My Contribution in the Queen’s Speech Debate

Yesterday, I spoke in the debate on the Queen’s Speech and you can find my speech below:

Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP (Wokingham) (Con):

I welcome much of what is in the Gracious Speech. I welcome the emphasis on growth, because we need growth to deliver on many of the other ambitions for levelling up and for better public services. I think the Government are right about the need to revisit rules and laws to promote better transport, to deal with difficulties in housing and planning, and to pursue a course of greater self-sufficiency in energy. However, I want to concentrate mainly on the economic conditions that they will need over the next two years in order to make a success of this legislative programme.

Legislation takes us only a little way. What we are trying to do through legislation is create conditions in which business can flourish, people can train and acquire better skills so they can secure better-paid jobs, and investments can be made. We will not level up all the mighty cities and towns of this country that are below average with public spending; we need to level them up with ambition and private investment. We need to see people going on their own personal journeys to develop their own businesses, to reach a point at which they can afford their own houses, and to secure enough training and qualifications to be able to obtain decent, high-quality jobs. That is how the successful parts of the country have managed to give many more people higher incomes and better living standards. Those are the parts of the country that worked to attract the people with the energy and the talent, or have given the people who are already there more support. We need to think about how we can provide such support and encouragement more widely around the country.

Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con): My right hon. Friend is echoing the words of the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, who has said that it cannot be Governments who create wealth; we merely have to provide the opportunity for businesses and individuals to create that wealth.

Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP (Wokingham) (Con): I am glad that all three of us agree on this matter, and we can proceed on that basis.

So what do the Government need to do? My first recommendation to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor is that he needs to have a new framework for the conduct of our economic policy. We are still running on Maastricht-lite. We still think that the way in which to control the economy is to control the debt and the deficit. I have news for the Chancellor: if we get growth and inflation right, the debt and the deficit will come closer to taking care of themselves. If we get the growth right, we will have much less of a problem with the debt and the deficit.

In the last year, when the United Kingdom led the growth tables for the advanced world, an unremarkable thing happened. It seemed very remarkable to the Treasury, but it seemed unremarkable to me. The deficit came tumbling down. According to one set of figures—and they still keep changing—it came in at £90 billion below the Office for Budget Responsibility and Treasury forecast, because with more growth comes more activity, more incomes and more spending, so the Treasury can collect more VAT and income tax. It was mainly extra revenues that came in, because we had that faster growth.

In my view, the debt and the deficit matter but should be subsidiary. The two main aims of economic policy should be a 2% inflation target, embedded as a Government target as well as a control mechanism on the Bank of England, and a complementary 2% growth target—not that exacting in the context of 20th-century experience in the United Kingdom, but fairly challenging in the context of the current century’s experience because of the disfiguring effect of the big banking crash and great recession in the middle of its first two decades.

Let me deal first with inflation. Once it gets out of control, it is extremely damaging to everything. It ends up causing shortages on the shelves, lack of supply, businesses crashing, and people being thrown out of jobs. We do not want to get into the accelerating double-figure inflation that some countries have suffered all too much. Anyone who wants to see what happens with the playbook should look at what is happening in Turkey at the moment, and at what has happened, on a grotesque scale, in Venezuela, where the generous state kept printing and kept borrowing and ended up destroying more than half its national income and much of the potential of the oil industry which used to pay for everything, because it was nationalised and incompetently run.

Those extreme versions need to be ruled out, and of course the amount of money created needs to be controlled; you need to keep an eye on when you can afford to borrow in the public sector and how much. However, that is a second-order issue in comparison with promoting growth and inflation targets as the main aims. The inflation target cannot simply be delivered by a central bank. Unfortunately, the Bank of England made a policy error, to which I drew attention beforehand last year. I think that it went on printing money for longer than it should have, and that its policy was too loose for too long. I was fully behind its huge injection of money and ultra-low interest rates in the previous year because of the huge shock administered to the economy, but it now looks as though it made a mistake, which it has subsequently corrected. It should not overdo it, though. It is no longer printing any money in excess, it has put up interest rates on three separate occasions, and money growth is now much more constrained in our country; but the Government must also put their shoulder to the wheel to curb various types of inflation.

