The UK Treasury makes a mistake and helps an industry grow

The 2016 budget is famous for the damage it did to the residential property market and buy to let homes for renting. Its high Stamp Duties and withdrawal of interest relief had the predictable effect of cutting transactions and investment, and reducing tax income as well. The 2017 budget did something similar to the car market.

The 2016 budget also cut taxes on North Sea oil production and profits. That has had the predictable and opposite effect to the tax rises. Output is now well up, as is profitability. And yes, the government will collect more tax from the North Sea operations this year than when the tax rates were higher. This has happened despite lowering PRT to zero, as a result of higher Corporation Tax receipts on higher profits given lower costs, no PRT and a higher oil price.

One expert firm is spreading the idea that the Chancellor might reimpose higher taxes on the North Sea now it is doing better again. That would be a great idea if his aim is to cut the output of the area and to reduce his own tax take, but a silly idea is he wants to promote UK prosperity.

How many more examples do we need to supply to get across to the government that lower taxes not only boost incomes and output, but can also lead to higher revenues?

 

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129 Comments

  1. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    It is disgraceful to see the amount of damage Hammond’s policies are doing to the UK when the economy is flourishing. I can’t help but feel that he is trying to convey the feeling that Brexit is to blame. He must think we are all idiots when in fact it is just a few and we know who they are! As we all keep asking, when are we going to be rid of May and Hammond?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      The absurdly structured government controls on bank lending and the lack of real competition in banking are hugely damaging to the real economy too.

      • Hope
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Your,govt needs a good clear out. No longer fit for purpose on any issue. Economics, Brexit, crime and disorder, prisons, taxation, you name it thyis have failed on in delivering it. Manifesto not worth the paper it is written on, Lancaster speech the same, ras d lines the same, immigration, security, defense. Utterly disgraceful,performance in each and every policy area. The of integrity astonishing.

        Fox came across as lazy and incompetent today when questioned. It demomstrated to me he has been sitting on his arse for two years enjoying the comforts of office while giving nothing in return. What is of concern he appears to not to understand WTO terms either.

        Hague thinks its supporters should canvass and donate to the Tory candidates but not have a say who should be leader! Why do MPs know better? Moreover, CCHQ already centrally controls their chosen ones for associations are allowed to chose from! Why should members not have a greater say and a freat opportunity to vet their candaidates to sort out the wheat from chaff and liars.

        Has Hague ever achieved anything for his party or country? I think not. ( words left out ed)His views shifted left over the years, form a euriosceptic to to a europhile.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May and Mr Hammond think there isn’t a problem or perceived problem that can’t be solved by higher taxation.

      By that standard all problems should have end by 2002.

    • NickC
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      Not just May and Hammond of course. Mark Carney has just stocked up on Euros in time for the ECB QE slow down and the EZ bad banks coming home to roost. Every other major economy USA, Russia, China, India, Germany is stocking up in gold.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

        NickC

        Do you always discriminate against people , if, you think they are none British?

        • Edward2
          Posted August 22, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

          Not satisfied with claiming I discriminate between races you now make similar totally unfounded accusations against NickC
          Equally innacurate as well.
          That’s two apologies you need to make Hans.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted August 22, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

            Edward 2,

            I asked NIckC a question nothing else, in your case no excuse is warranted

          • Edward2
            Posted August 22, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

            Please explain what you mean by “in your case excuse is warranted”

  2. Mark B
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The 2016 budget is famous for the damage it did . . .

    That would be the supposedly Conservative Government would it ? And how did our kind host and fellow MP’s vote on it ? Did they vote it down, or just blindly vote it through like all the others ?

    Remember, our kind host has a say on this, we do not. We vote in political parties and their MP’s on promises made. Promises that they do not have to keep.

    I make no secret that I favour Swiss style Direct Democracy. If I and my fellow countrymen want something, we should collectively pay for it but only with our express consent.

    I know our kind host has suffered due to his own governments policies, but so have we. We just don’t have the ear to the leavers if the Executive to effect change. That will only come at the next GE.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Direct Democracy?But we follow the “rules based international system”.I used to think the rules based international system was just a modish turn of phrase beloved of the May regime and it’s acolytes- until,googling it in an idle moment,I found it was actually the Rules Based International System with it’s own acronym(RBIS) and a department within the Foreign & Commonwealth Office(the Multilateral Policy Directorate) churning out strategy documents and briefing papers(such as is currently being used by Mark Field MP on his Asian tour).

      If you dig out their latest Strategy document you will find it is a jargon and acronym fest with a Trotskyite world government subtext.Direct Democracy(in fact any sort of democracy)?-you have no chance!

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Furthermore, a 2015 paper by Chatham House on the “RBIS” informs us :

        “the EU is perhaps the most rules-based and rules-observant of all branches of the current international order.

        Which is why we’re not really leaving.”

        • Mitchel
          Posted August 21, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

          PS the quotation marks should end after “order” not “leaving”

  3. Ian wragg
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    We have a socialist Prime Minister and Chancellor who don’t believe in us spending our own money.
    They need the revenue to waste on benefits for EU nationals. Foreign aid and stupid HS2.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Quite.

    We see it in all sorts of industry, where the tax take makes it not worth getting out of bed – and that includes the cost of getting to work, wear and tear (+VAT) and speed cameras now being set at zero tolerance whilst a certain community gets the blind eye.

