Let’s end austerity

Many readers will know that I was critical of Mr Osborne’s austerity policy. It was always more based on increased tax revenues than on cutting spending, but it ground on with the rhetoric of cuts. The growth in spending on overseas aid,  EU contributions, pensions and welfare placed more of a strain on some other important programmes. Today I want us to end the rhetoric of austerity, and to ensure decent levels of funding for those important parts of the public sector that are finding it difficult to manage. I also want to see the Manifesto policies on social care and pensioners revised, as I said before the vote.

It is true that total spending on the NHS and on schools went up, but the cumulative impact of  low real increases in areas under pressure of numbers now requires more of an increase. I have been arguing for some time for more cash for schools in Wokingham and West Berkshire, and other similarly placed fast growth areas with low current levels of per pupil funding. I have also argued for more money for social care, to relieve more of the pressures on NHS hospital beds and provide more back up for the elderly and infirm in their own homes. I expect more money to be f0rthcoming. We could start to spend the saved net contributions to the EU, which  should materialise in twenty months time.

I see no need to impose new taxes or raise individual tax rates to do this. The budget deficit is now under good control. What we need instead is a combination of tax and other economic policies that help lift the growth rate a bit, which in turn will bring in more revenue. There are as I have often argued tax rates that could be lowered to foster more tax collection.  Treasury orthodoxy seems to think that even a few hundred million pounds extra spending, a small sum in relation to the total budget, needs to  be offset by specified tax increases. Whilst accepting that some taxes collect more at lower rates, they still do not  have working accurate models to show just how much CGT, Stamp Duty and other similar taxes can increase with a sensible rate. Given the huge inaccuracies in the Treasury forecasts of tax revenue their precision over sums that need to be raised are within the rounding error or may simply be wrong.   What we need to ensure is a livelier rate of tax revenue growth, which can best come from lower rates where taxes are easily avoidable, and from a range of policies that can spur a better economic performance. These include policies to promote better public sector productivity performance, more productive investment, embracing the digital revolution in the public sector as well as stimulating it in the private sector, and improving transport and broadband infrastructure.

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230 Comments

  1. eeyore
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    “Let’s end Austerity”. Voters seem to agree with you – on the face of it. My fear is that every time government solves its problems by throwing public money at them, further commitments are created which cannot be removed. It’s so easy to make government bigger, so hard to make it smaller again.

    Somehow the principle seems wrong. I wonder whether the emphasis on the role of policies and manifestoes in politics is not in fact misplaced. Perhaps voters last week simply sought a leader. Having found one, they would be content to be led.

    The surface qualities of leadership – cheerfulness, consistency, energy, courage – were visible in one candidate only. How is a fundamental leadership collapse in government to be addressed by policies of “embracing, stimulating and improving”?

    • leavewon
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      eeyore
      Yes, quite important.
      It’s amazing that the polits don’t realise that the populace can read weak, corrupted leaders.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      The surface qualities of leadership – cheerfulness, consistency, energy, courage were all missing in May (and also in Corbyn) but more to the point they both were heading in the totally wrong direction economically. Corbyn worse than May but both socialists.

  2. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    JR we can see that you are beginning to get it. However with Mrs May’ s choice of a former student politician, who has never had a proper job, as chief of staff her attempts to re-connect with the voters have failed from day one.

    If you want to stop the spectre of Corbynism just admit that the neo-liberal economic experiment has failed. It was obvious to most people that it died in 2008 and the voters told you last week that they are not feeling any meaningful recovery from it either . Just look at one of its main tenets, the plentiful supply of labour. You can stop the non EU element of mass immigration from today. Once the numbers go down the pressure on housing and wages go down with it. Cutting the corporate welfare bill of job subsidy through tax credits would also probably fund a fee free university system. Germany has just about ended fees and in comparison to those states that still charge, like Switzerland and Holland, England’s are extortionate. Outside of the ivy league schools they are even more costly than American universities. Student debt or no student debt you need to point out that the kids only have a 50% chance of landing a “graduate” job, Many should be encouraged to get a trade instead and stop thinking that you must go to university. Open their eyes to reality. An arts degree usually leads to poorly paid work in a bookshop. The really clever kids who get an apprenticeship will fill the chronic skills shortage in the UK and will be rewarded accordingly.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      Dame Rita.

      I couldnt agree more! I think many young people feel they have to go to Uni because their friends are going. It also seems fashionable to take trendy degrees in the Arts, also Phsycology seems very popular among the ones I talk to. These degrees so often do not lead to a well paid job, but the person has to take a job – if they can get it- in an entirely different field, often low paying. Meanwhile they are saddled with debt, to pay for their degree . I know someone who took a degree in Media and Design and ended up working in a Job Centre, among those who didnt even have A Levels.

      I blame Politicians who pushed the idea that every young person should have a University education. As if that is the only route to success in ones life.

      • Hope
        Posted June 13, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Blaire wanted to increase the age young people stayed in education to decrease unemployment. The Tories have done nothing to change this or the poor education provided to young people. They want everyone to have a rubbish education. Bring back Grammars. These young people need separating so the disruptive ones are separated from those who want to learn. Those who should be in special schools or social service care are not the failing school problem. Nor should we pay a fortune for kids who cannot speak English. This all distracts from providing a better education but makes them welfareLabour dependants.

    • Hope
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Dame Rita, so pleasing to read your view. We could of course remind JR, that we were promised by poisonous Osborne the cuts to be made in 2010 and before, including the bonfire of quangos. Instead the number has risen. The overseas aid give away is so out of kilter with public opinion, the PFI debacle implemented by Labour cuts right into public service budgets that it cannot afford. How about changing the £80 billion loan to fund scheme to banks why has this not shrunk to give savers a better rate as banks readjust their balances? Might help the elederly? How about all this help to buy homes ad provide housing to foreigners, why not help the elderly and our own citizens? Why provide free university tuition to EU citizens and not our own? If Scotland is allowed to make its own decision on key areas why not England? Why did Cameron lie about giving us EVEL and then produced a sham. Why impose expensive mayors when the public rejected them? Start listening to your core vote, do not make opinions without evidence like the current media.

      Today we read May is going to get rid of her grammar school policy, why? Davis to adhere to the EU’s schedule of divorce bill before trade! Brexit should remain as it is based on the campaigns from conservative and Labour. Labour already changing their minds this morning, Gardener contradicting McDonnell. It did not take long. Good grief, if she listens to extreme left wing liberals like Morgan and Soubry your party is dead. As for Osborne, the posh kid did not get his way and is having a tantrum. Who cares what he thinks. He is showing his true disloyal colours.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      DRW

      Pretty much nailed it there on the job/qualification front. Thank you

    • English Pensioner
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately a past government decided to close all the Technical Colleges and convert them to pseudo-universities. There is now nowhere for our children to study practical subjects, so apprenticeships, without the college support and the ability to obtain formal qualifications, seem to be rather pointless.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      I may be wrong but wasn’t the concept behind the tax credit system that taxes should not cut in in a single step, which at the time meant people were better off not working than accepting a low wage. Intended effect: more people in work, reduction iin living off welfare as a way of life. At the time the concept seemed to me to be fair and sensible. The problem seems to be that implementation (Brown) departed a long way from the concept, the intention was lost to sight, and successive governments (including Tories) added further layers of complication and fiddled with thresholds and so on.
      I think we need comprehensive review of taxation and public levies such as Green energy based on a few fundamental principles, including requiring rigorous answers to questions such as why is a tax in existence at all, and does it in practice achieve the intended effect? Both axe and scalpel are required.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    There will have been a huge drop in buinsess confidence caused by May’s appalling election result and May’s had a hugely anti-business agenda, even before the eleciton. We have, I suppose, just avoided Corbyn’s let copy Venezuela agenda, but this may still follow given how weak and unstable the position is now.

    Business just want the government to leave them alone and let them get on with running their businesses. They want cuts in red tape, cheap energy, more competitive banking, to simplify employment laws and reduce and simplify taxes. May Hammond (and Osborne before them) were delivering the complete opposite. Even moronic things like gender pay reporting and worker on company board were threatened by her!

    The DUP seem to want lower simpler taxes, cut in red tape, redutions in VAT for the tourist industry and the abolition of the regressive and anti-competitive BBC licence fee tax. Good let us hope they can force May’s idiotic socialism out of her.

    I see May had brought Gove back. A funny confused chap, sound in so many ways yet then he had a brain storm and calls for VAT on private school fees! Grammar schools seem to be dead though now.

    The NHS is a basket case and can never work as currently stuctured it is not just more money it needs. What is needed is more people to pay for private medical cover and for the NHS to start to chage. Tax reliefs for private medical cover are needed and abolition of the 12% IPT that Hammond increased.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Michael Gove does seem to be relatively sound on Climate Alarmism and so should be a far better choice as environment secretary than any of the dreadful people we have had in the environment, climate change or energy departments for many years. But then we still have the essentially a LibDem, Greg Clark at Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

      JR, will this new weakened government actually be able to get the boundary changes through? This is surely vital before the next election.

      Without Gove’s foolish knifing of Boris we would never have had to suffer May’s lefty incompetence and total political ineptitude and we would not now be in this appalling position. Gove has much to answer for.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        Boris would have have lost as well. He would have maintained the same shop soiled economic agenda. Get with it, the crony capitalist neo Lib era is drawing to end. Losing last week was probably the best thing that happened to Corbyn, as you can guarantee the final blow out will happen on Mrs May’s watch. Then the frightened and naive will go rushing to Corbyn, just as they did to Hitler and Lenin in similar periods of economic distress.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          Corbyn was indeed very lucky to lose as he could never have delivered even 1% of his rubber cheque promises – student debt right offs, student fees, the NHS, free child care, nationalisation of everything, 4 more bank holiday, better pay for everyone ……

          Boris is a proven winner even in London which is rather lefty wing as we saw in this election. May is a dithering, lefty, tedious, slow, out of touch, ex(?) remainer. One who even wants “to build on EU employment rights”, kill the gig economy, NI mug the self employed, increases taxes, enforce gender pay reporting and even gave the go ahead to project as daft as Hinkley and Hs2.

          Almost any of the leavers would have been better than May she is not even in the right party for he beliefs, she is a Libdim at heart.

          Given the mess May has left it is even harder to see a way to avoid Venezuela now.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

            Then again if the Tories can hold on for 5 years Corbyn will be 73 and doubtless even dafter.

        • Hope
          Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

          Gove is a big mistake. Irrespective of his alleged talents he is quite rightly tainted by the public as a back stabber not to be trusted. A stupid appointment. He is a liability. One mistake (deliberate or unwitting) and everyone will jump to the conclusion it is in his DNA to be untrustworthy.

          Sadly I fear there will be another atrocity. People still suffering from the last two. No action taken to prevent another one. May’s appalling record as HS hit her and your party hard and it will become clear Rudd has followed her inept path for a left wing liberal agenda. We want to be safe not maimed or killed through politically correct paralysis. No secure borders, no control orders, cannot deport terrorists, cannot lock potential terrorists, will not take action to stop radicalization i.e. Ban burka, shit down Trojan horse schools, Mosques that preach hate, arrest those who promote ISIl as shown by channel four programme. Your govt appears ineffectual apologist and useless at keeping us safe which is its primary job!

        • Mitchel
          Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

          And the parties in the post Thatcher period-the same thing in different coloured packaging-have done their utmost to vindicate Lenin’s curt dismal of representative democracy/constitutional monarchy-

          “The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class shall represent them in parliament”.

          “What is to be done?”(which I am sure Mr Corbyn will have read)

          • Mitchel
            Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

            “dismal” should read “dismissal”

          • Dame Rita Webb
            Posted June 13, 2017 at 5:15 am | Permalink

            I have still got my copy from Progress Publishers in Moscow. The leftie who was teaching me this stuff sold out as they all do in the end and now has a knighthood.

        • acorn
          Posted June 12, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          Dame Rita, you need to read some MMT literature. Both the Conservative Party AND the Labour party follow the neo-liberal agenda; as does the EU. Labour just applies it softer than the Conservatives. Sadly, censorship has not allowed you an insite into how a fiat currency economy actually works.