At present one of the inflationary factors hitting, in particular, the budgets of those in the lower income areas is the huge price inflation in energy and food. That is caused by supply shortages. We were already pretty short of energy in western Europe because of the policies being pursued and because of the lack of natural resources on the continent, where there is not any, or much, oil and gas outside the Netherlands. We were already very short of basic energy. Then, of course, the dreadful invasion of Ukraine came along and caused so much damage—most directly to the people there who have such dreadful shocks from it, but there has been a wider economic shock for the rest of us. As a result of policy, Russian oil and gas are being gradually withdrawn from our supply systems, so we have exacerbated the shortage, for understandable and good political reasons, to try to help Ukraine in its battle against the Russian invasion.

As for food, we see a shortage arising as markets are heralding the sad likelihood that there will not be a lot of crop coming out of Ukraine this year and that a big source of edible oils and of grains will not be producing and exporting in the way that the world market needs, so we see great price pressures there.

So there is a need to engage Government, and I am pleased to see that the Government are working towards energy self-sufficiency and more food production. Those are crucial as a response to what has just happened and as security for the future. If we want to keep inflation down in the future, the one thing we can rely on is producing more of our own energy and growing more of our own food, which will give us more control over the pricing, particularly with something like gas, which of course is traded on the world market only to the extent that there is either pipeline capacity or liquefied natural gas capacity, so a lot of the gas cannot be traded internationally. American gas cannot be sent to Europe in huge quantities because there is no pipeline, and there is a limited amount of LNG capacity. America has much lower gas prices—and nothing like the cost of living problem that we have with energy—as a result of producing a lot of its own gas and therefore having a domestic market that clears at a lower price than the current very spiked world gas prices. I trust that the Government will pursue greater national self-sufficiency in key areas, including not only basic energy and food—we can grow a lot more of our temperate food—but crucial technologies, which the Government are becoming increasingly sensitive about.

I trust that when the Government turn their mind to the detail of their energy legislation, they will use it to facilitate the production of more domestic oil and gas. I think there is more general agreement today, after the debates of recent months, on the proposition that we ought to re-enter the North sea and that, instead of overseeing a pretty rapid rundown in its output, we should go through a transitional period, maybe this decade, and get more oil and gas out of the North sea. That surely makes more sense. It makes green sense because the CO2 output created by burning our own gas is considerably less than that of the elaborate process of carrying it halfway round the world and having it compressed and decompressed so that it can travel as LNG. It is about half the CO2 generated.

More importantly from the point of view of levelling up and growth in our public finances, we would be paying the tax to ourselves. All gas and oil attracts massive taxation from the countries that have the good fortune to produce it. If we buy gas from Qatar—or when we were buying oil from Russia—we pay them a huge amount of tax, which is revenue that we could pay to ourselves if we developed more of our own production. Our own Treasury could then either spend it or give it back to us in some other form, such as a rebate or grant.

There is a more sensitive issue about onshore gas, and people are often rather opposed to that idea. I suggest that no landowner or council should be made to have onshore gas production if they do not want to. That would be a democratic decision over permissions and it would be a decision of those who have the land or property nearby as a result. I think that some areas would have it—suitably protected and environmentally tailored, as it could be. We already have some onshore oil and gas. Wych Farm, for example, is in a very beautiful part of the world and it produces oil quite happily onshore. The Government need to put into law a framework where landowners and communities that agree to participate in onshore oil and gas development should receive a participation in the royalty of some sorts, or free gas to consumers, or whatever.

Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) (Independent): I am interested in what the right hon. Gentleman is saying. I assume he is talking about fracking when he talks about onshore gas production, and suggesting that we leave it to individual landowners and local authorities, but the polluting effects of fracking do not stop at the borders of somebody’s land or at a local authority border. Fracking pollutes the aquifers and it can and does create earth tremors that go well beyond all that. It is surely a matter of national policy that we do not pursue this short-sighted avenue of trying to get gas, and that we look at better methods of conservation and more sustainable methods of generating our energy.

Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP (Wokingham) (Con): I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman has a gas boiler, but I expect that most people in this House have gas boilers at home, as I and most of my constituents do. That gas needs to come from somewhere. I will not go into the details of the techniques needed for reservoir management, because that obviously depends on the structure, the flow rates and the nature of the stratum in which you find the gas, but a range of techniques can be used if gas or oil is shy in coming out of a reservoir that has been developed over many years.

Of course, like the right hon. Gentleman, I want this to be regulated. There must be no pollution of watercourses. Fortunately gas strata and water are often well divided in the United Kingdom—rather more so than in the US, where there has been a gas revolution onshore without polluting the water supplies or causing great environmental health problems. Of course that needs to be properly regulated—it is strictly regulated at the moment—and we need to review those regulations to ensure that the No. 1 priority of public safety is guaranteed and that the No. 2 priority, the desired effect of getting some gas out, assuming public safety is guaranteed, is also taken care of. I would have thought that the right hon. Gentleman would like the idea of a big new source of oil or gas tax revenue that stayed in the United Kingdom rather than being paid to Qatar or Saudi Arabia.

Andrea Leadsom (South Northamptonshire) (Con): My right hon. Friend and I have talked a lot about community support for onshore projects. Would he agree that another such area could be deep geothermal, which the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee is looking into at the moment? It could offer fantastic potential for sourcing new forms of renewable heating.

Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP (Wokingham) (Con): I would love to hear about that. Unfortunately I was in this debate so I was unable to get to that particular Committee, but I will catch up with my right hon. Friend elsewhere to discuss that because I know you wish me to move on, Madam Deputy Speaker.

One last point, if I may, is about housing and planning in my own constituency of Wokingham. We are very generous and we accept a large number of new people joining our communities, as they would like to do. We accept well over 1,000 new houses being constructed in the borough every year, but I do not think we should want to keep all of that to ourselves. The kind of housing that attracts people who can provide leadership and better jobs and who can set up businesses needs to be spread more broadly. The planning rules need to be revised so that we can use the planning system to reinforce the wish to level up, with some of the really important private sector housing investment going to the places that really need it, rather than having an awful lot in places that have done pretty well already and are finding that the pressure on public services, roads, transport, railways and so forth is just too much and that the infrastructure is not catching up.

This was a good Queen’s Speech. It needs economic success and a policy based on going for growth. It also needs a policy that deals with supply-side shortages and a policy based around lower taxes, because we need to give something back now to start to lift the cost of living crunch.

52 Comments

  1. formula57
    May 11, 2022

    A “good Queen’s speech” that is going to be undermined in outcome by a bad Chancellor with slump-inducing policies conforming to Evil Empire rules and out-dated thinking.

    The 2 per cent. growth target is for real growth, as adjusted for inflation? If not, with inflation at the same rate, we of course then enjoy no growth.

    Reply
    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 11, 2022

      We have laws against murder and theft just like the countries of the European Union do.

      That does not mean that the UK is slavishly aping or controlled by it.

      Good sense is the same in any language.

      Leave voters often reject that, alas.

      Reply
  2. Mark B
    May 11, 2022

    Good morning – again.

    What we are trying to do through legislation is create conditions in which business can flourish . . .

    But do we need legislation ? I ask as, our system of governance is based on the rule of law and that law is Common Law not Napoleonic Law / Code. ie Until our law says you cannot do something one may so do. To that end, there is I argue only one thing that is standing in the way, and that is law or, to put it another way, regulation. So we do not need to create new laws but remove those laws and regulations.

    Reply
    1. cynic
      May 11, 2022

      I am concerned that this government is again signalling a right turn whilst still heading left.

      Reply
    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 11, 2022

      Read up on how the English judicial system operates for pity’s sake, instead of parroting right wing obscurantist tripe.

      The common law – declarations of judges in the High court and above – is trumped by Equity, and both are trumped by Statute, by Acts of Parliament that is.

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        May 12, 2022

        Only now NHL, after we have left the power of the EU to command the UK to accept laws made by the EU.

