MP of the month – Stella Creasy

17th September, 2012 4:58 pm

For the first time this month we’ve restricted the LabourList MP of the Month contest to members of the PLP outside of the shadow cabinet, so there’s no win this month for the ever popular Andy Burnham.

Instead, this month’s winner – by a considerable margin – is Stella Creasy. Stella, one of the bright lights of the 2010 intake, has risen to prominence following her campaigning work on payday loans/legal loan sharks – bringing an issue that impacts upon millions of the poorest in society to the prominence it deserves.

More recently, Creasy has been pushing for the party to adopt “zero-budgetting” as a model for spending by a future Labour government.

Congratulations to Stella, and thanks to everyone who voted.

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]
  • Who were the runners and riders?

  • aracataca

    Guess she got this on the back of her campaigning on pay day loans but zero budgeting sounds like a retrograde step in terms of ideas.If the poor pay the most tax it’s maybe because the rich don’t pay enough.

  • aracataca

    Guess she got this on the back of her campaigning on pay day loans but zero budgeting sounds like a retrograde step in terms of ideas.If the poor pay the most tax it’s maybe because the rich don’t pay enough.

  • aracataca

    Guess she got this on the back of her campaigning on pay day loans but zero budgeting sounds like a retrograde step in terms of ideas.If the poor pay the most tax it’s maybe because the rich don’t pay enough.

  • aracataca

    Guess she got this on the back of her campaigning on pay day loans but zero budgeting sounds like a retrograde step in terms of ideas.If the poor pay the most tax it’s maybe because the rich don’t pay enough.

  • aracataca

    Guess she got this on the back of her campaigning on pay day loans but zero budgeting sounds like a retrograde step in terms of ideas.If the poor pay the most tax it’s maybe because the rich don’t pay enough.

  • aracataca

    Guess she got this on the back of her campaigning on pay day loans but zero budgeting sounds like a retrograde step in terms of ideas.If the poor pay the most tax it’s maybe because the rich don’t pay enough.

  • aracataca

    Guess she got this on the back of her campaigning on pay day loans but zero budgeting sounds like a retrograde step in terms of ideas.If the poor pay the most tax it’s maybe because the rich don’t pay enough.

  • aracataca

    Guess she got this on the back of her campaigning on pay day loans but zero budgeting sounds like a retrograde step in terms of ideas.If the poor pay the most tax it’s maybe because the rich don’t pay enough.

  • aracataca

    Guess she got this on the back of her campaigning on pay day loans but zero budgeting sounds like a retrograde step in terms of ideas.If the poor pay the most tax it’s maybe because the rich don’t pay enough.

    • No because it is about fiscal discipline. We cannot rely on massive tax hikes on the rich, we have to be clear that we cannot spend as much as we once hoped. I happened to have voted for her, in the poll, funnily enough.

    • No because it is about fiscal discipline. We cannot rely on massive tax hikes on the rich, we have to be clear that we cannot spend as much as we once hoped. I happened to have voted for her, in the poll, funnily enough.

    • No because it is about fiscal discipline. We cannot rely on massive tax hikes on the rich, we have to be clear that we cannot spend as much as we once hoped. I happened to have voted for her, in the poll, funnily enough.

    • Brumanuensis

      I’ve read that article several times and although I understand Creasy’s point about ‘zero-budgeting’, I find her other comments needlessly confusing and vague. There’s a lot of wishy-washy guff in there. And I voted for her in the poll.

    • Brumanuensis

      I’ve read that article several times and although I understand Creasy’s point about ‘zero-budgeting’, I find her other comments needlessly confusing and vague. There’s a lot of wishy-washy guff in there. And I voted for her in the poll.

    • Given that the top 10% pay 50% of the tax, please can you expand on ”
      If the poor pay the most tax it’s maybe because the rich don’t pay enough.” How much tax should the rich pay?

      • aracataca

        I was paraphrasing Creasy here but I guess she may be referring to tax as a proportion of income. Of course we know that many wealthy individuals pay no tax at all.

        • Do bear in mind that, illegal tax-evasion and rich non-dom’s notwithstanding, many of the tax avoidance-based schemes which allow the wealthy to reduce their tax bill utilise mechanisms which have been developed precisely in order to encourage investment in sectors deemed helpful by the government: take the tax-exemption of British film funding, or charitable donations as example.

          However, tax-free though they may be, they are not risk-free: there is every chance that such investments will not attract any return (and may have a “cost” of up to 100% their capital), but without them there would be a lot fewer jobs, and taken as a whole, achieve the same effect as taxation (i.e. redistribution of wealth) without the government having to take ownership (say, of the charity sector, for example, which would rightly be seen as controversial)

          Confluence of these different points does make the issue significantly harder to unravel.

          • As an aside I see I am now off moderation: many thanks Mark.

      • As a proportion of their income the rich pay less. 

        • Hugh

           Er, not in income tax, obviously.

