Raising living standards

Labour is right about one thing. Living standards have fallen too much over the last six years. Indeed, the Conservatives say as much, reminding people that the biggest part of the fall in living standards happened during the Labour period, when the Great Recession wiped 7% off our national output.

The issue before us is not a choice between a Labour party who now recognise there is a “cost of living crisis” and a Conservative party who fails to understand that many more people want an improvement in their living standards. Both main parties know the figures, and recognise the understandable wish of many to see their incomes rise more rapidly than their costs.

The issue before us is which party if given a majority to govern would be the best able to satisfy these aspirations? Is it Labour who crashed the car in 2008, or the Conservatives who in coalition have gradually got the vehicle back on the road and moving again? Does Labour now know how to improve the car and get it traveling faster? How does their approach differ from the Conservative one, and would it produce better or worse results?

We need to start with how things are currently performing. The latest CEBR independent forecast suggests that over the lifetime of the 2010-15 Parliament national income will have risen by 9% and people’s disposable incomes by an average of 4% in real terms. Much of the growth is taking place in the last two years of the five year period. House prices will be up on average by 16% over the five years, unemployment will be down by a quarter from 8% to 6%, and the state deficit will have decreased by 40%. That sounds like a reasonable record in the circumstances, given the damage done to the banking system in the great crash and the problems in financing a normal recovery experienced in the period 2009-13.

The Conservatives can improve on this record free from coalition. They could cut a wider range of taxes than just raising the Income Tax threshold, boosting output as a result. In some cases like CGT and Stamp Duty they could boost revenues by choosing more sensible rates. They can renegotiate our relationship with the EU, which should include cutting the costs and burdens the EU imposes on business based in the UK but not selling into the rest of the EU. They can produce more imaginative policies to promote wider ownership and entrepreneurial success for the many.

Above all a majority Conservative government could tackle high and rising energy prices. The country’s energy supply needs to be shifted more to domestic production of gas and away from very expensive wind energy and imports. Labour signed us up to the EU and domestic climate change agenda in a way guaranteed to drive industry out of the UK. This now needs to be changed.

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  1. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    My living standard has been affected much more by the extra taxes this government raised than inflation.

    My income tax burden had increase 57% since 2008 which is more than three times the rise in my salary. Higher rate paye captives have been unfairly targetted by this and previous governments to subsidise cuts higher up and lower down.

    Higher rate tax payers are the aspiration that drives the economy but are seen as a status symbol concerned cash cow by your chancellor.
    Give me back my child and family tax allowance that previously was universal, introduce a fully transferable household tax allowance and index the higher rate threshold to give me back my true level of take home pay please.

    How is that 80/20 plan coming along

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Indeed 299 tax increase and rising. Family allowance has gone for many and personally allowances for others, pension contributions have been limited hugely (mainly restricting the private sector – special rules apply to many in the state sector and the EU needless to say), we still have the job destroying 45% income tax, 20% VAT, 40% IHT about 23% NI (both) etc. The 40% rate cuts in at a very low level now.

      A near doubling of court fees (another monopoly tax) today too.

      Earn say £120K in the UK and you are lucky to keep half of it, and after you spend it (with VAT, council tax and fuel duty, inflated religious energy costs etc. rather less than half). In a sensible country one might keep perhaps £35K more – over 50% more disposable income. Better services often too.

      And what do we get in return for this? An NHS that kills thousands a month, usually after a long wait – so I suppose the wait better than no wait.

      • Hope
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        A judge criticised the sentences guidelines she had to abide by when sentencing a woman for benefit fraud to the sum of £38,000. The woman would pay back the debt at £10 per week from, you guessed it, her benefits. Taking an approximate 68 years to complete the debt. It still does not pay to work in the UK with benefits capped to £26,000 because of Lib Dem insistence and effectively state loans paid by state benefits that cannot be paid off, in all likelihood, in the persons lifetime! No living standard crisis for some it appears in the UK non contributory benefit system. Now why would the so e of the potential 485 million people in Europe not want that? Welcome to Clegg’s world supported ably be Cameron.

      • APL
        Posted April 25, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic: “In a sensible country one might keep perhaps £35K more – over 50% more disposable income.”

        You poor deluded fellow! Where do you get the idea you are working for your own benefit??

        You role is to work and their role is to live off the fat of your land.

        So you scrimp and save to make ends meet, your average MP, votes him/herself a pay rise -(sotto voce) ‘but not in this Parliament’ – when they collect this particular lotto, in the face of public outcry, they’ll say, “Nufink we can do about it, gov’. It was that last lot that voted for it. In any case, it’s all within the rules.

        And the local authority Chief executive, in between busily locking up Council tax refusniks, tried in pretend council kangaroo courts, will happily pick up his/her wedge, a modest £200,000 pa.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink


      Totally agree its the taxes, duties, energy and fuel costs that have dragged us down. The cost of government is far too high and isn’t even factored into official inflation figures !

    • Jennifer A
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      NS – Count yourself lucky.

      Imagine you are a young person living in London carrying a student loan who’s been fortunate enough to utilise her education and work her way up to a job paying around £41k.

      Not enough to get a mortgage or pay travel costs – but sure as hell enough to pay 40% tax.

      She’d have been FAR better off if she’d got herself pregnant at fourteen and stayed unemployed instead.

      Hear the joke about the agoraphobic who swindled 50k in benefits (90k gross) spent it on foreign travel, got convicted and sentenced to a year inside (out in six months) ? Worth it, I’d say. Seeing as the poor graduate I mentioned earlier will be paying for it all then no wonder she has to be taxed so much and so prematurely.

    • acorn
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Actually the 80/20 thing has shifted a bit. On our way to Nirvana (not the rock band), that is, a balanced budget in 2018/19, Osbo’ is expecting taxes to go up by 4.5% a year, while Treasury expenditure will go up by a mere 1.7% a year. That’s about 73/ 27% and just possibly the wrong way around from the original plan.

      In a sovereign fiat currency economy, only the government can spend new money into the economy without having to balance a balance sheet; commercial banks can’t do that, theirs is a zero sum game. The limitation on the government is inflation. That is, it can’t spend more than there are goods and services to buy in the economy, otherwise it’s hello Zimbabwe.

      The trick is to get the most number of people employed without pushing the inflation button. Neo-liberals (not always Conservatives), do it the other way around and increase unemployment to control inflation by reducing government spending.

      BTW. Historically, in the long run, the more self employed an economy has, the lower the GDP per capita. The self employed in aggregate, earn less than the equivalent employed per capita.

      Anyway, the Treasury computer does not give a toss who pays the taxes, that is a political decision based on popular hate and envy of whomever is currently the subject of media hyped public humiliation. But it does have to use taxes to regulate private sector aggregate spending plus a bit more. There has to be some goods and services left for the government to buy and give to the poor and needy etc. Naturally, the 1% elite don’t spend anywhere near their income, the bottom 20% spend most if not all of it.

      Talking of plan A, if you have read the latest PSF and other recent data that is too complicated for MSM pundits to comment on, you will have noticed that Osbo’ has eased off the austerity pedal last year and will continue to do so this year; hence this short term pick-up in the economy. Crikey! is there an election coming?

