Good rate of jobs growth

There has continued to be a good rate of jobs growth in the UK over the course of 2018, despite the monetary squeeze and the tax hits to cars and some housing. Since the referendum vote more than 700,000 jobs have been added. This contrasts starkly with the 500,000 job losses the Treasury forecast for the first couple of years after the announcement of a Leave vote win. Real incomes are also rising again, and are in the UK usefully above the levels reached prior to the banking crash in 2007, as is GDP per head. In contrast several countries in the Euro area including Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and France are still below the 2007 levels of real GDP per capita. The banking crash and great recession at the end of the last decade did plenty of damage to jobs and real incomes on both sides of the Atlantic and on both sides of Channel.

The US economy has also shown a good pace of jobs growth in the last year, accelerated by the tax cuts and fiscal boost administered by the Trump administration. Real wages have also done well, with people enjoying more spending power as the tax cut benefits flow through to their bank accounts. The statements made by Jerome Powell, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board on Friday were important and reassuring. He said he was listening carefully to markets who are concerned about a global downturn. He confirmed there was no need for early rate rises from here and stressed there was no pre determined path for Fed policy. Prior to this markets took as a guide the suggestion that there could be three more rate rises in 2019.

The UK authorities need to reappraise their approach in the light of recent events and in the light of Mr Powell’s welcome statement. We could do with more progress in generating jobs and rising living standards. This has so far been a long lasting recovery from the crash of 2008-9, but also quite a slow one. As Janet Yellen, former Chair of the Fed stated, recoveries do not die of old age. They end when Central Banks make them end. There is no need for them to do so any time soon. Policy has been tighter than it need have been thanks to Quantitative tightening, higher rates and tougher banking guidance. Latest global surveys show more of a problem with orders, not with inflation. Falling commodity prices confirm there is no great inflation threat out there.

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Regrettably, another opportunity wasted. Dr. Redwood, yesterday you (and Sir William Cash) made your point again regarding payment to the EU of £39 billion for nothing, and again allowed the minister to say this payment is a ‘legal obligation’ as his answer. The question is, will the government produce the legal opinion(s) that say we have legal, financial obligations to the EU following our departure in March, that contradict the HoL, so that we may see from whom the Government prefers to receive its advice on this matter.

    • Andy
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      £39bn is the cost of your Brexit. It is your bill for your policy. My children’s generation end up paying most of it for you.

      Perhaps you don’t believe it because it wasn’t written on the side of a bus?

      • Know-Dice
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        £39 Billion would be due long term even if we stayed in the EU.

        • Hope
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

          The UK made a first offer of £20 billion. Then doubled it without explanation. Now May and Hammond claiming legal obligations. We’re tyntrying to short change the EU in the first place? Of course not. The UK owes no money whatsoever, the Lords made that clear. Another May farce who is acting against what she originally offered!

          May has agreed under her servitude plan to let the EU tell us how much the UK is liable for infrastructure projects, how. Ugh it is liable for ECB liabilities, European Decelopment Fund, its overseas aid budget! Why should the U.K. Pay anything for the EDF or the European Defence Fund!

          And no, we should not pay benefits to EU people who never set foot here!

          May’s servitude plan gives away far more than £39 billion as the is no time limit on some her give always. Disgraceful. We voted leave in part or half in and half out.

      • Newmania
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        Quite so and am fascinated to know quite how we are going to conduct our negotiations for Canada Plus plus plusity plus having supplied the Agincourt salute instead of the money we owe .
        This is actually pure fantasy (isn’t it all )

        • Caterpillar
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          As the Lord’s concluded, the treaties and article 50 make no mention of such a requirement, there is no legal obligation. It would not be advisable to go into negotiations vwith other countries under a bung/blackmail cloud, far better to stay within the legal requirements. Whether the EU wants a trade agreement after Brexiteers is a separate question, it is the EU that will only negotiate this once UK has left, this is the EU’s choice.

        • libertarian
          Posted January 9, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink


          Well let me explain as you seem a bit short in the awareness department. The EU in general and Germany in particular are in a slump, in fact technically Germany entered a recession in 2018 . France by the EU’s own rules is bust. Right across the EU large numbers of the public are sick and tired of being governed by an out of touch, unelected oligarchy . The Eurozone is in crisis . The EU with its over regulated market supporting outdated corporate interests has fallen way behind in agriculture and food production, financial services and digital technology. Meanwhile they are about to lose their second biggest financial contributor and are threatening ( if we believe the Remain media and politicians) to cease selling us food, medicine, water? and other cheese. Unemployment across large parts of the EU is at far too high a level.

          Oh and the USA has just downgraded EU diplomatic status

          Meanwhile here in the UK

          Manufacturing is up
          Investment is up
          Exports to non EU is up
          We have the lowest unemployment and we are creating new jobs
          We lead the world in new technology, Fin tech and financial services

          If our weasel politicians had any spine, morals or concerns for our country we would be going full steam ahead with a WTO deal

          To answer your question, why would the EU give us a Canada deal? Because THEY need it more than we do.

          • Newmania
            Posted January 10, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

            Comical. The UK has an an overall deficit of £25bn (1.2 per cent) compared to a French surplus of 2.7 per cent and a German surplus of 5.1 per cent
            We are on 86% GDP way above Germany and while French debt is very serious indeed by their own historic standards it is less serious than ours . We went into the global recession of 2008 at 35% they were at 60% ( plus ), as we have seen in 2008 we are much more vulnerable than France to a Global down turn . Sadly it looks as if w ne are due one just when people like yourself have decided we should get rid of real paying customers and suppliers and replace them with some Gin soaked Empire 2 fantasy cooked up by drooling Conservative Party members . Genius

          • Edward2
            Posted January 10, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

            Again newmania you make the absurd claim that we will “get rid of real paying customers…etc”
            Firstly, hat relationship with the EU leaves us with an annual deficit of around £90 billion,
            Secondly, we are not stopping trade with the EU and I’ve yet to hear any EU leader say they want to stop trading with us.

      • Richard1
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        Clearly we should not pay it. Although your children will soon progress in maths enough to explain to you how a growing perpetuity of £10bn pa is greater even than £39bn.

      • Jagman84
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        £39 Billion was a figure pulled out of thin air. Why not £100 Billion? Legally, we owe nothing and once we leave the EU we owe them nothing. They owe us for a share of the joint assets but most are happy to pass on them to escape their clutches. Remaining means no more UK. That is a certainty. No more EU is getting a possibility as well.

        • L Jones
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          It’s because ”£39 billion” sounds as if it has been calculated in some way. Risible, eh?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        And what would be that single element of the cost of staying in the EU?

        Half a trillion of contributions in total since we joined the EEC, we would just keep racking that up year after year forever more.

      • NickC
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Andy, The £39bn has been authorised by Theresa May who insists the UK should remain in the EU’s single customs territory, aligned with the EU’s single market, subject to the CJEU, subject to EU military, diplomatic and security control, and obviously paying the EU vast amounts of money. Quite clearly none of that is Leave.

        • Anonymous
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink


        • Timaction
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. No it is not but May still wants to try and hoodwink us into believing when she is trying to make us a vassal state aligned by huge swathes of EU legislation with no say even if they legislate to harm us.
          I’ve just listened to a podcast from Prof Gwythian Prius and the scary truth hidden within the withdrawal agreement that will tie us into the EU military plans in a subordinate role, handing our military over to them. Remember the kit kat tapes! The first duty of any Government is to protect its people unless you are the Tory’s under traitor May.

      • Den
        Posted January 9, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Why would you want your children to be Governed by an Unelected and Unaccountable foreign cabal based in a foreign country, having to pay £Billions per year to them for the ‘privilege’ of being their best customer?
        You would be committing them to a lifelong subservince to this Political organisation that is anti-democracy.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Or indeed even just an itemised bill for the £39 billion would be a good start – about £1,300 per household! What about our share of the assets we have paid for?

      Is calling someone a Traitor and a Nazi now a criminal offence? Not very pleasant perhaps, but is it a crime? It seems that even the police do not know and they have to check it out, so how can the public be reasonably be expected to know? Ed Miliband (would be landlord thief and famous for his absurd tomb stone) wants zero tolerance (on any free speech he does not like it seems). Perhaps he needs to make a list of which words are to be made illegal & banned and which not! Promising to thieve private assets off landlords to try to buy votes off tenants is not, it seems, illegal – it certainly should be.

      Perhaps they should also check out if getting elected on the basis of a published manifesto but then doing the complete opposite post election is a criminal offence. Obtaining a job on a false fake CV application or pecuniary advantage by deception perhaps? Surely wanting the UK to be governed by unelected foreign bureaucrats is being a Traitor to the UK. Certainly in very many peoples’ eyes?

      • Newmania
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Is calling someone a Traitor and a Nazi now a criminal offence?

        I sympathize but nowadays there we have a fund of exciting euphemisms for daily use :
        Can I suggest you replace “Racist “with” Concerned about immigration “, Nazi , with “ Concerned about the pressure on services“ and bigoted old hate monger with, “ Mindful of the need for integration”.

        No need thank me Life logic , I`m happy to help

        • Anonymous
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          Do carry on Newmania.

          Clearly we have gone beyond the point of being able to talk to and reason with each other.


          I once believed in the ballot box.

          • Steve
            Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink


            Oh don’t loose faith in the ballot box just yet. This is where the traitors will meet their end.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        I think the N word is ok if you are insulting somebody who wants balanced books and a reasonably organised country. Otherwise it’s not ok. I think.

        • rose
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          A German politician has been beaten to within an inch of his life (see Guido Fawkes) by three masked men assumed to be Antifa and all our media want to talk about is Anna Soubry being called rude names.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink


      • MickN
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        I do not condone the treatment meted out to Mrs Sourbry yesterday, but I don’t remember the same level of outrage from MPs when the Farage family were all abused whilst having a family Sunday lunch, nor do I remember the same outrage from MPs when Jacob Rees-Mogg was abused on his doorstep along with his children.
        This incident yesterday is just the start of the very predictable outcome for what happens if you make democracy history and people find that the ballot box no longer works.

