’s consider the human implications of that for a moment. A couple, both working, with two kids that have just gone to school. In November, days after they’ve sat down and set a budget for Christmas, HMRC sends them not one but TWO menacing letters, demanding a total ‘repayment’ of nearly £3,000.

Do you think that family has savings to pay such a demand? Mrs has only recently gone back to work in earnest after having the kids. They were probably slapped by the tax-credits cock-up as well.

Even if, after hours on the phone and multiple letters, some kind of arrangement is agreed, the money still has to be paid back and lots of stress will be caused. The shine will be rather taken off the Christmas these people have worked hard to earn money for.

The government – and I can’t stress this enough – DO NOT GIVE A FUCK.

You’re gonna get it up the arse again, because AGAIN, they made a fucking mistake.

So next time you see some Labour supporting cunt or an apologist for Brown, thank them for this, won’t you… preferably with a branding iron.

AJ

UPDATE: As indicated by commenter Sad But Mad Lad, HMRC have confirmed that the money will be recovered by tax codes in 2011-12.

Nevertheless, as a commenter on the BBC points out, some people will be unexpectedly out of pocket by around £120 a month during the next tax year.

And what of those families who are pushed beneath the poverty line by this? Especially where there are two people in the household affected? Ah yes, of course. Tax credits. Pure genius.

Thieving Tory Socialist Bastard

Sorry – it’s behind the Times’ paywall, but it deserves mentioning, because it demonstrates that, in Andrew Mitchell, we have a Tory minister who is, in fact, a redistributive socialist.

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After a harrowing trip to meet flood victims in Pakistan, a cabinet minister has called on workers who receive bonuses to donate some of the money to charity.

Errr okay. After 13 years of Labour I’m hideously overtaxed, my pension and other investments have been repeatedly decimated by Gordon Brown’s government. And you think I’ve got spare money to pour into a bottomless pit?

And I’m not even going to bother rehearsing the arguments regarding donating money to Pakistan.*

The Tory socialist goes further.

“There are some companies who require people who are paid bonuses to give some of it away,” Mitchell said. “It is about accepting that we all have a part to play when it comes to giving aid.”

That’s an incredible statement from a Conservative MP, don’t you think?

Let me tell you that I’d play merry fucking hell if my company forced me to give a single penny of my hard earned pay over to any sort of charity. Yes I get a bonus, comprising elements related to personal performance and company performance. It’s not a massive sum, but it’s written into my contract of employment and it was one of the reasons I took the job in the first place.

Oh sure, they run a GiftAid scheme for those who choose to donate. They contract that out to some hokey outfit who have a list of about 40 charities you can give to. I ran through the list and identified that nearly 30 of those were fake charities according accounts filed with the Charities Commission.

What this implies is that I’ve already given involuntarily to those charities via taxes. So naturally I don’t give anything more to them. Not a red cent.

But to be forced to make donations? Fuck. That.

What’s that you say? I’ve already given money to Pakistan? Of course I have. Silly me.

Mitchell has just doubled the government’s contribution to the floods fund to more than £64m — so he can afford to take the moral high ground. However, the British public, while giving generously, are not digging as deep for this natural disaster as they have for others.

My share of that £64 million is already way more than I would be prepared to donate to the cause.

Perhaps my philanthropic aspect will become more prominent when the state stops taking my money with a gun to my head and giving it to causes – that more often than not I disagree with – on my behalf.

AJ

* If you’re quick, there was a surprisingly balanced debate on that matter on Any Questions on Friday night

What???

Speechless.

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New laws are being passed by MPs which allow them to avoid tax on their expenses, including their commute to Westminster, free travel for spouses and late-night meals in the House of Commons.

Under the Finance Bill, MPs will be given exemptions so they cannot be pursued by the taxman over their claims.

MPs claim about £6m a year in travel expenses and the new laws will formalise a special concession that they are granted by HM Revenue & Customs.

Tax experts say it means they will now be guaranteed special treatment compared with ordinary employees.

Mike Truman, editor of Taxation Magazine, said: “They’re voting themselves an exemption from scrutiny. Other employees would face a tax bill.”

