Better pay, lower taxes and rising living standards


Many of us in politics came into public life to make things better. There is a lot of agreement between the three main parties, and probably UKIP as well, that the overarching aim should be to promote higher living standards and better lives for the many as a result of government action  or inaction.

Very often the main issue in dispute in a General election is which team would manage the economy better? Which team would provide a financial offer that could help you as a voter to a more comfortable lifestyle?

Yesterday Mr Cameron adopted a couple of tax policies that would help. Taking more people out of income tax altogether at the lower end of the income tax scale makes it more worthwhile working. Better that we let people keep more of what they earn than we tax them more to pay them more in benefits. If you insist on people on low income paying tax you then have a handling charge and have to return some of the tax money to them in the form of benefits. Its a dear and complex way of doing it.

Raising the 40p tax threshold is a policy I have campaigned for. Many of the people now dragged into the 40p tax rate are far from rich. 40p is a very high rate of tax. It is a crippling charge on many individuals and families trying to pay their own bills and take responsibility for their own lives. I am glad the Prime Minister has adopted this as his own.

Labour have said they will raise the Minimum wage. The amount they offer over the lifetime of the next Parliament is similar to the rate of increase this Parliament. I doubt they are offering much if any extra compared to what will happen anyway. Their Minimum wage scheme was based on an independent quango weighing up the issues around what is the correct rate. Set it too low and it has no beneficial effect. Set it too high and it destroys jobs. It is difficult to see Labour’s policy  as an effective way of delivering more pay to more people, given the likely cross party agreement to the likely recommended increases  anyway.

The best way of promoting higher living standards is for more people to have jobs that were out of work, and for more people in work to be promoted into jobs that pay more. Some of the average figures for pay and real incomes have been dragged lower by success in creating many more lower paid jobs which give people on benefits their chance of employment. For them the  lower pay of these jobs should still be an improvement on benefits. The next step for them  is to get promoted, train within the firm or move to another company that pays more. Some people are in jobs where the firm has not been able to afford a rise. As the economy improves so should the capacity of employers to reward their staff.

I want to see many more better paid jobs. The way to do that is to have a great climate for new companies to start up, to offer proper support for training and qualifications, and to work away at raising educational standards more. It is also important that once in a job you do not get taxed too heavily for it. All parties say they want more people to work and agree a job is the way to prosperity. Why then tax it so highly?

The best way to get a good job is to do well at a not so good job. The best way to rising living standards is to improve your skills and show your worth to employers.



  1. Steve
    October 2, 2014

    “Very often the main issue in dispute in a General election is which team would manage the economy better? ”

    Good article as usual Mr Redwood, I believe the above translates into the word “economy” being what it means to the individual voter rather than the national economy. Otherwise the conservatives would be in power continuously. In other words pounds in their own pockets.

    It is astonishing that so many people are thinking of voting Labour given what they did to the economy last time they were in power.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 2, 2014

      Essentially their client state, mainly composed of benefit claimants, the state sector, the envious with chips on their shoulders, the hypocrites, the young & naive – it will be even worse when they get to add all the 16 and 17 year old’s to the electorate after May 7th.

      It is a problem inherent in democracy the poor will often vote to steal off the rich as there are more of them and the politicians steal other’s money to buy these votes.

      It just makes everyone poorer in the end, except perhaps politicians, bureaucrats and lawyers. Needless to say they try to justify this theft in some largely irrational lefty think way to themselves so they feel better about the dependency.

      1. Hope
        October 2, 2014

        But the difference between Darling’s. Economic plan and Osborne’s is a fag paper width apart. Osborne claimed a lot more but essentially copied Darling’s plan. Therefore the difference is minimal with a presentational difference. Remember the pasty tax, caravan tax and the fact Osborne was more interested in flying on the U.S. president’s plane to watch a basket ball match than plan properly for the budget. The current economic situation is more luck than judgement.

        JR., go back to your previous blogs to show us the difference between the two plans in reality, not what the Tories claimed and failed to deliver on. The Tories have slightly slowed the rate of increase. What was the difference between what Darling would have done with tax and what taxes the Tories have actually increased to date. No jam tomorrow guff, let us see the facts.

        1. APL
          October 4, 2014

          Hope: “The Tories have slightly slowed the rate of increase.”

          Exactly, the deficit is still increasing, and has been for the last four years.

          It’s a sobering thought that never in recorded history has a country got itself into the debt situation our country has, has ever recovered without an economic collapse.

          1. zorro
            October 6, 2014

            It is the debt which has been increasing for the last four years. The annual budget deficit has been slowly decreasing so far….. Deficit spending by definition will add to overall government debt.


    2. Mondeo Man
      October 2, 2014

      We’ll believe Mr Cameron’s new found Conservative beliefs if he promotes Dr Redwood to the front bench.

      As it is (rather like Blair) “the overarching aim should be to promote higher living standards and better lives for the many ” means being the saviour of the world and not merely of this country.

      Both Cameron and Blair operate with a remit far wider than the one they were actually given.

  2. Lifelogic
    October 2, 2014

    As you say the: “The best way to get a good job is to do well at a not so good job. The best way to rising living standards is to improve your skills and show your worth to employers.”

    That is why paying healthy people not to work with high benefits is so damaging even to them. So why is Coalition still doing it hand over fist.

    The minimum wage is clearly just a job destroying interference. Anyone who worth is less than the minimum wage is prevented from working by it, even if he/she and the employer want to. Wage levels also differ hugely by area/ housing & living costs and anyway you can work for nothing as an intern or as a volunteer. What business is it of government to interfere? The zero hour contract move by Cameron is another silly & damaging error the man is clearly a socialist at heart.

    The best way of promoting higher living standards in the UK is to improve UK productivity. The record of the Coalition here is totally appalling it has fallen hugely. To do this we need cheap energy, more capital for investment, far less government, better training, fewer & simpler regulations, far simpler planning, far less and simpler tax. Largely the opposite of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband policies which are essentially the same but for a little nuance.

    The main cause of lower productivity is the dead weight of a very inefficient, bloated and overpaid government and doing mainly pointless and damaging things too.

    Start the savings by scrapping HS2, scrapping all the idiotic green grant subsidies and firing all involved in the equality/employment regulation nonsense industries. Halve the largely parasitic sector, then simplify taxes, employment laws etc. and put the countless lawyers and tax specialists out of business. Free them up to get productive jobs instead and opt out of the dead parasitic anti-democratic hand of the EU.

