Archive for Economy

British budget does nothing for England

Telford Food BankThe British Chancellor’s spending review is nothing short of a disgrace and yet more evidence that the Brits have no idea how to solve the problems the country faces and no qualms about shafting England to pay for bribes in Scotland.

It is perverse that so many people in England are forced to turn to food banks – perhaps as many as half a million according to some estimates – but the British government is still desperate to ring fence the £11bn international aid budget.  We spend almost as much on international aid as we do subsidising Scotland!

David Cameron says we have a moral obligation to spend obscene amounts of money on international aid but your moral compass would have to be pointing in a strange direction to think that £11bn wouldn’t be better spent feeding people at home rather than subsidising the Indian space and nuclear weapons programmes, for example.

The Scots are getting more money to bribe them in the run-up to the independence referendum as well.  The capital and resource budgets for Scotland are being increased and extra spending cuts being inflicted on the rest of the UK aren’t being applied to Scotland.

Meanwhile, the British are still spending £9m an hour net on EU membership that nobody wants.

Co-operative Bank closes to new business

The Co-operative Bank has been closed to new business while its Co-op parent group decides whether it can be saved from bankruptcy.

The Co-operative Bank - Don't panic?


The Co-op bought the Britannia Building Society a couple of years ago for stupid money and has made big losses ever since.  Its business model of shunning profitable business to invest in left wing political projects and the global warming scam have done nothing to improve their profitability.  Nor has laundering a quarter of their profits through the Co-operative Party to prop up the Labour Party with MP sponsorships and party funding.

Labour owes £3.8m to the Co-operative Bank whilst receiving 47 donations last year from the Co-operative Bank totalling nearly £111k.  Co-operative Bank also has another bank which it uses to fund Labour – Unity Trust Bank.  Labour owes Unity Trust Bank nearly £1.9m.  The Co-op also donated over £1m to the Co-operative Party via various subsidiaries last year which the Co-operative Party uses to sponsor Labour MPs.

If the Co-op reined in its spending on political activities and concentrated on running its bank as a business it might not have found it being downgraded 6 points to junk status by Moody’s and be facing the prospect of winding the bank up or selling it off.

Starbucks bullied into paying tax it doesn’t owe

Starbucks has caved in to pressure from left wingers over their tax avoidance and have promised to “do more” on its tax in the UK.

Starbucks Tax Due

It’s really not

This is very disappointing because every single one of us – from the plebs right up to multi-national corporations – have a moral duty to demonstrate the utter stupidity and incompetence that is the UK and EU taxation system in the hope that one day the Chancellor of the Exchequer will realise that the only way to fix it is to burn all three volumes (yes, it’s that big) of the tax rule book and start again.

In the case of Starbucks – as with the left’s other favourite whipping boy, Vodafone – it’s EU rules on double taxation that allow them to get away with avoiding paying little or no tax in the UK.  The EU created the concept of a European company as one of the building blocks of its nationhood and has introduced several directives that allow holding companies or subsidiaries in low tax administrations to hoover up all the profits from other companies in their group to create a loss on paper and avoid paying tax.  Starbucks in the Netherlands receives all the profits from Starbucks in the UK where they pay the Dutch government’s 20% corporation tax instead of the UK’s 30%.  Vodafone operates a shell company in Luxembourg which receives the profits from (amongst others) Vodafone UK and pays Luxembourg’s 20% corporation tax.  Amazon and eBay are owned by holding companies in Luxembourg for the same reason.

All of this is perfectly legal under EU rules and there is nothing the Treasury or HMRC can do about it other than blow smoke and feed propaganda to left wing tax campaigners and anti-capitalists.  And the biggest irony of all is that the most vocal opponents of tax avoidance, the Guardian, operates a number of tax avoidance schemes itself – even the Guardian offices where millionaire socialist class warrior Polly Toynbee pontificates about the evils of capitalism for the half a year she doesn’t spend at her second home in Tuscany is owned by a tax avoidance company in the Cayman Islands.

If there was a Starbucks conveniently located in Telford I’d make a point of not going there as a personal protest at their caving in to hypocritical left wing bullies but we have about 400 Costa Coffee’s (who aren’t on the hit list) instead so I’ll just have to make do with moaning about it until someone uncovers who’s bankrolling UK Uncut.

Clegg’s comical timing over “wealth tax”

The timing of Nick Clegg’s suggestion yesterday that a temporary “emergency wealth tax” should be instituted so “the rich” can help fix the economy was comical.

Nick Clegg Winning Here

There’s only one “n” in wining

On Tuesday morning, the City AM newspaper revealed that a top financial sector recruitment agency in London has seen a 51% increase in French-speaking jobseekers looking to abandon France to avoid Francois Hollande’s 75% tax on high earners.  As expected, the 75% tax rate will bring in 0% tax from a great many high earners who are simply taking their money elsewhere.