You. Utter. Fucking. Cunts.

AJ

Abolishing Laws: Ur doin it wrong.

In my view, David Laws got off to an extremely impressive start as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Even the anecdotes apparently cast him in a good light.

So my jaw and spirits dropped to the floor as I watched the current imbroglio unfold last night.

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I haven’t read blogs yet today, but I expect there are demands for his head from left, right and centre.

Even given my generous view of Laws so far, I don’t believe he can, or should, survive in his post.

On the face of it, his approach to his expenses lacks probity. Whether he was in breach of the letter or the spirit of rules that are already discredited is neither here nor there.

While Laws must shoulder his responsibility and act with honour, he’s not the only one who got it badly wrong.

Cameron and Clegg both failed to apply rigour in vetting. Each appointment should have been preceded by a process of full discovery and disclosure.

For a start, it’s no big deal to work out what candidates’ potential exposure to the expenses scandal is, without even asking them.

Secondly, if Laws was asked if there was anything Clegg/Cameron should know, and he didn’t disclose at least his expenses exposure, and preferably his other skeletons, then he should not only lose his post in government, he should trigger a by-election and let his constituents decide.

But really, it just doesn’t make any sense. Lots of politicians and others in public life are openly gay. While homophobia can still be found amongst the elderly,the religious and some immigrant groups, I genuinely do not think it forms a part of mainstream British culture in the 21st century.

Who exactly was he hiding this sexuality from? Every one except his other half, it seems. But why?

I mean, in this day and age – and correct me if I’m wrong, gayers – why would you not stick to your guns? We’re here, we’re smoking each others poles, we’re proud, get used to it.

Friends – don’t like that I’m gay? Goodbye and good-riddance.

Family – don’t like that I’m gay? Even easier. Can’t choose them, don’t even need to reflect on one’s own poor choices before ditching them.

Anyway, what next?

If Laws survives, it’s doubtful he would carry the credibility and respect required of whoever is to deliver the debtectomy this country needs over the next few years.

If Laws falls on his sword*, who should replace him?

The most likely candidates are my nightmare, Vince Cable, and our best hope, Philip Hammond.

Selecting Cable would cause uproar on the Tory right. Selecting Hammond would mean replacing a LibDem with a Tory. A pretty big reshuffle would be needed to restore the coalition equilibrium. Less than one month into the administration, both options are inconceivable, particularly after Cameron’s ludicrous scuffle with the 1922 committee last week.

So, what then?

AJ

* Don’t. I are respectable serious bloggist. K? Ahem.

Let the mongnitive dissonance flow

We’ve already had the bin thing today.

Now this. 13th May:

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Within 24 hours of taking on the portfolio he confirmed the new administration would bring in a "fuel price stabiliser" which would see the taxes reduced if the price of oil rises sharply.

However fuel duties would rise if the cost of petrol and diesel fell.

Mr Hammond, who drives a Jaguar, sought to underline the new Government’s motorist-friendly credentials confirming a manifesto pledge that there would be no Whitehall cash for new fixed speed cameras.

All good – fuel duty stabiliser and death to speed cameras, right? Wrong.

Today:

Conservative plans to cut fuel duty when oil prices are high have been abandoned, leading to fears that motorists will be targeted.

Meanwhile:

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TFI Drinkipoos time.

AJ

Heed my advice or fail

Written in June last year:

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Liability of only slightly smaller proportions than Mad Nadine Dorries…. Or is she the equal-opportunities ginger, so immune?

Today, via Obo.

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So, we’ve had a week before the Tories have revealed themselves to be exactly the same thieving, greedy, duplicitous cunts as Labour. Well … we knew it from the expenses scandal, but iDave must be shitting himself at this little clusterfuck.

And if he’d just accepted the warning from the nannygate scandal and given Spelman the heave-ho at the time, none of this rumbling would be threatening his honeymoon with Nick. I can only assume she knows where the bodies are buried.

Still, you massively-foreheaded cunt, let that be a fucking lesson to you.
Not that you’ll listen.