          • Hugh

            In fact, possibly not in any sense. From  2010 when the Lib Dems were claiming the rich pay less (those were the days, eh?):

            “The Liberal Democrats have, once again, claimed that the poor pay more of their income in tax than the rich, … But, by ignoring the fact that the poor get most of this income from
            the state in benefit and tax credit payments, and by overstating the
            extent to which indirect taxes are paid by the poor, this comparison is
            meaningless at best and misleading at worst.

            ..If we define “net taxes” as “taxes paid less benefits received”, then
            the net tax rate of the poorest fifth is -46% of their original income
            (or -32% of their after-tax income), with the negative number reflecting
            that they are net beneficiaries.”

            http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/4813

          • Brumanuensis

            There’s ‘income’ and then there’s ‘income’. 

          • PeterBarnard

            I’m getting worried here, Brumanuensis. Hugh is almost convincing me that (if I was working – I’m now retired) I’d be in the “hard done by” category on an income of half-a-million, or more …

          • Hugh

             I’m not sure I understand, but if the suggestion is I think the rich are hard done by or shouldn’t pay more tax than the poor, I don’t.

            I just think that to simply state that the poor pay more tax proportionately while ignoring  the fact that many are not even net contributors is misleading. Because it plainly is.

          • Hugh

            And there’s tax you pay and tax you pay while collecting much more than you pay in benefits.

          • Brumanuensis

            Yes, but Alex was clearly talking about pre-transfers income.

          • Hugh

             In that case, why not just talk about income tax (which Alex might have been for all we know)? It makes about as much sense.

            Quite simply, the facts don’t seem to actually support the case being made.

          • Hugh

             In that case, why not just talk about income tax (which Alex might have been for all we know)? It makes about as much sense.

            Quite simply, the facts don’t seem to actually support the case being made.

          • Hugh

             In that case, why not just talk about income tax (which Alex might have been for all we know)? It makes about as much sense.

            Quite simply, the facts don’t seem to actually support the case being made.

          • Hugh

             In that case, why not just talk about income tax (which Alex might have been for all we know)? It makes about as much sense.

            Quite simply, the facts don’t seem to actually support the case being made.

          • Alexwilliamz

            And yet this is before we start moving into the murkey ground of how much of this income is due to ‘desert’ and how much is a consequence of the social structure and cohesion these taxes will sustain.

          • Alexwilliamz

            And yet this is before we start moving into the murkey ground of how much of this income is due to ‘desert’ and how much is a consequence of the social structure and cohesion these taxes will sustain.

      • PeterBarnard

        That’s income tax only, Mr Crowder.

        In 2012-13, HM Treasury hopes to collect about £569 billion in taxes, duties, NI contributions and what-not, of which just £155 billion are taxes on personal income.

         NI contributions, VAT, other taxes/duties/customs on consumption, and Council Tax (making up the remainder of £414 billion) take a greater proportion of the income of lower earners, than for higher earners, eg £100 VAT on a TV = 0.4% of income for someone earning £25,000 a year and 0.1% of income for someone earning £100,000 a year.

        • Hugh

           National Insurance is a charged as a percentage of income. How can it take up a greater proportion of the income of low earners?

          • Hugh

            And here’s the IFS on VAT:
            “Another commonly-cited ‘fact’ is that VAT is a regressive form of taxation: poorer households pay proportionally more in VAT than do richer households. … The percentage of net income paid as VAT varies relatively little across most of the income distribution, with the biggest exception being that the bottom decile group does pay a higher fraction of its net income on VAT than do other income groups.
            However, looking at a snapshot of the patterns of spending, VAT paid and income in the population at any given moment is misleading, because incomes are volatile and spending can be smoothed through borrowing and saving… Because of this ‘consumption smoothing’, expenditure is probably a better measure of living standards (and households’ perceptions of the level of spending they can sustain)…
            [In fact] particularly when considering deciles based on household expenditure, poorer households pay a smaller proportion of their spending in VAT than do richer households. This makes sense: those goods that are zero- and reduced-rated, such as food and domestic fuel and power, are a higher proportion of the spending of poorer households than of rich households.

          • Brumanuensis

            “This makes sense: those goods that are zero- and reduced-rated, such as food and domestic fuel and power, are a higher proportion of the spending of poorer households than of rich households”.

            Yes, funny how the IFS favours abolishing these same exemptions.

            I find the ‘consumption smoothing’ assertions very tendentious. It certainly doesn’t seem to take into account the ability of households to cope with higher debts required to finance consumption. And the IFS’s take isn’t the only one around: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_239565.pdf

          • PeterBarnard

            Indeed, Brumanuensis.

            VAT is not the only tax on consumption ; in fact, all indirect taxes* are taxes on consumption. Taxes on beer, baccy, wines and spirits may raise £20 bn in 2012-13 ; fuel duties – £27 bn ; council tax – which is certainly regressive – £26 bn ; business rates – effectively a tax on consumers – £26 bn. These four taxes will raise about the same as VAT.