Like council tax, Clegg’s “wealth tax” would tax people on the value of their assets and not their income and hence ability to pay.  Council tax is calculated on the value of your house in 1991 and whether you’re a millionaire or a retired couple who bought their house at the “right” time, you are expected to pay the same tax.  Clegg’s “wealth tax” would apply the same flawed logic that says if you own something expensive then you must have money.  It isn’t a tax on income, which can be spent, it’s a tax on the ownership of valuable things which can’t.

The suggestion that Clegg’s “wealth tax” would be temporary is as comical as his timing.  Income tax is a temporary tax, introduced in 1798 to pay for the Napoleonic Wars.  Once they get their hands on the money they won’t want to let go of it and we will be stuck with this unfair and counter-productive tax which is driven entirely by jealousy and political opportunism.

To fix the economy requires bold tax cuts, not ill thought out tax increases.  Cut tax and put more money in people’s pockets and they will spread that money around, creating jobs and reducing the drain on the welfare state which means less tax is needed to support public spending.  Big tax cuts will boost the economy and pay for themselves, big tax rises will drive the wealth creators out of the country and damage the economy.

It’s time to abolish Sunday Trading restrictions in England

Pope Benedict XVI

God says it’s a sin to buy medicine on a Sunday

Embarrassed at the thought of the world mocking the way we pander to medieval superstitious beliefs by banning shops from opening all day on Sunday in the name of a religion that only 10% of the population actively engage in, the British government relaxed Sunday Trading laws in England and Wales during the London Olympics.  Now the debate is open on whether to tighten them back up again.

The last serious attempt to get Sunday Trading laws relaxed in England was back in 2006 when a group of companies, including the big supermarkets, petitioned the Secretary of State for Trade & Industry to relax them so they could open for more than 6 hours on a Sunday.  The Secretary of State declined.  The Secretary of State had no business making the decision because the Secretary of State was Alistair Darling, the MP for Edinburgh Central, whose own constituents don’t have to put up with the inconvenience of Sunday Trading restrictions because there aren’t any in Scotland.

Scotland is by far a more religious country than England yet they are sensible enough to realise that translating those minority religious views into restrictions on economic activity benefits nobody.  It’s a shame that the politicians they inflict on us don’t share that same sensibility but when they’re messing up someone else’s country, I suppose they don’t really care.  But if Scotland can dispense with Sunday Trading restrictions despite being a more religious country than England, why should we endure these ridiculous restrictions because of the irrational beliefs of a declining number of adherents of the state religion?

The economy is on the rocks at the moment and anything that can give it a boost should be welcomed.  We need drastic tax cuts and people spending money to create jobs.  The drastic tax cuts aren’t going to come under Labour or the Tories because all either of them know how to do is spend more and more of our money but abolishing Sunday Trading restrictions is just about compatible with today’s Tories, even if they have all but abandoned their conservative principles.

On average, those of us who still have jobs are working longer hours to pay for those that don’t, bailing out the €uro, Indian space missions, etc. so we have to do more things at the weekend.  If we want to do our weekly shopping at 9pm on Sunday then why shouldn’t we be able to?  If we need a pharmacy at 3 o’clock on Sunday morning, why should we have to drive 30 miles to find one of the increasingly small number of independent pharmacies that haven’t been snapped up by big chains that don’t have to comply with Sunday Trading restrictions?  Why can we go for a bagel at McDonalds at 8 o’clock on Sunday morning but can’t go to Tesco’s and buy a packet of bagels to make our own?  This ridiculous rule about observing the Jewish religious law of observing the Sabbath has no place in England in 2012 and it’s time to consign Sunday Trading restrictions to the history books they came out of.

New British tax on English alcohol

The British government’s Christmas gift to the English this year was minimum pricing on alcohol, a tax that will penalise the millions of occasional drinkers who cause absolutely no problems whatsoever and the off-licences who are already struggling to make a living in the face of stuff competition from supermarkets.

Home Rule for EnglandThe Calais booze cruise is part of life in the south east of England where you can catch the ferry over the channel for a few quid and bring back a boot load of cheap booze from a hypermarché for half what it would cost to buy it here.  Elsewhere in England coach companies run organised booze cruises and groups of people get together to share transport costs for their own booze cruises.

Booze cruise costs are prohibitive for a lot of people but what if your booze “cruise” was a drive across the Welsh or Scottish border where minimum pricing won’t apply?  It would only cost me about a tenner to drive to the Welsh border and back where I could buy cheap booze that isn’t subject to the British alcohol unit tax.  My annual alcohol consumption is roughly what your average binge drinking teenager would consume in a weekend and Mrs Sane drinks infrequently so a boot load of cheap Welsh booze would last us a year.  What incentive would there be for me to buy booze from a local supermarket or off licence?