Do read on and follow the links to Guido’s place here and here.

AJ

Burn the witch

It looks like the mess left behind (are we surprised?) by Gordon Brown and his crew could stick to them in fine style.

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Following the link:

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the emerging story of Labour’s ‘scorched earth spending spree’ has to be the smoking gun that convicts Gordon Brown’s ‘evil regime’! According to John Pinar BBC 5live Chief Political Correspondent, evidence is emerging that ‘Top civil service chiefs lodged formal protests at decisions by Labour ministers to spend millions in dying months of Lab gov’.

On Monday David Cameron instructed all of his ministers to go back to their departments and list all of Labour’s spending commitments signed in the immediate run-up to the General Election. This task will be performed with relish by those who endured years of torment from Labour’s front-bench in the House of Commons. With the almost certain guarantee of possible criminal charges for the most serious abuse of government powers, many in the Conservative party baying for a McCarthy-style red-witch-hunt will get their wish.

That sounds like fun!

More anon, I’m sure.

AJ

UPDATE: More.

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More of other people’s stuff

Because, having done the stuff I needed to do, I now have CBA syndrome.

I heard Ali Darling on BBC news earlier, spouting the same old lines. Mr Eugenides sums up my response nicely (but do read the whole thing):

Hear this, Darling. You have destroyed the public finances and demeaned the nation’s governance. You have scorched the earth for your successors and ploughed salt into the ruins. You have fucked us so hard, Darling, that we will be walking bow-legged for a generation. How dare you put your mortician’s face above the parapet. Have you no shame?

Fuck off, shut up, and leave us alone. We do not wish to hear from you, ever again.

Meanwhile, Jeff Randall performs a field-autopsy on Brown’s legacy.

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Well, we kinda knew that already, Jeff, but do go on…

Despite its record of fiscal incompetence, constitutional vandalism and disregard for Middle England, Gordon Brown’s administration ought never to have collapsed. It had, after all, created for itself a client class of supplicant voters. As part of a grand plan for permanent office, more than one million immigrants were handed British passports (80 per cent of first-generation arrivals vote Labour) and 900,000 workers added to the public-sector payroll.

More pernicious still, Mr Brown and his ministers were delighted to overlook a grotesque distortion in the make-up of parliamentary boundaries, which meant that a 30 per cent vote for Labour produced about 300 seats, whereas the same percentage for the Conservatives delivered only 200 seats. In short, just about everything that could have been done to bend the system in New Labour’s favour was in place by the time the election was called.

The problem, however, was that the project had been constructed upon a moral cesspit. The party’s membership had been taken prisoner by a gang of desperadoes who clung to a conviction that honesty and integrity were disposable luxuries, and substance an unwelcome substitute for propaganda. The upshot was a dystopian regime in which Lord Mandelson and Alastair Campbell were recalled from ignominy to orchestrate a campaign of lavish deceit.

Meanwhile, the twatteriti are complaining about having a “feckless fop” like this running the nation’s finances:

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I know what they mean. Anyone who could afford a shave back when everything was still black and white were toffs, cads and idlers.

Far better for things to be run by the provisional wing of the David Bellamy fan club.

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Why can’t these bitter lefties get over the class thing? I was brought up on the breadline, in the North, in a staunch Labour household, yet I don’t appear to be equipped with the same chip as these people. Perhaps it’s because I stopped moaning, got off my arse and did something to put half of Hovis between me and the breadline.

Perhaps.

Said twitterist asks, in his profile, “Why should I face years of austerity when there are so many wealthy folk about?”

To which I reply, “Because you voted for the government that caused these years of austerity. I didn’t. Actions have consequences.”

Old Holborn has a nice compare and contrast post on this matter:

If a Libertarian doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
If a Fabian doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Libertarian is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
If a Fabian is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Libertarian sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
A Fabian wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

If a Libertarian is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Fabian is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a black person is Libertarian, they see themselves as independently successful.
Their Fabian counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.

If a Libertarian is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A Fabian demands someone take care of him.

And there’s more… read on.