    With only a 7% chance of a Tory Majority what has Cameron got to lose he can promise anything and will not even have to rat on it this time?

    Engineer, builders, innovators, sales people and good managers are what is needed.

  3. JoeSoap
    October 2, 2014

    We now hear that there will be insufficient GPs as not enough of them have been trained. This is a classic area where government policy intervenes and yet any market there might be is in a mess. Let’s look at the factors surrounding this:

    Labour increases pay and taxes dramatically meaning that many GPs in their late 40s/50s take sabbaticals in order to cut tax as they go into the £100K plus nightmare tax regime;

    High student loans hit aspirations of students from poorer backgrounds who might otherwise have embarked on the long training period;

    High levels of immigration of low-skilled EU citizens mean increased demand for services compared to what was predicted;

    High property costs on the back of silly Help to Buy schemes and government money-pumping discourage investment in surgeries

    An uncontrolled un co-ordinated mess.

    Government should tax simply, patrol borders and leave everything else well alone.

    1. Roy Grainger
      October 2, 2014

      Don’t worry, Labour will heavily penalise all GPs because they fall into the hated top 1% of earners in the country, under Labour GPs will have to work longer hours to make up their take-home pay which will be taxed 50% at the margin..

    2. forthurst
      October 2, 2014

      Labour also abolished GPs’ duty of care for their patients 24/7; this has caused the disaster of patients not being given proper evening and weekend care whilst costing the NHS a fortune for inadequate cover and for some patients habitually going to A&E for out of hours treatment. The only way round this is to pay GPs more for doing what was traditionally considered their role, but it would almost certainly achieve a net saving.

      For some reason or other the DoH has been restricting the number of medical students to less than those required to cover for emmigration and retirement. Presumably they have decided that patients would prefer to be attended by foreign doctors from countries where qualifications might be purchased, especially if their English is poor or their accent incomprehensible; I spoke to a very experienced nurse the other day who told me his role consisted of ensuring that elderly patients’ needs for care were understood by the other medical staff. What a disgrace!)

      Apparently, our universities are still well represented in the list of top such institutions; apparently one of the qualifications is the proportion of students and teachers who are not in point of fact English etc; perhaps I’m missing something, but I would have thought that our English universities were founded by Englishmen so that Englishmen could obtain there the education to perform skilled work in England. It would be very easy to artificially inflate the position of English universities on the vibrancy score, simply by starving them of cash so that they need high paying foreign students to act as cash cows; come to think of it, that is exactly what the government has done. The government should fund universities adequately in respect of useful subjects ie STEM for their English students only, so that the fees for such subjects are affordable for the longer more difficult courses involved. Universities are places of learning not businesses.

    3. Lifelogic
      October 2, 2014

      Indeed anyone who can afford to pay for themselves to qualify as a doctor/dentist indeed anything and is competent to do the course/job should be allowed too. You hardly need to be that clever to be a GP after all. At the moment there is absurd rationing (I suspect mainly to benefit the medical profession). So we have to import them and ration them.

      1. Sam
        October 2, 2014

        That’s a very good point.

        I work in legal services. I was a latecomer to the profession, and had to work hard and save money to afford to put myself through the GDL conversion course, and support myself at the same time. After that, I was able to apply to law firms for training contracts, and was fortunate to be offered one from a leading firm, who funded the rest of my training. A lot of hard work and determination were required, but it was an option I was able to pursue, rather than a closed door.

        Why can’t private hospitals recruit career-changers in the same way, so long as the professional exams are just as rigorous? It could lead to a spike in recruitment, and drive standards up.

    4. zorro
      October 2, 2014

      It goes without saying that the government does NOT tax simply, does NOT effectively patrol borders, and does NOT leave everything else well alone. But without a doubt, you will soon be described very efficiently as an ‘extremist’ who all need to be eliminated.


  4. Lifelogic
    October 2, 2014

    One other reason for the fall in productivity is the uncontrolled & totally unselective, low skilled, immigration that has been actively encouraged by Government. Most are a net cost to the state sector taking for more in benefits and services than they pay in. The result is clearly lower pay and a higher burden on the rest.

    Cameron in his speech yesterday said he would deal with uncontrolled EU immigration. But he gave not even the slightest details of what he even seeks from any renegotiation. He clearly will get nothing substantial and must know this.

    1. Bob
      October 2, 2014

      ” He clearly will get nothing substantial and must know this.”

      He does, but he thinks we don’t.

    2. zorro
      October 2, 2014

      Yes, Cameron was doing his ‘Jungle Book’ Kaa impression….. Altogether now…. ‘Trust in meeeee, just in meeeee’….


      1. zorro
        October 2, 2014

        I meant to say by the way he was fixing his stare on the teleprompter….


    3. Iain Gill
      October 2, 2014

      It doesn’t matter how skilled the immigrant is, if the skills that immigrant brings are already in oversupply all more immigration brings is displacing Brits from the workforce and depressing wages.
      If you swamp a job category with immigrants all you do is discourage Brits from training in that skil, as they can see their wages prospects are that much worse.
      Johns analysis misses immigration completely, which is wishful thinking on his part, the political class can try and divert the population as much as they like the reality is the voters can see what’s going on.

      Reply I do not ignore immigration and have often written on ways to limit numbers and the impact this might have on wages and employment opportunities.

  5. Roy Grainger
    October 2, 2014

    “There is a lot of agreement between the three main parties, and probably UKIP as well, that the overarching aim should be to promote higher living standards and better lives for the many as a result of government action or inaction”.

    Interesting you take it as read that this is the aim of the Labour Party but is only “probably” the aim of UKIP. This is the sort of mild casual insult which will not help the Conservatives to gain UKIP votes.

    I would have said the main self-stated aim of the Labour Party is “fairness” and “social justice” which in their mind requires the enrichment of the poorest section of society at the expense of the middle-class “many”, a levelling-down by redistribution of wealth. As to UKIP, as Mr Cameron’s announcements yesterday mostly repeated existing UKIP policies with a few omissions (removing inheritance tax for example) I conclude their general aims are identical to the Conservatives.

    1. JoeSoap
      October 2, 2014

      No, I think we can say that UKIP’s aims are for an harmonious balance between economic growth and population growth on this island. If the choice is ToryLibLab uncontrolled immigration for a UK 3% growth rate and a personal say 2.6% rate, versus UKIP controlled immigration and UK 2.8%/personal 2.5%, then UKIP would live with the latter. It’s a quality of life issue and a British jobs for British young people issue, not just UK GDP growth at any price.

