Bring on a budget to promote growth and lower inflation

We need a new budget now. The current policy mix is delivering soaring prices and a nasty slowdown.

The Chancellor tells us he wants investment led growth. He says he is thinking about new tax incentives for investment this autumn. They will be less generous or no more generous than the super deduction from Corporation tax businesses currently enjoy. That way of fostering an investment lift off has predictably and visibly failed. Let me explain to the Treasury why.

When looking at an investment you do not just look at the tax position when spending money on the set up of the investment. You look at longer term cash flows when the investment has been made. The Chancellor’s planned large hike in Corporation tax makes a big hole in future net profits from any investment in buildings, plant and equipment. If it’s an investment in the oil, gas and coal we need, we find instead U.K. net zero policies drive people to import as those who want to produce here struggle for licences. If you were thinking of increasing our food output Defra will be bribing landowners to wild their land instead whilst the Business department and others will be wanting to reward the landowner for using the land for carbon offsets.  If you were thinking of investing to ease the homes shortage the Levelling Up department will be wanting you to sign up to remedial liabilities on past buildings if you are a U.K. company but not a foreign one.

I mention these three areas as inflation in energy, food and housing are central to our current woes. We need more domestic capacity in all three. So government, take the barnacles off the enterprise boat. Grant the permits, cut the taxes, place the orders. The world does not owe us a living.  Stopping the rise in Corporation tax is the bare minimum to try to rescue investment. If the Chancellor instead cut it to the new world minimum  of 15% there would be an investment surge and more business tax revenue. I will give more detail on the budget we need in future articles.

164 Comments

  1. Mark B
    May 23, 2022

    Good morning.

    The squeeze on house incomes is going to have some serious repercussions. People can do without the latest smartphone, but food ? Now that is a different matter.

    From my perspective our society and way of life is under attack. I forewarned what this so called, ‘Levelling Up’ was really meant. It was not about getting more people out of ‘relative poverty’ but putting more people in poverty. The more people that seek help from the State the more the State controls you.

    Cutting taxes is always a good thing but we have a government that does not believe in any of that so bother seeking it. The people who operate the levers of power are clearly followers and not doers. They have no real beliefs other than their right to be in the top job.

    Alas, our kind host, once again, is yelling into the void.

    1. Sharon
      May 23, 2022

      We have a mad cult at the helm… and it has all governments under its spell!

      This morning, it does all feel futile.

      And we now seem to have pandemic number 2 arrive on our shores…. something that was apparently predicted a year ago, in a table top simulation. These people are so good at predicting quite accurately when these illnesses are going to arrive. Not so good dealing with it.

    2. Hope
      May 23, 2022

      Mark,
      When I hear the govt or Tory party say growth it normally means more mass immigration! The facts and 12 record reflect total economic incompetence. Northern Ireland protocol epitomises national betrayal, failure, lies and deceit all in one by Johnson and his party members.

      From claiming austerity but not implementing, doing nothing about the bankers except bailing the banks out- some still owned by the taxpayer.

      Highest taxation, disgraceful public services whose primary aim is to serve themselves, worst disposable income standards, highest debt, highest deficit and a left wing woke culture embedded by the Tories in all corners of public sector quangos- that they claimed to get rid of 12 years ago. Appointing former Labour ministers rather than Tories!

    3. Narrow Shoulders
      May 23, 2022

      I am struck by the calls in the media for the government to take action as though individuals have no recourse to help themselves.

      Benefits increased by the amount of inflation is Ian Duncan Smith’s latest wheeze.

      Why should people on benefits not struggle the same as those not on benefits? And by increasing benefits “pay” by the same amount as inflation that will just stoke the inflationary fires further. Didn’t the governor of the Bank of England plead for workers not to ask for large pay rises? Why does that plea not apply to those on benefits?

      1. Cheshire Girl
        May 24, 2022

        NS:

        100% agree!

        Why should so many of us ‘ squeezed middle’ who are already highly taxed, pay for another increase in benefits, while we get nothing?
        Frankly, I, like I suspect many others, are fed up to the teeth with it.

    4. IanT
      May 23, 2022

      I read Sir Johns daily posts with a sinking heart.

      I agree with most of his views and to the solutions that he suggests to the problems that we clearly have. Problems that have been obvious to most folk for a very long time. I will continue to vote for him of course, not to support this government but mainly because there is no alternative.

      If there was an alternate party that vowed to start taking a pragmatic, practical view of the world we live in and start taking economic & political measures that made practical sense (e.g. were likely to actually work) – then I would vote for that party. I would also hope that Sir John would move to such a party, so I could continue to support him but that will never happen of course.

      However, no such party currently exists and no such party is likely to exist, at least in the near term. Perhaps when we find ourselves even deeper in the merde, things will change and something new will emerge but I’m not hopeful. Can the Conservative Party change enough to become that party? It doesn’t seem likely under any of the current crop of ministers does it?

      1. Sir Joe Soap
        May 23, 2022

        It did. UKIP. He didn’t.

      2. Nottingham Lad Himself
        May 23, 2022

        Of course you will. And so will others. And that is exactly why this country is going to the dogs at a hellish lick.

      3. Mark B
        May 24, 2022

        Things will only change when YOU change, even if that change is to withdraw your support.

    5. BOF
      May 23, 2022

      +1 Mark B
      Cutting taxes is anathema to the socialist government we currently have. It puts people back in charge of their money and their lives.

    6. Nottingham Lad Himself
      May 23, 2022

      It’s not a budget that is needed.

      It is an end to this twisted, neurotic, obsessive isolationism, towards our European kin, and towards our nearest, largest market by far.

      1. Peter2
        May 24, 2022

        Still confusing the EU with the people of Europe I see NHL.
        PS
        The nations that do the most trade with Europe are not EU members.

  2. Lifelogic
    May 23, 2022

    Indeed and all these things would increase the tax base for future years.

    On housing the government is clearly at war with landlords (and in effect tenants too). We have huge stamp duty rates with the extra 3% on top, endless new misguided regulations, threats to the ability to evict, local licencing rules with vast costs and charges for many properties. taxation of profits not even made due to interest deductions not being fully allowable (can in effect be over 100% of profits), then taxation of gains at 28% of what are often not even real post inflation gains, then the threats of demands for excessive insulation and heating standards.

    1. Everhopeful
      May 23, 2022

      +1
      They are …and successive govts have lead/tempted people into buy to let ( often those whose pensions have been stolen).
      I remember going into a Bank ( so years ago) where a builder was loudly sorting out his buy to let mortgage(s). He had about 20.
      Now it is a liability to own a second house and the house can virtually be handed over to the tenant since the landlord can’t get them out!

