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I've just got this from the Tax Credit site.

All families with children can claim Child Tax Credit if their income is no more than £58,175 a year (up to £66,350 if you have a child under one).

Maybe I have this wrong but does that mean that most people on this site either don't have any children or earn more than 58k a year?

Is this argument about 'child tax credits' or 'working tax credits'?

We received 545 p.a CTC until recently but our income is now over the magic figure. It pisses me off because after paying out for nursery fees, we are no better off than acquaintances who 'earn' less than us but due to CTC/FTC, this increases their income to abt the same as they get upto 70% (now 80% I think) of their childcare costs paid. Sickening. It's just aswell I like my job otherwise there is no real incentive to work if you have young children.

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There is an alternative, reductionist way to look at this situation. The government is basically subsidising UK employers, albeit indirectly rather than e.g. a huge grant to Delorean, Nissan or whoever promised to invest and give us jobs.

By distributing these tax breaks to the low paid, they are allowing the employers to pay people a less-than-living wage. This enables the employer to be more competitive in a global environment than it otherwise would be.

Possibly this indicates that industry in the UK is (and perhaps always has been) partially state owned (in all but name, as it could not exist without these redistributive subsidies, whether they are directly paid to employers or indirectly paid to employees).

Tories: give money direct to business, popular with business.

Labour: give money direct to employees, popular with workers.

Net result: the same old uncompetitive economy.

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The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away, without a care in the world.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving. BBC, ITV and Sky show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. Britain is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can it be that, in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Then a representative of the NAAGB (National Association of Green Bugs) shows up on ‘Newsnight’ and charges the ant with “green bias,” and makes the case that the grasshopper is the victim of 30 million years of greenism. Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when he sings “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” Tony and Cherie Blair make a special guest appearance on the BBC Evening News to tell a concerned interviewer that they will do everything they can for the grasshopper who has been denied the prosperity he deserves by those who benefited unfairly during the Thatcher summers.

Gordon Brown exclaims in an interview with Jonathan Dimbleby that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his “fair share.” Finally, the EU drafts the “Economic Equity and Anti-Greenism Act” retrospective to the beginning of the summer.

The ant fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government. Cherie gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of judges that Tony appointed from a list of single-parent welfare moms who can only hear cases on Thursday’s between 1:30 and 3pm when there are no talk shows scheduled. The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he’s in, which just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around him since he doesn’t know how to maintain it. The ant has disappeared in the snow. And on the TV, which the grasshopper bought by selling most of the ant’s food, they are showing Tony Blair standing before a wildly applauding group of New Labourites announcing that a new era of “fairness” has dawned in Britain.

Edited by laurejon
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