Will a gloomy Treasury try to stop a budget for growth?

My forecasts show that if the UK has a budget soon which confirms the spending increases announced for next year and offers around £12bn of tax cuts, the economy should grow faster next year than this, assuming we leave on 31 October 2019 without signing the Withdrawal Agreement.  As readers have seen, I allowed for some loss of export volume on agricultural exports affected by EU  tariffs, some favourable import substitution on agricultural imports from the EU affected by our tariffs, maintained farm incomes from UK assistance to farms replacing EU, a boost from tax cuts and spending increases to domestic demand and  savings of £12bn on public spending and the  balance of payments  from no more net EU contributions. Overall we could see up to an additional  1% gain of GDP  on the growth rate depending on how far the fiscal reflation goes and depending on whether monetary policy would also be made supportive . Money policy is currently too tight and out of step with relaxations elsewhere in the Euro area, US, China and Japan.

The Treasury and OBR  may want to paint a different picture. I read that they wish to suddenly introduce a £12bn non cash charge as an item of public spending to allow for student loans that may not be repaid. The Student loans scheme was first introduced in 1999 for tuition fees, was beefed up in 2004 when Labour trebled the tuition charge, and increased substantially again when the Coalition after 2010 put through a further trebling  in tuition fees. All the time we have been in the EU seeking to get debt and deficit down in accordance with EU Maastricht criteria the Treasury has not thought it necessary to make early provision for possible loan losses. All of a sudden to coincide with the PM’s stated exit date from the EU they decide they need to introduce an extra spending line item at exactly £12bn, roughly the amount of our net budget contributions to the EU.  If was as if they wanted to say to Leave voters who want to spend that money on our priorities, we will make it vanish away even though  nothing real changes for the student loan scheme the day we leave the EU.

Worse still, the OBR may want to issue economy forecasts that are  pessimistic about growth if we just leave without the Withdrawal Agreement. This would be in line with wildly inaccurate short term Treasury forecasts made during the referendum saying the UK would enter recession in the first few months after voting to leave. Such forecasts would presumably suggest a bigger deficit, claiming that revenue will be down owing to less activity, and benefit spending up owing to more unemployment. Even under  revised deficit control rules it would probably be used as an excuse to argue against the economic boost the economy clearly needs with or without Brexit.

The government needs to argue back. It needs to say that the OBR as an independent forecaster can of course forecast as it wishes, but the government does  not have to rely on a forecast as unreliable as the Treasury 2016 pre referendum forecasts and can point to how wrong they have been in the past. The government should also make the good point that were any OBR pessimistic forecast to be in the right direction it would strengthen the case even more for a stimulus to offset the feared downturn.

The current deficit is under good control. The state can afford to spend the savings on EU contributions and a bit  more. Some of the tax cuts will actually raise more revenue, as some taxes are above the revenue maximising rate.   

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  1. Mark B
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    What is the purpose, apart from providing some friends with a nice little earner, of the OBR ? Who listens and makes intelligent use of the information that they produce ?

    The government has to decide ? Does it want to govern or, allow these semi-external bodies, QUANGOS etc. to do it for it ? It is not just about taking back control from the EU, it is about taking back control from all these bodies and putting under the purview of government and parliament and, ultimately, the people.

    It now seems clear to me why the government want to give the NHS etc. more money. It is both a con and a political trap for Labour. Labour is highly likely to vote down the budget to force a general election when the Tories fail to deliver a proper BREXIT. If the do, then the Tories can say that Labour are hurting the poor and the elderly etc. and are playing politics with the economy and people’s lives. Labour will see this and may have to vote for the budget. A silly game !

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      What has the office for tax simplification achieved in nine years? The complexity and stupidity has doubled at least in that time.

      • Hope
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at JRs last few blogs. All of the problems being created by His govt! Today OBR, ONS never should exist. We were meant to have a bonfire of quangos not a regiment of other left wing promEU quangos to help the politically correct left agenda!

        • sm
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          Slight correction, our host is a Conservative MP but it’s hardly ‘his’ government in terms of power and influence….unfortunately.

          • Hope
            Posted September 22, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

            Correction to the heading, the chancellor is in charge. Will the chancellor be led by the nose by Treasury officials to stop a budget for growth. Alternatively, will the chancellor hide behind Treasury officials not to allow a budget for growth.

            JR’s party makes up the govt. so it is his govt. as they all belong and come from his party.

  2. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    The establishment will do everything in their power to make Brexit a failure. We can rely on that.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      The intrinsics of leaving the European Union are what will make it a failure. No one need do anything.

      John’s piece is one of the more contingent pieces of guesswork that I have read of late, and misrepresents those, I think.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink


        No it won’t and Fedupsoutherner is entirely right and unlike you I can provide evidence

        Exhibit A) Operation Block.

        Two lanes of the M20 have been closed for 4 months now , this is a “contingency plan” should we exit EU on 31/10 and Dover port is shut.

        Well for 25 years during operation stack this was deemed UNNECESSARY by the government who refused to do it even when the port was ACTUALLY closed

        • stred
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

          They seem to be extending operation block to the A2 route too. After two full ferries arrived they put two cone men out and created a ten mile and 45 minute delay while the average speed on the M2 was about 40, having given up on the M20. About 100 trucks must have been delayed delivering into the Uk.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Yeah, “intrinsics” like that 0.1% of UK GDP which is driven across the border into the Irish Republic, a molehill which pro-EU UK politicians like Theresa May have agreed should be built into a mountain.

      • NickC
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        Martin, Your inventions about how difficult it will be for the UK are contradicted on a daily basis by the existence of the 165 other non-EU states on the planet.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

          None of them are trying precipitously to move from having built upon the many benefits of membership over forty years, to having none, and all those evolved commercial relationships potentially collapsing overnight.

          It really must take a “special” kind of mind to make a comment like that.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

            And you display a special kind of mind not to understand that 165 nations trade with each other happily without being in the EU.
            Notice any shortages of American or Japanese goods in the UK?
            Japan only recently signed a trade agreement with the EU.
            USA has yet to sign a trade deal.
            WTO rules are used for over 95% of world trade.

          • NickC
            Posted September 23, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

            Martin, If it wasn’t for the fact that the EU is becoming an empire, the EU is just a trade deal (as you keep claiming). Trade deals come and go. The UK going from the EU does not prevent trade, it just means trade will be under very slightly different rules.

            As for your illusory “many benefits” of the EU, that amounts to about 1% of GDP (not profits) and comes at the cost of about £12bn in cash, loss of our own trade policy, and the loss of our fish. As well as the loss of our independence as a nation. It really must take a “special” kind of mind to think that is a bargain.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 23, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

            Martin in Cardiff

            It must take a “special kind of mind” to NOT know that we’ve ALREADY rolled over 44 deals and have more in the pipeline , by this time next year we will have MORE deals than the EU.

            Your Labour party conference going well I see, some stonking manifesto pledges, no wonder you want 12 years old to vote

    • Garland
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      We can certainly rely on you Brexiters always blaming someone else for the failure that is Brexit. It’s never ever your fault is it? You whine on about how it would have been great if only it had been done differently , just like Corbyn’s people believe communism would have been great if it had been done by true beleivers

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        Well remainers and a pro remain parliament have been in charge. Even now they are running the show. Hardly fair, given this, to blame anyone else but Cameron, May, Bercow and all of the large majority of pro remain MPs and Lords is it?

      • libertarian
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink


        Are you really that stupid? We ( Leave voters) did our bit, we voted to leave, we have NO FURTHER POWER to do anything. We handed it over to parliament to implement and they’ve blocked it. It really is vanishingly simple even a 7 year old could grasp it

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        We’ll never know. Actually *leaving* was never tried.

        The shame is that a very slight tweak on freedom of movement would have delivered a Remain result but the leader of the third largest member of the EU couldn’t influence this on the eve of an important vote.

        The truth is that it was a fervently Remain/globalist UK establishment foisting fast and unexpected changes on our nation all along.

        How David Cameron could accuse Johnson of making a ‘career move’ when every single institution and nearly every celebrity is avowedly Remain is beyond ridiculous.