      1. graham1946
        May 23, 2022

        The difference between landlord and and good tenant is that one sees it as a home, the other as a profit centre with no care what happens to people they want to turn out if they just want more profit. As I understand it, they are changing the ‘no fault’ evictions, that’s all, so you can get wrongdoers out. If you don’t think people should regard their rentals as long term, regarding where they work, schools for the kids etc. and can be turned out and lives upended on a whim, when people pay their rent, keep the property in good order etc. you should do short term contracts only with all the costs that implies. Why should someone who has a settled life, plays by the rules be suddenly be faced with finding alternative accommodation, thousands of pounds in removal costs etc.? You will tell me all landlords are saints, but I know from experience quite differently.

        1. hefner
          May 29, 2022

          g46, +1

      2. margaret brandreth-jones
        May 23, 2022

        I let mums house out when she died. It isn’t a good business . My tenants stole things , thought they could change the decor , had animals in , built up a bad reputation with the neighbours…. never again.

        1. Everhopeful
          May 23, 2022

          +1
          Yes, members of my family have had similar experiences.
          One tenant chipped the lead lining out of the wine drawer in a chiffonier, broke china and burned a wooden shelf in the kitchen. Bizarre and expensive behaviour.
          Not to mention the horrendous fact that we now live next door to a buy to let property where the occupants behave very much like your ex tenants😵‍💫
          Utter misery and mayhem all caused by governments.

        2. Lifelogic
          May 23, 2022

          Indeed very common. But on the BBC it is always “evil & unscrupulous landlords”.

    2. Mark B
      May 24, 2022

      And all done under a Tory government.

  3. Richard1
    May 23, 2022

    Yes the concept of discounted cash flow seems to be unknown in the treasury.

    Of course to make any sense of brexit the govt needs to be making the UK more competitive not less. A recent study from a respected US research organisation had the UK I think 26 or 27 out of 36 leading economies for tax competitiveness, falling to below 30 when Mr Sunak’s tax rises come in.

    We see the laffer curve effect pretty much whenever and wherever taxes are cut. We saw it when George Osborne cut corporation tax – receipts rose. It is a no brainer to cut Corp tax to 15%, the new global minimum. Receipts would rise and the signalling benefit would be huge.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 23, 2022

      +1

    2. Peter Wood
      May 23, 2022

      I think the treasury is full of business school graduates who are well versed in DCF analysis, so I think you jest. But more seriously, WHY did Mr Sunak raise taxes on both companies and population?
      Regarding a super-tax on energy companies, why not ask them all for a plan that both reduces prices now, and improves self-sufficiency of supply over the longer term? QUICKLY, review said plan, and implement before year end OR ,if uncceptable, slap a big tax on them. I know what will happen.

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        May 23, 2022

        Quite – make the energy companies the solution to the problem not the cash cow. Government does not spend money well.

      2. graham1946
        May 23, 2022

        What will happen is that the government will set up a ‘consultation’ taking moths, consider its long winded report for another few months, legislate which will take more months, then suggest some half baked scheme which will not do anything materially worthwhile, by which time the GE will be on the horizon, so it will all go into the same bin where their manifesto went. ‘Quickly’ is not what politicians do.

      3. Pauline Baxter
        May 23, 2022

        That sounds sensible Peter Wood.

      4. margaret brandreth-jones
        May 23, 2022

        I generally don’t take as much attention to what people say : what they do shows who they are.

        1. Lifelogic
          May 23, 2022

          Indeed and certainly with about 90% of politicians!

    3. Dave Andrews
      May 23, 2022

      Cut corporation tax to zero and put it all on the dividends, allowing companies to save for investment. Treat all money paid from BrandX UK Ltd to BrandX Inc as capital returns as well, and don’t apply tax treaties to it.
      This government however prefers foreign investment on favourable tax arrangements, rather than UK investment, which it does its utmost to tax out of existence.

      1. glen cullen
        May 23, 2022

        Nigel Lawson says ‘’the corporate income tax has “had its day”. Instead he proposes a “much” lower rate with a tax on corporate sales. According to the Telegraph’’

    4. acorn
      May 23, 2022

      Oh No; not the Laffer Curve again! Reagan, was a big fan of Laffer’s theory, he used it as the basis for his tax slashing “Economic Recovery Tax Act 1981”. It did not yield the promised revenue increases. Federal receipts fell by an average of 13 percent in the four years following the passage of the Economic Recovery Tax Act.

      During Reagan’s eight-year presidency, the annual deficits averaged 4.0% of GDP, compared to a 2.2% average during the preceding eight years. The real average rate of growth in federal spending fell from 4% under Jimmy Carter to 2.5% under Ronald Reagan.

      Laffer appears to work because of “forestalling”. Corporation tax changes are always signalled in advance of a change. The scheduled shift from 19% to 25% in 04/23 was announced on 04/21. CFO’s will try to bring taxable events forward before the rate goes up and vice-versa.

      BTW. The Treasury has many DCF models, particularly for unfunded pension schemes.

      1. Peter2
        May 23, 2022

        Laugh all you like acorn
        There has to be a point between zero and 100% where revenues are at maximum.
        For example, we aim to reduce tobacco consumption by very high tax rates.
        Maybe read up on behavioural economics.

        1. acorn
          May 24, 2022

          So where does 459% tax on 20 cigarettes fit on your zero to 100% Laffer Curve?

          1. Peter2
            May 24, 2022

            Plainly it proves my claim that if you want to maximise revenues you need to decide what the optimum rate is.

          2. Marie
            May 25, 2022

            There is no reason to believe that the optimum rate for a tax on tobacco would be the same as the one for capital gain tax, income tax, inheritance tax, council tax or any other tax.
            So on what basis would you set up these different optimum rates?
            Who could give an intelligent answer to that question, other than between 0 and 100%?

      2. Richard1
        May 23, 2022

        The evidence for the effectiveness of boosting incentives through lower taxes which explains the laffer curve is overwhelming. From all around the world.

        1. acorn
          May 24, 2022

          Lowering taxes to boost incentives has absolutely nothing to do with Laffer.

          1. Peter2
            May 24, 2022

            Ridiculously wrong acorn

        2. hefner
          May 29, 2022

          There is still a debate, clearly, which could indicate that things might not be as simple as usually stated.

          tutor2u.net ‘There is limited empirical evidence that an optimum tax rate for maximising tax revenue actually exists’.

          semanticscholar.org ‘Willingness to pay: The Laffer curve revisited for 12 OECD countries’, W. Heijman & J.V. Ophem, 2005, doi:10.1016/J.SOCEC.2005.07.013

          However, the best is certainly from the man himself: so what about reading A.B. Laffer, The Laffer curve: past, present, and future, 01/06/2004, heritage.org
          What I find … interesting is Laffer quoting J.M.Keynes (which, I would think, should make some of Keynes’ critics think again). Also interesting are the examples given by Laffer: Harding-Cooling (Rep), Kennedy (Dem), Reagan (Rep), which might show that intelligent tax policies might not be the sole property of Republicans.

