The Treasury keeps the UK under the control of EU austerity policies.

The UK solemnly goes on complying with all requirements on a member state of the EU. This year they dutifully filed their “2018 National Reform Programme and their 2018 Convergence programme”. The Treasury has long accepted the EU’s demands that we keep throttling back the deficit and move to getting down the debt as a percentage of GDP. There are times when the EU are right about this, but at issue is who makes such a judgement and who actually runs our economic policy? The EU has overdone the austerity in some cases causing more unemployment and lost output than needed. Mr Osborne turned this into the keystone of his economic policy and claimed it as his own, but it was just the UK version of EU economic policy which we were obliged to follow by being members.

The EU duly marked our homework this year and concluded formally “The Council is of the opinion that the UK needs to stand ready to take further measures as of 2018-19 to comply with the provisions of the Stability and Growth Pact”. Presumably seeing that this would go beyond our membership, they mentioned in the supporting text the possibility that we will stay in for another 21 months transition when they would expect this policy to continue to be binding. The Council has instructed the Treasury to keep the nominal growth rate of public spending down to a maximum of 1.6%. That is a real terms cut at current inflation rates.

I want the UK Treasury to step aside from the long shadows cast by the European Semester and to announce a new budget strategy for the years ahead following our departure on 29 March 2019. We need a policy which is kinder to growth and to public service provision than the EU strategy has proved. The PM has said she is ending austerity. This is incompatible with following EU rules beyond next March, and depends on getting our money from the EU to spend at home.


  1. Mark B
    October 11, 2018

    Good morning

    Whilst we are still members of the EU we must comply with all the agreements and rules. Or are you suggesting we break those agreements ?

    For the PM to admit something that the opposition, quite falsely, claimed that the government were doing, is terribly naive politically. To claim that you have ended austerity when in fact there was no austerity and, only now with higher tax and interest rates, the private sector is bearing a higher proportion of the burden so that the public sector can have more money wasted on it. I am astounded.

    Any chance of having this up some time this week rather than having it held in moderation whilst others post multiple times and usually off-topic?

    1. JoolsB
      October 11, 2018

      ” the private sector is bearing a higher proportion of the burden”

      Totally agree. As is England compared to the rest of the UK. Sturgeon has announced a whole new spate of giveaways this week courtesy of the English taxpayer on top of their free tuition fees, free prescriptions, free hospital parking, free dental checks, free eye tests and free personal care for the elderly. Courtesy of Hammond and this anti-English Conservative Government who found an extra £4 billion in the budget for the devolved nations on top of the £1 billion bung to the DUP thanks to May’s disastrous snap election on top of the fact they already receive much more per head than those in England. Meanwhile services in England are being cut to the bone.

      Our host purports to speak for England but it seems he and his colleagues are happy to watch England, the only net contributor to the UK coffers, being treated as nothing more than a cash cow for the benefits of the rest of the UK. Everywhere but England seems to be their motto.

      1. a-tracy
        October 12, 2018

        Perhaps we need DUP politicians in England JoolsB, the big problem with them is they are not socially conservative and object too heavily for lifestyle freedoms of individuals for me but at least their women are strong and stable. The Conservative Party has become anti-English taxpayers I agree with you. My son is paying 10% more tax than a Scottish student the same age how is that just to him?

    2. Hope
      October 11, 2018

      OBR put out most scare story of the week that economic Mocs will be worse for 45 years if the U.K. Leaves without a deal. I thought they were independent!

      JR, it strikes me your party has gone too far in lying and there is no public trust in May or Hammond. No one believes them. Your party will be toast, mark my words. May’s betrayal has gone on far too long, her rebadging current EU policies i.e. Single market and customs union to something else has not duped the public that she is trying to keep the U.K. In the EU. A constitutional outrage and betrayal of the nation. The scare stories, again, showing that she cannot and must not be trusted.

      Today you talk about austerity, how can your party/May make a false claim before it has completed its promise- to get elected in 2010 – that the structural deficit will be balanced by 2015 and Hammond kicks it down the road forever without it being completed and May make the unfunded NHS spending spree promises! On top of this the highest taxation in fifty Years! Incompetence, false claims when the EU controls targets!

  2. Lifelogic
    October 11, 2018

    Indeed the PM and Hammond also seem to think they are actually pro business and that with them Brexit means Brexit. They must think voter are total fools if they will swallow this drivel.

    Alister Heath is surely spot today. He concludes:-

    “A Vote Leave-style party could grab 30-35 per cent of the vote in swathes of the country, destroy the Tories and win seats even in a first-past-the-post system.
    I don’t wish for this outcome: Corbyn would seize power, with cataclysmic consequences. It would be infinitely better if the Tories could do what they do best, come to terms with Brexit, find a new language to sell capitalism and reinvent themselves, absorbing and civilising the new populism. The question is: do they have the guts to listen to the voters? Or do they have a political death wish?”

    It seem to me that May does indeed have a political death wish. Any budget for Hammond will be full of further back door tax increases, further tax complexity, endless government waste and misdirection, further attacks on landlords, tenants, pension pots, higher earners, businesses, the hard working, the gig economy, the prudent, business efficiency and most of the private sector. It surely richly deserves to voted down, just as the DUP say they will do.

    1. A.Sedgwick
      October 11, 2018

      “I don’t wish for this outcome” – I do.
      Mrs. May and this Cabinet are an absolute shower.

      1. Mitchel
        October 12, 2018

        Indeed,we need a cataclysm of sorts to get rid of the vested interests that May and the current version of the Establishment so loyally serves.

    2. Bob
      October 11, 2018


      “A Vote Leave-style party could grab 30-35 per cent of the vote in swathes of the country,”

      UKIP policies include abolishing the following:
      • Inheritance Tax
      • HS2
      • Stamp Duty
      • Foreign Aid
      • EU membership

      1. Lifelogic
        October 11, 2018

        Sounds like a good start to me. But we need a Tory party to think like that they have the brand. (even though it was trashed by Heath, Major, Cameron, May it is still of value).

    3. Fishknife
      October 11, 2018

      I think Heath’s premise “Corbyn would seize power” is arithmetically false. A ‘Leave’ party would result in Remainers split between Labour & Conservative. I suspect if Prof. Curtice ran the numbers ward by ward there would be no overall winner.

      1. Fishknife
        October 11, 2018

        Letter to my M.P.:

        We are in £2 Trillion debt as a direct result of self-indulgance. We have borrowed rather than earned. We have allowed the Left to instill a belief that the state, i.e. someone else, will featherbed us. The world does not owe us a solution to the disasters our behaviour is stoking up. We have children turning up to school without their parent having fed them, we do not hold parents to account. Homelessness: we have empty buildings and tons of supermarket waste – why haven’t we put these together to produce a solution?
        The NHS is insatiable, there is a ‘Care for the Elderly’ and Pension timebomb about to go off.
        Automisation is just around the corner, many jobs will disappear and the blue and white working classes won’t like what jobs are left. The only winners will be Lord Rees-Mogg’s Sovereign Individual. That eventuallity will finish off the EU if the Euro and economic migrants haven’t done it first.

        Over time, to ‘buy’ swing voters, the Conservative Party has been led more and more towards the Nanny State, aided and abetted by Business. When people want, expect and feel entitled to take whatever they want regardless of the cost to everyone else – they will view anyone inhibiting that greed as ‘The Nasty Party’. Pandering won’t change behavour only education; we need to relearn the lessons of the Thatcher years and understand there is no such thing as a ‘Free Lunch’.

        A true Brexit gives us a chance of rewriting the rules, and really making work pay.
        Some immigration is vital – but make it come at a cost – inflate the Employer’s contribution, so that training is a cheaper option.
        The house building firms are milking the situation – invest in self designed prefabs, so people can have what they want, at an affordable cost, not a penny pinching rabbit hutch. Surcharge any house ownership and purchases not a Prime Residence by anyone without a National Insurance number.