        Prior to the referendum I had not seen people sporting the EU flag and blue and yellow berets as though they were ready to die for the EU. This has aroused a nationalism that I thought was buried in this country. And it’s not British nationalism.

        • Butties
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          Thank You for such a precise summary, so true.

      • Timaction
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Failure of Brexit. It hasn’t happened yet because of the remainers anti democratic antics. Fool.

      • Prigger
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        …the failure that is Brexit…” Too much time-traveller thought!
        Brexit has not happened. It is not a failure. It could be. Though Remainers cannot know that without a magic machine. They have repeatedly said “It is a leap into the dark “

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        So you are happy to have a government which not only fails to defend its publicly stated policy but covertly works to undermine it.

    • Andy
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Growing up on an estate to working class parents I am clearly part of the establishment.

      And to make Brexit fail all we have to do is watch. And laugh. You really don’t need any help to mess it up.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        You are part of the elite establishment now Andy.
        Your posts telling us who you are and what you do puts you in the top 1%

      • NickC
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        Andy, You don’t have to be “part” of the establishment to be a EU empire lackey. But it helps!

  3. David J
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Indeed, Project Fear may take many forms, and I think that many people will spot that the much claimed “end of the economy” scenarios didn’t happen and start to ignore the hysterical rantings
    There is only one way to see what happens next and that is to leave. That means truly leaving and not having a Withdrawal Agreement that holds us in the controlling orbit of the EU. Did anyone else notice a change in the language coming out of Europe?

    • Richard
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      This week Michel Barnier told Rupert Lowe MEP that the EU would be ready to negotiate a free trade deal if the UK leaves with a WTO Brexit/ ‘no deal’. https://twitter.com/BrexBox/status/1175354418209992704

      • Sousa
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        The EU will not even talk to the UK until you settle your bills, guarantee citizen rights and agree to the Irish backstop. Totally humiliating for you Brits. But it is what you voted for – irrelevance, powerlessness. Enjoying it?

        • steve
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:59 pm | Permalink


          “The EU will not even talk to the UK until you settle your bills”

          Which is fine by us. We could choose not to talk to the EU until they have paid us for their liberation in 1945. 60 tn should do it.

  4. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Surely it’s for the PM and his Chancellor to instruct the Treasury as to their wishes. It strikes me as Hammond is still influencing their decisions.

    • Nig l
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Yet again though if you believe the leaks the Chancellor has been got at.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      Exactly but is Javid up to it? He seems more concerned with daft things like an Islamophobia Enquiry Where is the uplifting vision after all the tax to death gloom we got from the dire, grim reaper and economic illiterate and Brexit sabotage we got from Hammond.

      • Nig l
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        Yes. Oh for a return of Nigel Lawson

      • Yorkie
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        Get Mr Speaker to point out I should really have written …” extra tax FROM us. ” No, it is perfectly correct in contextual usage. It is correct anyway. Except if you wish to be our new King. (King’s English!!!! ) or should that be ‘Kings’ English , for two reasons?

    • Richard
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      This is similar to HM Treasury efforts to have a Remainers-only shortlist for the new BoE Governor by excluding Gerald Lyons, the former chief economist at Standard Chartered. https://www.cityam.com/boris-johnsons-former-advisor-gerard-lyons-left-off-bank-of-england-governor-shortlist/

  5. formula57
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    So “… as if they wanted to say to Leave voters who want to spend that money on our priorities, we will make it vanish away even though nothing real changes…”, more evidence of quislings in the Treasury. The UnBrexit Activities Committee will be busy!

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Tax rate cuts will, in very many, cases raise more revenue not less. As would some sensible and significant tax simplification and a bonfire of red tape. Large turnover taxes like stamp duty at up to 15% are absurdly damaging as are the counterproductive taxes on NonDoms, and IHT pushing people and their investments overseas. We should aim to tax 20-25% of a much bigger economy not nearly 50% of one being strangled by government.

    The way to avoid unpaid student debt is to stop giving people these loans for all the many worthless degrees many do. 50% of people going to university have 3Ds or less. It is absurd to be going with less than 3Bs at the very least. They would be far better off with a job and training while earning.

    Far more people should be encouraged to go to private schools, have private healthcare and provide for themselves with top up vouchers and tax breaks to save the state even more and encourage innovation. We should cut out all the subsidies and market rigging in renewable energy and electric cars. When these things work and are cost effective fine, but early roll of duff technology out with subsidies is absurdly damaging to the economy.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      In short do the complete opposite of anything that the would be economic vandals and pushers of the evil politics of envy Corbyn/McDonnall suggest. Freedom and choice as to how people spent and invest their own money please. They do it far, far better than governments and bureaucrats. We have had quite enough tax, borrow piss down the drain and regulate to death lunacy from Brown, Darling, Osborne and Hammond.

      I am not at all confident about the Islamophobia enquiry pusher Javid either.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        The Laffer Curve – what’s in a name – has been comprehensively debunked as a piece of pseudo-scientific nonsense-on-stilts.

        Keep up.

        • Edward2
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

          Has it?
          When top rates of income tax were reduced people like you told us billions would be lost.
          Tax cuts for the rich, placards out.
          Yet the rich now pay records amounts of income tax as a result of lower rates.
          When Capital Gains tax rates were put up, people like you told us we would gain billions and how that extra money could be spent.
          Yet revenues for capital gains taxes have fallen.

          It is accepted higher rates of tax on sugary foods on alcohol and on tobacco, above optimum rates will reduce both consumption and resulting revenues, but from a health perspective this is planned as being s good thing.
          Laffer said there are optimum rates beyond which revenues fall.
          Proof for that is all around you yet a lefty envy of the better off means you like higher rates as just a symbol.
          With no regard for the effect on the actual revenues received.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          Sure, let’s have income taxes at 100% and see how many people keep turning up for work?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 22, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

            You’re a genius.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

            I agree, it is clever by Lifelogic because it runs your ridiculous argument Martin.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink


          I dont care about the laffer curve . Or trickle down or any other of the lefts shibboleths

          I deal in reality. I was around when the marginal rates of investment income tax were 98%. I can tell you what happened , business people, investors and companies left the UK
          wholesale which resulted within a short space in mass unemployment and the destruction of whole industries

          Theres a 0% until higher threshold met and Basic rate tax is now 20% and bingo we have investment and jobs, loads of jobs. The lowest unemployment for 40 years and the highest number in employment ever recorded . We have the largest inward investment in Europe

          Do keep up ( with reality)

    • Andy
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      What part of renewables and electric cars are duff?

      I have a solar panel on my roof. It generates pretty much all the hot water we need. And it’s nearly 10 years old. The newer ones are even better.

      A friend of mine has a Tesla – an electric car. It’s one of the best vehicles on the road.

      This stuff develops fast – and you are so behind the curve you seem to still think it’s the 1980s. No wonder you think Brexit is a good idea.

      • MB
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        When I go to fish the River Eden, the journey is about 120 miles each way. Will the Tesla have enought range for a round trip of 240 miles, or will I have to wait somewhere for a few hours whilst the battery charges up ?

      • NickC
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Andy, “Renewables” are duff because they are expensive and require conventional backup (including storage) for when the sun doesn’t shine and when the wind doesn’t blow.

        Electric cars are duff because there isn’t the grid capacity to charge them, if all ICE vehicles were replaced by battery powered vehicles. We would have to more than double the energy output of the existing generation infrastructure – and that is not happening. Moreover, batteries are just an old-fashioned box of chemicals – highly toxic and prone to combustion.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Were it economic I’d have a solar panel on my roof too. The figures I read are of a £200 a year electricity saving based on a £6,500 outlay and a bloke having to mess around with my tiles and shove something ugly on my roof. No government incentives (nor should there be.)

        I spent my money on loft insulation and a top rated boiler instead. I replaced some blown double glazing panels too.

        I used the remaining money on picking my cars carefully to optimise my money (always a good way to be green.)

        A basic Tesla is about £40k.