      3. Mark B
        May 24, 2022

        Well the RoI seems to have found the sweet spot of 15% which is what our kind host is suggesting. Think of all those US tech companies transferring their they office name plates and profits from Dublin to the UK.

        1. acorn
          May 24, 2022

          Corporation Tax (CT) in RoI is 12.5% within the EU which is at 20.7% on average. You could move your office name plate to Gibraltar at 10%, which is where the online Betting shops are. Europe has the lowest corporate tax rate at 18.98%, lower than the average tax rate in Asia (21.43%), the Americas (27.16%), and Africa (27.46%)

          BTW. Raising CT to 25% in the UK, will put Northern Ireland at twice the rate of the Republic. The Fresh Start Agreement of 2015; gave Stormont the power to levy a lower rate of CT; however, it has never been acted upon by the Unionists for the usual ideological reasons.

          1. Peter2
            May 24, 2022

            So if you were CEO of a very profitable corporation acorn, where would you situate your HQ?

  4. Lifelogic
    May 23, 2022

    Coal is currently about 24p per KG and it gives about 12KWHs of heat per KG. So about 2p per KWH. To convert to electricity you get perhaps 30% of electricity and 70% of heat. Even if you waste all the heat that makes the electricity about 6.7p. If you can use the heat even better.

    But due to all the taxes, electricity company profits and the vast misguided government market rigging and effective banning of coal then business electricity rates are rising to about six or seven times this sum. Perhaps I need to buy a coal/gas/wood fired electricity generator. Then using the waste heat to heat the business and the electricity to power it.

    We have Boris/Carrie/May’s insane net zero agenda to thank for expensive energy, not really the appalling war – though that has clearly not helped.

    1. Donna
      May 23, 2022

      The insane Net Zero Agenda originates with the UN / WEF.
      Johnson and Nut Nuts are simply implementing the UN / WEF Agenda.

    2. Philip P.
      May 23, 2022

      The war has certainly not helped, but it is a problem that’s easier to address than the climate hysteria that has afflicted almost the entirety of the political class globally. There are now influential voices in Europe accepting that the sanctions war on Russia is not being won, and must be stopped before Europe commits economic suicide. Britain has a lever we can use to avoid further economic damage and destructive shortages. Johnson’s government has been the leading protagonist in this war this side of the Atlantic. If he backs off and signals he wants Ukraine to negotiate a peaceful settlement while it still can, the Americans may decide they don’t want to continue without Britain’s support, which matters to the US.

      Wars are always inflationary and Biden and Johnson’s sanctions warpath is looking increasingly like a road to ruin.

    3. Lifelogic
      May 23, 2022

      In short there is no reason other than green crap, government market manipulation and taxation why electricity should cost any more than 10p per KWH and this is with the electricity companies making a decent profit too. This even with the current higher prices of Coal, Gas and Oil. It is the climate alarmist religion, renewable obligations and taxation that are almost solely to blame. One Ed Miliband and all the MPs who voted for his insane Climate Change Act, Theresa May and all the MP fools and Lords who supported her net zero lunacy and Boris, Kwarteng this dire socialist, tax to death government for not reversing all this.

      The war is a trivial factor not the cause of the problem.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        May 23, 2022

        Quite right L/L. We are poor simply because of the senile actions of politicians who know nothing about the subject of energy but they do know how to make a quick profit with their noses in the troughs.

    4. Julian Flood
      May 23, 2022

      Hurrah! I’d vote for you, you seem to be aware of physics. Home generators, overproducing electricity when more heat is needed and exporting it to the Grid.

      JF

    5. boffin
      May 23, 2022

      As usual you score a bullseye with your main thrust ( … but check your data).

      Certainly the ‘greenest’ policy many governments could adopt would be to utilise the ~ 60% ‘waste’ heat which thermal power generation produces (as an inevitable consequence of thermodynamics), for heating buildings (and even greenhouse agriculture!).

      So sad that ours is too ignorant and purblind to seize this wonderful opportunity, and instead persists with technically inept, harebrained schemes to waste our money.

      [I’m looking at ~ 9.5 kWh/kg (gross) for hard coal, and ~ 45 p/kg -> around 6 p/kWh (nett) burning it in an efficient stove, to stay alive, so I’d love to know your coal merchant 😉 ].

      1. Lifelogic
        May 23, 2022

        I was taking the bulk market price not home delivered retail prices.

    6. acorn
      May 23, 2022

      It’s 33 pence per kg and 8 kWh for Coal. 12 kWh per kg average for Oil

    7. Mark
      May 23, 2022

      Not sure I agree your sums. Wholesale coal prices are $340/tonne for API2 CIF Europe, or £272/tonne for 6,000kcal/kg GCV at $1.25=£1, almost exactly 7MWh gross per tonne, operated at around 1/3rd efficiency, so multiply by 3/7ths to get cost per MWh before green taxes, or about £117/MWh. Add in carbon tax of another £80, and coal suddenly isn’t looking quite so competitive. Gas on the Continent has been hovering around €100/MWh which gives electricty at around €230/MWh. In the UK, the gas glut has seen prompt prices fall to £20-30/MWh, giving electricity for as little as £70/MWh, and a huge margin on interconnector exports for both gas and electricity.

      Coal has been bid up towards effective parity with gas on Continental markets.

      1. margaret
        May 23, 2022

        You are all talking about coal as if there is one type . slack coal , bituminous coal , anthracite etc . Surely it depends upon which seam it comes from … lower down with more pressure or nearer to the surface .. all burning a different rates.

        1. acorn
          May 25, 2022

          Margaret. There are five basic specifications for international trading of Coal. The bits that matter are Dark Spreads and Clean Dark Spreads. Both use an energy conversion factor of 7.1 MWh for a metric tonne of Coal, and a generator fuel efficiency of 35%.

          Clean Dark Spread is calculated as. Baseload power price in euro– ((coal price in US dollar ÷ exchange rate) ÷ 7.1) ÷ 0.35)) – ( One Tonne of CO2 emissions price in euro; times the carbon intensity factor of 0.96 for Coal). There is a large market for Spreads.

  5. Lifelogic
    May 23, 2022

    It seem this government clearly do not want higher growth or low inflation as their policies are clearly designed to produce the opposite – net zero, money printing and taxes that are far too high and still increasing. This combined with generally appalling and declining (“working” from home) public services.

    As I said the other day the net zero agenda only make any sense at at all if all three of the below at not true.

    1. The solutions being pushed by this government (wind, solar, bio, electric vehicles, walking, cycling, public transport, heat pumps, hydrogen, pushing energy intensive industries overseas…) save virtually no worldwide CO2 anyway. Pushing new EV cars and vehicles actually increases CO2 in general compared to keeping you old car.
    2. To reduce CO2 requires worldwide cooperation with China, Russia, India… and this simply will almost certainly never happen.
    3. The effects of CO2 on the climate have clearly been hugely exaggerated anyway. It is probably (on balance) a net benefit to have a little more CO2 (it greens the planet, increase crop yields and plant and tree growth) and even to be slightly warmer has net benefits.