        • MickN
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

          I should also add that I as a leave voter am heartily sick of the likes of Mrs Sourbry, Mr Grieve etc standing up in the house and labelling me as thick, stupid, racist, didn’t know what I was voting for etc etc because I want freedom for my country. The press have already started. Those protesters yesterday are all of course ” far right” There is bound to be a backlash, my fear is that a bit of name calling will be the least of their worries if Brexit is denied to the majority that voted for it.

          • Caterpillar
            Posted January 8, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            MickN, I think you are right that there is much to fear due to the institutional/elite move against the 2016 people’s vote. I too am fearful that there will be more than name calling when democracy is lost. Managed no deal / WTO seems to be the only option that currently saves democracy.

          • Richard1
            Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

            Have they actually done that? I’ve never heard either Grieve or Soubry speak in a rude and contemptuous way about their opponents although they both undoubtedly have strong views on Brexit

          • Hope
            Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

            They all forget how Farage was targeted for years. They forget how the left targets JRM and his children!

            Soubry shouts, smears and interrupts everyone, in public, parliament etc. Now she does not like it when it is done her. Tough.

            How about all those lying by standing on a manifesto to leave the EU single market and customs union now claim otherwise?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

            Indeed I am sick of it too.

          • margaret howard
            Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:35 pm | Permalink


            ” I want freedom for my country”

            After more than forty years of EU membership can you tell us what freedom we are supposed to have lost?

            I remember life before and I can assure you that the one most of us lead now is immeasurably superior.

        • Newmania
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          We have already had a lot worse than name calling.

          • Anonymous
            Posted January 9, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

            I want to know how it is that it’s Newmania who gets to call the time when we turned barbarian.

            It was long before we voted Leave, nay caused Leave.

            (Democracy French/EU style has already reached six deaths.)

          • margaret howard
            Posted January 9, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink


            “(Democracy French/EU style has already reached six deaths.)”

            But have any of their MPs been murdered?

          • Anonymous
            Posted January 9, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

            Newmania chose not the tragic death of that unfortunate MP but the date of the referendum.

      • Stred
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        The Attorney General told the HoC that the money was not owed under EU law but that they could challenge us for it under English law. Why have we then given up the case before we negotiate? Wouldn’t the EU look ridiculous trying to bind us into EU law and then suing us under English law? This is Alice in Wonderland stuff. Challenge May on this with a combined published letter by all Leave MPs.

        • acorn
          Posted January 9, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

          Most EU cross border commercial contracts are written under English Common Law (ECL). Hence the EU is scoping setting up Courts inside the EU to adjudicate disputes. It doesn’t look like those Courts are going to be short of ECL lawyers.

      • Merlin
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Are you defending the behaviour towards Anna Soubry?

        Just to be clear. Hurling abuse at MPs and people trying to do their best for this country, from John Redwood to Anna Soubry, is absolutely unacceptable.

        We live in a parliamentary democracy, and it should be respected.

        • libertarian
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink


          I agree which makes the 2 years of behaviour by remainers in general and people like Andy and Newmania on here totally unacceptable

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          This is the same woman who told leave voters Leave voters to ‘suck it up’ last summer:

          In an incendiary intervention in the Commons, Miss Soubry insisted rebels were winning the war to keep Britain in the EU in all but name. She urged MPs to tell Leave voters to ‘suck it up’ and accept that free movement would have to continue as part of any Brexit deal. ‘Suck it up, suck it up and accept there is no alternative other than the customs union and single market,’ she said. ‘Let’s grab it and move on.’

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          Merlin. Trouble is we are not seeing much democracy in parliament at the moment. There’s a little thing called the referendum which is not being respected at all. Democracy? Where have you been?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

          We are perfectly entitled to say or indeed shout things at our MPs especially those who stand on one basis but then do the compete opposite and kick voters in the teeth directly after the election is over.

          Otherwise free speech and democracy are clearly dead.

        • margaret howard
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:38 pm | Permalink


          ” Hurling abuse at MPs and people trying to do their best for this country, from John Redwood to Anna Soubry, is absolutely unacceptable.”

          Especially in view of the terrible price one MP has already had to pay at the hand of a right wing fanatic.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        harassment has been a criminal offence, and civil matter, for a long time.

        its just hardly ever prosecuted given that it happens daily to most of us.

        what the police and prosecutors choose to prioritise has a bigger impact on all of us that the laws that are passed, most of which are ignored most of the time

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          It shouting something at an MP harassment? Surely it is not?

      • Merlin
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Also, surrounding any MP with a crowd of people shouting ‘Nazi, Nazi’, ‘Scab, scab,’ is not freedom of speech.

        It’s called scaring the crap out of someone – and is unacceptable.

        This has nothing to do with Brexit. It’s called common decency.

        • Anonymous
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          I recall Ms Soubry saying that Mr Farage looked like he had a finger up his bottom and rather liked it.

          I don’t condone any of it btw.

          • Steve
            Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink


            “It’s called scaring the crap out of someone – and is unacceptable.
            This has nothing to do with Brexit. It’s called common decency.”

            So do you think what Ms Soubry is doing is ‘decent’ ?

        • libertarian
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink


          Common decency means applying the same rules to everybody

          Er no idea how old you are but shouting scab at people has a very long history

          ( by the way it IS freedom of speech, its just not very nice )

          Also I think police time would be better spent dealing with the 130 murders in London and the systematic rape of young girls rather than MP’s being worried about hurty words

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          Well scab, scab is the standard refrain of unions when on strike.

      • NickC
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic, For two and a half years Remains have been abusing Leaves with epithets such as: thick, fascist, xenophobe, mad, liar, uneducated, moral-pygmy, etc. Finally we are retaliating, and Remains have a melt down. They truly are snowflakes.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

          Indeed they are pathetic.

        • Merlin
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

          I utterly disagree. Name calling gets us nowhere.

          I voted remain, and I have been trying to listen to both sides since the referendum. I think many who voted leave have been doing the same. Brexit is a very complicated issue. Indeed I’m still not sure I grasp it fully.

          We seem to have reached an impasse in parliament. It is very sad. This will call for compromise. Tribalism is not what’s called for right now.

          • NickC
            Posted January 9, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

            Merlin, That is hypocrisy. If name calling gets us nowhere where have you been for the last two and a half years defending Leaves and criticising Remains abusing us?

            Moreover Brexit is not “a very complicated issue” – the principles of self-determination and independence are simple and straightforward.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

          “Tory activists are mad, swivel-eyed loons”. UKIP members are “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly” said fake Tory Cast Iron and let’s petulantly abandon ship Cameron!

        • Newmania
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

          There is a large dose of truth in all those epithets but the people who have keenest to tell you how put upon you are are the Brexit charlatans you fawn over . They rely of fanning you sense of grievance . without it the irso called arguments would be laughed into obscurity

          • Anonymous
            Posted January 9, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink


            You never learn. I mirrored this one up on the big screen (as I have others) to show my friends what the sneering Tory officer class really think of them.

            No longer your working class Tory voting fag boys.

            We get it. We’re too thick and nasty to vote… so we won’t.

      • am
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        No need to call her a Nazi. But it is being spun as the act of the alt-right who would really be more likely to call her a communist. Still it all looked very contrived almost set up. Earlier in the year or was it late last year the same thing happened but was not broadcast this way. However this time it has been broadcast which makes me think it is contrived.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      The mist seems to be clearing slightly.

      “EU officials” talking about a delay in A50.
      D Davis still talking about Canada ++ deal during delay time.

      A solid rejection of this WA is needed, then move to WTO and the EU will respond with offer of a delay to negotiate a free trade deal. That could be your choice – no deal or a delay to negotiate a FTA… A tougher choice because elements of this WA including the £39bn would still be included. We need tougher deal makers than May.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Sir Joe, that’s how I would go in to a negotiation.

        Delaying A50 is more uncertainty and delay, which is not good for anyone (except the EU).

        Mrs May does NOT have a deal, she has no certainty of achieving anything with the “Political Declaration”.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink


        Would be nice if the Leave group of Mp’s could agree on just the one simple policy of WTO Rules until we are out, and then to look to possible better alternatives (if they exist) after we are actually out.

        • John Hatfield
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

          Would be nice if the Leave group of MPs were a majority.

    • Richard1
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      An excellent explanation by Jonathan ford in the FT as to why Mrs Mays backstop is such a terrible idea. I cannot understand how any MP, leave or remain, can support it:-

      Financial Times,
      May’s backstop could lock Britain in a regulatory iron maiden

      Jonathan Ford

      Read the full article at:

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        Indeed it is appalling, May and her Cabinet are complete and utter idiots.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      As far as I believe, it’s ‘Sir John’ not ‘Dr Redwood.’

      As far as I believe, you only use ‘Doctor’ if you were paying a visit to medical practitioner who had both a doctorate and a knighthood.

      But, as far as I believe, there are situations where even a medical practitioner with both a doctorate and a knighthood can or should be addressed first by his knighthood.

      (And it’s not that medical doctorates are superior to other doctorates, but that medicine requires a particularly hands-on approach)

      Apologies, Sir John, if I am wrong or talking out of turn or you think I’m a stickler for rules! However, it’s important that people are addressed correctly (public duty / patriotism / respect to those who have received honours / respect to monarchy). I come from a military family and so brought up to this!

      • Know-Dice
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        Unless it’s a surgeon that you are addressing in which case Mr or Mrs???

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          I have a friend who is Doctor, Professor, Sir or perhaps just Mr as a medical consultant. What is the best form here?

