“According to my tax breakdown, Daily Mail readers are the biggest scroungers”

Cormac Hollingsworth turns the tables on the Daily Mail’s ‘tax breakdown’ campaign.

The Daily Fail: Edited by idiots

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Today, the Daily Mail has an excellent breakdown of what a young person will see when she receives her first tax breakdown next year. If the young person does as the Daily Mail hopes she will, she’ll sit down and work through what she’s happy to pay for and what she’s not.

Daily-FailBut her reaction might surprise the Daily Mail and will have negative consequences for the Daily Mail’s readership.

Young people tend to support many of the benefits the Daily Mail unceasingly attacks, and she may well be happy to cover them herself. But she’s very likely to ask why am I paying for the following benefits: health, old age and sickness?

Between them, they cover £2,139 of her total tax bill of £5,418, and all of them are going to old people, a demographic matching that of Daily Mail readers!

Daily Mail readers will reply, but these are benefits we’ve earned.

“No you haven’t,” replies the young person, adding:

“When you were my age you had state subsidised house ownership with mortgage tax relief for most of your life, you had state subsidised free university education, you had enormous state benefits for paying into your pension over your lifetime, and your savings were protected because you had proper national insurance with unemployment benefit and disability living allowance if you got sick.

“I will have none of these benefits because of your newspaper’s campaigns. I’m afraid it’s too expensive for me to continue to support Daily Mail readers. After I’ve cut their state benefits, I’ll cut my tax bill by 40 percent and that will go a long way to paying off my student loans and buying a house.

“Sorry Grandma, sell your house, spend your pension, and if you then need income support we’ll have a think about it. And stop wasting your money on an expensive paper and go get job experience at Tesco’s.”

This complete collapse in solidarity between generations may seem unlikely but it’s something even David Willets has been warning us about. While in this parliament the biggest winners have been the old, they should not be certain this is permanent.


See also:

Express owner: ‘Mail is Britain’s worst enemy’ 12 Jan 2012

Coogan: “If the Daily Mail went to the wall tomorrow I’d be delighted” 13 Oct 2011

Exposed: The Mail-inspired Dispatches hatchet job on Blair 26 Sep 2011

Hurrah for the climate deniers: How the Daily Mail swallowed enviroscepticism whole 9 Jun 2011

How to fake up a Daily Mail benefits story in five easy steps 25 Feb 2011


After the coalition’s tearing up of our compact with young people how long will the young tolerate the largest portion of government spending being given to the old? And when young people’s patience disappears, Daily Mail readers won’t escape the logic of their newspaper’s values.


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  • Me

    Bring on the Carrousel.

  • Mr Nonny Mouse

    Maybe you could start by explaining that the young woman has her numbers completely wrong (presumably because she was educated under a Labour government).

    Health covers all ages. The young get more from it than working adults, but less than pensioners. I know that Labour wants to cut the NHS budget, but surely Left Foot Forward are not suggesting we cut it completely?

    Sickness benefits presumably cover people of working age, not pensioners.

    You could also point out that only 37% of Mail readers are pensioners compared with 50% of Telegraph. She is targetting the wrong paper (not that she is likely to read a newspaper given her age group and the rise of the Internet).

    The good thing about moving the cost of University onto those who receive it (of which 90% of pensioners did not, despite her claims that they got a university education for free) is that it means there is more money available for basic education. Hopefully her daughter will be much better informed.

  • Anonymous

    Well, Mickey Mouse clearly hasn’t a grasp on the budgets of primary and secondary education then.

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  • Ed’s Talking Balls

    ‘Young people tend to support many of the benefits the Daily Mail unceasingly attacks’

    Utter drivel. How many ‘young people’ do you know? How many of them are supportive, for example, of the state paying out more in housing benefit than they make, after tax, in a year? Further, how many support increasing the aid budget at a time of domestic austerity, often to countries which either do not need it or squander it once received?

    And Mr Nonny Mouse has destroyed your points about the elderly with ease. Clearly we all benefit from spending on health – the elderly might use the NHS more for obvious reasons, but it’d be pretty short-sighted for a young person to say ‘whoa, I’m not paying anything towards the NHS because I never use it’. It’d be cavalier to assume that you’re never going to get sick or, indeed, old. Such a young person would have no need for university education, free or otherwise, for they would lack even the most basic logic.

    Speaking of university education, your comparison between funding then and now is absurd: totally misconceived. Quite rightly, when today’s pensioners were young, the brightest went to university, had their places funded by the state and then repaid this from their taxes when they gained employment. To extend this funding arrangement to all the dolts at university nowadays would be an utter waste of money.

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  • Mr. Sensible

    I think what this article shows is that these kind of statements could pit people against each other.

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  • http://twitter.com/Newsbot9 Newsbot9

    Then perhaps you support FIXING the housing benefit situation with a rent cap? No? Right.
    Social Cleansing is the sort of policy the Feral 1% LOVE.

    And the UK has, actually, had a falling percentage of university graduates for over a decade, a rate which is set to plummet while research is dropping even more dramatically, internationally-competitive University departments closing and courses being offered purely on income outcomes (which is closing a lot of hard-science courses, a higher percentage than soft science and media!).

    Slash and burn, slash and burn!

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