    All three are surely true (and even if all three were false) adaptation to any climate change would still be the better way forwards. So how can the government argue that all three of the above are true when they are clearly are? Surely even PPE, Classics and Law graduates can follow this logic?

    1. Lifelogic
      May 23, 2022

      Injecting (especially young people, the young were never at any significant risk from Covid anyway) with a “vaccine” that is neither very effective nor very safe is not good for health or economic growth either. The figures now clearly show it is doing net harm certainly for the young and yet the government still persists with this (surely criminal) action.

      I personally know directly of two young adults who have developed heart issues post the vaccine and they cannot even get these investigated properly or promptly by the dire NHS. So what is the total number of adverse vaccine events in the UK reported or not?

      1. Donna
        May 23, 2022

        The UK Yellow Card system (which had previously been estimated to record only 10% of adverse effects from a medical treatment) currently shows 2,132 fatalities and 1,490,271 adverse reactions, many serious/life threatening.

        1. Fedupsoutherner
          May 23, 2022

          Donna and LL. It’s truly shocking what is happening. Thank you for this information.

      2. Sharon
        May 23, 2022

        My son phoned last night to tell us about his wife’s good friend. Had a melanoma in her leg last year… had that removed, treatment given, all gone, given the all clear. Now, she’s riddled with all sorts of cancer. Year to a year and a half to live, two young children. And we have heard of two other people who have died recently, suddenly and unexpectedly.

        Seems Mike Yeadon was correct, that he feared a lot of people are going to die within two to three years following the vaccines.

        1. Fedupsoutherner
          May 23, 2022

          Sharon. Yes. We are hearing of a lot of illnesses amongst our friends too. Far more than normal.

          1. Donna
            May 24, 2022

            Same here. Heart attacks, strokes and clots in the lung in people far younger than you’d “expect.”
            I resisted the coercion ….. and I’m very glad I did. I’ll never trust another word that comes out the mouth of a Government Scientist/Medical Advisor.

      3. Everhopeful
        May 23, 2022

        A great many I should imagine!
        I also know several people who were very ill immediately afterwards ( including a stroke).
        When they tried the same story with Swine Flu they stopped jabbing after about 50 deaths.
        Didn’t May have a go with Bird Flu? I stored lasagne in the loft..I still believed them then!
        This last time they were bolder ( having gained control of the media) and more determined.
        Now they are allegedly stockpiling monkey pox vacs….

        1. Everhopeful
          May 23, 2022

          Tiny bit of good news re Pandemic Treaty.
          Apparently it can’t go ahead with even one refusal.
          And Brazil has apparently ( fingers crossed) obliged.
          But then …that country has a leader.

      4. margaret brandreth-jones
        May 23, 2022

        Must be where you live. If they came to me I would investigate on the day in my room and get results the same day. This is the NHS.

      5. BOF
        May 23, 2022

        +1 LL
        These ‘vaccines’ are responsible for more harms and deaths than all previous vaccines over the past 30 years.

    2. Julian Flood
      May 23, 2022

      Years ago I got into an intense conversation with the very bright woman who inspired NF to start the Brexit party. We agreed that the huge UK debt would be dealt with by either having a war of letting inflation rip. it seems they have decided on both.

      JF

    3. a-tracy
      May 23, 2022

      Lifelogic, the thing is we do not know if productivity is declining ‘working from home’ or not but it could easily be checked and reported. Prior to 2020 when the vast majority were working in the office how many ‘Power of Attorney’s’ were handled per day per operator (in a 7 hour day) compared to how many now.

      Same for probate, how many probate claims were handled per 7 hour day on estates worth under the amount that inheritance tax becomes due compared to now. Then the more complicated estates over the hit level.

    4. Ed M
      May 23, 2022

      There is something clearly going wrong with the climate and that it’s man-made to an important degree. Problem is scientists haven’t clearly figured out what exactly is going on and how to deal with it effectively. Greenies are right in that there is a problem. But wrong in how to deal with it (i.e. wasting a tonne of money / harming our economy) as well as getting all hysterical.

      Good news:

      1) Considering how much the modern world economy has grown since the 1960’s, we haven’t done too badly. I mean the environment could be a lot worse. However, at same time, NOT encouraging complacency and / or for people to bury their heads (we want to leave a good legacy to our kids / grandkids – at least I do).
      2) Modern Tech is quite incredible. For years, people said there were serious issues with batteries in electric cars. But amazing things have been done here recently. And if we can send men to the moon and split atoms so there’s hope for the future.
      3) We CAN have our cake and eat it (strong economy / strong environment). But it will take time, energy, effort and some courage to get there.

  6. Bloke
    May 23, 2022

    We need a new budget now.

    We need a new Chancellor too.

    The existing one lacks any ‘Right First Time’ intent. Instead he attempts a recurring sequence of correcting his own mistakes.

  7. Everhopeful
    May 23, 2022

    I’m not sure why anyone is bothering.
    This has all come about because the govt ruined what economy we had for a virus.
    Signing up to the Pandemic Treaty will mean endless lockdowns.
    The next is already being ramped up!

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      May 23, 2022

      +1

      Two years of it. How could there not be consequences ? Then there’s all the fraud and waste to think about.

    2. glen cullen
      May 23, 2022

      Spot On – Lets fix the fundamentals first, just tinkering with the budget isn’t enough

    3. Ed M
      May 24, 2022

      Never give up!

      (And often a great period can follow on from a bad one)

  8. margaret
    May 23, 2022

    Every one who becomes chancellor meets different problems; for example Sunak and covid 19. The immediate problem is dealt with , but then the monies available have to be adjusted. For me , a mere member of public it has meant changing my direction , not buying that holiday home I was saving for due to tax increases , the cost of living and poor returns on my savings. Governments have larger amounts of money to play with and should be able to plan for the future as well as the quick fix its ,which cause more problems for successors , who again plan quick fixes and the selfishness of individuals who do think that countries owe them a living without putting anything constructive in.
    I know many will say that large finance cannot be compared to the little individuals , yet the motivation and psychology doesn’t alter that much.

  9. Everhopeful
    May 23, 2022

    It is the insanity that needs addressing…not the economy.

    1. John Hatfield
      May 23, 2022

      Exactly. Just who is this governmenr working for, because it is not the electorate?

  10. DOM
    May 23, 2022

    Just leave the private sector alone. Let it breathe. It is that simple.

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      May 23, 2022

      +1

    2. Everhopeful
      May 23, 2022

      +1
      They used covid to suffocate so many businesses.
      And now they are going after the survivors with monkey pox.
      Has the govt. already decreed a 21 self isolation period for anyone who comes out in spots?
      They need not think that their simulation exercise of a monkey pox pandemic ( as if!!) has gone unnoticed this time!

