Monday, 13 December 2010

So what have Gerry and Robin ever done to the SDLP?

YOU could ask what have the Junior Ministers, Gerry Kelly and Robin Newton ever done to the SDLP, who announced in their budget proposals that the Junior Minister posts should be scrapped in these tight financial times.

Of course, you could argue that there is only a slight chance that the SDLP will occupy these posts so it is easy to call for them to be scrapped… but that is only the sort of comment the most cynical of us would make…

And, if we are to be accused of cynicism let’s be a wee bit cynical about the party’s call to tax holes in the wall. No, not the Hole in the Wall gang, but ATMs; those ubiquitous Automated Telling Machines; or cash machines as known colloquially.

To stretch the analogy a wee bit, let us suppose that those in the lowest socio-demographic quartile (see we can do smart talk too, like!) have not got access to fancy, dancy credit cards and debit cards. Instead they have their post office card and a wee card savings account. Then the logic is that the tax will impact those with the least; making it a regressive tax.

You may recall from GCSE Economics – or for older readers ‘O’ level economics – that regressive taxes are generally those that affect the poorest. And as you may recall from GCSE/O level politics, social democratic parties – even those with centrist leanings are pretty much against hitting the poorest hardest.

On a brighter note, under the SDLP’s proposals, any public servants earning over £80,000 per annum will have their pay cut by five per cent…

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