      I have UKIP second in the Euro’s and Conservatives first in 2015. Why you say. Because there is no credible opposition economics and the voters would not understand it anyway. The big worry for Euro sceptics is the next President of the EU Commission, Guy Verhofstadt is ahead in the polls and he hates Eurosceptics. 😉 😉 .

  2. Richard1
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Given the catastrophic record of Labour in govt over 13 years its amazing there is any real debate. It shows how entrenched political loyalties can be in our system. How can anyone think of voting for the Labour Party (now more properly called the Welfare Party), which gave us the worst recession of the last 100 years, the explosion in govt debt due to out of control welfare and other politicised spending, the absurd and wasteful bank bailout, 2 disasterous wars, the sale of 1/2 the nation’s gold at a 30 year low, 3 federalist treaties transferring powers to the EU, uncontrolled immigration and now the potential dismemberment of the UK due to Scottish devolution. Did I miss anything?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Indeed Cameron has had to try very hard to be as bad but with the help of the Libdums he has made it. He even wanted a another war but was held back thank goodness.

      I would rather have Labour than watch Cameron rat yet again after the election.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        I dont agree with this. The welfare reforms are beginning to have an effect, there is a report today indicating more young people are starting their own businesses due to these. No wonder Labour are so against welfare reform, the last thing they want is benefit claimants turning into entrepreneurs! The education reforms must be heading in the right direction – look at the implacable opposition of the Blob. The deficit is coming down, I agree not fast enough. Income taxes are too high but there was some move at the top. Corp tax is down. The Conservative side has committed to an EU referendum and to attempt renegotiation before it.

        Its far from perfect but Labour would be far worse.

    • formula57
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Would those who think voting Labour is appropriate not be those for whom that party now stands, being the welfare scrounger, the public sector parasite and such of the bogus asylum seekers who have secured a (probably postal) vote?

    • oldtimer
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Yes. You missed out:
      (1)Brown`s pensions tax which caused the destruction and closure of final salary based pension schemes, affecting c15 million people;
      (2) the sharp decline in the national savings ratio, post 1997, from c9% to c3%;
      (3) the Climate Change Act which directly caused a sharp rise in energy costs (by £billions pa), undermined UK energy security, and awarded billions in subsidies for the installation of unreliable, undependable and inefficient generating capacity in the form of wind farms, solar energy schemes and biomass generation a more lunatic policy it is difficult to imagine. To its eternal shame the Coalition has continued on this mad course.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        Indeed an attack on pensions by Brown and the 50% tax that Osborne has retained and even extended by cutting caps and contributions – while he ratted on his IHT threshold promise too.

    • Hope
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Yes, the coalition has continued to follow Labour’s plans in the main. In reality the civil service plans presented by Europhiles of the LabCon.

      JR’s jam tomorrow nonsense has been seen before time and again by Cameron, how many U turns, broken promises does it take to realise you cannot believe a word Cameron says? Over 300 tax rises, no significant spending cuts, borrow and give away our taxes to the EU to improve the countries and living standards of Easten Europe and now we learn overseas aid has supported a girl band in Ethiopia and a waterpark in Morrocco! I rather waste my own money on my own family than this scandalous waste of my taxes.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      “How can anyone think of voting for the Labour Party”

      Agreed, but they do because Labour are faced with a useless Cameron Conservative party which doesn’t have the fight in them to take the attack to Labour and show how disastrously Labour failed. In most of the cases you cite the Cameron Conservatives, rather than acting as a principled opposition, went along with Labour’s policies with a cry of ‘me too’ . The Cameron Conservative election policy was to be for everything Labour were for so they didn’t have to marshal the arguments to fight for anything and take the electorate along with them by the force of their arguments.

      I don’t remember them taking Gordon Brown to the cleaners over his disastrous gold sales, and they still don’t. I have never heard the Cameron Conservatives quantify the cost of Gordon Brown’s disastrous gold trading activities, which I think is currently sitting at a $12 billion loss.

      They went along with the wars, and in fact gungho for us to be involved in even more wars.

      They said they were EUsceptic, but Cameron having managed to wriggle his way out of honouring a promise he made for a referendum on Lisbon, he forgot the promise he made where he said he wouldn’t let matters rest there, but happily did, and happily lived under Lisbon, until UKIP came snapping at his heals, and the modernisers arrogant belief that conservative minded voter had no where to go proved to be a massive miscalculation.

      And as for mass immigration they got a third of the but gave up finding it all too much like hard work. Same with the deficit, a third of the job done and then its all too much like hard work.

      And as for devolution, Cameron has accepted Labour’s discriminatory constitutional dogs breakfast, in fact he sucked it up to such an extent he jostled with Labour to bad English people, going to Glasgow to call us ‘sour faced little Englanders’ . Again rather than acting as leader of a principled opposition and challenging them he went along with it, and now in power he hasn’t changed anything to improve it for English people , in fact he is seeking to make matters worse by handing the Welsh more powers for their assembly, and waving devo max in front of Scots noses. Meanwhile his election manifesto promise to answer the English question is forgotten about.

      Reply You know about the gold sales because Conservatives have regularly raised this in Parliament.

      • Iain Moore
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Sorry read it as

        And as for mass immigration they got a third of the (way)

        jostled with Labour to bad ( mouth) English people

        • Hope
          Posted April 25, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

          In opposition Cameron pledged to match labour’s spending plans and he has!

      • zorro
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply – No, we don’t know about it because of Conservatives in Parliament. Believe it or not, there are other ways of finding out this information 🙂


    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Richard, to repeat something I said a few days ago, the two things that worry me most, are nepotism and ignorance. But every Labour government has a similarly deplorable record.

      The Tories once has a campaign slogan, ‘New Labour, New Danger.’ They were proven to be absolutely right, but let’s be honest, and especially where EU federalism is concerned, their own hands are not exactly clean.


    • uanime5
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      Given the catastrophic record of Labour in govt over 13 years its amazing there is any real debate.

      You mean those 10 years of high growth under Labour compared to 4 years of stagnation under the Conservatives.

      gave us the worst recession of the last 100 years

      How exactly was the 2008 financial crisis, which originated in the USA, Labour’s fault? Especially when the Conservatives were calling for even less banking regulations, which would have made the problem much worse.

      the explosion in govt debt due to out of control welfare and other politicised spending

      Most of the increases have been due to pensions because we have an ageing population and housing benefit because house prices are being kept artificially high. Are you saying that pensioners shouldn’t receive any welfare to cut the benefits bill? Are you saying that house prices should fall so that housing benefit costs are less?

      the sale of 1/2 the nation’s gold at a 30 year low

      Odd how you forgot about the sale of the Royal Mail by the coalition, which lost the taxpayer several billion because it was under priced.