          • Iain Gill
            Posted January 9, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

            I have a friend who is a medical practioner with I would guess a Masters degree in medicine, not a doctorate degree, who was called doctor in the traditional way through most of his life, more recently he has been a professor of medicine so gets a lot of respect if he visits friends in NHS hospitals as a visitor (when they find out who he is) as profs of medicine appear to be one of the few groups than can actually get proper prompt action when they see crap NHS service in front of them… he was offered a knighthood but turned them down

            He likes to be called by his first name by everyone

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          Yes, but that’s just a British anomaly!

          But outside the surgery, in most cases, the surgeon should be, if they hold a knighthood, be called ‘Sir.’

          In fact, I also think the same applies to non-medical doctorates (but not so strictly, and, in particular, to doctorates that directly correspond to what they do – in particular, university, science and development).

          In other words, if you hold a knighthood and a doctorate in biology but you write detective novels as a living, then you should be called ‘Sir’ not Doctor.
          If you’re a full-time biologist, then you should be called ‘Doctor’ at work, but ‘Sir’ in other occasions not related to your work.

          I might be wrong (?)

      • Iain Gill
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        most medical practioners do not have doctorates

        they are normally Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, or Master of one of these

        very rarely do they get a proper doctorate

        so addressing medical practitioners as doctor is just tradition, it is not academically correct.

        I notice a number of dentists starting to style themselves doctor too, as they do in other countries, when normally they are actually just BDS and not docs either

        So its rarely correct to address a medical practioner as doctor

        The universities have played with us by awarding doctorates in nursing too, so some nurses have doctorate degrees, and can correctly call themselves doctor, but they are in fact just highly qualified nurses and not medical practioners


      • rose
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        As I understand it, a medical practitioner is given the courtesy title of Dr while an academic with a doctorate has the real thing. Some medical doctors also have doctorates.

        I would prefer to use the style of knight once the Queen has conferred the honour, but we don’t know when that is.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Indeed but living standards and salaries are not helped by Hammond’s highest taxes for 40 years, his project fear (thus running down the country and investment confidence), the endless red tape that strangles businesses everywhere, the lack of government vision and leadership, the mad restrictive and expensive employment laws and the unfair competition from virtual state monopolies in health, education (and partially in other areas like social housing, the BBC, the legal systems). The lack of real competition in our over priced retail banking system does not help much either.

    1.4 million families to lose child benefit in 2019 due to the non indexation of the £50K earning threshold. Another stealth tax from the tax to death grim reaper Hammond. Meanwhile a couple earning £99,900 can keep it if paid equally £49,950 each I think? The tax system is total lunacy and hugely damaging to the economy, particularly stamp duty and the extra tenant and absurd landlord taxes that even tax losses. Especially as most of the money raised is mainly wasted on absurdities, worthless degrees, HS2… or just spend very inefficiently indeed.

    Talking of absurdities I see there was an expensive government truck, photo opportunity in Kent yesterday. What was the point of this? We have already dealt with blockages at Dover in this way and know how it worked. Interesting that the government wastes billion based on (basically absurd) computer models of climate predictions or 100 years, yet when it comes to a few trucks they have to hire real ones to model it! The climate is a chaotic system trillions of times more complex that a few trucks (and we do not even have most of the input data needed for the next hundred years anyway). Even if we did we could not predict it well.

  3. Mark B
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    . . . great recession . . . = depression.

    With the hopeful end to money printing we can start to settle the economies on the world and get back to reasonable interest rates, sustainable growth and low inflation.

    What concerns me though is what is happening on the continent. With the German economy slowing and an extra million mouths to feed, cloth and look after Germany does not look a good. There’s may be trouble ahead.

    • APL
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Mark B:”. . . great recession . . . = depression.”

      That’s always amused me about John Redwoods newspeak. It’s a good way of describing our economy without owning the economy.

      If it wasn’t for the UK government spending half of GDP on welfare we’d know we were in a Depression. Thing is the UK government is broke, and once it is forced to recognise the fact, it will be forced to withdraw that 50% of government spending. Then you’ll know what a great recession is.

      • dame rita webb
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

        What JR has failed to mention is that since 2009 every pound of incremental GDP has only been obtained with an extra £5 of debt. No explanation either as to why so many people are working past 65. The usual explanation of because they like it doesn’t seem to match the constant message from the life insurers of saving up to get out at 50 and now 55. Odd also that if things are going so well the average family has around £15k in unsecured debt.

        • APL
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          dame rita webb: “The usual explanation of because they like it doesn’t seem to match the constant message from the life insurers of saving up to get out at 50 and now 55.”

          The only people who can retire at 50 are in the public sector.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

        I know. All this employment and high taxes makes me wonder why we are still borrowing so much ?

        • ian wragg
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

          Because this left wing government continues to waste billions on HS2, Foreign Aid, welfare to all and sundry and now £39 billion to a foreign entity without publishing the invoice or legal opinion.
          Now it looks like they want to extend article 50 to give May more time to force through the surrender document.

          • Dame Rita Webb
            Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            interesting fact that in the uk more public money is spent on foreign aid than the police.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted January 9, 2019 at 4:08 am | Permalink

            Indeed endless government waste. Meanwhile the local authorises are closing public loos, libraries, cutting bin collections, endlessly mugging motorists to kill town centres. We have police who cannot be bothered even to attend most crimes let alone investigate them …… What is all this taxation actually delivering?

      • jerry
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        @APL; “Thing is the UK government is broke, and once it is forced to recognise the fact, it will be forced to withdraw that 50% of government spending. Then you’ll know what a is.”

        The UK made that mistake in the 1930s, it didn’t solve anything then, it won’t today…

        • APL
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          Jerrry: “The UK made that mistake in the 1930s, ”

          What mistake, Jerry?

          • jerry
            Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

            @APL; Leaving the unemployed to rot, never heard of the Jarrow march?…

            Whilst WW2 played its part, the UK general election result of 1945 had much to do with those hard times in the economically depressed 1930s, if you want the next govt. to be a Socialist one then carry on taking claptrap about withdrawing welfare.

            They are out of favour now, but both Keynes & Roosevelt had a valid points.

    • oldtimer
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Re Germany, events are turning nasty. There is a gruesome photo of a badly beaten up Chairman of the AfD now on the internet. AfD is the growing opposition party in Germany. It is unclear which group was responsible.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        Far-Left. With a casual nod from the State.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:50 pm | Permalink


        “Re Germany, events are turning nasty. There is a gruesome photo of a badly beaten up Chairman of the AfD now on the internet. AfD is the growing opposition party in Germany. It is unclear which group was responsible”

        Not as nasty as here. At least no MP has been murdered there so far.

        As for the AfD growing, they came third in the last elections there, trailing the Green party which came second.

        Can you imagine the same happening here?

  4. oldtimer
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    It would be better if the government were focussed on these issues. Instead it remains obsessed with trying to get May’s dud deal, the WA, agreed by parliament. It does not deserve to be agreed because it is a very bad deal. Bad because it is a win-lose deal – win for the EU, lose for the UK. Such one sided deals often fail. Even worse it does not settle the basic issue of the future relationship between the parties. That can is kicked even further down the road. This situation is a consequence of the negotiating positions taken by the parties, a consequence of either bungling incompetence or bad faith. My instinct is that it is bad faith on both sides as they seek to frustrate Brexit, an instinct reinforced by the news that officials are now said to be looking at deferral of the UK exit date. Just leave on 29 March.

    • Andy
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      It is YOUR dud deal. You voted for it. It has what Brexit has always meant – even if you lot still do not deliver it.

      • oldtimer
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        No it is May’s dud deal. It is she, aided and abetted by Robbins, who has negotiated it. The referendum question was very clear about what leaving entailed. Cameron and co employed the whole might of the state, reinforced by the Obamas of this world, the IMF and so on to argue for remain. Still the voters rejected these arguments by a clear majority. Two years has been wasted by May in an attempt to frustrate the Brexit vote. It was clear to me, if not to you, that in the absence of a FTA, the UK would trade on WTO terms. May has made no attempt to negotiate a FTA.

        • Timaction
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          I strongly suspect that May/Robbins colluded with the EU and foreign leaders to come up with this punishment deal to get us back in asap when we’ve seen the legislation made against us with no say!

      • Edward2
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        It is not our deal
        Firstly it is just a withdrawal agreement.
        No deal has been negotiated.
        Secondly the vast majority who voted to leave the EU are opposed to this withdrawal agreement.
        Parliament needs to listen.

      • Stred
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Its a traitor’s deal- your deal-a deal breaking the promise in the clearly debated referendum and both party manifestos. The extremists are the MPs using subterfuge to keep us in the EU, with all the federal agenda that was hidden during the referendum. The Tory, Libdem and Labour quislings that called for the worst deal possible, writing to German newspapers and collaborating with EU officials, who worked alongside Robbins, now have this worst possible deal, written by the EU and crowed about by their chief unelected leader Herr Selmayer. Its a May/Robbins/EU deal with the purpose of keeping us in and paying or in via a rigged second referendum.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Andy, you seem unable to grasp the fact that Brexit does not mean May’s deal. It is NOT what we voted for. All we have on the table is a deal that has been cobbled together by remainers like you. It’s more like your deal than ours.

      • Jagman84
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Still time to leave and live in your EU nirvana. Don’t forget your yellow vests. They’re compulsory in France for car passengers and, apparently, for pedestrians too! The ‘dud deal’ is a Remainer construct. Or host has clearly stated what is the best way to proceed. Your visceral hatred of people who disagree with you, blinds you to it.

      • jerry
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        @Andy; No it’s YOUR dud deal, the WA is the result of a weak govt. trying to keep the 48% as happy as possible – had May not had YOUR thorn in her side for the last 30 odd months the EU might have been more realistic in their negotiations, but they smelt nothing but YOUR fear, weakness and wiliness to kowtow.

      • NickC
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Why don’t you think the UK can be as independent as New Zealand?