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        May 23, 2022

        Everhopeful. Agree. They keep saying it’s a very low risk to the public and mainly gay sexually active men who are at risk so why are the media intent on scaring us? Last time I checked I was a normal heterosexual married woman.

      2. Hat man
        May 23, 2022

        Yes, EH, and the simulation held last year by the usual suspects even got the date pretty much correct – 15th May 2022. Uncanny!

    3. Jim Whitehead
      May 23, 2022

      DOM, +1, I agree, it’s really that simple, so it will be of no obvious benefit to those who, if so enlightened, might actually implement it.

    4. glen cullen
      May 23, 2022

      Correct – It might seem old fashioned but it use to be the Tory way

    5. John Hatfield
      May 23, 2022

      And reduce the public sector which is bleeding the country dry. Start with the House of Lords and move on to Whitehall.

      1. glen cullen
        May 23, 2022

        They could save £22bn just by building a new parliament (that can actually seat 650 MPs and 1000 Lords) and turn Westminster into a tourist attraction or flats….I don’t care where they build a new parliament, the location isn’t important, its what they do inside that is !

  11. David Peddy
    May 23, 2022

    As many of us have been saying for a long time, the present government’s economic ‘policies’ are muddled, incoherent and contrary to their stated aims

    1. Mark B
      May 24, 2022

      Davi, please forgive but if I may change a few words of yours.

      As many of us have been saying for a long time, the present PM’s economic ‘policies’ are muddled, incoherent and contrary to his stated aims.

      Now if you take into account the man’s character you can then begin to understand why things are the way they are.

  12. turboterrier
    May 23, 2022

    Too many mistakes too often and no attention to detail.
    The answers are in the hands of the the PM and Chancellor already. Start actually operating like they are in control. They are being pushed from pillar to post the end result nothing happens. Forget all these grandiose ideas and give the people, industry and commerce they can really sign onto and get behind them, give them a vision they can believe and want. Start to lead by example would be a good starter for ten.

    1. Mark B
      May 24, 2022

      What do you expect from people who are followers and not leaders ?

      Our political atrophy is a direct consequence of membership of the EU. Why bother to have ideas or policy when all all the decisions are made elsewhere ?

  13. Sea_Warrior
    May 23, 2022

    I agree – but it ain’t going to happen. The Sunday Times commented that this government had turned the UK from a country that was business-friendly into one that most definitely isn’t. As Johnson will survive the Partygate Report, and as the Conservative MPs lack the spine to sack him, your party is now in real danger of being bounced from office at the next election. I am sick of it – and when conservative-me is, millions of others will be too. You are, sadly, a lone voice in the wilderness.

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      May 23, 2022

      “It’s the economy, Stupid !”

      (Not calling you stupid, SW.)

    2. glen cullen
      May 23, 2022

      “will the last Tory (SirJ) to leave Parliament please turn out the lights?”

    3. Fedupsoutherner
      May 23, 2022

      SW. +God knows how many.

    4. Mark B
      May 24, 2022

      SW

      The Tories have run out of puff. They have slavishly followed EU policies when we were members, only to follow Labour policies both during and now plus the Globalist agenda of, Build Back Better and, Levelling Up.

  14. MPC
    May 23, 2022

    You are right to at last be explicitly criticising Net Zero as a disastrous over arching binding policy principle. Any sane prime minister would by now have suspended Net Zero as a priority and be going all out for economic growth in key sectors, given the country’s massive indebtedness. But with the current government flirtation with windfall taxation there’s no sign of any of that, and its increasingly hard to see any good reason to vote Conservative at the next election because a Labour led government could surely be no worse.

    1. miami.mode
      May 23, 2022

      MPC, “any sane prime minister” – unfortunately zealots (and prime Ministers) very rarely do a U-turn.

    2. glen cullen
      May 23, 2022

      Net-Zero is indeed the cause not the effect….confidence in the markets is everything

    3. John Hatfield
      May 23, 2022

      Vote Reform.

  15. turboterrier
    May 23, 2022

    There is one big area under their control the vast swathes of land owned by the MoD. Come away from the actual camp and immediate operational areas there are fields upon fields full of neetles, thistles, butter cup and dandelions and the grass is in poor condition. Farmers lease these areas for grazing but they are not properly managed and the return to the landowner is very low in comparison to what it could fetch if well maintained. A lot of the remedial work to repair damaged fencing and gates etc are passed back to the MoD through the facility companies running the estate, when it should be the responsibility of the tenant. This is all down to the people designated to oversee the running of the estates are military based and do not have any idea how leasing grazing land especially is managed in the private sector and the real income it can generate.
    Just another big area of waste that could easily be addressed if the people in charged had the right experience. If too big a problem with providing profitable grazing land, turn them over to arable land to held feed the country. Rocket science it is not.

    1. Sea_Warrior
      May 23, 2022

      Would I be right in thinking that an armoured battle group worries sheep?

      1. turboterrier
        May 23, 2022

        Sea Warrior
        It does not seem to worry all the animals and wildlife on Salisbury Plain which is the recognised tank training ground in the UK. What does upset sheep is ground vibration from wind turbines. My neighbour in Scotland could never get his ewes up to best market weight after the turbines went in. Rough justice I think. The vets all said the same , they were not getting undisturbed sleep. He got compensation from the power company for quite a number of years.

    2. Mary M.
      May 23, 2022

      An article in the Daily Telegraph today states that the Government is to speed up ‘the production of gene-edited crops . . . to help guarantee British food supplies in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine’.

      Shame we have to tamper with Mother Nature, when we could supply much of our own food from the existing fertile land in this country.

      We need to know if planting gene-edited crops necessitates buying new seed every year from agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporations.

      Can the grain reaped from a gene-edited crop germinate? Can it be sown for the next year’s harvest?

  16. Nigl
    May 23, 2022

    ‘France is becoming more attractive for investment owing to our increasing taxes, rising red tape and ministerial complacency’

    Erudite posts like your are wasted because of the above last two words. I would add ‘overall poor standard’. The junior ministers put up to take on the likes of Kay Burley are as inspiring as wet lettuce.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      May 23, 2022

      Not only France… in Ireland 50% grants for employment, plant and equipment, updating websites…. the technical R and D SME sector is booming and sucking in US companies in its wake

  17. Donna
    May 23, 2022

    Oh I don’t know Sir John. This level of economic, environmental and fiscal lunacy isn’t a mistake. If you’re a Remainer, Socialist-Green, WEF supporter in the Treasury (and Government) it’s all going very well indeed.
    After all, you can’t Build Back Better until you’ve destroyed everything first.

    I’m sure the Davos attendees currently planning our future will be congratulating themselves on their progress towards their goal that “the peasants” will own nothing …… because they will own it all.

    I wonder if Prince Charles will be there to announce his support of “Sustainable finance in combating climate change and building Net Zero.”