      • Hope
        Posted April 25, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Uni, good to know you are okay, utter socialist drivel, totally inaccurate as usual.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 25, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        You post either in ignorance or denial:-

        1. the ‘growth’ under Labour was a debt fuelled bubble, much of it also accounted for by the expanding state. it was inevitably heading for bust
        2.The first evidence of the financial crisis was the insolvency of Northern Rock, nothing to do with the US. The reasons for the financial crisis in the US were the same as those in the UK – over-leveraged banks. More or less box-ticking regulation was a complete irrelevance. Labour’s regulatory and monetary policies allowed an increase in UK bank leverage from c. 20x to c. 50x. Then they compounded the error by bunging in £70bn of taxpayers’ equity, most of which will be lost
        3. There has been an explosion of spending in welfare – also in fact in other areas such as the NHS but without improvement in relative standards. Labour were responsible for unprecedented waste of public money
        4. I agree the Royal Mail sale was mishandled. However it was conducted against the active opposition of Labour and the unions, which put institutions in a strong bargaining position. There is no comparison between that – it was after all a successful privatisation and is no longer a burden on the state – with the £12bn catastrophe of the sale of the gold.

        Your comments should be held up as an example of Labour’s complete denial of responsibility for the disaster of their time in office.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    With the internet it is terribly easy to find agreeable sites and then to limit yourself to them.

    That is why I look regularly at Labour List, Labour Uncut and Left Foot Forward. It is fair to say that there is a lot of interest in getting re-elected (the Axe). There is a lot of interest in the very lowest members of our society and how we can improve their lot. Yesterday was celebrated too. And there is a growing fear of UKIP.

    I tried Newsnight again last night and turned off when the two interviewees were seated far too close to each other and the poor little man had to flinch every time the ethnic representative began waving her hands and in his face, shouting about how crime was definitely on the increase where she herself lived.

    I do not see any evidence that the left take any responsibility for the energy crisis, the debt, the EU, the crash or indeed the enormous gulf between the rich and poor that accumulated during the Blair Era. They are also very silent about their TU financial backing.

    Labour may very well be re-elected. I am not at all sure that UKIP is going to be stopped – or Alex Salmond for that matter – by a load of tractor production in the Ukraine sort of figures. Mr Cameron needs to lift the phone to Nigel Farrage or proclaim a referendum very fast to head off the UKIP threat.

    • Hope
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      What has Cameron done to change anything? The structural deficit will not be eliminated as promised, by spending cuts on an 80/20 basis, the debt is still growing by. £158 billion a year and Cameron is still borrowing £58 billion to service the interest on that debt while he is proud to give the money away a and fight heart and soul to stay in bathe EU! Immigration cuts will not be met and we discover this week £1.2 billion spent on the E-immigration project will not be effective in controlling numbers because the EU has forbidden Border Agency staff to ask EU citizens how long they are staying for or what the purpose of their visit is for! £1.2 billion wasted and still no means to count people in and out of the country.

      • zorro
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        Effectively, Immigration Officers have not been able to question EU nationals about their intentions for over 20 years…. I remember the ‘Bangemann wave’ fromm back then….


        • Hope
          Posted April 25, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          Yet, Cameron says there is a reasonable amount of immigration from Bulgaria and Romania! How does he know! He promised significant cuts to immigration, a pledge he knew he could not enforce because the EU would not let him and he wants to fight to stay in the EU a
          with heart and soul. Now who could trust anything he says?

    • Iain Gill
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      UKIP will grow and grow while the rest of the political and journalist bubble continue to support the levels of immigration we see. The Conservatives talk tough but in practise its open doors as usual.

      ( attack on Mr Farage left out ed)

      The cosy political establishment does need a shake up. If UKIP don’t do it something else will.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted April 25, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        it was more an attack on journalists and other politicians for the limited way they question his views

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      There is nothing Cameron can now, even a UKIP deal is rather unlikely to work. Cameron has thrown all his credibility away with his serial ratting, endless tax increases, endless green crap subsidies, daft regulations and above all his heart and soul, supine approach to the EU. He could not even get fair constituency boundaries, nor could he even beat Gordon (sitting duck) Brown.

      How could UKIP or anyone ever trust him (or the dodgy half of the Tory party) ever again?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Well I sure as hell don’t trust him LL!

        And that’s the thing the Tories need to deal with – the credibility gap. It threatens to give Labour another term, and we absolutely cannot afford that. Yet the solution is there for every Tory to see. It has to align itself with public opinion, especially on the EU. It has to get away from the idea that the EU is redeemable. And most of all, it has to get rid of the plethora of pro-EU types within the party who seem always to try to defend the indefensible. They rightly urge good housekeeping at home, then subscribe to the biggest, most wasteful, and virtually ungovernable political union abroad.

        They just don’t get it, as Miliband regularly says, but in a different context. UKIP are filling the vacuum the Tories left behind them with their underhanded push towards integration. Thankfully, UKIP are providing the refuge for every cogent and thinking disaffected person, from all parties, who are presently not having their views recognised. This SHOULD be fertile ground for the Tories, but past cons and duplicity isn’t easily forgotten by their once loyal supporters. A new direction needs a new leader with a new message. Cameron can’t cut it because he has already said he wants to remain in the EU mire.

        Until the Tories get that new leader with a new anti-EU direction, men like us are happy to cast our votes elsewhere. They only have themselves to blame for not winning an election outright for 22 years. Surely that’s telling them something about the direction the party has taken?

        Liam Fox or David Davis would have been a far better option than Cameron. And I’ll tell you something else LL, people shouldn’t run away with the idea that Cameron is universally liked within his own party. It’s just that for the sake of outward unity, they don’t talk about their reservations in public.

        Last night, I watched a discussion between the late Christopher Hitchens and Tony Blair on YouTube, and Blair recounted a tale that could equally apply to the present-day Tories. Blair said,

        ‘After losing the fourth general election in a row, a party activist came up to him and said, ‘what’s is wrong with the electorate?’

        Kinda has its own commentary!


        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 24, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, the solution is there for every Tory to see. It has to align itself with public opinion which also happens to be right. Cameron just has to turn through 180 degrees on the EU, on uncontrolled immigration, on all the expensive energy green crap, on ever more regulation, on ever higher tax rates, on the ECHR and on ever more government.

          Then he might become a Tory but his genes, and his heart and soul simply do not allow this.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Well nothing much to chose between Labour and the Tories under the current green crap, big government, heart and soul, uncontrolled immigration, IHT and EU ratting, in three letters NHS, more regulations by the day, gender pension and insurance, 299 tax increases, Maria Millar, Greig Clark, Ed Davey, Vince Cable & David Laws supporting Cameron leadership is there? The heir to Blair Cameron was at least held back from his idiotic warmongering by MPs – but mainly Labour ones.

    Bank lending to industry & investment is still in huge decline I read, the banks still absurdly expensive and not really lending properly nor on sensible margins and terms. More chance of borrowing at sensible rates from someone you meet on a bus or train.

    A near doubling of small claim court fees today too and for a hugely inefficient often pointless system too. Still the Cornish will now be protected as a new minority group, I am sure that will help hugely with international competitivity, clearly a huge priority for Cameron think types. Why not Yorkshire, Lancastrians, Essex, Kent etc.? Must be lost more work for bureaucrats, lawyers and diversity experts there.

    As Cameron will not address the uncontrolled EU immigration he can do nothing about the squeeze on living standards and low wages for many. His expensive energy policy, bloated, 50% over paid & pensioned and rather inefficiently run state sector makes it far worse.