          JR does not allow on this site, criticism of the Thatcher / Reagan era and the introduction of “Chicago School Neo-liberalism”, to the Anglo-Saxon West. I am band from suggesting that three and a half decades of Thatcherism, fully embedded in today’s Conservative Party, has put us where we are today.

          • Dame Rita Webb
            Posted June 13, 2017 at 5:19 am | Permalink

            I would classify modern monetary theory about as reliable as the ideas of V I Lenin. You are wrong about JR to, everyday for years he publishes my criticisms of the neo lib agenda

          • Edward2
            Posted June 13, 2017 at 5:20 am | Permalink

            I’ve read loads of posts from you acorn extolling the virtues of your own economic theory so your claim of censorship doesn’t stand up.

          • Peter Martin
            Posted June 13, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            I have to agree with Edward2 that JR is doesn’t censor alternative views on his blog. Some of my posts have sometimes been a little slow being accepted but they always are.

            I’m broadly in agreement with what Acorn calls the MMT school of thought. I do have some reservations but its quite applicable to all political views. If anyone wants to have a smaller government then they need to know how the economy works to achieve that without putting the economy into deep recession.

            Much lower taxes are the MMT answer! That should be popular with everyone except maybe the hard left!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        If you think back to last July most of the Tory party, both inside and outside Parliament, and indeed most of the country in general, were relieved when Theresa May emerged as a kind of compromise leader to quickly end the chaos created when Cameron once again went back on his word and resigned after losing the EU referendum.

        And I don’t think she was a bad choice at the time – it is possible to have a sincere change of mind, deciding that as the people have voted to leave the EU then that is what should happen, and you should do your best on that, even if you previously spoke and voted against it during the referendum – and nor do I think there is any obviously better replacement available now.

        And if she was replaced as Tory leader, what would the opposition parties and their mass media allies say about that? Of course they would complain that we now had another unelected Prime Minister with no mandate blah blah blah and so logically there should be another general election.

        Leaving aside the question of the possible outcome of that repeat general election, what about the negotiations with the EU which are scheduled to start in just days?

        • Know-Dice
          Posted June 13, 2017 at 6:27 am | Permalink

          Simples Denis, Mrs May needs to resign BEFORE the EU negotiations start and be replaced by either Boris or David Davis (I don’t have any opinion as to which would be best) but certainly she [Mrs May] is NOT the one to fix the situation that she got herself and the County in to 🙁

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 13, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

            So before we start formal negotiations with the EU the Tory party, and the country as a whole, should waste more time sorting out another unelected leader and Prime Minister.

          • Know-Dice
            Posted June 14, 2017 at 6:04 am | Permalink

            @ DC
            Do you have any confidence that Mrs May and her “remainer team” can sort this out?

            I just feel that she shouldn’t start something that she will not be able to take to completion.

    • rose
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      The DUP want less bloated government too.

  4. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Good luck persuading Mt Hammond to take up any of those suggestions, he seems to be a keen tax raiser. The DUP seem to have some decent low tax policies in some areas so maybe there is hope.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      Hammond is a lefty tax increaser at heart, a puppet of the treasury bureaucrats. He is anti-business and pro tax complexity. We had the new probate tax proposals, he is still ratting in the £1M IHT thresholds, he tried to increased NI for the self employed (ratting on the manifesto promise), increased IPT to 12%, did nothing on the absurd stamp duty rates and made many other back door tax increases.

      He should go, we need a pro-business, confidence building, chancellor with a lower tax vision. Not another tax borrow and piss down the drain merchant.

      The DUP should be a positive influence in this area.

      • Hope
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        The economy is insignificant to our safety. Unfortunately there wo atrocities happened during the campaign exposing May’s poor record. Once more highlighting cuts to police numbers while giving away billions to unnecessary causes and vanity projects. No values, no priorities, no convictions in belief other than politically correct dogma for minority causes excluding the majority and core voters.
        Scrapp: overseas aid to humanitarian cases only. Then direct all funding through British business or consultants.
        Cut bank to lending scheme. They are private business, sink or swim you had your help from the taxpayer.
        Bonfire of quangos. Cut expense of local authorities making them all unitary and of similar size. Cap public service pay to the PM as promised. Scrap mayors they add nothing. We do not want or need England to be regionalise it will only bring about Balkanization and division.
        Scrap HS2 expensive and unnecessary.
        Change energy policy to save billions.
        Many more suggestions to cut public spending and direct it towards good causes i.e. Adult social care.

        • Bob
          Posted June 13, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

          @Hope
          All good conservative principles, which is why there is no chance that the Tories would adopt them.

          Experienced and numerate Tories such as our kind host are kept on the back benches where they have no direct influence over the front bench proponents of tax & spend, so I’m afraid that the various consultants and quangocrats that prosper under the current govt have nothing to fear.

      • Chris
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Re your last sentence, I sincerely hope so. I believe Hammon is an inept Chancellor and certainly not what the country needs or deserves. I would look no further than our host as a replacement.

      • stred
        Posted June 13, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        LL. Reading our local landlord’s advice sheet belatedly, there was a special surcharge in CGT for rental properties and possibly second homes of 8%. This on top of the 3% surcharge on stamp duty. In their survey, sent to 3000 landlords 30.8% had reduced their portfolio in the past year and 58.9% plan to do so in the next 3 years. A total of 1449 tenants would lose their home. Landlords thinking of buying are finding it impossible to make a return of 4% and cover borrowings.

        Hammond and the civil service have killed the BTL market and prices are now falling. My 31 year old friend has spent 5 years saving for a deposit and has just bought a little flat for a price around 5 times that which I paid for my 4 bedroom house 25 years ago. I have not mentioned the fall in prices to him and hope he will not be in negative equity soon.

        Re Southern Landlords Assn May edition.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      I had to google what DUP was.

      Great result!

      • nigel seymour
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        I had to google who Anonymous was..so?

  5. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Well! This is a welcome change in rhetoric, from being supportive, while regularly, pointing out the increased expenditure to overtly calling for more spending.

    Might I suggest that you urge your government to move spending priorities around rather than calling for more total money. Government has plenty of money with which to deliver its programme, it just chooses to spend much unwisely.

    Before giving more more for schools, fix the 3% used to prop up teacher’s pension payments. Remove interpreters and other concessions to those who arrive uninvited. Before giving the NHS more money collect that which is owed by health tourists and others who are not entitled to use it for free. Introduce a deposit for appointments which is forfeit when missed. Then review what funding is really required

    As you pointed out yesterday, 13.7 million people voted to keep public spending in check.

    Reply I have been calling for this for more than two years! I ran on the slogan Prosperity not austerity in 2015 and 2017.

    • eeyore
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Further reflection on JR’s post, as well as on the comments here so far, makes me wonder whether this might not be a good time to address the perennial problem in the electoral cycle which puts Labour in to trash, burn and bankrupt, and leaves the Conservatives to earn the nation’s resentment by having to sweep up the mess.

      No wonder Labour gets all the affection and the Tories all the stick.

      Perhaps we might now see a Tory government which gives itself the liberty to behave as Labour habitually does, so Mr Corbyn and colleagues will have no choice but to do some disagreeable dirty work for a change when their turn comes.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        Eeyore

        I have always said just this. The Labour party gets us into a financial mess and the Tories dig us out but just as they begin to actually get somewhere the voters get fed up, the Tories just go a bit over the top on austerity and we are back to square one with the Labour party giving it all away again. No wonder we don’t seem to get anywhere.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 13, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

        How do you address this?

        Perhaps teach people some sound economics, rather than the Magic Money Tree big government agenda much loved of the BBC? Get rid of the daft climate alarmist religion in schools (and on the BBC) and replace it some reality in science, maths, business and economics.

        Increase the voting age to 25 perhaps or limit it to people who pay more than a certain sum in tax? Not very easy to see how we avoid this cycle!

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Thank you for the reply Mr Redwood

      Unfortunately due to the nature of party politics you must be tarred with the same brush as your party despite your prosperity not austerity campaigning. I acknowledge that you use this site regularly to show that we are not cutting and often reply to posts emphasising that you would rather spend more productively.

      However…. your party, Parliament and the electorate are wedded to tax, spend and waste.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 13, 2017 at 6:35 am | Permalink

        Tax, borrow and waste!

    • Dennis
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply: JR doesn’t tell us where the fuel for this prosperity fundamentally comes from – obviously he has no idea and therefore very dangerous for future generations. can you tell me JR?

      His ‘more prosperity’ is just another money tree.

      • Bob
        Posted June 13, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        ” tell us where the fuel for this prosperity fundamentally comes from”

        by taking the brakes off of the economy, as has been advocated many times on this website, most frequently by Lifelogic.

        High taxes dampen economic activity.

  6. Caterpillar
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    … And agree to leave the Customs Union well inside 20 months so that business has time to adjust, so that Dr Fox’s position meaningful and to indicate the EU stance of nothing is agreed until everything is agreed is a nonstarter. Progress not progressive please.

  7. Richard1
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    ‘End austerity’ in Labour / BBC speak doesn’t mean tax cuts it means borrow more to increase public spending, mainly in the form of increasing public sector pay, with a focus on the NHS. In fact ‘ending austerity’ is prefectly compatible with substantial tax increases in mr Corbyn’s view.

    Watching New Labour types like chukka umuma and Yvette cooper recant and discover a sudden agreement with Corbyn’s nonsense is amusing, as they try to ingratiate themselves with the new leftist zeitgeist. Will they have to write letters of self criticism such as Stalin required? I hope so although they should recall that once branded an enemy of the people there was no way back. It will be Interesting to see how many Labour MPs have the guts and principles to reject the corbynisation of their party. I would have hopes for the likes of Frank field and Kate Hoey, but I fear the rest of the ‘scabs’ and the ‘red tories’ will be silent (until they are deselected).

  8. Jerry
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Many words John, to basically say, ‘The electorate do not believe nor want our policies, we need to change!’

    Not only must “Austerity” go but much else besides, for example you say that total spending has risen on the NHS but how much of that extra spending reached the front line, or even the second line, not just in the last seven years but the last 30, much gets wasted on pointless box-ticking back office duty and staff (the same has happened with the police and local authorities) and then management in an attempt to try and boost the front line cash their existence has removed the public have stealth taxes imposed, be they NHS patient/visitor parking fees, police revenue raising policing or charges for LA services that have already been paid for once by way of the Council Tax and/or UBRs.

    I predict this is your parties last chance to reform, Brexit won’t save you because other parties were either eurosceptic before you or have accepted the will of the electorate.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 13, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Jerry

      You are absolutely right about the waste of money on “back office ” functions and admin in the NHS

      Therefore it makes one wonder why you are such a staunch advocate of £10 NMW , increased ENI, Workplace Pensions, diversity regulations etc etc ALL of which drain the NHS of cash.

      You see all this demand for “free” services costs, all the lets tax this that and the other stuff never factors in that the reason that government never raise as much as they think they will is because a huge percentage of it is government paying government and raising the compliance costs means that the front line is starved. We have been trying to tell you this about our businesses too so I’m glad you’ve finally got it Jerry

      • Jerry
        Posted June 13, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        @libertarian; You are trying to conflate two totally different issues, unless Walter you really do think that these back office ‘managers’ etc. are getting nothing more that the NMW like some on the front line do.

  9. alan jutson
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Just out of interest John, does the government know how much in total it pays out in student loans/grants each year.
    How much is lost through lack of/avoidance of payment (foreign students) which is written off each year

    If it is the same as or even near to the sum of fees, then surely one of the sensible solutions would be no (or very low) actual university fees to be charged at all, but the student funds everything else like , books, material living costs etc completely themselves.

    Can we also condense some of theses university courses into fewer years duration.

  10. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    As Dame Rita writes above some government spending can be reduced at a stroke by cutting imported population growth sharply.

    It is simplistic but true that as the number of heads rise spending must go up by more than inflation or the per capita expenditure must decrease with commensurate reduction in the quality of service.

    Taking the two most obvious areas (although internal security has been quite evident of late) schools and the NHS have outcomes entirely dependant on spend per user. More users require ever greater expenditure.

    The only demographic to benefit from uncontrolled immigration is business whose labour and training costs are greatly reduced. The general population loses as living costs increase and taxes rise to pay for this subsidised labour.