AJ

Going Postal Voting

At the end of my post about Kerry McCarthy’s unfortunate tweeting incident last week, I included some bits about postal voting fraud.

It wouldn’t be election time if there was no consternation about postal voting.

And here it is…

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50?

Officials report a flood of postal vote applications in marginal seats. With the outcome of the closest election in a generation hanging in the balance, a few thousand ‘stolen’ votes there could determine who wins the keys to Downing Street.

The Metropolitan Police are examining 28 claims of major abuses across 12 boroughs – with four separate investigations in Tower Hamlets, East London.

Labour supporters stand accused of packing the electoral roll at the last minute with relatives living overseas or simply inventing phantom voters.

Officials in Tower Hamlets received 5,166 new registrations just before the April 20 deadline, and there has been no time to check them all.

In Bethnal Green, it is feared the electoral register has been deliberately stacked with fictitious names.

And with echoes of this post from 2009:

The Mail’s Richard Kay has learned that for the first time ever the Commonwealth is dispatching a group of election monitors – more used to supervising banana republics – to scrutinise the results on Thursday.

What it is to remember living in a first world country.

AJ

UPDATE: CF has more on correlations between accusations of postal fraud, and Labour seats.

Also, a reporter from the Independent was attacked by a gang of Asian lads while investigating this, in the Bow constituency.

UPDATE 2: One should always check the facts with The Daily Mash.

Either way, we pay again

During the ash cloud, we’ve been repeatedly told about the impact it’s having on airlines. They have their begging bowls out to government. So now do the airports.

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Ordinarily, my response would be, ‘yeah right – fuck off’.

But there seems to be a real possibility that NATS, the Met Office, the Government and the euronumpties colluded to create a completely un-necessary situation that has brought potential ruin to several companies already in serious trouble.

And that means if the government doesn’t start doling out cash to those companies that have lost out, a court will see it that they do.

And either way, it’s with our money they’ll pay the airports and airlines off.

This is the real cost of risk-averse, precautionary principled, bureaucratic timidity, inflexibility and incompetence.

AJ

UPDATE: Excellent insight into the whole ash cloud business by Richard North at EU Referendum.

Also, fine commentary from Dominic Lawson.

Shameless, Boyo

Vote Labour.

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Peter Davey, 35, a father of seven, gave up work in administration nine years ago because he realised he would be better off on state handouts.

He and his wife Claire, 29, who is seven months pregnant, believe they deserve their £815-a-week benefit cheque and are open about feeling no guilt that they live at the expense of the taxpayer.

Their home, a semi-detached house on the Isle of Anglesey, is complete with 42 inch flat screen television, Sky TV at £50 a month, a computer and three expensive games consoles, as well as four mobile phones.

The family also run a Mercedes people carrier and an 11 seater minibus.

However, they still feel there is little to be grateful for.

Mrs Davey, who has never had a full-time job, told Closer magazine: "It’s hard. We can’t afford holidays and I don’t want my kids living on a council estate and struggling like I have.

"I don’t feel bad about being subsidised by people who are working. I’m just working with the system that’s there.

"If the government wants to give me money, I’m happy to take it. We get what we’re entitled to. I don’t put in anything because I don’t pay taxes, but if I could work I would.

"We couldn’t afford to care for our children without benefits, but as long as they have everything they need, I don’t think I’m selfish."

No – that’s right. You’re not selfish.

In 20 years, the only times I have been out of work are during a couple of sabbaticals I saved for by.. err… working. I claimed dole for about 5 weeks in 1993. After which I moved from the jobless north to the flourishing south, having been offered a job down here.

I have earned, and paid tax on, above median income for the last 14 years and have taken practically nothing out of the system.

Claire Davey has never had a proper job and her cuntish bloke ditched his 7 years ago.

Yet I’m the selfish one, because I like to earn money and use some of it to drive a nice car.

I want no part of this society:

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Despite filing for bankruptcy 18 months ago after racking up £20,000 of debt on mail order catalogues they still insist on splashing out on four presents per child at birthdays and last Christmas spent £2,000 on gifts alone.