        Brexit has to be a Negotiated Truce – not the £39 Billion ‘Capitulation’ Mrs. May is advocating. Reality will only become evident after 1st April ’19. Deal with it as it transpires. Nothing will change on that day – Take Control, manage the change. Businesses want to trade – let them; ramp up ‘Trusted Traders’ for ‘Just in Time’ supply chains, use ‘Enclaves’ where necessary so that (mainly European) firms can abide by ‘Origins’.

        As for Ireland we need a practical solution not a political one. Stop the posturing, a Customs Border may become increasingly necessary, if Eire stays in the EU, we should not be paying £39 bn and solving Brussels’ tantrums.

        Make Brexit the solution to our real problem – £2 Trillion and over-indulgence.

    4. Helen Smith
      October 11, 2018

      If I think there a chance that Labour could unseat Nick Herbert I will vote for them next time, as a life long, instinctive Conservative that shows the depth of my despair with and hatred of May.

    5. Hope
      October 11, 2018

      May has deferred abounding the deal/capitualtion until November to get over the DUP vote against her! It appears the plan is already agreed with the EU, she is just working out how to inform everyone of her sell out and complete capitualtion to remain in the EU is something different from what it is!

      JR, why is the agriculture policy and fishing policy being voted on before the deal? It makes no sense to do this. Surely the policy will change in both cases if there is a deal or not? Gove appears to mirror the current EU policies, May even stated the U.K. will negotiate what fishing quotas the U.K. Gets! Some independent coastal state to ask the EU what we can have!

      1. Steve
        October 11, 2018


        “May has deferred abounding the deal/capitualtion until November to get over the DUP vote against her!”

        Just goes to show how sly the woman is.

        That gang of shysters will get their’s at the next election and they know it.

    6. Mike Wilson
      October 11, 2018

      If we end up with Chequers minus, minus, minus …. I would not be surprised to see Farage return as leader of UKIP and for them to start polling 40%. And they will take votes equally from the Tories and from Labour. Just have to hope someone funds them.

  3. Ian wragg
    October 11, 2018

    It’s also reported on ITV that May had agreed to indefinitely staying in the Customs Union as a back stop.
    Game set and match to the Remainiacs

    1. Chris
      October 11, 2018

      There is a serious analysis on The Conservative Woman website about exactly what May has done. It makes chilling reading, and all Tory MPs should take note, not only Brexiter MPs. They will all have to live with this betrayal knowing that they supported it as they refused to mount a leadership challenge to May (which is the only way of stopping Chequers). May knows she is on a winning streak as her MPs will not dare to act effectively. They will make speeches and write in newspapers, but will not act apparently. It is an utter betrayal of us all.

    2. L Jones
      October 11, 2018

      ”Remainiacs” indeed. Does any one of them acknowledge that the EU status quo for which they voted in 2016 no longer exists? It wasn’t good then, and it’s worse now. To think that a foreign power is dictating to our country what we may and may not do with our own budgets is galling. I hope we can be completely free very soon.

      It seems simply unbelievable that anyone looking at the EU now – its imperialist/protectionist/expansionist/controlling policies, its blatant drift towards German hegemony, etc – could think ”Yeah! Let’s sink a load of our money into that Ponzi scheme!” Yet that’s what Remainiacs seem to admire and want us to continue doing.

    3. NickC
      October 11, 2018

      Ian Wragg, Staying in the EU’s Customs Union was front page headlines in the DT today too. Theresa May is a Remain delivering Remain. Up until 6th July I thought her imposition of Remain was because of ineptitude and the excessive influence of Remain civil servants such as Olly Robbins. Now it is clear this is Mrs May’s deliberate intent. Our friends are in despair and our enemies – especially the EU – are laughing at us.

  4. oldtimer
    October 11, 2018

    It sounds, from reports, that the great betrayal is well underway in the so-called Brexit negotiations. So continued Treasury compliance with EU rules is no surprise.

    1. Peter
      October 11, 2018

      Yes plans are afoot and intensified ducking and diving has now begun.

      I try to keep up with all the rumours but I have no idea how it will all end.

      I do not trust May and I would not be surprised to find there is some nasty option that pundits have not yet considered.

      My hope is that there are numbers to defeat the withdrawal bill, as stated by the excellent Steve Baker the other day. Failing that, it would really have to be a super Canada plus etc which seems highly unlikely.

      Pray she does not manage to lock us into permanent vassal status while shamelessly claiming that it is Brexit.

    2. Lifelogic.
      October 11, 2018

      Indeed, who will rid us of this damned woman and her next door neighbour?

      Before they give us the disaster or Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP?

      1. Gary C
        October 11, 2018

        @ Lifelogic.

        Disaster yes and what has Corbyn had to do to get in? Nothing!

        TM and her band of remoaners are handing it to him on a plate, Corbyn must be as happy as a dog with two dicks while watching the Conservative party destroy itself.

  5. Richard1
    October 11, 2018

    The ability of continuity remain to hold two mutually contradictory views at once is remarkable. They are – in many cases – loud in their criticisms of ‘Tory cuts’ and ‘austerity’, yet adamant the UK should be in the EU and follow EU strictures. They are adamant that the appearance of any tariffs or even slight changes to trade arrangements with the EU would be a disaster, yet it’s essential we retain tariffs against the rest of the world.

    1. Lifelogic.
      October 11, 2018


      Furthermore T May and P Hammond even claim to think the Tories (under their leadership) are a party of “cutting taxation” and of ” supporting business” and yet they keep putting taxes up (highest for nearly 50 years), putting green crap energy cost up, daft regulations up, endless government waste everywhere, want to build on EU workers “rights”, kill the gig economy and they keep kicking businesses, landlords, tenants and pension pot holders in the teeth at every single turn.

      Ethnicity pay gap proposals for this totally idiotic, identity politics pushing, PM the next idiotic plan it seems! What a total plonker she is. Wrong on nearly every single thing.

      1. Stred
        October 12, 2018

        She could only be called a plonker properly if she declares herself a he. Gender switching by thought is another of her proposals under way by the twisted loons in the legal department and supported keenly by female ministers.

  6. Duncan
    October 11, 2018

    Stop pandering to the public sector vested interest. It’s becoming grating.

    Putting to one side the issue of sovereign control over UK government fiscal and economic policy. The waste and abuse of public sector provision is an offence to those who finance it. The private sector is abused continually by the British political class for its own ends. You take our taxes to finance the placation of public sector unions instead of public sector reform

    Now, I despise the EU but I despise even more unprincipled politicians who believe they can use the taxpayer to finance convenient political decisions that deter damaging headlines

    Stop throwing our money at the bottomless pit that is the public sector. We know what the game is ie buying off the unions because you won’t confront them.

    If buying off the unions to keep them quiet is your policy then simply say so and stop abusing the tosh about austerity

    The idea that austerity exists in the fantasy world of the public sector is laughable and you know it. The insincerity is beyond belief

    FS pensions. Job for life. Flexible working. Early retirement. Generous sick leave. Generous maternity and paternity. That’s austerity is it? What utter tosh

    Meanwhile , in the real world of the private sector where we have to live according to our cash balance it is sell more or die. There’s no magic money tree to abuse

    The private sector (millions of small companies not conglomerates) is sick of being abused by the political state for its grubby ends

    1. fedupsoutherner
      October 11, 2018

      Duncan, once more, well said. I have worked in the public sector and can indeed verify all you say. The difference in the private sector is astounding to say the least. Well, it looks as though we are staying in the EU so all this debating in your blog John was a waste of time. I think we all saw the writing on the wall the minute the vote came in and nobody got off their backsides to implement a fast departure. There is too much talk of intermediate months. The Tory party really has betrayed the democratic vote and they don’t seem to give a damn. I am sure they will all be shocked when they lose the next election. I can’t think why.