  6. Richard1
    October 2, 2014

    Simple messages are best. The Conservative plan for economic recovery is getting us out of the terrible mess Labour got us into. The way to increase prosperity – and reduce inequality – is to got people off welfare and into work, and to cut the taxes of those in work. Labour wants the opposite – more welfare and more taxes. We need a renegotiation with the EU, which can only work with a referendum as a back stop. We need Justice for England through English votes for English issues. If he tries to block justice England, voters need to be encouraged to ask: ‘what have you got against England Mr Miliband?’

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 2, 2014

      The Welsh might be asking “What have you got against Wales, Mr Cameron”, if he agrees that MPs elected in Wales should not be allowed to vote on the many Bills which apply to Wales as well as England. Out of 56 Acts passed during 2012 and 2013 there was in fact not a single one which applied only to England; most of the time the so-called “English Parliament” buried inside the UK Parliament would have to be the “English and Welsh Parliament”. But then that is how it was from 1535, when representatives from Wales were first admitted to the “English” Parliament which existed up to 1707.

      1. Robert Christopher
        October 2, 2014

        I thought Wales was getting more more devolved:

        So we might see less England AND Wales bills in future.

      2. Richard1
        October 2, 2014

        Wales already has some devolution whereas England has none. Of course Welsh MPs would be allowed to vote on issues affecting Wales which haven’t been devolved.

        1. Denis Cooper
          October 3, 2014

          Which at present means that the MPs elected in Wales must be allowed to vote on virtually all the laws that apply to England. I haven’t gone back earlier than 2012 to see how many Acts which applied to England did not also apply to Wales, but from checking those passed in 2012 and 2013 it is clear that if there have been any such Acts they will have been very exceptional. That may well change in the future if further powers are devolved to the Welsh institutions, but even if that went as far as the present degree of devolution to the Scottish institutions it would still be the case that most of the Acts which applied to England also applied to Wales. As I have mentioned before, the present degree of devolution to the Scottish institutions has had the effect of excluding Scotland from only a minority of the Acts passed by the UK Parliament, eg in 2012 it was just 5 Acts out of 23 did not apply to Scotland in any way at all and in 2013 it was just 6 Acts out of 33, with one of those 6, the Partnerships (Prosecution) (Scotland) Act, in fact applying only to Scotland and therefore being the only Act which did not apply to Wales. Of course this is just counting up Acts, some of which are much more important than others, so it only gives a broadbrush picture which will no doubt change with further devolution.

      3. Lindsay McDougall
        October 3, 2014

        Do Welsh Conservatives and Northern Ireland Unionists want any devolution, let alone more of it?

        1. Denis Cooper
          October 3, 2014

          Surely what matters is whether the people want more devolution, not whether a particular political gang wants it.

  7. Ian wragg
    October 2, 2014

    Living standards would rise tomorrow if you stopped letting half a million foreigners in each year. GDP rises slightly due to there being more population and wages are depressed making us all poorer. Have you seen the camp in today’s Mail. Is this how we are to live.
    CMD ‘ S promises yesterday are as childish as you could get. Say anything to get votes
    We are not so gullible. Just another list of ratting to add to the last lot.
    As for EU renegotiation that’s a joke as they keep telling him.

    1. Mondeo Man
      October 2, 2014

      Hopefully we’ll see some serious Tory Eurosceptics on the front bench sometime soon.

  8. Narrow Shoulders
    October 2, 2014

    Instead of a pre-election giveaway budget we get a pre-election giveaway speech. How £7.2 billion anually will be found is not explained but if it is linked to the statement delivered directly to camera to restrict free movement of labour and benefit seekers within the EU we should be told immediately.

    For too long we have been subject to claims that unfettered immigration is a contributor to the economy so if closing the doors frees up £7.2billion in tax credits and housing benefits annually that should be shouted from the rooftops.

    As an aside Mr Cameron you have ignored your core vote for too long for a few scraps thrown from the stage to carry much weight.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      October 2, 2014

      Should read “tax credits, housing benefits, school places, health costs, additional infrastructure, interpreters, additional demand led inflation and increased security costs to defend our streets from religious nutters.”

  9. Richard1
    October 2, 2014

    I hear the BBC have given prominence to a claims that Ebola is due to ‘cuts’ in the UK overseas aid budget (have there been any?!). It can only be a question of time before Ebola is blamed on global warming. In the meantime we can enjoy the consternation of the eco-left,including the BBC, that Mr Cameron did not find time in his speech to mention ‘climate change’ and the govts struggle against it by means of subsidizing windmills.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 2, 2014

      What sort of fool would subsidise wind turbines and think it would make any real difference, clearly not an engineer, physicist or sound scientist. A priest perhaps?

      1. Richard1
        October 2, 2014

        Unfortunately there are many physicists and other scientists who are strong advocates of global warming alarmism. I think it has more to do with political leanings than academic training.

      2. Robert Christopher
        October 2, 2014

        Why would a priest think that?

        It would more likely be the father-in-law of a Prime Minister or the RSPB.

        1. Lifelogic
          October 3, 2014

          A priest of the green religion. People who think with their guts and have “gut feelings” rather than science & reason. But yes some vested interests too.

  10. Lifelogic
    October 2, 2014

    The other way to do well is to set up in business and just do it a little better and more efficiently than your competitors, it is not that hard, despite the many efforts of government to mug, deter or stop you. You do not even need any money to start really.

    1. JoeSoap
      October 2, 2014

      Yes but there is no minimum wage if you do that. Sorry, it doesn’t compute in LibLabCon world!

  11. Dan
    October 2, 2014

    Which politican in the House of Commons would you say has shown his worth to his employers this last five years?

  12. Brian Tomkinson
    October 2, 2014

    JR: “Mr Cameron adopted a couple of tax policies that would help”
    Yes, he adopted the policies espoused by UKIP’s economic spokesman Patrick O’Flynn at their Doncaster conference last Friday and Saturday.
    However, hardly a mention of controlled immigration by your leader. Perhaps unsurprising as he has failed abysmally in his pledge to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands.
    As you say: “There is a lot of agreement between the three main parties” which is why so many of us look to UKIP to offer the real alternative. We have lost trust in the others to deliver what they promise.

    1. JoeSoap
      October 2, 2014

      Indeed, no response from Cameron to the UKIP plan for 2500 more border guards. Presumably the grand “renegotiation” of immigration and freedom of movement will need policing in the next Parliament? No?

