Some interesting Taxpayers Alliance figures

This year the government will spend £11,763 per person, or £40,958 for every family in the UK. The Taxpayers Alliance have been going through the government figures and bringing out some of the highlights. Amidst all the debate about rates of change in financial provision, arguments about whether a cash increase is still a real cut, and an overlay of debate about austerity, we often lose sight of just how much money and resource the public sector commands.

Each one of us has an average state debt of £24,444 and a share of £22,754 in the public sector pension liabilities. This does not of course include future state pension payments, which will fall to be paid for from future tax revenues. Total spending this year does include this year’s pension payments as they are met on a pay as you go basis.

England receives less spending per head than the other three devolved countries and provinces in the Union. (2014-15 figures, two years earlier than the other figures). The lowest spending is in South East England at £7756 per person. That is 69.8% of the Northern Ireland figure, 74.7% of the Scottish figure and 78.3% of the Welsh figure. No English region gets as much as Wales, which in turn gets less than Scotland.

The largest individual budgets within the totals are welfare and the NHS, which between them make up half the total spend.

It reminds us, as the TPA wishes to do, that a great deal of progress can be made by spending the money more wisely and by lifting productivity in the public sector as part of the campaign to improve productivity generally in the economy. It also reminds us that more can and will be done to get more people into work and into better paid jobs, to whittle away the need for welfare reliance.

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79 Comments

  1. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Remind this net contributor (family) just how low paid immigration benefits the economy with more put in than taken out?

    • alan jutson
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      NS

      “…benefits of low paid immigration…..”

      Exactly

    • Hope
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Your last point is nonsense based on the true immigration figures. We cannot house, educate, treat illnesses, pay welfare for mass immigration which is currently running at about a million per year! Read the reports about Sheffield, Blackburn, Oldham, Rotherham., the Casey report. The govt cannot keep creating divisive communities and inequality at such a high rate without consequences. The govt is literally wrecking the country. Then we read reports on the travesty of overseas aid being wasted by the billions! Money spent wisely, come on. The same is true with HS2, Hinckley, energy policy still a mess, welfare increasing at a rate we cannot sustain while your Govt has abandoned its central theme to its alleged economic plan of balancing the structural deficit! The debt is about £1.7 trillion and rising and the interest on that money is about £30 billion each year, spending wisely! Tax credits and welfare rise and the country cannot build enough houses to keep pace with immigration let alone population increase as a consequence. This will mean there will be far more older people needing suppport, no age limit to immigration from the EU! Not that we are living longer narrative to falsely cover the govt self induced problem.

      • getahead
        Posted December 10, 2016 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        You could try inserting a paragraph or two in there Hope.
        Apart from that criticism, entirely agree.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Indeed. State expenditure is largely wasted, nearly all of it does far less good that leaving the money with the tax payers would have done. Much of it actually does positive harm such as the motorist muggings, road blocking and pointless red tape. Much of it encourages people to be feckless and live off the backs of others for generations. A lot of it provides unfair competition to more competitive private provision and thus kills it damaging the economy and even killing people in the case of the dire NHS. This mainly in health, education, transport, energy provision, banking and housing, doing yet more very substantal damage. It misdirectes resources hugely, damages productivity masively and thus makes everyone poorer. Government should be no more than about 25% of GDP it would then of course be a far higher GDP and living standards would be far higher.

    Interesting to read of the massive harm (and indeed the reduced tax receipts) caused by Osborne’s moronic stampt duty rates. But why did the dope Hammond do nothing about it? Or indeed about all the other Osborne complex tax insanities and his IHT ratting.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Government should be no more than 10% of GDP !!!

      Bloody Socialists 😉

    • Hope
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Look at the hundreds of tax rises since 2010 and Hammond’s insurance premium hike to punish the prudent. Prudent still being punished by extraordinary low interest rates, banks still not fit under stress tests while they are given loan to lending scheme from govt £80 billion to lend at high rates. The banks not needing savers money. The only people to benefit being Cameron’s chums in the banking world. What of the reforms we were promised? None of substance to date. And still we pay additional sums in billions hand over fist for the EU to waste and take us to their bias ECJ court!

    • acorn
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Name me a developed country with a 25% of GDP spending ratio? The UK is about the same as Germany at 44%. Even the USA is circa 38%; high waged Switzerland is 34%.