        Reply
        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          May 12, 2022

          It was only in the limited, treaty-defined, uncontroversial areas of law that our membership assumed concordance.

          So now the European Union cannot take action to require the UK government to stop sewage companies from polluting our rivers or abattoirs in Todmorden from selling horse meat as beef, and that sort of thing.

          Hooray, eh?

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            May 12, 2022

            Tens of thousands of laws, rules and regulations passed into our law by the force of the EU’s powers.
            Not limited at all.
            They affected every element of our lives.
            Not even properly scrutinised by our Parliament.
            Hooray indeed.
            And never ever again.

  3. Shirley M
    May 11, 2022

    You said “I am pleased to see that the Government are working towards energy self-sufficiency and more food production.”.

    Is there anything definite in the pipeline regarding energy, other than more wind and solar, or is it just more talk and no action?

    How is the government working towards more food production? All I see is grants to discourage farming, plus pressure to build more roads/houses, wind & solar farms on farmland. What is the government doing to encourage more food production, if anything? They have kept any plans to increase food production so quiet that nobody knows about it, except you, maybe?

    Reply new policy on U.K. North Sea production. Food strategy coming soon

    Reply
  4. […] Read more about My Contribution in the Queen’s Speech Debate […]

    Reply
  5. Fedupsoutherner
    May 11, 2022

    John, you must be getting fed up talking so much common sense while not being listened to.

    Reply
    1. lifelogic
      May 11, 2022

      Indeed.

      The idea (Gove’s ?) of the locals being able to hold votes on their streets planning issues sounds like an idiotic idea to me. Often a development might perhaps ruin one local property and yet have almost zero negative impacts on all the others. All sorts of conflicts of interests and local rows will doubtless ensue.

      Reply
  6. XY
    May 11, 2022

    Not sure that was “a good Queen’s Speech”. A bunch of small Bills, adding up to not very much.

    The biggest issues are unresolved: energy, security, cost of living.

    And with another Remainer revolt in the pipeline over solutions to the NIP… I wonder if there will be a working majority once the whip is removed from that lot. My personal hope is that thye deplorable Mrs May suffers the indignity of being the first ex-PM to lose the whip.

    However, I dare say the current PM would prefer that happens nearer to the next GE, which is sensible, but it would be naive to try to make “finish Brexit” the campaign slogan for a 2024 election campaign.

    Reply
  7. miami.mode
    May 11, 2022

    Who knew that Jeremy Corbyn was such an accomplished scientist? Andrea Leadsom should check out the Eden Project in Cornwall as it seems as though the geothermal exploration is currently suspended.

    Reply
  8. Pauline Baxter
    May 11, 2022

    There was something VERY BAD in the queen’s speech Sir John.
    Umpteen new ‘regulatory bodies’.
    That sounds to me like many more (millions) civil servants – bureaucrats.
    It would have been better if it had said something like:-
    All those civil servants who have been imposing EU regulations on us will now either help dismantle them or lose their job.

    Reply
    1. Mickey Taking
      May 11, 2022

      Yes – lots more office talkers, writers – not do’ers.

      Reply
    2. Bloke
      May 11, 2022

      In addition to having too many useless regulations, more important fundamentals are not even enforced.

      Much of crime is regarded as an inconvenience by police as they are unable to cope.

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        May 12, 2022

        Do nothing whenever you can, however much clear evidence they have – seems to be the police’s general response to anything.

        Reply
    3. Lifelogic
      May 11, 2022

      Together with all those “working” from home.

      Reply
      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        May 11, 2022

        Richard Littlejohn has mainly worked from home for the last thirty years or so, from Florida, I read.

        You all seem to like him though.

        Reply
        1. Mickey Taking
          May 12, 2022

          You don’t? I suppose he writes about reality, while you wish for a fantasy world. I gather he writes for the Mail which I don’t buy so you’ll need to explain why where he lives bothers you.

          Reply
          1. Nottingham Lad Himself
            May 12, 2022

            He is one of the main media mouthpieces raging against WFH, that’s why.

            Hypocrites don’t bother you when they’re yours though, do they?

