Should we promise 3 day week-ends and a minimum wage of £25,000?

 

Labour’s manifesto looks as if it is going to bulge with apparently great promises.

Don’t like your energy bill. We’ll freeze it!  What if world energy prices surge? No idea. What if energy companies decide not to invest in UK energy supply when we need more replacement power stations? No idea.

Don’t like your rent bill? Then we will freeze it. What if landlords withdraw their properties? What if people stop building new homes to rent? No idea.

Want your short term tenancy to last a minimum of 3 years? No problem. We’ll legislate. What if landlords decide they would rather  not rent out at all if they need to lock up their property for a longer period? No idea.

Don’t like the Lib Dem’s £9000 student loan for fees? No worry, Labour will reduce it. How does the university pay for the teaching with less fee? Or how does the taxpayer make good the lost cash? The detail is in the post.

The art of democratic politics is to make offers which improve people’s lives which are credible and can be carried through successfully. As someone whose main aim is to do things in politics that help more people to prosper, I have no problem with Labour’s aim of raising livings standards. That is a Conservative aim too.

Having a three day week-end would  be popular with many. We do not legislate for it, because our leading competitors work at least five days a week. We feel we could lose out badly if we rationed our working week too strictly.

Having a minimum wage of £25,000 would be very popular with all those on low wages. Some of us think we have to get there by working smarter and growing our economy so companies can afford it. If we simply legislated for it, some would get a large rise and would be  better off. Others would lose their jobs, as various activities would  no longer be affordable.

Energy prices are a serious problem. Labour should know that, because they put in the legislation and signed up to the EU measures which have cursed us with dearer energy. In order to enjoy cheaper energy, which we badly need, we have to change those policies. We need less energy generated from dear windfarms, and more from domestic gas.

Some rents and tenancy agreements are a problem for some families. Solving the problem requires us to build more homes to make housing more affordable. Above all it needs reversing Labour’s open  borders policy, as a substantial   pressure of demand on our housing stock is coming from the large number of new people who arrive and need homes under EU laws and UK policies which Labour signed up to.

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72 Comments

  1. John E
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Thing is they are coming up with vote winning ideas. I think the Conservatives underestimate the impact of student debt and rising house prices on the young. Little hope of getting on the housing ladder even on professional salaries. No way to get a stable home to start a family. These are not compatible with Conservative values.

    Your Chancellor came up with the Help to Buy madness that is making things worse. And in a classic piece of political buck passing, having caused all the problems he is giving the Bank the task of dealing with the fallout so they get the blame for the tightening.

    I think your party is going to have to do better than this to stand a chance of winning a election. As things stand you need to start campaigning for an independent Scotland as you’ll only get another Conservative government if the Scottish MPs drop out of the equation.

    • Hope
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      EU students do not pay tuition fees at some of our best universities, that is okay by Tories as well as Lib Dems. Your Eau loving leader allows this to happen when he is putting his own British students in huge debt.

      Welfare capped at£26,000, why worry about minimum wage when you can earn more for having illegitimate children?

      Energy policy costs me and every other person a fortune each month to heat and light my home, your leader gold plated what Miliband did and is allowing DECC to give away our taxes to third world countries for lunatic green energy! Where Cameron is not building on land to help mass immigration he is allowing wind farms to be erected.

      And now his lunacy of following Labour for HS2. That will cost our children and our children’s children a fortune!

      No need to worry about Labour, the Tories follow their lead and gold plate it as we see with the flag ship policy of deficit and debt reduction that will not be achieved and ably increased by Cameron’s fixation on borrowing and giving away our taxes to overseas aid so Ethiopia can sponsor girl bands or Morocco can have a water park. The EU allowed to spend a sixth of it on middle income countries!

      Cameron and Osborne have added to the follies of our economy while also trashing our culture values customs and beliefs. No difference between the two parties, vote for a difference.

      • Jennifer A
        Posted May 2, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        Indeed, Hope.

        Madder policies than the £25k minimum wage are already with us. The £26k (£35k gross) benefit cap for zero hours being one.

      • bigneil
        Posted May 2, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        “Welfare capped at£26,000, why worry about minimum wage when you can earn more for having illegitimate children?”
        And don’t forget that they don’t even have to be English to get it -you can walk in here and stick your hands out -and are “entitled” to a free house, money, NHS etc -all for contributing absolutely NOTHING. Etc ed

    • Iain Gill
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      John E,

      Correct. The way ever higher proportions of the population are becoming tenants due to fantasy level house prices means that the problems tenants face will become an every bigger issue at election time.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      I’m glad to say that most Tory party members are opposed to the contemptible idea that our country should be broken up for the sake of the Tory party.

      • John aE
        Posted May 2, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        True – my comment was meant in the spirit of buck your ideas up, or else..

    • Richard1
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Manipulating the market is not a solution. No doubt Miliband has chosen this and other policies because he thinks they will be popular. He should look at markets such as Paris and Stockholm where rent controls have been tried. They have the opposite effect to that intended – rental properties never come on the open market, supply is very tight and who you know counts for everything.