        • Andy
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

          Your mistake is to think that New Zealand is more independent than us.

          Last time I checked we didn’t have a Queen born in a country half way around the world – and, as a result, we don’t need an appointed Governor General. Unlike NZ.

          Also, New Zealand’s GDP per capita is lower than ours – and is also lower than the EU average.

          So your favoured model is of a country less independent than us and poorer than us. Have you thought this through?

          • Edward2
            Posted January 9, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

            It is up to the very independent and democratic New Zealand to kerp the Queen as their nominal head of state and to remain in or leave the Commonwealth.
            It a decision for them to make.

            The standard of living in NZ is good as is the quality of life which is more important in my opinion.
            Good growth low unemployent and near the top of all the nations people want to emigrate to.

          • NickC
            Posted January 9, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

            Andy, Declaration 17 of the Lisbon treaty states that EU law has primacy over the law of member states. So New Zealand is independent; the UK isn’t. The Queen is a figurehead with no power – unlike your corrupt anti-democratic EU empire.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          Indeed New Zealand with a GDP only about 1/13 of the UK’s!

          • hefner
            Posted January 9, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

            Pathetic: 2017 GDP PPP NZ $36,085.84, UK $39,753.24

          • NickC
            Posted January 9, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

            Hefner – clanggg!! – you’ve missed the point.

          • hefner
            Posted January 9, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

            Oh yes? LL produced a rather ridiculous statement based on a misunderstanding of the figures, that’s my point. My comment has nothing to do with the rest of the conversation.

          • NickC
            Posted January 10, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

            Hefner, LL is quite correct that NZ GDP is about 1/13 of the UK’s. It is you Remains who make an issue of the relative size of economies (“the EU is bigger so can get better trade deals!!”). So per capita GDP, PPP or otherwise, is irrelevant.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      The deal solves nothing, kicks the can down the road for years to come, it weakens our negotiating position hugely, ties us in for years to come and cost £billions. No one should accept it. It is far. far worse than a WTO leave. It is a total con trick from the disingenuous, remainer & socialist T May and her dire cabinet. No sensible Tory voter should ever vote for any Tory MP who supports it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        The Brexit Minister just now on BBC1 effectively “confirmed” that the government is looking to see if it can delay the leaving date (by consistently failing to answer the question).

        He also thinks that people should be banned form shouting abuse at politicians, even if they did advocate the complete opposite of the manifesto they stood on or proposed to thieve off landlords to “buy” tenants votes.

        So much for free speech then Mr Barclay.

        • Hope
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

          Each of the EU countries will have a veto in future relationship. Therefore likely to be much longer as the UK would have given up all its bargaining chips. Secondly, Drunker and Barmy will be gone. The two EU officials currently boasting that the UK will have to lose N.Ireland as a price for Brexit and that the EU will have much leverage and control if the servitude plan is signed will still be present to give Ollie another thrashing.

          There was no lie. Article 50 demands a future relationship is agreed before departure, article 184 of the servitude plan makes it clear this has not been achieved! Idiot May wants to agree a servitude plan without a future relationship! How stupid and one sided could that be when it was known all along that to decide the border issue would require the future relationship to be decide, Davis made that point clear. May ignored and ploughed on like a bonehead hoping she could bounce all into her servitude plan and bind the country and parliament forever.

          • Timaction
            Posted January 8, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

            We still haven’t forgotten how she instructed Ollie behind the backs of her two Brexit Ministers to write the Chequers plan and then take dictation from EU officials to write the WA. There is NO deal. She ambushed her Cabinet at Chequers, after Frau Merkel and other foreign leaders had seen the document. Outrageous behaviour making her unfit to hold the office of Prime Minister. The anger out here in the real world of Mp’s behaviour is palpable.

        • Bob
          Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

          What a difference from Mr Rees-Mogg who when confronted with a similar cacophony responded with words to the effect that this is democracy and free speech in action, something Ms Soubry seems opposed to, unless she’s making obscene remarks about Nigel on QT.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

            Exactly just a pathetic self publicist.

  5. Dominic
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    And all in the face of a backward, destructive anti-libertarian socialist PM. If our private sector can achieve this then can you imagine what it could achieve when unleashed with a pro-private sector PM leading the nation

    The dynamism and energy of the private sector should not be restrained nor damaged through the dead hand of political interference from a backward political class

    There are few politicians that have experienced both sides of the public (political) and private (apolitical) divide. Our host is one of them. His views should be noted rather than the nonsensical, politically desperate crap pumped out by this PM and her sidekick Hammond

    Get us out of the sclerotic, backward political construct that is the EU and watch UK PLC thrive

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      “Get us out of the sclerotic, backward political construct that is the EU and watch UK PLC thrive” – indeed then get a sensible tax cutting chancellor and a bonfire of red tape. Freedom and choice please – in education, health care, housing, energy, food how we spend our money – indeed everywhere.

      With a state sector or no more than 25% of GDP. But 25% of the much larger GDP it would be.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        “all in the face of a backward, destructive anti-libertarian socialist PM” – indeed and the highest, most complex and idiotic taxes for 40 years from Osborne and now Hammond.

        Plus the government’s project fear running the country down and deterring inward investment at every turn.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      It would be interesting to know the average hourly rate of these extra jobs. I suspect we are into minimum wage territory, propped up by benefits. Whilst people doing something, rather than nothing, is good, it doesn’t bode well when with all these extra jobs and massive tax take we are still running a deficit.

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 9, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink


      “Get us out of the sclerotic, backward political construct that is the EU and watch UK PLC thrive”

      So why did we beg to join this ‘sclerotic, backward political construct’ in the first place?

      I tell you why as can those who were there when we voted to join – because it turned us from a backward, sinking country, universally known as the ‘sick man of Europe’ into the world’s 5th largest economy, now alas after Brexit already dropped into 7th place behind France.

      The common market had to pump in 25% of its regional development funds to stabilise the nation, the highest ever figure. Little gratitude shown for that these days.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 9, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        For every year of the 40 odd years if our membership bar one the UK has been paying far more into the EU than it ever got out.
        Recent years show a trade deficit of around 90 billion a year.
        We had dreadful recessions whilst in the EU.
        Presumably you will immediately say that was our fault.

      • NickC
        Posted January 10, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, Actually, we did not vote to join. We became widely known as the “sick man of Europe” after we joined the EEC. There has been no Brexit yet.

  6. Andy
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Two important things happened yesterday.

    First, Failing Grayling’s comedy Kent traffic jam. He was, literally, unable to get enough lorries to take part to make a queue.

    And secondly, a bunch of Brexit backing thugs were filmed outside Parliament menacing Anna Soubry – and calling her a Nazi.

    These two sum up Brexit. A tragi-comedy with dark and deeply unpleasant underbelly of hate.

    • Richard1
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      The harassment is very bad is what I meant to put.

    • L Jones
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      And, as has been said before, you know all about ”hate”, don’t you, Andy? I don’t think anyone here writes such hate-filled and ageist comments as do you.
      Perhaps you should stop being so bitter about Brexit and try to talk up your EU. It would be a treat to read something positive from you. Tell us how we would thrive if we remained shackled. A few words would suffice. Hearts and minds, Andy.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      It was meant to be a farce andy
      There have been over 200 Operation Stacks due to various problems in the EU
      The police in Kent didn’t need any rehearsals.

      PS I didn’t hear any outrage from you when a bunch of remain backing left wing thugs menaced Jacob Reece Mogg and Boris Johnson outside their homes.

    • bigneil
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Tell us what the rosy future of Life after a Remain vote would be Andy.
      1st – No Schengen wall (Treason has by-passed this with signing the UN Migration paper), so MILLIONS can arrive with hands out.
      2nd – what would Brussels demand the daily contribution go up to?

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      The hate, Andy, comes from you. Almost exclusively from you on this website. I would love to see a psychological profile of someone who volunteers to join a site like this, and then spends hours of time berating and insulting almost everyone else who contributes. What a sad person you must be. Have you no other life?

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      @ Andy

      tragi-comedy with dark and deeply unpleasant underbelly of hate.

      Just like the majority of your entries

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Andy, well, we’ll take your word for it seeing as you’re the expert on hate. I think nearly everyone of your posts is filled with hatred towards pensioners.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      17.4 million Brexit voters are behaving perfectly well unlike French EU members.

      There was no need to trial a traffic queue as misbehaved French EU members gave us all the experience we needed of a blockade during Operation Stack.

      You give no quarter to your own people and have no respect for them.

      Be aware that your contributions here are put on a big screen and shown to rooms of people to confirm that an officer class contempt really does exist among Tory people.

    • Jagman84
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      The hate is willingly supplied by you. We suggest solutions to potential problems. You offer abuse, like a petulant teenager. Remain lost. Get over it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      They just called her names not pleasant but surely no Crime yet is It?

      It was Soubry after all who suggested that Nigel Farage’s facial expressions made him look like someone who enjoyed a person putting their finger up his bottom.

    • jerry
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      @Andy; “[the DfT] was, literally, unable to get enough lorries to take part to make a queue.”

      Oh dear… You really do not understand much do you, the purpose was to test if a convoy of a given size would avoid congestion, the test was not to see if logjam can be created, any fool knows that’s possible – hence the test!

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      You know what Andy there are some very aggressive people that shout at politicians of all persuasions I don’t condone any of it, it is vile behaviour. But to say its only created by Brexit is a bit much, what of the Manchester hanging Tory mannequins off the side of the bridge condoned and left up by the Labour mayor until newspapers shamed him into removing them the following day, oh how the left chuckle when Conservative MPs get egged and are told not to walk out alone at certain events. What of the victimising of Farage in Edinburgh by people who disagree with him and the awful bullying of JRM and his family outside his own home.