        2. Bloke
          May 12, 2022

          Authors type efficiently from home.

          Previously every word had to be typed by restrictive obstinate Union members sat at giant Linotype machines to form each line in hot lead.

          Margaret Thatcher’s brilliance cut out the obstructive middlemen and their expensive waste.

          Reply
        3. graham1946
          May 12, 2022

          Writing chip paper stuff can be done from anywhere. You seem to be able to do the same with many posts everyday, many of no value whatsoever, but chiding others for having an opinion different from yours.

          Reply
  9. Donna
    May 11, 2022

    “This was a good Queen’s Speech.”

    Debatable …. but that’s all it was, a speech. As Mrs Thatcher once said “the problem with today’s politicians is they make a speech and think they’ve achieved something. They haven’t.”

    Watch what they do. Ignore what they say.

    On the basis of the performance of the last 2 years (not to mention the preceding 10) there will be quite a disconnect between the speech and the actions.

    Reply
  10. Freeborn John
    May 11, 2022

    Why is Boris Johnson making unilateral defence guarantees to EU states? These countries a part of a bloc that is currently threatening the U.K. with a trade war. The never-ending naivety of the British government in its dealing with the EU amazes me. We always make grand-gestures without even asking for anything in return, let alone securing it. Meanwhile they use everything we want (even items of dubious merit like participation in the EU “horizon” program) as negotiating leverage.

    Enough of this! If Putin wants to march to Bordeaux it is not worth a drop of British blood to stop him. Let the EU take care of its own defence.

    Reply
    1. Ed M
      May 11, 2022

      ‘Enough of this! If Putin wants to march to Bordeaux it is not worth a drop of British blood to stop him. Let the EU take care of its own defence’

      – The thought of Pootin quaffing Bordeaux wine makes me sick. Plus once he’s finished doing that, then would simply march on UK (remember he was in the KGB. They have quite a chip on their shoulder about the UK from the Cold War. And Pootin seems to be big on chip on shoulder).

      Or maybe he might want to head first for Bath, London and Edinburgh – before Bordeaux. Let’s hope the French, Europe and the USA don’t come across comments like yours. We’d be well screwed then.

      Reply
      1. Freeborn John
        May 12, 2022

        You are delusional if you think France & Europe are going to go to war with Putin to defend the UK. They are (i) useless militarily (ii) unreliable as seen by their desire to supper at Putin’s long table rather than really help Ukraine and (iii) not allies when they are calling for a trade war with us.

        There is no point in us providing unilateral defence guarantees to those who are hostile to us.

        Reply
        1. Ed M
          May 12, 2022

          ‘They are useless militarily’

          – as Ukraine have shown us, an army will rise to the occasion when it is being attacked by a brutal dictator. Same for others.

          ‘those who are hostile to us’

          – the Europeans are NOT hostile to us? Why would they be? So we’ve p—d them off a bit about the EU. But that’s nothing compared to Putin’s brutality and what he threatens the rest of Europe. Just please put EU / Brexit on PAUSE for moment. You got perfectly good / strong reasons for Brexit. But not to put that above the serious threat of Pootin and his threats – from conventional to nuclear war on Europe (God forbid).

          The UK is a GREAT nation. The best in Europe. But why do you make the other nations in Europe out to be so awful? They’re annoying for sure. But they are not the bogeyman right now. The bogeyman is Pootin. And to compare the trickiness of The Europeans over EU / Brexit to Pootin brutalising people in Ukraine is just absurd, sorry.

          Let’s please deal with Pootin first. And then deal with EU / Brexit. Like I said you got strong arguments for Brexit. But don’t ruin things by comparing our woes with the woes of Ukraine and the potential serious threat of Pootin to Europe / the UK. Best.

          Reply
    2. formula57
      May 11, 2022

      +1

      Reply
    3. Cheshire Girl
      May 13, 2022

      Freeborn John:

      Agreed. This has got much worse, since Boris has been PM. He seems to be so keen to be popular, that he will promise anything, without a moments thought as to the consequences .
      Personally, I find this very worrying.