    I propose a levy paid by the employer on any immigrant earning less than the median wage or who is eligible for any taxpayer provided benefit. Otherwise we are merely importing poverty.

    There are plenty of young or disabled who could easily be trained to do the work currently undertaken by immigrants. Our productivity may even rise as employers actually invest in their workforce.

  11. alan jutson
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Could not agree more that the NHS, Schools and Social Care need more money, as I suggested in my postings last week, but what we do not want is for it to be simply hosed down the drain.

    We all know the NHS is inefficient, anyone who has been unfortunate enough to require hospital treatment will recognise that fact.
    Clinical treatment is usually good, but all other aspects seem poor, with huge delays/cancellations and inefficient working.

    In this day and age a local large Hospital uses supermarket trollies to move around huge patient paperwork files from one department to another, they are then piled on desks and floors until used.

    The simple fact is that the total population has been growing very fast for the last 20 years, and that is the primary reason why the services cannot cope, but no one wants to seem to admit it.

    I agree with LL if you allow tax relief on School fee’s, Medical insurance then you take those people out of the main State system, VAT on private school fees will simply add thousands of more student s to the State system at a cost to the taxpayer of £6,000 on average each.
    Contrary to much opinion many parents with kids at private school are not rich, they just have a different priority of spending their money.

    Why not encourage business to enrol their workers automatically in private medical schemes by letting them offset the cost against profits (normal business expense)

    Last but not least, use 75% of the Foreign Aid budget to help pay for it.
    For decades we all know vast sums have been hosed down the drain or into corrupt peoples pockets worldwide to no good effect, so whats wrong with using it at home to save us from plundering other countries of some of their skilled labour so they can develop their own Country with their own people, rather than our endless supply of cash.

    Enlarge and increase our medical trading schemes, all students can study for free as long as they sign up to commit at least 5 years to the NHS full time after training, so they do not simply go abroad afterwards.
    The armed forces already have such schemes when you sign up for a number of years service.

  12. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Had Mrs. May manifested to scrap the 0.7% foreign aid act and gone on a project by project and disaster aid only policy the Conservatives would have won the election in my opinion.

    This strident ignorance of the popular opinion that the currently system is grossly wasteful, incompetent and corrupt coupled with the old fashioned notion that charity begins at home and we can’t afford it will be a litmus test as to whether she can really get the message of today’s politics.

    As I recall Nigel Lawson reducing income tax to 20% and 40% in the 1980s greatly increased the take by promoting growth and reducing evasion.

    • rose
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      They say Ruth Davidson persuaded her to keep the Foreign Aid arrangement. They are telling us RD should be the next Conservative leader, she who thinks the DUP can and wants to overturn Mrs May and Miss Featherstone’s homosexual marriage reform.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Dear A. Sedgwick–Absolutely right that we would have won but for the foreign aid throwaway–It is not too late to force this out. We now have a PM who really believes neither in Brexit nor the enforced revised Manifesto. Rather than change horses in midstream, as we would otherwise almost certainly have to, we should get astride Boris now; none of that 15% election nonsense—look where that got us last time.

  13. mickc
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    May is incapable of change, as is Hammond. Austerity will be continued, with higher taxes and more regulation.
    By the time of the next election, voters will be ready for a change.

    • Slim Jim
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Who do you think is going to bring that change about? Labour? Even more tax and regulation would be on the cards! I think the current government will have to change, and that has been indicated already by a reduction in the Queen’s Speech. I’m afraid the election manifesto produced by Mrs. May was most unlike a Conservative one in many respects. If she doesn’t change, then the men in grey suits will come knocking on her door!

    • John C.
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      There is a built-in restlessness among voters, who are eventually always ready to try something new, so, unless the Tories do present a very different image soon, Corbyn will be voted in.
      The seem to me to have to get this right: 1) they need a new leader and a new image and direction and 2) they must at all costs avoid another election until this new leader establishes him/herself, and has devised a programme that will undercut and deal with the Corbyn free-for-all.

  14. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    We can spend some of the net EU contribution……
    But there won’t be any net gain. With Sourbry on BBC this morning telling how we have voted to stay in the single market and customs union although we will be leaving the EU. We will have to accept the 4 freedoms and be bound by the ECJ.
    The only difference being we will have no Commissioner or MEPs.
    So really May has got her way and we will be staying in the EU in all but name.
    I see she has ditched some of her socialist manifesto but retains the aid promise.
    That is going to cost you the next election.

    • rose
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Look up who Mrs Soubry’s partner is.

    • Hope
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Manifesto states EU spending in spirit of partnership as well as legal liabilities! Again, has she lost leave of her senses! People read this against losing their homes and kids losing school meals! FFS. Wake up.

    • NickC
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Ian, I think you are right. Of course Soubry is just peddling her usual Remain propaganda. Both main parties agreed to leave (ie not remain partly in the EU).

      As a UKIP supporter I held my nose and voted Tory so we could really leave. I won’t be doing that again if we remain in the single market/customs union.

      May has just overtaken Cameron in the Odious Stakes Handicap. All she has to do to overtake Bliar is to surround herself with Remains. Ohh …………….

  15. Peter D Gardner
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Somewhat surprised to read a diary by John Redwood advocating more government spending, even though he believes it can be done without raising taxes. Surely there is already too much government. Over have of households in UK are net beneficiaries of the public purse. the presumption that it is up to the state to fix any and every issue is already too prevalent. If we want to be an independent minded country we need to inculcate independence and self-reliance, innovativeness, a sense of individual responsibility and patriotism throughout our society. The state must be shrunk. It should do only the things that cannot otherwise be done well and only to the extent that is necessary. It should not the first port of call for all our needs, individual or collective.
    We voted for Brexit because there is no other way of starting to build this kind of nation in UK. Our priority is freedom and wealth creation, not higher state spending.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      ‘Over half of households in UK are net beneficiaries of the public purse’

      More accurately too many businesses rely on ‘in work’ benefits in order to pay low wages. That was the purpose of these benefits in the first place, to provide a decent life for workers which many businesses do not see as their responsibility. Businesses who cannot afford to be in business should not be subsidised by the tax payers. Too many zombie firms are being supported. Your sentence regarding being independent, self reliance etc supports this view. As Welfare is the largest part of government expenditure, this is where the cuts should come. Brown should never have started it in the first place and it will be very difficult to wean firms off it.

      • ian wragg
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        This of course was Browns idea when credits were introduced, get as many depending on the state as possible and they become potential labour voters.
        This morning we heard the reps of business telling how we need to continue our open borders so they can survive. Bringing in cheap unskilled workers to be subsidised by the taxpayer.
        I hope that if we ever leave the EU, all inwork and child benefits will be stopped for foreigners and they will have to pay for health and schooling. Just like I had to when working overseas for 20 plus years

      • Cliff. Wokingham.
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        You may be partly correct however, because as a country, we expect the state to do so much for us, we could never be competitive in the real market. If a country has people who are able to work for a dollar a day, how can we compete with that? Also bear in mind that, not everyone has the brain or ability to do high skilled work just as people cannot afford to work for the national minimum wage and live in the south or London.
        In my opinion, in work benefits are just a vehicle for wealth redistribution but in time, our entire system will come crashing down.

        We need to cut the size of the state but in order to do that, we need the people, the media and politicians to have a sensible grown up debate and I would suggest there is little chance of that happening!

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        I think the minimum wage rising to £10 will go some way to weaning firms off working tax credits, as long as the clamour for tax credits to keep rising is resisted.

        The median wage (and thus the measure of “relative” poverty) will rise as minimum wage rises and so there will still be plenty of people under the median wage and therefore in “relative” poverty. The left will expect them to continue to be subsidised.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Businesses do not as you put it “rely on in work benefits” – but what is the point of paying someone £1000 more if they only keep £20 of it! They do not thank you and your business has £1000 less to invest or loses business to competitors as it has to charge more.

        The reality is they have to pay the going rate as they are in a competitive market, if they pay more they go out of business or just get taken over by someone who will not more than the going rate! It is the daft government system that is the problem as usual.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted June 13, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          Lidl pays more than the going rate @LL

          In my area Sainsburys employs the older workers who work well and require less supervision are more than the going rate, Tesco pays the going rate and gets what it pays for and Lidl asks its staff to go above and beyond (which they do) but pays them for it. Lidl gets the pick of the crop because it pays well.

          Good business recruitment determines what value the role can bring and then pays (and trains) accordingly to deliver that value.

        • graham1946
          Posted June 13, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          They pay the going rate which is distorted by in work benefits which obviously subsidises firms. I don’t think people on minimum wage would get only £20 from £1000, or even £100. Your figures are totally wrong.If they could not get workers at the rates they pay firms would pay more. You have some strange ideas sometimes LL – you want taxes cut government to spend less, but want taxpayers to support firms to pay low wages.

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

        Theconcept of in-work benefits was sound, to prevent a sudden drop in income of people starting work after being unemployed. Like most taxes, the implementation has unintended consequences. We need a thorough review. The government’s share of GDP is far too high and needs to be cut by about 10% of GDP. It need both axe and scalpel wielded with enthusiasm, rigour and discipline.

    • John C.
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Your ultimate aims and vision of the limited role of the state are to me very sound; but simply proposing them would have no chance whatsoever of succeeding in winning round today’s electorate.
      Dependency on the state has become natural to a vast majority of the population, and I cannot see how they can be persuaded to vote themselves free of it.
      Any ideas?

  16. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Just to recap. Slashing the armed forces, police, fire service and border force including selling their patrol boats. Failing to reduce non EU migration which is in your power and mugging the core voters whilst spraying money on aid is why you are where you are now.
    We need to keep repeating this till someone listens.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Just to recap. Slashing the armed forces, police, fire service and border force including selling their patrol boats. Failing to reduce non EU migration which is in your power and mugging the core voters whilst spraying money on aid is why you are where you are now.

      Yet over 40% of those that voted opted for more of the same! Because the alternative is even worse. Oh boy, what a choice. Dumb or dumber.

    • forthurst
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      A more detailed extract from the Danish finance Ministry publication in English is in the National Economic Editorial, “Non-Western Immigrants Consume 59% Of Denmark’s Tax Surplus”

      http://www.nationaleconomicseditorial.com/2017/05/23/immigration-costs-denmark/

  17. Anonymous
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    On the election result.

    I warned that my student son was given two ballot papers.

    This was widespread.

    What checks are in place and how seriously enforcrd ?

    • miami.mode
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Anon

      Agree with you in principle although I do not know of any specifics.

      Lots of government systems and behaviour are based on values that existed more than 50 years ago.

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Anonymous

      Postal voting also needs looking at as many have said for years.

    • nigel seymour
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Who are you exactly?

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      There seem to be no checks and often the student can take one postal vote and one for their parents home, there should be a random check and students found voting twice barred from voting in the next election.

      I read a tweet about a teen voting twice with their friends ballot too.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Unless mistaken the 2020 election was to have identity checks. This situation is one of numerous unfathomables in our way of life. I described two or three years ago when selling £5 of scrap metal I needed photo ID and cheque only payment, yet we can vote on trust.

    • Monty
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      I was wondering about that kind of thing.
      I no longer trust our electoral administration to deliver clean results.

  18. Lifelogic
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    To end “austerity” you need to grow the tax base. The win, win way to do this is to cut red tape, simplify and lower taxes, go for cheap energy, set a vision of a smaller but more efficient state sector, cut out all the vanity projects and build business confidence by getting out of their way for a change.

    So that is the complete opposite of the May/Hammond agenda so far then.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      According to the government we have grown the tax base. If it is true that we have record numbers in good jobs, why is the tax take still not sufficient? This is really a rhetorical question as I think we all know the answer – too many jobs are poorly paid and too much welfare is dished out as a consequence.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Over 50% of people pay less tax than they get back in in work benefits and schooling for their children. Almost all of the low paid are a net liability to the states income. Only the other 40+ % on about £30K+ pay anything net at all towards the huge cost of out bloated and largely inept government.

      • John C.
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Has anyone produced a report which looks at the effect that working tax credits have had on the economy, or is just now accepted as “the way forward”? It seems to me to be pernicious, encouraging low wages, lack of ambition, poor business practices and dependency.