        £40k net would have meant be doing a lot of extra work to pay for it (your mate probably delegated his extra work to minions) – meaning a lot of carbon emissions. Or using credit – one of the worst things for the environment as it encourages people to spend what they haven’t earned.

        Instead I bought two old petrol cars for the sum total of £12k, both with small engines and light bodies, effectively using recycled transport and minimising my activities to pay for them.

        Smug Remainers really don’t understand how we oiks think, which is why they lost the referendum.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          ‘me’ not ‘be’

      • Edward2
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        So instead of heating your hot water by using a gas fired boiler you have additionally invested a few thousands in a set of solar panels.
        Costing thousands with a pay back if probably 20 years on your investment by which time the panels will be scrap.
        Electric cars are currently useless.
        They are very expensive, very costly to make, they contain lots of dreadful metals and chemical elements which are a pain to recycle.
        If you live in a flat or a property with no parking space you cannot charge them at home.
        The charging network is dismal , it takes hours to refuel and it costs as much in time, worry and money as filling up with ordinary fuel.
        But it is typical you young rich elite like them.
        Like a mobile virtue signal you drive around all smug thinking you are actually doing anything useful for the planet.

        • stred
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

          I went on a course for solar water heating and put one in my house. It only works in the southern UK for 3 summer months.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        I am perfectly happy for these to be used when they are cost effective without subsidies, differential taxes in fuels and other distortions to the market.

      • Fred H
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        Andy’s 1 panel produces all the ‘hot’ water water ‘we’ need! How many share the kettle amount it heats? Do you all wait until the sun has worked its magic up to say 6pm, then you all share the few inches of ‘hot ‘ water in the bath? But then washing and cleaning household items in hot water is overrated isn’t it! Wouldn’t want to be downwind of you lot!

    • Gareth Warren
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Here, while I agree with the idea we should hand out less degrees I disagree with the method.

      I would not have achieved a degree if your BBB mark was used, I got a 2:2 Beng hons – whatever hons worth, no idea 🙂 ).

      Now really I am clearly not academically gifted, but there was no other route into chip design other than a degree. Personally I reckon anyone with two EE’s and a pulse would have been accepted, the trick was passing the first year – over 50% did not.

      Personally I believe the cost to the state for 1 year is not too much, but the problem to me are too many of these courses have very low chances of producing a career. Here I’d like to see government funded degree courses for needed professions, defined by high chance of employment – and the academically gifted.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        Well you could have re-taken the A levels or perhaps had you known you needed BBB you might have got them first time with a bit more work!

  7. Shirley
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Too many of our politicians are unable and unwilling to govern the UK, so ask them to explain why they are in Parliament. Let’s start electing people who put the UK first, and give us the power to force bi-elections on MP’s who obtain their votes via fraudulent promises. If their constituents agree with their ‘new’ stance, then they have nothing to fear from a bi-election. Give voters the power they should have, but has been denied them over the last few decades.

    • agricola
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Yes , once we have a Parliament comprised of people willing and able to govern we can anticipate the economy thriving. Most of the present incumbents are abysmal both in ability and understanding of what is required to put the Great back into Britain again. They are largely political sheep. Government should direct the treasury not the reverse.

      • margaret howard
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink


        I hate to be a pedant but the ‘Great’ in Britain referred to size to differentiate it from Brittany in France, not to ‘Greatness’

        ” Geoffrey of Monmouth in his pseudohistorical Historia Regum Britanniae (c. 1136) refers to the island as Britannia major (“Greater Britain”), to distinguish it from Britannia minor (“Lesser Britain”), the continental region which approximates to modern Brittany, which had been settled in the fifth and sixth centuries by migrants from Britain”


        • agricola
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

          If you do not wish to be seen a pedant, stop trying. If your statement is correct, it totally misses the point.

        • NickC
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          Margaret H, You are not even a good pedant because you get so much wrong. Wikipedia includes Geoffrey of Monmouth’s tale, but others as well. So only citing that quote is misleading. Something you frequently do. The modern definition is that “Great Britain” is the largest isle in the 1000+ British isles, of which Ireland is the second largest. It is a geographical, not a political, description deriving mainly from the era of the Roman conquest.

    • Andy
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      You seem to struggle with the fact that the current crop of MPs were elected, by the public, AFTER the referendum.

      You confuse the will of the people with the will of you.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        My MP stood on a main party manifesto in that election.
        The election leaflet spoke of honouring the referendum result and leaving on the date agreed and saying no deal is better than a bad deal.
        Once elected my MP transformed into a leading remain plotter doing everything possible to stop us leaving.
        And you talk of democracy and the will of the people.

      • NickC
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Andy, You might accuse the electorate of being too trusting, but that’s all. Your Remain hero MPs all stood on a platform of respecting our vote to Leave. Tory MPs signed up to the concept of “no deal is better than a bad deal” too. But then Remain fanatics are all liars anyway.

        • forthurst
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

          Without a change to the electoral system, there can never be any improvement in the quality of people seeking election with a realistic expectation of being elected. This is an extremely serious matter not only at the national level but also at the local level. If JR had any interest at all in improving the governance of this country, he would be seriously advocating for the change which is really needed rather than offering proposals for re-arranging the deckchairs which although being well considered, are ultimately irrelevant to the future of our country.

  8. Dominic
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    You’ve accepted Labour’s narrative, again. Higher state spending on an unreformed Labour client state. Unprincipled politics

    We need fresh ideas on how we can impose total reform and the dismantling of Labour’s pivotal role not more ideas on how to increase spending on Labour’s client state

    You do realise that every time a Tory government increase spending on education the hatred of left-wing teachers for the Tory party increases? They see it as an act of weakness. This is the same across the Labour state

    Tory MPs need to start pumping ideas to reform and undermine Labour not ideas that strengthen their position. Geez

    Reply My local schools need more money. There are many areas of spending where I do disagree with Labour n ot having enough teachers and doctors are not two of them.

    • James1
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      “Will a gloomy Treasury try to stop a budget for growth?”

      Yes they will. It’s one of the jobs of the government to stop them doing so. Workers in the private sector don’t have jobs for life. Why should workers in the public sector have jobs for life, and also better pensions than those people in the private sector who are taxed to pay for them. We need a massive cull of the public sector, including quangos, to release the people to do something productive.

      • J Bush
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Re: public sector jobs. Agreed. The bulk of these jobs are non-jobs to justify complicating the system, which does nothing more than interfering and controlling the populace. Nothing more than ‘jobs worth’ castle building.

        For example: the RPA could easily reduce its work force by at least 40% by streamlining the current convoluted system and save the taxpayer millions.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      People who can do should pay to see the doctor and indeed for schools. It would work far better that way.

      • Oggy
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        LL, but you know as well as I that taxes, NI contributions or council tax would be reduced or offset accordingly, we would end up paying twice for the same services.

    • Mark B
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      We need to ask why we need more doctors and teachers ?

      • graham1946
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Er, could it be that the population has grown by several millions over the last 20 years, or that retention in the NHS and schools is at a low point due mostly to political interference? Or that we are not training enough doctors and teachers and rely on foreign, usually poorer countries doing it for us? Or that the NHS and schools have been underfunded for years? Have you tried to get a doctor’s appointment or your child into a local school in the last 10 years or so?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Mark B
        I imagine because many have been driven out of the jobs by govt agenda and interference?

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        Mark B
        Labour’s 2004 GP contract – removal of requirement to do on-call, late open surgeries etc. all predictable, need lots more GPs because of it, increased costs dramatically with A&Es then needing out of hours clinics for minor problems.
        Labour introduce a half-day out of classroom per week for marking and planning, often teachers take a full day out of the school a fortnight instead of half day per week, there are therefore more staff required to cover for this. I’d reorganise school school staffing altogether and I’d have teachers planning and marking in the school rather than at home.

