Wednesday, September 27, 2006

That Brown record in full.

Well, not quite in full, but here are some highlights from The Telegraph on Sunday from the 24th of September 2006.

  • Council tax revenue has gone up 7% per year since 1997, that is 83% to £21 billion.
  • Quango spending up 50% in two years to £123.8 billion. That is £40 billion, which is more than we spend on defence.
  • Taxes have gone up £19 billion this year, that is £750 per household.
  • Calls to the Consumer Credit Counselling Service are up from 8,000 per year in 1997 to 200,000 a year.
  • Productivity growth is down from 2.3% in 1997 to 1.6% now.
  • Fiscal drag means that there are now 4 million high rate tax payers, up from 2.1 million in 1997.
  • Stamp duty revenue is up from £1.2 billion in 1997 to 4.9 billion now.
  • Inheritance tax has gone from £1.7 billion to £3.3 billion.
  • Public spending has risen from 37.4% of GDP to 44.9%
  • Government forecasted a growth in public borrowing between 2001 and 2006 of £28 billion, it has in fact borrowed £129 billion.
  • The forecast for the next 6 years is £175 billion, or £7000 per household.
  • August 2006 borrowing was £7.6 billion, 40% above forcast and the highest since 1993.
  • Personal debt has doubled to £1,120 billion (Yes that is a trillion).
  • Unemployment is up to 5.5% from 4.7% last year.
  • The savings ratio has halved to 5% since 1997.
And whilst all that has been going on, there have been 15 new regulations every day since 1997 costing business an estimated £40 billion.

It is going to be hard work sorting out this mess.


Lucyp said...

As a Socialist should i be worried that Gordon Brown wants to 'radically shift Labour away from the Centre', accordign to his conference speech.
Which way is he thinking of going and if Labour see themselves as stalking the centre political ground, someone should have a word in their ear.

Benedict White said...

I did not watch his speech. Did he realy say that?

Well, the problem with socialism is that it has to be paid for, and tends to squeeze the the economy making it hard to pay for.

I don't know if you should be worried, but there are some serious structural problems on the horizon at the moment in my view. If they bite then Labour will be out and out for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog - You might enjoy some of the rants on

Reading some of the stuff on here (and on there) I'm tempted to give this blogging business a bit of a go. Does it take up a lot of time?

As far as Gordon goes, I have watched and listened to his "performances" on the media and he does not impress me in the slightest. I suspect that he will "revert" to type and Labour will lurch to the left.

As long as Cameron holds is nerve I think the Tories stand a good chance next time round.

Benedict White said...

Anonymous, Many thanks for the kind words and the recomendation.

Does it take much time? Difficult to say, it depends on how much time you want tospend on it.

I spend too much time reading other blogs.

The issue is finding something to write about, although I prefer to let it find me.

As for Brown reverting to type, well we will see. At the moment I see him as a high spending authoratarian control freak.

You are right that Cameron needs to keep his head though. It looks like he will.

Political Umpire said...

Interesting blog. Do you know what tax freedom day is this year, assuming we still have one?

Benedict White said...

Political Umpire, it falls on the 3rd of June this year, which is the latest it has been since 1988, See:


snowflake5 said...

Benedict - your piece on your blog is flawed because you insist on using absolute values (a bit like stating the price of milk was at an all time high without comparing to income) rather than % of GDP or % of income.

For instance let’s assume you have a flat tax of 25% and an income of £10,000 in 1997 and an income of £40,000 in 2006. The tax you paid in 1997 would be £2500, but the tax in 2006 is £10,000. You could spin it as “the amount of tax has increased four times” or you could say, “the tax rate has stayed the same, but incomes have soared”.

I note you quote absolutes a lot - eg “taxes have gone up £19bn this year” without mentioning that corporate profits are at an all time high, as well as oil profits, and incomes and city bonuses have grown, and without mentioning that there have been no tax increases in the last year. In other words the increased take is down to increasing incomes/profits not increased rates. Then you divide the figure by the number of households to pretend that all the tax raised came from households!

If your goal is to have the total tax take reduce, the only way to do it is to reduce corporate profit and to reduce incomes - and the only way to do that is to have a recession! Is that your aim? It seems to be from the way you’ve phrased your piece!!! (What did I say about Tories and Recessions?)

Benedict White said...

Re 225, Snowflake where do I start?

Firstly you say :
"Benedict - your piece on your blog is flawed because you insist on using absolute values "

What I said was:
"Well, not quite in full, but here are some highlights from The Telegraph on Sunday from the 24th of September 2006."

Obviously you are talking bollocks, as I am quoting from elsewhere.

Your comment is also bollocks because quote a lot of what i talk about is in percentages, rather than absolutes.

The key figure is this one:
"Public spending has risen from 37.4% of GDP to 44.9%"

Taxes simoly have not kept pace with that hence despite continued growth from 1992, borrowing is going silly.

However, growth now seems to be built on immigration which pushes up housing costs while not pushing up pay packets, in fact you are proud that it keeps service inflation low. People may well vote with their pockets and at this rate Gordon is building problems.