    2. Bob
      October 11, 2018

      Bear in mind that this is supposed to be a “Conservative” govt.
      Rumours abound that Hammond is eyeing the 25% pension lump sum, perhaps with a £100k cap.

      1. Lifelogic.
        October 11, 2018

        That would be true to form. The DUP and indeed all sensible Tories should vote his budget down as it will surely be another tax increasing, tax complexity increasing, damaging & totally idiotic one like all his others. Regardless of the Brexit deal.

    3. Chris Dark
      October 11, 2018

      Don’t know about a job for life. It seems government have quite a few short-term contract jobs set up in various departments. I didnt know they did them. They don’t pay very well and there’s no guarantee of contract extension or fulltime employment, which puts the person back out on the dole queue when it all ends. I know for a fact that degree and PhD young people are taking these short-term offers in order to get work experience…which the private sector won’t provide because of their “lack of experience”… in a climate that has spat on them because they’re white and male. This image of all public servants being fat-cats has become intolerable….the majority are on low pay!

    4. a-tracy
      October 11, 2018

      Absolutely Duncan, spot on!!

      If the NHS needs more money then rebill the rest of the world and the EU for healthcare provided and net it off against what they bill us for, this is one area where we will be in surplus because we’re providing for free. We agreed to provide a free service to all UK nationals not the world. you cant keep coming back to the same lemons to squeaze because sooner or later we’ll start a three or four day week and create time instead of money.

    5. Lifelogic.
      October 11, 2018

      The private sector (millions of small companies not conglomerates) is sick of being abused by the political state for its grubby ends.

      Indeed. Strangling the Golden Goose.

  7. Freeborn John
    October 11, 2018

    The political class in Westminster are totally incompetent; at everything. They are completely incapable of delivering change. Everything they touch is rubbish.

    1. Adam
      October 11, 2018

      Incompetence fits, but intensifiers such as totally, everything & completely may exaggerate beyond belief.

      1. NickC
        October 11, 2018

        Adam, Well they are competent at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, so you may be right.

  8. Alan Jutson
    October 11, 2018

    Afraid too few people and politicians recognise how far the long tentacles of the EU stretch into our everyday life.

    If they did perhaps we would have left years ago.

  9. Oggy
    October 11, 2018

    JR – ‘The Treasury keeps the UK under the control of EU austerity policies’, that’s because TM and Hammond are hoping to keep us in at any cost.

    ‘The PM has said she is ending austerity’ – more lies from this lame duck PM, but you put it more diplomatically than me.

  10. Cheshire Girl
    October 11, 2018

    Please forgive me for going ‘off topic’, but I’ve just seen on the BBC that the Prime Minister is considering making companies reveal whether there is an ‘ethnicity pay gap’ in their employees.

    Well my Son ( white) in London is relatively low paid, and guess what – he works for the Government at the DWP.

    More ‘virtue signalling’ by the Prime Minister. When will it ever stop!!

    1. Anonymous
      October 11, 2018

      I’m bothered that there is now open and legitimate discrimination against white boys.

      They may have worked and studied hard to be the best candidate but can (must) now be overlooked to fill diversity quotas. Professional journals are now saying so on their front covers.

      “Stale, pale, male” is a racist slur used openly and enthusiastically by the BBC.

      1. Stred
        October 12, 2018

        Not just white boys but middle ranking middle aged men wanting promotion. It is happening in the MoD. Promotion by gender and race rather than merit is going to improve performance perhaps. It couldn’t go much lower. Perhaps we need cultural awareness advisors on ships an in barracks.

    2. Mitchel
      October 11, 2018

      And one of the BBC’s hot topics this morning was “obesity discrimination”!

      1. Lifelogic.
        October 11, 2018

        Good old BBC. They (like Hammond) want to destroy all private rented accommodation businesses too it seems. To limit choice for tenants and push rents up one assumes?

        1. Stred
          October 12, 2018

          Funny that they love the EU but don’t want to be like the Germans, who have a bigger private rental sector.

    3. a-tracy
      October 11, 2018

      This virtue signalling Prime Minister is such a poor example for female leadership.

      Alongside any ethnicity pay gap do we see the hours worked comparison, the ethnicity qualification tally? I totally agree with equal opportunity for all people but statistics can be fudged. Can we see the figures in the legal fields, in consultants and doctors and areas where the brightest people train for the same qualifications and side by side job comparisons are in the governments control?

    4. Alan Jutson
      October 11, 2018

      Cheshire Girl

      More smokescreens to try and cover up the real problems in the Country which they have not a clue how to resolve, so they pick on Business again, Business friendly my a… !

      The BBC and the media are now heading this nonsense instead of concentrating on important news.

    5. Peter
      October 11, 2018

      It won’t stop. It is ingrained now. Common Purpose types in high places concern themselves with this sort of thing while real work is put to one side.

      So the police have abandoned the pretence that they will go after muggers and burglars – but they now have plenty of time to intervene over unkind words on the internet.


      1. rose
        October 11, 2018

        Even the army has caught the disease: they are persecuting their cadets for being photographed with Tommy Robinson at a service station. At a time when they are so desperate for recruits they are advertising for ex soldiers who were dismissed over drugs to come back for £10.000. What with persecuting veterans and now this, we won’t have an army.

  11. Caterpillar
    October 11, 2018

    So the PM and Conservative Party intends to keep UK regulations aligned, stay in the CU and fiscal policy will follow the EU. It’s so nice that Brexit clearly means Brexit.

    1. Caterpillar
      October 11, 2018

      … and not being allowed to build our own naval support vessels without going out to EU mandated competition.

    2. NickC
      October 11, 2018

      Caterpillar, And “sharing fishing opportunities”.

  12. Andy
    October 11, 2018

    So now the EU is responsible for Tory pensioner austerity! Brilliant.

    I note Sir John Major and Gordon Brown have both had rather uncomplimentary things to say about Tory pensioner Universal Credit.

    Iain Duncan Smith’s policy of stealing from the poor to give to the rich. A Brexiteer policy. A nasty policy.

    I have long thought Brexit will bring the Tories down. Turns out UC might do it first.

    In the meantime well done to Mrs May. She has completely out manoeuvred the Brexiteers. Your choice is to accept a deal we all know is lousy (Brexit) or to watch the government fall and Mr Corbyn become PM. When that happens contributors current rantings on this site about taxes will start to feel really rather quaint.

    1. Anonymous
      October 11, 2018

      Sabotage, out manoeuvering… call it what you will.

      As soon as May became PM my heart sank. I knew then that we wouldn’t be getting Leave and said so.

      (Austerity was needed because younger generations maxed out their credit on bling. Pensioners rarely spent money they didn’t have and went without. )

      1. hans christian ivers
        October 11, 2018


        Austerity was required because financial institutions offered and sold mortgages to people who could not afford to pay the interest not=r the repayment of the capital. It was not just the younger generations spending money on bling.

        1. Anonymous
          October 11, 2018

          If you have a mortgage then every single thing you buy is with borrowed money.

        2. NickC
          October 11, 2018

          Hans, As usual you believe the BBC and therefore get it wrong. The USA banks “offered and sold mortgages to people who could not afford to pay the interest” (not in the UK) due to pressure from the CRA (step forward PotUSs Clinton and Obama). The banks knew they were crap – hat tip Gerald Ratner – so sold them on as quick as they could.

          The UK’s failure was actually a failure of Gordon Brown’s. He set interest rates to the CPI which due to Chinese mercantilism gave a false low rate. This low BoE rate caused a boom in house prices but in nothing else. When the music stopped house prices dropped, negative equity ensued, and there were many defaults.

          Then the EZ. Well, you know one size doesn’t fit all, so that was a bust waiting to happen. Three different reasons unique to each economy but with some cross infection. And all three economies (USA, UK, EZ) are run in some degree in the same useless manner despite bottom clutching from such as yourself. So we get similar results.