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      May 23, 2022

      I doubt the monarchy will survive the Queen.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        May 23, 2022

        NLA. Fir the first time in my life I actually think I don’t believe in the monarchy any more. They seem as intent on destroying the country too and are too woke for me. They should just get on with opening things and cutting ribbons because I’m fed up with them telling me how to live a meagre
        existence while they carry on as normal. All this mental health crap Kate and Wills are involved with drives me mad.

      2. Donna
        May 24, 2022

        The day our beloved Queen dies is the day I become a Republican. Charles has broken “the Constitutional deal” and has blatantly interfered in politics all his life and I’m sorry to see that William is copying his example.

    2. Sea_Warrior
      May 23, 2022

      Prince Charles needs reining-in. Or should that be reigning-in? His attendance at WEF is wholly inappropriate.

    3. Everhopeful
      May 23, 2022

      +many
      Oh yes…I expect he loves a trip in his private jet…you know, the one that runs on grass!

    4. Sharon
      May 23, 2022

      Donna

      A good comment. Seems they are succeeding.

    5. Hope
      May 23, 2022

      +100

    6. glen cullen
      May 23, 2022

      UN IPCC WEF Davos will no doubt proclaim a further round of net-zero targets, which our government will approve & adopt

    7. a-tracy
      May 23, 2022

      Donna I agree with you, it is a plan to restrict the plebs to their hometowns, push up fuel so they can’t have free movement, push up house costs so they stay in, pretty soon they’ll be encouraging the metaverse so that people go on holiday in their own heads. Other than the elites of course who jet around discussing how to restrict everyone else. How to restrict small businesses, how to restrict exports unless those in charge of the world order want it for that Country.

      It was in the news this morning about the waste of time export hotline. It had good intentions as it was set up to help businesses export with an anticipated 3000 incoming calls expected per month and 24 staff hired, however, it took fewer than 3,000 calls in its first five months of operation. My question would be did the contractor even try to be proactive and ask the operators to contact businesses that could export with a bit advice? Did they look at the companies that did export get their sic code and look for other businesses like those to e-mail and offer their services too. This seems to be the problem with the public sector they only spend people’s money not try to help people to create new money. If they did work proactively they should counter the newspaper accusations.

    8. Iago
      May 23, 2022

      Well said, this is deliberate.

    9. Mark
      May 23, 2022

      The thing about net zero finance is that it is unsustainable, because it disappears into projects with negative returns. We can’t afford the endless subsidies to renewables and grren hydrogen industrial parks that can ever compete on world markets.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        May 23, 2022

        Mark. And now massive battery storage is being suggested for the bird chompers. Australia is in dire straights after experimenting with this expensive useless crap. I wonder how much more expensive it will make our energy? That will ensure only the wealthy can enjoy a hot meal and a warm home. Job done.

  18. Nig l
    May 23, 2022

    People are regularly ‘supporting’ Boris because they think he is an election winner (the polls are suggesting otherwise as is the panic setting in with some MPs)

    No one suggests he is the man to fix all the things this country needs indeed we are in the mess we are in, because of his gadfly approach.

    Sums it up and maybe the electorate, a jolly japester is expected to BS his way to victory again in two years. Being in power all important, doing nothing with it, less so.

    No wonder we are in the mess we are in.

    And coming fast on an ambulance scandal fiddling reports, the DT is saying waiting lists are being gamed resulting in under reporting.

    And yet you threw 13 billion at them, with no plan, immediately resulting in more egregious salaries for non front line staff. That money could have gone a long way to offset the financial problems caused for many people by your government.

    1. Mark B
      May 24, 2022

      The problem for the Tories is, who amongst them will replace him, and can win elections ?

      Currently, there is no one, and he knows it.

  19. BOF
    May 23, 2022

    We had Jesse Norman on R4 this morning, obviously softening us sceptics up for a windfall tax on oil companies, to add to the Con party error of price caps.

    No need to be an economist to understand the stupidity of such policies. I hold out no hope that our host will have any success with these sensible suggestions.

    1. glen cullen
      May 23, 2022

      You mean that this Tory government is going to steal another Labour policy

  20. Everhopeful
    May 23, 2022

    Just think of the handwringing con regarding immigration.
    Then think of their economic bleatings….very similar.
    They want us on our knees, masked and POOR!

    1. glen cullen
      May 23, 2022

      …and we now know that masks don’t work…they kill you

  21. Sir Joe Soap
    May 23, 2022

    This {your} lot seem intent on taxing us into oblivion.

    Can’t they see that whether in your 50s or 60s, you’re either well paid but will sit this one out on part time or retire, or poorly paid and make do and pay no tax? Can’t they see that paying people to sit at home creates a psychological precedent? If we could get by with no work in 2020-21, short of a doddle job on high pay, why work now? Chucking more money at non-working people to pay their gas bills now won’t help.

    You really need to cut taxes even at the cost of cutting out of work benefits to get people back working properly. Even then people can’t work without plant, so grants for investment in plant and equipment, targeting sectors where we need to build home capacity.

  22. miami.mode
    May 23, 2022

    ……you do not just look at the tax position when spending money on the set up of the investment……

    Surely it is a golden rule to never ever make an investments purely for tax purposes.

  23. oldwulf
    May 23, 2022

    “He (the Chancellor) says he is thinking about new tax incentives for investment this autumn”

    He is thinking about more tinkering around the edges. What on earth is wrong with the bloke. Why can’t he see the pain he is causing NOW by high energy costs and high taxation.

    Reducing the tax on jobs (National Insurance) is a priority.

    Higher personal tax allowances and a reduced basic rate of income tax encourages people into work and will give those already in work, more spending money.

    Value Added Tax is a regressive tax as poorer people use a greater % of their income to buy VATable stuff. It needs to be reduced, particularly on energy bills.

    HM Treasury will no doubt produce some figures from somewhere, which will put the fear of God into Mr Sunak.

    Don’t get me started on this Government’s energy “policy”, not to mention its homegrown food “policy”.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      May 23, 2022

      Oldwulf. What homegrown food policy?

      1. oldwulf
        May 24, 2022

        @Fedupsoutherner

        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jan/06/englands-farmers-to-be-paid-to-rewild-land

        “We want to see profitable farm businesses producing nutritious food and underpinning a growing rural economy, where nature is recovering and people have better access to it.” ….yeah right.

  24. glen cullen
    May 23, 2022

    Whats driving inflation – higher energy cost
    Whats driving higher energy cost – confidence in the market
    Whats driving confidence – policy of net-zero
    Whars driving net-zero – our governments green revolution
    Whats driving the green revolution – the UN IPCC

    Forget net-zero and get fracking for shale gas today
    Any further budget is useless without repealing net-zero

    1. Everhopeful
      May 23, 2022

      +agree 100%
      And a bit of coal too?

    2. Mark B
      May 24, 2022

      +1

      But 500 MP’s say; “No !” “We want, Net Zero.”