      A much better guide is https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/incomeandwealth/bulletins/theeffectsoftaxesandbenefitsonhouseholdincome/financialyearending2015

      Fig 16 shows how Osborne killed the recovery in 2010 but relented as he approached the 2015 election.

      • forthurst
        Posted December 10, 2016 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        What is more important than the amounts spent, an obsession with incoming Tory governments, is how well it is spent; that is why trying to prune the civil service by issuing edicts about absolute numbers, a scatter gun approach, will never succeed. Meanwhile, we live in a country that has the worst health care in western europe, more efforts to fill us with incompatible aliens by pressure groups than are used to keep out people we do not need, millions of people either homeless or living in squalor, an education system whose results have to be rigged to hide the decline in standards etc.

        Meanwhile the Trump transition team is getting down to business by identifying where taxpayers money is going via the Department of Energy by asking 74 questions for department officials to answer; these have been contextualised by “Whats Up With That” in “The DOE vs. Ugly Reality”.

        The approach taken by Trump should set the new benchmark for our politicians to ensure that the money they borrow and raise in taxes is spent wisely.

        • hefner
          Posted December 19, 2016 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

          When are you moving to the USA?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 11, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        Singapore and Hong Kong are well under 20% and much wealthier as a result.

        It does depend a lot on how well it is spent too. In the UK we are dire in both respects. They spend nearly 50% and spend it very badly indeed, duff road, poor health care, second rate schools and the likes. About half is wasted on pointless things (HS2, greencrap and the likes) and about another 15% actually does positive harm (road blocking, motorist muggings, over restrictive planning, red tape and the likes).

        • hefner
          Posted December 11, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          Singapore, Hong Kong, yeah right. How many people on what size of country? Come on, I expect you can do better than that.

  3. Jack
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Government debt = private sector net financial assets.

    It is not a burden on the people, rather the complete opposite.

    I recommend reading the Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy by Warren Mosler, which is free online, for more information.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      How can the state, borrowing money then largely wasting it on pointless or damaging dross, be other than a burden on the people and future generations? Further damaging the individuals ability to borrow for real investments.

      Unless of course is it is never going to be repaid.

      • Peter Martin
        Posted December 10, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        It can’t ever be repaid. If it were the game would be over!

        The Government is like the Banker in game of Monopoly. The players might worry about their financial status but the Banker can never run out of money. He never worries about his debts.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Why not get the government to print even more money and use it to pay people to dig pointless holes then.

      It should do wonders for everyone’s living standards! That to a large degree is what governments do. They misdirect resources, people, materials and talent to produce pointless or damaging dross. HS2, Hickley and the green renewable lunacy being prime examples.

      Then again we could pay people to produce things of some real use, which do you think is better for living standards?

      • Jack
        Posted December 10, 2016 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        If you don’t think the government makes sensible spending decisions, etc, then you can just cut taxes instead. As long as the budget deficit is expanded, it doesn’t matter too much. It’s up for politics to decide what the ratio of government spending increases to tax cuts is.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 11, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

          Indeed cut taxes people and businesses will invest it far more wisely in general.

      • Peter Martin
        Posted December 10, 2016 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        You are right. There is no need to pay people to do pointless things. Keynes mused on the problem of having a totally fiat currency and suggested that Government could bury pots of money deep underground and then mining companies would dig mines to find it again.

        More recently the originators of Bitcoin have introduced a “mining” mechanism so that new money can be created.

        Both are attempts to duplicate what used to happen when money was based on gold and couldn’t just be created by Government.

        Of course, it is better for Government to pay companies to do something useful. Like build hospitals, roads and schools etc. If they overdo it we’ll see too much inflation. But if they underdo it, we get recession and high levels of unemployment.

    • Martyn G
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Jack – thanks for the pointer to a book that I think ought to be mandatory reading for every MP and Civil Servant!
      I cannot recall seeing such clarity in explaining how the system works (or sometimes doesn’t!) before this little book….

    • Peter Martin
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      @ Jack

      ” Government debt = private sector net financial assets.”

      It would be better to say that

      Government debt = everyone else’s net financial assets

      If we divide up ‘everyone else’ into the Private Domestic Sector and the overseas sector, which can and does include foreign governments, then it follows:

      Government debt =PDS net financial assets + Overseas Assets.