          1. hans christian ivers
            October 12, 2018


            Well presented I was trying to tell the same story

          2. a-tracy
            October 12, 2018

            I agree with you NickC but I also know British people who were given unsecured mortgages from the likes of Northern Rock interest only who couldn’t afford them and didn’t have the proper checks done on their ability to pay, they defaulted then they all got big payoffs recently for ppi after still being in debt doldrums caused by a greedy inefficient bank and building society sector that sold their customers down the river Brittania I mean you, their savers didn’t get a payoff like other mutuals, stitch up.

        3. libertarian
          October 12, 2018


          I’m afraid you’re wrong on this one.

          The UK did not have a mortgage repayment problem at all . The Subprime issue was confined to the USA. The problem was caused by the derivatives market in mortgage backed securities and specifically Credit Default Swaps . The Community Reinvestment Act in the US was the motivator behind their crash. In the UK the problem rested with mostly former building societies ( Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley, Halifax ) that became banks in order to sell mortgage packages to the investment banks. Their liquidity eventually took a hit and Brown and Darling refused to let the BoE act in its capacity as lender of last resort. They crashed, causing a domino effect. Not content with that Brown made Lloyds ( who were not involved and were a solid bank) take over some of those building societies and thereby crashed Lloyds bank too.

    2. L Jones
      October 11, 2018

      From your first sentence, Andy, it was obviously one from you. Would you be just as gleeful at the UK’s suffering from staying IN the EU as you would be if it suffered from leaving it?
      You give the impression that so long as the UK (and particularly its seniors) can experience some sort of unpleasantness, then you’ll be very happy – however that distress is achieved.

    3. Dogberry
      October 11, 2018

      “She has completely out manoeuvred the Brexiteers. Your choice is to accept a deal we all know is lousy (Brexit) or to watch the government fall and Mr Corbyn become PM.”

      Corbyn it is because:

      – this government has lost it on crime

      – is about to send £39bn to the EU for nothing

      – this government is hell bent on discriminating against white boys in its diversity policies

      We may as well have Corbyn.

      You have a big mortgage (you told us yesterday.) You are rich (as you keep telling us.) Bacon will, indeed, be a luxury in your household because even more redistributive policies are on their way.

      1. Stred
        October 12, 2018

        Better to sell a big expensive house now, while the prices are still high. Falls in SE are starting. Many over mortgaged BTLs are selling up. Mortgage rates will follow US. Hammonds housing and car slump is on the way for the Brexit referendum reversal plan.

    4. Dogberry
      October 11, 2018

      Don’t suppose you had a mortgage when John Major last tried to align us with the EU.

      His stewardship saw the Tories out of office for twenty years.

      Wrong then and wrong now.

      Reply I did. His crash made houses more affordable, but not a method we wish to repeat.

    5. Roy Grainger
      October 11, 2018

      May’s Brexit deal is not much different from Corbyn’s official Brexit policy so I’m not sure why you and your public sector chums think it’s bad ?

      1. Andy
        October 11, 2018

        1) I have a business and have always worked in the private sector. But I value the NHS, schools, police etc and am prepared to pay for them.
        2) There is no such thing as a good Brexit deal. Any form of Brexit is worse than the status quo in just about every way. But Corbyn’s Brexit is less bad than Tory pensioner Brexit. In the same way that a car crash is less bad than a plane crash.

        1. Anonymous
          October 11, 2018

          “Any form of Brexit is worse than the status quo”

          There is no status quo in the EU. We have seen sudden and dramatic changes in recent decades.

        2. L Jones
          October 11, 2018

          Andy. You just can’t resist bringing in the word ”pensioner” as if it somehow adds to what you consider to be your ”argument”. That is truly pathetic. You are shallow and attempt to be deliberately insulting.

          I do wish (and I’m sure others do too) that Dr Redwood would remove your posts if they ever include that word ”pensioner” – because you ALWAYS use it as an insult.

        3. NickC
          October 11, 2018

          Andy, Why is the UK so unique that we cannot make a success of independence, where New Zealand and India can? Do tell.

        4. a-tracy
          October 12, 2018

          You say you work in the private sector Andy but I’m curious how much of your billing is into the public sector?

        5. libertarian
          October 12, 2018


          “1) I have a business and have always worked in the private sector.”

          You fibber

          One of your very first posts on here was that you and your wife ran a business with a 7 figure PROFIT ( lol) and that due to Brexit, your business had to be closed and all 35 of your staff let go.

          One of your statements is untrue …..please clarify

    6. Edward2
      October 11, 2018

      What does Univeral Credit have to do with pensioners or the rich, andy ?
      It is a scheme to rationalise the complexities of welfare benefits paid to those in need.
      I don’t gain anything by the changes to welfare.
      And it has no connection with brexit.

    7. Richard1
      October 11, 2018

      I nearly got wiped out at an early point in my career in the EU-REMAIN ERM debacle. The Labour-remain explosion of bank leverage from 20x to 50x caused the crash, the leftist-remainer monetary squeeze and bank bailouts led to a 10% deficit which had to be cut. Meanwhile even in solvent parts of the EU we see the rise of nationalist and communist/green extremists as the EU disenfranchises elected governments. It’s an evil brew you are wishing to force my – & your – children into. I doubt you’ll even admit to yours in future years you supported it so.

      1. Andy
        October 11, 2018

        My children – aged 6 and 10 – are proud Remainers. They understand the pointlessness of Leave – and already know their parents are on the right side of history. If it’s not done beforehand it is guaranteed their generation will undo Brexit anyway.

        As for the global rise in nationalism – all you are demonstrating is that there are dim and unpleasant people in every country. It was ever thus.

        1. Anonymous
          October 12, 2018

          Politically formed aged 6 and 10.

          Do you have any idea how you sound, Andy ?

        2. libertarian
          October 12, 2018


          I’m crying here, stop it please…. You are a parody account

          “My 6 year old said to me the other day, father

          Italian state debt is some € 2.3 trillion in total and at least 400bn is held by the ECB. Add to this its € 500bn ‘Target 2’ exposure and the ECB would be the first in need of capital if Italy goes down – or decides to repay all in Lira.. I am fully confident though that Mr Tusk and Mr Junker will address and solve this problem with the ECB

    8. NickC
      October 11, 2018

      Andy, DfID steals from poor people in Britain, to give to rich people in foreign nations. A Remain policy. A nasty policy. Yet you approve of that. But when the UK government steals from the UK poor to give to the UK poor you don’t approve. You need some therapy.

      1. L Jones
        October 11, 2018

        He also needs to read a little more to improve his vocabulary. He seems to think that the word ”pensioner” is a universal insult.

  13. Narrow Shoulders
    October 11, 2018

    Presumably one of the areas that you wish to protect from EU mandated austerity is Universal Credit.

    The outcry about families losing £2,400 per year is understandable. However many of these dissenting voices were cheering from the sidelines when I lost £2,400 per year child benefit, when £114,000 earners lost £2,700 per year tax free allowance and top rate tax payers lost £11,000 per year as the top rate of tax increased to 50%.

    Many of the above households are forced by market demand and commuting costs to spend most of their disposable income just to live. Are they any less worthy of consideration than benefits recipients?

    Reasonable take home pay does not a comfortable life make in Conservative Britain. Especially when competing against those in receipt of generous benefits.

    Reply Yes, Universal credit needs to be properly funded, as Iain Duncan Smith made clear when he resigned from the government over this issue.

    1. a-tracy
      October 11, 2018

      Perhaps we need to break the Universal Credit down, region by region. If it is working in the tested regions why aren’t we hearing about this? If it isn’t working then why is Theresa May pushing on regardless of what the architect of it IDS was warning the then cabinet?

