Election Talk Again – Who Foots The Bill?

With the country being in disarray and the cost of living crisis being the hot topic of the moment, every politician is being asked how the policies on their manifestoes are going to be funded. Growth seems to be the answer for one or two of the parties, whilst this is a great idea in theory, it is a bit like telling your mortgage provider that your next payments are coming from your imminent lottery win! Good luck with that.

With this in mind, it gave me a chance to regurgitate another one of my older posts. Originally titled, Once Jesters Now Kings, it was my response to a news story of the time commenting on the high salaries of certain BBC presenters and personalities. Reading through the post again, I still believe that the basic premise is relevant and would provide a viable alternative to raise much needed funds for public services…

I’m sure that everyone has noticed the slight kafuffle in the news concerning the salaries of a number of BBC employees. Whilst I agree with what seems to be the overwhelming opinion that these salaries seem to be completely out of step compared to the average wage of your general BBC viewer, especially when it is said viewers that are funding these pay packets, my concern comes from a slightly different direction.

Let’s step back a few years to an age when entertainment came in a slightly more basic format. Back to a time when what was considered to be entertainment was watching someone dressed in bright coloured clothing, perhaps juggling or walking on their hands.  Jesters in favour were rewarded with scraps of food, a place to sleep and maybe the odd coin or two if their antics and stories were funny enough. Jesters, or fools as they were commonly called, were considered to be no more than servants and were treated accordingly.

Fast forward a few hundred years and entertainment and more importantly, entertainers, are now viewed in a completely different light. Some are now the earning elite and command vastly inflated salaries for what appears to be the most perfunctory of roles. Whilst you could argue that newsreaders and the like perform a vital role bringing us the latest news and current affairs, does this really justify six and seven figure salaries. Especially when you consider that the average annual salary in the UK is approximately £26K. Basically, the lowest paid are helping to pay the wages of the top 1% of earners – that sounds fair! To look at it another way, if you were to relieve the top BBC earner of their salary, you would be able to give 440 nurses a £5K per annum pay rise.

And then it dawned on me. There is a solution to this problem. Are these people going to relinquish their salaries and take a huge pay cut? Of course not. Instead, what we should do, is re-categorise everyone’s job based on its usefulness and contribution to the rest of society. For example, jobs such as nurses, police officers, firefighters, teachers etc., would be seen as vital as their contribution is immense. As a result, these jobs would score relatively low. On the other hand, jobs such as actors, film stars, pop musicians, footballers (other sports are currently available) would be scored highly as their contribution to society would be seen to be comparatively low. Should the scoring system not be the other way around, I hear you cry! No, no, no. The reason being, the lower score a job carries, the lower tax that that person has to pay. Conversely, the higher the score, the higher the tax. Imagine an actor earning several millions for making a single movie paying 70 or 80% income tax, or a football player earning £500K per week paying a similar amount. All of a sudden, we would be in a position to lower the tax for everyone employed in one of these more “vital” roles, maybe even to the point that certain roles would actually be tax exempt. Writing off the income tax bill for a nurse is almost the equivalent of awarding them a 25% par rise.

I understand that there would be a huge resistance to such a scheme, but only from those top earners that are in that top 1% category. It would be down to the rest of us to ensure that the scheme was adhered to and people were accountable for what they owed. Incentive schemes could be set up, whereby discounts were applied for people that willingly “gave up” a percentage of their earnings. So, the footballer earning £500K per week could be liable for a £350K income tax bill, or alternatively they could “surrender” £250K of their salary into a government pot that then went to help fund health care, education, the police force etc.

On the other side of the coin, perhaps it would help encourage more people into jobs that were once seen as vocational rather than a career path to higher earnings. Am I being idealistic as well as unrealistic. Probably, but something has to be done to try and address the balance. And when all is said and done, if I were that footballer whose £500K per week was slashed to a mere £250K, could I survive. Possibly. It would be a struggle, but I’d give it a go!!

Back From The Dead!

Okay, so I am not literally back from the dead, that really would be something to write about! It just feels like it, certainly in terms of my absence from posting on my site, as it has been almost three years now! And lets face it, there has certainly been plenty to comment about. Brexit, deathly pandemics, world leaders that make the Three Stooges look like the Brains Trust and not to mention the economic melt-down of the free world. Whatever next, war in Europe! Oh yeah, there’s that as well.

All in all, it has been quite a crappy time and it doesn’t look like getting better any time soon. Oh well, there is always emigrating to Mars to look forward to (and by that I mean the chocolate factory in Slough of course!!).

For those of you that have read any of my content here, you will know that I have opinions on such things and I’m not afraid to share them. I like to think that I apply a little common sense and rationale to my “solutions”, even if some of them are a little tongue in cheek. As we seem to be hurtling towards the abyss with Armageddon lurking like the grim reaper, the onus seems to be put more and more on the populace to sort things out. I have had a lot of thoughts on things such as climate change, pollution, economic disparity, social inequality and technology’s hand in the downturn of our society and over the weeks I will tackle each one individually.

Next week, I am hoping to start with a fairly small, innocuous topic – IT’S TIME TO ABOLISH MONEY!!!

A little ambitious and unworkable? Maybe not! Not so much down with capitalism, more, let’s see an end to consumerism.

Thanks as always for reading so far, and stay tuned for my thoughts on how abolishing money could instantly solve many of our current problems!

The Mastaba House. A Gratuitous Plug.

A close family member has recently written a book and after much persuasion and cajoling, they have decided to publish it. I had made the decision not to push or advertise any products on my blog, but decided to make an exception with this one. Well, it is family! I’ve cut and pasted the “blurb” about the story-line, but if you click on the image to the right, this will take you straight to the amazon store.

“At a séance, Danny receives a curious message. Just three words. Car. Red. Fire. Danny dismisses it as nonsense. After all, his car is silver. The following morning whilst out running, Danny passes a small forest beyond a gate. In a clearing he can see a brick building, no larger than a garden shed. It looks completely out of place, so Danny climbs the gate to investigate.

An alarm rings and Danny wakes in his bed. His running clothes lie unworn and it is clear that Danny hasn’t left his room. It must have been a dream, albeit, an extremely realistic one. Danny’s day continues to unravel. At work, his pass won’t allow him access and he is unable to log into his computer. As he tries to rectify the issues, he is told that his details are no longer on the company database. Later on, his bank and credit cards are refused and he is told that he doesn’t hold an account with the bank. He feels as though his life is slowly being erased. When his car won’t start, he calls his friend for a lift. They are involved in a terrible accident and whilst Danny and his friend escape, the car explodes and through the flames, Danny thinks he sees someone. The car is red.

Danny confides in his best friend Jackie and she insists on seeing the forest. They discover that the building does exist and after some research they learn that it’s called Mastaba House and is owned by the secretive Genesis Foundation. When Jackie suddenly disappears, Danny is convinced that all of these events are intertwined. As he sets out to find his friend, Danny is approached by Derek Stevens. Claiming to have seen Jackie, the mysterious old man tells Danny that he used to work for The Genesis Foundation and that he can help.

As the two men search for Jackie, Danny learns that he has a secret. An artefact left by a distant relative may hold the key to everything that is going on. Will Danny find his friend and in doing so, learn the secret hidden deep below Mastaba House. Or will The Genesis Foundation beat him to it. “

Please take a look, you can even download and read it for free for a limited period of time. And if you like it, leave a comment. I know it will be greatly appreciated.