Retailers in the south east are already losing out because of British taxes on alcohol and tobacco and they’re increasingly losing out from people travelling to France and Belgium to fill up their lorries, vans and even cars with diesel which is currently about 15% cheaper than in England.  Naturally it’s the English that lose out most from repressive British taxes due to our colonial status but not exclusively so.  The Northern Irish border is dotted with petrol stations on the Irish Republic side of the border reaping the benefits of low fuel duty which of course costs Northern Irish retailers on the border a great deal of money.  The Northern Irish do have the pay-off of cross-border trade the other way as food and clothes are cheaper in Northern Ireland so they are in a slightly better position than England.

All four home nations lose out because of the misguided big state, high tax policies of the British government under any of the LibLabCon parties but the English disproportionately so because we’re under the direct rule of a fundamentally anglophobic British government.  The sooner we take control of our own affairs from the British the better.

Virgin Money snaps up Northern Rock on second attempt at huge discount

I’ve written about Northern Rock quite a few times since they were brought down by Saint Robert of Peston in 2007 and looking back at what I wrote and what others said is quite interesting.

When Saint Robert of Peston whipped up a frenzy of consumer panic with his misleading reports on Northern Rock’s request for an emergency credit line from the Bank of England (misrepresenting it as a loan rather than the offer of a loan if they needed it) he caused a run on the bank which deprived it of its working capital.  The inevitable happened of course and the Northern Rock ran out of cash and was nationalised.

Northern Rock has now been sold to Virgin Money at a minimum loss of £400m but possibly as much as £653m on the amount the UK Treasury spent nationalising the bank.  Those of you who have taken an interest in the Northern Rock affair and with good memories for these things might be getting a touch of déja vu at the mention of Virgin Money and Northern Rock in the same sentence because Richard Branson tried to take over Northern Rock before it was nationalised and on much better terms for UK plc than what has just been agreed less than a fortnight after Saint Robert of Peston embarked on his career-making hatchet job on the bank.

The original Virgin Money offer was to buy Northern Rock’s entire operation, pay back £11bn of the £25bn Bank of England emergency loan that Northern Rock was forced to take immediately with the balance to be paid within 3 years.  The UK Treasury hadn’t spent any money nationalising the bank so the taxpayer’s exposure to Northern Rock would have been repaid within 3 years, Northern Rock’s operations would have remained intact, Northern Rock’s investors would have had a chance of getting a return on some of their investments and the ripples that Northern Rock’s collapse and nationalisation sent through the banking sector could have been avoided.  The UK Treasury instead chose to nationalist the bank, costing the taxpayer billions and contributing to the virtual collapse of the UK banking sector.

Whilst I hold Saint Robert of Peston significantly responsible for the collapse of Northern Rock, some of the blame has to fall on the EU because Saint Robert wouldn’t have found out about the credit line if it wasn’t for the EU Monetary Abuse Directive (MAD) that required the Bank of England to publicise the fact that it had been offered.  The previous governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George, said at the time that if he was still governor when the EU MAD was brought in he would have resigned over it.

Ed the Millibeast has had a pop at George Osbourne about him selling the Northern Rock off at such a loss for no apparent reason but it turns out that he had no choice because the last Chancellor, Alistair McDarling, had to agree to sell off Northern Rock within 3 years to get permission from the EU to nationalise the bank.  And which government department did Ed the Millibeast work in at the time of the Northern Rock nationalisation?  Erm, that would be the Treasury – he was a minister in the Treasury when his boss agreed to the 3 year restriction on the nationalisation!

Richard Branson’s purchase of Northern Rock is only for the “good bank” – the “bad bank” was merged with Bradford & Bingley which was also nationalised.  The “bad bank” is still slowly paying back the billions of pounds it owes the taxpayer.  What happened to the Bank of England loan is anyone’s guess.  Northern Rock has cost the taxpayer a lot of money – a lot more than necessary so far and the Virgin Money takeover will cost hundreds of millions more.  The mismanagement of the economy and the banking crisis is nothing short of criminal.

The whole Northern Rock saga started with gross incompetence and unnecessary wasting of taxpayers money and it’s perhaps a fitting end for the Northern Rock brand that it will finish with a loss-making sale to the bank that tried to buy it before it cost the taxpayer billions of pounds and precipitated the near collapse of the banking sector and at a snip of the price offered in 2007.

Come the revolution there will be a special part of the wall marked out for Saint Robert of Peston, Alistair Darling and all the other criminally incompetent and irresponsible idiots that have cost us so dearly.

Splitting up banks is madness

The British government has announced plans to force banks to separate their high street and investment banking arms which it says will protect ordinary customers and make sure bailouts are never required again.

Some things never change. Like Labour.

The theory is that by ringfencing high street banking operations, the investment banking arms of those banks can’t gamble with (and lose) the money that ordinary customers put in their accounts and if the investment banking arm collapses, the high street bank can continue operating as normal.

Nice theory but completely and utterly bonkers.

It costs money to administer a bank account, to run a branch, pay for cashpoints, process cheque and card payments, etc.  Unless you’ve chosen a bank account with extra benefits that attracts a monthly fee, you don’t pay for any of that yourself.  I have a bank account that has a monthly fee attached to it and the value of the benefits I use (which is probably 1/10th of what’s available) far exceeds the fee I pay – it’s subsidised by the bank.  So where does the money come from to subsidise the cost of administering your bank account?