    I read in the Telegraph that “At least 1,000 hospital patients are dying needlessly each month from dehydration and poor care by doctors and nurses, according to an NHS study”. Was this not Cameron’s priority in three letters with that silly Olympics nurses nonsense? If the NHS is killing that many (and it is his priority) why has he done nothing other than trying to (very expensively) gag some NHS staff that is.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:08 am | Permalink


      The Today programme had an interesting piece at 730 this morning where a statistician was running through pay rises in the workplace. Rises over 3% account for one third of all settlements showing that union members and executives are being looked after. One third of all workers remain on static wages.

      Interestingly for you he mentioned that cuts to staffing in the public sector were having downward pressure on wages in the public sector due to excess supply. This in conjunction with uncontrolled mass immigration is keeping low skilled workers’ pay depressed.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        Correction: downward pressure in the private sector, apologies.

    • Hope
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      What has Cable actually achieved or done to boost the economy, business or jobs? More threats to curb City pay or the Government will intervene. What business is it of the government? Mansion tax still be considered why not more inventive ways for spending cuts?

      Mrs Clegg interrupts her husband to force him to concede fathers should equally look after children. Some of us believe looking after children is more important than careers, higher standard of living, greed or materialism. Some of us believe raising your own children is an individual responsibility and the best way to bring them up and make them useful contributors to society rather than have nannies, child vouchers provided by the state for second rate carers etc. However, her outburst does give a minds eye where Lib Dem policy might emanate from.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        Cable seems to think he can run and regulate everything from on high. He is about as anti business as you can be. Easy hire and fire is what is needed not Cable.

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Total patient care means spending time with patients who cannot feed themselves or can only drink a couple of mls every 10 mins. Most hospitals employ support workers to do this job , yet not enough, and they have been upgraded to undertake the simple technical work which nurses would do , like taking bloods and ecg’s and putting cannulae in etc , therefore those employed are taken away from their roles. The other option in giving fluids subcutaneously or intravenously , but again the nurses are undermined and not allowed to start fluids and the doctors are overburdened with simple fluid replacement which only needs simple electrolyte knowledge and physiological norms in relation to individual physical status.

      • Longinus
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        Project 2000 created the current mess.

        Nurses don’t understand the basic physiological processes that allow rational prescribing of parenteral fluids, nor are they qualified to assess the fluid status of a patient.

  5. John E
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    I saw reputable academic research earlier this week that concluded the US has become an oligarchy dominated by a wealthy and powerful elite. It can no longer be regarded as a functioning democracy because the interests of the elite determine policy and legislation, overriding the opposition of the masses.
    The Conservatives need to convince the electorate that that the UK will not continue to follow that direction with the fruits of economic growth enjoyed largely by those at the top. It will not be easy to do so.


    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      The UK is not a functioning democracy at all. Most laws come from the EU and the major parties and bureaucrats hold the power. Voter can do very little given the party power, BBC indoctrination and the voting system.

    • oldtimer
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Just like the EU, but with a different elite and a different mix of special interest groups. The IEA labelled them the Euro Puppets. See here:

      • forthurst
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        “Many Youth in Action grants have been given to projects in potential new member states such as ‘Unite Unite Europe!’ (Serbia), ‘Be Active, Be European!’ (Albania) and ‘Citizen of my country, citizen of my Europe!!’ (Kosovo).”

        As we know, the Albanians and Serbs get on like a house on fire and so will welcome the removal of the artificial (country) borders between themselves, and the inclusion of Albanian Kosovo, an important staging post for opiates, would bear down on inflation through more plentiful supplies of heroin on the street. All to look forward to, then: just keep voting for the same bunch of traitors.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the link OT. I’ve had a read, and I think it’s worth a discussion all of its own! Talk about wasting our money! So all the (supposedly) penny-pinching at home, and the tax take, is pretty much futile.

        Like so many others, it isn’t so much the deficit I want to see reduced, as the phenomenal debt we’re still lumbered with, and until we keep spending in check, we’ve got no chance!


    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      I believe it too John! The evidence to support it is stacking up. YouTube is not a bad place to start. As yet, it is still free and uncensored. Most media marches to the tune of the ones who pull the strings.


    • Dave
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Yes the US has become an oligarchy dominated by a wealthy and powerful elite. Much like the UK really. We all know how this ends though:

      It’s worth reading some points from this article – “This is how empires collapse”. It’s easy to see parallels between the example given of the collapse of the Roman Empire and the current state of affairs within the west.


      Here are some of the points:
      1. Each institution within the system loses sight of its original purpose of serving the populace and becomes self-serving.

      11. Redundancy is sacrificed to preserve a corrupt and failing core. Rather than demand sacrifices of the Roman Elites and the entertainment-addicted bread-and-circus masses to maintain the forces protecting the Imperial borders, late-Roman Empire leaders eliminated defense-in-depth (redundancy). This left the borders thinly defended. With no legions in reserve, an invasion could no longer be stopped without mobilizing the entire border defense, in effect leaving huge swaths of the border undefended to push back the invaders.

      Phantom legions line the pockets of insiders and cronies while creating a useful illusion of stability and strength.

      12. The feedback from those tasked with doing the real work of the Empire is ignored as Elites and vested interests dominate decision-making. When this bottoms-up feedback is tossed out, ignored or marginalized, all decisions are necessarily unwise because they are no longer grounded in the consequences experienced by the 95% doing the real work.

      This lack of feedback from the bottom 95% is captured by the expression “Let them eat cake.”

      The point is that decisions made with no feedback from the real-world of the bottom 95%, that is, decisions made solely in response to the demands of cronies, vested interests and various elites, are intrinsically unsound and doomed to fail catastrophically.

      How does an Empire end up with phantom legions? The payroll is being paid but there is no real-world feedback, no accountability, no purpose other than private profit/gain and no common good being served.

      It’s just a matter of time now for the west. It’s no wonder peoples faith in the LibLabCon party is plummeting.

    • uanime5
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      Other problems associated with the oligarchy is that in the US the police are becoming more like a paramilitary and the US is spending a massive amount of their GDP on defence (including drones and aircraft carriers). It’s like they’re preparing to fight the US citizens and the entire world if need be.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 25, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        For once, spot on! My dearest wish is that others take the time and trouble to do a bit of research on this matter too.

  6. Elrond Cupboard
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    JR:-“They can renegotiate our relationship with the EU”

    Only by invoking Article 50, which your glorious leader seems strangely unwilling to do.

    Please stop fibbing, you’re better than that.

    Reply I am not fibbing. We can renegotiate and if we do not get what we want we can leave. I am trying to get you all an In Out referendum. Many of you seem to be trying to stop me!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      You cannot renegotiate anything substantive and get it through under Cameron because: 1. he will not win an overall majority in 2015 2. he is anyway clearly only looking for a fig leaf or two, just to try to win a referendum. 3 His heart and soul is simply not in it. 4. He does not even want to become a Greater Switzerland/Norway on Sea (for unspecified but clearly idiotic reasons) 5. the 50% plus of the Tory party that are pro EU/Ken Clark/John Major types and the career politicians will not let him hold any referendum unless he can win it for the in side. 6. The BBC/CBI/Labour/EU and Libdem propaganda, under Lord Patton types will swing it anyway their way.