      The families that stand to lose £2400pa how and why? Is this because they rent overpriced private accommodation in London and the South East? Are they working or not employed at all? Are they two headed families or single parent families? Are they British or foreign families – what is the full story?

      IDS, You John, the right wing shouldn’t allow this to be set up as a right wing created problem, if IDS resigned because Osborne and the Centre left withdrew the funding we should be discussing why? Was it because of these EU austerity rules? If the citizens affected are EU or World nationals can the UK rebill back their originating Country as we are rebilled or is this another incompetence of our national government in the UK like not bothering to rebill NHS charges?

    2. Narrow Shoulders
      October 11, 2018

      So a shelf stacker on minimum wage should take home the same as a senior manager in a small company?

      Where can I sign up and get on this merry go round?

  14. BOF
    October 11, 2018

    The Treasury acts as if we are not leaving the EU. Do they know something that we don’t?

    1. bigneil
      October 11, 2018

      BOF – You could have at least put a sarcastic ( cough cough ) comment at the end.

    2. NickC
      October 11, 2018

      BOF, Yes. As was demonstrated in the Sun’s “Kit-Kat Brexit” recordings.

  15. Chris S
    October 11, 2018

    I don’t think Hammond has the imagination necessary to come up with a budget strategy along the lines you suggest. Also, the Remainers in the Treasury, who must be the overwhelming majority, can’t think for themselves either. They’ve spent far too long being servants of Brussels.

    We need a clean sweep of the civil service to make Brexit a success because a whole new way of thinking is necessary in every department. As long as we don’t end up with a Chequers-based deal, our current lot of officials would have to learn that they no longer need to look over their collective shoulders at what Brussels will think before they make a decision, and I mean pretty well any decision.

    Does anyone posting here think that’s remotely possible
    or even likely ?

    Thought not…..

  16. Nig l
    October 11, 2018

    With the news that she is keeping us in the customs union it is clear we are going to leave in Name only. The EU is desperate to keep our competitiveness to a minimum and the Treasury/Civil Service is complying.

    I am coming to the view that the referendum and my vote was a waste of time.

    1. Oggy
      October 11, 2018

      Absolutely correct. The inept Westminster politicians by giving us BRINO after a mandate to leave the EU will give us DINO (democracy in name only). They are going to cause chaos and possible anarchy by their actions. They are all culpable by their inaction to stop it happening.

    2. fedupsoutherner
      October 11, 2018

      Nig1. Call me a pessimist but I said we wouldn’t leave when the vote first came in and everyone told me I was mad. I hate to say it but I was right. The establishment will always find a way to overthrow the will of the people and they call this democracy!! They’re having a laugh. When is this country going to realise what is happening? No, we will all vote for one of two parties yet again and then moan about our lot. You get what you vote for sometimes but not with Brexit it would seem.

    3. L Jones
      October 11, 2018

      Only a few months ago, Mrs May made a definitive statement – we will be LEAVING the Customs Union and we will be LEAVING the single market. She was firm and categorical, not just implying that this would be the case. That is what she said.

      What price honesty?

    4. bigneil
      October 11, 2018

      We are a Democratic country – in name only now. May will presumably announce soon that the EU have decided it.

    5. GaryC
      October 11, 2018

      @ Nig l

      “I am coming to the view that the referendum and my vote was a waste of time.”

      This is indeed looking to be the case, prepare yourself for an 11th hour sell out then find another party to vote for.

      17.4 million voters are being ignored and should do the same.

    6. Denis Cooper
      October 11, 2018

      Last Saturday I mentioned a letter I had sent to the Maidenhead Advertiser:

      Which has been printed today, intact, under the heading:

      “‘Leaving the customs union’ seems unlikely”

      Without repeating the whole letter, this is the quote from Theresa May:

      “We have been very clear that we will be leaving the customs union and in future outside of that customs union be able to develop our own independent trade policy”

      and this is the final paragraph of my letter:

      “If Tory MPs fail to get their leader back under control now this could be the end of their party.”

      Like all their predecessors over the decades throughout my lifetime the present Tory leaders arrogantly assume they will be able to convince enough voters that government by any other party or parties would be even worse, and so basically they can lie and cheat as they please and get away with it.

      1. Timaction
        October 11, 2018

        In the past yes, but not in the age of the internet as msm just ……..lies!!!

      2. NickC
        October 11, 2018

        Denis Cooper, It is a shocking and a sad indictment of the modern Conservative party. What a mess.

  17. John S
    October 11, 2018

    We do need to get the country’s finance into surplus. This can be done by getting rid of the worthless jobs which infest the public sector. The bureaucracy in the NHS needs to be culled. The rot set in there following the change to online management in the 1970s under the Heath government.
    I think there is almost unanimous agreement amongst readers of this site, that we must get rid of this daft pledge to spend 0.7% of GDP on foreign aid. Aid should be set aside for disaster and humanitarian relief only.

    1. Mitchel
      October 11, 2018

      Yes,but given the monolithic state(who will cast the first stone?)that’s not going to happen until we implode and the IMF take over.

  18. Adam
    October 11, 2018

    Earlier UK Govts were wrong to reduce our power to EU remote control.

    We shall be stronger, brighter & better when we regain our freedom to choose.

  19. Oliver
    October 11, 2018

    Leaving the EU is simple common sense – you don’t sacrifice very hard won self government for a few quid on a car, for the convenience of the foreign owners.

    And “Brexiteers” such as John Redwood and Jacob Rees-Mogg clearly aren’t economically illiterate, like most of their colleagues.

    Perhaps it would be a good idea if someone had bothered to make clear to the “Left” now bleating about “Remain” that “Austerity” was a consequence of EU membership?

    And that the per annum cost of the Treasury “worst case” “No deal” “forecast” is (at 7.7% over 15 years) LESS than our annual Foreign Aid budget – so we could MORE than offset the whole cost of EU intransigence by cutting it – and laying the blame firmly at their door.

  20. A.Sedgwick
    October 11, 2018

    I am reading Yanis Varoukis book – Adults in the Room – it is compelling, revealing, frightening. The shenanigans that went on post 2008 are worse than I thought, Corbyn and McDonnell and the UK would be financially eaten alive if they ever implemented their ideas.

    This book should be compulsory reading for all Remoaners, the concept of the benevolent EU is a fairy tale.

  21. Pragmatism
    October 11, 2018

    “The Treasury keeps the UK under the control of EU austerity policies.”
    Our teachers are not at fault.
    They are asked to train…. pupils and students. They go along the rails of thought and practice. Not bad really for a nationalised education system. One would imagine they would stop, be late, or go off the rails sometimes. Corbyn is right!

  22. Christine
    October 11, 2018

    The course this Government is set on is a lose lose situation. She is losing the benefits of Brexit and the British people just aren’t behind her so she will lose the next general election. Please stay strong in your opposition to this lousy deal. You and the other Brexiteer MPs are our last hope to turn this around.

  23. Rien Huizer
    October 11, 2018

    There may be two reasons for the Treasury to continue complying with EU practices in general and the Stability & Growth Pact in particular. One is that the UK is still an EU member and it retains the option to cancel its Art 50 notice (legally speaking, of course not politically). Second, that practice (the as embodied in the pact), is good long term policy. You seem to believe in an interventionist government. But acoording to mainstream economics, fiscal and monetary policy are ineffective in positively influencing growth (the opposite is more likely) in an open economy like the UK. Giving a temporary boost to gvt net spending (lowering taxes or boosting spending) will only work if there is sufficient slack in the economy, which is not the case in the UK (significant national savings deficit plus record levels of imported labour plus record low unemployment. When the engine is running hot, it dos not help pressing the accelerator. In 2008, during the financial shock, such gvt policy might have been justified (the mainstream view, although I personally doubt that what happened was OK; a different topic), but not in an economy at the limits of capacity, faced with a less generous supply of foreign workers and possible disruption from adaptation to the post-brexit world in 2020 onwards (if that world is very different from the present one).