It costs money to pay out interest on your savings.  Even if your bank is only paying a nominal 0.1% interest, it’s still costing them money.  So where does the money come from to pay interest on your savings?

The money comes from the profits the banks make on investments and which bit of a bank makes the investments?  There’s a clue in the name.  Sure, the high street part of the banks make money from interest on loans and mortgages that it gives out but it just doesn’t compare to the billions of pounds the investment bankers are playing with daily.

When Northern Rock collapsed it was because of a run on the bank caused by the Bank of England being forced by the EU Monetary Abuse Directive (aptly shortened to “MAD”) to disclose that it had offered (not given, just offered) an emergency credit facility to the bank.  Robert Peston, who at the time hadn’t been elevated to sainthood by the BBC and was only useful for talking about exchange rates and zero balance credit card deals, got wind of this, made it seem like Northern Rock was about to collapse (it wasn’t) and caused mass hysteria amongst the general public.  The rest is history, I’m sure we all remember the news footage of Northern Rock customers queueing up to withdraw their money and deprive the bank of all its capital.

Had Northern Rock not over-extended itself with high risk mortgages with low deposits, they probably would have survived because they’d have had cash from mortgage deposits and the collateral for inter-bank loans but as it happens, at the time of the run they were basically a poorly-funded, badly-secured high street banking operation.  This is what will happen to all our banks when their investment arms are separated from their high street operations, particularly if their mortgage lending operations are lumped in with their investment banking operations.

Separating retail banking operations from investment banking will cost the banks billions.  You might say “good, they deserve it”, especially if you read the Guardian or listen to the BBC but those costs will be passed on to consumers.  Free bank accounts will be a thing of the past, interest rates on loans (and mortgages if they’re kept as part of retail banking) will go up, interest payments on saving will go down, branches will close, free transactions will end.  Look at the table of charges for a business bank account – that’s what we can expect when the retail banking operations of our banks are starved of the cash their investment banking arms feed into them.

Back to the official reason the British government are giving for the separation.  The theory is that it  will protect the retail banking operations so taxpayers won’t have to bail out banks and customers’ money isn’t being gambled with and lost.  The implication there is that the investment arm of a bank will be allowed to fail if it gets into trouble.  If you listen to the Guardian or the BBC (or most politicians in fact) then that’s no great loss but we’re talking about the companies that are investing your pension fund and provide hundreds of thousands of jobs.  The city accounts for about 10% of the entire UK economy, can we really afford for investors to lose confidence in our financial sector?

Allowing the investment banking arm of a major bank to fail would devastate the city and lead to the collapse of our entire financial sector.  Hundreds of thousands of jobs would be lost, billions would be wiped off the value of pensions and investments.  The knock on effects would be catastrophic – the big companies like supermarkets and manufacturing companies that invest money in and through banks to boost their balance books and pension funds will lose billions and their share prices will fall through the floor resulting in more job cuts and companies failing.  There won’t be enough money in the economy to financially support all those people who’ve lost their jobs so the Bank of England will have to print more which will lead to a further devaluation of the pound which means it’ll cost even more to import the things we need (we are far from being self-sufficient).

The pound is worth less than an Albanian Lek and you’ve lost your job and home but at least those bankers got what was coming to them, eh?

Reducing taxes will increase tax income

HMRC is targeting plumbers in its latest attempt to extort a bit more money out of us proles.  This is a similar exercise to the recent one where they targeted 30,000 doctors and ended up getting money out of just 5% of them.

Hector the EU tax collectorAccording to the British government, £45bn per year is “lost” through unpaid taxes although lost is the wrong word because that would imply that they had the £45bn in the first place which they haven’t.  And where does this £45bn figure come from?  If they know who isn’t paying their tax, why aren’t they making them pay it?

The British government has entirely the wrong idea when it comes to tax.  Their approach is “we need more money, what taxes can we increase?” when the best way to increase tax revenue is to lower taxes.

Not convinced?  It’s quite simple.  People pay taxes on the money they earn and the money they spend.  To earn money you need a job.  There aren’t enough jobs to go round so you need to create new jobs.  To create jobs you need someone to sell your products to.  For people to buy your products they need money.  The more money the British government takes off people in taxes, the less money they have to spend on stuff so the less the companies produce and the less staff they require.  It’s not rocket science, it’s just a variation on the “give a man a fish and he will feed himself, teach a man to fish and he will feed his whole village” line that charities use in their begging letters.

But it doesn’t stop there.  When Labour introduced the socialist wet dream otherwise known as tax credits, they abolished tax allowances.  Some people ended up better off, some people ended up worse off, most people were no better or worse off than before.  The side effect of removing tax allowances and replacing them with direct payments as full or partial refunds of tax paid is that two systems are now required where only one was before.  Instead of paying one lot of people to use one set of computer systems to collect tax off people, our taxes now pay for two lots of people and two sets of computer systems – one to collect the tax and the other to give it back.  All it did was create a load of unsustainable jobs, further complicate the tax system and increase the number of people who rely on the benevolence of the state (yes, I’m being sarcastic) to pay the bills.  There is no sense in taxing somebody and then giving them some or all of their taxes back – don’t collect the tax in the first place and it works out much cheaper!