      • Hope
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        No, I think the groundswell support for getting out of the EU is growing and right minded people hold the BBC in contempt. There is NO consumer accountability of the BBC and therefore NO accountability. Time for it to be changed or got rid of.

        What politician is being held to account for the thousands of deaths in the NHS? Any other business would have corporate manslaughter charges brought against the directors etc. Time for Labour MPs to be held to account in a similar manner to private business.

        • sjb
          Posted April 25, 2014 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

          Hope wrote: I think the groundswell support for getting out of the EU is growing

          Two opinion polls in March showed a majority in favour of remaining in the EU.[1,2]

          In 2012, by contrast, the ‘leavers’ had strong leads. [3]

          [1] YouGov, fieldwork: 23-24 March
          [2] YouGov, fieldwork: 9-10 March
          [3] YouGov Poll Trackers

          • Hope
            Posted April 28, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

            I appreciate the polls, this will change. People wanting out will grow.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      We are not trying to stop you, we are just realists. The reality is Cameron will not win a majority and will clearly rat yet again even if he does win. He is a say one thing, do the complete opposite snake oil salesman and everyone knows it this time.

      He could not even win when they did not.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Comment on Reply–One might just as well say that the Conservatives are trying to stop UKIP. You and the Conservatives have to try to understand that many many of us simply cannot contain our indifference about what Cameron is doing (that’s when we are not despising him on other issues). Even if we got the referendum (years ahead, maybe) we still wouldn’t be interested in having Cameron mastermind it because what we want is a whole-hearted leading of the charge (a la Farage) away from the EU not the Janus faced equivocal nonsense Cameron spouts and only then because he was forced in to what little of use he does say mostly by UKIP. We want a vast UKIP victory next month and a bit of luck soon thereafter in the form of a by-election. Even if that doesn’t happen my money says there will be a UKIP MP or two after the next election and to achieve that breakthrough the admittedly large risk of a few years of a (it would be reasonable to assume) chastened Labour Party is a possibility even an actuality we are willing to face head on.

    • Bob
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      With 500,000 immigrants arriving each year, by 2017 the size of the transient population will tip any referendum towards keeping the borders open to their friends and relatives.

      The LLC plan is to dice, slice and deliver our diminished nation on a plate to Brussels.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        That’s true Bob. It is bad enough for Labour to manipulate the system to increase immigration, and thereby increase their share of the vote with their ‘client state’, but for the Tories to do crazy things that make it easy for Labour beggars belief.

        The Tories say they want to get back control of our borders. I wonder what Putin would do if he really wanted to do something?

        It can be done, provided our leader was good enough. Cameron’s talk is just a waste of time.


        • APL
          Posted April 25, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          Tad Davison: ” but for the Tories to do crazy things that make it easy for Labour beggars belief.”

          Only if you are under the delusion that the Tory Party and the Labour Party are distinct organisations, with different goals and aspirations.

          They are the same organisation operating to give the appearance of ‘diversity’ of opinion and policy. But ..

          Both do what ever the EU tells them to do, so it doesn’t matter which you elect.

          Since the EU is actually running things in the UK, remember the disaster in the Somerset Levels, our politicians simply get paid £64,000 per year to run around like headless chickens.

          They do that pretty well.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted April 26, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

            That sounds like a reasonable point to me APL. I won’t argue with that.


    • matthu
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      The trouble is that the CP are led by one massive Europhile while openly canvassing another – Boris, the man who voted for Ken Clarke in the 2005 Tory leadership election, who wants Turkey to be a member of the EU and who wants to have an amnesty for illegal immigrants – to be their next leader.

      The public have already been hoodwinked over one Conservative led referendum – they are not going to be hoodwinked twice.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure that if Cameron did renegotiate then we would get what most of what we wanted. At least, that is what the pro-EU mass media, which is almost all of the mass media, would tell us, and many people would be convinced by that. Just as back in 1975 many of their forebears were led to believe that Wilson had achieved significant improvements in the terms of our EEC membership, more than enough to justify voting to stay in, even though in reality there was nothing of any substance which required treaty change. Cameron has now set out seven targets for his putative renegotiation, but only the seventh, freeing us from the commitment to a process of “ever closer union”, would definitely require treaty change. As that is by far the most fundamental of all the changes he proposes it would also be by far the most difficult to achieve, but no doubt his failure on that could be glossed over in the pro-EU propaganda blitz, a cross-party campaign but led by Cameron and supported by almost all of the leading figures in the Tory party. By 2017 relatively few people would still remember the details of what he had promised in 2014, and in all likelihood his article in the Sunday Telegraph would have been removed from the website in the same way that his September 2007 “cast-iron guarantee” article in the Sun was removed from its website, so it would be more difficult for them to check back.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        I’m troubled by Cameron’s wording Denis. He’s a passed master at the use of the caveat. His cast iron guarantee about giving us a say on the Lisbon treaty is a case in point – ‘provided it had not already been ratified’ which of course he knew it would be. In my book, that is a ploy specifically designed to deceive, and I’ve never been tolerant of conmen. Earlier I referred to Cameron’s ‘credibility gap’. It gets wider all the time.


        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 25, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

          Well, in fact there was no such caveat in Cameron’s Sun article in which he gave that “cast-iron guarantee”, as Andrew Neil pointed out to David Lidington:


          But you can never take anything at face value.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted April 26, 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink

            Many thanks Denis, I am obliged to you. I’m going to do a bit of digging myself this afternoon, because I’m pretty sure that’s what Cameron said on at least one occasion, that there would be a referendum only if ratification had not already happened.

            What your link shows most graphically (as if we didn’t already know it anyway) is how many weasels there are in the Tory party. Curious that Cameron can push through some things that weren’t in the 2010 manifesto, yet drags his feet when there is something of much greater importance to the health and vitality of this nation, making us wait until the publication of the 2015 manifesto. He was there, at it again, two nights ago, pleading with us to trust him, that only he can deliver. I often harken back to the words of Lincoln and wonder just how many people can be fooled all of the time?


        • lifelogic
          Posted April 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

          Indeed equivalent to a large jet crash every week the avoidable deaths toll at the NHS it seems.

          He did not even say ‘providing it has not already been ratified’ to the public. Not only that he went on (idiotically) to argue that a ratified treaty is somehow no longer “a treaty”. How can anyone trust this socialist pro EU, green crap, 299 tax increasing fraudster?

          A ratified treaty needed the voters consent far more that one not ratified. A referendum would have strengthened his hand, but he clearly did not want that.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply:

      Rather than some vague aspiration aimed at conning the people yet again, as in the recent party political broadcast, how about if Mr Cameron sets out in bullet points what he actually wants and expects from a re-negotiation?

      All I have seen so far is conjecture, speculation, and what might happen. It’s just not good enough – especially coming from a heart and soul Heathite. But for me, ANY political connection to the EU that gives them any semblance of control over our affairs is to be avoided. Ask an Oncologist. Leave any traces of the disease, and it can grow back. And after severance, we need it written into a proper constitution to kill any regrowth altogether.


      Reply Mr Cameron recently made a speech about his seven main aims for renegotiations which we discussed on this site.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Cameron did give a speech on his aims and it was pathetically vague & empty.

      • APL
        Posted April 25, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        JR: “Mr Cameron recently made a speech ..”