      If we consisder the change in the debt:

      Government Deficit = PDS Savings + Trade Deficit

  4. Little Englander
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    It reminds us that we need to look at the Barnet Formula again and redress the balance.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Indeed perhaps have it biased in the reverse directions for a while, just to redress the historical imbalance. This and to educate them to stand on their own feet for a while without the drip feed from England.

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Thanks to anti-English Dave cementing the Barnett Formula in stone, that isn’t likely to happen any time soon. No politician, even the ones squatting in English seats, want to upset the Scots and and never mind the English. They are obviously happy to see England carry on being shafted both financially and constitutionally in order that English taxes will continue to provide all the freebies in the rest of this dis-UK that are denied to England on grounds of cost.

    • Hope
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Cameron, Brown andmClegg did. They unilaterally decided to give more of our taxes away! Idiots.

  5. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    It just goes to show how the government’s cultural enrichment programme via mass immigration is costing us dearly.
    Numbers in work rises and welfare rises exponentially giving the lie that immigrants finance our pensions.
    Per capita gdp going down and we’re all poorer.

  6. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    So the remainiacs have come clean at last. Making a bid to the Irish courts for a judgement being referred to the ECJ.
    Will it never end.

  7. rick hamilton
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Have you any idea what amount of state assets we ‘own’ per head?

  8. Mark B
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    This makes for horrendous reading.

    Despite spending large sums of money we still cannot address many of the problems that are facing the devolved nations of the UK.

    It is even worse when you consider, and I am not sure whether or not the TPA figures above take this into account, the following:

    1) The additional administrative costs of having their own devolved government.

    2) The UK (England) is a net contributor to the EU. What monies are returned to the EU in way of grants etc. plus any additional commitments the UK has to make on top of the aforementioned.

    3) Benefits that non-English UK residents receive (eg. university fees) which the UK does not.

    4) Immigration. England has far higher levels of immigration than the rest of the UK. The jobs market therefore is more competitive and, so too is the need for services. eg. NHS, schools, social and rental housing etc. This reduces the quality of life for English residence and financial advancement. ie We are all being dragged down to the lowest common denominator.

    5) Cost. It is far more costly to live in England, and especially London and the South East, than other parts of the UK. This reduces disposable income.

    And I am sure many here can find other reasons. So the more I know how much my country, England, is being pick-pocketed, the more independence whether it be via others leaving or England doing so becomes more and more appealing.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Sorry.
      3) . . . which the English do not receive.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      As you say “It is far more costly to live in England, and especially London and the South East, than other parts of the UK.”

      Indeed, which makes Osborne’s national minimum wage even more of an economic absurdity. Yet Hammond seems to like all this nonsense. He also seems to like his moronic sugar tax, stamp duty, his increasing insurance tax, his attacks on tenants, pension pots, his stamp duty at absurdly high rates and his IHT ratting.

  9. agricola
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    It demonstrates how government creates what in my view is a totally wrong type of society. Government is too heavily involved in peoples lives and systematically destroys self reliance. In doing so it creates dependency.

    Government fails to look after the really disadvantaged in society, such as veterans, the chronically sick, both mentally and physically, those in need of post hospital care, many elderly, while providing an unnecessary controlling blanket of involvement across society. While I give credit to the majority from overseas who come to work, it is Government’s creation that we see in the flood of the criminal and feckless from parts of the EU. Lest you are in doubt, there are reputed to be 13,000 of them in our prisons. How many are yet to be caught.

    While this may suit the controlling tendencies of Government, the net effect cripples the economy and destroys the character of the people. The only redeeming feature is that Government is too incompetent to achieve the full George Orwell effect.

    ,

  10. alan jutson
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Yes

    After paying in for 50 years, both my wife and myself are now retired, we are two of the costs, because we both have a State pension, and are thus taking out.

    We both think we have done our bit over the years to finance others.

    • alan jutson
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Ah almost forgot

      We may still pay eventually a net contribution, or at least our children will, via inheritance tax (if the present low unchanged for 8 years exemption rates continue)

      That is of course if we do not spend it in the meantime.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 11, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        Lots of ways round IHT unless you die unexpectedly, or as you say spend it. More perverse incentives from the UK’s daft fiscal system.

    • getahead
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      Alan, you are not taking out. If you are receiving the state pension that is because you have paid your National Insurance Contributions. These payments are your insurance premiums. You are not taking out. The government owes you.