    There is another reason: markets and especially rating agencies. Your prescriptions are at odds with maintaining a strong credit rating. Of course, if one were certain that loose fiscal and monetary policy would boost growth to such an extent that debt service capacity and potential output would both increase greatlly this would be another story. But that is not a mainstream view and hence outside the permissible repertoire for responsible Treasuries.

    Of course this does not mean that the type of taxation should stay the same. There is a lot of inefficient taxation as well as inefficient spending. Trying to make bot spending ans taxation more efficient is a worthy cause. But that would run counter to that most powerful of forces in politics: the status quo bias.

  24. formula57
    October 11, 2018

    Your continuing revelations about the perfidy of H.M. Treasury are astonishing. A clear-out of personnel is long overdue.

    The next disaster for this hapless government (diarized rather than unexpected or imposed) will be maladroit Chancellor Hammond’s budget. You are quite right to have stopped asking us what measures we would like to see included given the extreme improbability that good ideas would be adopted.

  25. agricola
    October 11, 2018

    The treasury are acting to what is, not what might be. Though they might like the situation, being totally Europhile in their outlook, they cannot be expected as yet to act as if we are out of the EU. We are a fully paid up member and will be until Mrs May gets off the fence and demands of the EU a trade treaty on goods and services that replicates the current status quo or confirms our end March 2019 departure on WTO terms. The current situation is to say the least irritating to the DUP, in effect her lifebelt. Why do I sense duplicity in this situation. She seems to act to appease the EU, but speaks in the UK as if to appease Leave.

  26. ian
    October 11, 2018

    Ref and Brexit are looking like a red herring and more like a bailout for the EU with billions upfront and ongoing payments every year which starts off low but rises up to what you are paying today as new budgets come in as the years go by.
    A well-laid plot where hardly anything changes.

    1. Andrew S
      October 11, 2018

      Tory MPs either dump May now and have a single candidate being a leaver installed as PM. Or failure to deliver a true brexit means be wiped out at the next general election. Remainers will not be permitted to get away with the betrayal. Corbyn and the hard left will be ushered in and will punish remainer tory MPs and their electorate, and you will all deserve it. Conservative party will deserve to be permanently destroyed as a party of government. No customs union from March 29 2019, no ECJ, no divorce payment. No transition period.

      1. rose
        October 11, 2018

        They don’t all deserve it, only the stupid majority.

    2. Stred
      October 12, 2018

      As shown on facts4eu over the past 3 days.

  27. English Pensioner
    October 11, 2018

    We would have no need for any form of austerity if only government departments, agencies, local councils, etc made a determined effort to cut back on waste.
    If a department, for some reason, hasn’t spent its budget by the end of the financial year, there is a mad rush to spend it, even if there is no need, to ensure that next year’s budget isn’t cut. You’ve only to walk around any NHS hospital to see what appears to be chronic over-staffing of non-medical personnel. Look at the huge salaries that individuals are paid at the tops of the various NHS Trusts and most Government Agencies. Look at the huge salaries being paid to staff employed on HS2, salaries which it is unlikely any private employer would pay for similar work. Anyone who has worked in industry can see waste and overmanning wherever they go.
    As for the NHS, I visited the local hospital as an outpatient yesterday, and there were notices on the staff notice boards and elsewhere saying that
    “Paper salary statements are being turned off from the end of this month . . . . “. Am I the only person who wonders how people who write such things ever get a job?

  28. VotedOut
    October 11, 2018

    I hear your moaning – but with all respect to you, you are an MP.

    The people were asked and have given their answer – twice. We have all got fed up writing to MP’s some of whom have deeply resented it. We have all joined groups voicing our concerns. We have all made our views perfectly clear time and time again. We want out.

    It’s now time for the MP’s in Westminster to deliver.

    1. Gary C
      October 11, 2018

      Re: “It’s now time for the MP’s in Westminster to deliver.”

      Yes indeed we are waiting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Still waiting!

    2. Henry Spark
      October 12, 2018

      The people were asked in the 2017 GE if they wanted a hard Brexit. They answered – no. Mrs May lost her majority precisely because she offered the ERG’s hard brexit in the manifesto. So Mrs May is now trying to deliver a soft brexit, which the people want. It is Redwood and his ERG chums who are trying to thwart the will of the people. No one voted for a hard brexit – it wasnt on the ballot paper in 2016 and it was rejected in 2017

      1. VotedOut
        October 12, 2018

        When you wrote that reply, you didn’t know what you were doing. You were lied to. You were mistaken. You clearly are from The North. You are obviously so old you are about to die.

        You should be given the chance to change your mind and reply again,

        and again, and again.

        Until you agree…

      2. Stred
        October 12, 2018

        I spent an evening with students during the election campaign. The university had told them to vote Labour because of the promised removal of fees and because the staff wanted EU bungs. University cities such as Canterbury went Labour. On the other hand, May had decided to offer to take the family house in order to help pay for dementia. She did seem to be genuinely surprised that this idiotic policy had not gone down too well.

      3. libertarian
        October 12, 2018

        Henry no Spark

        You just dont understand. May WON the election ( just) Both Tory & Labour offered full Brexit and got the majority of the vote

  29. Duncan
    October 11, 2018

    What is remarkable is that for the first time in UK political history both main parties are unrecognisably what they purport to be

    The Labour Party is not the Labour Party but openly Marxist.

    The Conservative Party is no longer the Conservative Party but openly liberal, immoral and socialistic in tone and deed.

    Both parties have betrayed their histories and they have done so by deceiving and abusing their core vote

  30. Denis Cooper
    October 11, 2018

    Off-topic, I read in CityAM that according to the German Economic Institute it would cost ‘billions’ for UK and EU businesses if the UK left the EU without any special trade deal and so that trade defaulted to the terms of the existing WTO treaties.

    But when I look at the numbers they would come to less than 1% of GDP for the UK:

    “Tariffs would cost the UK €5.1 bn in the short term …”, and for non-tariff barriers “British firms would face costs of €14.6 bn on exports to Europe”,

    which would add up to €19.7 bn, compared to UK GDP of about €2332 bn.

    The costs would be higher for EU businesses, estimated at €36.3 bn; but while that obviously creates an incentive for their governments to be reasonable it cannot be assumed that common sense will prevail, not least because they know they have the British Prime Minister on their side.

  31. Atlas
    October 11, 2018

    Hmm, judging from the more excitable parts of the BBC news output the Remoaner spin machine thinks it has nearly won (Indefinite single market rules and customs union, etc.) .

    Perhaps the DUP – who are made of sterner stuff than the Cabinet – will prove the contrary.

  32. Denis Cooper
    October 11, 2018

    Also off-topic and also in CityAM:

    “Ditch free trade plans and UK can have a Brexit deal, says Barnier”

    “Theresa May must abandon her plans for free trade deals with the rest of the world in order to get a Brexit deal, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said yesterday.”

    I would say that this is the kind of arrogance which is encouraged by appeasement, except it is now obvious that Theresa May is worse than just an appeaser. Bear in mind that this all revolves around about 0.1% of UK GDP which is exported across the Irish land border, which she knows could easily be made subject to a new UK export control law but which she prefers to use as a pretext to keep us as much under the thumb of her beloved EU as she can possibly manage.

    1. NickC
      October 11, 2018

      Denis Cooper, Of course what Theresa May should do is quite different to what she will do. We will get Chequers+ with the help of Remain Labour MPs unless Mrs May is removed. I told a Leave Conservative ex-MP this a fortnight ago, but he wouldn’t have it. Presumably now he knows that the Tory whips at Mrs May’s direction have been coaxing Labour MPs onto her side for months he just might be feeling a tiny bit embarrassed. Possibly. It’s all so agonisingly slow.