      1. zorro
        October 3, 2014

        Very little chance of that happening. The Home Office has undergone relatively large budget cuts in real terms (nearly 30%)….. If only all government spending had been similarly pruned, we would be taxed less and the deficit would be substantially more reduced than it has been so far….. The only trouble is that it is one of the areas that does need proper funding if there is any hope of controlling immigration effectively.


    2. Iain Gill
      October 2, 2014

      Indeed Cameron made a few more promises with delivery at least 5 years in the future, does he think we are complete fools?

  13. Alte Fritz
    October 2, 2014

    And best incentive to hire people is to be able to make a decent profit and not be hounded out of existence by the government and its agencies.

    Channel 4 last night interviewed Michael Gove as if he were a criminal. The fact that the well to do (like the interviewer) would benefit appeared to be justification for not raising any threshold. Or perhaps Channel 4 mean that once you are over the threshold, the tax rate should then jump to a punitive level. What a good idea.

  14. oldtimer
    October 2, 2014

    The statement is welcome, so far as it goes. But others have pointed out that, like Labour`s minimum wage proposal, it amounts to little more than raising the limits in line with expected inflation. Until and if it happens, at the end of the next Parliament, taxpayers will still be ensnared by fiscal drag – the insidious friend of every Chancellor of the Exchequer.

    And while on the subject of fiscal drag, whatever happened to IHT threshholds?

  15. Steve Cox
    October 2, 2014

    When we are still running a deficit of around £100 billion per annum (and it’s actually increased this year so far compared with last year remember – so much for Mr. Cameron tackling the ‘biggest issue’) where on earth is all the money to pay for these giveaways going to come from? Is the government simply going to sanction the BoE going on another printing spree? And don’t forget all the extra funding promised this week for the NHS, GP’s available 7 days a week for 12 hours a day etc. It’s hard to imagine, but it now looks as if Labour is the party of fiscal rectitude and the Conservatives have adopted Gordon Brown’s warped version of balancing the books.

  16. Denis Cooper
    October 2, 2014

    Well, the headline of today’s editorial in the FT is:

    “David Cameron trades votes for economic credibility”

    And it says:

    “Mr Cameron may feel that his party is so far ahead of Labour on the economy that it can afford to indulge in electoral gimmickry. But his proposed tax cuts leave the Tories with an economic strategy of questionable coherence.”


    “But in the bid both to draw a clear dividing line with Labour and reassure the wavering right, they have staked out a fiscal position which is neither sober nor realistic.”

    Of course we don’t know if any of this is true; firstly we don’t know whether any of it will actually happen, and secondly we don’t know whether the cuts in tax rates would lead to decreased or increased tax revenues, or maybe make life easier for the government by helping to stimulate economic growth, and thirdly just from the electoral point of view we don’t know whether Cameron will get more votes by risking his party’s credibility on the economy or more people will react against his promises than support them.

    We do know that like most of the media the FT has got the wrong end of the stick about why Labour is ahead of the Tories in the overall opinion polls, having failed to notice that Labour was 7% behind the Tories at the last general election in May 2010 but had overhauled them by the end of that year, and that had nothing to do with UKIP but was because support for the LibDems had collapsed and it had collapsed towards Labour not the Tories, see the left hand side of the charts here:

    And in that paragraph there are the two major reasons why it is unlikely that the Tories will get an overall majority next year: the continuing 7% or so electoral bias towards Labour over the Tories, and the consolidation of the anti-Tory vote on Labour.

    The rise of UKIP, increasingly pulling support away from Labour as well as the Tories, is unlikely to have anything more than a marginal effect on the outcome unless its level of support continues to rise and gets well above 20%, which may or may not happen.

    1. Mondeo Man
      October 2, 2014

      “The rise of UKIP, increasingly pulling support away from Labour as well as the Tories, is unlikely to have anything more than a marginal effect on the outcome unless its level of support continues to rise and gets well above 20%, which may or may not happen.”

      UKIP have replaced the LibDems as the third party. The LibDems have been allowed massive influence over Tory politics.

      Is it the case that the Tories would prefer to work with the LibDems or – heaven forfend – allow Labour to win rather than satisfy UKIP sentiment ?

      If Labour do win then that is The Tory party’s fault and not ours.

      There is an unrepresented right of centre majority out there.

  17. Bob
    October 2, 2014

    ” There is a lot of agreement between the three main parties

    This is true, they are united against ukip.

    As for Dave’s speech – fine words, jam for all (tomorrow).

    The problem is that he doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to keeping promises.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 2, 2014

      Nor a track record of winning elections. All promised about 5 years hence and not even a mention of his last huge ratting on IHT. A low tax Tory at heart yeah sure.

  18. Bert Young
    October 2, 2014

    Promises and statements of intents before an election are always taken with a pinch of salt as far as I am concerned . When one is old enough to have lived through this sort of political charisma and to have experienced the afterlife , one learns not to trust or believe too much . I fully support reducing taxes and encouraging people into work ; I know the value of training youth and inspiring opportunity , and I believe fervently in creating systems of fairness and opportunities . The fact is it is necessary to deliver on the promises or face the consequences . Not so long ago voters were promised a referendum on Europe – it did not happen , the same promise has been made again – so , will it happen? Voters have to weigh up the difference between emotion and facts when they go to the polls ; I know where I stand because age and a certain amount of wisdom is on my side .

  19. Vanessa
    October 2, 2014

    Has Cameron kept ONE promise he has made since becoming leader of the tories? I can’t think of one.

    Like the Scots, I am angry, resentful and pissed-off with being told the sweeties I will get if I vote Conservative and then if I do NONE of them materialise. The excuses are legendary and false.

    He cannot honestly think he will get a good majority at the next election and so NONE of these will be law.

    1. Bob
      October 2, 2014

      @Vanessa – “No serious opinion poll has predicted a Tory Party general election win for two decades. The Tory Party struggles to get much above 24% of the national vote (though this tends to inflated into 36% in headline figures, by leaving out all the ‘don’t knows’, ‘won’t says’ and ‘won’t votes’ who together now form the biggest single political grouping in the country).” Peter Hitchens, Mail Online 29/9.

    2. Lifelogic
      October 2, 2014

      Has Cameron kept ONE promise he has made since becoming leader of the tories? I can’t think of one.

      The M4 Bus lane?