But that’s still not the end of it!  When people have more disposable income they spend more on frivolous items which attract VAT.  The more people spend on commodities, the more tax they pay.  The more shiny things people buy, the more tied into the work ethic they get and the less likely they are to give up working and sponge off the state.

Reducing taxes will help shrink the size of the state as less people are required to enforce the extortion of half of every worker’s income.  The people who are no longer required to work for the state can fill the private sector jobs that will be created by the increase in disposable income.  People will have more money in their pockets to spend on “stuff” which will generate the income the slimmed-down state needs to provide essential services.  And the best thing about it is that it’s a self-perpetuating system because the lower taxes are, the more money people have, the less they need someone else to pay for things for them which means taxes can be lowered and people will have more money and the less they need someone else to pay for things for them which means … you get the picture, right?  So why don’t our politicians?

Who’s a clever boy then?

Osbourne and Cameron

Well, isn’t little Georgy Porgey Osborne a clever boy?  He’s decided to means test for family allowance to stop the well off from getting money they don’t need but being the clever boy that he is, he’s dropped a bit of a bollock.

The means testing is being done by taking family allowance off anyone who is in the higher tax bracket.  This means that if either parent earns over £44k they won’t qualify for family allowance.  And rightly so, there’s no need for someone earning £44k to have family allowance.

But here’s the clever bit: if two parents earn £43,999.99 each – a combined household income of £87,999.98 – they will still be paid family allowance.


Ask the Chancellors … yawn

So, who was impressed with the Ask the Chancellors programme last night?  Nope, nor me.

The three of them – Darling, Osbourne and Cable – were utterly unconvincing and short on ideas.  Darling and Osbourne were more interested in getting their catchphrases out whilst ignoring Cable who actually came across as the most credible person there which isn’t saying much.

On one occasion, a Scottish doctor in the audience asked if they would guarantee no cuts would be made at his hospital.  Not one of them asked him where his hospital was but answered his question anyway – if his hospital is in Scotland, they have no control of the health budget covering his hospital.  They also talked about social care but failed to mention England once throughout the entire programme.

The Channel 4 poll finished as close as their policies – Darling 33%, Osbourne 33%, Cable 34%.  The Tory Twitterati and bloggers and the Daily Express claimed victory for Osbourne, Liebour and the Mirror claimed victory for Darling and the Guardian (there isn’t a Twitterati or bloggerati for the Limp Dims) claimed victory for Cable.

If the programme proves anything, it’s that the election won’t be won on the strength of economic policy and certainly not by the Chancellors.

Bloggers4UKIP: Diplomatically incompetent, economically illiterate

Gordon Brown has plumbed new depths of diplomatic incompetence and financial illiteracy with the announcement that the UK will contribute £1.5bn to a £6.5bn fund for “poor” nations to combat climate change.

The pre-budget report this week set out the bleak outlook for the economy – taxes are going up, £30bn of extra pre-election vote buying, tens of billions of pounds of extra borrowing – but the chosen one has found a spare £1.5bn down the back of the sofa in Number 10 to spend on adverts showing drowning puppies and polar bears in the Seychelles.

But setting aside the idiocy of borrowing £1.5bn to give away to some corrupt, third world tinpot dictatorship to spend on guns and gold plated Mercedes, why are we paying one fifth of the amount being pledged in the name of the European Empire when there are another 26 member states who are supposedly out of recession?  No wonder the economy is in such a state when the person holding the purse strings thinks 6½ divided by 27 is 1½.

El Gordo pressing for communist banking system

Gordon McBrown, the unelected Scottish British Prime Minister, has shown his commitment to inflicting global communism on the world’s population by using a meeting of Commie EU Gordothe G20 in St Andrews to call for a global “social contract” for banks and “just distribution of risks and rewards”.  He’s also suggested a global tax on bank transactions to pay for a global fund to bail out (nationalise) banks.

The British Bankers Association says that the transaction tax is a bad idea.  A spokesman for the communist charity, Oxfam, which receives millions of pounds of funding from the British government, says it’s “a major step towards clearing up the mess caused by their greed”.

Communism has been tried in many forms over the years and has resulted in economic devastation, starvation, war and millions of deaths.  Communism is evil and El Gordo, Obama the Marxist and the EUSSR must not be allowed to inflict it on us.

BA is buggered

British Airways has reported a £292m pre-tax loss for the last 6 months.

Bankrupt AirwaysThe chief exec of BA says that revenue was down 13.7% in the last 6 months and next year it is likely to be £1bn less than last year.  On top of this, they are facing more strikes from staff unhappy at attempts to cut costs and introduce efficiencies that might stop BA going bankrupt.  It’s like British Leyland all over again.