      1. Denis Cooper
        October 12, 2018

        I believe we have got to the point where she has to be replaced by somebody who can be trusted. The question is who a) could be trusted, and at the same time b) would stand a good chance of being elected as Tory leader.

  33. ian
    October 11, 2018

    If the UK has to stay in EU because of the UK parliament and it MPS, there should still a list demand and concessions from parliament to the EU because your country cannot sustain itself as it is which is evident from 2008 crises, not just stay in on the same terms.

    So what should they be, UK procurement to countries in the EU down to 30% instead of 65%, no more budget increases and the UK budget discount reinstated which labour gave away, unfettered excess for services for the UK companies, UK sets the limits on EU people coming to the UK with min limit and no max limit, 10% of all procurement the EU to be made in the UK, the ability to do your own budgets without any interference, and anything else which you can think of like having bigger say on trade deals with other countries. The people of this country should not let the MPs of this country get away with anything less, even people who say they want to remain in the EU.

    AS for Ireland border, counterfeit goods get into the UK and EU all the time and either have been able to stop it just like drugs and guns, the UK with councils in the UK have checks right through the system and companies to the point of sale which also include VAT fraud once sold, the EU countries all run similar system, getting lots of goods into the EU that are not up to EU standards would show up right away, not only that but the goods can be followed back every step of the way of where they came from the ship they came in on, there is always a trail of shipping manifesto and payments to the companies or persons that order them so they can sell them to the public.
    To say you can sell goods in the EU with them not finding out is a falsehood, even stall market are check by all gov in the EU like hear so i cannot see a problem unless companies in the EU are using the goods for themselves on the cheap and not for sale to the public but even then you have factories checks on equipment for health and safety with bills of sale, counterfeit will and can get into EU just like they do today but to say that the UK can swamp the EU with substandard goods made in the UK or outside is not possible, it would show up almost at once. as for working detectives about competition, i cannot see why the UK cannot agree to keep what have with them at the moment because the people and it gov want higher wages better working conditions and so on, it would not hold back the UK from new factories and making more thing for sale around the world or to the EU with or without tariffs, it companies boardrooms that holding back the UK.

  34. ian
    October 11, 2018

    Yes, companies and their boardrooms with bad banking practices for business lending and gov taxes and the way they make the rules to keep small companies and businesses down which do not all come from the EU, are holding back the UK.

  35. Stred
    October 11, 2018

    The bosses of the German, Japanese, Indian and French car manufacturers must find all this political argument in Parliament rather boring. They were told that Brexit really mean Brino last year.

  36. Martin
    October 11, 2018

    It is quite staggering that Theresa May has acted as if the referendum vote simply didn’t exist and ploughed on with a plan that does nothing less than reduce the UK to a subservient vassal state of the EU. To literally ignore the votes of 17.4 million people to escape the clutches of the EU in this way is perhaps the greatest betrayal we have ever seen in this country, and we have seen quite a few. Billions have gone down the drain for two years while the time wasting went on and businesses have been in a damaging limbo without even a clue what their position will be in the future. Is it beyond the comprehension of this government that the referendum decision was to actually leave the EU, to become a sovereign nation once again, and that was what the populace voted for and nothing else? Or is the object of the exercise to deliver a kick in the teeth to those 17.4 million for having the temerity to think for themselves and to ignore the barefaced lies they were fed by Project Fear? As perhaps most of the 17.4 million were Tory supporters I can guess how inclined they will be to vote for the Party at the next election.

    1. NickC
      October 11, 2018

      Martin, That is an excellent summary of the current position. Thank you.

    2. Steve
      October 12, 2018


      Interesting and accurate comments.

      I think for the conservatives this will all pan out at the next general election. They must surely know the fate that awaits the party.

      My guess is it’ll be a fool of an MP who turns up at a polling station wearing a blue rosette.

      They’re spineless shysters who will get what’s coming.

  37. ian
    October 11, 2018

    If the s&p cannot hold on to 2770, it will years before it will see 3000, another crash now would do just nice for MPs in parliament and the con party, it would be game over, how 3 trillion in debt sound along more taxes rises and cuts, this how close you live to it every day, it can happen at any time that is a crash instead of a good correction and nothing can be done about it to how people feel at the top. Stock do sell themselves, someone has to sell them and all happening on no news so does new move the market or just people who own lots of shares with hedge funds.

    1. Anonymous
      October 11, 2018

      I’ve long suspected you are very well educated and probably very well placed too.

  38. Dennis Zoff
    October 11, 2018

    Chris S

    In early 2018 a good friend of mine’s son entered Westminster “civil service” directly from Durham Uni with his 1st class degree in languages; eager and excited at the prospect of a challenging and worthwhile career in Government. Clearly sold this on interview no doubt?

    After an introductory (indoctrination most probably) trip to Brussels and some months experience of his department, he gave his father an early opined insight into the civil service’s activity.

    Suffice to say it was not quite what the young graduate expected; surprising dull, slow, highly bureaucratic and clearly driven by civil service politics….your guess is as good as mine on the last point and quite a summary from someone so young…so quickly?

    I’ll leave you to come to your own conclusions, but does suggest the civil service work on behalf of Brussels not, as we understand, UK citizens via its elected MPs.

    Clean the swamp, springs to mind!..and the gloriously insightful “Yes Minister” still rules?

  39. Paul Cohen
    October 11, 2018

    It is now two years plus since the referendum, and I am none the wiser as to our direction of travel. When Mrs May took control and talks began it was apparent that we were unprepared and with no decernable strategy in sight. Cameron had abandoned ship without making any provision for a leave outcome.

    Instead of just listening to the EU initially why did we not for instance convey that our preference was to be WTO rules with a nod to listen to any mutual beneficial proposals? This would then at least established a benchmark and included a caveat to revert to the WTO option.

    It did not bode well to have a cabinet with a remainer majority who were less optimistic with the vote to leave and have subsequently it seems worked to try to reverse the decision. (and still are!)

    The EU are not following their own clause in article 50 to agree a friendly association with a departing nation to the benefit of both sides, instead we have witnessed a nasty and acrimonious series of meetings where they intend to be the only winners

    Mr Varoukis spelled out his accurate predictions as to the EU responses such as sequencing, and including the push to re-run the referendum to manufacture a better result reflecting the effort they were putting in to torpedo any progress.

    Still hoping to hear positive news at some point!

  40. Iain Gill
    October 11, 2018

    seems Hammond wants the Conservative party to fail spectacularly

    more tax, more top down state control, less individual choice, bigger public sector admin layers, and less public service delivered

    and Brexit in name only


    looks like the country needs a few years of Corbyn to realise the reasonable people need to reset politics

  41. ian
    October 11, 2018

    2770 has broken if they do not come back above that today you can forget it.

  42. Lindsay McDougall
    October 11, 2018

    The original Growth and Stability Pact stipulated that annual fiscal deficits should not exceed 3% of GDP and that total State debt should not exceed 60% of GDP.

    Almost immediately after it was introduced Germany, France and Portugal broke the 3% ceiling. Portugal was heavily fined, France and Germany got off Scot free. All Member States are equal, but some are more equal than others.

    The UK’s fiscal deficit is now down to about 2% of GDP and the fiscal deficit of ‘rebellious’ Italy is 2.4% of GDP. The EU is therefore getting on the backs of two Member States that are fully compliant with the 3% ceiling. We should do what Italy is doing and tell the EU to take a running jump. The Government of ex-President Renzi of Italy ran a fiscal deficit of 2.9% of GDP but that was all right because he was pro-European.

    The problem of both UK and Italy is that their total State debt is too high, 80+% in the UK and a whopping 130% for Italy. Italy keeps protesting that their budgets are in ‘primary surplus’, which means they are in surplus if the interest on its State debt is ignored. The interest payed by the UK on its State debt is not trivial. High levels of State debt are a European and American disease. Even squeaky clean Germany has State debt of about 80% of GDP. The last time that I looked the corresponding figures for Russia and Nigeria were 10% and 18% respectively (I suspect these numbers are out of date).