    • NickC
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      JR, My reply to your reply: the numbers admitted to training in the medical profession is artificially restricted. The aim seems to be to boost the earnings of doctors, but mostly to boost the power of the medical trade unions. Moreover poor retention rates occur at least partly because of the intense bureaucracy of the NHS.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    James Bartholemew in the Telegraph today:-
    “Death taxes are inhuman and oppressive
    It didn’t last long but, for one heady, unexpected moment, George Osborne was the most popular politician in Britain. Almost exactly 12 years ago, he announced that the next Conservative government would raise the inheritance tax threshold to a million pounds. This radical increase, he declared, would take nine million people out of the inheritance tax net. My! How we loved him!
    His declaration led to such a surge in support for the Tories that Gordon Brown was deterred from calling an election. “

    This was about the only good thing Osborne promised then the ratted on it. It did at least make Brown bottle his election and then lose.

  10. George Brooks
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    We need to break completely clear of the EU on 31st October so that we regain control of all aspects of life in this country. Anything less will encourage the 5th column within the Establishment to undermine and wreck Brexit.

    They are totally incapable of accepting that they lost and cannot see that this country would by swamped by EU rules and regulation until we capitulated and were forced into the Euro and political union.

    What a ghastly prospect

    • NickC
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      George, David Starkey (in conversation with Peter Whittle) believes the English constitution as it emerged from the “glorious revolution” is “manifestly finished”. Remains have fiddled with our democracy until it has come apart in their hands. Ludicrously, Remains are so dim they still don’t realise what they have done.

    • Will Teasel
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      No George. We won’t be breaking completely clear on EU in October. We won’t be completely clear on next decades either.
      EU is strong and big enough to influence UK after our departure from the block . Many things will be shoved down our throat in future – without UK having any say on it.

      Not necessarily just by EU. We will see how good or bad deal USA – and other countries – are willing to discuss.
      If UK will cease to exist little england will have it even worse times ahead

      • Richard
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        Thanks to WTO rules based trade, lots of small independent countries run huge trade surpluses. https://www.statista.com/statistics/256642/the-20-countries-with-the-highest-trade-surplus/
        The SGD and CHF are not weak currencies.

      • NickC
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        Will T, There are many smaller economies than the UK (even than England) in the world which are not subject to the treatment you – with great joy – expect the independent UK to suffer. Why do all you Remains (here and elsewhere) imagine the UK will fail, and that we will believe you, when there is the rest of the world to demonstrate your project fear is fake?

        • Will Teasel
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

          Because we are next to EU. They effect everyone in in the their backyard. Turkey, Tunisia, Switzerland everybody. You will see it at due time.

          Economically mayby UK will succeed somehow but there won’t be no clear break
          Richard Switzerland belongs to EFTA it is heavily influenced by EU – and it is completely different compare to UK having salaries in top three worldwide and banking system thats been in existance for centuries.
          Singapore? Gimme a break. You cant really compare UK and Singapore seriously?
          How about……………..

          • NickC
            Posted September 23, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

            Will T, So your sole reason for the UK losing its independence and being a province of your EU empire is that we are next to EU??

            Gimme a break! You can’t really be serious? On that basis the USA should become part of Canada, and the EU should be part of Russia.

  11. Everhopeful
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    I suppose that if nationalism is virtually criminalised there can be no surprise that quislings are able to become powerful?
    The nation voted to leave the EU in an act of direct democracy. The opportunity to vote was offered freely, not won by demonstrations or riots. The entire ruling class should then have got behind the decision.
    But they didn’t because their loyalties do not lie in this nation.
    And for decades they had paved the way for all this with what I would call cultural Marxism which is why we see a Festival of Fools enacted in Westminster. Deep, dark and disquieting.

    Shame on the politicians that they even dreamed of student loans..they should have been providing jobs!
    But they were just following orders!

  12. Gordon Pugh
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    So you plan massive extra public spending and vast tax cuts, against a backdrop of the hit from loss of membership of the single market as we face huge new tariff and non tariff barriers , and you claim that will lead to growth. Voodoo economics, it was once called, too kindly. It’s simple economic illiteracy.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Or innumeracy in some cases. This is “massive”, that is “vast”, those are “huge”, but not a single number anywhere in your diatribe.

      This recent article might interest you, and others:


      “Britain’s car industry could weather a storm of tariffs better than you’d think”

      “The latest American Economic Review contains a timely paper. Keith Head and Thierry Mayer, at the University of British Columbia and the Banque de France respectively, estimate the consequences of changes in tariff and non-tariff barriers to the car industry.

      They look at both US-led protectionism and Brexit, and calculate how these might change the location of production.”

      For the first case, US tariffs, Canada and Mexico would be hit hard, with car production dropping by 67% and 40% respectively, but:

      “The results for the Brexit scenario are quite different.”

      “The simulation is of a hard Brexit. UK exports face the European Union’s 10 per cent Most Favoured Nation tariffs, and Britain reciprocates at the same rates. The authors assume that we cannot roll-over existing EU agreements with third-party nations, and that the tariff structure with them reverts to the same basis.”

      But, critically:

      “The EU runs a large trade surplus with the UK in cars … ”

      an incontrovertible fact which deceitful Remoaners deliberately ignore for cars, as for food and drink, and for many other sectors:

      “… so higher tariffs mean that we have less to lose. The British car industry actually gains through the protective effect of tariffs.

      Overall, Head and Mayer estimate a fall in production of only four per cent. This arises purely from their calculations of trade with countries such as Turkey and South Korea.”

      • Gordon Pugh
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        So let me get this straight. The evidence you cite in support of the idea that Brexit will be a success shows a fall in production of 4 per cent? That’s the sunny uplands is it? A fall in production …. ye Gods.

        • NickC
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          Gordon Pugh, The Treasury forecast showed the UK economy continuing to grow under all Brexit scenarios. That is the reality of the claims even from your own Remain side.

          Actually, we believe that we will be better off out (that is, if we truly leave the EU), with more suitable laws and regulations, a better UK trade policy, and lower world costs.

          • margaret howard
            Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            Makes you wonder why we begged to join in the first place all these years ago.

            Now you are willing to undo a lifetime of progress and success which EU membership gave us.

            And for what? The so-called ‘sovereignty’ Brexiteers keep on about but nobody has yet told me exactly where and when we lost it and indeed what it was.


          • Edward2
            Posted September 23, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

            Like most remainers you have obviously never read the Lisbon nor Mastricht treaties which are a good start in answering your question Margaret.

          • NickC
            Posted September 23, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

            Margaret H, You have frequently been told on this site where and when the UK lost its independence. One example is Declaration 17 (Lisbon) which confirms that EU law has primacy over UK law.

            Moreover “we” didn’t “beg”, our establishment did. And the result has been a lifetime of failure and impoverishment at the hands of the greedy, incompetent and corrupt EU empire.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          Yes, do try to get it straight. A possible 4% fall in production in one sector of the economy with a turnover equivalent to about 4% of GDP, 1% of GDP value added.


          I know you don’t like numbers, but do you think you could do the sums to work out just how marginal that drop in overall GDP would be, less than 0.2% of GDP, and in the context of an economy with a trend growth rate of 2.5% a year?

          To help you out, that means the loss would be made up in about one month of average natural growth of the economy.

          • stred
            Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

            It would be even better if the UK had a 25% tariff on cars and the Eu kept its 10% tariff, as they would have to under WTO rules.

  13. acorn
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Please don’t make me Laffer again. Do you think that 165% tax on a 47.8 pence litre of petrol, is above or below the “revenue maximising rate”. How about 366% tax on a£1.66 packet of twenty cigarettes?

    Taxation’s function is to stop the private sector doing something the government doesn’t like or divert something from the private sector to the public sector.

    • acorn
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      JR’s budget is small change; it will have little noticeable impact on the UK economy, the UK’s problem is much worse than that; thanks to nine years of Conservative austerity. You really should read and understand the following link from which I quote.

      “The table shows one of the worst sectoral balances on the planet and in the developed world. Both the external sector and the government sector are draining the private sector with outflows. The outflows are being paid for by the private domestic sector going into debt and also running down savings and assets.

      The banks are enlarging the money supply at interest by about 3.46% of GDP, and the national government is shrinking it by -1% of GDP per annum, making a growth rate of over 2% of GDP per annum composed of credit money at interest. This is not a sustainable growth path for any nation.