      Reply
  11. The Prangwizard
    May 11, 2022

    We need urgently to get more and new gas and oil out for our use.

    Public safety cannot be guaranteed in such activity but Sir John covers himself by requiring that as a condition. As usual take no risk take no chance but sound good.

    Reply
  12. Richard II
    May 11, 2022

    Dear Sir John,
    Thank you for referring to the need to curb the amount of excess housing in your constituency, though the point could hardly have been made less forcefully. In addition, you missed the opportunity to relate the tsunami of extra housing here to the loss of local farmland, exacerbating this country’s food supply problems. This was all the more regrettable, as in your speech you rightly pointed out the dire situation we face on grain imports as a result of the Ukraine crisis. Some joined-up thinking would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  13. Rhoddas
    May 11, 2022

    Whether Queen’s speech or additional budget..
    VAT on domestic energy – get it removed as promised.
    Petrol/Diesel – more off temporarily than the paltry amount so far.

    As for NI protocol (which I profess I don’t the intracacies) but we signed an agreement. As with any contract though force majeure (In this case Art. 16) for goodness sake, sort out the UK’s tactics and negotiation strategy…. then deliver on it…. Where is the arbitration ECJ or independent court? If we expect EU to suspend all of the Trade Agreement, then work out what this means to UK trade and esp. fishing licences etc… We trade WTO with ROTW so why not with the EU? It’s reciprocity which counts, refuse to import their cars if they won’t permit UK built ones… deny fishing licences, play to our strengths…

    We now know soverignty is both precious and also difficult to achieve… EU still want UK in their orbit of control. Putin wants Ukraine… different tactics at present, but the EU control/overeach is blatant.

    Reply
  14. Rhoddas
    May 11, 2022

    To add, please will someone stop Boris cherry-picking what he’s busy on, ambulance chasing Sweden and Finland re military support is altruistically good, but dangerous, where are EU neighbours on this…. Boris is also generous with our taxes over helping Ukraine… but miserly focus on the UK’s massive cost of living problems, he needs to do a lot more at home in tandem.

    Reply
  15. Richard1
    May 11, 2022

    Interesting but not surprising to see the left (Corbyn) repeat unscientific nonsense about fracking causing earthquakes and aquifer contamination, despite all the evidence to the contrary from the US and elsewhere.

    A bit concerned that those advocating unilateral over-riding of the NI protocol such as Sir John are not addressing the question as to what damage the EU might be able to cause us by a retaliatory trade war, and what if anything the UK can do to defend against that. It may be disagreeable but the question should be answered, otherwise the move will not carry public support. Perhaps we will see a post on the topic in the coming days?

    Reply
  16. Stred
    May 11, 2022

    https://dailysceptic.org/2022/05/11/the-biggest-global-power-grab-we-have-seen-in-our-lifetimes-how-serious-is-the-threat-from-the-who-pandemic-treaty/
    What are you going to do about this SJR. Johnson, Biden and the EU are about to sign away sovereignty of health care during a pandemic, which would be declared and managed by the same incompetent followers of Chinese lockdowns that have just been shown to have been a disaster along with suppressing cheap drug treatments.

    Reply
  17. X-Tory
    May 11, 2022

    There is no evidence whatsoever that the government is moving yowards more food production. You really must stop believing the government’s deceitful half-promises. After more than two years gene editing is still only a promise, and even then it is weighed down with conditions, and only talked of for crops, not farm animals. Useless Eustice is an utter disaster as minister. And what about tax breaks for vertical farming? And where are the tens or even hundreds of millions in an emergency investment programme in robotic harvesters? The government is doing NOTHING of any use.

    Reply
  18. Iago
    May 11, 2022

    Over at TCW, Conservative Woman, they have a different view of the Gracious Speech,
    “YESTERDAY marked a black day in British history. It was the most repressive Queen’s Speech ever. A reversal of Britain’s centuries-long march to freedom.
    It contained not one, but a number of ‘innovative’ measures that threaten to curtail our basic rights, including our freedom of speech and movement, under the guise of what are, I am afraid, spurious claims to reform the law and protect us.”
    They do not welcome it.