    Both the IMF and the EU are urging the UK to ‘end austerity’ by spending more and taxing more. Why do we continue to contribute money to institutions that give such bad advice?

    1. Mitchel
      October 12, 2018

      The technocrats who run Russia’s economy are absolutely first rate-Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and Central Bank Governor Elvira Niabulina in particular-and Mr Putin gives them his full support against voices who have wanted a looser approach.

      The forthcoming downturn will give Russia a chance to make a further leap forward at the expense of the West.

  43. mancunius
    October 11, 2018

    I hope the DUP do blow down Mr Hammond’s Budget of Straw.

    They are a party of principle. The Tories clearly are not.

    October 11, 2018

    Has Mrs May finished yet?

    1. Steve
      October 11, 2018

      Christopher Houston

      “Has Mrs May finished yet?”

      Yes she’s finished, as are the rest of the gutless namby pambies and traitors in her party.

  45. Steve
    October 11, 2018

    “The Council is of the opinion that the UK needs to stand ready to take further measures as of 2018-19 to comply with the provisions of the Stability and Growth Pact”.

    Well that seems pointless, unless they know something we don’t.

    1. mancunius
      October 11, 2018

      I bet Hammond and May have signed us up to following the SGP after ‘ ” ‘Brexit’ ” ‘.

      Democracy lies bleeding to death, and the Tory Party stands over it with pikes, ready to inflict a death blow should it move at all.

  46. Nhsgp
    October 11, 2018

    It’s the debts that cause austerity

    209 bn a year goes on paying the state’s debts.

  47. Steve
    October 11, 2018

    The news angers me.

    Apparently Theresa May now says we will be in a customs union with the EU.

    BRINO, obviously.

    I suspect the conservatives have weighed it up and decided that to become unelectable is a price worth paying to serve their European masters.

    Theresa May; about as fit for purpose as a cardboard bath seat. The criminal needs sacking immediately and made to forego any pension rights and pay back her salary under the proceeds of crime act.

    This whole fiasco proves in principle that government panders to big business at the sacrifice of democratic vote.

    You were warned not to sell us out. Expect worse than just not getting our votes after this.

    1. Lindsay McDougall
      October 14, 2018

      There is one question that I have for all Remoaners: Have you read the Five Presidents’ Report? If you have, you will be aware that it is a blue print for a Federal European SuperState. True, it is not yet a road map, so Nation States do not yet know whether they will be hanged quickly or slowly. But is not the prudent thing to do to get the Hell out of the EU PDQ?

  48. Mike Wilson
    October 11, 2018

    A couple of hundred Tory MPs and a 180 Labour MPs will vote a watered down Chequers deal through parliament.

    We will leave – in name only. It is the worst possible outcome.

    We might as well remain.

    Face it, while you keep voting Labour or Tory in General Elections, we are never leaving the EU.

  49. WeToldYou_No_EU
    October 11, 2018

    Mr Redwood.

    Please use whatever influence you have, to avoid a Brexit In Name Only.

    The Conservatives are hurtling towards electoral oblivion, if they think they can dupe voters into accepting their ridiculous Chequers Deal, with the added insult of staying in the Customs Union.

    The Conservative will be ‘electoral toast’…this must not be allowed to happen.

  50. Ron Olden
    October 11, 2018

    The EUs unemployment is nothing to do with ‘austerity’ its all to do with their uncompetitive sclerotic economies. They need supply side reform, not more Government debt.

    Not being in the Euro, we are not obliged by the EU to follow any monetary or fiscal policy.

    They can make whatever observations they like about us, as can I about them. But neither they nor I, have any means of making anyone take any notice.

    They certainly can’t, as John Redwood appears to suggest, ‘instruct’ us about our deficit and never successfully did so, even when were in the EU. Perhaps if they had, we wouldn’t have a National Debt of over 80% of GDP and still be borrowing over £30 Billion a year on top.

    Being a Conservative however, I tend to agree with the EU that the UK needs to cut its’ Government spending from its current bloated Socialist levels.

    We don’t reduce the deficit because the EU tells us. We reduce it because we owe future generations at least some shred of respect.

    We’ve already accumulated nearly 2 Trillion Pounds of debt to dump on them, and are still adding to it at a rate of 30 odd billion pounds a year. And that’s without all the pensions we’re expecting the as yet, unborn to pay us and health and social care in our old age.

  51. hefner
    October 11, 2018

    On the 21-page-talk by Ivan Rogers, Cambridge 2018. I would think well worth a read specially by the bolsheviks here.

    1. Mitchel
      October 12, 2018

      I’ve read it,thanks…in all it’s verbosity and with all it’s laboured references to the French revolution.MDA(Mandy Rice-Davies Applies)!….what else would you expect from someone with Establishment written through him like a stick of Blackpool rock….one of Lenin’s “pitiable,liberal-bourgeois prattlers” for sure.

      As Lenin also said you can’t make an omlette without breaking eggs and I’m happy to chuck a few.

      Slava Bolsheviki!

  52. miami.mode
    October 11, 2018

    According to a piece in a national newspaper the Italians have to submit a draft of their budget to Brussels by 15th October to ensure it complies with EU rules.

    Do we similarly have to submit a draft of our budget?

  53. Paul H
    October 12, 2018

    You are wasting your breath. It seems that your leader, in cahoots with the civil service, has decided to betray this country, supported or at least permitted by a large proportion of Tory MPs – in the process demolishing the idea that we have meaningful democracy. If true, it utterly dwarfs footling concerns about individual policies.

  54. Newmania
    October 12, 2018

    Our National debt is currently about 86% of GDP . How much higher do you want it to be ?

    Reply Our state debt is not that high as the state has bought up £435 bn of it!

    1. libertarian
      October 12, 2018


      Italian state debt is some € 2.3 trillion in total and at least 400bn is held by the ECB. Add to this its € 500bn ‘Target 2’ exposure and the ECB would be the first in need of capital if Italy goes down – or decides to repay all in Lira..

  55. Eric Cire
    October 12, 2018

    1.9% of GDP 2017-18 UK deficit

    7.9% of GDP = Scotland deficit (according to the snp government)

    1.37% of GDP = rUK deficit (Scotland excluded)
    £40bn budget deficit = UK

    of which

    £14bn ran up by Scotland,

    £14bn by Wales


    £10bn by N Ireland


    £2bn for Engand

  56. Jack
    October 12, 2018

    JR, are you aware that higher interest rates are actually pro-inflation? The price level is influenced by costs, and interest costs are costs like any other. Additionally, the economy is a large net saver. What I mean by this is that there is £1.8 trillion in government bonds out there paying interest to the economy as a whole.

    Putting these together, you see that higher interest rates actually increase price pressures and *add* to aggregate demand.

    I saw in your previous post that you mention that higher rates would add to the older age group’s spending power, and diminish the young’s. This is true, but another way to see it is as a basic income policy for those who already have money – those with large savings get risk-free interest payments, created from “thin air” (keypresses) by the government.

    Although higher interest rates do add to overall demand, ceteris paribus, the negative side effects don’t make them worth it. Instead, the overnight interest rate should be left at 0% forever (permanent ZIRP). This will anchor the currency against inflation. To offset the deflationary effects, payroll taxes should be cut significantly. This increases the spending power of the working population, the people who need it the most.

  57. Jack
    October 12, 2018

    Austerity has proved to be a terrible policy in our current circumstances. When the economy is overheating, and inflation is high, then that seems to be the right time for the government to reduce its spending and/or increase taxes. But currently the economy is very clearly running below capacity, extra aggregate demand would help a lot. Fiscal stimulus is definitely needed at this moment in time, and it would help if it was pro-equality.

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