      Not IHT, nor the deficit, not the tax/spending cut ratio, nothing on the EU, nor cutting the state sector pay or benefits much, not cutting any real red tape (save perhaps liqueur chocolates), booming unskilled and uncontrolled immigration all while increasing 299+ taxes for “hard working families”.

  20. behindthefrogs
    October 2, 2014

    Why is it being proposed to raise the lower limit for income tax rather than that for employees’ NI contributions? The latter has the advantage of helping those who have lower earnings than would be subject to income tax. Also because it applies to earnings and not unearned income it further encourages people into work.

    1. Roy Grainger
      October 2, 2014

      Yes that is an interesting question. I think part of the answer is that NI is a genuine stealth tax, I bet hardly anyone could tell you what % they pay in NI whereas many more could tell you their marginal income tax rate. For that reason reducing the latter is far more effective PR. The fact that NI is so under-the-radar also makes it difficult to combine it with income tax which would make administrative sense, people would choke when they saw the combined % tax rate which would result and blame the party who implemented it (even if the net effect was zero).

      1. JoeSoap
        October 2, 2014

        Indeed, and NEST is on its way just to add to the stealth taxes. No boasting of that whipping another 5% away from pay was there?

  21. bigneil
    October 2, 2014

    “Better living standards”? – all these so-called tax giveaways – -so where is the money coming from? going to borrow more? -. . Yet another pack of unbelievable words from an already untrusted “leader”. . . The only people with a rise in living standards will be the already rich and all those piling in for a taxpayer supplied free house cash and NHS for their 3 wives and 27 kids.

  22. John Wrake
    October 2, 2014

    Are we so blinded by the love of money that we believe that the greatest good which a government can deliver is higher living standards in terms of wages and ability to own more?

    The Expert on Life said that wealth is not comprehended by the size of your bank balance.

    What about freedom to be at peace with yourself and your neighbour, what about a loving and wholesome family life, what about seeing the earth as a garden you can care for and enhance, what about the ability to pass to your children the values which have enriched your experience?

    Politicians at present offer only dogma, the Marxist delusion based on envy, or freedom to be greedy, all backed by threats if you don’t conform.

    ‘It’s the economy’ which is the policy which is stupid. There are more important things, like ‘trust’ and ‘honesty’ which a government should give to its people. They are singularly lacking at present.

    John Wrake.

    1. margaret brandreth-j
      October 2, 2014

      Is it really money or is it something else which we all look for from birth: security and comfort?
      I do not think that if you work well at a not so good job then there is a greater likelihood of getting a better job. People are jealous, nasty, competitive and are more likely to try and put outstanding work down.

    2. Iain Gill
      October 2, 2014


      And when house prices are manipulated ever higher, but kept out of the inflation figures, its pointless worrying about wage levels when nobody can afford somewhere decent to live.

      Its the economics of the mad house. Lets add more to the national debt to inflate house prices ever more, that’s bound to be a recipe for success… sad in the extreme.

      Whoever is designing these PPE courses really needs a talking to

  23. Lifelogic
    October 2, 2014

    “Cameron gives 30m a tax cut” shouts the Daily Telegraph today.

    Well not really he promises one in 5+ years time if he get a majority on May 7th (just a 7% chance it seems) and if he keep this promise unlike his inheritance tax one say 50% chance to be generous.

    Even then it is not much more than undoing Osborne’s tax increases and increasing the thresholds by inflation. Above all, without stopping his endless waste on HS2, green drivel and the endless other waste, he simply cannot cut taxes or borrowing (deferred taxation).

    It is the endless waste that needs cutting first. Otherwise taxes will go up or the deficit will & borrowing is only deferred taxation.

    He may think he has “paid back government debt” as he claimed, but he is clearly deluded or just lying to the electorate again.

    1. zorro
      October 2, 2014

      He hasn’t paid a penny of government debt back. He has right royally added to the debt his by his deficit spending facilitated by QE magic…. He has form for being disingenuous, and he knows the truth, so is taking us all for chumps….. Take him at his word and judge him on his record as he said in the speech!


  24. English Pensioner
    October 2, 2014

    We need to be far tighter with the benefits for those who are capable of work, the principle used by those dealing with Parish relief in the old days was that “No person on relief shall receive more than the lowest paid working man in the parish” seems to be ideal. The present limit seems to be based on the average wage with the result that many end up with more than people at work (and don’t even have to pay out fares!).
    And relief wasn’t always given in cash; look through the old records of the Parish overseers and you will find items like “paid the boot-maker £xx for a pair of working boots for John Smith”. Clearly even then recipients couldn’t be trusted not to go and spend it all at the beer-house! I would also like to see some sanctions against school leavers who have failed to get acceptable exam results. They have had the advantage of a free education, of which they have failed to take advantage and so can’t get a job. Why should we end up paying for them to do nothing?

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      October 2, 2014

      That is indeed an interesting concept although in order to implement it fairly you would need to give all pupils the choice to do purely vocational subjects from 14 so that their hard working non-academics’ job prospects were increased.

      Certainly an idea worthy of development, Mum and Dad may take more interest in schooling if failure means a guaranteed liability on the sofa.

      1. Robert Christopher
        October 2, 2014

        “… vocational subjects from 14 …”

        A good idea. So many children are left cold by the Academic Education Machine, grinding on until they are Eighteen, with only academic choices or being seen as non-academic.
        Give them an option at Fourteen where they can specialise and start an appreticeship a little later. They will end up doing much the same basic English and Maths, but it will be applicable to their choice. They could even learn History and Geography relevant to their choice.
        But it would mean schools being ‘in the market place’, and that would never do; the blob would stop it!

    2. sjb
      October 2, 2014

      @English Pensioner
      In answer to your question: Why should we end up paying for them to do nothing? do you think it would be fair to consider also winding back the clock for the group that is the largest beneficiary of welfare?

      “Only a quarter of those in 1908 survived to State Pension Age. Those who did lived for just nine more years, on average. Today, four in five of us make it to collect our state pension and live, on average, for a further 24 years – that’s a third of our lives in retirement.”
      click on ‘State pension statistics, comparing 1908 and now’ (pdf)

  25. Cliff. Wokingham
    October 2, 2014

    At long last, Mr Cameron actually sounded like a Conservative yesterday.

    My fear is that few people will believe him. Why is it that he only started to sound like a Conservative when UKIP started to make real gains in the polls? Has he had a Road to Damascus moment or is he just saying what he thinks people want to hear and will revert to type post election?