‘Santa is always generous in our house,’ said Mrs Davey, who once applied to join the police but was turned down.

She insists her husband would do any job ‘as long as we could still afford the lifestyle we have now’.

Mrs Davey, who spends £160 a week at Tesco, says she does not intend to stop at eight children. Her target is 14.

And she adds: ‘I’ve always wanted a big family – no one can tell me how many kids I can have whether I’m working or not.’

Fuck. You. All.

AJ

What do I get?

Come on, Dave, you shiny faced cunt, what’s in it for me?

First he punitively taxes me and my job.

Now this:

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How about a fucking tax break for me then, Cameron?

You know, the one who has private pension, healthcare and income protection? The one who doesn’t have brats at school, who doesn’t want a goddamn fucking thing from the wretched government?

I’ve just looked at how much tax and NI I paid in FY09.

Fuck Pay As You Earn. Time for Pay As You Use.

Communist shithole.

AJ

Motorists shafted again again

Several things happened today. The first is a penny extra tax on a litre of fuel. The second is VAT on that extra penny. The third is the withdrawal of a subsidy on biodiesel, adding a penny to diesel prices.

In addition, new car tax (Road Fund License) costs.

Last month I paid £215 for 12 months road tax.

From today I’d pay £235. But that’s only because my car is pre-2006. Otherwise it’d be £425. If my car was brand new today, the road tax would be £950 a year.

£950. A year. I don’t fucking pay that much for my insurance on a group 20 car!

Do you government thieves GET that I already spend a fortune on petrol (now ~30p a mile, 24,000miles a year), about 80% of which is tax? And you want to tax me again?

Just fuck off.

Over at the Torygiraffe, there seems to be a sense of acceptance that the public view will be, “well these cunts with flash cars can afford it, so who cares?”

“Okay, those paying £950 a year are going to be driving a pretty special breed of car.”

Special, huh?

Vauxhall Insignia 2.8.

Uh huh. Actually, they don’t mention that it’s a 256bhp turbo charged V6, but it’s still a Vauxhall.

I’ll stick with my pre-2006 354BHP and you people with teeny-weeny piece-of-shit foodmixer-engined cars can go fuck yourselves.

AJ

The Budget: What people are saying

Well.. what I imagine they’re saying – I can’t bring myself to actually talk to any of the tedious fuckers:

“I don’t drink cider, so it doesn’t affect me – it’s a good idea.”

Can you say ‘thin end of the slippery wedge?’ It’ll be too late to complain about needing a permit to buy your bottle of sherry.

“The inheritance tax threshold should be frozen – why should people inherit free money?”

Perhaps when your parents die, and the house they’ve lived in for your entire life turns out to be worth £400k, and you have to sell the house that means so much to you, to pay the tax man, you’ll think differently. But it’ll be too late.

“Of course fuel tax should go up. I always use public transport, which demands investment.”

Well, yes. But when your company’s logistics costs increase year on year, savings have to be found somewhere. Redundancies, anyone? It’ll be too late.

“Of course people who earn more than £20,000 should pay more national insurance to support the NHS and pensions. I’m happy to pay my share.”

Don’t forget that your employer is also facing an NI hike, making you more expensive to employ. Now, about those redundancies – are you ready?

Etc and ad nauseum.

AJ

Do any of these names sound familiar to you?

… because I’m getting déjà vu all over again.

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Stephen Byers, Patricia Hewitt, Geoff Hoon and Margaret Moran

…were among those targeted by an undercover operation by the Channel 4 Dispatches programme, which used a fake lobbying firm to offer MPs cash to use their position to help various businesses.

Conservative MPs were also featured on the programme including Julie Kirkbride, who declined to take the bogus firm up on its offer.

But Mr Byers, a leading former Blairite minister, was filmed telling actors posing as potential employers that he would be a valuable addition to their company because of his position.

The fake lobbying company offered some of the MPs £35,000 a year for just a few days’ work if they agreed to exploit their links with government, or in the case of the Tories, an incoming administration if Mr Cameron wins.

Plus ça fucking change.

AJ