      Private debt is the private sector’s deficit, and it is deeply in deficit as the chart below shows as a percentage of GDP. The table shows [UK] one of the worst sectoral balances on the planet and in the developed world. Both the external sector and the government sector are draining the private sector with outflows.” https://seekingalpha.com/article/4247041-british-fiscal-flow-annual-stock-market-trading-pattern

      The fiscal boost needs to be in the tens of billions asuming there is spare capacity in the economy to make use of it, which is doubtful. It is likely that a fiscal injection will be saved as debt repayments by the household sector.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        Odd austerity when state spending (and taxation of the private sector) keeps rising
        £350 billion in 2000
        £890 billion in 2020

    • NickC
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Acorn, It is perfectly possible that the Laffer curve maximum is 265% on the 47.8p per litre for petrol. You don’t know. Your examples do not refute Laffer’s contentions, which are after all just common sense.

      As for taxation, oodles of lolly are confiscated from rich-beyond-the dreams-of-avarice Remain Andy, and handed out to the 17.4m thick angry Tory pensioners. Who spend it in the real economy on such footling things as real ale in Wetherspoons, cash gifts to Nigel, and pedicures (or so he thinks). Government spending is part of the real economy, just very much distorted.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      If you are arguing,as you seem to be here acorn, that tax rates can be set to maximise revenue then you are agreeing with Laffer’s theory

      • Peter Martin
        Posted September 25, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        Possibly but it needs to be the aggregate of total taxes rather than looking at just one tax as Laffer does. You can’t change one thing and expect everything else to remain the same.

        For example you can’t change income tax rates and expect VAT returns to be unaffected.

        And then when you’ve manged to maximise your total tax take you need to consider if this is actually a good thing. Possibly you’ll just end up depressing the economy by removing too much spending power.

  14. Steve Reay
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Boris will sign the slightly tweaked WA.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      I think you are probably right. It would bury the Conservative Party and probably give us some dire remainer Corbyn coalition. It is not the way to go. No deal and an accommodation with the Brexit Party is what is needed.

    • Oggy
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      I fear you maybe right. Parliament would then add a second referendum amendment to it giving a choice between WA remain or simply remain, completely excluding leave voters. I would stay at home that day should it arise.

      But then vote Brexit party in the GE., like most other leavers. – Tories beware.

  15. Andy
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Let’s axe student loans – and pay for them by abolishing state pensions and pensioner perks.

    By far the biggest chunk of our taxes go on subsidising old people.

    Despite having had their whole lives to save up for their retirements many pensioners have been so feckless that they apparently all need assistance paying for their TV licences, bus passes and heating.

    It must be expensive heating those £1m homes they all have which they bought for a few thousand quid in the 70s. Woe betide anyone who suggests they should sell up to pay their own way.

    For people who apparently are all poor many pensioners seem to have a lot of cash for holidays. Several pensioner couples I know are almost permanently abroad. No doubt if any have gone with Thomas Cook this time I’ll be bailing them out again some how too.

    On the contrary most young people have nothing. If they can afford anywhere to live it’s a bedsit in a grotty house in a rubbish area. And they have to pay several thousand pounds a year in fees just to have the chance of getting a decent job.

    This generation of old people have not just destroyed the social contract – they have mutilated it. We must reciprocate.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Any chance you could get three sentiments into the Labour manifesto?

    • Gaia
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Your elderly parents must be so proud of you and your offensive bigoted views. What a loser.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Now we know who are real enemies are (the sneering white middle class) I have a better idea.

      Seeing as they won’t deliver Brexit (daring not to put it to a vote and instead using every legal ruse because they know full well there is still a Brexit majority) Let’s vote in the Marxists.

      We may as well.

      Redistribute all that lovely wealth – see that middle class areas take their full quotas of poor migrants, requisition garden space in posh areas to do it. And abolish private schools.

      There are more of us than you, Andy.

      The students are definitely on our side on this one. It’s coming.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      You forgot to mention the National Debt that the jam today generation has landed this country with – always voting for governments that would increase spending and borrowing.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Better still, let’s axe students.

      Most of them are not meant to be at university (in truth, adult creches to hide youth unemployment.)

    • libertarian
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink


      You dont subsidise old people, they actually subsidised you and your kids . Whilst you were not earning/ paying, they were earning and paying for you.

      When I’m appointed PM , which I will be because we now dont want democracy we want to appoint an expert and I’m an Expert, my first act will be to confiscate all your assets and use for parties in OAP homes

      Your mum must be so proud of you

      • APL
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

        libertarian: “Your mum must be so proud of you”

        Mothers, being what they are, are rarely discerning about their own children. 10-1 Stalin’s mother was proud of him.

    • dixie
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      My first place after leaving uni with a overdraft for my first job in London was a grotty bedsit in Streatham then I worked my way through life to where I am now.

      Why should things be any different for youngsters today?

      • steve
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink


        “Why should things be any different for youngsters today?”

        Because they expect it to be…..because Labour under Blair filled their heads with crap, basically.

        Now the kid’s heads are being filed with climate alarmism rubbish.

        These subversives should not be allowed to get their hands on the kids – no child should be exploited by anyone, for political or any other intention.

        It’s a red line with me and as far as I’m concerned doing so should warrant an automatic custodial sentence.

        Indoctrinating kids is a device of the tyrannical, but then the subversive left in this country think it’s acceptable to ‘get them while they’re young’
        …..I don’t think it’s acceptable at all, I think it’s bloody disgusting, in fact downright perverse.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      You tell us you run a company employing people.
      Yet you have no idea how National Insurance works and how contributions over decades by employers and employees pay for the state retirement pensions.
      The rest of your post is bordering on hate speech.
      Just change the words “old people” for a different community group, ethnic group or religious group and then re read what you have written.
      Shame on you Andy.

    • Gareth Warren
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      I take it your calculations include both refunds of paid national insurance and a refund for this capitals lost earnings?

      Or shall we throw out the concept of private property too?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Leave the Politics Of Vice to the vicious, Andy. We know who they are.

      Most workers in France and in Germany etc. still have decent, state-managed occupational pensions, because their people were not mug enough to vote for anything like the English Tories.

      That should be the aim for the upcoming generations here too, not a Race To The Bottom on everything motivated by revenge.

      Repealing draconian Tory employment and anti-union laws would also enable workers to protect pay and conditions, and make homes more affordable.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Are you in favour of secret ballots for employees before a strike is called Martin?

        • Edward2
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          Pensions were ruined by Labour under Blair and Gordon “end to boom and bust” Brown.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted September 22, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

            Rubbish as usual, mine is fine, thanks.

            Gordon Brown introduced a dividend tax for managed pension funds, just as many countries have. It cost an estimated average of less than a hundred pounds per beneficiary per year, to be met by increased employee and employer contributions. In fact it helped many funds, because they changed their composition away from shares, protecting them from the 2008 crash. The Tories have never reversed it, and it would make little difference to pensions if they did. People went into BTL etc. because of appalling annuity rates, and not because of that.

            It is Tory employment “law” which effectively legalises breach of contract by employers, enabling them to close pension schemes.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

            No comment on secret ballots I note.
            I’m glad your pension is fine
            Whatever that vague statement means.
            You either have a public sector pension or you haven’t compared the returns on money invested these days with the return on money invested a few decades ago.

            The pension dividend tax vandalised the pension industry taking billions out of growing funds over the years.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 23, 2019 at 8:10 pm | Permalink


            Really I already debunked this once for you. Tell us WHICH “Tory law” legalises breach of contract

            The contract laws here are just about identical to France , I guess the Tories have been active there too.

            Gordon Browns pension grab
            caused 60,000 pension schemes to close . According to a parliamentary answer from February 2006, 53,854 pension schemes have wound up and took £5.4 billion a year out of the pension pot.

            And you wobble on about better pensions in France and Germany . Hysterical

            Protected them from the financial crash by taking them out of shares …… ha ha ha ha be still my crying eyes . What total buffoonery you engage in. What did they invest in instead oh financial genius?