    I think yesterday’s speech by Mr Cameron was perhaps the best he’s ever made and I know it must be good because the state’s broadcaster went into overdrive trying to ridicule it’s contents. My only cavaet, as stated above, is whether people will believe what he says; I’m not sure whether I do or not. I think my biggest laugh was when he said to judge him on his record; if I did that, there is no way I would vote for the party which calls itself the Conservative Party, even with our host as my local candidate.

    Mr Cameron states and has done for a while, the same line that our host uses; “A vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour, because it would keep the Conservative Party out of government.” Does this not work the other way too? “A vote for Mr Cameron’s so called Conservative Party would keep UKIP ( a more Conservative party at the moment than the Conservative Party) out of government and hand power to the various lefties in the Labour, Libdem and Green Parties?”

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 2, 2014

      Unless of course the vote given to UKIP would have otherwise gone to Labour, when on his flawed logic the vote for UKIP would be a vote for the Tories. Oh, but I forgot, we are meant to believe that every single voter among the 15% who now support UKIP is just a lost Tory sheep who can be tempted/cajoled/bullied back into the fold. Strange that if you add that 15% to the Tories’ present 31% the sum is 46%, which is not only 6% more than the 40% sum of the Tory and UKIP votes at the last election, when UKIP only got 3%, but also a higher share of the votes than the Tories have got at any general election since 1959:

      Clearly something is wrong somewhere, the Tory party cannot be the sole source of UKIP supporters because there are now just too many of them; and the clue may be that the LibDems have lost the support of 16% of the voters since May 2010, but if all those voters had gone to Labour and stayed there then Labour would now be on 46%, which is not only 10% higher than where they actually are but higher than the share of the votes that Labour has got at any general election since 1966, so clearly Labour has both gained and lost supporters since the last general election, and some of their losses have been to UKIP.

      Reply No, not all UKIP voters are former Conservative voters. There are more former Conservatives, but also quite a lot who did not vote before. The correct quote is if Conservative voters from 2010 vote UKIP they are helping Labour.

      1. yulwaymartyn
        October 2, 2014

        A lot of Labour supporters do not now vote. The left are entirely disenchanted with the system and of course would never fall for the charms of UKIP. A few are moving to the Green party due to their views on nuclear weapons, the EU and a higher minimum wage. The rest will sit at home and fume – much as the non-voting right did until the emergence of UKIP.

      2. Denis Cooper
        October 3, 2014

        LibDem support has collapsed in Heywood and Middleton very largely to the benefit of Labour, but a chunk of the Labour support has transferred on to UKIP alongside a similarly sized chunk of the Tory support:

        Labour 50% (Up 10% on 2010)
        Ukip 31% (Up 28%)
        Conservative 13% (Down 14%)
        Lib Dems 4% (Down 19%)

        “The poll suggests that 35 percent of Ukip’s support comes from Labour, and 33 percent from the Tories.”

        35% of 31% = 11% from Labour, as Labour is still up 10% that suggests it is getting 21% from elsewhere, compared to the 19% lost by the LibDems.

        33% of 31% = 10% from the Tories, compared to the 14% they have lost.

        It’s all rough and ready and there are odds and ends – the BNP got 7% last time, and this time there is a Green candidate which there wasn’t last time – and also there are those who didn’t vote at all in 2010, perhaps that is where UKIP has picked up most of the other 32% of its support.

        So it shouldn’t be expected that the numbers would add up perfectly, but the broad picture seems fairly clear: Labour is being preferentially boosted by the collapse of LibDems, but UKIP is pulling some voters away from them although probably only about half as effectively as it is pulling voters away from the Tories.

        1. Denis Cooper
          October 3, 2014

          As an addendum, now that I’ve had a chance to look at the data in the Survation poll:

          I find as expected that on top of the support that UKIP is now getting from those who had voted Labour in 2010 there is another, smaller, contribution from those who had voted LibDem. As about half of those who voted LibDem in the election had transferred their support to Labour by the end of 2010, they should also be counted in as voters that UKIP is now pulling away from Labour. However by the time opinion pollsters get down to trying to analyse the origins of the present support for the different parties their sample sizes are getting small and the margins of error are getting large.

  26. Tad Davison
    October 2, 2014

    Today’s Open Europe has a few stories that might draw into focus the present government’s suitability to govern.

    ‘UK’s Hill called back for second hearing at European Parliament;

    Rumours of reshuffle of Commission roles grow after hearings. The European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee has said it will call the UK’s Commissioner- designate Lord Jonathan Hill back for a second hearing due to concerns over his lack of detailed knowledge of financial services – the brief he has been nominated for. The second hearing will take place early next week. The FT reports that rumours are growing over a potential reshuffle of Commission portfolios as the Parliament raises issues with a number of the suggested candidates.’

    Jobs for the boys maybe, regardless of their experience or suitability? Desperate stuff!

    ‘Cameron pledges to put EU free movement “at the very heart” of his renegotiation strategy

    David Cameron used his party conference speech to say that he would put reform of EU free movement of people “at the very heart of my renegotiation strategy for Europe.” He said that numbers of EU migrants “have increased faster than we in this country wanted and at a level that was too much for our communities and for our labour markets.” He added that a new Conservative government would deal with the European Court of Human Rights by implementing a British Bill of Rights and scrapping the Human Rights Act.’

    Only when his back is against the wall. On past experience, I don’t expect him to deliver.

    ‘Gas war escalates as Russia halves gas supply to Slovakia

    Russia yesterday halved its gas deliveries to Slovakia. Slovakian President Robert Fico told press that there had been no warning, and called on “cooperation in the European sphere” to deal with the situation. Meanwhile, the FT reports that European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has written to Russian President Vladimir Putin rebuffing Moscow’s demands that the EU-Ukraine free trade deal be rewritten.’

    A fine mess of a foreign policy and one which the Cameron government not only subscribes to, but actively promotes. The wellbeing of a country is measured by many indicators. We are not better off with such a person at the helm.

    Tad Davison


  27. Stuart Saint
    October 2, 2014

    The best way to stimulate company formation and encourage more into work and into better jobs is to reduce both employer and employee NIC’s not take people out of tax altogether.

    If you don”t pay something in why should you get something out?

