How much do you have to earn to be rich? Join our live look at the week
Version 4 of 10.
Here are a couple of your thoughts so far on wealth:
are you rich if you earn at least £70,000 a year?
All relative, innit? You live alone in London and rent in the private sector you certainly won't feel it
Imagine, if you will, that we decide to tax people on a global scale - a standard rate across the world.
In the UK, you would be in the top 5% of earners, on a salary of about £14k. So you are taxed an additional rate due to being 'rich'. But this isn't fair, is it, because the cost of living in Mozambique is a lot cheaper than here - you aren't rich, but it is agreed that globally that is where 'rich' starts, and you are taxed accordingly.
That's the £70k debate within the UK - £70k in Yorkshire, you will live like a king. £70k in London, well, you probably won't be able to buy a flat.
Living costs are really important in this debate.
How much do you have to earn to be rich?
This question was thrown into sharp focus this week when Labour MP John McDonnell told the BBC Labour would be “looking to the corporations and to the rich to pay their share”.
When pressed to define the rich, McDonnell said it would include those earning “above £70,000 to £80,000 a year”.
Many took up the question on Twitter, and unsurprisingly opinions were divided. The reality is that most people don’t earn more than £70,000 a year: according to data from HMRC earning this amount would put you in the top 5% of UK taxpayers.
On Thursday, Emily Thornberry defended John McDonnell’s definition of rich, but conceded “there are many people on £70,000 who may well feel that … they are not rich”.
We’d like to know where readers stand on this debate: are you rich if you earn at least £70,000 a year?
at 2.15pm BST
Lost and found – 14 years on
Away from politics I love this story by our colleague Tim Burrows, who lost his wallet at a festival over a decade ago and became a drinking game for the group of lads who found it.
Tim tweeted the tale, and has since been fielding calls from journalists around the world.
Feel like a harassed PA to my drunken 19-year-old self
Do you have a similar story you think could go viral?
Right – we’re as exhausted as some of you seem to be ...
How do I feel about another election?
Despite being interested in politics to the point of obsession I felt like banging my head on the desk when May made her announcement. Last year we had a lot of focus in our area on the Labour leadership election, from July through to September, and prior to that our Assembly elections in May, plus the Referendum. Now in less than 2 weeks there's the council elections coupled with the GE and I think most people feel exhausted at the prospect.
... so will move on to introduce some other discussion points shortly. You can of course continue to discuss all things election-related below.
Amid all this discussion, this reader’s point seems rather important:
Just in case anyone on here isn't registered to vote, here is the link https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Please register and vote in June, we can all make a difference
The big news? George Osborne's exit from the Commons
This week saw a wave of Labour MPs stand down from contesting the election but the big news was George Osborne’s exit from the Commons. It’s quite a fall for an ex-chancellor who, with a turn of the fates, could now be prime minister. Osborne will just have to make the best of a £650,000 deal with BlackRock, £800,000 for speaking gigs, a £120,000 stipend, a major book deal, and editing a daily newspaper.
In a further loss to democracy, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage – so gloriously defeated in 2015 – announced he wouldn’t be standing this time around. Comfort yourselves with the knowledge Arron Banks – Ukip’s former main financial backer and full time charmer – has confirmed he will.
A few hundred of you have already voted in our poll (see here) asking about Theresa May and televised debates. It seems more of you want her to appear than not, and there’s fairly strong appetite for electoral rules to be changed to enforce her appearance. What do you think? And was this picture really taken only two years ago?
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Here are a some of your thoughts on the timing of the election. A quick note: when we post comments up here you can click the time stamps to expand the conversation and reply directly.
‘It should have been called before Article 50 was submitted’
The election should have been called before A50 was submitted, it should have been based on proper manifesto and the public should have had the chance to read each parties manifesto and then question candidates on it. This is not about what is good for the public but what is good for Theresa May and the conservative party.
That being said none of us should object at a chance to get out and vote whenever there is an election, recent events in the world demonstrate just how important it is for people to use their votes and not simply shrug their shoulders and say 'nothing to do with me'. I hope that everyone, whatever their vote, remembers that.
‘There should be annual elections’
I am appalled that so many people do not want the opportunity to vote.
Do they really think that it is OK to let someone like Mrs May, who seems able to do exactly the opposite of what she said a few weeks ago without the slightest embarrassment, have five years to do exactly what she wants?
There should be annual elections. Those who find thinking about how to vote so bothersome should just not bother to vote.
‘It defies all logic and reason’
"There will be no election there will be no election there will be no election there will be no election.