    • Dave , Spencers Wood
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 5:56 am | Permalink

      Speed cameras? You don’t live in Wokingham then. We don’t have functional speed cameras -the fixed ones in my village have been at a jaunty angle for close to a year now. The cut in police budgets have meant that we rarely see police on patrol.

      The parish councils have resorted to getting their own speed monitoring systems and the results are shocking, including cases of vehicles travelling at over 100 mph in 40 zones. Wokingham Council’s record on traffic and roads management is woeful.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Exactly, we clearly have total economic illiterates running the treasury.

    Meanwhile at the bank of England Mr Haldane has been going on about huge threat to jobs from Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps we should destroy all new technology and go back to horse and carts then to create jobs. Then again perhaps the wheel should go too.

    Some inteligence of any Kind would be welcome at the BoE and the Treasury. High St Banks still able to get away with overdrafts at about 68% while paying. Just 0.2% on deposits.

    Exports at a record high it seems though despite this moronic visionless government. Just imagine what we could do with a half competent one.

    • Posted August 21, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Yes, LL. It seems our country is thriving DESPITE these people and not BECAUSE of them. What a sad situation.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    The attack on landlord interest and extra SDLT is particularly idiotic and against all normal rules of business accounting and fairness. He seems to want to kill a vital industry that provided rented accomodation that is vital forcthe economy and job mobility.

    What are Hammond’s reasons for these totally idiotic attacks on Tenants and Landlords? Is he just mad perhaps?

  7. oldtimer
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    You will never be able to produce enough examples so long as the Treasury persists in wearing blinkers and ear plugs.

  8. Nig l
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    And in a surprise move the Treasury has decided that various No Deal documents should reflect the facts more accurately. A spokesperson says that this has caused stress amongst a number of officials who have demanded time off to recover.

  9. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    How many more excuses do we need to never vote Tory again?

  10. Andy
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Pound collapses as a result of your Brexit – North Sea oil becomes cheaper to everyone but us. A short term boom.

    I note now that the organisation which represents people who run the NHS is warning of drug shortages after your Brexit.

    Hold on – let me guess. You all know more about running a health service than they do and they makes them wrong.

    Here’s the irony. Old people need more drugs and rely on the NHS more. Old people voted overwhelmingly for Brexit. Old people will be angry when their vote means they can’t get treatment. Oops. Still, I find it funny.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      @Andy. Not as funny as I find your posts. Or should I say pathetic.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      That’s right, Andy, and when angry pensioners go to get their repeat prescriptions after Brexit they will harassing the chemist to know whether their medicines have been imported from the EU, and if so whether they have been put through the 44 checks at the border which were never deemed necessary before Brexit:

      http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/08/21/the-uk-treasury-makes-a-mistake-and-helps-an-industry-grow/#comment-955971

      But you should take care, because it will not only be worthless old people who will find that previously readily available vital medicines are being unnecessarily held up in UK customs on the orders of a silly UK government.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Does that include your own mother(I’m not sure whether you are talking to her or not these days)?

      • Andy
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Probably. She voted Leave. If she can’t get medicines that’s her fault.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      You’re over 40, Andy. You’re old, Andy. You’re ancient, Andy. You’ll be 50 in a blink but don’t imagine that those in their twenties discern you from a 55 year-old because they don’t.

      Just because some analyst has decided to divide the age groups up to demonise retireds the fact is that your age group (the over 40s) are the ones who voted for Brexit and the care home kickings you’re inciting will be be in full swing by the time you get there.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      I think a collapse in the pound is far more likely if the naive youth vote continue their infatuation with the Corbyn personality cult and vote him in at the next election. However I would respect their right to do so.

      Nothing interesting to pass on to us from Bristol council this time ?

      BTW Andy, just for fun could you confirm my guess that you work in the public sector (I include education in that) ?

    • Richard1
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Do the 160 odd countries around the world which aren’t in the EU manage to get drugs? Are you referring to the individual who said there could be a shortage of insulin, presumably to scare and alarm diabetics? But the worlds largest producer of diabetic products, Novo Nordisk, markets its products in 170 countries. 142 of these are outside the EU. Are you – and the continuity remainer fear-monger you refer to -suggesting that the U.K. will be embargoed and blockaded eg by such drug producers? It’s worth looking at the details to see just how absurd these fears are.

      I would prefer a sensible FTA with the EU. But I’ve got to the point I’m also rather looking forward to no deal as I think there will be a huge long term benefit to the Nation – and to the World – from all these bien pensant supposed experts being exposed as talking complete tosh (again).

    • Posted August 21, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      How many more times, Andy? We Brexiteers are not all ”old”. It is the younger ones like you of whom we despair, because you are so blinkered, and obviously a fan of Facebook from where you seem to get your ”information”.

      Your children may not forgive you – but they may laugh at you one day, for being such a narrow-minded, closet xenophobic dinosaur. ”So what did you do during Brexit, Daddy?” ”I hid behind the sofa with my fingers in my ears watching Facebook unfold Project Fear”…. But I hope not.

    • NickC
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      Andy, To your children you are an old person. You are obviously indoctrinating them well, and they will hate you as a consequence. What you sow you shall reap.

  11. Tabulazero
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Brent oil averaged $45/brl in 2016 compared to $72/brl YTD in 2018.

    Higher tax revenues have more to do with global oil prices nearly doubling over the period (something on which the government has no control) than fiscal policy.

  12. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Afraid the Chancellor seems only to think in simple terms, you get more tax if you put rates up !
    He is wrong of course, because human nature being what it is, always finds an alternative.