      How many more years of evidence do we need from around the world to see that socialist interventionism delivers inferior living standards to populations? Its incredible that a leading UK politician can come up with rubbish like this in the C21st.

      • uanime5
        Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        He should look at markets such as Paris and Stockholm where rent controls have been tried. They have the opposite effect to that intended – rental properties never come on the open market, supply is very tight and who you know counts for everything.

        So in France and Sweden people would rather have empty properties making no money than having people paying a fixed rent. Well that sounds unlikely.

        How many more years of evidence do we need from around the world to see that socialist interventionism delivers inferior living standards to populations?

        The UK has the smallest houses in Europe. Does this mean that our housing market is the most socialist?

        • Hope
          Posted May 3, 2014 at 8:02 am | Permalink

          Totally different. Untrue, laws and values to the UK. Like comparing pears and apples. Drivel once more, Uni.

        • Richard1
          Posted May 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

          You seem very happy to post without any knowledge at all of what you are talking about! The point I was making is that in Stockholm and Paris, rent controls don’t lead to an abundance of cheap rental property, they lead to the opposite. A few people, and it depends on who you know, get controlled rents, a large number of people find it difficult to find properties and pay through the nose for private agreements. Socialism you see. It doesn’t work because market prices don’t operate as they should.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 3, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

            Uni is just a heckler, who repeats statements that are regularly proven to be factually wrong.
            Never any apology, just repeating the same old tired socialist cliches.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    It is becoming increasingly obvious that the three main parties are no longer attracting members. Which means, of course, that they still have to raise money – a lot of money – to support the public images on which they depend.
    The Labour party is almost entirely supported by the TUC in one form or another. And that means, of course, that their policies are almost entirely those of their paymasters.
    So no surprises when their focus is on “raising living standards”.
    The problem, as you so clearly demonstrate, is that their policies are simply not realistic.
    So let us hope that, by a miracle, Mr Cameron lifts the phone to Mr Farage pretty soon…

    • Hope
      Posted May 3, 2014 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      With the EU dominant at Westminster that phone call is not going to happen. With 70 percent of laws, regulation through quangos and policies from the EU you have to wonder why the UK needs so many politicians to pass on huge EU dictates, the second highest number of politicians in the world. Their contempt for the public has been shown again by the lack of radical change required at Westminster. Cameron and Clegg failing to deliver he ‘promised’ early legislation for right to recall. In fact we saw Cameron support Miller in circumstances that left most people aghast at his lack of judgment. Add (other cases ed) etc

  3. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    I now have completed two rather long winded replies and twice have been about to post the comment and it has completely disappeared off my screen.So much for considering an argument. This gremlin though will not win.
    1) Good idea 3 day week , more out of hours money for moi.
    2) Green energy self sustainable invested at home for our own =good.
    3) ideas and reality .. ideas are taken by the richest from the poorest.
    4) There is not a great deal of difference from the particular to the general as far as money and movement is concerned. One always wants to make it and the other always wants to take it.

    • Nick
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      One always wants to make it and the other always wants to take it.

      Great phrase. Although the nuance is a little more mixed. Cronyism is still a major issue. If a company asks for a subsidy or special treatment, who is to blame? The company for asking, or MPs for agreeing? It’s MPs. At the root of all problems.

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      3 day week END of course; not back to Harold Wilson .We still at present have a pound in our pocket though .

  4. matthu
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Energy prices are a serious problem. Labour should know that, because they put in the legislation and signed up to the EU measures which have cursed us with dearer energy.

    My memory at the time is that there was no discernible difference between Labour or Conservative Party policy on climate change at the time that legislation was signed up to.

    The Conservative Party have been proud to be “leading the world” at using UK subsidies to distort the energy market and guarantee raised prices for UK consumers for decades to come.

    The Conservative Party must be proud that UK motorists are forced to accept biofuel mixed into their fuel tanks to save the world from global warming.

    The Conservative Party still supports policies that encourage power stations to import wood pellets cot down from forests thousand of miles away across the oceans – hardly reducing our carbon footprint.

    The Conservative Party still supports subsidising ruinously expensive and totally useless off-shore wind farms.

    The government still supports subsidising electric cars for rich and elite motorists who need to impress the green neighbours.

    Apparently cutting all the green crap means simply redrafting your electoral pamphlets, not cleaning up your act.

    The last decade will forever be etched in our memory for the UK government’s attempt not just to contribute but to “lead the world” in trying to ameliorate global warming at the expense of the British public while simultaneously misleading the public about the costs and benefits of these policies.

    Gordon Brown, Cameron, Clegg, Yeo, Davey, Gummer, Huhne, the BBC and that other elite and political institution the Royal Society are all slimed with the same brush which no attempt at repapering over will ever manage to conceal.

    You, individually, and you, as a party, did not oppose the Climate Act.

    Only one political party exposes the deception about energy policies. Coincidentally, the same party that opposes HS2. The rest of you are in it together presumably to appease your EU masters.

    It won’t wash.