      Solution ? Vote in 500 MP’s who don’t want Net Zero. Simple.

  25. David L
    May 23, 2022

    For saying “Unsubstantiated, shrill, partisan, self-serving, apocalyptic warnings are ALWAYS wrong” the Global Head of Responsible Investing at HSBC has been suspended. (FT today). So folks, no thinking for yourself, just accept what you’re told. The tide of insanity is what threatens us the most.

    1. R.Grange
      May 23, 2022

      Of course he couldn’t be allowed to get away with saying that. ‘Unsubstantiated, shrill, partisan, self-serving, apocalyptic warnings’ worked absolutely brilliantly with Covid in 2020, to shut down the economy in readiness for resetting. There are no doubt some in the corporate media, and their backers, who think it’s worth trying again with monkeypox, especially to distract attention from things not working out so well in Ukraine.

  26. No Longer Anonymous
    May 23, 2022

    Two years of lockdown and the cure is proving to have been worse than the disease.

    People will die in large numbers from Covid economics. In fact I have lost 15 friends to misdiagnosed cancer and heart conditions in this period – a further two are on their way out with cancer. Many of these are under 60. I know of none that have died of Covid.

    This event has turned the country fully socialist. During the time under lockdown the country went dementedly leftist on green and woke agendas. It feels as though a Marxist coup has taken place – even right-on police chief and Witch Hunter General Sir Bernard Hyphen-How ? is being reappointed in a top position.

    I am not buying “Labour will be worse. Vote Conservative to keep them out.” ever again.

    Boris/Sunak are delivering Corbynista socialist ideals on speed – almost as fast as a hoodie riding an e-scooter on a pavement (yet another nasty thing to thank the Tories for.)

  27. Julian Flood
    May 23, 2022

    If the government is serious about recovery it should authorise fracking (with emergency compensation for those near a fracking pad) and extend the gas Gris to reach those who are at present tied to oil. As a minor part of that an incentive to convert ICE vehicles to CNG should be put in place. In ten years we’d have a very low C footprint, and NOX and particulate levels would have reduced significantly. By reducing our home energy costs (transporting CH4 as LNG is very wasteful and releases lots of it straight to atmosphere — bad greenhouse practice

    Cancel HS2. Cancel Sizewell C. Use the money to build a water grid, connecting the wet NW with London. Then we’d stop hearing nonsense about desalination.

    These things will have to be dome eventually with the Great Wen bulging at the seams with imported bodies from every corner of the world. do it now before they become an emergency.

    JF

  28. formula57
    May 23, 2022

    Once again Sir john you show us what we ought to have and could have.

    (Could Rachel Reeves really do much worse?)

  29. Original Richard
    May 23, 2022

    Introducing a new budget is like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic when the country is hitting the iceberg that is Net Zero.

    Net Zero is :

    – Unnecessary. There is no CAGW with an increase in average global temperature of just 0.15 degrees C per DECADE. CO2 levels have declined by 90% over the last 150m years and at 400 ppm are now very close to the minimum 150ppm needed for plants to survive. So man-made CO2 may even be saving the planet.

    – Pointless since we contribute just 1% of man-made CO2 emissions.

    – Unworkable using low energy density, intermittent wind instead of nuclear, the only reliable, weather independent, affordable low carbon energy source. The next new nuclear plant is not planned until 2043, 8 years after the electricity decarbonisation date of 2035.

    – Economy destroying with expensive, intermittent energy coupled with the enormous costs to electrify everything – heating, transport, industry and the massive expansion of the grid to cope. This will drive industry abroad and increase our imports of food, goods and energy.

    – Making us dependent upon China for our energy. 85%-95% of a wind turbine is made in China. Also for the minerals for our batteries and motors, if not the devices themselves. Only the wind will be British supplied.

    Both the Government and the CS know all of this.

    But they continue down this path.

  30. Mactheknife
    May 23, 2022

    I noted over the weekend that a windfall tax is not yet on the agenda and so it shouldn’t be. However if it was to go ahead it seems Sunak wants to use the cash for tax cuts etc, whilst Johnson wants to invest in green initiatives.
    With 25% of our energy bills being green taxes, why should we be using any windfall tax to subsidise yet more greenwash ?
    I guess this confirms without a doubt that Carrie is really running the show, or the PM is committing political suicide on behalf of the Conservatives.

  31. Kenneth
    May 23, 2022

    Targetting tax breaks often backfire. We don’t need meddling we need a general lowering of costs.

    Lower taxation for people and businesses!

  32. Mike Wilson
    May 23, 2022

    Mr. Redwood, why is there a ‘homes shortage’?

    Anything to do with your government’s policy of mass immigration.

    It sounds as though, as always, you are in favour in more ‘investment’ in housing – as a way of getting ‘growth’. Aren’t you satisfied that Wokingham is now a vast urban sprawl?
    It’s the main reason I left – to leave a sinking ship and live somewhere where you can still see green fields from your door and not sit in traffic.

  33. graham1946
    May 23, 2022

    Reduce Corporation Tax to 15 percent. That is a sensible suggestion, which for that reason alone will not be done. Honest, especially small firms would benefit and could possibly pay higher wages which would be spent in the economy resulting in growth rather than the recession the government is engineering at present. The big corporations can choose which taxes they pay and where they will pay them. The small fry get hammered for every penny by the Revenue and fined if they are a bit late or have cash flow problems. I had this problem once with a business and had to go before a Tax tribunal where I was told it was more important to pay the tax on time than to run the business. I kid you not, that is the level of thinking in official circles.

  34. Jim Whitehead
    May 23, 2022

    Donna, +1,
    Your first paragraph, in a normal world, should be preposterous nonsense. However, the lunacy does fulfil the objectives of those you mentioned. The other lunacy would be to continue to believe that those people and bodies are in any way dismayed by the government ‘failures’ which enrage us.

    1. Donna
      May 24, 2022

      Oh, I’m well aware of that Jim. I’m late to “the conspiracy nonsense.”

      But I ignore what they say and closely watch what they do …… and as the dots of the last few years are being joined, the picture is becoming very clear indeed.

  35. Mark Thomas
    May 23, 2022

    Sir John,
    All I hear on the news today is talk of a ‘windfall tax’ on energy companies. To me this sounds like Labour policy. It is a shame that you don’t often appear on television to promote and explain your views on taxation and investment. I’m sure there would be an enormous audience for sensible policies, which we don’t hear from the government.

  36. turboterrier
    May 23, 2022

    When is this government going to stop treating us like village idiots?
    It is being reported only 300 dingy invaders are going to be flown to Rwanda in exchange for at risk Rwandon citizens.
    This is the biggest bomb ticking underneath this whole parliament and we don’t want any more words we want action on fully laden planes flying 24/7 to wherever. All of the cabinet and especially this lame duck PM more concerned with his international image need to cease immediately “pissing down our necks and telling us it’s raining” At the rate things are happening this government will not get the two years to 2024 they will be thrown out by the actions of the people who have totally had enough.