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        It follows directly from international competition for jobs. The wages of the richer countries inevitably fall to global averages. It would be fine if welfare was reduced in line with the fall. I have difficulty understanding why this should be disputed, even by the left. It is what I call a BGO.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      This ‘cheap energy’ you want to go for, would that involve burning more carbon so we have even worse air quality in our cities?

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Mike

        There are new coal fired power station being developed now that don’t pollute like they used to. Japan is using them as we speak and many other countries will follow them. As read yesterday in the GWPF email.

        Fresh technology developed in Japan may be about to swing the global energy pendulum back toward coal, by turning the old fossil fuel into a much cleaner energy source. With India and other emerging economies expected to increase their use of the still-abundant black rock, the new technology could help keep their carbon dioxide emissions in check. The plant “is 30% more efficient in power generation than the most advanced coal-fired power generation plant in Japan and reduces the generation of CO2 by 30%,” Kenji Aiso, president of Osaki CoolGen, said. Compared with typical coal-fired power plants in the world, the demonstration plant cuts the emission of CO2 per power output by about 40%.

        This has to be better than using fossil fuels and diesel as back up for wind turbines and solar like we do now. We are actually increasing CO2 emissions by using this system. There are many other ways of producing energy safely and cleanly and not use inefficient solar and wind.

      • NickC
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        Mike, Burning natural gas to convert to electricity is is more pollution free than Wind or Solar “Unreliables” (not least because they need backup). CO2 is not a pollutant.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        It means using fracked gas which as in USA will reduce carbon emissions by replacing higher carbon oil and coal.

    • Dennis
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      ‘grow the tax base’ – from what? From something you have never thought about – the ecosphere/environment unsustainably. Ripping more out of the biosphere that can be replenished – no thought thinking on your part.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Steady up old boy:

      They ain’t listened to us in ]the past and she assure as hell ain’t going to listen to us now

  19. Original Richard
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I hope that Mrs. May will use the election results as a reason to cancel HS2, an EU project simply designed to give orders and employment to EU companies and citizens.

    I think a reduction of the foreign aid budget to fund health and welfare in the UK would also be popular.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      I think a reduction of the foreign aid budget to fund health and welfare in the UK would also be popular.

      Apparently not. Whenever anyone mentions this on any sort of political show/debate – they get howled at by the rest of the audience and people start spouting nonsense about us being a rich country! A rich country with a debt of “1.7 trillion and still borrowing 50 thousand, million pounds a year.

      • rose
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        A rich country whose GDP per capita is now below Ireland’s.

      • Original Richard
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        I agree with you that we only appear to be rich because we are massively overspending every year.

        But the EU referendum has shown that the whole UK public is not completely swayed by hostile left wing BBC audiences, presenters and participants.

      • forthurst
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        Don’t make me laugh, the enemy within that has captured the MSM, as in all Western countries, is perfectly capable of selecting a totally representative audience of card-carrying Trots, feminazis, or savetheplanet™ green loons or whatever as appropriate.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        @Mike Wilson

        A rich country with a debt of “1.7 trillion and still borrowing 50 thousand, million pounds a year.

        How much of that is interest? Dead Money

      • John C.
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        The howling of virtue-signalling BBC audiences, and the general view of the people, do not generally coincide. If they did, we would have Socialist governments with massive majorities for decade after decade.

      • Bob
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        @Mike Wilson

        “Whenever anyone mentions this on any sort of political show/debate – they get howled at by the rest of the audience”

        the audiences are carefully selected to provide this effect.

    • bigneil
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      “reduction of the foreign aid budget to fund health and welfare in the UK ” – We are paying twice. Our govt throws our taxes away as if they are out of fashion, plus the people of those countries that are receiving the cash , come here and we keep them in cash, housing, NHS and schooling for their many offspring – -for doing – and contributing – NOTHING. It is clear our govt hates us and is turning us into the incomers slaves. The Libyan dinghies were going to be turned back – – the “rescue boats” sit off the Libyan shore waiting for their next passenger load. There can only be one result of this madness.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Her non triggering A50 on her first day, not scrapping Hinckley C and HS2 and her personal grammar school agenda were easy reads of what has followed.

  20. formula57
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Surely the pleasing and sensible message that “Today I want us to end the rhetoric of austerity, and to ensure decent levels of funding for those important parts of the public sector that are finding it difficult to manage” and “I see no need to impose new taxes or raise individual tax rates to do this. “ was one to be relayed during the election campaign?

    And we are to rely upon Chancellor Hammond to do this, the man who thought raising self-employed national insurance contributions was such a good idea until he was forced to change his mind? And the adult supervision the government so obviously needs is to be provided by Damian Green, he of the searched office? I am filled with renewed confidence.

    Reply I did say just this in the election!

    • formula57
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Yes, apologies – I meant hear from your front bench colleagues as a central part of their campaign messages.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Trouble is Mr R no-one saw you – it was all about May and not much else and she certainly did not say any such thing. She was for more cutting pensions, school dinners et al. As I said in an earlier post, such was the sycophancy to Mrs May, even our local candidate had on his billboards ‘Standing with Theresa May’ and the word ‘Conservative’ was in tiny letters. not readily visible to passing motorists. Well, it’s come back to bite them – the nation wasn’t and isn’t as impressed with her as many Tory politicians are. She needs to go now, before Brexit starts. It will be more damaging halfway through. I can’t see why the negotiating team can’t get on with it without a PM. who surely is not going to be present every day for the next 2 years?

      Reply Some saw and heard me, but of course the Leader rightly crowds out all others during an election.

      • rose
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        And please can you tell her to stop referring to “My government”. More Bourbon behaviour.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        Some saw and heard me, but of course the Leader rightly crowds out all others during an election.

        Leader? What leader?

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Reply -reply

      Good comments in your interview on Radio Berkshire this morning.

      As a constituent I can confirm that you ran on the prosperity not austerity ticket, which gave you an excellent result.
      Pleased you ran a positive campaign and did not get yourself involved in the slanging blame type campaign used by at least one of your competitors.

  21. stred
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    It seems Mz Davidson is possibly talking about not sticking to her manifesto, following her rescue of Tezza from Jezza, and she thinks we should go for a softie, as she is not bothered about over-population in her 5% enclave. She would, of course, be backed up by Hezza and Sozza with constant coverage on BBC, Ch4 and Sky. It would be helpful if some Scots who voted for her manifesto could tell her to stick to it. Otherwise, it will not even be possible to do a low tax and spend wisely approach, as Jezza will be bunging the brainwashed loads of taxes, while many of us will be bankrupted.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-4594634/DOMINIC-LAWSON-Tory-plot-derail-Brexit.html

  22. Bert Young
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    The post today outlines why John should be Chancellor . I agree with everything he says . Once policies like the ones he has outlined have penetrated to the public , the Conservatives would be back on course .

    Today -when the 1922 meeting is held , I am sure that the focus will concentrate on making the Cabinet consult more with its members ; failure to do this will produce all sorts of cracks that will make any tough Brexit deal impossible . I am very suspicious of the decision to bring Greening into the centre ; there are too many ” remainers ” . I hope Theresa does not plan to groom him as her successor .

    • Dennis
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      John for Chancellor? Good God no – he (et al) has no idea where economic prosperity fundamentally comes from – his policy is the path to disaster but he will be long dead before that kicks in so he won’t mind – policy will most likely change when that disaster is seen to loom.

  23. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Allow me to remind you, Mr Redwood that the national debt stands at nearly £2,000,000,000,000.
    The USA national debt is nearly ten times that.
    I cannot publish the table on this site, but the EU finances simply do not add up if the Brexit negotiations mean that we withdraw out annual tribute.

    But – hey! – Mr Corbyn is going to hand out money like sweeties to children in the park.

    Reply I am well aware of the national debt, and also aware that we have bought up a quarter of it so it is no longer a debt we owe to someone else, and well aware that we can borrow at 1% for 10 years. I am not recommending a new debt binge, but am recommending policies that will promote more growth and prosperity.

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      John, that still leaves 75% or £1.5 trillion to be serviced at the cost of £1 billion per year. Add on £14 billion in aid and 310 billion Brussels tribute and you can see why the deficit won’t come down.
      Just wait till interest rates start to rise as they surely will in the near future and we will be in a right pickle.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      but am recommending policies that will promote more growth and prosperity.

      Do you realise how hollow this sounds? Why haven’t the government been implementing policies that will promote more growth and prosperity? What policies have you had over the last 7 years that promote growth and prosperity? All I see is an insane assisted Home Buying scheme where the rest of us lend young people priced out of the market their deposit so they, too, can get a massive noose of debt around their neck.

      Where is the new thinking? The innovation? The enthusiasm, even? The sense of direction? Of leadership? Politics is this country is SOOOOOOOO stale.

    • Jack
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Government debt = total non-government sector (households, Pvt sector, etc) net financial assets

      The national debt is our WEALTH!

      And QE is deflationary so let’s just get the BoE to replace *all* bonds/gilts with reserves and set the Bank rate to 0% forever. This will strengthen the currency, reduce inflation, and open up a lot of fiscal space to spend on productive things rather than giving already-rich people risk-free interest income from the government for doing nothing!

    • Dennis
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      ” but am recommending policies that will promote more growth and prosperity.”

      I told you that he has no idea of the fundamental source of economic prosperity. He thinks there is a prosperity magic tree.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Reply to JR’S reply to MS,

      I agree with JR that borrowing and deficit at the moment are quite low as percentage of GDP. Productivity based growth is needed – immigration where marginal GDP of immigrant is greater than GDP per capita, out of the Customs Union to become global, land value tax (but not guessed like Labour), infrastructure that is public good / monopoly breaking. We do though need to recognise the 50 year horizon of fiscal sustainability as reported by OBR, student loans, NHS, social care and age pyramid are all real. Assuming no robotics for all revolution these do need serious cross party work.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      A shame that the banks still want silly margins on bank lending and that businesses cannot borrow anything like as cheaply form the UK rip off banking sector.

      Even though they tend to invest it considerably better than the state ever does.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      The EU finances do not add up with UK in or out – no audited accounts for 20 years?

  24. Sakara Gold
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Here’s a proposal that could save the billions that we need to eliminate the twin deficits, spend more on the NHS and restructure the absolutely incompetent Ministry of Defence. We could cut the number of QUANGOs by 90% or so, eliminating the “jobs for the old boys” culture. And why do civil servants enjoy free non-contributory index-linked pensions when they retire at 55?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      David Cameron already had a bonfire of the QUANGOs. He went into a pub in hunting country in the Cotswolds and tried to light a fire. The wood, alas, was damp and it went out before any QUANGOS could go on there. He gave up at that point.

      As for civil service (and public sector) pensions – give it UP! They all have fantastic pensions at our expense – including MPs. Nobody is ever going to change that.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      @ Sakara Gold

      We could cut the number of QUANGOs by 90% or so, eliminating the “jobs for the old boys” culture. And why do civil servants enjoy free non-contributory index-linked pensions when they retire at 55?

      Steady on old love that would really rock the boat. Albeit you are totally right

    • John C.
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      The thing is that our deficit is now so enormous that any single idea for reducing our expenditure is met by the objection “That only accounts for o.1% of our expenditure: it will make no difference.”
      It’s rather like moving a sand-dune with a teaspoon. The task is so enormous that we have little resolve to begin it. So even sensible suggestions are met with a shrug of, basically, helplessness.

  25. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    God, reading all this I am wondering why the hell I voted Conservative again. I was a staunch supporter at one time but they have obviously lost their way. The only reason I voted Con this time was because I seriously thought we just might have a chance of truly leaving the EU but I have been proved wrong. I don’t think we have a hope of leaving properly. We will still be a puppet country being told what to do by the EU and having even more floods of immigrants coming over most of who will be illegal because of the way they wangled their way into Europe in the first place. Nobody really knows who they are. They will be a drain on our society and more of our green spaces will disappear under building sites to accommodate them. What a depressing future! Foreign aid should be stopped as we will be funding many foreigners at home anyway.

    The NHS is in serious trouble because nobody can seem to manage it properly. We are still giving out free health care to all and sundry and I am shocked at the number of appointments missed in a month in our main hospital. I think last month they said over 700 appointments were missed!! What a waste of NHS time and money. It’s the same with the physio dept at my local hospital. People get appointments and don’t keep them but it helps many to stay on benefits as they can declare they are still getting treatment for what is often a fabricated injury to their back or similar in the first place. There is so much waste and it needs to be seriously tackled.