    Reply
    1. hefner
      May 11, 2022

      Iago, +1 and I find strange that very few Tory MPs (David David being an exception) appear to be bothered that much by the planned restrictions to Civil Liberties (speech, movement, assembly, association, (non-)religious worship, …)
      The Lords appear to be more concerned by those.

      It seems that for some ‘freedom to make money’ is the only thing worth defending …

      Reply
  19. Mike Wilson
    May 11, 2022

    And, again, as always, the obsession with growth. Will there ever be a time, Mr. Redwood, when you are satisfied that the economy is big enough? Or must it grow forever? Growth means growth in what precisely? Demand for goods and services? More consumption. More waste. More packaging. More traffic. More environmental damage. There is a terrible paucity of ideas on how to run our economy and society better. No real ideas so we’ll just ‘go for growth’.

    Reply I want people to be better off

    Reply
    1. hefner
      May 12, 2022

      ‘I want people to be better off’: Who could be against such a thing? But how better off? Having more money in the bank? Being able to fulfil their dreams/passions? Being in overall good/better health for longer in a pleasant and safe environment? Not having to worry whether any type of financial transactions, whether for goods or services, is a rip-off? Seeing their children and grandchildren being able to fulfil their potentials in education, sports, arts, …? Being able to enjoy relationships with spouses, lovers, family, friends, neighbours without an interfering State?

      Reply They will influence and decide how! I do not want the state to run all our lives.

      Reply
      1. hefner
        May 12, 2022

        So, will you provide a comment on the new laws that are being proposed/discussed? In particular for each of the following ones:
        Bill of Right , Brexit Freedoms Bill , Data Reform Bill , Higher Education(Freedom of Speech) Bill , Media Bill , Online Safety Bill , Public Order Bill , Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, and the two draft Audit Reform Bill and Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill.
        All those are likely to have a direct impact on how people live their everyday life.

        Reply
  20. Rhoddas
    May 11, 2022

    Prime Minister says he would send British troops to Finland or Sweden to repel an invasion as he signs defence pact, quote headlines of D Telegraph….

    Where is the democratic/parliamentary control, Bunter is out of control and does not represent the views of any parliamentary majority…. he has to go.

    Reply
    1. Bill B.
      May 12, 2022

      He knows most of his MPs are sheep and acts accordingly.

      Reply
  21. Geoffrey Berg
    May 11, 2022

    Concerning the topic I know most about and successfully run a business in, property, the Queen’s Speech was plain awful.
    In residential property it will greatly exacerbate the already developing crisis of homelessness. If you tell landlords you cannot if you wish evict tenants (and Section 21, introduced by the Thatcher Conservative government to facilitate letting, is seldom in reality a ‘no fault eviction’ but usually a rent arrears eviction without waiting many months for a court hearing), many landlords, especially the majority who own only one or two rental properties just won’t rent – it would be too great a risk on their major assets, especially with ever more, expensive rental regulations. Allowing neighbours to stop planning permissions for house building will further exacerbate the housing shortage.
    In commercial property legislation to force landlords to rent is nonsensical. In city centres few people have the ability to start a profitable trade or indeed the capital to set up a business and employ people. Even with small properties suitable for one man bands there is a huge shortage of people willing to work long hours, risk big losses and very often earn less than the minimum hourly wage. Most businesses fail. Furthermore in an age of internet transactions, working from home and out of town shopping there is such an excess of commercial property, especially in less wealthy towns, that much simply cannot be rented out and certainly not quickly.

    Reply
  22. Narrow Shoulders
    May 12, 2022

    There has been an outcry because one of your party colleagues suggested that instead of government intervention and more money given away families learn to cook and learn to budget.

    This is typical of the hand wringing “something must be done” brigade, who always think the answer is more money and more legislation.

    The reality of life is that we must adapt, there are always savings that can be found and being handed greater benefits or kickbacks is not the long term answer to anything.