      • alan jutson
        Posted December 11, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        getahead

        In principle you are absolutely correct, but of course those paying in finance immediately those who take out during the same week, because there is no pot of money set aside, just a record of contributions made.

        I could never understand why the State pension was not worked on a more simple arrangement.

        Say working life (contributions) 50 years would equal 2 percent of the state pension for each year of contributions made.

        Thus 100% pension after 50 years, 80% after 40 years etc.

        Quite why the government lowered the contribution time in years for a full pension entitlement, seemed a nonsense at the time.
        Especially when its short of money to finance the scheme.

  11. SM
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I was unbelievably thrilled to learn yesterday that my meagre tax payments have been spent by the DfID on building private hospitals in India and luxury shopping malls in Nigeria….not.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      And some restaurants in Cornwall providing unfair competition for the others!

      • alan jutson
        Posted December 11, 2016 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic

        Yes support one business, which will undermine another !

        I can see it, you can see it, thousands can see it, most politicians are blind to it.

    • Know-dice
      Posted December 12, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      You should ask Nick Clegg about that.

      He was “proud” that 0.7% of GDP should be spent on overseas aid.

      Ok, Nick where does that money come from? – Oh yes it’s borrowed by the UK tax payer…

  12. Anonymous
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    We should be reminded that:

    A) Most of us get paid from the state purse at some stage. Even in the private sector those serving people paid from the public sector are having a bit of it.

    B) So much for migrants paid under 40k putting back into the economy.

    This is just one huge communal launderette where we all do each other’s washing and use a joint credit card to pay for electricity and machines.

  13. Witch Doctor
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    “The largest individual budgets within the totals are welfare and the NHS, which between them make up half the total spend.”

    Our media every single day taps into the general hypochondria. It is the usual joke that if you believed everything the media says about food you would not eat anything at all.

    Well it’s not a joke. People believe health adverts and other propaganda.
    So prevent the media from its promotion of hypochondria and ailments. Disallow them from featuring resident doctors who deal with matters well outside their particular health training and education. Stop all the TV and magazine Health-Chefs. Within five years their prejudices against certain foods are found to be in error anyway.
    It cannot be denied that people suffering fro bulimia and other eating disorders received inspiration for their particular maladies directly or indirectly from a merciless and irresponsible media.
    “Stress”- education is another area where describing the symptoms seem to spread hysteria about stress and increase stress itself. Stress is normal! If you are asked to go exercise in a gym to reduce your stress or fat levels, don’t. Go get yourself a labouring job part-time and get paid for it dummy!

  14. Gotham City News
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    So Sky News blames Brexit for slavery and blames Russia for revealing perfectly innocent emails of Hillary Clinton as helping Trump to victory. TV News as kids’ comic.

    How long must we tolerate the BBC and Sky News, also CNN and still be expected to pay a TV licence and have our Service Providers pocket our monthly money for such utter tripe?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      You do not have to tolerate any of them. And only one you have to pay for whether you watch it or not.

      Time to make it all subscription and let the market / TV remote decide.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Especially given the endless advertising and product placements on the BBC.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      “UKIP came a distant second in Sleaford…” BBC.

      How blatantly biased. Why no mention of the Labour and Lib/Dem wipe out ?

  15. forthurst
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    “The gap between public and private sector pensions in Britain is the widest in the developed world..”
    “The UK is the only country where civil servants will enjoy pensions worth more than 100pc of their final salary, it said. Such arrangements will also apply to many other UK public sector workers as their pensions are equivalent to or more generous than civil servants’.”
    “By contrast a private sector worker can expect a pay cut of nearly 50pc with a total pension worth just over half (51.4pc) their final salary, assuming they retire at age 68.
    At 54.6 percentage points it means the gap between civil servants and private sector workers is more than twice the average across all OECD countries, where the difference is 20 percentage points wide.” OECD

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/08/uks-pension-apartheid-worst-developed-world-oecd-says/

    Meanwhile, my local hospital is constantly in the news for its malperformance (danger to patients), our borders are open to the whole world (except of course people who are so culturally compatible, they are indistinguishable from the natives), most of whom have nothing positive to offer other than ‘vibrancy’ in return for crowding our roads, schools, hospitals, housing whilst living on benefit topups provided by the hardworking English.