    Our ridiculous stance on energy provision needs to be sorted asap too. Gove is supposed to be an intelligent man so perhaps we might see some movement here to sanity. I am not filled with confidence at the moment in anything the government does but I feel if things don’t change soon the Tory party will lose many of its supporters for good. That’s not to say they will all go over to Labour. There are other options out there if the right people were in the right positions. I never really believed we would actually leave the EU. The establishment always wins in the end even if it means screwing up the whole country to do it.

  26. Turboterrier.
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    For years there has been a Dire Straits mentality that has been sold to the large majority of the population “Money is for Nothing and the kicks are free”

    Too many people now accept as their right to have all the latest must haves, and not have to work for them. Someone else will pick up the tab or bail them out. There are deserving cases and people who have paid into the system all their working lives should be fully supported when it is needed.

    It starts in the home and progresses with them through school and into adult life. My generation were taught if you couldn’t afford it you saved for it and that meant working and the encouragement was what you saved my parents would add a third.

    Where in the schools today are a youngest children taught that there is no magic money tree? Only hard work in studying and improving oneself and having a work ethic will bring you the rewards. For a lot of youngsters today ” it is not about if I win the lottery it is when” or I will inherit when the old folks pass on.

    Governments can throw money at education and the NHS until the cows come home and it will change nothing because it is how and what you spend it on. You have to go back to the very basics of business, enterprise and successful family life. What you get is what you have so don’t waste it, because it is your money and the more efficient you are in getting it, reducing waste the more you earn. Everything impacts on the bottom line. Worked with companies who had staff with the attitude of “its not my money I still get paid” these were the first to cry foul when the company closed and was of course not their fault.

    Back to basics tackle for real the horrendous waste within the public sector and start teaching children in year one the money is not for nothing.

  27. Bob
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I have previously suggested cutting the aid budget to emergencies only. This would have avoided the need for the vote damaging attempted robbery of your core supporters.

    I don’t expect any change from the direction of the Tories now, especially after Mrs May’s appointment of ardent Remainer and failed MP Gavin Barwell as Chief of Staff, which is a sign that the Remainers are firmly in charge in govt outnumbering Brexiters by three to one.
    I expect he has Gina Miller on speed dial.

    Your govt is now efectively being propped up by the the Scottish Tories who having scored an impressive result against Sturgeon, are now attempting to throw it all away over LGBT issues with the DUP. Labour are actually more committed to a clean Brexit than the Tories, you couldn’t make it up.

    • Chris
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Labour have really stolen the Tories’ thunder on this. They are the ones that are trying to promote an image of occupying the moral high ground and honouring the referendum. In contrast, May is making dubious appointments which are feeding the media frenzy on “soft” Brexit. She really has to act like a leader and put a stop to that.

      • rose
        Posted June 13, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Why have we lost David Jones and Lord Bridges? Surely the Brexit team should have been left as it was as they will know the subject by now?

        • Chris
          Posted June 13, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          Heaven only knows, Rose.

    • John C.
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      If you could make it up, you would be a famous (and rich) author of political thrillers, with fascinating intrigues, paradoxical choices, and a cast of villains.

  28. Michael
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Hammond is part of the problem.

    Good management of the economy was a neglected topic in the election campaign. He failed to articulate the financial weaknesses in the Labour manifesto. He is not a fighter for Conservative policies; too grey.

    The electorate wants a brighter future, hope, an optimistic outlook. Little of that in the manifesto.

  29. Nig l
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I do not understand why when we have a buoyant economy and high levels of employment we still have a current account deficit. Surely something is wrong and has been for decades, spendthrift politicians and public sector management incapable of delivering efficient performance at the level of the private sector. The result is an increasing tax burden falling on the successful and the prudent, your core vote and they are fed up big time. And I know some who voted Labour on the basis that you had hacked them off so why not give the other side a go. Obviously Corbyn’s money treeconimics hasn’t helped but you do not listen, overseas aid being an obvious example, no evidence that the ROI justifies the amount we spend, but plenty that is is spent inefficiently, but you plough on for a political feelgood factor. The arrogance of the van man tax, dementia tax, means testing winter fuel (save you tuppence) etc. It is said Theresa May is inheriting the mantle of Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher had a vision and was in touch with the voters. Theresa May is a machine politician that has neither. The ray of light is that being unelectable next time around, she will be replaced in plenty of time to give us some hope back.

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      The deficit won’t reduce because we keep importing thousands of cheap welfare junkies who are on zero hours or minimum wage and require state aid to survive.
      We also have 390,000 or there abouts EU citizens who are unemployed.
      That doesn’t even count for the thousands of foreign children we have to educate and supply interpreters for.
      We have an ever expanding population and dropping per capita income, that’s why welfare is rising.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      I suspect something akin to what happened in the Soviet Union during the “Krushchev thaw” in the mid 1950s-early 1960s is going on – on the surface impressive economic growth figures(even on the CIA revised estimates,the best in the world except possibly Japan),all achieved(as was discovered later) by abysmal capital productivity.I also suspect it will end in the same way.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      The current account deficit is managed by the continued erosion of the £, post war $4 /£1 ( the slang for a half crown or 2/6 was half a dollar) and the sale of our “family silver”.

  30. Oggy
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I and many others here have repeatedly spoken about the enormous and hideous foreign aid budget which is hugely unpopular with the electorate.
    Wasting £13Bn in aid when our own services at home are suffering is scandalous, whilst at the same time the government tells us it has a huge black hole in it’s finances and are going to get the elderly to pay for it. It’s no wonder the Tories lost seats.
    Scrap the 0.7% aid budget replace it with an emergency disaster fund and then share the £13Bn out to the NHS, social care and the police and intelligence forces.
    An absolute vote winner.

    The generous people of this country already give millions in charity donations.

    • bigneil
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      The only thing I see as an effect of the Foreign Aid budget is that the population of the receiving country increases – then they need more the following year, etc, etc.

      As for the charity donations – I stopped years ago after seeing an article showing the homes of the bosses of the biggest charities. Multi-millionaires, some got several mansions world-wide and commute by private jet, living a luxury lifestyle. I would like to see another article or program showing the bosses now. I doubt they would allow it to be made. Big charities are not there to help – they are there to make money for themselves.

      • rose
        Posted June 13, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Mrs Stephen Kinnock who used to be a PM then became a charity CEO and did very well. That was on top of what her husband and in laws get from EU and UK in pensions and salaries.

    • Nig l
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      We are wasting our breath on this one. The metropolitan elite sneering at our views to the extent they do not even condescend to give an answer.

  31. Duyfken
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I voted Tory in the GE, and probably would have done so even had there been a UKIP candidate, my object to encourage a successful and clear-cut BREXIT. I did so guided to some extent by JR’s overtures in this blog.

    Now that the Conservatives have managed to muck things up so comprehensively, May in particular of course, I pledge not to lend them my vote any more. UKIP, if reformed, is the only alternative but if no such candidate is available, I shall consider myself disenfranchised!

    May has chosen Barwell and Green, so, with such others as Amber Rudd and Hammond, I reckon the “Brexit is Brexit” mantra has now been ditched any negotiated Brexit deal will be as soft as butter. Is there nobody within the Tory parliamentary Party who will tell the woman she remains PM on sufferance provided she conforms to Conservative principles? Why has she been allowed the freedom to pick her (Remainiac) team free of any direction or control from the Party hierarchy?

    Reply She has Boris as Foreign Secretary, David Davis as Brexit Sec, Liam Fox at International Trade and Michael Gove at fishing and farming. They did all vote for Leave when they were being told to do the opposite by Cameron.

    • Duyfken
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Regrettably, because I have much respect for your political acumen, your reply does not convince me that May is on a tight rein, or anything like it.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      She has Boris as Foreign Secretary, David Davis as Brexit Sec, Liam Fox at International Trade and Michael Gove at fishing and farming. They did all vote for Leave when they were being told to do the opposite by Cameron.

      No mention of Mrs Leadson but to be fair haven’t heard much from her since the leaders ballot.

      • rose
        Posted June 13, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        The MSM blacked her out but if you paid attention she seemed to be doing well in her department and I liked what she was saying in Parliament. Her department was fully prepared for Brexit well before time too.

        • stred
          Posted June 13, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

          Mrs Leadsom’s Dept proposed doing away with speed humps as a way of reducing pollution. This, as well as being a Leaver, was probably not helpful to a cabinet of virtue signalling gobbling turkeys. We have enough stranded assets with £4bn worth of smart meters that don’t work and don’t need any more embarrassments.

        • Turboterrier.
          Posted June 13, 2017 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          @ Rose

          You could be as good as you want to be with your department but unless you provide the WOW factor and get it into the media you are nothing but another faceless number. It is all about living and promoting oneself outside the box.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted June 13, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      To be fair looking at the make up of government the leavers are outnumbered 3:1!

  32. Oliver
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    A lot of people sitting on enormous unrealised Capital gains will be reconsidering any prior reluctance to realise them, given the clear threat of a substantial rise under Corbyn. So now is the best time to prove your point that lowering the rate increases yield.

    Janet Daley in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday was excellent – this election was Foot in 1983 without anybody bothering to rebut his utopian rubbish as Maggie did. People aren’t stupid, but they do need a little help, particularly the young taught by Lefties.

    Eliminate tax on savings. Forces Corbyn to introduce it, spiking his pensioner bribe.

    On student double counting, perhaps it’d be a good idea to call the next election in the vac – apparently Canterbury would have half as many students resident next week as last week?!

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      The problem is, with the ZIRP policy there is very little tax on savings interest.
      A few years ago we used to get 2 good cruises from our investment now its a weekend in Blackpool.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Eliminate tax on savings.

      Brilliant idea. It must raise very little these days anyway.

    • Original Richard
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      “On student double counting, perhaps it’d be a good idea to call the next election in the vac – apparently Canterbury would have half as many students resident next week as last week?!”

      You’re forgetting the students can all have postal votes – in fact two of them – see the post above from “Anonymous” who said his son had two ballot papers.

  33. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    “Let’s End Austerity” = “Let’s Postpone Austerity for a Greater One in the Future”.
    This is what the burgeoning free handout section of the population want, and any government that doesn’t comply is destined for political suicide.
    Why should any business now invest in a country heading towards regarding a business as a cash cow to fund the huge appetite of a social agenda?
    We have two leaders in this country at the moment; one who is sensible but inspires no one and the other who inspires everyone but those he will rely on to fund his vision.
    Right now the country is at the tipping point of the wise and foolish. Any more foolish and we are on the road to a Greek style disaster, where the decisions aren’t made by those we elect, but by our creditors that no one elects.
    I see today that business confidence has sunk in the eyes of the IoD. Who would want to invest in the UK now?

    • bigneil
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      ” the burgeoning free handout section of the population” – and the govt is importing more by the week. Never paid in anything but arriving from a 3rd World country gets you housed, free NHS and free money – then the right to bring all your family to also claim the freebies and get the multiple kids of the multiple wives in for free schooling as well. As we ALL know, they are NOT coming to work and contribute – only to take.

  34. james Neill
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Much better to have Gove inside the tent to keep a better eye on him- that said- we have other things to do as well before we consider easing austerity by throwing money at it – as a nation we’re really going to have to start to live within our means if we are to straighten out the mess the economy is in. We might have to consider postponing some of the larger capital spending projects planned for a few years.. certainly until we see how we’re going to fare out after the brexit talks. At this time, and most of all, we need clarity on where the government is taking us- there is too much uncertainty about.

  35. Norman
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    With due respect, sounds like you’re playing to the gallery. Most sensible voters (perhaps a dwindling number nowadays) expect a Conservative government to balance the books. I can accept lower taxes (up to a point) stimulate growth, which in turn actually increases the tax-take. But those who talk about ‘fiat’ currencies, and the implication that the money supply can be manipulated at the whim of governments, make it all sound suspiciously like a fool’s paradise – an illusion that conjours up memories of the hyper-inflation of 1930’s Germany or more recently, Zimbabwe. The public need some sound information on this subject – it would make an excellent documentary, and might debunk the ruinous bribery that featured in last week’s election. Now there’s an idea!