.....Oh, hang on there will be an election.
Of course, the same people who screeched at Gordon Brown for doing something similar in reverse, lap this mendacious garbage up and want to vote for this script-reliant mediocre little bureaucrat, friendless in the Europe they want trade deals with ? You just couldn`t make it up, it defies all logic and reason.
at 1.18pm BST
Here’s a quick plug for an interesting live Q&A session readers were involved in with our political editor Heather Stewart on Tuesday, just a couple of hours after May made her announcement.
The hour long conversation included analysis as well as some discussion of the way the Guardian’s political team in Westminster plan to cover things – and is worth a read.
at 1.08pm BST
'This was an election she did not need to call'
On Tuesday morning Theresa May ambushed the country by announcing a general election. The statement she made in Downing Street laid the foundation for a campaign framed by the idea that it would be an act of self harm to vote for anyone except the Tories. Stripped down, it said “make me strong forever by destroying the opposition who are useless incompetent failures (Labour, Lib Dems) or malevolent string pullers (the SNP)”.
This was an election she did not need to call. She has called it because it is very likely to reinstall her in No 10 for long enough for the really nightmarish cuts that are already penalising larger families, anyone who finds themselves homeless in London or most other major cities, anyone looking for work, and most families with school-age children to have become normalised. So, she must hope, will the economic consequences of a decade of austerity and the shock of Brexit. That is why it struck me at the time as a kind of democratic coup. It may not be illegal but who would question that she’s seizing power?
Here’s a perspective from outside the UK:
I feel completely indifferent because I've lived abroad for 16 years and don´t get a vote, despite being promised one in the 2015 Conservative manifesto and again by Mrs May's constitution minister last October.I don´t think citizenship is necessarily the best criteria for granting voting rights. I believe permanent foreign residents in the UK who work and pay taxes should get a vote before I do, but that's never going to be permitted to happen. But if citizenship is the criteria, it should be applied fairly.
Are any other readers in a similar situation?
Poll: should Theresa May join televised debates?
Theresa May has said that she won’t appear in live televised debates in the run-up to the election on 8 June, with opposition MPs accusing her of running scared during PMQs on Wednesday.
As well as wondering your opinion on that (you can share yours in the comments) we have a poll asking whether it should be up to her in the first place. What do you think?
We’ll share some more of the conversation you’ve been having below the line again soon. First, though, we have a poll on one of the issues of the week so far – televised debates.
Here are some of your thoughts so far:
How do you feel about another general election?
High risk, and a necessary distraction from real life! Hi everyone.
How do I feel about another election? Depressed because it seems to be a foregone conclusion that 'they' will get in again.
And an early election distraction ... One to watch?
The big election story so far, which I don't believe the Guardian have covered as of yet, is that a man naming himself Mr Fish Finger, dressed up as a giant fish finger, is standing against Tim Farron.
The man of God versus the man of Cod. There can be only one winner.
How do you feel about a general election?
Politicians usually like to brief favoured journalists and newspapers ahead of key announcements, so it isn’t that often that the entire political media is taken by surprise. But that happened this week, as Theresa May made the surprise announcement of a snap election. We’ve struggled in the office to talk about anything else since.
From the polls you might think it is going to be a foregone conclusion. But it is an important one for the country. A Conservative victory will be treated as an endorsement of whatever kind of exit from the European Union Theresa May manages to obtain. And it also means that her government will have extra breathing space after the day of Brexit before needing to go to the polls again. If the UK crashes out of the EU badly in March 2019, May will have until June 2022 to turn things back around. It’s an election that we didn’t need, and as David Robjant wrote to our letters page:
A woman who always keeps her promises has called an election she promised not to, in order to obtain a mandate she says she already has, for a policy she said was a bad idea.
Jeremy Corbyn, and whether the PLP will be whole-heartedly supporting him, will be under intense scrutiny. The attacks on him from the Conservatives and right-wing elements of the press will only intensify. But he’s also repeatedly demonstrated he is much more effective on the campaign trail than many judge him to be in Westminster - witness his two victories in Labour leadership contests. He’ll be carrying a message that will definitely resonate with a section of the country. As my colleague Jessica Elgot put it: “Corbyn launches his campaign with attack on elites and establishment. May launched hers dropping into a golf club in a helicopter.”
Welcome to our social
Hello everyone and welcome to our weekly social. Today we will tackle everything from the general election to some less serious and political subjects, such as The Simpsons. Join us below the line, and make your suggestions for what you want to cover from noon to 4.30pm BST today.
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