            My point still stands that, for like for like expenditure (eg a Panasonic TV), the incidence of VAT is a higher proportion of income for a lower earner than it is for a higher earner.

            * and despite the bleatings of the CBI, IoD, and other business groups, all taxes fall on individuals ; companies merely act as a conduit for passing £sd from the consumer to HM Treasury.

          • Hugh

            “Yes, funny how the IFS favours abolishing these same exemptions.”

            Not that funny; it reckons they’re not a very efficient way of helping poorer households since richer households also buy food. However, it’s certainly true that zero ratings mean you generally don’t have to pay VAT every day.

            “I find the ‘consumption smoothing’ assertions very tendentious.”

            I don’t. At some point debts have to be paid back; and incomes do fluctuate.  VAT as a proportion of consumption does overall therefore seem like a more sensible measure.

          • Brumanuensis

            Well, they may not be paid back if death intervenes, subject to the value of the deceased’s estate. But on the main point, income tells us the resource allocation of each family; consumption merely represents their outlays, which may or may not be inflated by a variety of factors other than consumer choice – larger families for example. Equally, consumption is also a potentially erratic measurement, because much consumer spending is ‘lumpy’ and varies from year-to-year substantially, depending on whether they need to make sizeable purchases or not – i.e. a new car. So the correlation between consumption and income is not always clear-cut.

          • PeterBarnard

            NI contributions are charged at 12% on earnings between £7,500 and £40,000, and then at 2% on the balance above £40,000 so that :
             
             Income = £27,500, NI = (12% of £20,000) =  £2,400  = 8.7% of earnings
             
            Income = £127,500, NI = (12% of £32,500) £3,900 + (2% of £87,500) £1,750 = £5,650 = 4.4% of earnings.

          • Brumanuensis

            Additionally, NICs are only levied on wage income, not dividend income or interest income, further potentially skewing it against lower-earners.

          • Hugh

             Yes, stupid question.

          • PeterBarnard

            You’re a gent, Hugh …

  • aracataca

    Guess she got this on the back of her campaigning on pay day loans but zero budgeting sounds like a retrograde step in terms of ideas.If the poor pay the most tax it’s maybe because the rich don’t pay enough.

  • aracataca

    Guess she got this on the back of her campaigning on pay day loans but zero budgeting sounds like a retrograde step in terms of ideas.If the poor pay the most tax it’s maybe because the rich don’t pay enough.

  • Brumanuensis

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  • Brumanuensis

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  • Brumanuensis

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  • sdrpalmer

    Wow.
    Young, attractive, intelligent, and a realist.
    No history of war-mongering, tax avoidance, expense fraud, or economic foolishness.
    I hope she goes far.
    And if Labour can find more like her, the future looks bright.
    The old, failed crowd will have to  get out of the way first.

  • aracataca

    What exactly is zero budgeting? Creasy doesn’t explicitly say.

  • aracataca

    What exactly is zero budgeting? Creasy doesn’t explicitly say.

  • aracataca

    What exactly is zero budgeting? Creasy doesn’t explicitly say.

    • Brumanuensis

      I think how it works is that instead of taking the existing budget allocation and deducting a fixed percentage (i.e. ‘top-slicing’), the budget is re-calculated from first-principles (so you assume no expenditure and then add spending commitments in line with what services you want to fund and to what extent).

      Think of it approximately as the difference between having a block of 20 bricks and deciding to remove 5 bricks, and between having 15 bricks in the first place and building a block out of them (if that makes sense).

      That’s how I understand ‘zero budgeting’.

    • Brumanuensis

      I think how it works is that instead of taking the existing budget allocation and deducting a fixed percentage (i.e. ‘top-slicing’), the budget is re-calculated from first-principles (so you assume no expenditure and then add spending commitments in line with what services you want to fund and to what extent).

      Think of it approximately as the difference between having a block of 20 bricks and deciding to remove 5 bricks, and between having 15 bricks in the first place and building a block out of them (if that makes sense).

      That’s how I understand ‘zero budgeting’.

    • Brumanuensis

      I think how it works is that instead of taking the existing budget allocation and deducting a fixed percentage (i.e. ‘top-slicing’), the budget is re-calculated from first-principles (so you assume no expenditure and then add spending commitments in line with what services you want to fund and to what extent).

      Think of it approximately as the difference between having a block of 20 bricks and deciding to remove 5 bricks, and between having 15 bricks in the first place and building a block out of them (if that makes sense).

      That’s how I understand ‘zero budgeting’.

  • Pingback: Stella’s State Slashing Summer Reading - Guy Fawkes' blog()

  • She’s great ! Just been on C4 news making a very practical point about the issue of transport costs in London in relation to young people finding and keeping work. She got a big resounding cheer from the young-ish audience. 

  • As Bank of England interest rates are nominally negative perhaps they could hook up Stella Creasy with Mervyn King for a joint policy in the next round of QE.

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