    • leavewon
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Norman
      To me it sounds more like a lack of self perception or self confidence in his standing.
      His policies, integrity etc are all 100%
      However he is up against the huge globalist cabal who have crushed many.

  36. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Listening to the ‘money hour’ last night on LBC, the topic was pensions. Some bloke who worked for the NHS rang in – he said he was in some category .. something like ‘mental health category’. I assumed it meant he works in the area of mental health. Doing this apparently entitles you to retire after 30 years service. The bloke is FIFTY FIVE years old!

    He may well live another thirty years. So, work for 30 years, retire and take a no doubt index-linked, two thirds of final salary pension that, within a few years of inflation growth, will equal his final salary – and take it for, maybe, 30 years – the same length of time he worked.

    This is what is WRONG. Completely offensive (to the rest of us) and unsustainably and UNFAIR public sector pensions.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Mike

      Agree entirely. Also can someone explain to me why and how NHS workers get a percentage off the price of many things they buy. An example : I was shopping with my friend who is a secretary in the NHS. She got out a really expensive mobile phone and said she got it really cheap because she is an NHS worker and then proceeded to buy her outdoor clothes with 20% off by showing her NHS card. Who is paying for this? The colleagues she works with get massive discounts on luxury cars for their own use too because they travel to see patients.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Funny how we didn’t hear about these perks when the nurse who had to use food banks was on the TV!!

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted June 13, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        There is a Civil Servants club that negotiates mates rates for holidays insurance etc. There is now a fee to belong but it is effect a buying group with nothing sinister behind it other than providing a large group of captive customers to suppliers.

        Lots of large organisations offer their employees similar. But with the number of employees in the civil service as potential custoners the discounts are quite attractive

    • graham1946
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      The thing about NHS pensions I don’t understand is that GP’s who are to all intents and purposes self employed get the NHS pension (or am I wrong). If I’m correct, how many other private businesses can cop a civil service pension? Whoever thought this was a good idea?

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      The retire at 55 deal is no longer available, and only affects those that started in the NHS some years ago now. It’s now up to 60 years old, but still rather younger than the rest of us would hope for.
      Those working in mental health are very often the kind of people who carry on giving to society after they retire for no extra income, so their pension is not completely unfair.
      If they aren’t contributing to society in retirement, perhaps what we really need is a mobilisation of highly trained former professionals to fill the gaps of what the government finds difficult to fund.

    • John C.
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      I think, and I may be totally wrong, that you receive 1/80th of your final salary for each year of contributions, so that in your example, the man could receive no more than 30/80ths of his final salary.
      Still generous, I know, but not quite so dramatic as you suggest.
      Again, without be at all positive about it, are you sure he could retire after 30 years? This does sound preposterous, and would seem generous to a Greek train-driver.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      It is a financial time bomb, there are five million public service employees with future pensions to be financed plus as you say the massive cost of current pensioners. No politician seems to be brave enough to give the true total benefit of being a public employee to counter the spurious freeze/cap. A doctor friend of mine retired three years ago at 60 on £50k p.a. pension and rising. He felt he had won the lottery.

  37. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Off-topic:

    https://euobserver.com/enlargement/138187

    “Ukraine celebrates visa-free travel with EU love show”

    But according to some our visa-free travel to the EU will end when we leave …

  38. Peter Martin
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    “I was critical of Mr Osborne’s austerity policy.”

    But maybe not in the right way? It’s natural that Conservatives will want to aim for a smaller Government. The mistake that most make is to assume that a smaller Government equates to a reduced deficit. Trying to reduce the deficit by cutting spending and raising taxes (like VAT) simply pushes the economy into recession, as we all noticed during Mr Osborne’s first 2 or 3 years in his old job.

    If the UK runs a deficit in its trading account with the RoW then someone in the UK has to fund that by borrowing. Simply pushing the borrowing burden as far as possible on to the private sector to keep the Govt’s borrowing down hasn’t been the right way to run the economy! It simply has created a bubble in the property market and possibly the stock market too. If those burst it really will be end for this Govt.

    So, a Conservative Govt has to accept its fair share of the borrowing requirement for the UK as whole regardless of its desire for smaller Govt. If it wants a lower deficit then we have to have balanced trade. If the Govt is happy to keep a high trade deficit but wants a smaller Govt sector, then, yes, we need spending cuts but also even bigger big tax cuts to create the spending power to keep the economy moving and prevent it falling into recession.

  39. Norman
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    PS: Another phenomenon of recent years that has done much harm to public perceptions of trust in government is the obscene bonuses paid to top executives. This was even ‘aped’ in Civil Service agencies, where senior executive grades brought in a ‘business’ culture, with hefty bonuses for themselves, but ‘lean working’ for the rest. This sickly cynicism was manifestly a ‘con’, and led to the sort of rebellion we’ve seen among young voters.
    I’m more than content with my lot, and the system has treated me well – grammar school education that I didn’t expect, and a State Scholarship that paid all my fees and living expenses. Upon graduation, I could have bought a house for £3,000 – although still quite difficult on a starting salary of £1,ooo.
    No wonder the sleeping giant of the young vote has been awakened! We have let them down, in so many ways.
    ‘The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint’! (Isaiah 1:5).

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Norman. The Chief EXec of a hospital down south earns £250,000pa but paid herself a further £20,000 by way of a bonus. I see what you mean.

    • John E
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Norman,
      I agree wholeheartedly with that. I benefited from the same start in life. Too many in the older generation have greedily grabbed everything they can for themselves, leaving the next generation struggling with huge student debts and unaffordable housing.
      Now that Corbyn has been able to get the youth vote out to support him, things will have to change.
      The irony is that Mrs. May understood a lot of this but just couldn’t communicate like a normal human being.

  40. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Also off-topic:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/11/eu-threatens-year-long-delay-in-brexit-talks-over-uks-negotiating-stance

    “EU threatens year-long delay in Brexit talks over UK’s negotiating stance”

    “Exclusive: May to be told it would take 12 months to draft new mandate if she insists on discussing trade and divorce bill at same time”

    I suppose the EU’s assumption is that at present May and her government will be too distracted to immediately point out the sheer stupidity of this notion, that is even if they were capable of seeing the stupidity of it which I increasingly doubt.

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Denis, I really do think the EU wants rid of us. They realise whoever is in parliament the subject will fester as more and more see the real corrupt entity which is the EU.
      They will dawdle along for the next 22 months and we will automatically leave. Just watch near the due date when EU industries and farmers start to panic.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 13, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        I agree that many of the leading figures in the EU are fully reconciled to our withdrawal and are now keen to get rid of us. There are some who occasionally raise the possibility that we might change our minds and ask to stay. However even if it was legal to allow the UK to rescind its Article 50 notice, which is very much in doubt, it would need unanimous agreement and I expect would also come at some cost to the UK, for example surrendering opt-outs.

    • rose
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      It isn’t stupid. It is their strategy for wearing us down and getting us to change our minds – as with ever increasing population our quality of life gets poorer, but most people don’t connect that with its cause.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 13, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        It is stupid if there is a sincere intention to come to a workable settlement in the limited time which is supposedly available. Then the more sensible course is that proposed by the UK government, which is to negotiate separate issues in parallel rather than in an arbitrary fixed sequence.

        • hefner
          Posted June 14, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

          But to do that (parallel sequencing), the UK side would need the adequate number of highly competent people to address the various questions. What pool of such competent people has been put together over the last year? We don’t know. Has the Department for Exiting the EU now completed its teams? We don’t know. Has JR addressed this question on this blog? Not that I can remember.
          We have just gone through a GE supposed to be about strengthening the PM’s hand on Brexit, yet practically no Brexit questions (because supposedly both Labour and the CP are for Brexit) has been debated.
          It is therefore not surprising that in the continental press they are amazed at what seems to be/is the UK’s lack of preparation.

          Why have the Channel waters been higher since 9 June? Because the continentals p*ssng themselves laughing at the PM.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Doesn’t matter. If no agreement is reached by 2019 we’re out, unless they flout their laws again. May wasted a year, now they want to as well hoping to keep the money rolling in from us. Hopefully Mrs. May will tell them we are out in March 2019 regardless of any games they want to play. Her personal strength or weakness doesn’t matter – the referendum is the thing that binds and must be delivered. Any shilly shallying will just not be tolerated.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 13, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        Or unless all parties agree to extend the two year period in accordance with the text of Article 50. Which could be a sensible thing to do, if for example it was realised that agreement was very close but more time was needed to iron out some final details. Faced with the choice between both sides being harmed by termination of the EU treaties without the new arrangements having been finalised and ready to go into place, and both sides avoiding damage by agreeing to carry on negotiating for another six months, then the commonsense thing to do would be to agree the extension.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Oh, and here’s an interesting suggestion in that article:

      “The European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, had privately urged May to hold a general election on several occasions, hoping she would be able to secure a big enough majority to free herself from the whim of the hardline Brexiters in the cabinet, only to be left dismayed by the result.”

      I think there could be a misunderstanding on his part here, as the plan put forward by May was not in fact dictated by “hardline Brexiters”, but rather reflects the hardline position publicly taken by the likes of Juncker himself, and as essential elements of the plan will not be opposed by the leadership of the Labour party, as they say now, there should have been no need for a larger government majority in the Commons anyway.

      https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3777920/jeremy-corbyn-vows-to-quit-eu-market-and-complete-brexit-if-he-gets-into-number-10/

      “GRINNING Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to complete Brexit and take Britain OUT of the EU single market, if he gains power.

      In comments that threaten to upset his own MPs and millions of new supporters, the Labour leader said the party would “respect the results of the referendum”.”

      As for opposition in the Lords, well, as repeatedly pointed out a general election does not change the composition of the Lords, and the only impact it could have would be if peers were then less inclined to launch the “legislative warfare” threatened by Tim Farron in order to obstruct the necessary Brexit legislation.

    • Hope
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Leadsom, able and capable getting her dept to produce in advance of Brecit got demoted, why? She should be deputy PM. Charisma, intelligent and capable. All three lacking in May. May also has her appalling record which will bite her again. She cannot keep hiding from the TV scrutiny.

    • Longstone
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      The EU are holding out for a Corbyn win.

    • Original Richard
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      I thought it was interesting to read in this Guardian article :

      “The European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, had privately urged May to hold a general election on several occasions, hoping she would be able to secure a big enough majority to free herself from the whim of the hardline Brexiters in the cabinet, only to be left dismayed by the result.”

    • John E
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s more that the EU see the tide running their way and the longer Brexit is delayed the less likely it is to happen. And some on our side will be happy to accept their position.

      I’m pretty sure that a referendum last Thursday would have voted Remain given Corbyn’s success in getting the younger voters out to vote.

  41. Prigger
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    “Let’s end austerity”
    That’s a bad idea . I can see why a political party would headline it.
    The trouble with our economy is we have big trouble with our population.

    News out today .
    20% ( twenty per cent! ) of 5-7 year olds believe pasta and chips come from animals
    20% of 5-7 year olds think cheese comes from crops

    None of my childhood friends, half a century ago, irrespective of education and upbringing had such daft ideas.
    But,
    21 year old students on a three-year course (not in London ) might expect to graduate with £35,000-£40,000 of student loans.
    Think of it, 18 year olds and their parents thought and still think that getting into debt over a 3- year period of £40,000 …without any job, any job, guaranteed at the end of it. Also knowing that for many disciplines you can instead study online or/and through corrspondence courses and also do a part-time or even a full time job and earn money and borrow not one penny.

    Conclusion: Our population is so short of commonsense, so short of reasonable life-expectations that perhaps the voting age should be risen to 50 years of age.
    This is not just rhetoric. What kind of education are kids receiving in schools! If you question actual employees you will find their degrees have little to do with their job. Mrs May has a second class BA degree degree in Geography. No slight intended. But this is typical of wasted “education” .
    Logic, should be everyone’s degree. Not studying where its at, but where it should be!

  42. realist
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    No-one will believe a Tory party which suddenly says austerity is a bad idea.