    Low taxes – Yes

    No NIC’s – Yes

    1. behindthefrogs
      October 2, 2014

      While as I have already said I support a reduction in employees’ NICs rather than a reduction in income tax, employers’ NICs should similarly be regarded as an alternative to corporation tax or even VAT. This would give home produce an advantage over imports and also help to reduce the costs of our exports. We need a government that sees the wider picture rather than just the immediate advantages.

  28. Paul H
    October 2, 2014

    “There is a lot of agreement between the three main parties, and probably the Liberal Democrats as well, …”

    There, fixed it for you! 🙂 I assume you read opinion polls?

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 2, 2014

      It’s a sobering thought that on the current Electoral Calculus projection Clegg has a better chance of being in the next government than Cameron.


      11% chance of Lab/Lib coalition + 3% chance of Con/Lib coalition = 14%.


      7% chance of Con-only government + 3% chance of Con/Lib coalition = 10%.

      That’s assuming both of them survive.

  29. Lifelogic
    October 2, 2014

    Grant Shapps just now repeating the “no tax at all” lie for people doing 30 hours on the minimum wage. They will in fact pay lots of NI tax as will their employers. How may more lies are we to get. They tell us they are paying back the government debt too, and the 20% discount house will not be for foreigners how with that work with the EU – Lies, lies and yet more Tory lies.

    1. JoeSoap
      October 2, 2014

      The Peter Mandelson to the modern-day Blair.
      Will spin his way to Brussels, sin duda.

  30. John B
    October 2, 2014

    ‘ Many of us in politics came into public life to make things better.’

    In a nutshell, Mr Redwood, that is our entire problem in the modern age. Please stop it. No politician or Government can ever have enough knowledge to plan and control to ‘make things better’, they just unleash the famous unforeseen consequences.

    As Adam Smith put it:

    “The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it.

    He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.”

  31. waramess
    October 2, 2014

    Government spending causes a destruction of value which itself causes a destruction of jobs.

    A simple example is: Country A runs a government monopoly funded by taxpayers to grow potatoes. Potatoes are delivered to the consumer free at the point of consumption.
    The cost of production is £10 per kilo.
    Country B has a robustly competitive private sector growing potatoes with a cost of production £1 per kilo.

    It is clear that the population of country B can buy more of other stuff because they pay less for potatoes and because they buy more other stuff, more jobs are created.

    I raise this because there is little sign that government spending is in material decline, indeed the deficit is growing the UK debt materially each year and debt will need to be paid down at some point which itself will lead to even more government spending.

    How then I wonder do the Conservatives intend to address the jobs issue when their own actions are causing the problem. Perhaps, in the above example they think that employing more labour to grow potatoes will do the trick.

    You will know that when you were Chairman of a large corporate, had you selected a new Managing Director to reduce the cost base you would have expected to see the effect of their plan showing through quite quickly and you would have expected to see the end product within the first year.

    If after a year nothing much had happened you would not be influenced by excuses no matter how convincing.

    So why I wonder do you still defend the disastrous performance of the Conservatives in the face of such a shoddy performance so far?

    A flat lining economy, a property boom being orchestrated on the back of government guarantees to the banks, immigration out of control, absolutely no sign of even preliminary attempts to renegotiate with the EU, balance of payments out of control and all on the back of the lowest interest rates ever.

    None of the main three parties seem to have any idea how to competently manage the economy. All three continue to progress policies that are having an adverse effect and Cameron’s promise at the last election to get rid of the deficit has very clearly been widely missed.

    Many now think that there would be little risk in letting the new kid on the block have a try at getting it right and it does look as though they are probably right.

  32. Robert Taggart
    October 2, 2014

    There has been much talk (far too much such – no sign of any action – yet) of merging National Insurance with Income Tax.
    Now that would be a vote winner – across the political spectrum – for the party proposing it.
    If we must have a progressive Income Tax regime – 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 Pence in the Pound would be our choice of rates – the political interest in the future would concern the thresholds for each of these rates.

  33. ian
    October 2, 2014

    One word can explain everything fracking. But mention of it at conference, I been hear about fracking for long time in this country but it never starts, look like it will left to after the election, if it such a great idea what is the hold up, they say 1 trillion pounds profit, maybe it the trucks thousands of them, maybe they waiting for one driver who drivers ten trucks all together or something else, if it is such good idea why has it not all ready started

  34. acorn
    October 2, 2014

    Government by announcement. The supreme leader was definitely in Kim Jong-un mode. We are definitely moving up the North Korea democracy scale, which JR denied last time I mentioned it. Mrs May will assume everyone is a terrorist, until proved otherwise. Mr Osborne has to abolish all private savings, to reduce the “dangerously high” (he says) national debt.

    Yep, the conservative party is reverting to its zenith in the Victorian era. By 2020, we will be reliving the life of Oliver Twist. “Please, Sir, I want some more.” By 2020 we will be twinned with Portugal, and it doesn’t have the fiscal freedom of its own currency. The UK can’t afford another laissez-faire neo-liberal government with a dead ideology. We need a government that knows how to increase DEMAND in the economy. NOT one that leaves it to the “supply side” private sector, to possibly come up with something or other that might fly; may or may not invent a new job that pays a decent wage.

  35. Anonymous
    October 2, 2014

    You can never have full employment and a general rise in living standards with uncontrolled immigration.

    This is plain common sense.

    As Mr Carswell rightly says – none of the parties are on our side, not yours either.

  36. Bill
    October 2, 2014

    What guarantee is that UKIP, if in power, would deliver the promises it has made?

    My own view remains that the best combination would be Conservative+UKIP in coalition in 2015. But that is impossible to vote for and so one has to decide on one or the other. It is perfectly obvious that a vote for UKIP is likely to allow Milliband in to power in exactly the same way that a vote for Shirley Williams & co allowed the inestimable Margaret Thatcher in to power in 1979.

    To vote for UKIP on the grounds that we then only have to endure five years of Labour while the Tory party reorganises and comes back with Eurosceptic fervour in 2020 seems to me to be plain daft. We simply cannot work out what the situation would be in 2020 and we do not know what a reformed post-Cameron Conservative Party would be like in 2015/16.

    And, of course, we can be sure that the duplicitous LibDems would line up with Labour in 2015 at the drop of a hat.

    1. JoeSoap
      October 2, 2014

      “What guarantee is that UKIP, if in power, would deliver the promises it has made?”

      No guarantee, but would you think it more likely that a party led by people who believe in what they say is more likely to deliver than one that isn’t?