        Fine words butter no parsnips. Give us some action!

  7. andy01
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    A disturbing pair of statistics: “people’s disposable incomes [will have risen] by an average of 4% in real terms … House prices will be up on average by 16%.”

  8. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I would like to this rise in living standards , but the truth is for many, things have gone worse. Every crash happens because there are events which lead up to it and the events which were seeded in the Thatcher years led people to believe ,they were well off and things would get better and better.
    We have now had decades of borrowing money in the pretence that goods were assets and this has been enforced by such systems as credit rating.There is no party superior to another ,for when the politicos are in power , they cannot control how individuals act when in business power or otherwise. They cannot control how people spend their money and how loyalty will change from one to another if the pocket is hit hardest.
    I had a conversation with a manger only last week who stupidly said that she votes conservative for it is a party for people like me who are married to professionals on large incomes and you of course will vote labour as you are poor.
    I slew that dragon yesterday putting water on the hot air and lack of substance in the rhetoric, but there are many senseless voters out there who will vote to get what they want and who they want to be seen with.They simply want to be the boss and lack the credibility necessary to be a professional.

  9. alan jutson
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Do also remember that there is a large percentage of people who are on a fixed income John.

    Those of us who have retired after a lifetime of work, and found that Annuity rates are poor, that savings income is almost non existent, so the chances of us improving our income are very slim.
    Yes I will grant you that the raising of the Personal tax allowance has helped, as has the limiting of Council tax, but inflation is simply causing havoc with many financial plans and Budgets.

    Certainly the recent move to free up choice with pensions will perhaps help those in the future, and that is good news, but for millions it is too late and simply does not apply.

    Why is the proposed new higher State universal pension due to come in shortly, not apply to existing retired people, why do they have to stick with the old lower pension system.

    Yes of course things have changed for the better, but do remember in finance terms we are still going backwards as Government Debt is rising, so we have not yet stopped, on that front the brakes still need to be applied.

    If the Conservatives want to get elected again then they have to do what they failed to do last time, and that is to clearly explain what the situation was, what it is now, and how it can be improved further.
    Cameron Failed last time against the worst record in history, do you think he will do any better this time.

    Given past history, I think the BBC will scupper your chances, because the majority of the people take for granted what they are told by this organisation as being fact.
    All of those LSE students of past generations and their disciples have gained influential positions within the media and thus their Socialist beliefs and doctrine also remain to haunt your Party.

    The Conservative party have a tough time ahead, because many of their core voters have lost faith.

  10. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Your problem is that many people will not give the present government the credit for an improving economy. There’s a substantial chunk of the population who do not blame the last government for the mess inherited by the present government and believe that the present government started by making matters worse not better, and there’s another substantial chunk who blame both and will give little credit to either.

  11. formula57
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Your party seems to place much emphasis in seeking approval upon the reprehensible failure that is “House prices will be up on average by 16% over the five years”. But yes, we are all thick and obsessed with how rich we are because of the market price of property and truly suppose it is illustrative of a buoyant economy so no blame can properly be attached for merely exploiting a myopic weakness!

    Emphasis only upon the economy is disappointing however when the many serious failures of Labour in other important areas, not least the NHS, are ignored. Recall there was a favourable bounce in public opinion after some of Labour’s NHS iniquities were exposed and commented upon by the Conservatives. Perhaps powder is being kept dry for the election?

    (With regard to elections, as an aside, I offer the following slogan lest it could be of use – “UKIP if you want to, we will stay wide awake”. It does of course presume a record of vigilance by the user in opposing the machinations of the EU.)

  12. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    JR: “….the state deficit will have decreased by 40%. That sounds like a reasonable record”
    How easily pleased you are when before the last election your Chancellor pledged to have eliminated the deficit by 2015.
    JR: “Labour signed us up to the EU and domestic climate change agenda in a way guaranteed to drive industry out of the UK.”
    What part did the Conservative party play in this? Only 5 MPs voted against the second reading of the Climate Change Act in 2008 and I note that you were not one of them!
    I also remember “Vote Blue. Go Green” and Cameron saying his would be the “greenest government ever”.
    Your selective memory to forward your party’s position is becoming irksome.

    Reply I spoke against the Climate Change Act at the time and did not vote for it.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Brian, this is Cameron the Chameleon we’re talking about here! He’ll go from green, to blue, to pale pink, and ever red in some cases, when it suits his purpose.

      He’s one of those the late Tony Benn described as a ‘weather cock’, when what we really need is a ‘signpost’. Happily, Nigel Farage is of the latter and is a far better leader.


      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Agreed on Cameron and Farage. Unfortunately our host seems to lack the courage of his convictions, regularly putting party loyalty before what he knows is best for the country.

    • Elrond Cupboard
      Posted April 25, 2014 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      reply to reply

      ” I spoke against the Climate Change Act at the time and did not vote for it.”

      Did not vote for… I take it then that you abstained: gutless.

  13. Bert Young
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I for one , am very much in favour of your aspirations . Each one of your objectives makes a great deal of sense and should be supported by the direction of your Party , however , it is here where I have grave doubts . Cameron is a stated supporter of the EU and wants to ” stay in “, he is also vicarious in the way he tries to maintain the Left and Right balance within the Party ; it is my opinion that he has neither the will nor the intention to bring about the changes necessary with the EU . Were there to be a change in leadership I believe the Conservatives have a real chance of success – particularly if they brought on board UKIP . I fear this change will not happen and political turmoil will result . The outcome of the European elections may jolt the Conservatives into a ” must change ” mode and give us all hope that different relationship with Europe will result .

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Permalink


      It’s interesting to note how the the 2005 leadership contenders who were promoted to the front bench soon disappeared – bar one – Clarke! He still hangs in there just to make sure Cameron does nothing to change the course of the Tory EU federal machine.

      David Davis was proving to be an exceptionally popular man with the British public, and one would reasonably think it prudent for any leader to keep people close by who have resonance.

      The ‘crime’ Liam Fox is supposed to have committed was far less serious in my view than some of the things that others have got away with. And if Laws can get back into government………….!

      And why not have men in the cabinet with proven ministerial ability who will speak up against the excesses of the EU like JR maybe?

      If the present complexion of the cabinet doesn’t tell us something about what Cameron really wants, I don’t know what does. While he’s there, we’re going to get more of the same. The blood-letting is going to come sooner or later, it’s inevitable.

      Lord (Oak)shott was on the news again this evening telling us that the Tories and the Lib Dems should split straight after the European elections, and for once, I agree with him. Then the Tories might just be able to paddle their own canoe, get somebody to lead them who is in tune with the public, and create the necessary seismic shift in the direction of our nation, and steer a course away from the millstone around our necks that is the EU.


  14. Iain Moore
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I don’t believe we will see rising living standards for the bulk of the population until we deal with mass immigration.

    We have a productivity problem, which is not surprising when employers don’t have to invest capital to improve productivity of their operations while wage pressures aren’t there, and while they have an unlimited supply of labour.

    Mass immigration is pushing us down a road of a low wage low skilled economy, where we rob the high valued added companies to subsidise the wages of the low wage employer.