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Well said though there was a time when the non-unionised private sector were far better remunerated than the unionised public sector. This was before the race-to-bottom open borders policy occurred.

        My previous was intemperate by comparison but I’m of the view that real Marxists would be preferential to the disguised ones we have in the form of LibDems in the Tories.

        The original post certainly read more like a Nu Lab manifesto.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          Labour is often cheap, and conditions such as occupational pensions poor in the UK because of all the anti-trade union, turkeys-for-Christmas, Tory-tbp voting, grovellers.

          The only game in town for them is trying to out-crawl their fellow man to their swaggering feudal lords of employers, as it has been for the nine hundred and fifty-odd years since the forebears of the British Establishment deprived them of every square inch of their land.

          The presence here of fellow Europeans is little to do with it. Otherwise, why is it not equally cheap in France, in Scandinavia and so on? They have been in the European Union too all this time. Tory-tbp were terrified of employment and trade union law becoming the province of the European Union. That was, of its being taken out of their mean, clinging hands.

          The fact remains whatever though, that if you are willing to out-grovel your neighbour for a job, then hey, you will be low-paid.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 23, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

            It was Tories who kept inflation low, interest rates low and increased the minimum wage and increased the point at which you start paying income tax.
            Doing more for living standards of the lower paid than anything Marxist Labour would ever manage.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 23, 2019 at 8:15 pm | Permalink


            Top wibble old son. Ranting from the 6th form.. lovely

            You have to wonder why 3 million EU workers have left the safety of their fabulous protected , pensioned, highly paid, unionised jobs to come and work here . What is WRONG with them?

            Our work laws are far more robust than all but 3 of the other EU countries . 10 EU members have no minimum wage or pay less than £1.50 per hour.

            You are a student marxist with no connection to the real world

      • graham1946
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        I think you will find it was Labour that plundered and ruined the pensions industry. Before 1997, decent pension schemes were available which is what Andy is so jealous of, his ‘well off pensioners’ were in those schemes, but they don’t exist now unless you are on the public payroll. Modern pensions are a disgrace and frankly not worth paying into. Better keep your money under your own control and invest in tracker funds which have a much better outcome than most fund managers achieve.

      • NickC
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Martin, Didn’t you claim we had to Remain in the EU because all our employment laws were provided by the EU, not by the Tories?

        • steve
          Posted September 22, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          Nick C

          Yes that’s exactly what they do believe. To them, British history began in 1997. The sad fools don’t realise everything they know is because they were brainwashed.

      • steve
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink


        “…..not mug enough to vote for anything like the English Tories.”

        Why not the Welsh and Scottish conservatives ? or are you being sectarian against the English again. ?

        I hope not, after all you wouldn’t want us to campaign for Wales to be kicked out of the UK now, would you ?

        Think of all those free prescriptions you’d lose. Better not to ‘insult’ the hand that feeds you, eh.

      • libertarian
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        Marty oh Marty

        In France right now the transport workers are on strike , last week saw 235km (145 miles) of traffic jams in the Paris region. At the weekend for the 44th weekend in a row there were riots in France

        They are protesting about the major Pension reforms that have been forced on them

        As Ive already explained to you with evidence UK employment laws are far more robust than most EU laws and certainly more than France. French workers got bigger pensions because they paid more in. You can have that too if you want, just open your own pension and put the money in, its tax free too. I think you will find it was one G Brown who stole everyones pension, he was a Labour Prime Minister appointed by just one person.

        You are also another one of the idiot left who claim that we need to stay in the EU to protect our employment rights, then moan about our employment rights whilst we are IN the EU . Doh

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Andy, hilariously sad as usual. Do keep taking your medication.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Andy – – -perhaps you will be surprised to hear that us old ‘uns also had nothing when we were young. We worked, are you familiar with that concept (?) and raised families, served in the forces or police/fire/ambulance etc. Worked in grim factories, offices and schools. Saved. Some got mortgages, often sadly made redundant, watched politics become a farce, and now have to stomach numpties like you who know everything, but nothing.

      • steve
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Fred H

        Excellently put, Fred. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • J Bush
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      So the people who funded the education system you went through, assuming you did indeed go to a state school and paid into the system for up to 47 years, should get no pension!


      Let us hope your children and grandchildren are as successful in business as you claim to be.

    • steve
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink


      JEEZ !………now you have reached a new level with your bigotry.

      “We must reciprocate.”

      Well you can only laugh at that.

      You know Andy, most of us on here have learned a lot from JR’s moderation criteria, and we respect that his judgement will be based on superior knowledge and experience, I therefore quite suspect your bigoted post was allowed in principle to let you serve as example of how dangerous is the politics of envy.

      You are consumed by jealousy, Son. We’ve warned you many times you should have got rid of that chip.

      Let me tell you something here; I’m 60 years old and from what you’ve posted to date I am certain to have more material wealth and possibly more opportunity than you because of my experience.

      Why is this ?
      ……it’s because I’ve known what hardship is, and have WORKED BLOODY HARD TO GET OUT OF IT !

      I never turn a blind eye to someone down on their luck, I help little old ladies cross the road, sometimes give them a lift home in the Jag with their shopping, if on the rare occasion I use public transport I give up my seat to the elderly or a woman.

      I have served my country and collected two decorations for bravery in the process.

      YOU on the other hand can achieve much more……you just have to get off your backside and graft for it, like we did.

  16. Alan Jutson
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    If the student loan scheme is such a fiasco, why does the Government keep running it along the same lines.

    Given students usually attend University for 3 years, there is a 20 history of the scheme working (or not working) why has something not been done before.

    Exactly how many students fail to make payments and what is the total sum outstanding, I guess there are students from abroad that owe us money, but why is the UK loaning a foreign student money in the first place ?

    Yet another scheme which seems unfit for purpose.

  17. Richard1
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    18 of the 21 MPs who had the Tory whip withdrawn have reportedly told Corbyn they wouldn’t support him to be PM in the event of a no confidence vote. This implies that there could be three MPs who were elected on the Conservative manifesto who would be prepared to vote out the Conservative PM and put in his place a far-left quasi Marxist who believes inter alia in arbitrary confiscation of property, state control of the press and has a long record of sympathy for political violence, whether carried out by terrorist groups or by brutal and undemocratic socialist regimes.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    “The Treasury and OBR may want to paint a different picture.”

    Under David Cameron and George Osborne the Treasury deliberately forecast economic doom if we even dared to vote to leave the EU.

    I say “deliberately” because it was pretty obvious even before the referendum that they had gone out of their way to get the most doom laden predictions they could wring from their model, and it soon became obvious after the vote that their forecasts were a pack of politically sanctioned lies.

    Then under Theresa May and Philip Hammond the Treasury produced a new edition of their previous lies, with attempts to justify the failure of the previous forecasts by saying that they were never forecasts, just “scenarios”.

    So I guess it will depend upon Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid what kind of projections the Treasury will produce. They may continue with the disgraceful scaremongering which has led to it now being widely accepted, without any question, that a no deal exit from the EU would be “catastrophic”, a disaster which must be avoided by any means.

    Funnily enough on the same day that Jean-Claude Juncker was loudly proclaiming that a no deal Brexit would “catastrophic” the OECD was more calmly predicting that it could – NB, only “could” – knock 3% off UK GDP growth over the following 3 years:


    And as pointed out there even if that cumulative 3% loss happened it would be only half of what the last Labour government cost us in just one quarter, Q1 2009.

    In fact looking at the graph of UK GDP back to 1956:


    the single most noticeable departure from a smooth upwards curve, a marked notch, was that collapse in 2009, which obviously had nothing to do with Brexit.

    I would also refer back here to comments on the contrary advice given to, and apparently accepted by, the German government, for example on March 7:


    “… Ireland would be hit three times harder than the UK by a no-deal Brexit, taking a massive 8.16% hit to their economy … that for GB is only 2.76% … with appropriate mitigation the damage for GB could be limited to just 0.5% … ”

    “For the UK, those numbers can be compared to a previous ifo estimate of 1.7%”

    • steve
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      “Ireland would be hit three times harder than the UK by a no-deal Brexit”

      Excellent !