  16. Oggy
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    OT – I see more legal monkey business to prevent the UK leaving the EU is now coming from Ireland via some undemocratic UK remoaners.

    https://www.rte.ie/news/2016/1209/837852-article-50-challenge/

    Why can’t Parliament just bypass A50 and instead get on and repeal the 1972 act and just tell all these sorry pathetic bloody losers to stick the EU where the Sun doesn’t shine.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      The next problem will be getting Parliament to pass an Act to make it clear that it consents to the government triggering Article 50 and setting a deadline for that to be done. That may involve asking the Queen to create hundreds of new life peers to make sure that the Bill will get through the Lords, and I hope that Theresa May has started to draw up a list of suitable people to be ennobled for that purpose.

  17. Bert Young
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    The money should be “spent more wisely” – I agree ; it should also be distributed more evenly . Why should England not be able to enjoy the same “free” benefits that are available in Scotland ?. If there is a Union it should be in practice what it says . Each day I am annoyed at the utterances of that woman who pretends something that does not exist ; her quest for independence is something I would gladly give her just to get rid of her . The majority of the Scots – by opinion polling , seem to disagree with her .

    The enterprise and success of the Union in the future rests entirely on our overall ability to compete in free markets . Divisions will only disrupt this effort and ought to be eliminated . Those that aid and abet this must be treated as criminals .

    • JoolsB
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. England’s young, through their higher taxes of an extra 9p in the pound plus interest for most of their working lives to pay back their tuition fees, will be paying for the rest of the dis-UK’s young to carry on enjoying their free or heavily subsidised tuition fees.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      You have fallen into her trap. That being, to make life for the English in the Union so unbearable that they will either leave themselves or, make it easy for UK politicians to let them go without the usual political fallout.

      My choice is simple. National parliaments for all and a UK Senate with limited powers. National governments responsible for their own taxation and spending with some top-up from the Federal Government of say 2% of UK GDP maximum.

      If they cannot generate wealth and prosperity with that, what chance on their own ?

      So that and the nationalist cause is dead – forever !

      • JoolsB
        Posted December 11, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Totally agree. A National Parliament for England with the same powers as Scotland is long overdue but don’t expect any of our self-serving politicians with English Seats to call for one any time soon because they know full well the UK Parliament would then have to be greatly reduced in number. Turkeys voting for Christmas springs to mind.
        Let’s hope the new leader of UKIP keeps to his promise of an English Parliament and makes it a big part of their manifesto at the next election. They have also committed to ending the skewed Barnett Formula, something to their shame the Tories have failed to do. Let’s hope they pay the price at the next election along with the other anti-English parties, Labour and the Lib Dums.

  18. Kenneth
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Why is the State so large under a Conservative government?

  19. John B
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    And if every family were left with that £40 000, they could pay for their own health care insurance, education funds, buy other services such as policing, fire (both perhaps as part of home insurance packages), private bin collections, etc… in fact everything. (Like our ancestors used to before the State nationalised private life.)

    Given that a chunk of that £40K is to keep the people in government in a manner to which they are accustomed and to pay for the bureaucracy, subsidies and hand-outs to cronies and a sizeable chunk is inevitable waste, the cost to each family would be significantly less – making us all that much wealthier.

    The poor? Well people are generous and are more than capable of making provision for ‘the poor’ without the intervention of Government.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Indeed they could and they would spend it far more efficiently and wisely too.

  20. David Price
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    So where does this money to fund the state actually come from?

    Further, if jobs are becoming increasingly automated/robitisized where does that money come from in the future.

    Further still, what do you do with all the people who no longer work because their jobs got replaced by automation/robots?

    Such a trend might suggest that even if you reduced state wastage you are not going to reduce costs at all but increase them since the welfare bill will inevitably increase.

  21. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Following on my previous comment:

    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2016/dec/09/irish-courts-to-be-asked-to-intervene-in-brexit-legal-process-article-50

    “He has had to go through the Irish courts because UK judges have made every effort to keep the article 50 appeal out of the hands of European judges.”

    I hadn’t really noticed them making every effort in that direction, but if the Guardian says that they have then that must be true.

    “Maugham said: “Put aside the legal niceties. What no one can dispute is that there are incredibly important questions to answer.”