    Labour voters have no idea how the nations borrowings and debts should be paid, nor for the most part do they care. They will gladly accept any idea so long as they get a Santa Claus government. We have a very stupid and ill-educated unpatriotic and irresponsible population.
    Aspirational British who have the possibilty, have been emigrating in increasing numbers leaving behind the unaspirational and dead heads of various descriptions. Little wonder many politicians just tell lies to the electorate and behave otherwise. This of course adds to the loop making people go for a short-term Santa Claus in government.

  43. Bright as pin
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Scots are leaving school in increasing numbers without basic literacy.Sturgeon does not doubt the figures. It may be politic to blame her. But she is not the one who sits aside the fireside or the bed reading aloud fairytales and pointing to each word in turn to Scottish children.

    It is grossly unfair to our Education Secretary Justine Greening that the buck stops with her.
    We have seen students of all “disciplines” chanting in the streets. My voice is still hoarse from so doing decades ago and my mind still embarrassed. But there is little sign these kids have the basics of thought-processing to grow out of it. Look at Corbyn. Even a private education and thirty years in parliament have not risen him above the level of country bumpkin.

  44. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    The story is spreading around:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-jean-clause-juncker-brexit-general-election-a7784641.html

    “Theresa May was reportedly urged to call the general election by Jean-Claude Juncker”

    “Prime Minister allegedly told her 17-seat majority would not be enough during Brexit negotiations”

    Is it true, or just an invention by “EU sources” or by Observer journalists?

  45. The Prangwizard
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I always thought, and wrote, that using the word ‘austerity’ was a mistake, and would come back to haunt the party, and it is right to try to get away from the word. It should not have been trumpeted around as it was, thought to be all very clever at the time. But the Conservative party is established as the one to hate where public expenditure is concerned. They have become associated with cuts by their opponents even when it is not true. Someone should definitely work harder on changing that perception, but not by throwing money around.

    As for the NHS, even if the Conservatives were to double the money, they will get no credit for it. The parties of the Left and lobby groups will still claim it be not enough.
    The problem is poor management, and bad working practices and reducing demand and waste. Good luck to Mr Hunt, he deserves all the support he can get. The NHS is a money pit. Thus the net savings from EU contributions should not be frittered away on it. It will not be noticed.

    These saving should be spent on things physical and tangible. New infrastructure projects, with big signs around them saying where the money has come from. Capital expenditure in other words. If we don’t publicise the benefits no-one will be aware of the change and the money we are saving.

    And finally another plea, please stop the waste of money on overseas aid. Spitting into the wind I know, as no-one has the courage to do anything about it blackmailed as we are into keeping it by a many who have a hold over us.

  46. JackG
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Everything is in such turmoil at the moment with all of that uncettainty, it’s difficult to know how to proceed- also i don’t think bringing michael gove into the equation is going to solve anything- he’s more trouble than he’s worth..mrs may will really have to get to grips with all of this and maybe as soon as the brexit discussions begin then maybe ee’ll get some clarity

  47. Antisthenes
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Austerity is just another jingoistic term like bedroom and dementia tax . It does not reflect the true nature of the event used only to to stir emotion for or against and in no way intended to inform truthfully. The electorate in large numbers fall for this childish but effective propaganda trick and hence we end up with governments that either are fully committed to infantile practices like Labour or have to pander to them like the Conservatives. So it is that you put forward ideas on how to keep the pantomime that is big overweening state tax, spend and social justice policies going and for ever expanding.

    No politician if they wish to keep their job ever points out that our current economic and social systems are unsustainable and constantly in jeopardy of collapse. They instead ignore the root causes and look to treat the symptoms that are only temporary solutions and often even make the situation worse. The whole system of government now that it has been socialised so heavily will inevitably breakdown. Decline has has been apparent for some decades but is and now no doubt will continue to be ignored. At some point the price of ignorance or turning a blind eye will have to be paid. Current attitudes, debt and systemic failings cannot be supported for ever.

  48. William Long
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    The Osborne Austerity Programme had most of the attributes of the Emperor’s new clothes. It was greatly hyped but lacked any strategic plan to re-base the country’s income and expenditure; instead was built on a string of political soundbites for supposed short term electoral gain. In short it showed all the negative aspects of political sensitivity.
    But the May government has shown it has no political nous whatsoever, first with Mr Hammond’s bungle with taxation of the self employed and then, even more disastrously with the election campaign; you would have thought some lessons would have been learnt from the first to help the second. It would help to have ministers, and in particular a chancellor, capable of telling the civil servants when what they are suggesting is clearly rubbish. I noted that the hapless Mr Timothy said that the care proposals were not his, but had been the subject of many months of work in Whitehall. I can well believe this to be true but why did no-one notice what Whitehall was proposing and how toxic it potentially was, before it got into the Manifesto? I think the most depressing thing is that we are stuck with the same Chancellor who does not seem to have any ideas beyond what the Treasury civil servants feed to him, having learnt their job from Gordon Brown and had it endorsed by Mr Osbourne.

  49. Anna
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    The foreign aid budget is unpopular not because the British are mean-spirited but because so much is wasted as frequent exposure in the press has revealed. Prune this budget drastically and earmark savings for education. Re-introduce something like the old State Scholarships – free tuition and means-tested maintenance grants for students with top grades reading STEM subjects, medicine etc. who contract to work for 5 years after graduation; 50% reduction for proper academic degree courses and vocational training such as nursing. Media studies and the like should require self-funding.

    Encourage quality apprenticeships with a cash reward after successfully completion of a course and working for 2 years.

  50. hefner
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Off-topic: 12 June is the International Hug a Climate Scientist Day.
    Now international in scope, this initiative originated in Australia where more than 1200 scientists are about to lose their jobs with the CSIRO at a time when Australia over the last ten years has been seeing recurring droughts, extensive bush fires linked to drought, flooding, 45+ temperatures, a marked decrease in some plants being pollenized due to shifts in plant and animal growth cycles, damages to the Great Barrier Reef, …

    I don’t doubt that all people here will want to celebrate this day.

  51. World beater
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    The government may not have a realistic choice. There are dark economic forces . “Educating” young people to degree level…that is keeping them out of the workforce from 16 to 21 years of age is a loss to production when they are at a peak of their physical and mental energy> It is a luxury no society should afford. It is high price to pay for the vanity of parents, a framed photo of their offspring on the sideboard with them wearing daft caps and gowns and “Oh yes they have done very well, they have got on. ” Yes, they have got on not doing productive work for five years unless you feel filling a beer glass part-time is a world beater.

  52. English Pensioner
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    One thing that I have noted over the years is that whilst the Tories generally have, in my view, the correct policies, they never seem to be capable of presenting them to the public and, even worse, never seem to think about how they will be interpreted to the public by the opposition. Consider a couple of examples; the so-called “room tax”, a charge that was to be made for spare rooms is subsidised properties. This is quite reasonable to most of us when there is a housing shortage and there are unoccupied spare rooms in many council properties, often where children have left home.
    Then there was the proposed “dementia tax” where the aim was that more people should pay for their care in their old age, quite reasonable if fairly administered.
    Two eminently reasonable proposals, very poorly presented, leaving the Tories open to attack. The party advisers seem totally incapable of thinking about things from the opposition’s point of view and understanding how they will interpret proposals.

    And of course, austerity was the biggest mistake of them all. I’ve not noticed any real austerity except that our County Council constantly uses it as an excuse for failing to repair the roads and carry out general street maintenance. The NHS seems to continue to waste money with overpaid administrators and failing to check whether people are eligible for treatment. Other wasteful schemes continue as usual and of course foreign aid continues to be wasted. But again, the opposition seized on the word “austerity” to their advantage.

    It’s time to fire all the special advisers, most of whom appear to be totally unqualified for the work that they are doing and, if necessary, employ people who genuinely have the necessary skills and experience.

  53. ian
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Penny pinching off the public is never a good idea, and stealing billions off of student was always going to fail one way or another, if not now, then in 10 years time when most of there money would be going to taxes at a rate at the moment of 41% over 21,000 pounds a year and 51% over 45,000 a year, and then more between 100,000 and 123,000, and then back to 51%, and then on to 56% taxes rate, and then they want them to have a mortgage, a car loan, pension, insurances, which is 12 percent tax now, and keep the economy going with a 20% vat rate and council taxes going up in leaps and bounds now, and not forgetting energy bills going through the roof , so overseas countries can have better energy system than you have. These young people are ones that are going to keep old people in future, but as you can see they will not even be able to afford to keep themselves.

    As for the money they were going to raises this year, and then more money for N ireland to get there vote, more money for scotland, which is going down fast, and once they have given them, then wales will want more, plus giving back money already stolen by them, and of course more money for overseas countries which is there favour past time, and bring more people into a wasteland.
    The hole in the budget is going to be massive, and i should think another credit card off the books to pay for it all, with media & politician saying everything is great as they hide more debt for theses student and young people pay later on.

  54. Still time
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Nationalisation and other economic stupidity hangs over the UK like a circling vulture. Plus a weak negotiating position with the EU and in fact, with the world re: trade deals.
    I believe the Tory 1922 Committee is meeting today. Time to do a U-Turn on the nonsense peddled by leading Tories on TV . She should go inmediately. No I’m not speaking of the tea lady, though I’m sure she will have got a months notice from Tory Central Office as she is to blame.

  55. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    There’s a good and clear account of Labour’s current position on the EU single market given by shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner from 23 minutes in here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08vjlrx/daily-politics-12062017

    “Is Labour still committed to leaving the single market?”

    “Yes, because it’s absolutely clear that the single market is actually the internal market of the European Union, if we leave the European Union, which we are committed to doing, then we leave the internal market and with that we can’t have a deal where there is single market, or internal market, without the four freedoms.”

    And, he continues, the EU has made it clear that membership of the single market will not be offered without all four of those freedoms being accepted; which is actually what Theresa May has repeatedly said, right up to her Article 50 letter to Donald Tusk:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/29/article-50-brexit-letter-read-full/

    “Since I became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom I have listened carefully to you, to my fellow EU Heads of Government and the Presidents of the European Commission and Parliament. That is why the United Kingdom does not seek membership of the single market: we understand and respect your position that the four freedoms of the single market are indivisible and there can be no “cherry picking”.

  56. stred
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    The BBC are still pushing outright lies of the EU, that the UK has been delaying and they are ready, despite not having ratified their side or even finally appointed administrators and written the ultimate delay document A50. This really borders on subversion.

    • rose
      Posted June 13, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Yes, this is very vexing. Why doesn’t anyone set the record straight?

      Similarly, with the EU citizens, the media and EU keep making out the EU is champing to get on with setting their minds at rest and we are dragging our feet when Mrs May went all round the 27 getting their assent to early discussion to start last autumn, only to have it vetoed by France, Germany and the Commission.

  57. Paul wills
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Let’sconsider this again- no deal is better than a bad deal- if so then we just have to sit it out now until march 2019 then we will ‘crash out’ therefore why make such a big deal about everything- with one stroke we’ll achieve everything we voted for- control of our borders,, control of our money, control of our fisheries and free of the eu courts
    We’ll be also free to make new deals with new trading partners worldwide.. so bring it on i say… there’s no point in david davis and team going over to brussels at all to talk to the eu- just tell them to go to blazes.

  58. Lifelogik
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    People would vote Tory more if they stopped being stuck-up and stuck-out. Try changing your name and brand to make you more acceptable.

  59. JackG
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    To get rid of austerity all we have to do is print more money..governments have being doing it for years..we could even cancel debt by lopping off a few zeros from the bottom line and start again?

  60. Chris
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May’s choice of cabinet is not going to help you, I think. There are apparently 21 Remainers to 7 Leavers.

  61. ian
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    There is no doubt in my mind that england is now heading for bankruptcy, with ireland and scotland. The same can be said for france with their new leader, who is going to do same to france now as was done to england, and that is taking money off of the people and giving it to bankers, migrants, elite, overseas countries, and big businesses which is neo lib way of looking after there people. As for where theses ideas come from, like eaton and top unis. It just goes to show how thick they are, and that normal people pick off the street are better suited to sit in parliament with no party, making the laws for the people of this country. All i can say is that you have 650 MPs who need replacing. How you vote for this total rubbish is beyond me. You are going to have another load of people with money now leaving the country again, while they are importing people who need handouts and more services. At a guess i would say GDP will go down as people with money leave to a
    void the fall out, and normal people will cut back on there borrowing and spending in fear of what in store for them with brexit now, but all in all should get a better deal from the EU, because they do not want a basket case of a country next to them, that’s not to say that they are basket case themselves.