      • saynomore
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 4:51 am | Permalink

        steve – we are prepared to take the hit – the question is – are you?

  19. BOF
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I was immensely disappointed when Boris appointed Sajid Javid as Chancellor. He is a banker, one of the very people who failed the country so badly. And a remainer.

    The trouble is he will be difficult to remove, mainly due to the internal politics of the Conservative Party.

    • Fred H
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Therein lies the problem – the internal politics of the Conservative Party. A GE will likely shake the tree to its very foundation. Does anybody see it coming?

  20. a-tracy
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I just don’t get this at all. The OBR have made serious mistakes before.

    In 1999 the student loans were only £3000 in total per person this was meant to represent a third of the cost of the degree before which no-one had paid anything towards their degree, so the treasury was better off every year from 2001. 9% tax was taken over a earnings level of about £16000 pa and used to repay the low interest notional loans, by now successful students should have easily paid off that loan in 20 years never mind 30, so how many of those loans were to British people and how many to EU students, how many Brits have paid back and how many EU students have paid back (deduct theirs from the payments to Europe) along with the unpaid health service treatments for this year.

    Don’t come looking to us, we were told our children had to pay this tax to cover their costs by Labour and I know many many graduates that have paid in full. So which universities graduates aren’t at least overnight this repayment, which courses and what nationality of graduate, if the government wasn’t the rest of us taxpayers without degrees and high paying jobs to bail this out we now want the facts because we were told by Labour education, education, education would rise the standard of living and improve productivity and whole life earnings capability.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      So which Universities’ graduates aren’t making their full loan repayment from the 2001 graduation class – or on track to have paid it completely by 2031?

      • tim
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        We need to look into university CEO salaries. The head of Nottingham university pays himself £640,000 a year. Think of all his staff down from him, deputies, assistants. When he/they retire they get 2/3 of the final salary for the rest of their lives. There is a huge BLACK HOLE in these pension contributions, and the poor tax payer will have to pay for it. That is what the £12,000,000,000 is really for! PS I wonder if Sir John will allow this bit of truth?

        • tim
          Posted September 23, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

          Tim- thank you Sir John I appologise for doubting

        • a-tracy
          Posted September 23, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

          Hats of to JR tim, I’d start there then… Nottingham University… how many people from the 2001 grad class have paid back their loan or are on track to. What courses are the ones that aren’t paying back on track. Then deduct this failure to provide a decent income for his students from his bonuses.

  21. Alec
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Yet more proof that the civil service is working against the interests of the country and it’s people. Time for some really big sackings.

  22. Timaction
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Clean that swamp in the Treasury and OBR. Its obvious to us all outside your bubble how bad recruitment and selection has gotten in all politically correct driven Government agencies. Selection on merit needs to return not minority issues or mental health sexual orientation matters! History will show how foolish you all became!

  23. BOF
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    What, Sir John, is the point of the OBR, or for that matter dozens of quangos. How wasteful. What a missed opportunity for Boris in failing to drastically slim down the Cabinet.

  24. Frances Truscott
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Sir John, different topic but very important. The Times is constantly anti Brexit and anti British. Its front page today is an endless denigration of everything British. I have heard recently from a counterterrorism expert that Russia runs a lot of disinformation campaigns and one imagines pushes anything which can damage British morale.
    I imagine it would be thrilled if our military and intelligence capabilities were subsumed and diluted by the EU as Dearlove and Guthrie have recently pointed out will happen if we sign up to a deal.
    Cant something be done about an anti British press? Will you please ask questions in the house about defence if a deal signing us up to the EU acronyms looks likely? I don’t think MPs understand how signing up to one signs us up to the lot.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      A better question to ask would be : who are the security services “really”working for?

    • dixie
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      If we are to have a free press I don’t see how that sits with government intervention. The most you might reasonably expect is requiring transparency of ownership and funding. Apart from that you could do what I did which was to cancel the subscription and tell them why. But it wouldn’t change anything if they are mouthpieces so I think the only effective thing you can do is support the alternative publications/web sites that are closest to your interests.

  25. Pragmatist
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    They are planning for remaining in the EU.

  26. PhilW
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    We need to urgently cut our overspend not increase it. We could make a start by ditching the virtue signalling 12 billion or so we dole out every year to the likes of ethiopian spice girls tribute bands, new planes for Dictators who have creative accountants diverting the cash for them and bottomless pit charities whose CEO’s are on mega salaries along with their staff leaving the odd pence in the pound left to spend on their starving poor.
    There will be another recession, I suspect in the next two years or so and it will make 2008 look like a hiccup which is another reason spending anywhere near the levels already suggested will not do us any favours at all.

  27. Gareth Warren
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I know someone who works in the treasury, they are a staunch remainer, I would not trust their forecast.

    The chancellor can and should ignore their advice, although should we be paying for bad advice? Easy answer there.

  28. XYZ
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    The Treasury and other government departments and quangos really need a shake-up.

    Perhaps you could devote a blog to suggesting how they could be made more independent of particular political affiliations?

    It must be difficult to find a group of people who are capable of being neutral on all issues, but the Treasury is under the control of the Chancellor, so he should be able to tell them that they must not change the basis of forecasting until he says so?

    Furthermore (or perhaps, instead)… he should tell them that if, post-Brexit, the basis for forecasting does change from the pre-Brexit variables then they must continue to *additionally* produce the forecast on the pre-Brexit basis for direct comparison purposes.

    I’m not sure if he can tell the OBR to do that as well, but he should do so if he can.

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    During her interview with Jean-Claude Juncker, broadcast this morning, Sky News’ Sophy Ridge asked him whether in the event of a no deal Brexit there would be a border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

    This is playing the same game as those Irish politicians who like to pretend that at present there is no border, and in the case of Europe Minister Helen McEntee back in November 2017 even rejecting “anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland”:


    Later she put the same question to government minister Brandon Lewis, who blathered away as he always does but somehow failed to point out:

    a) There is already a border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic;

    b) The real question is whether there need be any change at that existing border to turn it into a so-called “hard border”, and not only has the UK government already pledged that it will not create any new infrastructure or introduce any new checks on the UK’s side of the border it has also had that prohibition enshrined in UK law:


    c) There is nothing in Article 50 or anywhere else in the EU treaties stating that if a member state decides to withdraw then it must accept responsibility for solving any problems that its withdrawal may cause for the continuing member states.

    Day after day we have this anti-Brexit nonsense and our government not only fails to rebut any of it but often adds to it, so whose side are they really on?

    JR, do you suppose that any UK government minister, or even an official spokesman, will respond to this unspeakable rubbish from Simon Coveney?


    “”He put it in practical terms, explaining: “We’re not going to have a situation where trucks are going to be waved through if they have food or agri-food product labelling on the side, and they’re stopped if they have something else.”

    “That’s a smuggler’s charter we’re talking about.”

    He added: “If you have to check anything, you have to check everything unless you have alignment across multiple sectors that allows for seamless trade without the need for border inspections.””

    But then why at present are all the trucks just being “waved through” across the border in both directions, irrespective of what they have on the side?

    The answer is: because both the UK and the Irish Republic have passed national laws to implement the EU Single Market rules there is sufficient confidence about the contents of the trucks that it is not considered necessary to intercept them at the border and check what they are carrying; and if the UK can be trusted to enforce its present law in that respect while it is in the EU there is no reason why it should not be trusted to enforce a new law, an export controls law, after it has left the EU.

    As I have repeatedly pointed out, the first step in solving this problem would be a legal step – the passage by the UK Parliament of a new Act to prohibit the carriage into the Republic of any goods which the EU regards as contraband, with penalties for hauliers found guilty of infractions – not any technological changes.

    • Sousa
      Posted September 22, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      So you think the UK can leave, tell the EU to solve all the ensuing problems, and still have open borders for trade with the EU? Do you believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden as well?