      Clearly the Tory leadership has had the opportunity to

      Give us a vote on EU membership
      Remove the deficit
      Cut personal taxes to laffer curve optima
      Cut IHT
      Reduce immigration
      Support small companies but tax multinationals on UK turnover

      Yet despite the words, none of these has happened. Because most of them don’t want these things to happen.

      1. Bill
        October 2, 2014

        I appreciate the qualms. What needs to be remembered is that the Conservatives are in coalition with the LibDems and the foursome which makes the decisions (Cameron, Osborne, Clegg and Alexander) seem to trump the Cabinet. We do not therefore have a clear idea of what the Conservatives would or would not have delivered on their own.

      2. David Price
        October 4, 2014

        “No guarantee, but would you think it more likely that a party led by people who believe in what they say is more likely to deliver than one that isn’t?”

        I don’t believe in any of their promises, and it is really not clear to me that the UKIP political elite do believe what they promise , or could deliver on it either. During their conference week;

        – a significant funder of UKIP stated Scotland should be kicked out of the UK.
        – A UKIP MEP stated that UKIP’s policy is not to hold a referendum on EU but force a repeal of the 1972 act if they hold a deciding vote in a hung parliament. This despite proclaiming people should have the right to referenda.
        – their policy is more taxation on items UKIP politicos deem are a luxury.
        – Mrs Farage briefing UKIP politicos on how to get taxpayer funded junkets to Brussels for the party faithful. This while not acting on behalf of the electorate whose interests they are supposed to represent.

        Who knows what “UKIP” believes, there is no manifesto and Farage seems to make it up as he goes along depending on what promises will appeal to people at the time.

        With regards to delivery I cannot think of one gain or advantage UKIP have delivered for the UK in all the 20 or so years in the EP. They have no track record of delivery so why would there be any confidence they would do anything at the UK level considering they would have to work with the institutions and civil service. They won’t get far being the plucky rebels then but would have to actively and productively cooperate, something they have avoided doing to-date.

        I am in the fortunate position that Mr Redwood is my constituency MP, were I in most other areas I would have a difficult time choosing.

  37. ian
    October 2, 2014

    John said no more QE but when government bonds on QE at 375 billion is paid up like say 3 month bond 6 month 1 year 2, 3, right up to 30 year if QE stays at 375 billion then they are buying bonds all the time to keep it at 375 billion so it not finished till you stop replacing the bonds, you are still buying. If you are not buying bonds the 375 billion would go down, so you are wrong QE is not finished it is still on going.

    Reply The amount has been fixed.

    1. petermartin2001
      October 3, 2014

      Looking at it from the commercial banks’ POV they now have £375 billion of cash whereas previously they had £375 billion of bonds. So, providing the transactions were conducted at a fair price there’s no reason to suppose the banks are now any better or worse off that previously.

      So therefore the State/Government cannot be any worse off than previously.

  38. ian
    October 2, 2014

    I think you got this all wrong john, your getting the tax cuts and pay rises at your companies and as a pm next year which you put in a saving account or into a investment which I have no problem with but most of it will not be spent in the economy were as people at the bottom who will spend all the money they get in the economy and need the money are not getting it, It the people at the bottom who do the everyday spending to make the companies grow.

  39. Lindsay McDougall
    October 2, 2014

    Let’s remember to factor in the effects of inflation when considering increased tax thresholds. There will be about 13% inflation between 2015 and 2020.

    Raising the lower income tax threshold from £10,000 to £12,500 will be an increase of 11% in real terms. That’s well worth having and, combined with bearing down on benefits, will create a dynamic in favour of employment.

    Raising the upper income tax threshold from £41,500 to £50,000 will be an increase of 7% in real terms. Although worth having, it leaves the value of this threshold below its level in 1992, again on the basis of taking inflation into account.

    Welcome though these proposals are, the important work of the next parliament will be substantially to reduce the deficit in the first two years.

  40. petermartin2001
    October 3, 2014

    All parties say they want more people to work and agree a job is the way to prosperity. Why then tax it so highly? …..The best way to get a good job is to do well at a not so good job. The best way to rising living standards is to improve your skills and show your worth to employers.

    Yes that’s right. Though, the problem, especially in the regions of high employment, is getting that first job.

    What is the Conservative view on Labour’s Job Guarantee program for 18-26 year olds?

  41. Kenneth R Moore
    October 4, 2014

    Much discussion about raising living standards and pay and very little about how this can be achieved in a world of high debt, energy prices and mass immigration.
    Perhaps it’s time to better manage expectations that living standards can rise forever.

    Aside from upbeat messages, I’d like to see JR’s view on if and when he believes part 2 of the financial crash will occur. Will the banks be bailed out next time ?.

    Reply There is no need for there to be part two of the financial crash in the UK. Soon we can return the remaining state banks to the private sector, halving the UK state debt, and then eliminate the state deficit.

    1. Kenneth R Moore
      October 4, 2014

      Thanks for your time writing a reply Dr Redwood,

      I wish I shared your optomism on this – surely even if the banks are privatised they are still highly vulnerable to a second crash that would be much worse than the first.

      There is also the problem of the Uk’s current account position which is dire.

      Way back in 2010 Robert Peston warned

      ‘there is some consensus that the Great Recession of 2008-9 was at least in part caused by the madness of a global economic system in which the net importing western nations, like the US and UK, have taken on crippling indebtedness as the corollary of China’s (and Germany’s and Japan’s).

      On that view, the Great Recession was just the first shock’.

      Since 2010, the deficit has remained stubbornly high and our current account deficit has got even worse. Please read what Tim Morgan has to say as to quote’ why does it seem that no-one is watching what’s happening to our current account balance?’.

      In the final reckoning, the Conservatives (like Labour) will stand charged with putting short term political advantage above long term economic wealth and stability.

      Reply The commercial banks have stronger balance sheets now than under Labour and have to keep higher reserves, cash and capital. We also assume the Bank of England next time round will not withdraw liquidity or decline to act as lender of last resort in the way they did in 2007 and 2008.Labour’s tripartite bank regulatory structure brought down several commercial banks through failure to demand enough cash and capital in the good times, and failure to supply enough liquidity in bad times, as I explained at the time. Things look a lot better today on the banking front.

  42. Kenneth R Moore
    October 4, 2014

    Perhaps I could make my position clearer. In my view the Uk is heavily exposed to significant risks globally from spiraling debt and a deteriorating trade deficit. Your party is primarily focused on winning the next general election and not avoiding being part of a second financial crash. I fear for the future.

Comments are closed.