      If people keep inflaming people and wind them up this will only continue and the extremes have been seen in Germany today with the most awful incident with a politician that someone disagrees with. If we can’t have a friendly and open debate without name calling, jeering and having to be told order, order all the time then the general public think it can be replicated outside the house as well as inside.

    • NickC
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Andy, From someone who wants his Leave opponents to die off and professes hatred of pensioners, Tories, and Leave voters, your hypocrisy and impudence knows no bounds.

      • Andy
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        I do not hate pensioners. I want pensioners treated the same way everyone else. At the moment they are not. They get more favourable treatment than any other group.

        Pensioners are huge beneficiaries of the welfare state. Many – if not most – take far more out of the system than they ever put in. Crucially – and I believe criminally – many are not aware of this. Many accuse others of being spongers, scroungers etc … when, actually, pensioners are by far the biggest beneficiaries.

        If you all did not get all of your state handouts I could almost HALVE my tax bill. And, no, most of you will not have paid more in than you take out. It is not your fault. What is your fault is how ungrateful you all are.

        I do not mind subsiding you. I do mind being abused – despite my generosity.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 9, 2019 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          Ridiculous nonsense
          Take a young family one working average wage a few children all needing school places, housing benefits tax credits NHS treatment dentists and paying how much in tax?
          Most pensioners have paid NI for decades to get the pathetic pension they now get.
          It is not welfare.
          It is owed to them.
          Many others have built up private pensions from denying themselves luxury spending.
          Many others pay for private health cover.
          Many others are carrying working and paying taxes into their 70s.
          Think again.

        • a-tracy
          Posted January 10, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          Andy, I think you are misinformed.

          single people in London get a benefit capped at £15410
          single people out of London £13,400
          The full basic state pension = £6549
          How does that make the pension a benefit more than any other group?
          Plus that pension is from National Insurance credits, a system created by the Labour government much lauded over the years as a safety net from cradle to grave. For a PAYE worker that amounts to 25.8% of their salary over the lower earnings level of £6032.
          Young people now stay in education with child benefits until they are 18 or 19 that is a further 2-3 years of infantilisation. 50% of those teenagers then go on to Higher Education with loans from taxpayers funds but the majority of the cost of each course is born by the State. So please tell me how the average 10-15 years of a contributed basic state pension tops that? Those that live on years over this are netted off against those who die before they even claim their pension.

  7. jerry
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    It’s quality not quantity that matters. Govt defines full time work as being over 16 hours per week, and many will be at the NMW, do the maths 17 x 7.83…

    Then, if the “employed” person has a family to support (or just has to pay a commercial rate of housing rent) the government will almost certainly be paying top-up benefits, a net drain on tax receipts not much less that if the person was still claiming the JSA element of UC because the “employed” person is almost certainly not paying income nor perhaps NI taxes.

    One day Govt will once again listen to experts, not partisan politicos or self-serving statisticians all trying to justify their jobs, we might then get some proper joined up thinking!

    • libertarian
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink


      12% of workers earn on or less than the Living Wage

      Out of 32 million in work 8.5 million work flexible/part time

      There are currently 833,000 unfilled full time vacancies

      The UK average salary is currently £28,677

      • hefner
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Median salary!

        • NickC
          Posted January 9, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          Hefner, Mean salary!! Latest ONS mean salary for Aug-Oct 2018 is £27540 a year.

          • hefner
            Posted January 10, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

            OK, thanks. What about JR and contributors here to quote:
            GDP per person when comparing GDP at various times;
            GDP PPP when comparing standard of living between different countries;
            median instead of mean/average salary to account (a bit more) for the skewed distribution of salaries;
            number of immigrants/refugees w.r.t. total population when comparing countries;
            salary and wealth by quintiles and their time evolution when talking about how rich the UK is;
            FTSE values and value of £ together either at a given time or in time series;
            time series of growth instead of instantaneous one;
            etc …

      • jerry
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian; But how many ‘workers’ (also known as families) are surviving just or not so very far above the Living Wage. These ‘Just About Managing’ families are often also the ones driving the countries spiralling personal, unsecured, credit problems, and social issues when both spouses are forced to work resulting in latch-key kids.

        Once you ignore the DWPs definition of part-time, less than 16 hrs pw, there are a lot more that just 8.5m people working less than a full time 35-40 hours.

        “There are currently 833,000 unfilled full time vacancies”

        Not a lot of help if the job seeker is in Cornwall or County Durham, for example, and the jobs are in London or the South East, can’t get the job unless living in the area, can’t afford to live in the area without the job. Always assuming the job seeker has the qualification…

        There are a LOT of people earning less than £2,340 pm (£28,677 pa).

        Thanks for proving my point about statisticians!

    • Adam
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Employer & employee are free to choose whether arrangements suit them or seek better.

      Add-on Govt instruments such as minimum pay, tax credits & muddles of welfare benefits distort & needlessly complicate values. Govt has security responsibilities yet behaves like an over-zealous charity.

      • jerry
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        @Adam; Responsibility untimely rests with business and commerce, not govt, see the comment by @Mark B below for why!

    • Mark B
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Socialise the losses and privatise the profits. All so that greedy corporates can get rich.

    • Stred
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      If all the students getting themselves into mortgage sized debt while studying useless degrees were added to the unemployment total, the figures would be similar to Southern Europe. Getting them off the unemployed total was Bliars main reason for expanding the numbers of dumb students.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      I just had a look at my payroll software,
      full-time D = 30 hours or more
      The other classifications are;
      A – up to 15.99 hours
      B – 16 to 23.99 hours
      C – 24 – 29.99 hours
      E = other

      Perhaps now that compulsory monthly reporting software has this function the statisticians will have more to work with. Quite a number people have 2 or 3 A and B jobs plus self-employment.

  8. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    The stock markets of the world took a beating over Christmas (even China). We both know the Channel ports are not going to cope on 30/3 of this year. We are deep in debt as individuals and as a State. And Mrs May is handing out money like Christmas presents.
    The government has done a fantastic job of running the country really – apart from Brexit.
    I have a grim sense of foreboding.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      “Channel ports are not going to cope on 30/3 of this year

      Mike, who knows?

      If ferries are not running they will not be running anywhere, to/from France, Belgium or Holland, so it will not matter how many additional ones are available.

      But, on the other hand if physical ferries are sailing then it’s up to the UK Government if they wish to slow down lorries leaving the country and create an M20 car park. It’s also up to the UK Government how many additional checks they want to make on in coming lorries.

      I would have thought that the main problem area would be Calais and if the French wish to be awkward.

    • hellbent
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Think you’re right Mike, the WA will not pass the parliament vote, everyone knows, so that leaves only two ways to go, extend A50 ie. rescind it or go for the Exit with no deal..and I think Mrs May intends to do the latter, she has nothing to lose and she’ll be giving the people what they voted for- but before 29 March she’ll resign as Tory leader and PM- then who’s going to follow- who would want to follow?

    • Jagman84
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      If the economy is about to fall off a cliff why will the ports not cope? Surely less cargo traffic would make things run smoother? Or maybe it is wishful thinking on your part as no- one likes your EEA/EFTA solutions?
      Enjoy your last EU holiday. However, I doubt that it will be.

  9. Richard1
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed the screenplay with benedict cumberbatch on the referendum. I’ve no idea whether it’s true the whole campaign was organised by a couple of spin doctor / lobbyist types, with the politicians such as messrs Johnson Gove and Hannan just having dumb walk on parts. It seems unlikely buts makes a good story. Obviously the main point of it was to de-legitimatise the result by suggesting it was all down to nefarious technology companies and shadowy billionaires connected eg to Donald trump. What was missing was the actual debate, in particular the extraordinary (and continuing) inability of Remain / Comtinuity Remain to come up with positive reasons to support the EU. Where were the arguments for how great are the euro/ the Schengen Agreement / free movement / the CAP/ the CFP/ the diesel and wind promoting energy policy? Even the customs union?

    Nor of course was there any focus on the David and Goliath nature of the contest with state money and all the institutions of the state + the CBI etc adamantly on the side of Remain.

    • Stred
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      They could have told how Ukip’s leader and the ‘shadowy millionairers’ on the other Leave campaign advised the others not to use the gross figure on the bus. As predicted, the Remain side has used this mistake remorselessly and had cover for their own far greater misuse of figures. The way that politicians shunned Ukip, despite the referendum being largely due to them was also a nasty part of Cummings’s campaign. Lbc’ Jobby is exploiting the Ch4 hatchet job this morning. Lie after lie.

      • forthurst
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        The Grassroots Out campaign had far better leaflets than Vote Leave and their ballpoint pens were in a different league; most importantly, GO was run by grown-ups whereas Vote Leave was an ill-disciplined bunch of typically incompetent infantile Tories which is why they would have been selected to get tax-payers’ money and mount the ‘official’ Leave campaign.

  10. agrictola
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I am happy to learn that both the UK&USA economies are moving in a positive direction and that it is reflected in employment levels. I think we have all learnt to separate reality from government prediction. The latter coming from a completely politicised civil service government machine backed
    by an equally politicised BBC.

    Today we learn that MPs are being abused on the street. Distasteful and unacceptable, MPs should be subject to robust criticism in the H o C, in the media, and within their own constituency parties. I would add however that given MPs inability to respect the will of the electorate, deduced by a democratic referendum, it is inevitable that the sanctions of that electorate will get more extreme as this impasse in representative politics continues. At the moment Parliament is failing the electorate.

    • Bob
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      On BBC R4 this morning “The Long View”, in the intro says that “the prime minister had done everything to paper over the divisions; constructing a Cabinet balanced between the competing factions.

      And they’re surprised when Mr Trump refers to them as “fake”.

      Reply The Cabinet has no one in it who wants to leave in March with no WA

    • bigneil
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      ” At the moment Parliament is failing the electorate. ” – Once a Leave vote was announced Parliament never had any thoughts other than to ” fail the electorate “.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      No person, let alone an MP, should be subject to abuse. And I for one condemn anyone who call people, and especially MP’s, rude names. Names such as extremist or, bastards for example.