    • uanime5
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      Mass immigration is pushing us down a road of a low wage low skilled economy, where we rob the high valued added companies to subsidise the wages of the low wage employer.

      Expect the Conservatives’ workfare programmes to make this even worse as it will replace low paid workers with unpaid workers.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 25, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Workfare is supported by your Labour Party Uni, who said recently they introduced the policy years ago and would be continuing with it if re elected.
        Loads of people have been taken out the depressing state of long term unemployment and into the world of work due to a policy every socialist country uses.

  15. Iain Gill
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    If the party started talking common sense on this and a whole lot more then maybe it would stand a chance.
    We can only support high living standards by charging a premium price in the world for our products and services. We cannot compete with low cost economies prepared to operate without any safety kit, anti-pollution gear, intellectual property protection and so on.
    So we need to protect our intellectual property a whole lot more. We need to protect the hard won leading edge skills of our workforce a lot more.
    We need to protect our workforce, so no more uncapped intra company transfer visas, introduce tax perks for businesses which don’t outsource large chunks of their employment offshore or onshore to imported workforces, incentives to train and hire local workers, and so on.
    The windmill stuff could go a lot further. It should not just be about carbon, it should be about all pollutants. We should, for instance, go to the worlds largest optical fibre manufacturers and tell them we are happy they manufacture here as long as they are in the bottom quartile of optical fibre polluting factories, for all pollutant classes, compared with the rest of the world. No more expecting them to operate the least pollutant factories in the world mandating outrageously expensive anti-pollution gear which forces them to move production elsewhere in the world. And so on. That would enable us to compete by producing higher quality product that was still affordable. Also do a deal with the manufacturers that enables any advanced production techniques our workforce invent to stay in this country protected, so that our own national innovation allows us to compete against low cost base economies.
    And so on.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Re “We cannot compete with low cost economies” I meant to say “We cannot compete with low cost economies on commodity products, we need to compete at the high quality and high innovation end of the spectrum which then attracts a premium price”

    • uanime5
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      No more expecting them to operate the least pollutant factories in the world mandating outrageously expensive anti-pollution gear which forces them to move production elsewhere in the world.

      Won’t this result in severe health problems for everyone who works in and lives near these factories? Something that will be expensive for the taxpayer owing to all the people who need medical treatment and incapacity benefits.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted April 25, 2014 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Optical Fibre is still going to be produced somewhere in the world. Better its produced here than in countries with no anti pollution controls at all.

        Sure strive for ever better anti pollution measures, but dont price production here out of the world market.

        There were some quite big optical fibre plants here I am not aware of any health problems caused.

  16. The PrangWizard
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    There needs to be change in some tax rates and on what they are levied. Self reliance must be encouraged. Capital Taxes are wrong in principal and as usual affect those at the lower end of ‘wealth’ more proportionally than those at the top, but I would comment more on a minor tax on income, minor in the sense that it surely does not raise much revenue for the state from people like myself, and seems to be an unhealthy behavioural controlling mechanism running contrary to principles of freedom and self reliance.

    I will first say that the move to tax free savings interest is most welcome and I hope it can extended. I am one of the fortunate ones. I have never been unemployed, so I have never claimed any kind of ‘welfare’ support from the state. I receive my state pension and a company pension, but being still fit, willing and able to work, I do work. I am 69 years old, however, and penalised by the tax implications of the so called income limit of £27,000, when the basic rate top limit for ordinary earners is £31,865.

    I don’t know what my marginal tax rate is because I don’t know how to work it out. What is the purpose of this income limit? Maybe I don’t understand it but I resent it nevertheless, it seems unfair. Maybe it is a hangover from the days when socialists railed against ‘unearned income’, a divisive and threatening phrase. Is there any movement to remove the limit?

  17. ian wragg
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Ask my friend who is a builder. He tells me he was earning around £100 per day 10 years ago. Now with the influx of East Europeans he is lucky to get £60 per day. This means that 2 people are employed for about the same wage. Problem is the tax of the 2 people is LESS than when he was working alone. Then there is in work benefits which they both get. How is this paying mine and future pensions John.
    Do you think we are entirely stupid? The latest in the DM that Border Agency are not allowed to question EU (which includes most of the rest of the world) about their intentions is mind boggling. Of course your leader agrees with this.

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink


      …£60.per day…”

      Add to that the fact that those from the EU here on a temporary basis may well be sending money back home, may also be getting Child Benefit and a host of other benefits.
      Then they wonder why tax receipts are down and welfare payments are up.

      Given we have had a rise of 10% in the population our GDP should have risen dramatically, why has this not happened.

      • A different Simon
        Posted April 25, 2014 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        Alan ,

        Will they be qualifying for some sort of pension paid by Briton’s of the future ?

        Is there any wonder why they keep coming ?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Yet Clegg and Miliband will endlessly tell us what a fantastic contribution these people are making to Britain. It’s about time we knew the truth of this, but I’d rather trust your friend than any leader from the Westminster parties.


  18. David
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    “House prices will be up on average by 16% over the five years”
    Why is that good? Housing was already unaffordable. Would cars being more expensive be a good thing?
    I am a home owner and I don’t want a house price crash and people being in negative equity but I don’t think house prices rising by more than wages is good.

    • zorro
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      This is John’s blind spot – house prices….. Clearly, because of a variety of reasons they are rising well in excess of people’s ability to afford them. The main one is immigration and the ease with which non residents can own property.


      Reply It is not my blind spot. I merely reported an independent forecast – I neither welcomed nor condemned higher house prices!

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted April 25, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        You included “House prices will be up on average by 16% over the five years, ” in a list of ‘ achievements’ that you claimed: ” sounds like a reasonable record”. That sounds like a ‘welcome’ to me.

      • David
        Posted April 25, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        “House prices will be up on average by 16% over the five years, unemployment will be down by a quarter from 8% to 6%, and the state deficit will have decreased by 40%. That sounds like a reasonable record in the circumstances”
        That gives the impression that you welcome them.
        A shame as I agree with a lot of other things you say.
        Sadly most politicians seem to think high house price inflation is good – it is still inflation and should ideally always be lower than wage inflation.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 25, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply: This statement is followed in the next sentence by “That sounds like a reasonable record in the circumstances.” So one can understand why Zorro thought this.

        High house prices are conflated with a successful economy. The mistake is to multiply current sales values over the entire UK housing stock to estimate the whole nation’s prosperity.

        This wealth cannot be realised. If all of the mortgaged houses were to come on the market at the same time because of foreclosure or high interest rates we’d see values fall like a stone.

        It is not a reliable measure.

        All high house prices enable is more house backed debt – especially in a depressed wage economy and a house fueled credit boom was what I thought we were trying to get away from.

      • zorro
        Posted April 25, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply – John, I agree with what the writer (Peter Oborne) of this article has said about you previously. OK, if not a blind spot perhaps rose tinted glasses on the effect of house price rises…?



        Reply I have never proposed policies to increase house prices, and do wish to see more people own their own home. I have sometimes written against trying to slash house prices by a large amount as a matter of policy, as this would have deflationary knock on effects to the whole economy. I do not like the current situation on house prices, but do not wish us to do something that creates a worse outcome.