    People who By to Let are simply looking for a sensible return on their investment, but it does not automatically follow that they will purchase more houses if investment elsewhere will produce a more flexible and equal return.

    People who purchase new cars start to look at the alternatives of purchasing pre registered or 2-3 year old cars, people who still purchase new, tend to run them not longer before change.

    We then of course have the alternative and bartering economy, a normal way of life in many foreign lands, and with increasing immigration, a growing trend here as well.

    Unfortunately we have not had a Chancellor who favours developing personal growth with tax cuts to encourage work and business for decades in the UK.

  13. Ian wragg
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    So William Hague is against handing more power to party members.
    Of course Cameron tried that with the referendum and he got a bloody nose. Of course Hague wants a choice between 2 remainers for the next leader. God forbid we actually get someone who is willing to implement the referendum result.

    • matthu
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Same as Hague was against a referendum and in particular he was keen on the original referendum lock being framed so that it could not easily be triggered by anything you or I might otherwise construe as powers being handed back to the EU.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      I remember some commentator saying of the late patrician Tory MP Sir Ian Gilmore that he had a “daddy,why are those men with pitch forks coming down our drive?” look permanently etched on his face!

    • Alan Joyce
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mr. Redwood,

      Poor old William Hague!

      All those days of drinking 14 pints of beer when out delivering his family firm’s soft drinks have finally addled his brain.

  14. Stephen Almond
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Much as I support lower tax rates, surely the increase in oil price has been the major contributor to the increased tax take?

    Reply Yes, as has the increased output thanks to investment made as a result of lower taxes

  15. Bob Dixon
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Once we have settled down, after 29/03/2019, we can then start clearing out those civil servants and treasury officials who have no ideas how the economy reacts to their stupid actions.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      @ Bob Dixon

      That start date Bob should be the 30th March 2019 for the draining of the swamp.

  16. Mark
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Lowering PRT to zero is effectively a tax increase and the sadly predictable breaking of the original PRT bargain. PRT was originally set at high rates to provide security that the state would collect the costs of field abandonment and restoration at the end of project life rather than the oil companies. In effect it was a free loan to the state of monies the oil companies would otherwise have set aside for themselves. The bargain was that this money would be repaid when decommissioning took place as a tax refund. The repayment has been reduced to zero. The reason that the overall PRT collection has been a modest repayment in recent years is that most of the fields that were subject to the PRT regime have ended their production, and are being decommissioned.

    The uptick in production is not related to PRT but rather to other changes in North Sea taxation.

    • acorn
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      PRT being reduced to zero did reduce Corporation Tax at the margin to 40% from 75% which helped a bit. But the biggy is TTH transferable tax history,which doesn’t start till November 18. That’s where new owners of old wells, can reclaim the eventual decommissioning costs against previous PRT paid. It’s a good idea.

  17. steveL
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    The Chancellor and the government can hardly do anything much until the present talks with the EU are concluded. If we leave without an agreement the Pound is likely to tank, even if we leave with a half in half out agreement or Canada Plus it will take years of transition to reach this- it’s the uncertainty about everything that is killing business.

    Reply Not so. Business is doing fine.

    • Jagman84
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      You will find that currency markets will have already factored in such an eventuality. Generally, they like some instability as it is an opportunity to make a profit. The economic illiterates in the treasury and BoE are more of a challenge!

  18. Prigger
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Liam Fox Trade Secretary,on Sky News this morning. He was asked about NHS Health providers, employed as Professionals, and their leaked to the Press private email concerns to Ministers of the continuity of drug availability post Brexit.
    He addressed and answered the interviewer’s voiced concerns as one would expect he in his own profession,- professionally affirmatively and reassuredly.

    We just can’t get the quality of staff in the NHS, can we. We hire what we think are stars and in one or two cases get a tangle of fairylights instead

    • hellbent
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Liam Fox is a bit of a disappointment really, along with DD and IDS they promised we would get an equal partnership bespoke deal..but it is looking very far from that now..instead looks like we are having a heap of trouble instead just trying to conclude the divorce proceedings- not to mention the future. On cue our side is leaking threats by putting it out that we will walk away and this is all OK for the tabloids but is not going to work in the real world, not in the world of Tusk, Junker and Verhofstadt anyway so I don’t think Raab will make much progress today either- these EU types are serious players- they don’t negotiate through the tabloid press, I fear we are slowly sinking into the mire-

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        hellbent

        They have only been a failure because they were shackled by May, she has undermined and briefed against them at every stage.

        Eventually it gets to a point where you say I do not want to be part of this !

        No point in Davis standing firm when they simply wait for May to give way, it worked well for the EU so far.
        More to follow, trust me, I am not a politician.!

      • Andy
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Who’d have thought?

        (Well, me for a start – plus over 16 million others, along with 3 million EU citizens who were denied a vote, and 1 million Britons in the EU, many of whom were denied a vote, and millions of young people who were also denied a vote.)

      • NickC
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

        Hellbent, We already export more to non-EU countries using the WTO global trading system than we do to the EU. Adding European countries to that list will not cause any more problems. We don’t need a trade deal with the EU because the WTO system works fine.

  19. Lifelogic
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile we have William Hague today saying “Tory MPs know best so Tory Members should get lost”:-

    ‘Don’t risk electing EXTREMIST leader like Corbyn’: Hague’s appeal to Conservative Party
    THE CONSERVATIVE Party should not give grassroots Tories a greater say in the election of their next leader by altering the rules to make it easier for “entryists” to swamp the party, former minister Lord William Hague has cautioned.