    Fascinating. Indeed this lawyer and others were not so concerned about “legal niceties” when the referendum Bill was going through Parliament, when even the QC who has now assumed the role of chief litigator on behalf of the bad losers in the referendum didn’t bother to use his position as an unelected legislator-for-life to question why the Bill was silent on what would follow on from the referendum. And if the vote had gone the other way I doubt we would now be pestered with hypocritical europhile lawyers vexatiously discovering more and more “legal niceties” to try to negate the result.

    If the government wants to be sure of bringing all vexatious court proceedings to a final halt, and so returning the issue to the political arena where it really belongs, then it will need to be very, very careful indeed how it words its proposed “one-line” Bill.

    • rose
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      “He has had to go through the Irish courts because UK judges have made every effort to keep the article 50 appeal out of the hands of European judges. ”

      No allowance made for a normal person reading this!

    • Mark B
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      This is what REALLY worries me – the ECJ.

      Nothing would be sweeter for the EU for the matter of a member country wanting to leave the EU, or any part of it like the Euro, to be settled elsewhere other than the country concerned and its people.

      There is a rising anti-EU sentiment on the continent and the EU would not hesitate to not only make an example of any member (eg. UK) but to strengthen its grip over ALL 28.

      The sooner Art.50 is declared the happier I will be.

      • Know-dice
        Posted December 12, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        May be the ECJ should just throw it back, how can they make a judgement when they have a vested interest?.

  22. Corbyn-in-a-box
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Corbyn’s public events have the aura even the detail of 1960s university sit-ins of the administration offices protesting…well, just protesting “find out when we get there comrades! ”
    You can see why Labour Party members above twenty-one years of age squirm whenever he appears, except young of head Labour front bench MPs in Parliament.

  23. Anglo-American
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    What perversion of normal politics of a leader in a democratic society is it that first takes court actions costing millions in recounts without reason in constituencies won of their victorious opponent…finds their opponent’s votes are actually increased in the recount and then gets their out-going personally headed security agencies to come up with daft claims that a foreign power was instrumental in convincing their own electorate to vote against and for your opponent without furnishing a shred of proof whatsoever because it’s “secret” and, it’s only a matter of professional “We’ve got a hunch” anyway? The Obama/Clinton Democratic Party. ( with assistance from the American Green Party who, got 1% of the vote.

    They are nearly as bad as Remoaners going crying, wailing, and sniffling biting their bottom lips to the High Court after they were flushed down into lavatorial history.

  24. oldtimer
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    OT: Just had a power cut of c20 minutes. I wonder if this is going to be the first of many as past (and so far present) governments have failed to put in place either an adequate energy policy, or even more important, adequate and reliable capacity despite billions being squandered on misplaced schemes to support an equally misplaced climate change agenda.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      @oldtimer. Yes agree.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/12/09/old-coal-beats-new-gas-subsidy-cash-keep-lights/

      Total nonsense. Just get fracking, stop all subsidies and get back to market forces. What with diesel generators and biomass burning wood the whole climate change religion is crap. All this renewable crap has cost us all a fortune and for intermittent power. No wonder we are all experiencing power cuts. Mind you, I would rather pay for coal than to pay for wind farms to switch off which happens all the time in Scotland.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 11, 2016 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Indeed a gross exaggeration, a industry funded by absurd grants, a bonkers religion and bogus (hugely exaggerated) science.

    • rose
      Posted December 10, 2016 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      We had one the other day – no explanation – and there was one in London on another day. Don’t remember this since the seventies.

  25. Qubus
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Off topic:
    Oh my dear. I have just been listening to Friday’s “Any Questions”. I really do wonder where the BBC gets its audiences from. They sound just like uninformed rowdies.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Also why do they choose such lefty loon PC staff and lefty loon panelists?

  26. Qubus
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, “Question Time”. I must have got so excited that I confused the titles!

  27. Peter Martin
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    This year the government will spend £11,763 per person, or £40,958 for every family in the UK.

    Well, yes, but where else, but Government spending, does money originate? If we look at the money in our wallets and purses, will either be genuine Government currency or counterfeit. If the money is in digital format the issuer will have to demonstrate the ability to make convert their issued currency for real Government currency.

    The pound is the monopoly issue of the UK government. It is an IOU. A tax voucher if you like.

    So as a currency issuer, the Government will always end up being in “debt”. The UK’s National debt is approximately 90% of GDP. In the USA it is 95%. In Germany it is 70%. Singapore 110%.

    If we wanted to live in a country with a low debt we could choose Equatorial Guinea with 4.3%. Would that be a good thing?