Still, there’s some hope of assistance from the British government – a new tax came into force on the 1st of November which will add an extra £300 onto the cost of flights for a family of four to holiday to the Carribean.  The extra cost will mean less people can afford to fly and … oh dear, it’s not looking hopeful for BA is it?

We’re fucked

El Gordo had an easy time for his decade as Chancellor with the global economy booming and he still managed to fuck the economy up.

Today’s budget was a proper socialist budget – people who work for a living are going to see their tax burden go through the roof while unemployed people and the dregs of society will be getting money thrown at them.

There’s the obligatory “green” taxation of course – nearly £2.5bn on green measures and a target to reduce carbon emissions by 34% by the year 2020 at an unspecified multi-billion pound cost to businesses and taxpayers.  Like Canute commanding the tide to turn back, El Gordo and Darling will pass new laws to command billions of years of climate change to stop what it’s doing and spend billions enforcing their new laws.  The cost will no doubt be recovered by taking dragging Gaia through the courts for not reducing her carbon footprint to an acceptable level.

High earners will have to hand over half their earnings over £150k in state theft income tax to try and raise a bit of cash to pay for the glorious revolution.  In reality it’ll drive high earners abroad or into the hands of tax avoidance specialists who’ll help them legally launder their wealth through trust funds and limited companies.  Co-incidentally, a cabinet member’s salary is £141k, just shy of the new tax bracket so the only minister who might make be making the sacrifice is Comrade Brown who’s on £194k per year.
Statutory redundancy pay is being increased by £30 per week, under-25’s who’ve been out of work for over a year will be offered a job or training with extra benefits on top of the benefits they get for unemployment and training and an extra 54,000 sixth form places will be created to keep kids in education a bit longer costing the taxpayer money instead of working and paying taxes.

A £2k scrappage allowance is being introduced for people buying new cars and part exchanging a 10 year old car.  The taxpayer will contribute half of the £2k allowance and the car industry – which is asking for bailouts itself and in the case of Jaguar/Land Rover has already been given a few billion by the European Empire – will have to fund the other half.  This will, apparently, stimulate the motor industry.

There’s a 2p increase on petrol as usual, to start in September.  That’s 2p on fuel duty, plus 15% VAT plus the increased price of pretty much everything that you buy in the shops because of the increased cost of transport.

But it’s ok because Darling – whose qualification for running the economy is that he’s a marxist solicitor – says that after a 3.5% shrinkage of the economy this year, the economy will grow by 1.25% next year and 3.5% the year after.  And let’s face it, he’s done such a stirling job this last year and marxists have done a fantastic job of running ruining economies over the years that we could never doubt Comrade Darling’s wise words.

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Another fake prediction from Peston

The BBC’s financial fraud, Robert Peston, has “predicted” that the Dunfermline Building Society could be bought by the Nationwide.  Like most of Peston’s “predictions”, it’s already old news by the time he makes his pronouncement.

Dunfermline/Nationwide Link

It was surprising that the Treasury didn’t bail out the Dunfermline because most of its branches are in El Gordo’s constituency.  Not so surprising is the fact that the Treasury is going to take on £1bn of toxic assets, allowing the new owner to take on the profitable part of the business.

The Chairman of the Dunfermline is having a whinge about the Treasury not doing more to keep the building society independent.  The SNP, desperate not to lose another one of “oor banks” (yes I know it’s a building society, not a bank), has offered financial aid to the Dunfermline but the Treasury has apparently blocked the offer.

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Shropshire MPs complaining about unfair treatment of the English

The following story graced the front page of Wednesday night’s Shropshire Star:

MP’s bid for equal rights at factories

Workers at a Japanese car part factory in Shropshire are not receiving the same state aid in the current economic climate as their Welsh counterparts, an MP has claimed.

Shimizu UK has operations in Hortonwood, Telford, and Welshpool.

However, while its Welsh staff receive taxpayer-funded subsidies for their earnings and efforts to boost their skills – those at the English site do not.

Mark Pritchard, The Wrekin MP, whose constituency includes Hortonwood, today demanded a fair deal and similar assistance for his constituents as well.

The Tory MP raised the issue with Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy in the Commons.

He said: “The Secretary of State will know that Shimizu – a fone Japanese company – has a factory in Welshpool and also in Hortonwood in my constituency.

“But the difference is, on the Welsh side of the border they receive taxpayer subsidies for wages and training.

“That is good news obviously for people in jobs in Wales, but what about the people of Shropshire and my constituentsm who would like to see a similar subsidy from the regional develpment agency?”

Mr Murphy said there were “plenty” of schemes to turn to for assistance, including Train 2 Gain.

He said: “There are plenty of schemes – it is important that you make your constituents aware of them.”

The irony is, the Conservatives today announced that they will abolish all the regional quangos if they win the next election, including the regional development agencies.