    Well Mrs May is very similar to Corbyn on tax borrow and waste, magic money tree economics and the massive over bloated but largely useless state sector. Though she is totally unsound on Brexit. Where Corbyn has been sound on it nearly all of his life.
    Unfortunately thanks to Gove’s knifing Boris the members did not get a say so we ended up with the appalling, left wing, electoral liability & totally disengenuous dope Theresa Appeaser May.

    MPs were so unbelievably stupid back in 1995 that they even re-elected John Major with his ‘back me or sack me agenda@ and “resignation”. They thus predictably buried the Tory Party for very many terms. They have not had a decent majority or a decent leader since Mrs Thatcher was evicted (and even she made huge and obvious mistakes).

    The Tory party members will be far better at choosing a leader than MPs. Tory party members have little in common with Labour Party members (who are young & totally deluded with the bitter politics of envy, state sector unions and magic money tree economics).

    Tory party members are older, far more sensibible and will make a far better choice than MPs will.

    • Andy
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Tory party members are definitely older – on that count you are right.

      The chances of these irrelevant pensioners picking a figure electable among non-irrelevant pensioners is minimal.

      • mancunius
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        ‘The Wisdom of Andy’ – available now.
        Rather a short volume – and not many buyers.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        The only hatred I’ve seen incited on these pages is from Remainers.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Hague has been a bitter disappointment, supposedly eurosceptic he has supported the EU blindly and was in a large part responsible for May calling an election.

      Having been proved wrong on just about everything I think it is always safer to do the opposite of what he suggests.

      And I might add there are no ‘extremists’ in the Tory party, unless you count Soubry.

  20. A.Sedgwick
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    My contribution to oil taxes in Osborne’s ruinous time as Chancellor was to remove all taxes on North Sea and Onshore oil/gas production – it remains my view for financial and strategic reasons.

  21. acorn
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Before you claim this is another Laffer Curve miracle, you should study what has actually been happening in the North Sea. Try “UK North Sea oil output to resume decline after brief respite” (Reuters: Ron Bousso)

    Remember that the Laffer Curve only “appears” to work at the end of a tax year; or, at the start of the next tax year, due to “forestalling”. See for instance HMRC: “Taxing gains made by non-residents on UK immovable property – Application of the anti-forestalling rule”

    • mancunius
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      That doesn’t add up. If HMRC know all about ‘forestalling’ and actively apply rules to prevent it, it cannot possibly affect the annual measurement of tax collection to such a major extent.

      • acorn
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

        Most tax changes are put out for consultation long before they get into the Finance Act and get a commencement date. A “transition period” HMRC does not want.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 22, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

          It is years since top rates of income tax were reduced and years since rates of capital gains taxes were increased.
          Figures keep showing increased income tax revenues from top earners and reduced revenues of capital gains.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Clearly you can pass laws to steal assets of people and businesses but the result is you strangle the golden goose and thus get far fewer eggs the next. People leave, stop working, do not invest…..

      The Venezuela/Corbyn agenda. Not that May and Hammond are much different.

    • NickC
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, For your theory to work, you would have to suppose that changing the tax rates makes absolutely no difference to tax-payers’ decisions. That is clearly nonsense. People react to the environment they find themselves in – if the environment changes, they change. For example: the EU attempts to punish the UK for daring to be independent – I stop buying EU goods. It happened in the model for the EU too – in the USSR people worked hard for themselves, less hard for the state, despite communism. It’s human nature and you can’t stop it.

  22. georgeP
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Nothing to say about this- not at this time

  23. David D
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Just imagine the growth and wealth building if the state didn’t exist at all. No bloated bureaucracies devoted to making life as difficult as possible. No incompetent and corrupt politicians taking us into the EU and the like. No restrictions on trade. No illegal and immoral wars. Instead the free market would solve most of the financial and social problems within a few short years and the majority of people would be healthier, richer and happier, except, of course, for all those that currently do so well from the state. Vested interests in other words.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Defence and law and order, not much else is needed.

  24. Bob
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    “lower taxes not only boost incomes and output, but can also lead to higher revenues…”

    Mr Hammond told you that a vote to leave would damage the economy and he intends to prove it.

  25. Adam
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    We don’t need to supply more examples. Our need is to supply & appoint a competent Chancellor to cancel out the present misguided one’s errant legacy.

  26. DUNCAN
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    The term ‘Treasury’ is merely a catch-all term, meaningless and impersonal. Departments don’t execute and sign-off on policy decisions, individuals do.

    I prefer to focus on those individuals who possess the power to take such decisions

    Name the culprits or else what’s the point?

    If we don’t know the identity of these people how can we ever hold them responsible, assuming of course we can, which I doubt

    The ultimate argument for Brexit is holding to account each individual in government and beyond who impose their policy choices upon us and to which we have no power to question or dismiss

    It’s now a one-way street and I resent that, deeply

    Power must be under our control not under the control of politicians and civil servants

    Less politics
    Less bureaucracy
    Less state
    More private involvement

    Slash taxes, slash state spending, slash political spending

  27. libertarian
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    We need to learn that this Conservative Government do not do things that are common sense, worked out properly or effective

    It is governing entirely on virtue signalling , May has one view, the Tories are nasty so we will raise taxes on EVERYTHING to appease the left… Bonkers the lot of them

  28. Timaction
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    You are in a socialist party that masquerades as Conservative. Actions have proven this time and again. All legacies are interchangeable left wing sameness!