    The Energy boos who recently said bills will go up to ÂŁ3K, expected government to sort it. It is his company providing the utility so it is his convenient to ensure the product is affordable. Any subsidies can come out of shareholders funds or bonuses.

    I criticised Marcus Rashford when he agitated for more money for free school meals, that was not the answer it was just a trite knee jerk response. Now he has partnered with Tom Kerridge to provide cheap, good wholesome recipes I am much more impressed.

    The answer to most problems is rarely more government or greater taxpayer subsidy. You colleague should be lauded now attacked.

    Reply
    1. graham1946
      May 12, 2022

      The problem with giving more money to people is that it will be used to pay rip off prices and there is no incentive for the big companies to be reasonable. On the other hand, because of profiteering people need some recompense, so a windfall tax is about the only way to fund it. Windfall taxes can always be avoided by acting responsibly, reducing prices to a more reasonable level. Why for instance is petrol etc .now dearer than when world prices were near double what they are now? Windfall profits for a few at the expense of many who cannot afford to eat or heat is immoral when the products are essential to life. We don’t get to choose not to buy petrol or electricity or gas.

      Reply
    2. a-tracy
      May 12, 2022

      NS, I’d just once like a news report saying ‘someone’ can’t afford to feed the children they receive benefits for, just how much they get each week from the child’s father? Or absent mother? From the state in all benefits, including child benefits, housing benefits, In working top-up benefits child tax credits, working tax credits, and/or top-up universal credit, council tax reduction, free milk, uniform costs, healthcare help for school children, free school meals, council support schemes, cold weather payments for those on benefits. ESA.
      If not working at all in total net benefits.
      Then work out the comparable gross income that net benefit would be. Some people are simply missing out especially if they are working – on benefits that go up to ÂŁ50,000 income. I think the MP was brave to say some people need help rather than just leaving them to sink all the time and lifesaving them when they inevitably do sink.
      Someone needs to sit down with them and calculate if there are cheaper homes to rent in the same area, or other preferred cost effective area, many of my family would have all loved to live in the wealthier postcodes but we lived within our means and had to move out to lower-priced areas.
      I’d especially like to hear this for the parents of disabled children and PiP because people I know with disabled children get generous benefits and mobility cars etc. So it would be better if we were told how much they are struggling to live on.

      Reply
    3. Cheshire Girl
      May 13, 2022

      Narrow Shoulders:

      I agree. Someone yesterday (a politician, I believe) said that Universal Credit should be increased by ÂŁ25 a week, and a grant of ÂŁ250 given to the poorest households.

      I am far from sure that this is the way to go. The taxpayer is being squeezed enough already.

      Reply
  23. Lindsay McDougall
    May 12, 2022

    There is a time lag between increased Government borrowing, financed by some form of money printing, and the consequential inflation. If the increased borrowing is caused by a cut in VAT, the time lag is usually short, of the order of six months. If it is caused by financing large public sector infrastructure projects, the time lag can be up to two years. The notorious Heath/Barber budget of 1972 contributed hugely to the high inflation of the mid-seventies, not least because the Wilson/Healey budgets heaped fuel on the flames.
    The inflation we are experiencing now is probably the consequence of the massive Government borrowing of FYR 2020 to 2021 which was of the order of ÂŁ300 billion, a staggering figure. Inflation peaking at 10% would be no surprise. Government borrowing for FYR 2021 to 2022 was about half of that, so we would expect inflation to moderate to 5% in 2023. Until then, we are in for a tough time.
    Fiscal responsibility demands that we continue to reduce Government borrowing year on year. By all means cut taxes but identify the reductions in public expenditure to accompany them. Public sector infrastructure projects can be delayed. Public sector services provided with subsidy or free at the point of use can have their subsidy reduced.
    There is a case for zero income tax and zero NI for everyone earning the minimum wage or less. We are looking at annual incomes of about ÂŁ18000 or less. How much would that cost the Exchequer?

    Reply
  24. Narrow Shoulders
    May 12, 2022

    How will it be decided who gets the proceeds of the windfall tax Graham?

    Will I be helped, will you? Or will it be the same old people with their hands out who seem incapable of helping themselves?

    Reply

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