Today I wrote the following to the four Conservative MP’s in Shropshire (there’s no point writing to the Labour MP, David Wright, any more as he rarely replies and when he does it’s usually spin or he answers a question you haven’t asked) as follows:

Dear MP,

Yesterday, Mark Pritchard had the following exchange with the British Secretary for State for Wales:

Mark Pritchard: What discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues and the Welsh Assembly Government on schemes to assist businesses in Wales during the economic downturn. [261330]

The Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Paul Murphy): I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer that I gave the hon. Member for Ceredigion (Mark Williams).

Mark Pritchard: I am delighted to have given the Secretary of State more time to think about his answer. He knows that Shimizu, a fine Japanese company, has factories in Welshpool and in Hortonwood in my constituency. The difference is that, on the Welsh side of the border, it receives taxpayer subsidies for wages and training. That is good news; we want people in jobs in Wales, but what about the people of Shropshire and my constituents, who would like a similar subsidy from the regional development agency?

Mr. Murphy: As the hon. Gentleman knows, one great benefit of devolution is that we can have several schemes to help businesses in Wales that might not be available in England. However, there are also effective schemes across the border in England, such as Train to Gain, the help that the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform gives small and medium-sized enterprises, and the Department for Work and Pensions schemes. There are plenty of schemes—it is important that the hon. Gentleman makes his constituents aware of them.

This raises an important point and one that is going to get more focus, especially as the economic situation worsens.

Last week Daniel was quoted quite justifiably complaining about the £2m per year cost of treating Welsh patients at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. Co-incidentally, I received a letter from the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital that same week confirming that the new kidney cancer wonder drug that the Welsh government have approved for NHS use could be given to a Welsh patient in the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital whilst an English patient would be refused it. Is this another benefit of devolution? It is for the Welsh.

As the economy gets worse, the Scottish and Welsh governments are spending more of their subsidy on propping up their businesses. There is no equivalent focus on English businesses from the British government, the focus is on UK-wide measures.

The Bank of England has magicked a few billion pounds out of thin air and used it to buy assets off British banks so that they will have enough capital to start lending again. The Royal Bank of Scotland has pledged £1.7bn to start offering mortgages – but only in Scotland. RBS is a Scottish bank first and foremost, they’re only British when they need rescuing from bankruptcy. The same applies to HBOS – both RBS and HBOS pledged to sacrifice jobs in England to save them in Scotland.

I’m afraid the regional development agencies (which David Cameron says he will abolish) just won’t cut it when it comes to addressing the democratic deficit in England or providing support to the English economy. An unelected regional quango with a few million pounds of funding pales in comparison to the national governments of Scotland and Wales with multi-billion pound budgets, the ability to pass its own legislation and directly elected politicians elected to represent the interests of the people that elected them.

What England needs and what England wants is an English government with English politicians elected by English people to represent English interests. We don’t need a Prime Minister and Chancellor elected in Scotland, unaccountable to English voters and having signed the Scottish Claim of Right, pledging to put the interests of Scotland first and foremost in all their acts and deliberations. We don’t need MPs elected in Scotland, unaccountable to English voters, casting the deciding votes on devolved subjects such as university top-up fees, foundation hospitals and the new runway at Heathrow.

Before you give the usual speech about how we’re stronger together than apart and our shared values, ask yourself what the union is doing for your constituents right now. Billions of pounds is being spent on Scotland and Wales at the expense of England. Legislation that only affects England is being passed by Scottish MPs that have no right to vote on the same matters in their own constituencies. Scottish and Welsh businesses are not only benefitting from the British government’s UK-wide efforts to combat the recession but they are also benefitting from their own government’s efforts. You are already seeing – and questioning – the benefits to Scottish and Welsh people from having their own devolved governments. Why would you want to deny those same benefits to your own constituents?

The case for an English Parliament is growing stronger as every day goes by and support for it is increasing year on year. It is no longer a subject for academics and political anoraks, it is a mainstream subject talked about in pubs, workplaces and schools. Are you going to stand on the Welsh border like a modern-day Canute and demand that the tide of change turns back or are you going to accept that things are going to change whether you want them to or not? England is being failed and you can do something about it – support the Campaign for an English Parliament while there is still an England to support.

I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you personally and discuss this further.

Stuart Parr

When I got home tonight and picked up the paper, Daniel Kawczynski was on the front page again, this time in a similar vein to Mark Pritchard last night. How am I supposed to keep up!

Pleading for the future

Fifteen firms appeal to MP for help to survive

Up to 15 Shrewsbury businesses have approached their MP in a desperate bit to avoid folding because of problems with their banks, it has been claimed.

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski said he had faced the “extraordinary” situation of being asked by companies to pleasd with bank bosses to allow mre time for payments to be made and stave off unreasonable demands.

He said that Wrekin was not the only company to have faced sever pressure from the banks and has called for the government to do more to help firms in trouble.

“I am currently involved in negotiation with banks with regard to 15 Shrewsbury firms who are having difficultues with their banks,” he added.