  29. John Miller
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    It’s absolutely right that increasing tax rates should result in more tax.

    Think how much more money Proctor and Gamble would make if they increased the price of Fairy Liquid to £20 a bottle.

    Oh, wait…

  30. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    JR: “How many more examples do we need to supply to get across to the government that lower taxes not only boost incomes and output, but can also lead to higher revenues?”

    Very many, whilst you have Mrs May and Hammond in charge. Your party is moving to the left – something that Corbyn will be pleased about – why have a pale imitation when you can have the real thing?

  31. Richard1
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    yes we see it everywhere. the Laffer Curve. Up go the rates, down go the receipts, down go the rates up go the receipts. It is understandable that leftists, with their collectivist world-view – which requires obliviousness to or denial of obvious basic facts of life, refuse to accept this. What is more curious is that supposed ‘Conservatives’ like Mr Hammond have such trouble.

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    The news this morning is that unless we can get the EU to agree to Theresa May’s Chequers deal then the NHS will start running out of medicines the day we leave the EU. This was in a private internal NHS letter which one of Theresa May’s civil servants arranged to have leaked to the Times and so to Sky News, and apparently the BBC has also seen it. A chap called Mark Dayan of the Nuffield Trust explained that unless we get a deal with the EU – and we all know that the only possible deal would be the one devised by Theresa May’s chief EU adviser Olly Robbins, there is now no alternative to that – then the UK government would have to activate up to 44 checks on each piece of medicine that was imported into the country, and that loss of “frictionless trade” with the EU would cause such delays that there would inevitably be shortages. Apparently the UK government would be forced to do this because “having imports coming in with no checks is frowned upon by international law and it really raises its own problems”. When asked about this Dr Liam Fox does not robustly say “What a load of tripe, if a medicine can come in without any checks the day before we leave the EU then common sense says that it can still come in without any checks the day after we leave the EU, and in fact it would go against the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement if we did arbitrarily introduce new and unnecessary checks on the same imported medicines”, instead he mechanically repeats the feeble standard line that the government is working hard to make sure that we do not leave the EU without a deal, so this problem should not arise. Meanwhile it is reported that Dr Sarah Wollaston has chipped in with her theory that people didn’t understand any of these terrible problems when they voted to leave the EU but given a second chance she and her friends would make sure that voters did realise that leaving the EU would cut off vital supplies of medicines. Oh, and a BBC reporter adds his own original contribution by asking “What if we have to pay tariffs on medicines?”, and again the government minister Dr Liam Fox prefers to evade that silly question rather than addressing it – “So who do you think would decide that we must pay tariffs on medicines, and who do you think we would pay them to?” – and showing it up as being the damn silly question it is.

    • Alison
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      If a country can only get vital supplies by being a member of the EU, the world is a crazy, undemocratic place, and, if that is indeed the case, (a) other member states should consider their position, and (b) the sooner that EU is dismantled, the better.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      And this afternoon the story is lower down the news agenda but it is still running well; with the BBC envisaging a health emergency and the EU loyalist Labour MP Ben Bradshaw calling for a second referendum; while on Sky somebody else moots the possibility of getting drugs from other countries outside the EU, maybe because he imagines a spiteful EU cutting off the supply of vital medicines to the UK at the same time as a foolish UK government further constricts that non-existent supply of medicines from the EU by imposing 44 checks which were not deemed necessary the day before when we were still in the EU … and on both news programmes the response from Liam Fox is feeble, feeble, feeble …

    • Andy
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      It’s not silly at all. We can axe all tariffs on drugs – of course but it will have to apply to every country. This means the impact will be that cheap Chinese drugs will flood our market. Great you say – medicines may costs less. And some might. But the downside is that good jobs making medicines will go – as it can be done cheaper in China. Bye bye British drug industry. Still – all those unemployed doctoral level scientists could always pick fruit instead.

      • stred
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

        Prescribers will only select drugs which are known to be safe. Chinese manufactured drugs are made to high standards and our major drug companies have subsidiaries there. To prevent medical drugs entering the UK the PM would have to instruct customs to stop, search and test. Even by her usual standards of incompetence, this would be unlikely. At least, if she did, she would be left without the drugs she needs herself and someone sensible could then take over.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        It’s nothing to do with tariffs, Andy, do try reading what is posted, it’s to do with the 44 tests which we do not need to apply to any medicines imported from the EU while we are in the EU but allegedly will immediately need to apply to exactly the same medicines once we have left the EU.

        And quite apart from that obviously making no sense, unless you believe that the moment we are out of the EU your friends will start allowing all kinds of rubbish to be sent across, it is also arguably against the WTO treaties to unnecessarily introduce tests on imports from the EU when previously it has been agreed there was no need for such tests.

        Later on, maybe, if we keep finding that the standards of some imports from the EU are not as high as we want, then the reintroduction of routine checks at the border could be justified, but not the day after we have left.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        The UK pharma industry employs 73,000 people , there are currently 829,000 unfilled jobs in the UK. By the way I part own a small pharma company in the UK . Currently the fast growing Chinese pharma market is flouting IP and therefore falls outside the WTO fair tariff rules as they are seen to be “dumping” . They are trying to remedy this by partnering Western firms Novartis have a joint venture just set up in Shanghai . One day Andy you will learn that trade is global , markets are made by buyers and sellers and you and your business hero Trump are wrong about protectionist policies

    • graham1946
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      On local radio tonight, an ex head of a Trust said the following, which I found surprising:

      1) We export more medicines and appliances to the EU than they send to us by quite a large margin so a deal, once again, is equally important to them if they don’t want to run out of medicines and appliances on their side. Their factories don’t seem to produce the stuff we do and vice versa.

