Monday, 6 May 2013

Fun Online Polls: Welfare reform & Global Warming/Cooling

The responses to last week's Fun Online Poll were as follows:

What's the total marginal withdrawal rate if you claim Universal Credit and work more than 30 hours a week?

65% - 9%
76% once you include PAYE - 9%
79% if you include Employer's NIC as well - 9%
About 85% if you include Council Tax Benefit withdrawal as well - 74%

It was a very low turnout, 35 votes in all, which goes to show that although every man and his dog has strong views on welfare reform, very few are actually interested in how the welfare system works. But at least most of those who responded got the right answer.

IDS' much vaunted large reduction in the marginal withdrawal rate is no such thing. Admittedly, the 65% withdrawal rate is better than the headline withdrawal rate for income support etc (which is 100%, you lose £1 benefits for every £1 you earn), and maybe there are fewer cliff edges, but once you are working more than 30 hours a week (assuming you are earning at least the NMW), for every £1 you earn, you lose 32p in PAYE and then you lose another 44p out of the 68p you are left with, you can do the same exercise for Employer's NIC and Council Tax Benefit/Housing Benefit withdrawal and the overall rate is about 85%.

I do not know what the Laffer cost-minimising rate of welfare withdrawal is, but sure as heck it is less than 85%. That's part of the reason why there are so many unemployed.
And lo, this week the Unbelievers were trumpeting the fact that "global warming" (to the extent it ever existed) ceased about 17 years ago, see e.g. here, despite the fact that CO2 levels have continued to tick up ever so slightly.

The Believers are refusing to budge from their "narrative" that the problem has only been delayed not solved, but they are on the back foot a bit. It strikes me that their best tactic at this stage is to say: "See, we told you it was important to have all these lunatic restrictions and regulations and subsidies for whoever is prepared to go along with it all, if it wasn't for us, the huge temperature increases we predicted would certainly have happened", which of course can't really be proved one way or another.

So that's this week's Fun Online Poll. What was your first response to all this?

Vote here or use the widget in the sidebar.