  11. ColinD.
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Why is ‘a good rate of job growth’ deemed so important? Many of these jobs are attracting and being filled by immigrants. It is high time the focus moved to increasing productivity. Then we could grow the economy and standard of living by using the existing population without having to build so many new homes and stress the nation’s infrastructure.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Colin – True. It is a problem if these jobs are effectively being subsidised by the taxpayer, either in direct in-work top-ups or benefits to displaced local workers. I include in my definition of a displaced local worker:

      – NEETs

      – Children forced to stay at work to 18 when it is unsuitable for them

      – People going to university when it is unsuitable for them

      I had to explain to my engineering executive brother in-law (in his gated community home on a spacious estate in Ascott) about the impact his outsourcing of factories had on the Brexit vote (our equivalent of the US rust belt.) He said “But voting Brexit won’t bring the factories back.” (Being in the EU didn’t stop them going)

      I replied

      “No only that policy makers then imported workers to compete for the jobs left.”

      We understand that factories go where cheap labour is but what you don’t do is impose this double-whammy on an enfranchised population and then not expect there to be consequences.

      Look to the national debt for the true impact.

    • bigneil
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      We could all have a better standard of living, but the elite, after making sure THEY are OK, throw the rest to foreign despots in the name of Foreign aid.

    • Bob
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      There would be an even better rate of jobs growth if employers were not forced to virtually adopt employees after the first two years.

      It’s very difficult to dismiss an employee, although they can walk out of a job on a whim. This makes employing people a risky venture for small businesses. Large business can cope better as they have HR departments and more room for dead wood; I know of a firm that just succeeded in dismissing a troublesome employee after 15 years of wanting her gone. Easy hire & fire would make for a more dynamic economy.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Well said ColinD

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      The main cause of low productivity is the state sector, hight taxes, expensive energy, over regualtion, planning rwstrictions, banking restrictions, employment laws and the likes. The state is the priblem as usual.

  12. sreaddyeddie
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Good rate of jobs growth, 700,000 jobs created … oh yes and we are in the EU. When will the right wing of the Conservative Party stop committing hari kari and support the democratically elected government. If it doesn’t work out we have an election in 3 years time. This will also give us the time to undertake a responsible departure from the EU.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 9, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      “A responsible departure from the EU” will not happen if Parliament makes the Withdrawal Agreement law as it ties us to the EU in perpetuity.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Margaret Howard said yesterday

    “Exit Brexit” because only 17m out of 66m voted for it.

    I say this. Only 17m wanted to save our membership of the EU when it came to it on the day. Just over a third of the quoted amount actually turned out on The People’s Vote march in London according to newly revealed figures by the Greater London Authority. This was on a Saturday in the 8m populace Remain capital of the UK.

    They were so embarrassed by the low turnout that they had to lie about numbers.

    In the beginning we were told this was just a common trading bloc and they have lied and lied about the implications of treaties ever since yet our vote is to be disqualified by something written on the side of a bus and unsubstantiated accusations of racism ?

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink


      Only 16m wanted to save our membership of the EU when it came to it on the day.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Anon. Andy moans that the young have had their futures taken away. It seems to me that a lot of youngsters didn’t bother to turn out to vote so who’s fault is it that Leave won?

  14. acorn
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Definitely worth having a read of

    Particularly Fig 1. The Household sector has been spending more than its regular income for eight quarters now. All domestic sectors are in deficit, paying the rest-of-the-world for the imports.

    The text says “The rest of the world sector continues to be a net lender to the UK at 5.1% of GDP …” That actually means the UK exported bags of Pounds Sterling equivalent to 5.1% of GDP to foreigners who sold us stuff.

    “Nevertheless, despite revisions, latest estimates still suggest that growth in households purchasing power have more or less stalled since 2016, while the wider economy experienced moderate growth of 1.8%, in real terms, as seen in Figure 5.

    • acorn
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      For those that did not understand my last paragraph above. It means that the Capitalists in the big houses at the top of town, are taking an ever-larger share of UK gross national income (GNI), than are the workers in the other 99% of UK Households.

      As Andy has said, you voted for this. Any similarity in the UK’s present position and the 1933 Viemar Republic’s position, is purely coincidental. A few of you leavers may understand the context of that.

      • NickC
        Posted January 9, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        Acorn, No it doesn’t. Total household purchasing power includes “the capitalists in the big houses at the top of town” and the capitalists in the little houses at the bottom of town, and has “stalled”. Therefore your figures do not demonstrate that the big house capitalists have taken “an ever-larger share”.

        Andy says lots of things – none of it true. This has happened (whatever it is) whilst we are still in the EU. So nothing to do with independence.

  15. Excalibur
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    There is a worrying increase in the Draconian legislation being enacted in France to curb the activities of protesters against the Government’s incompetence. Here, the turncoat William Hague is suggesting that MP’s will not allow a ‘No-deal’ Brexit to happen. The ‘Telegraph’ reports that British officials are ‘putting out feelers’ with the EU to extend the Article 50 talks. More than two-hundred cross party MP’s are seeking to stop a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. Theresa May is allegedly holding secret talks with the EU to postpone Brexit should her WA be rejected. Everywhere, visionless and weak-kneed legislators are attempting to thwart the will of voters. We must stand firm.

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, but following on from my comments yesterday:

    now that the Hansard record for yesterday’s debate is available.

    At Column 31:

    the Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said:

    “The reality is that any deal we enter into with the EU will require a backstop. That is the substance of it. Whether that is a Canada option, ​a Canada-plus, a Canada-plus-plus or a Canada-plus-plus-plus, the reality is that, whatever the deal, it will require a backstop.”

    And at Column 37 he reiterated:

    “The reality is that whatever deal is put forward — including any put forward by Labour, if the Leader of the Opposition were to work one out — it would still require a backstop.”

    Obviously he was talking about any deal which might be put forward now as an alternative to the deal presently agreed by Theresa May, and I do not propose to distort the meaning of what he actually said but simply ask:

    “So what does he think could change in the future to render a backstop or similar legal provision unnecessary when a new agreement was reached?”

    And the answer to that is a backstop or equivalent will always be required for as long as the Irish government refuses to agree to any alternative agreement which does not have the same effect of keeping us under swathes of EU law to protect the Irish economy, and that will be forever.

    I repeat once again, from November 26th 2017:

    “Brexit: Remain in customs union and single market to solve border issue, Ireland’s European commissioner tells May”

    “Theresa May is facing fresh pressure to change course over plans for the Northern Irish border after Brexit as Ireland’s EU commissioner stepped up threats to veto trade talks.”

    “Commissioner Phil Hogan called for the UK to remain in the customs union and single market – or allow Northern Ireland to do so … ”

    “Mr Hogan, the EU’s agriculture commissioner, said Ireland would “play tough to the end” over the border issue, and said it was a “very simple fact” that “if the UK or Northern Ireland remained in the EU customs union, or better still the single market, there would be no border issue”.”

    Theresa May should have reacted against those threats and faced them down then, over a year ago, as I argued at the time:

    “So we should now say that rather than kowtow to the stupid destructive intransigence of the EU we will fall back on WTO trade rules and only seek agreements on the practical or technical aspects of continuing trade.”

    But for her own reasons, connected to pressure from the CBI and similar bodies, she chose to capitulate; and if our Parliament joins her in giving way, now, it will demonstrate to this and all future Irish governments that Ireland can contrive to keep the UK under the rules of the EU customs union and large parts of the EU Single Market in perpetuity.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Ha, I’ve just seen Simon Coveney saying that Ireland will not permit any changes to the legally binding withdrawal agreement but would not stand in the way of the UK extending the two year period laid down in Article 50. Basically the Irish government is being allowed to call the shots both by the EU and by the UK government, the latter because what the Irish want roughly corresponds with what the CBI and similar want and what the europhiles at the top of the Tory party want.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Big business needs the freedom of capital that the EU/EEA (via the RoI) offers in order to maximise its profits 😉

  17. agrictola
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I have heard it argued today that we the electorate voted to leave the EU, a parliamentary majority voted to trigger Art 50 and reverse the 1972 act of acsession.
    In effect we all handed it to government to negotiate our exit. We should all therefore accept the WA.

    Balderdash, government made an absolute dogs breakfast of this negotiation. A group of whores and bishops could have come up with a more viable solution. Many years ago I remember an already wealthy friend inheriting even more and being approached by the bank to receive financial advice from one of their senior executives. She went along with it but asked one very pertinent question of the executive. “You are the financial expert, where have you parked your Rolls Royce.” End of conversation. Government in the form of May and the civil service Robbins et al were way out of their depth. A negotiating team not fit for purpose. That is why we find ourselves up the proverbial creek minus a paddle. Cynically one could assume that this WA was the desired position of government. I think it was the result of sheer incompetence now being sold as the best possible answer. An out and out lie on the evidence available.

    • Timaction
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      May connived with the EU et al to come up with her servitude plan to get us back in asap!

  18. Iain Gill
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink


    I think this post sets completely the wrong tone, and is likely to be read with disbelief by much of the country.

    The Conservatives would have much more support if they showed genuine empathy for the real underlying issues.

    Such as, the way many people who are looking for work are no longer counted in the out of work stats, for many varied reasons the state has conspired to keep them off the list.

    Such as, the way job prospects are very regional, and vary by location wildly, and many of the old industrial heartlands are still jobless wastelands after the large dominant employer shut, and the people are largely trapped in the area by the way the social housing system works. So many people are consigned to living in areas with insufficient jobs within travelling distance.

    Such as the way many job roles have been decimated by out of control immigration, encouraged by the political elite who have used it to drive down pay, but pushing up net costs to the country as locals get displaced from the workforce.

    So things are far from the sunny picture this spin implies.