  19. Dennis
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    How can it be possible to want to raise living standards if those wishing it also wish to be fair, be moral, not greedy nor selfish when they know or try to forget or are ignorant of the fact that the UK and other rich countries are living off more than the biosphere can regenerate and certainly more than their fair share of it because of course there are just too many people in the world who want to be rich – it is an impossible equation. 60 million plus in the UK is absurd.

    It would seem that Mr Redwood and all the posters here still wish not to think about this.

  20. StevenL
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    House prices will be up on average by 16%

    But that doesn’t in any way constitute ‘inflation’ in the bizarre world our landed ruling classes inhabit.

  21. lojolondon
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    John, I am afraid that Osborne may have done enough to win the next election. I say afraid, because I fear that will prevent Cameron from moving his stance on the two important issues above – the EU and inefficient, expensive energy.

    If Cameron wins the next election outright, we will never gain independence from Europe, nor will we get commonsense power generation in the UK.

    Reply If the Conservatives do not win we will have no referendum and no commonsense on energy

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Comment on Reply–“No (what is supposed to pass for an) immediate referendum” would be more accurate but that is not all bad news as you assume. First, lower polling for the Conservatives means the likelihood pf higher for UKIP (and to be fair all others) which means more likelihood of a UKIP MP breakthrough. Secondly, Cameron is after all PM so many people will heed the fact that he will (apparently no matter what) be campaigning to stay In so there is every chance that is how the vote would go, ie to stay In, the ultimate disaster. Maybe, just maybe, and if UKIP do break through we can end up with a proper campaign to get us Out. Remember that with each passing year the EU cocks it up more and upsets and literally ruins more and more people.

    • ian wragg
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      What common sense on energy. Yesterday the fool Davey announced 5 more offshore windfarms. I see Drax will be taking you to court after agreeing to replace coal firing with wood chips on 3 units then only agreeing to 1. Has someone seen the light as to the crass stupidity of shipping whole forests 4000 miles to be burned with chemicals after all they emit more CO2 than coal.
      I believe that stupidity is the main qualification of the coalition and labour parties.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        Ian–This business with the wood chips is just one more thing from this government that is simply unbelievable: I had thought the goal was to keep the forests to absorb the carbon dioxide.

        • A different Simon
          Posted April 25, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

          Leslie ,

          Air Products Tees Valley waste gasification plant is being commissioned this year .

          Like incineration this should save precious landfill capacity but unlike incineration it should provide more useful products (syngas) and less harmful bi-products like dioxins .

          This might finally consign the barmy practice of containerising waste to send it to the far east for sorting a think of the past .

      • Bryan
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        I agree

        Mr Cameron was stupid to give control of our energy to the Liberals. The Liberals together with the ‘greens’ do not understand that if we stopped all emissions today then it would not change a single ‘bliddy’ thing.

        Ed Davy and Mr Clegg cannot apply simple logic to the fact that the wind is unreliable, particularly in winter when the small energy it produces it is most needed. Nor it seems can Mr Cameron!

        A recent research report from NASA says that the climate change cycle is just that and is due to solar activity, as previously in the Earth’s history, and has little to do with man made emissions.

        But the problem is, as before, Mr Cameron who does not have the guts to take the energy ministry back from the LibDems. It is no good him now promising what he would do if he gets a majority at the next election! Do it now. No? no backbone!

        He has his Ostrich head in the sand – as he does with overseas aid.

        Time he realized that the elderly in England deserve these billions much more than those despots overseas. Especially as we remember those who in 1944 gave their lives to liberate Europe and whose spouses remain uncared for by the State.

        World’s 5th largest economy? A disgrace if we are!

        Shame on you Mr Cameron

    • zorro
      Posted April 24, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      John, I am just waiting for the situation when, if Cameron wins the election somehow, that he tells you that he’s not going to hold a referendum one way/for one reason or another, and what you and your colleagues will do….


      Reply He will hold a referendum and we will have the votes to make sure he does

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 25, 2014 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Just out of interest, can we take it that Tory MPs will do the honourable thing and resign the whip if, for some reason, the referendum doesn’t take place?


  22. Max Dunbar
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Our living standards may have declined in recent years but our quality of life has decreased even more rapidly due to mass immigration. The two are closely connected.

  23. uanime5
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Indeed, the Conservatives say as much, reminding people that the biggest part of the fall in living standards happened during the Labour period, when the Great Recession wiped 7% off our national output.

    Living standards has also been falling since 2010, despite the Osborne claiming that his policies will protect the UK’s triple A credit rating and result in the economy recovering.

    Also unlike most other developed countries the UK hasn’t recovered its 2008 GDP level.

    Is it Labour who crashed the car in 2008, or the Conservatives who in coalition have gradually got the vehicle back on the road and moving again?

    Labour provided 10 years of economic growth, the Conservatives provided 4 years of stagnation while borrowing more money than Labour did in 13 years. It’s clear who is better for the economy.

    The latest CEBR independent forecast suggests that over the lifetime of the 2010-15 Parliament national income will have risen by 9% and people’s disposable incomes by an average of 4% in real terms.

    Given that most people are worse off now than they were in 2010 due to wages not keeping pace with inflation it’s unlikely that between now and the election in 2015 that the average person will have 4% more disposable income in real terms than in 2010. So these figures are overly optimistic.

    So far the only people who have seen their incomes constantly rise are bankers and the wealthy.

    House prices will be up on average by 16% over the five years

    Unless wages increase by a similar amount it will become even harder for people to get on the property ladder.

    unemployment will be down by a quarter from 8% to 6%, and the state deficit will have decreased by 40%.

    This is based on the assumption that the economy won’t change in anyway during this time period. Given how the Conservatives’ 2010 prediction about eliminating the deficit by 2015 and their growth forecasts haven’t come true it’s unlikely that these will come true.

    They could cut a wider range of taxes than just raising the Income Tax threshold, boosting output as a result.

    This will also reduce tax revenues, resulting in more borrowing.

    They can renegotiate our relationship with the EU, which should include cutting the costs and burdens the EU imposes on business based in the UK but not selling into the rest of the EU.

    Given that under this system it would be impossible for the UK prove that it’s only selling products to the EU that have been made according to EU labour and safety laws there’s no chance of this ever being agreed.

    The country’s energy supply needs to be shifted more to domestic production of gas and away from very expensive wind energy and imports.

    The UK won’t be able to meet the EU’s CO2 targets if we do that.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 25, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      You don’t really believe the rubbish you write do you Uni?
      Its just a wind up isn’t it?
      I used to think the Dave Spart rants in Private Eye were funny but you beat him every time.

    • Hope
      Posted April 25, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Utter rubbish again, Uni. This. Is old spin from you. Oh, most of us do not want the auK to comply with EU CO2 targets that serve no purpose to man kind or UK citizen.

  24. big neil
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    As you know john -I have worked from 16-61 -retired early through injury and after a year of a pittance from your mate IDS now get nothing. I survive on my works pension.

    (Rest of post launches strong attack on people coming here to live off benefits and subsidies and wrongly asserts I support this ed)

    Reply. I have worked with colleagues to persuade the government to stop the free movement of benefit seekers into the UK.The government is imposing restrictions,and intends this general issue to be part of the renegotiation to take the changes further

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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