    Reply I spoke and wrote against the Climate Change Act and refused to vote for it.

    • matthu
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      John,

      You are right – you *do* regularly speak out against the climate act, and many of us are appreciative of that.

      However, I am still regularly disappointed by the number of MPs who are prepared to speak out about things but then disappear off to Estonia or elsewhere when the count is taken.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Got it in one John.

    Make promises to the people that all will be well in the land of milk and honey, and some will vote for it.

    The problem is all Party’s have done exactly that to some degree or another over the last few decades, and a huge number of people now have a complete disconnect between government promises and the means of the Government to pay.

    Indeed far too many of the population do not even seem to realise that the Government has no money at all, they fail to realise it only has money it takes from those who pay taxes, and when that runs out, they borrow in the taxpayers name.

    Indeed so far has this lunacy now gone, that some of us out here wonder if many politicians have lost the connection between promises and the ability of taxpayers to fund such schemes.

    You outline some of the more recent suggestions, but how many times do we hear the cry, the government should do something about it !

    Of course we need law and order, of course we need to be able to defend our Country, but what we seem to haven lost for the most part is personal self determination and responsibility for our own being and welfare.

    The social engineering and provision of goodies for many by past governments has bought them votes, but it has also bought the Country to its financial knees, with debt and State control which has made us more and more uncompetitive.

    We have to turn it around, this government had the best opportunity for decades to do exactly that given the absolutely dire financial straights we were in, but it has simply failed to get its points across, and we are all the poorer for that.

  6. Antisthenes
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    And so it goes on an election is in the offering and Labour want power and they will promise anything to gain it. Time after time they promise something for nothing and the gullible which is a considerable number fall for it and/or want to believe that it does not come with a price. We now have statism, crony capitalism and a culture of dependency and entitlement because of the left holding a very naive ideology and who bizarrely actually believe what they are promising is both sustainable and in the best interests of society. To anyone who has a modicum sanity, common sense and is remotely rational knows the opposite is true. The only reason the left has not yet condemned us all to a life of total servitude to the state and poverty is because the right are allowed to govern enough times to clear up the mess the left leaves after they are given the privilege of governing us by voters with a vested interest that labour created either through massive redistribution, open border policies, public sector generousity and other self serving policies.

    • Jennifer A
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Alas that time of Right stepping in to clear up the mess has passed.

      Ukip – who would have been described as Conservatives 20 years ago – are on the verge of being outlawed by a concerted media a main party campaign to smear them as ‘racists’ over their concerns for overcrowding and the rapid changes in our culture.

      The ‘Conservatives’ which we do have in office have been selected through a filtration system which sees that they are not too far beyond Leftism.

      Centrist politics might have something to commend it were it not for the fact that it:

      - brought us two disasterous wars
      - brought us to the greatest economic bust since the ’30s.

      So Nigel Farage (the real Conservative) is the bogeyman of British politics and has an egg thrown at him. We can expect that worse is going to happen to peaceful Ukip members as the – not unusually – violent Left get out of their prams.

      Mr Cameron may not have thrown that egg but he did lay it; when he smeared Ukip as ‘closet racists’ it was the first time we heard anyone of note say Ukip and racist in the same sentence.

      So there we have it. The Right coming to the economic rescue is a thing of the past because they are no longer allowed to exist.

      • Hope
        Posted May 3, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        The EU is allowed to to set the agenda for the country by the Westminster quislings. That is why there is only cosmetic difference between Labour and Tory. There is only one party offering a different option and that is UKIP. This is why we have reports from both parties are also planning to derail UKIP for their beloved EU project. This is put above national and public interest by the LibLabCon.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      We now have statism, crony capitalism and a culture of dependency and entitlement because of the left holding a very naive ideology and who bizarrely actually believe what they are promising is both sustainable and in the best interests of society.

      And introducing an apprentice wage that pays less than minimum wage is going to fix this problem how? How are zero hours contracts going to make people less dependent on the state?

      The only reason the left has not yet condemned us all to a life of total servitude to the state and poverty is because the right are allowed to govern enough times to clear up the mess the left leaves after they are given the privilege of governing us by voters with a vested interest that labour created either through massive redistribution, open border policies, public sector generousity and other self serving policies.

      Given that living standards have fallen and food bank usage has risen since the coalition took power it seems that the right isn’t the good at reducing poverty.

      • Hope
        Posted May 3, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        Look across the Eurozone to see your future that you wish to have Uni. Living standards have dropped through the floor people destitute and their pride taken from them by the fantastical dream to have the Euro by a few greedy self serving politicos.

  7. Andyvan
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    It’s not just the Labour manifesto that will bulge with apparently great policies that are actually disastrous and will need rapid U turns. Going by recent history Dave is no stranger to that.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Exactly we need more jobs and more houses, these come from not from halfwitted legislation and promises of other people money but from sensible policies such as.

    Cheaper non green energy, fewer idiotic building and planning regulations, a smaller state sector, fewer parasitic jobs, lower taxes, fewer benefits for the feckless, an efficient working state sector in the few areas where the state does the job best.