      2) You cannot just stockpile this stuff willy nilly. The warehouses have to be temperature and atmospherically controlled and these premises are not just sitting around waiting for someone to find a use for them.

      3) The NHS as a whole does not have representation on the Brexit committee, which is surprising as it is the biggest employer and the biggest user of national funds.

      4) The NHS Providers who leaked the ‘private letter’ have no business being involved in the discussions anyway – they will be told what to do when the details are sorted out. Discussions are between London and Brussels. They have no valuable input and seem to be Fear Mongering.

      That’s all I can remember at the moment, but I think it shows that Project Fear is stepping up a gear again. If you want to cause a stir, threaten the NHS. Pity the government don’t rebut it.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        A boy with diabetes was wheeled out on TV to show how items he was using daily had been imported from other EU countries, and he thought it would be crazy if he could no longer get them. I suppose he could have been asked what he would think about a diabetic UK Prime Minster ordering UK customs to unnecessarily hold up such items at the border, but he wasn’t.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Ah yes, that would be the Wollaston woman who supported Leave at the start of the campaign then switched to Remain with a big fanfare. She really does think we are stupid.

  33. Prigger
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    …”lower taxes not only boost incomes and output, but can also lead to higher revenues?”

    No-one wakes up on a morning and thinks” I am going to have this or that opinion now on”
    We have our opinion thrust upon us as it were. My biography, and hopefully open mind, is pushing and causing me more to the libertarian strands of thought. Tax is Theft, may be not quite true. But I am feeling it is a very good starting point.

    • Andy
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Well, it is theft when you consider it only as a sum of money.

      I bet you don’t consider it theft when you need to see a doctor – and told can. Or you need to travel somewhere – and there’s a motorway. Or when your grandchildren need to go to school – and they do. Or when someone pays you your pension.

      My starting point is that people who whinge most about tax do not actually pay enough of it. And I say that as someone who pays more of it than most of you ever have or ever will.

      • mancunius
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        In that case, you should cheer the happy prospect of your being called on to cough up lots and lots and lots more tax under a Corbyn/McDonnell government.

      • Glenn Vaughan
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Andy – I’m delighted that you are paying that amount of (unspecified) tax. Long may you continue to have to pay it.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        All the things you describe , Doctors ( hospitals) , roads and schools were originally built and operated by the private sector until they were stolen by the state.

        So you got a big inheritance from daddy did you, whoopy do.

      • getahead
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Never heard of National Insurance, Andy? That pays for your visit to the doctor.

      • matthu
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        What assumptions are you making to back up that last boastful assertion? I suggest you know absolutely nothing about the population of contributors to this blog, so your assertion sounds like the sort of statement made by someone afflicted with small person syndrome.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Your last paragraph exposes your hypocrisy Andy.
        Your hatred for pensioners living on modest pensions and many working part time and paying tax.
        Your disdain for those who earn lesser incomes and don’t pay “enough” tax compared to wealthy young you.
        What you should realise that below a certain level of income every single pound counts.
        Earn £25,000 year and the state leaves you with £20,279.68
        Then there is council tax to pay.
        Then you pay 20% vat on nearly all your purchases, even more on petrol tobacco and beer.
        Rich people like you moaning about those poorer than you struggling to make ends not paying “enough” tax makes me sick.

      • NickC
        Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

        Andy, If you feel that strongly about it you can always send a bit more to the tax man. Or to the EU – I’m sure Mr Juncker could do with an increase in salary for his essentials. Alternatively, of course, people like you always want other people to pay more. That is, if you’re not a pork pie vendor and fantasist.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      I’m so glad to hear it,Prigger,because if the view that “tax is theft” becomes prevalent,you may find that it gets quickly countered and superseded by an “all property is theft”mantra.

  34. Edwardm
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    None are as blind as those who don’t see.

  35. iain
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    John
    What you write is common sense which is a quality sadly lacking amongst the most powerful people in Government.

    • Psychic
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      @John
      Remoaner MPs may think they have not common sense, but sixth sense. That would explain alot.

  36. Dontknowsquat
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Won’t lead to higher revenue if the economy goes into decline which will happen if we go to WTO rules there will be a period of decline for a few years at least..spending money on the wrong things would be a big mistake..we need a rejuvination of our regoonal sea ports and not loads spent on high speed rail

    • NickC
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

      You Dontknowsquat. We already trade under WTO rules – the WTO system applies to 98% of global trade.

  37. Rien Huizer
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Maybe the oil price helped a bit too? Exit of Majors with high hurdle rates for investment? Industry sources expect that the decline will resume in the coming years. Of course an oil price of USD 200 pb would help even more..

    Reply Yes, of course, as I said. It still needed tax changes to get them investing in the capacity

    • NickC
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

      Rien, You obviously know very little about the oil industry. There is oil and gas in and around the UK, but one of the biggest hurdles is the opposition to “frakking”. Another is that when the easy oil has been taken the marginal costs, and the risks, rise. So a rising oil price does not necessarily mean higher profits.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        I thought that the technology you are referring to was called “fracking”.