    So is the UK’s and the USA’s debt too high? Has the UK and USA issued too much money? If they had, we might inflation to be a problem. People would be rapidly exchanging their pounds and dollars for real things. Not because they needed them but because they had lost confidence in the purchasing power of those dollars and pounds.

    That would be the time to start putting on the squeeze and start to reduce the debt and the deficits.

  28. Peter Martin
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    “This does not of course include future state pension payments, which will fall to be paid for from future tax revenues. ”

    All Governments, including Mrs Thatcher’s, spend more than they “earn”. They don’t actually earn anything when you think about it. They just remove more or less money from the economy to stop us spending it! So tax revenues aren’t the limiting factor in what Government can “afford”.

    An increased number of elderly recipients of Government support need more real things. More food. More fuel etc So the challenge for any government is to ensure that when they go out to spend their government cheques, that there are enough real things for them to buy. Otherwise there will have to be a rationing mechanism. ie Inflation.

    So the economy needs to be in good shape. We need to maintain our productive capacity. We don’t just get inflation when there is too much money being spent. We get it when there are too few things to buy too.

  29. ian
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    The liberals own three parties in parliament that’s the house of commons and just bigger share in the lords and eu about the same.

  30. Beggar me
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    All this talk of Mrs. May’s clothes. The media puts it down to a paternalistic or patriarchal society. Mrs Thatcher was known for her handbags. I guess if it were a matriarchal society the size of a man’s wallet would come to the fore. Corbyn wears bike clips. You feel when passing him you should give him enough coins for a cup of tea and perhaps a bowl of soup at the Sally Army if Christmastime.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Blokes don’t want to discuss May’s clothes.

      It is purely women writing for women who are interested in such things – and then they blame men for it, in the same way they blame men for everything. There are whole TV and radio programmes which are dedicated to women blaming men for things.

      I am a bloke. I am not the slightest bit interested in Mrs May’s trousers. OK ?

      Nor was I the slightest bit interested in what Lady Di was wearing. The papparazi hounded her because women wanted to read about her – and gays too (Elton !)

      Stand in any bar. You will not hear men talking about what shoes Mrs May was wearing at a conference. If they did they’d get looked at in a very funny way. It’s women who comment on that sort of thing and women who are interested in hearing about that sort of thing (or gays.)

  31. Northerner
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    No-one has suggested Russia covertly influenced the Brexit ballot. It has been suggested though that those who voted for it are alien , and somewhat foreign to the norm, being working class, ill-educated ( not college educated ), men, old men, white old men, uneducated working class white old men and MOST of them living UPNorth , simply miles away my dear from Cosmopolitan London. Little wonder Cromwell only stationed four soldiers to sort out any trouble north of the Watford Gap. Two of their horses were resting injured legs in what is now still a barn near the village of Silkstone, Barnsley. Things rarely change up north except pub landlords.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 11, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Not yet!

  32. Lawless
    Posted December 11, 2016 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    A cap should be placed on the earnings of those in the legal profession. Their salaries and other benefits considerably reduced.

    I guess I am less than average intelligence; have virtually no qualifications;have less than average formal education; no trade; no business acumen; lousy writer-communicator. I should not have been able to understand the utterances of all in the Supreme Court. Of course I could not know about the substance in batches of knowledge in cases with which as legal people they were familiar. But for all that, I understood the biggest part of everything they droned on about. They did not appear to be making it simple for general consumption.Wordy.
    Well, they are poor communicators; engage in circular arguments; do not stick to the point; do not appear to have any knowledge whatsoever of how Law should work in a modern state; break their own rules, laid down by themselves, in the same day, and do not appear to realise it; their arguments in that they had any proper ones,were all over the place: a mess, lacking any degree of succinctness and certainty; implausible.
    I have not come across a more unprofessional set of alleged professionals in any walk of life except of course in Local Authorities.But even there, only in certain departments.

    We need less barristers, courts, judges, and those people who adjust their high chairs for them. There are too many laws, too many restrictions, too many limits on this and that. With less immigrants, the legal profession can go pulling up carrots to fill in their spare time or strawberry picking…they’re useful! They can talk around in big circles and smoke pipes to keep their jaws exercised if they so wish at lunch-half-hour ( Yes, it’s 30 minutes in the real world Mi’Luds, not two darned hours and a fortune in salary )

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

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