    And there has to be heart and vision for the others, such as those affected by the issues I have listed here.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      when Mrs T won an election and came down the stairs and said we should not forget the inner cities, and the deprived areas… (I forget the exact words) that was exactly the sort of tone these sort of posts need.

      • a-tracy
        Posted January 9, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        I agree with you Iain.
        The best thing to happen to Salford near Manchester was Media City, what we don’t need is for the Conservatives to water these changes down. George Osborne for all his faults got the Northern Powerhouse requirements, they seem to have been forgotten and this needs to change, not all MPs are dealing with Brexit. They should get on with their real jobs looking after the United Kingdom.
        When work deserts occur and then property prices are held down and social housing accounts for more than 15% of an areas properties the Government also move unemployable asylum seekers and refugees to these areas (that anyone with ambition moves out of) with no jobs to do, they’re not even put to work fixing properties they are given or even asked to clean them up and everything spirals down. We must change the way we provide for asylum seekers and expect some community work for housing benefits and other cash to live on “You can ask for somewhere to live, a cash allowance or both as an asylum seeker. Housing. You’ll be given somewhere to live if you need it.”

        • Iain Gill
          Posted January 10, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          The so called “Northern Powerhouse” is a bad idea, because it hands more power to fewer unaccountable people.

          Putting the NHS, Social care, and so on under the same control sounds reasonable superficially but it is not. What people want and the only thing that will work is more power over their own health, social care, housing and other decisions delegated down to the individual. The state should be about ensuring the poorest have the funds to pay for what they need, regulating quality of service, but ultimately the individual should be choosing their own providers of health, social care, housing and so on. The the virtuous cycles of improvement, and optimisation and innovation can properly occur.

  19. The PrangWizard
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    It is far better for people to have work than not have it, and far better for an economy to be growing than not, but that alone is superficial. The quality of the job is very important and the method and means of growth is what we should be concentrating and judging performance on.

    For example much is made of inward investment but if that consists of a foreign firm renting a large shed here, importing its own goods from the country of origin, and then having its warehouses staffed largely with imported foreign workers; how does that add wealth to our country? We know who is the only real beneficiaries, and how many of our own businesses suffer when that competitor deliberately conspires to unfairly undercut them?

    We should be investing in and keeping home owned businesses and ideas, creating new products for volume international sales, increasing production everywhere with more efficient machinery and methods and training up our people to take the jobs created. It is not good enough to make more widgets in the same old way simply by employing more people to do the same old thing, nor expecting that we will get and stay wealthy by buying local things from each other.

    We have not been investing nor planning properly; just look at where all the new products in volume are coming from, which we then import of course.

    And we should make sure that we defend our assets and not have them sold off willy-nilly by the City giving the government the opportunity to crow about how attractive we are to foreign investors. This has been happening for the last many years, with no long term benefit. A foolish short-term ‘can down the road’ policy, as we still run a deficit with bigger debt. Pretty much everything has been sold off by now, and our competitors are reaping the benefits.

    Yet government says’ look at all the jobs we’ve created’.

  20. formula57
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Chancellor Hammond has failed, just like his prime minister T. May, but for reasons unclear the call from those who see what is wrong is forever about policy change whereas a change of personnel is what is required for they have lost credibility and cannot lead for they have no followers beyond their own cabal.

    Posted January 8, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    The growth in new jobs is largely down to the growth of precarious zero-hours contracts where pay is low. There are around 1 million workers dependent on these. There are now close to 4 million people working, in poverty. Brexit will make this even worse.
    The UK is next to bottom – just above Romania – in the European Poverty League :
    Poverty rate, 2018. (Eurostat)
    Romania: 25.3%
    UK: 23.2%
    Spain: 22.3%
    Greece: 21.2%
    Italy: 20.6%

    • Edward2
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Very odd statistics Richard.
      Look at the average income levels for Romania and compare it to the UK.
      Our min wage is many times the rate in Romania.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Richard, the effect of high migration levels on poverty is complicated. These figures are meaningless without the backstory.

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 10, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Richard, the zero hour workers I know are students and retired people who want the flexibility to work days and hours and suit their studies and hobbies, or just provide holiday cover. They do these jobs from choice at the same rates of pay that the person they are covering is paid. They also get a paid holiday for every 9 days works at the average pay rate. If someone is on zero hours and want a full-time job they are perfectly placed to go for interviews to improve their working hours but often don’t because it affects their generous benefits.

      I also know people that take on zero hour work to fit around their preferred self-employment down times. Straight-jackets for all is why I can never vote Labour, they are too black and white on employment matters and don’t appreciate that free people can take their employment into their own hands. Train in the Open University to obtain a degree. People frustrate me when they just blame everyone else for their lack of ambition, training, progress or ability to change job.

  22. Anonymous
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    A handful of nut jobs turn up at Westminster and call Anna Soubry a Nazi. “This is what has happened to our country.” Says Ms Soubry.

    No it’s not. 17.4m of us are behaving perfectly well… unlike the sophisticated French. Not barbarians at all, are they Newmania !

  23. Dominic
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    We’re all growing very tired now of May and her Europhile allies in the Cabinet dishing out slanderous comments directed at British democrats like JRM and JR

    We all know where this is going. Either May, Hammond and the Europhiles are fatally weakened or Brexit will be cancelled by this vile, mendacious PM

  24. Captain Peacock
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    May a few days ago going on [ more lies ] about all the British jobs that will be lost if she does not get her EU surrender deal pasted.
    She of course kept quite when the EU was giving grants to British companies to move jobs out of the UK.
    A very small example … Cadbury, Ford Transit, Jaguar land rover, Peugeot , Dyson , Gillette to name but a small few.
    Plus don’t get me started on out train building industry when billions has been spent on trains from overseas on the orders from the EU.

  25. Ronald Olden
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    The UK authorities have ALREADY re-appraised their approach to monetary policy and are doing so all the time.

    Hence the fact that interest rates are at only at 0.75% at this advanced stage of the present period of economic growth, and there no immediate prospect of another rise. Until a few months ago several rises appeared to be in the offing.

    There has NOT as John Redwood implies been ANY ‘Quantitative Tightening’ in the UK. FURTHER ‘QE’ has stopped, but there have been no sales of the Debt accumulated in the Bank’s Balance sheet.

    Incidentally, ‘global’ inflation is irrelevant to the UK. Inflation is a monetary phenomenon which affects currencies individually. The UK’s inflation outlook is more or less where it’s safe for it to be. But there’s no grounds for complacency.

    Whatever complaint I have about the erratic things that Carney says in public I can’t fault the Bank’s actual EXECUTION of monetary policy in recent years.

    The idea that periods of economic growth ‘do not die of old age’, is as preposterous and naive an assertion as Gordon Brown’s endless promises that we had seen the ‘end of boom and bust’.

    The pace of growth is determined not by the Keynesian Demand Management and the State Control of monetary levers to which John Redwood is addicted, but by technical advance, productivity and the supply of land, labour, capital and business imports as cheap and varied as possible

    Sometimes there’s more growth. sometimes there’s less.

    The biggest policy cause of economic crashes in the past have been excessively lax monetary policy, resulting in excessive investment and consumption, followed by an inevitable day of reckoning.

    If John Redwood had his way we’d go through the same boom and bust cycle again that we went through in the 70s, the late 80s, and mid 2000s. And for it to happen yet again at this point in the political cycle would be catastrophic for the Tories.

    We’ve already had a record EIGHT consecutive quarters of households spending more than they’ve had in income.

    UNSECURED debt including Student Loan debt (nearly half of which is expected never to be paid back), is now over 30% of household incomes. When you include secured debt its about 120% and, when you include the State’s own debt, 200%.

    We still have a £37 Billion Budget Deficit at a point in the cycle when we should be repaying debt, a £2 Trillion Government Debt, the banks are close to being dangerously overlent on poor quality loans, inflation is (at best) on target, ridiculously high property prices, and near cripplingly tight labour markets.

    We have large unfunded State and Public Sector pension commitments to pay for, elderly care commitments which no one has the slightest interest in working out how we’re going to pay for, and a huge £20.5 Billion increase in NHS spending promised.

    John Redwood’s suggestion? ‘Borrow Borrow Borrow’ and Spend Spend Spend’ EVEN MORE on consumer goods which most of don’t want, and virtually none of us need.

    Don’t these politicians ever learn?

    Reply My main recommendation is to spend the money we send to the EU here at home – not as you describe

    • a-tracy
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      “UNSECURED debt including Student Loan debt (nearly half of which is expected never to be paid back), is now over 30% of household incomes. ”

      Half repaid is better for general taxpayers than none repaid isn’t it? Prior to England’s Student Loans being created by Tony Blair’s Labour government, (and much increased by George Osborne – with ridiculous and obscene rates of interest to ensure the 2012 onward students never repay it in full but always pay the 9% graduate tax for 30 years), the whole 100% debt of students fell on the rest of the population, plus grants. So it’s just a bookkeeping exercise and its working, millions of extra pounds are being taken from English graduates, I have three children paying and one will be paid off in full plus interest because he had the good fortune to be on scheme 1.

      This was a Conservative English elected government that roundly stiffed the English teenagers only and it stinks!

  26. ian
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    700,000, is that all the migrant you have managed to get in since the vote in 2016, not good, would have thought it would have been at least one million.

  27. MPC
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Good rate of office take up as well Mr Redwood according to Knight Frank – Central London office take-up in 2018 reached 14.61m sq ft, 14% higher than the long-term average and the highest level since 2014.

    “We are continuing to see business as usual in the Central London office market, despite the fears that companies would put decision making on hold until after the conclusion surrounding Brexit.

    “Having seen an increase in take-up in 2018, we are confident that this trend will continue into 2019 and companies will continue to make positive decisions regarding their new offices”

    What happened to the 0.5m job losses, house price decline and emergency budget predicted to immediately follow a Leave vote in the referendum? The Remain pessimists on this site and elsewhere will no doubt say the bad news will come eventually, it’s only a matter of time.