    The last thing we need is a high minimum wage, half witted employment laws, green crap, high taxes, more state sector silly tenancy and employment laws. The best protection is more available jobs and homes. Not lifting yourself up by pulling on you shoe laces nonsense new laws.

    Alas the socialist green crap, big government, election throwing fool Dave has virtually ensured we will get it for years to come – endless bonkers, magic money tree Labour economic thinking.

  9. Matt
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,
    I share your feelings on this matter, but I fear that there are easily enough electors around who will fall for it.
    As you know all too well, the socialist’s line is still that the great recession was caused by not enough of their ideology being practised rather than too much.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      “there are easily enough electors around who will fall for it”

      True well with the endless BBC think propaganda and Dave offering virtually the same socialist nonsense perhaps. I we have someone making a sensible argument from the right perhaps not.

      That is the problem when you have BBC think, Lord Patten appointing, greencap, big state, pro EU, election loosing, HS2, electric car subsidising, daft socialists in charge of the Tory Party. There is not even a sensible argument ever put before the public by Cameron types.

      • Matt
        Posted May 2, 2014 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic,

        I share your concern that extreme environmentalism has found a place in the heart of the Conservative party, but at least there is still also room for dissenting views within the party.
        I too long for the days when the Conservatives put forward a truly alternative vision of the relationship between the people and their government.
        I remain hopeful that the party will find its way back and start putting a more substantial alternative before the people, showing them that there really is another way.
        One day they will realise that it’s not enough to be a more competent, toned down version of mainstream socialism. I suspect that the high proportion of Oxbridge PPE graduates on the front benches is a big part of the problem.

        I still think there is hope for an outright Conservative victory a year from now. I really think things would be different if the major policies did not require the ascent of the Lib Dems. I know the polls look bad, but after only one term, the electorate can’t really have forgotten the catastrophe that was left in 2010, and that much of the opposition front bench bear personal responsibility for it.

        • uanime5
          Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          I still think there is hope for an outright Conservative victory a year from now. I really think things would be different if the major policies did not require the ascent of the Lib Dems. I know the polls look bad, but after only one term, the electorate can’t really have forgotten the catastrophe that was left in 2010, and that much of the opposition front bench bear personal responsibility for it.

          I doubt that people will vote Conservative when their lives have been made worse since 2010 by those currently sitting on the government front benches. Blaming Labour will not cause people to forget the problems the current government has caused.

        • Chris S
          Posted May 2, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

          “after only one term, the electorate can’t really have forgotten the catastrophe that was left in 2010″

          Don’t you believe it. There were plenty of voters that lacked enough intelligence to punish labour last time and there are plenty more out there with a very short memory……….

    • uanime5
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      As you know all too well, the socialist’s line is still that the great recession was caused by not enough of their ideology being practised rather than too much.

      Please explain how the capitalist banks selling mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them, then turning these mortgages into triple A securities was due to socialist ideology. The recession was caused by capitalist greed and socialist regulations would have reduce the damage the banks caused.

      • Matt
        Posted May 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        uanime5,
        Thank you for making my point.
        I know that you are a regular on here so you’ll know all the counter-arguments as will everybody else.
        Above all you must surely concede that all this took place on the socialists’ (Labour’s) watch with the regulatory system, taxation and spending, and macro-economic policy determined by the socialists and those they appointed.
        There have always been recessions and there have always been banking breakdowns due to corruption and/or incompetence. The great recession was something special.

        • sjb
          Posted May 4, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

          I think it is pushing it to say New Labour were socialists, especially after they abandoned Clause IV.

  10. acorn
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Your “troika of blame” is missing a leg, what’s going on???

    On your current front page you have mentioned Labour 26 times; the EU 46 times; the BBC; nothing, zilch.

    Have they offered you Paxo’s job on Newsnight if you lay off them. I think we should be told! If they have, go for it. Think of all the fun to be had ripping up the next, possibly Labour, government. Promise you will have Farage on once a week. ;-) .

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Paxo (words left out ed) was fairly even handed, All the other presenters on Newsnight and most guests are way to the left of him. It comes out in every half witted question they ever ask. Green crap, socialist, lefty, pro EU, usually feminists with zero science, knowledge of industry or sensible economics and usually with a chip on their shoulders to boot.

  11. Roger Farmer
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    You are quite right to mock Labours hollow promises which in other words might be called buying the electorate.
    Here is something of great value to small and medium businesses that you could get on with today, and it would not cost the Treasury anything. It might of course cost the Tory party something in reduced contributions from big business which could explain why you have hung back from previous promises.
    To take but one example of big business mall practise from the energy industry as an example. They are taking up to 100 days to pay bills to small companies involved in your green policy of new boilers for old and home insulation. They are not waiting for the money because they collect it monthly from every users fuel bill.
    I would suggest a Bill to make payment mandatory within 30 days with punitive interest for anything not paid for the next 60 days. Any large company withholding payment for 100 days should be forced in law to cease trading. To add belt to braces, I would ban any clause in a sales contract that waived the new payment requirements which big business might try to avoid their responsibilities.
    This small move, at no cost to government would increase cash flow, enable more business to be done and increase the VAT take for HMRC. Simples! now lets see some action.