        Anyway, the point Mr Redwood was trying to make in his post was that lowering taxes is good for several reasons and that the (temporary) increase in North Sea oil output is a good example of that. My criticism (from actually a fair degree of familiarity with the oil industry from previous work) is (a) that other factors (may) have contributed, such as the oil price, the availability of concessions that the majors with their conservative internal allocation systems do not consider attractive enough but still worth some money in the second hand market and (b) that the rhetorical technique to generalize an apparent effect is not sound. Apart from that the increase in question is likely to fade away, unless the oil price stays high.

        Fracking has nothing to do with this argument and I do not think that was Mr Redwood’s intention. Fracking is a source of other policy problems (especially NIMBY ones) and depending on the material (coal seams or shale) the output has different applications. Coal supplies gas (the giant gas field in the Groningen area of The Netherlands is a natural coal seam gas reservoir and may live forever) and shale can do both. In both cases there are very high operational costs and quite some environmental risk, although than can be contained (expensively). Sorry.

        • NickC
          Posted August 22, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          Rien, Your original claim that “the decline will resume in the coming years” is of course too loosely defined to make sense. Nevertheless extraction by “hydraulic fracturing” (the correct term – neither “fracking” nor “frakking”) of UK shale deposits is likely to increase output, at least of gas, “in the coming years”. That’s why fracking is relevant. It contradicts your assertion that the growth will “fade away”.

          I would not describe the “majors” as having “conservative internal allocation systems”, I would instead style it as a ruthless application of DCFRR and NPV techniques with risks quantified. The point is the UKCS is a high cost operating area because of its location and the high standards required by the OGA. The majors also have higher overheads. The position is further complicated by the infrastructure often being shared between fields and companies. Nevertheless it is only common sense to observe that reduced taxation can make the marginal field rather more attractive. Sorry.

  38. a-tracy
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    John, isn’t this your Treasury, don’t you Conservative MPs have any influence on the Treasury? Can you honestly just all turn a blind eye to the 6.1% interest on student loans that make 2012 onward graduates on the 2nd type of payback unable to ever settle their bill, if you wanted a 30-year graduate tax (for those who couldn’t afford to pay upfront because their parents are so wealthy) you should have called it that.

    To the destroying increase in company car taxation of hybrid vehicles from Japan.

    To the damaging scheme in London (mainly) to increase home building companies profits by allowing them to put up the price of all newbuild teeny tiny flats by at least £100,000 since it was implemented and now only sell 30% of flats to young buyers. Do you honestly have no rights to object and overturn a Conservative Chancellors damaging decisions?

    Your hiked Council tax bills to pay extra for social care, yet its never enough.

    Eye-watering increases into the NHS disguised as grade increases rather than pay increases putting up the payroll massively rarely gets a mention in the defense of spending , I’m not disagreeing with professionals in the NHS getting good increases but for goodness sakes be honest about them and the true cost of their NHS pension scheme on top of their top line.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      A couple of questions about this mess in the NHS on recruitment and 35% of our doctors being recruited through immigration putting our national health service at risk if they up and leave, do they have the same level of training in their own Countries, are the Doctors degrees the same length of duration, are they all as specialised?
      Is it a standardised worldwide Doctor and Nurse qualification? I think we’ve got a right to know?
      Are all the Polish and Philippine Nurses trained in Universities like GB ones are?

      If English Doctors are paying for their own tuition fees now for the first four years of their degree (like those students in all other disciplines) why not boost training numbers and look at how other Countries are training their Doctors that they can afford to do this and just lose them (or do we pay a fee)?

  39. Mick
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Off topic
    I see the Eu loving BBC & Sky are in overdrive over a no deal and spewing out more project fear between them, what part of democracy don’t these muppets understand we voted out and that’s it , if we struggle for a while because of a no deal so be it we will survive so get use to it remoaners, I’ve said it before if the remoaners want to be ruled by Brussels then pack your bags and go live in your beloved Europe bye bye you’ll not be missed

    • Carer for MPs
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      @Mick
      “remoaners want to be ruled by Brussels then pack your bags and go live in your beloved Europe”
      Listen Mick my good man!!!!!!! If they truly believed in a word they say, they would already have gone. They are not stupid!

    • Andy
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Yeah – we can’t go and live in our beloved Europe because the right to free movement is one of the many rights the angry pensioners are taking away. We will struggle for more than a while – and I’d wager that you’ll struggle a lot more than me. I promise not to laugh at you when you do. Okay – I don’t promise that at all. I fully intend to proper belly laugh at all of you.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        We lived and worked in Europe before you were born.
        No EU then.

      • NickC
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Your “right” to free movement has been stolen from the people of the countries you impose yourself on – they no longer have the right to decide who, and how many, can come to their country.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        My son and his wife are moving to France next year, they’ve already bought a house. ( They both voted Leave ) I own a business in France, none of this changes due to the ending of free movement. Just because you can’t rock up and claim benefits and health care doesn’t mean you can’t reside in another EU country

        You keep pretending that you are wealthy, yet you’ve closed your business you tell us and sacked all your staff and yet you dont own a home in any other EU country

        Oh and I worked in France, Germany, Holland and Switzerland with no hassle at all long before the Free Movement of People was ratified by the EU

  40. Leanin on a lamppost
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Socialist Labour says we will, with Brexit, end up in a Venezuela situation.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 21, 2018 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Leanin. Well they should know!