  28. ChrisS
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    A new chancellor committed to dropping the penal rates of VED on cars and a firm policy on the relative status of petrol v diesel engines would go a long way towards stopping predicted job losses in the UK car industry.

    A new Chancellor could go on to end the persecution of house buyers by reducing stamp duty and CGT and restoring tax relief on the legitimate business expense of mortgage interest payments for Buy To Let investors.

    These few changes would see a significant net increase in activity and the overall tax take as well as provide a desperately needed stimulus to both the car industry and the building/housing sector.

    I’ve given up on Hammond so it will be left to a new chancellor to make the difference.

  29. MPC
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    It will annoy the SNP that there’s also been a good rate of office take up in Glasgow too according to property consultants JLL: ”Glasgow’s office occupier market posted its most active year since records began, with over 1.4m sq ft of city centre space leased in 2018, areports JLL.

    In the final quarter 232,730 sq ft was transacted in Glasgow’s city centre, taking total take-up for the year to 1,425,419 sq ft – an increase of 127% compared with the final year-end take up of 627,313 sq ft in 2017”

    I look forward to this good news/evidence of long term post Brexit commitment being trumpeted by Ministers, the BBC and the Evening Standard.

  30. henryS
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    If we are going to leave like I think we are ie. leave to WTO rules without a deal then we should be planning on spending a lot of that 39billion on reviving the shipping industry. After all how can we think we can make new trade deals with countries far away and be successful at it unless we have our own british owned shipping companies, and ships with UK flag. We are also going to need to train up thousands of more young people into seafaring skills- if we don’t make a start at this now then am afraid I can still have my doubts regarding the promises made about new international trade deals.. don’t think we have thought this one complete,y through either?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      The ports and infrastructure around the ports, not just in the SE was and remains an obvious area for investment. Government needs to do the heavy lifting in the areas that the private sector cannot.

    • libertarian
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink


      Er currently more than 70% of our exports are done by ship ! We have a very healthy and robust shipping/container industry

      • StanleyW
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        Libertarian..yes but these ships mostly owned by European owners are cross channel ferries. Cross channel ro-ro type of ships would be completely unsuitable for long ocean going passages which we will need for the future and we don’t have enough of british owned large container vessels or bulk carriers. We have not got nearly enough refrigerated ships either. Also we know from WW1 and WW2 how important it is to have our own ships under uk Flag

        • Mitchel
          Posted January 9, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

          Going forward long distance shipping (to Asia at least)may go into relative decline as trans-Eurasian rail routes are further developed-haven’t got the figures to hand but a few weeks ago I noticed a huge increase in the number of containers moved by rail across Eurasia over the past couple of years. Russia and China are substantially expanding their rail freight capacity and connectivity(with India,Iran,etc) and opening new ports. A formal peace treaty(re WWII !) between Russia and Japan is in the offing which will make Vladivostok the gateway to Eurasia for the SE Asians(Japan is already conducting test runs on using the Trans Siberian route) and a hub for shipping out to local markets for the Eurasians.

          Of course geo-politics may mean the government is disinclined to encourage with these new options.

        • Edward2
          Posted January 9, 2019 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

          The great majority of the goods we export and import today travel on ships the UK doesn’t actually own.
          Yet for decades this has been working just fine.
          Shipping companies are very happy to take our contracts and earn money.
          It is a very competitive market.
          No shortages no delays no queues.

          Yet you think after March 29th 2019 this will all change.
          How odd.

      • Hardlyever
        Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

        Yes..we are going to need hundreds of more ships to meet new trade patterns

    • A different Simon
      Posted January 8, 2019 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      We’ve been converting old ports into desirable residences and tourist traps .

      Our remaining ports are all foreign owned .

      Everything British is for sale to anyone with the readies .

      No other country on earth is so ready to flog off it’s strategic assets – and for a pittance .

    Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I watch Parliament’s shenanigans then repetitions then one or two bright points out of politeness. I am British. So I hope for the best and hope to hear it, someday.
    The Fake News is amusing.
    Remainers are fixed on two hundred or so in national total, of one far-right grouping. People have never heard of them. Never heard of the politicians really, nor care.
    The Fake News, people stopped listening ages ago.
    The Establishment has chosen isolation for itself.
    Outside. We’re fine. Now know we can do without the lot, very well.
    All’s well that ends well.

  32. Iain Gill
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    now heathrow has problems due to drones

    come on John get in there and tell ministers its simply not good enough

    get some apache helicopters in the air and sort it

    and quickly

  33. ian
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Can’t wait for Mr Trump’s tariffs of 20% start hitting Europe this year sometime, this is what he is imposing on Europe to pay for their defence and if they don’t want that he will take cash of well over 130 billion a year. If the UK stay in the EU or in EU in some other form, the UK will have to pay its share of the money which could be as much as 20 billion a year but if the UK leaves the EU it might only come to 5 or 6 billion a year because the UK has always paid more than the rest in Europe.

    Most UK MPs are lined up to protect the EU and bail it out as needed with taxpayers money but they don’t talk about how much it going to cost you, at the moment if the UK stay in the EU they want an extra 6 billion pounds a year starting 2021 plus Mr Trump money of 20 billion a year which is 26 billion a year and that without new regulation with new funds to pay into to bail them out.

    The way MPs in parliament talking about a Norway deal or customs union deal is if it is for free, the truth is any deal with the EU is going to cost billions a year on top of 39 billion pounds and 20 odd billions for pensions and now 20 billion pounds a year extra for their defence, that#s 60 billion cash plus 20 billion a year for defence of Europe and an ongoing fee to be part of Europe to be paid every year and could be as much as 10 billion a year to be part of Europe, these are the thing MPs and the Gov are refusing to talk about.

    Mrs May deal is not free, there will be a yearly fee on top of 60 billion cash and payment for their defence of 20 billion a year, what the gov and MPs are doing is wanting to signing you up to something that they don’t know the cost of and do not know what the rules are going to be or when it is going to end, it could go on for 20 years or more, there is no way of telling after signing a deal which isn’t a deal.

    They still trying to find the 20 billion pounds for the NHS let alone this lot of money, they will pretend and extend for years until you finally get hit with the bill in your taxes and services.

    Of cos, I like the walk away option because of it a small upfront cost for the defence of Europe of no more than 5 or 6 billion a year with your own deal with Mr Trump on defence, the walk away option can save the UK taxpayers 30 billion pounds a year, where these MPs in parliament think they are too find that sort of money I do not know, maybe someone should ask them and make sure all costs are accounted for before entering a deal, as for the UK will lose job and so on is BS, once you leave you can do what like including starting new industy, bussinesses, really anything you can think of with the money to do it, it would better than receiving bills from the EU and having to pay into new funds to bail them out all the time, well know what I think, the gov and MPs just want to bail out Europe and they care how much it cost you in taxes and services.

  34. ian
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I always keep one bag packed in the cupboard, that tell you how much faith I have in the UK voters, they have millions of people they could vote for but come up with loads of crap MPs after each election, that why they deserve all they have coming to them.

    I can’t say that I feel sorry for them in any way when I hear voters complaining about their plight and who fault it is, well can only be voters fault for not doing their own investigation on people they vote for, better luck next time voters.

  35. Mike Wilson
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    If you keep allowing more and more people to come here, of course the number of people in jobs will increase. Each person creates more demand – which requires more supply – which means more jobs. It’s not rocket science. It is why government after government has allowed high immigration while PRETENDING they want to get it down. Control public spending – increase the population – abracadabra – GROWTH! The holy grail.

  36. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    I see that Yvette Cooper and Nicky Morgan (and 200 others) are threatening a partial government shutdown if No Deal planning proceeds further. Bring it on! Most government expenditure is unnecessary and much of it is damaging. In this country, taxes are not hypothecated, so the outcome may disappoint the wreckers. The Government would be at liberty to cut different items of public expenditure.

    We have just heard an extraordinary phrase from Amber Rudd, the Work and Pensions Secretary. She spoke of the Government “investing in benefits”. The purpose of investment is to make some sort of financial or economic return on the capital investment. Money spent on benefits is expenditure, pure and simple. There is no return.

    • Den
      Posted January 9, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Nothing new for the liberal lefties. They really do not know how a market works and therefore must be disqualified from having any control over it. Ditto Brussels.

  37. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Mr Letwin’s Eulogy for the Conservative Party in 3 sentences:

    “We promised you a vote to leave the European Union. We promised to Leave the European Union on 29.3.19. We had 3 years to prepare to leave the European Union but we failed, so we broke our promise. Goodbye and goodnight”

    RIP Conservative Party

    • Iain Gill
      Posted January 9, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Mr Letwin is one of the people who was promising big business behind closed doors, under Chatham house rules, before the last few recent elections, that the Conservatives would keep the immigration floodgates open and that they had no intent to actually implement what they were saying in the manifestos.

      You see the Conservative party likes to lie at the highest level, in the most basic sense.

      And they expect everyone invited to such Chatham house rules sessions thinks the same and their group think.

      Its the worst part of the political class really a complete and utter contempt for ordinary people, honesty, and lack of self awareness.

      • rose
        Posted January 10, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        I read Sir Oliver’s speech in the House and his objection to WTO seems to boil down to a fear that the EU may cut off our gas and electricity – rather as if we are the Ukraine and the EU is Russia. This I found very revealing, and not a little contradictory.

  38. Simon Coleman
    Posted January 9, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    700,000 new jobs…all created while we’ve been in the EU.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 9, 2019 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Explain why a similar thing hadsn’t happened in the EU where unemployment is higher and youth unemployment is dreadfully high.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted January 10, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink


        Lots os jobs have been created across the Eu in the past two years which is why unemployment is the Eu is now 8% but still too high

  • About John Redwood

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

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