  12. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood – inequality and the opportunity for a few to earn silly amounts has become a real issue under the last Labour administration and your own party’s term.

    Those at the fringes have been cosseted by both governments while the middle has been plucked clean.

    Labour’s socialist outpourings are probably not the best solution but your party does not inspire confidence that the middle’s lot will get any better soon, we are very low down the pecking order. When interest rates start to rise and those overstretched by loans start to feel the pain that renters now feel whichever party is ruling will find life most uncomfortable.

    The cost of living has not reached crisis point yet but why should we go out to work to just cover the bills when unemployment will do that for us. I take no pride from my work, it is what I do to live. When I can not provide more by working in a responsible position than I could through Universal Credit, I may as well stack shelves for minimum wage, no stress and a top up to £36K (take home) on Universal Credit.

  13. Nick
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Energy prices are a serious problem.
    =======================

    No they are not.

    You and your taxes on energy are the serious problem.

    • matthu
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Absolutely – well-said! Energy prices are the symptom.

  14. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    JR: “Above all it needs reversing Labour’s open borders policy, as a substantial pressure of demand on our housing stock is coming from the large number of new people who arrive and need homes under EU laws and UK policies which Labour signed up to.”
    Your Parliamentary party is equally signed up, as the majority wants to keep us imprisoned in the EU.

    JR : “Don’t like the Lib Dem’s £9000 student loan for fees?”
    Your party have no part in that policy? Just why, when your Chancellor stated that he intended to eliminate the deficit by 2015, he agreed to load the taxpayer with a massive bill for student fees, which your government also allowed to increase significantly, with the prospect that only a minority of the loans will ever be repaid, has long baffled me.

    Reading your post does nothing but confirm how little any of the three main Westminster parties have to offer the electors.

  15. Iain Gill
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    The way private sector tenancies work in this country does need radical reform in the tenants favour. It is completely unbalanced at the moment. I don’t think you realise how much decent folk are abused by the system. Sure the labour ideas are half baked and full of holes, however for the millions of private tenants suffering abuse it will at least sound like something half way towards some common sense. Tenancies do need more regulation. If this made it less profitable to be a landlord and dropped house prices that would in my view be a good thing.
    Pushing house building up requires planning reform primarily.
    As you say a big part of the problem is immigration putting strains on the system but I see none of the main parties really prepared to sort this out, talk tough when it suits them but deliver open doors when in power.

  16. Old Albion
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    “Don’t like the Lib Dem’s £9000 student loan for fees?”
    JR, as much as i dislike the Lib-Dems, this is a distortion of the facts. Clegg opposed ‘student fees’ but renaged on his opposition in order to share power with the Conservatives.
    Blair/Labour introduced the fees (then £3000/yr) for students in ENGLAND only. This bill would not have passed without the assistance of Scottish MP’s (mostly Labour) who happily voted fees onto England safe in the knowledge their Scottish universities would not have to impose them onto their own constituents.

    Reply Dr Cable designed, proposed and put through the £9000 fees – he did not have to under the Coalition AGREEMENT, BUT CHOSE TO.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      Precisely and your leaders endorsed it, lock stock and barrel. Did any of you ever consider if transferring the upfront increased fees to the taxpayer with little prospect of repayment was sensible?

    • Old Albion
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Reply Dr Cable designed, proposed and put through the £9000 fees – he did not have to under the Coalition AGREEMENT, BUT CHOSE TO.

      What all by himself ????? Don’t be so bloody silly JR. and don’t SHOUT.

  17. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    No…it’ll wreck my almost peaceful retirement. Wages are negotiated and earned (normally?). Usually based on merit – now out of fashion.

    If you wish to remain useless then I am afraid your pay will be useless to you and yours. Put that on a banner in front of schools/universities and repeat it each time a lesson commences (or lecture – so called).

    Labour = poverty for all and always has been, only this time around it got a bit wider than any previous. No recognition of it there though, so recklessness heading our way again shortly I think!? Pattern recognition on my part?

    Tories…..interest in minor/wrong issues/implementations, and silently undermining most of what common sense points up. See Lord Lawson speech Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment at the University of Bath.

    LibDem – Awkward minority whose last chance is passing. Some common sense for a small awkward minority. Clegg appears rather aloof, might border on intolerance I feel. Locally are rational/helpful.

    UKIP – stirring up with common sense and, sleeping in the EU Parliament because they don’t recognise unelected(s) and using allowances to kick over the established foolishness – thats putting it mildly. Duck the egg now !!

    Greens – Just stupid and wasting our time and effort. See some of the above.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      Wages are negotiated and earned (normally?). Usually based on merit – now out of fashion.

      Well that’s because employers have been steadily cutting waged for decades and the taxpayer has had to pay the difference between this pay and the cost of living.

      If you wish to remain useless then I am afraid your pay will be useless to you and yours. Put that on a banner in front of schools/universities and repeat it each time a lesson commences (or lecture – so called).