      • Edward2
        Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        Do you really think Europe will refuse to sell their goods to us here in the UK?
        Do you really think Europeans will refuse to buy UK goods in the future?
        Have you ever bought and sold goods from abroad in any business?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

        Try reading my last paragraph. Do you see that I say the first step in solving the problem would be an Act of the UK Parliament? Which would a friendly action by the UK to help the EU in protecting the integrity of its EU Single Market, but without agreeing that any part of the UK should still remain subject to the rules of that EU Single Market as the Irish government and the EU want.

    • saynomore
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 4:47 am | Permalink

      Denis – You do go on – the border is there we know but only to divide the two administrations – so if there is any hardening of this by the EU as per Junker then like he says responsibility for this lies with the British side who will also have to put a border according to WTO rules requirements. The point is if a hard border comes back into being because of British fecklessness then we can be sure a similar hard border will appear right across the the whole coastline of France Belgium Holland Denmark Germany etc. Be warned and be careful what you wish for

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

        It’s up to the EU what it does on its side of the border. The UK can offer to help, as explained above, but responsibility for the protection of the EU Single Market rests with the EU and nobody else. As for the “WTO rules requirements”, there are none, as the WTO itself said long ago. Maybe you didn’t notice:


        “WTO says its rules would not force EU or UK to erect hard Irish border”

        “Expert says it is up to London and Brussels to protect their own markets in no deal Brexit scenario”

      • dixie
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

        If the British are following the EU defined process for sepoaration, how is it anything but the EUs fault if their process does not make accomodation for the situation.

        If the EU imposes a hard border it is clearly the EUs responsibility and it would be irrational to try to cast blame elsewhere.

      • dixie
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        PS – almost a year ago in October 2018 both Varadkar and Juncker stated in the Irish Parliament that there would be no infrastructure at the Irish Border. You can watch the video on Youtube.

        If the EU hardens it’s attitude then that’s the EU’s problem and if the EU won’t be consistent and won’t keep it’s commitments then that’s your problem.

  30. Rob
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Does your forcast include a rebound in business investment which is according to the BoE inflation report about 60% of where it should be in a normal cycle and has essentially flat lined since 2015?

  31. lameduck
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Cannot understand how you can believe that the economy will grow faster next year assuming we leave 31st Oct with no deal- the point is a lot of economists and other financial commentators are of the mind that in the case of a no deal ie. leaving without the WA and without some follow up ‘transition period’ to somewhere- the first to go will be JIT. They can’t all be wrong- one said it’ll be like living with a ‘slow puncture’ economy- and throwing money at it will not improve anything.

  32. BillM
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I pray that the NEW Chancellor has got a lotta bottle and will slap down or keep the europhiliacs in the Treasury at heel. None of those are elected into office but they expect to rule us. What wretched arrogance.
    Send them back to the USSR for that is where these against democracy, really belong.

  33. Derek Henry
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Exactly !

    The government budget deficit = the private sector surplus to the penny.

    The only question to ask is will giving the private sector a larger surplus cause inflation?

    The OBR models cannot handle that question. They are neoliberal to the core . Based on the false belief that the government accounts are like that of a business or household.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      That theory of your Derek means the more the state borrows and prints the wealthier we citizens get.
      Why don’t they just eliminate poverty and make us all millionaires?

      • tim
        Posted September 24, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Edward2- Good idea! How about EVERY week we give 350,000 different people £1,000. We could do this for ever. We have been doing this for the EU parasites for the last 50 years. Or 700,000 people £500. I do not think you realise this, but this is more than most people get for working 40 hours.

    • NickC
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Derek H said: “government budget deficit = the private sector surplus to the penny”. False. The correct equation is: government budget position – government money printing = private domestic sector position + foreign sector position (where positions can be +ve or -ve). And the net final result of the policies you advocate (a large government deficit; and that government finance is somehow not like a business) is either foreign ownership of your nation, or a debased currency, or both. Or in short, socialism.

  34. Derek Henry
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Businesses and households are “users” of the currency.

    The government is the monopoly “issuer” of the currency

    Huge difference those at the OBR should learn.

  35. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 22, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    “Some taxes are above the revenue maximising rate”. Yes, but which ones and what’s the evidence? We can cite the top rate of income tax, the level of CGT, the top rate of Stamp Duty and perhaps the corporation tax rate. On the other hand, it is fairly certain that raising the standard rate of income tax would yield extra revenue. The more intelligent members of the public would appreciate a tax-by-tax assessment of the extent to which Laffer curve logic applies both in theory and in practice. The general rule appears to be that the rich are quick of thought and nimble of foot when it comes to avoiding taxation that they believe to be unfair.

    Am I naïve in thinking that all political parties ought to be interested in what revenue maximising tax rates are tax-by-tax?

    • Derek Henry
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      When you cut taxes it increases the private sector surplus and thus aggregate demand and generates more spending power.

      This creates more spending chains up and down the country and since our spending is someone else’s income more tax payments are generated.

      Thus the saying creates more ” revenue” which is a bad use of the English language. Revenue suggests it is storing up money the government can spend. It does not taxes destroy broad money and takes currency out of circulation to control inflation.

      Large companies should not be allowed to avoid this as it destroys competition and hurts small to medium size companies the back home of the economy. Just look at our high streets charity shops and bookmakers.

      The wealth generated by these large corporations is often used to bend democracy in their favour.

      The competition and monopolies commission has to be given some teeth after a no deal Brexit.

  36. Stephen Reay
    Posted September 23, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Zero hours contracts should be stopped immediately, Austrailia banned it as an inhuman way to treat Austrailian nationals. The U.K allowed it to happen because it kept the employment figs looking good whist we were going through the recession.

    We are the fifth biggest economy in the world and yet we have to stoop to this level of inhumanity, Labour have promised to band zero hour contracts if they win the election.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      I’m ambivalent about zero hours contracts.
      The average hours achieved are not zero they are approx 27.
      And well over half like them.
      It suits lots of people.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 23, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      What will be the minimum number of hours, minimum number of weeks worked per year, minimum annualised hours etc. That Labour will allow? I think we have a right to know what their actual policy means instead of them getting away without details.

      • Edward2
        Posted September 23, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        They will set it at levels that will destroy all such jobs.

  37. Peter Martin
    Posted September 25, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    “Some of the tax cuts will actually raise more revenue, as some taxes are above the revenue maximising rate. ”

    This doesn’t really matter. For example, say we raised capital gains tax and lowered the top rates of income taxation. We’d simply encourage clever accountants to think up ways to switch incomes from one to the other. Or if we raised VAT we would slow down the economy. So even if VAT receipts rose we’d find that income and other tax receipts would fall in response.

    The government spends money into the economy and gets back some of it taxes. It can’t get back more than it has created in the first place. If it did there wouldn’t be any any spending money in the economy. We wouldn’t have any savings. Govts need to bear this in mind when they are thinking of maximising their revenue.

  38. Richard Mol;yneux
    Posted September 29, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Dcarbonisation by 2030 or 2050 for that matter requires an enormous change in energy supply. To keep this short lets look just at replacing some 25 million gas heaters with electric heating. Say an average boiler has a capacity of 12kw (or about 41,000 bthu/hr) This gives a total of 300 Gw (300 billon), (current electrical generation capacity is around 60 Gw.) Maybe there are ways of mitigating some of this, batteries etc. but it remains a daunting figure yet alone power for cooking and electric cars. Presumably this will be achieved by the use of wind and solar and maybe nuclear though I doubt this will be ready in 10 years. Wind farms need 90% backup. .The crunch comes when we get to December and in the morning at one of the peak loads it is still dark -5 deg C outside, and quite possible that a weather system sits over the UK producing little wind power !! where does that leave us. I Read of ideas to use Hydrogen and heat pumps. Heat pumps require electricity. Hydrogen while very clean as is combusts to water has its hazards. Its very readily ignited and many will have seen the result of this in the Hindenberg Airship disaster.
    Also we get hydrogen for hydrocarbons by the process of reforming natural gas!!
    Stopping the use of petrol/ diesel/kero ,shutting down refineries will have to occur, then where do we then get our bitumen for the roads plus a several other products including lube oils.
    Does the government have a detailed strategy and all the technological answers or any idea how this can be achieved now its put it into law. Somehow I doubt it.

  • 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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