“These companies have asked me personally to get involved and I am writing to banks and arranging for Shrwsbury businesses to meet with their bank managers.

“It is quite an extraordinary situation when local firms are asking for the suppor of their MP to stop them going to the wall.”

The Tory MP said that since the recession took hol, he has been approached by an increasing number of businesses who are suffering because of a decline in demand whilst struggling to access credit.

A Meet the Buyer event is being held for businesses in the construction industry, which will take place on March 27 at the Shirehall.

The Chamber of Commerce will offer a presentation and short interview slots explaining how contracting and procurement services are arranged by Shropshire Council.

The reference to “Wrekin” is Wrekin Construction, a local construction company that has just gone bust with the loss of around 1,100 direct and indirect jobs. Despite having £40m of orders on its books for this year and enough money coming to them to pay their £2.8m overdraft off by the end of the week, the Royal Bank of Scotland refused to give them a few days extra to pay it. The Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform – an English department of the British government – will now have to pay £5m in redundancy payments because the company is in administration. Yet in the same week, RBS pledges to spend £1.7bn on loaning new mortgages in Scotland – as is usually the case: Scottish first, British second.

RBS to start lending again .. but only in Scotland

Good news!  The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced that it is going to use £1.7bn of the magic money the Bank of England invented to issue new mortgages.  But only in Scotland.

RBS is, I imagine, keen to reassert its Scottish credentials now that the “English” government owns most of it.  How ironic that the Royal Bank of Scotland is using money from the Bank of England to finance mortgage spending exclusively in Scotland.  How wrong that the Royal Bank of Scotland is using money from the Bank of England to finance mortgage spending exclusively in Scotland.

I wonder whether the Scottish Chancellor had a hand in the decision.  Let’s find out shall we?

Subject: FOI Request
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 08:17:40 +0000
From: Stuart Parr


Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, I would like to know the following:

  1. What guidance or instructions have been given to banks in receipt of taxpayers money as to what percentage of that money should be targeted at:
    • Scotland
    • Wales
    • Northern Ireland
    • England
  2. What consideration was given to the perceived detrimental effect on the Scottish banks’ reputation from being partly or majority owned by the British government and what was the outcome of any discussions about it.
  3. What involvement has the Chancellor had in any decision to prioritise lending in Scotland?

I would like this information in an electronic format.

Gordo has all the answers

Alistair Darling has said that injecting more taxpayers money into the banking sector “is not your first port of call”.

Well thank fuck for that because printing a few billion extra pound notes just isn’t an option.  Darling has already handed over £50bn to the biggest banks and £200bn to the Bank of England for short-term loans – we didn’t have enough money to pay for the bail-out in the first place, we certainly can’t afford another one.

El Gordo is quite happy with the outcome of the bail-out even though the banks still won’t lend money and the subsequent devaluation of the pound is causing a double blow to the taxpayer.  In fact, he’s so confident that everything is going swimmingly, he’s planning a Keynesian-style public works programme that he claims will create 100,000 jobs including 20,000 in the construction industry repairing schools.  He doesn’t give any indication as to where he’s going to find the money to pay for the work that’s going to support 100,000 people but then he really hasn’t got a fucking clue what he’s doing anyway so I wouldn’t expect him to have any idea where the money was coming from.

The BBC reporter, Robert Peston, has made another one of his groundbreaking predictions.  He reckons that the British government are going to start guaranteeing bank loans in an attempt to get the banks lending again.

My strong sense is that the Treasury is moving towards a plan that looks awfully like the Tories’ proposal for taxpayers’ to guarantee a proportion of lending to business

How inciteful of Lord Peston of Threadneedle Street.  Was his prediction based on his in-depth knowledge of business and finance?  Was he tipped off by a Treasury insider?  Or could it be the fact that Alistair Darling announced that the Treasury would be setting up a loan guarantee company with £250bn of taxpayers money back in October?  Still, I’m sure the BBC will make the most of Peston’s “prediction” when the loan company is set up (if it isn’t already).

We’ve seen what happens when a nominally socialist government tries to run a capitalist economy, now we’re going to find out what happens when a nominally socialist government tries to run a Keynesian public works programme.  God help us.

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RBS shares marginally less popular than Gary Glitter

I know it’s hard to believe but it appears that being a Scottish bank hasn’t, as previously thought, been a good enough reason for investors to plough their life savings into a bankrupt Royal bank of Scotland. Go figure.

RBS had another bumper rights issue as part of the deal with the devil Alistair Darling to get their hands on a few billion more of our hard earned cash. The idea was that they’d get loads of money of the taxpayer and then issue a few million shares to dilute the taxpayers stake in the bank to make sure the UK Treasury was a minority shareholder. Which would have been quite clever if it wasn’t for the fact that the bank is insolvent and the shares quite obviously so high risk as to be worthless as evidenced by the fact that hardly anybody has bought any of the new shares.

The upshot of this is that the UK Treasury now owns 57.9% of “oor bank”. That should please Alex Salmond.

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