      So your message is basically “can’t win, don’t try”. Don’t expect that to encourage people to work harder.

      Labour = poverty for all and always has been, only this time around it got a bit wider than any previous

      Except for the low paid; whose standard of living was improved by all those benefits, tax credits, and minimum wage. So expect these people to vote for Labour and decent living, rather than Conservatives and food banks.

      Also Conservatives = poverty 99% of the population.

      sleeping in the EU Parliament because they don’t recognise unelected(s)

      These “unelected(s)” were elected using the same system that elected these UKIP MEPs. Also if UKIP isn’t going to try to improve the EU why should we believe that they’ll try to improve the UK.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I saw a bit on TV about Miliband allegedly launching the Labour party’s campaign for the EU Parliament elections. Like the Labour party election broadcast I mentioned previously, by the end of the segment he had said nothing whatsoever about the EU or about the EU Parliament elections. Then I saw Yvette Cooper on TV saying that we have long needed a proper debate about the EU and about immigration, in fact it may even have been a “proper grown-up debate” that she wanted, but apparently that could only happen once all the racists had been cleared out of UKIP. This explains why her party leader chose not to mention the EU at all when launching his party’s campaign for the EU Parliament elections, because he was being held back from doing that by the racists in another party, and of course it makes perfect sense if you think about it in that way.

  19. Bert Young
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    All you need to do when considering the 3 day per week proposition is to look to France where its introduction turned away foreign investment ; its economy has hit rock bottom and it now faces political turmoil to return it back into a semblance of health .

    • Jagman 84
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      It can work for individual companies, provided the total number of hours are maintained. I worked this pattern for an extended time and welcomed the long weekends. It could also boost the tourist and service industries with increased leisure time.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      All you need to do when considering the 3 day per week proposition is to look to France where its introduction turned away foreign investment ; its economy has hit rock bottom and it now faces political turmoil to return it back into a semblance of health .

      France’s economy is currently doing better than the UK’s economy as it’s grown beyond its pre-2008 level. So your claims of economic ruin bear little resemblance to reality.

      Also France has unofficially had a 3 day week ever since they decided that there wasn’t going to be any school on Wednesday. Something that hasn’t harmed their economy.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 3, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        You need to go to France and see for yourself how wrong you are Uni.
        Falling living standards. Rising unemployment. High taxes and increasing rules and regulations strangling commerce.
        Current political ruling parties very unpopular.
        I saw no evidence of a three day week on any of my recent visits.
        But I did see many small businesses having to work longer hours to try to survive.

  20. Antisthenes
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Come to think of it have we not seen these very same RedEd promises actually been put into practice? Ah! Yes I remember Venezuela isn’t it, aren’t they in one hell of a mess because of it. Still evidence even when it hits a lefty square in the face does not deter them they plough on regardless. As for them it is the intent that is important and outcomes and consequences are not. Lefty thinking makes them Stalinesque in character as “the end justifies the means” and if achieving the socialist Utopia means many have to be trampled over to achieve that goal then for them that is a price worth paying.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      rather unbalanced I feel

      for instance private tenants have far more security and rights in places like Germany

      being able to kick out decent tenants every few months will be regarded as crazy by future generations, just as sending children up chimneys to clean them is looked on now

  21. Chris S
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    What nonsense Labour is coming up with, we’re almost back in the days of Michael Foot !

    Unfortunately we’re not talking about another suicide note because there are a large proportion of voters that are either too naive or not intelligent enough to realise that economics render Labour’s policies undeliverable.

    As for the the three year tenancy proposal : I’m all in favour.

    As a landlord the last thing I want is tenants who take a property and stay only 6 months. I try always to get a minimum of 12 month agreements but that’s often not what tenants want to sign up for. We try to avoid changes of tenant wherever possible as void periods are so costly, even more so since Eric Pickles made the stupid decision to allow Councils to vary the terms of Council Tax.

    As a result we have a local authorities, including Teignbridge, which charges full council tax on all properties after they fall vacant for just one month rather than the previous six.

    We now have an enormous paper chase because as soon as someone moves out they send us a bill and it’s impossible to relet within a month. This is costing us a lot of money and can’t be economic for the council : more than 50% of the bills they send out are wrong and have to be sent back and they are on average collecting only one month’s tax.

    So, OK Ed, bring on your 3 year tenancy agreements : just as long as they are 100% binding on both sides.

    Of course they won’t, because no tenant is going to sign up to that kind of commitment and no Landlord can afford to be completely tied in to such a long inflexible agreement on all their properties :

    Under Labour’s plan, as soon as one of my Buy to Let mortgages has less than three years left to run, the property will immediately become impossible to let because I’m not going to be free to sell it to repay the loan when its due !

    Labour needs to leave things they don’t understand well alone.
    That includes the economy and pretty well everything else !