  62. Chris
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I see that George Osborne seems to be up to his usual tricks of utter disloyalty, creating dissent, and undermining Brexit in the latest offering in the Evening Standard:
    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/exclusive-cabinet-sensibles-plot-soft-brexit-a3563036.html

  63. Javelin
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    You also want to consider the drain on the NHS that immigrants have. A need for a filter. We are not living in a forest of money trees.

  64. Helen Taylor
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    John, how is it you can make our situation so clear, yet the polititians in charge do nothing to outline the future. If you had more of a say at the front line discussions I am sure people would understand what Brexit means. I feel that the present ministers are trying to renegue on the referendum to leave. This shambolic elections felt like a set up for failure so we end up having to stay in the EU.

  65. Jon p
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    There’s too much theatrics going on down in london- last year we voted to leave so what else is there to say- article 50 has been activated and the EU knows we are leaving- so why go on and on about this?- just leave so that we can be free to start new trade deals with countries worldwide- could anything be more clear.

  66. hefner
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    According to FT on-line twenty minutes ago, the PM showed contrition to the 317 Conservative MPs. There were various comments exchanged outside the room, some nice, some not so nice.
    It is now to be hoped that Brexit negotiations will start as scheduled and that a quick hard Brexit is the position defended by the Government. Some in the EU27 are ready for it, and if anything would like to be rid of the UK as quickly as possible.
    We live in such interesting times.

  67. Dumblewick Green
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I heard the 1922 Committee meeting today that, “there was no clamour for Mrs May’s resignation”.
    My first reaction was “…a dumbed-down dumb 1922 Committee.” But immediately I thought myself unkind, so I looked up just who was on the Committee. I didn’t recognise any of the names except the first one: Steve baker…mmm..well he”s okay. The next one I found “WAS the MP until 2017 Election”. The next one after him “WAS the MP until 2017 Election”. It goes some way to explain the dumbness and probably the deafness too.
    Left in power for a few months more, Mrs May will render the whole of the Tory Party dumb as a Corbyn.

  68. ian
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    It look like i was right yesterday in that con party is going scupper brexit with 13 scotish MPs belonging to the con party, so they can say that the english con party MPs are alright, and keep voting for them, but we all know the truth about brexit and the con party. Cannot wait for the new bill to come in from EU, which will 4 or 5 billion extra a year.

    I like the way the english voters pay for ireland and scotland out of there taxes including the EU, and then they all tell the english what they can do and what cannot do, all rubber stamped by the english cabinet in downing street saying, we have managed to get you some great deals, keep voting for us, because you know we are the best. When it come wasting money, there nothing between the parties you vote for, and the con party is the lead in the wasting money stakes by a long way after this debilitate destruction of england finances. You have one thing in the english peoples favour, when england goes down it will take the rest with it.

  69. Peter Martin
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    “It { Mr Osborne’s austerity policy} was always more based on increased tax revenues than on cutting spending

    So the idea was to keep Govt spending roughly the same or even let it rise a little in line with inflation, then hope that by increasing VAT you’d have increased tax revenues and so the deficit would close?

    The problem of course is that tax revenues never quite rise as they are meant to. The deficit remains stubbornly high as the economy then drifts into recession. The increased VAT is reducing peoples spending power so the same amount of money comes back but in fewer transactions. The fewer transactions, ie a slowing economy, have a knock on effect with the receipt from other taxes.

    The correct way to think about it is that all spending comes back as taxes unless it is saved. That includes the savings of our our trading partners. So the Govt deficit has to equal domestic savings plus the trade deficit.

    So if you want to reduce the Govt’s deficit you have to reduce those savings and/or the trade deficit.

  70. John
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Will the government be buying the N.I. off with additional funding to gain their support? They are already getting more per head of population than any other part of the UK and we all know that the English will get less from the British government to pay for it.
    Another question; have the government got the 5 billion pound back from the Irish that we lent them when they were going into EU imposed penuary?

  71. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    The question, which, characteristically, she doesn’t seem to grasp is whether anybody believes she is capable of “getting us out of this”–I certainly do not. Throw her out and while we are at get rid of the poxy leadership elections which got us in to this. It’s no good the 1922 Committee or any other fulminating because it’s their own fault. Maybe what the Conservative Party needs is some kind of Privy Council to decide the Leader–the present approach is a disaster.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Post Scriptum–And now we learn – horror of horrors – that The Queen’s Speech (which would in any event be better if she wrote it herself) might be delayed a couple of days. BFD.

  72. ian
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Moodys talking about down grading englands bonds. Perfect storm coming, with inflation and interest rates going up. Not much left at the treasury or the BOE in way fire power,might have to go neg interest rates, and companies looking at 19 tax rate hear, and might go to 26 percent, i would think they would be looking for a new home for there businesses. The repercussions financially will be massive as time go on.

  73. Ken Moore
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Today’s elephant in the room is immigration (now deftly redefined as ‘pressure of numbers’) and the international aid budget that has put the largest squeeze on spending that commands broad support.
    What happened to the rebalancing of the economy…why are you pressing ahead with Hs2?

    I’m concerned that Dr Redwood doesn’t grasp the desperation of the position we are in or more likely is reluctant to paint a fuller picture so as not to ‘scare the horses’. . Tim Morgan describes it brilliantly…even if you do not publish his assessment I hope you read it JR…

    ‘The dangerous nature of the British predicament needs to be spelled out. The economy runs an entrenched (and worsening) current account deficit, which last year was £85bn, or 4.4% of GDP. This gap must be filled by matching inflows of capital. Debt and equity injections from abroad have ceased to be a choice, or a luxury. In effect, they have become a necessity, a subsidy and a lifeline.
    Even before this fiasco, there were plenty of reasons why foreign investors might have considered pulling the plug. Those reasons can only have become more persuasive since Thursday’s vote.
    This, it must be stressed, is not a purely academic argument, of interest only to economists. Stasis in the capital or “financial” account is not the norm. So, if the inflow of capital ceases, then in all probability it will turn into an outflow.
    Accordingly, the biggest danger now is a “Sterling crisis”, with capital flight taking hold. If you think that a currency, or an investment, might collapse, your natural and logical response is to pull your money out before it happens. We can expect a lot of other adverse economic consequences but, short-term, a currency crisis has become the risk that dwarfs all others.
    In this event, a slump in the pound could turn into self-fulfilling panic. If this were to happen, Sterling would tumble, inflation would spike, and interest rates would soar, something that a country with Britain’s amount of debt simply cannot afford. Property prices, which already look wobbly, could be expected to slump if rates rose, putting part, at least, of the banking system into jeopardy. The Sterling value of debt denominated in other currencies would escalate, quite possibly beyond levels of sustainability.
    The reality, then, is that an economic crisis could threaten the United Kingdom within a very short time’.

  74. brian
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    We have been in austerity because the previous Labour government wrecked the economy and it has been necessary to reduce the deficit and aim to reduce the debt. Government expenditure has actually been quite generous in supporting public services. Voters of course don’t like austerity and it may be possible to win them back with lots of expensive give-aways. However, reckless spending only results in wrecking the economy again with a subsequent need to try again to live within our means. Thus the circle can develop.

  75. Ken Moore
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Poor John Redwood…there he is in the boiler room covered in soot dutifully shovelling coal into the Titanic’s boilers…Meanwhile May , Barwell et al. carry on dancing as if nothing has happened as the water puddles around their feet…. Damian Green too puffed up by his own self importance and righteousness is completely ignorant of the calamity that is about to unfold..

    To the lifeboats Mr Redwood the ship is sinking…..

    • prigger
      Posted June 13, 2017 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Ken Moore,

      Labour lost.

  76. Derek Henry
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Yes John,

    Well said

    This is the way to go as all government spending pays for itself with any positive tax rate.

    90% of all government spending returns to the reserves to be destroyed in the overnight interbank market. Allowing the BOE to meet it’s overnight interest rate.

    10% is saved by the rest of us and the foreign sector.

    This household budget anology nonsense needs to stop and stop yesterday nobody is falling for it anymore. The accounting between HM Treasury and the BOE is very clear and taxes do not fund the monopoly issuer of the £.

    It’s time to tell the truth and end austerity and tell rich people we don’t need their taxes for HM government to spend money created from thin air. Taxes are only there to control inflation.

    Or cut taxes for everyone to achieve economic growth it is a no brainer. There are many other ways to take currency out of circulation to control inflation.

    Money is not a constraint it is irrelevant. Our people, skills and resources is the only thing we can run out of and we can run out of them quickly. So we need to allocate these resources effectively. Hammond seems to understand this and why he suggets we target areas that the country needs. Like training our own people for the NHS and schools and infrastructure projects. Stop stealing these people from abroad and training our own.

    HM Treasury could spend £300 trillion tomorrow morning on the NHS by typing numbers on a screen and crediting bank accounts. There’s no constraint taxes do not fund this. But it would cause inflation because we do not have enough skills and resources to absorb that kind of figure.

    That’s the key and it is time we started talking about it in those terms. If we are left holding the household budget anology which is being debunked day after day then fiscal conservatism is dead.

    Smart People call it Government buying John.

    Reply If what you say is true why has Venezuela collapsed?

    • Peter Martin
      Posted June 13, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      There will always be countries which are badly managed and have economic difficulties -even to the point of near collapse. Venezuela didn’t use its oil wealth to build up an alternative productive economy when it had the opportunity.

      To a lesser extent, the UK has made the same mistake with North Sea oil. Instead of using the revenue to build up a modern manufacturing capability, the tax revenue enabled the Govt to dispense with manufacturing for its economic base. The economic term is “Dutch Disease”. Dutch manufacturing was rendered uncompetitive in the 70’s when money flowed in from the sale of natural gas pushing up the value of the guilder.

    • Derek Henry
      Posted June 13, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Venezula suffered from Dutch disease and just wanted to collect $’s.

      Which was a huge mistake. They should have concentrated more on expanding their domestic private sector.

  77. Ken Moore
    Posted June 13, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I have to disagree with John Redwood – I believe balanced budgets are a good idea.
    Nobody is representing my views now.

    • Peter Martin
      Posted June 13, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Balanced budgets, or close to balanced, would be a good idea if our trade with the RoW was also balanced. But we are a net importer. So we lose money that doesn’t come back when we pay our import bill.

      If the Govt didn’t replenish that money by deficit spending the economy would be thrown into deep recession.

      It is difficult for the UK to achieve balanced trade when we are part of the EU. We can’t put up tariff barriers. We could devalue our currency but that’s not an easy option for any Govt to take.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 13, 2017 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      I think you will find that UKIP does.

    • Derek Henry
      Posted June 13, 2017 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      We’ve ran budget deficits for nearly 300 years for a reason.

      budget deficits allows each and every one of us to save in sterling.

  78. Back to the Future
    Posted June 13, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Can this be true? I have read the national debt was one trillion and austerity was necessary and now it is one and a half trillion and is unnecessary.

    • Chris
      Posted June 13, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      The “truth” is what is expedient at the moment. Labour threat, so forget about the debt. Actually I believe you could still spend, but reduce taxes and release money into the economy. At the moment there is a straitjacket effect stifling investment and entrepreneurship. Leaving the EU would help us to break free of this, unless of course May does not really want us to. She is not very convincing.

  79. Rob G - Wokingham
    Posted June 13, 2017 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    John, we have an opportunity to test the macroeconomic theory – why do we not deliver progressive rates/taxation for new businesses in the High Street?
    This isn’t a loaded question; Significantly reduced rates for UK domiciled businesses with a further ‘size’ break (i.e less than 10 employees). You’d develop a pattern for encouraging entrepreneurial spirit and presenting a high street that should be more diverse and bring more footfall. All equals more tax revenues and growth for the town.
    Surely this should be an approach for a free market orientated party?
    Why not start now? This presents a real opportunity to make a change and a difference.

    Reply Lower business rates are on my list of good ideas, but the Chancellor is nit in helpful mode at the moment

  • About John Redwood


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

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