Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Monday 11 November 2013

House of Comments - Episode 84 - Universal Discredit

Episode 84 of the House of Comments podcast "Universal Discredit" is out. Myself and Emma joined by the editor of The New Statesman blog The Staggers George Eaton to discuss the latest Universal Credit debacle, the NHS A&E crisis, the latest on an EU referendum, the ending of shipbuilding in Portsmouth and whether there's a link to Scottish independence and finally oversight of spending on the monarchy. Warning - contains republican ranting.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here.

Other podcasting software e.g. for Android can be pointed here to subscribe.

You can download the mp3 for the latest episode directly from here.

Or you can listen to the embedded episode below here:

Any feedback welcomed in the comments below.

PS: A big thanks to Audioboo for hosting the podcast for us. We would also like to thank Kevin MacLeod from for our theme music.


@molesworth_1 said...

Hi Mark, I've got back into listening to your podcast after quite a while with only very limited internet access. I'm starting with this episode & working back & am finding it as entertaining as it ever was. But tell me, are you struggling to find moderate, non-frothing, reasonable right-of-centre contributors? I mention this only as it seems that, on some sections, all participants agreeing on an issue is not very illuminating. Someone presenting an opposing PoV or a counter-factual might enliven the debate.

Simon Fawthrop said...

I thought you lefties were all for helping the poor and its the righties who don't care or help.

The "make work pay" slogan is based on the offensive way that benefit withdrawal works. As the IEA pointed out:

For a simple case the benefit withdrawal rates mean that someone starting work off pays an effective tax rate of 73% when earning between £8 and £38lk made up of 20% income tax, 12% NI and 41% benefit withdrawal. If you follow certain mainstream economists you'll also know that in an open economy the tax incidence of employers NI contributions also falls on the workers, but we'll leave that one.

In some cases the withdrawal rates can mean that the effective tax rate approaches 100%.

On top of that they have the added costs of working eg travel, clothing, child care

So yes making work pay is more than a political slogan, its trying to address a serious problem.

IDC may have cocked up the implementation and he may be an ideologue (IMHO he is but that doesn't make him always wrong) and we can all have great fun pointing out how incompetent our enemies are, but I haven't seen anything serious from any other party that addresses this abomination.

And that is why righties accuse Labour of creating a client state that will always be on benefits and voting for them. I don't believe its a deliberate policy, but there's definately some correlation.