  22. ian wragg
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    You still belong to a party that is intent on de-industrialising us with expensive energy and stupid regulation.
    The EU is busy framing legislation that can destroy the London financial markets and CMD will do nothing to stop it.
    We are about to lose 4000 megawatt of cheap coal fired generation from Drax because of the stupid CCA which CMD is a chief flag waver and you continue to pour money into the endless pit of foreign aid.
    Have you wondered why you are on 19% and UKIP is on 38% John in the forthcoming EU elections???

  23. Neil Craig
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    The free market parties just have to say that the correlation between economic success and market freedom is irrefutable and that promises to make water run uphill or wealth appear from printing money are deliberate lies & the politicians who make them, by definition, cannot be trusted to tell the truth on anything else either.

    And to act like they mean it.

    Everybody knows this is true – but it takes political leadership to put it on the agenda.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      The free market parties just have to say that the correlation between economic success and market freedom is irrefutable

      They can say it all they want but they’re going to need some evidence if they want to convince anyone. Do you have any studies proving this correlation?

      Of course people won’t support market freedom if it results in them making less money, their working conditions being reduced, or the products they buy being less safe/reliable.

      wealth appear from printing money are deliberate lies & the politicians who make them, by definition, cannot be trusted to tell the truth on anything else either.

      Wait didn’t Osborne make wealth appear by printing money? I guess we shouldn’t trust anything he says then.

  24. Tad Davison
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    As many of us have said many times before, the ‘jam for everybody tomorrow, just so long as they vote for me today’ scenario is enticing to those who haven’t the wherewithal to see through it. It’s the very thing that has got us into so much mess in the past, and I fear for our future if the majority fall for it again.

    Certain friends and family members alike complain most bitterly about such things as immigration, but are quite astounded when I point out who is largely responsible for allowing it in the first place, and then who is responsible for not doing everything to put it right, despite promises to the contrary.

    A compulsive gambler will keep feeding their habit and despite losing, will still keep feeding the machine in the hope that one day, they’ll get a small return. Some voters are like that, but we just can’t go on like this, gambling on our nation’s future, and listening to politicians who have a proven propensity to lie and to con.

    I always like to give people a fair chance, but no more than one, unless there were some very compelling reasons why certain promises or commitments could not be fulfilled. I think we have more than enough proof to say the three main Westminster parties have not been as honest or as diligent as they might have been, and I don’t like being lied to, or governed by incompetent people.

    Forgive me then, for not being taken in by anything Miliband, Clegg, or Cameron say (and this morning he was talking about his proven track record of delivering on promises!). I’ll be putting by cross in a different place on the ballot paper.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  25. Ray Veysey
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Van Rompuy has tantamount to declared war on Russia,because that is how the Russians will see it, “Dave” supports, wines and dines Van Rompuy, and has pledged his support to him and the EU. So by a process of deduction Cameron wants to declare war on Russia, as do Clegg and Miliband. Do you still support a man who will squirm and twist to avoid a referendum, and even if cornered into giving one will front a campaign of billions of Euros all paid for by taxpayers to keep us in so we can have this war with Russia
    Reply I can assure you Mr Cameron has no intention to declare war and Mr Rompuy has no means to so

    • Ray Veysey
      Posted May 2, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      He didn’t have the means to back up the trouble he has created in the Ukraine, but he did it anyway, and Cameron has supported him with that “all the way to the Urals ” rings a bell.
      On the scale of political promises, your “assurance” doesn’t count for a lot, you can’t / won’t control Cameron now, how you going to stop him in the future?

      reply I and others stopped military intervention in Syria
      .I can assure you Mr Cameron has no wish to go to war with Russia nor do most MPs

      • Ray Veysey
        Posted May 3, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Sometimes you live in a dream world, if Miliband had not reneged on his promise to Cameron then your votes would have been as useless as they have been on many other important votes.
        There again that word “assure” you have no idea what Cameron is doing or not doing, what is clear is that he is not stopping people like Van Rompuy, he can’t stop him and I doubt he would. No, Cameron may not declare war on Russia, but then again he doesn’t have to because with or without his support, British influence in Europe being what it is, it will be done for him. And after it has happened where will the troops come from? it wont be Belgium

      • ian wragg
        Posted May 3, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        I think it was Millipede who stopped intervention in Syria. He refused to back the government.

  26. PT
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Some cheek criticising Labour’s housing policy, when your party’s own is pretty much designed to ensure house prices surge upwards, and you yourself often see house price inflation as a ‘good thing’.

  27. JoeSoap
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Let’s address these one by one, and predict what UKIP would have done:

    1 Energy bills- raised due to the last Labour gov, supported by Libdems, unopposed by Mr Green Cameron UKIP would not have allowed this to happen, foreseeing the consequences of raising energy tariffs
    2 Rents – high as an unintended consequence of QE and Help to Buy, pushing up prices and hence yields. Could be lowered by deregulating planning, thereby freeing up land and lowering prices, also by encouraging investment into productive assets instead of existing housing stock. UKIP would have saved depositors, nationalised and wouldn’t have printed huge chunks of extra bail-out money for employees/shareholders. House prices would have been allowed to reach their steady-state minus nearly £400 billion of QE.
    3 Student loan fees, just petrol on the fire of number 1 and 2- students repaying loans can’t buy, and those throwing in the towel add to the national debt. A crazy plan this raising student loans to £9k, your government brought this on itself. The answer has to be to restrict the number of courses available, offer those for free and make anybody else pay up-front if they think learning golf studies or whatever is such a great plan. I think UKIP would have pressed this type of button.