    • libertarian
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Leaning

      Presumably this is the main plank of their manifesto and an aspiration for them

  41. mancunius
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Hammond’s strategies since mid-2016 have all been geared to damaging the UK economy in order to scare leave voters into believing their vote was the cause, to soften them up for a change of heart, but – alas – they persist in their rebellious view that Britain is better off out of the continental state corporate stitch-up.
    Meanwhile world markets continue regarding our UK domestic decision as secondary in the grand scheme of things. UK Investors continue to make good returns – except in the areas targeted by Hammond.
    This naturally frustrates him, so he takes it out on business and the taxpayer. Somebody needs to give him a useful job, or put him out of his misery and pension him off.

  42. The PrangWizard
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    There’s no question that politics of the Left is a big influence on this fake Conservative government. I remember Mrs May making a speech in which she said, I’m fairly sure, that the State is a force for good in society, maybe the force for good. And she meant that the state should not be passive and reactive, but actively involved in directing the society and individuals’ lives, and consequently restricting individual freedoms. We have more of this to come as long as she is in charge.

  43. Den
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Unfair tax advantages for the BTL investors forced up house prices and therefore closed the market to too many young folk wanting to buy their own home.
    That has, rightfully, been addressed and together with the pending Interest Rate hikes, will push down house prices and enable those young folk to buy their home sometime in the near future. The predicted fall in property sales and asking prices has already become evident around the country.
    With regard to the zero PRT, of course a good move that re-ignites the North Sea and if the price of Oil rises sufficiently, the newly discovered Shetland field will be rapidly developed. More money for us – well for our Treasury.
    Less income tax for us? Not if the socialists get their hands on it!

  44. Trumpeteer
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know how Trump and his supporters would be able to function on Twitter, if Hunt has his way. He’ll change his mind, I bet, when he has a word with himself and thinks about it a bit.

  45. Capt Mannering
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Jeremy Hunt. I don’t like him, either

  46. PaulDirac
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    One of the main questions we should ask Osborne is:
    “Are there not one talented and financially experienced person among the 65 million citizens of the UK, that you were forced to get this Canadian syncopate to be the “independent” governor of the BOE”?

  47. Prigger
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    For our American friends

    It is hard for us to understand Remoaners. They speak that kind of English,…erm,
    well it must be somewhere or other. I tried to get in their heads so to speak to understand them. I looked around and thought : “This is not Kansas!

  48. Steve
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I see that Hunt is attempting to get the EU to accept May’s capitulation offer. Not surprising since he is anti – British, pro – EU.

    His appointment just confirms this government’s intent to ignore the referendum result and keep us enslaved to EU rule.

    I think the only thing to do now is keep a list of all their names and come the day of reckoning in this country get them in the tower and prosecute for treason.

    At the next general election, however, there can be no doubt the conservatives are going to be voted out of existence. Only then they will they come to realise their arrogance in underestimating the British people.

    They might also consider that when we said May should go, they should have kicked her out then.

    But hey, what do our demands count for? – Nothing, because this government was elected, by us. Mugs ain’t we.

    To May and fellow criminals I say this; you might well succeed in thwarting brexit, but don’t think for a second we’ll be laying down like good little children because we won’t, we’ll be having your guts for garters.

    Leave MP’s would do well to resign en mass and form their own party, or simply defect to UKIP. Either way the few good guys in government need to dump May and the rest of the traitors, she and her cohorts are highly toxic and will have destroyed your careers, and your livelihoods come next election.

  49. libertarian
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    The English drunk so much booze during the heatwave and World Cup that Treasury coffers swelled by a extra £300million this summer.

    • hefner
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      The good thing, if you believe the weather/climate people, is that at least the future summers are likely to be similarly hot. So no slowing economy, related or not to Brexit, all thanks to the boozers, the staycationers, and the visitors to the UK on the weakening pound. Isn’t it nice?

      • libertarian
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        hefner

        Indeed and talking to a real Kent Farmer the other day who has just produced a third in a row bumper crop of apricots , due to slightly improved weather conditions as well as a vineyard owner who has just started building a new £3 million bottling plant oh and the French Champagne co Taittinger has just established a huge Kent vineyard too. It would appear that farming will be experiencing a bit of a boom too.

  50. Dennis
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Socialist Labour says we will, with Brexit, end up in a Venezuela situation.

    Meaning we will be controlled by US meddling?

    • Leanin on a lamppost
      Posted August 22, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      @Dennis
      “Socialist Labour says we will, with Brexit, end up in a Venezuela situation.” ( is what I wrote )
      “Meaning we will be controlled by US meddling?” (is what you replied to the above)

      There is just no way is there? Straight text, parody, metaphor, litotes, irony, …no tool, literary device to penetrate you ( I’m speaking in general, nothing personal ). I literally cry for my Country!

      • Dennis
        Posted August 22, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        @Leanin
        I said, “Meaning we will be controlled by US meddling?”

        I’m interested in your response (I don’t take it as an attack) but what do you think I meant by my comment? Thanks.

  51. Half of
    Posted August 21, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    If medicines are a problem, a friend of a friend of friend and many of his friends can bring all of it over with half the annual tobacco that the UK consumes every year at half the retail price.
    It will save the taxpayer money too because they probably can supply the whole of the NHS with stuff at half price. Order early to avoid disappointment!

  52. Adam
    Posted August 22, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    The BBC is too fat & unfit for purpose. The Today programme was once high quality but has become bloated with inferior presenters &etc ed.

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