    Sadly your party, within or without coalition, hasn’t got the strength of leadership or foresight to follow these type of path.

    Reply. I seem to remember that the last UKIP manifesto recommended several new High Speed trains but did not feature the energy policies you now claim

  28. Malcolm Edward
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Well stated John. At last a politician has realised and articulated that immigration has adversely affected the housing situation. Housing costs are very sensitive to demand, and by having uncontrolled immigration the competition for housing has pushed the costs sky-high. Until net immigration is drastically reduced (to near zero) house building will not catch-up with demand – as it is we are ending up with high density small houses yet still using up a lot of land and causing increased commuting. This has created a very depressing situation for younger people – whereby many cannot realise reasonable housing aspirations however hard they work or if they do it is at inordinate cost – completely reversing Mrs Thatcher’s aim of affordable property ownership for all who wish. Young people are now in practice worse off than their parents – they are paying for Labour’s policies – this needs to be stated loud and clear.

  29. uanime5
    Posted May 2, 2014 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Don’t like your energy bill. We’ll freeze it! What if world energy prices surge? No idea.

    Given that wholesale energy prices have been falling for years while energy bills have been rising during this period, it’s possible that energy companies won’t make a loss even if energy prices surge.

    What if energy companies decide not to invest in UK energy supply when we need more replacement power stations? No idea.

    They’re already not investing in the UK, that’s why they haven’t started building any power stations to replace the ones that are going to close in 2015.

    Don’t like your rent bill? Then we will freeze it. What if landlords withdraw their properties? What if people stop building new homes to rent? No idea.

    Want your short term tenancy to last a minimum of 3 years? No problem. We’ll legislate. What if landlords decide they would rather not rent out at all if they need to lock up their property for a longer period? No idea.

    Well if these landlords sell these properties, rather than keep them and having to pay council tax on them, this will result in more housing being available.

    Don’t like the Lib Dem’s £9000 student loan for fees? No worry, Labour will reduce it. How does the university pay for the teaching with less fee? Or how does the taxpayer make good the lost cash? The detail is in the post.

    They’ll probably pay for the reduction same way the Conservatives are planning to pay for all the student loans that will be written off.

    I have no problem with Labour’s aim of raising livings standards. That is a Conservative aim too.

    Given the current fall in living conditions since 2010 the Conservatives have been falling short on this aim.

    Having a three day week-end would be popular with many. We do not legislate for it, because our leading competitors work at least five days a week.

    While France doesn’t officially have a 3 day weekend as they have no school on a Wednesday many women also don’t work on a Wednesday. As there’s half a school day on Saturday French teachers have a 2 and a half day weekend.

    If we simply legislated for it, some would get a large rise and would be better off. Others would lose their jobs, as various activities would no longer be affordable.

    Or we could do what we’re currently doing and use tax credits to make up the difference. This would spread the cost over all companies, making it more affordable for small companies.

    We need less energy generated from dear windfarms, and more from domestic gas.

    We also need to reduce CO2 levels so we can’t get energy from fossil fuels.

    Solving the problem requires us to build more homes to make housing more affordable.

    The problem is that no one wants to build affordable housing because high price housing is more profitable. Perhaps we should require so many affordable flats to be build for every house that’s built.

    a substantial pressure of demand on our housing stock is coming from the large number of new people who arrive and need homes under EU laws and UK policies which Labour signed up to.

    Not selling housing to foreigners who don’t live in the UK for most of the year would also help.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 3, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      Energy prices are rising because energy companies are forced to provide green forms of energy due to the Climate Change Act
      So blame the politicians not the energy comanies Uni.

      The rent controls of the past led to collapse of the rental market and it seems red ed is repeating these mistakes.
      You are right Uni, the wicked landlords will sell up but not to tenants who will not be able to afford the price nor a mortgage.
      So where will these people live.

      Standards of living are not falling.

      There is no 3 day week in France.

      You cannot discriminate against non UK citizens wishing to buy homes.
      This is against the law, both UK law and EU human rights law.

      Rarely have you posted so much utter nonsense in one post Uni.
      Get a grip.

  30. Posted May 3, 2014 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Solving the problem requires us to build more homes to make housing more affordable.

    Not necessarily. There is another option. Tackle the problem of homes, or rather what should be homes, standing empty.

    http://www.emptyhomes.com/

  31. William
    Posted May 6, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    “Having a minimum wage of £25,000 would be very popular with all those on low wages. Some of us think we have to get there by working smarter”

    This compares with the Tory strategy of boosting house prices in Wokingham by several hundred thousand, a strategy which is not surprisingly quite popular. Some of us don’t just think we have to get there by working smarter, we don’t have a choice.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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