  37. Julian Flood
    May 23, 2022

    If the government is serious about recovery it should authorise fracking (with emergency compensation for those near a fracking pad) and extend the gas Grid to reach those who are at present tied to oil. As a minor part of that an incentive to convert ICE vehicles to CNG should be put in place. In ten years we’d have a very low C footprint, and NOX and particulate levels would have reduced significantly. By reducing our home energy costs (transporting CH4 as LNG is very wasteful and releases lots of it straight to atmosphere, bad greenhouse practice) one of the major inflation drivers is negated,

    Cancel HS2. Cancel Sizewell C. Use the money to build a water grid, connecting the wet NW with London. Then we’d stop hearing nonsense about desalination.

    These things will have to be done eventually with the Great Wen bulging at the seams with imported bodies from every corner of the world. Do it now before they become an emergency.

    JF
    My original post seems to have vanished,

  38. Freeborn John
    May 23, 2022

    Why did the U.K. government try to negotiate membership of the EU “Horizon” science program? It seems this program has very negligible benefit to the U.K. and has instead been used by the EU to destabilise funding of U.K. science. We should be seeking alternative international science scheme with reliable partners, for example with AUKUS allies or with Switzerland and other countries that are being similarly destabilised by the EU attempt to turn science funding into a weapon.

  39. The Prangwizard
    May 23, 2022

    We need a new Prime Minister now.

    Someone who can make decisions, correctly based on our manufacturing , agriculture and fisheries, the growth of our economy and the balance of trade, finance, security and sovereignty.

    We’ve had enough of of a self-publicist, word-player, and green fanaticist who can decide nothing, and whose presence in power will destroy us as people, the UK and England.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      May 23, 2022

      Prang. We’re fed up of Carrie too.

  40. XY
    May 23, 2022

    It is so sad that these obvious facts are not understood by those whose job it is to know these things.

    Perhaps this country needs to copy one aspect of American ways – that an incoming PM brings in his own “administration”. No more senior civil servants doing whatever they want, the administration leads, the civil service are simply foot soldiers who do as they are told or suffer the consequences.

    It has become quite clear that the UK system is now failing the voter. Policies are not enacted.

    But MPs these days and the policies they dream up. I despair. This is not “managed decline”, it is voluntary, or self-inflicted decline.

    1. Mark B
      May 24, 2022

      Number 10 has grown huge since 1997. More people just means more competing voices and less done.

  41. Clough
    May 23, 2022

    Sir John, your recent posts have usefully concentrated attention on civil servants and ministers’ roles and responsibilities. In that connection, I am wondering why a certain Samantha Jones is reportedly to be entrusted at No. 10 with advising the Prime Minister on ‘domestic policy oversight, national security and legislative units’ (Guardian)? A pretty comprehensive Job Description there.

    It’s not clear to me what cuts her out for one of most responsible permanent secretary posts in the civil service. Her track record is in the NHS, and it seems less than outstanding. In 2010 she was Chief Executive of Epsom and St Helier Hospital, where she appointed her sister-in-law, Ruth Harrison, to a £50,000 a year job, which then had to be reversed, costing the taxpayer £40,000 in a golden handshake. This was after Harrison had been criticised for her management of another hospital in which patients died due to poor infection control.

    Not a good start. Jones was then appointed CEO of West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust in February 2013. The following year that NHS Trust figured in a damning report for its failure to diagnose breast cancer. She went on in 2015 to be responsible for ‘new models of care’ in the NHS, and to put it at its mildest I think the jury is still out on how successful that has been!

    I wonder what sort of advice your party leader and prime minister expects to get from this sort of person. She might be strong on advice as to how to rise effortlessly above a trail of scandal and failure – but he knows how to do that already. It’s a pity his notoriously limited attention-span won’t leave him any time to listen to what senior figures in his party would want to tell him, I fancy.

  42. Roy Grainger
    May 23, 2022

    It seems bizarre there is a “world minimum” level of 15% for corporation tax. And even more bizarre that the UK Government has signed up to it. Who gets to set the level ? Hypothetical question as Sunak is going to 25% – a world maximum level would be more useful in his case.

  43. Your comment is awaiting moderation
    May 23, 2022

    According to the TPA, lobbyists and political campaigners seeking public policy changes received £49 million from the the government since 2018. Do these organisations have people inside of government?

  44. Pauline Baxter
    May 23, 2022

    What you say sounds right to me Sir John.
    And why not now!
    I hope you have a way of forcing Sunak to listen to you and follow your recommendations!

    Off today’s topic but apparently discussions have started over the W.H.O.’s attempt to steal the U.K.’s sovereignty.
    It goes much further than simply taking matters out of the N.H.S. and Department of Health’s control.
    Just look at the effects when W.H.O. decided Covid19 was a pandemic!
    Remember that W.H.O. can declare a pandemic entirely at their own discretion (or whim).
    No matter what budget or investment plans are in place there will be no freedom and prosperity for the United Kingdom.

  45. Bill B.
    May 23, 2022

    O/T but important. Good to see the Common Sense group of Conservative MPs writing to the Home Secretary about immigration running out of control under this government. Nothing wrong with wanting to be re-elected, after all.

  46. acorn
    May 23, 2022

    I hope commenters on this site were not so daft as to get conned into cryptocurrency schemes. The modern version of the Dutch Tulip Bulb scam. Local to me, there are some who ignored advice and borrowed real sovereign currency, to invest heavily in these unreal currency schemes. I guess some are now looking at personal bankruptcy within the year, failing a revival in these crypto-bubbles which looks unlikely.

    Sovereign fiat currencies have value because they are literally tax credits; you have to get some to pay your taxes. You can’t pay your taxes in any other currency in the sovereign currency domain you reside in. The day when a sovereign fiat currency issuing country decides to take cryptocurrencies as tax credits; is the day you should sell up and buy a one way ticket out of there as fast as you can.

  47. Fedupsoutherner
    May 23, 2022

    I read today that Farage has written to the PM with ideas to solve the energy crisis. I don’t know the detail but I bet there are more sensible ideas in the letter than all the policies this government is talking about. Talking being the key word here as nothing of any use gets done.

  48. StephenS
    May 23, 2022

    Regulation, regulation, more regulation; spend spend and spend again; debase the money supply; print print and keep on printing; followed by strangulation via taxation. A recipe for disaster if ever there was one, and I fear that the time for action has now already passed.

  49. ukretired123
    May 23, 2022

    Sir John I have refrained from leaving a comment for quite some time as many others most ably comment instead on your attempts to warn the government of their serious flawed thinking instead.
    I cannot believe they are so out of touch with both the public and your wise advice too.

  50. Ian Pennell
    May 23, 2022

    Dear Sir John Redwood

    A very good, prescient article in view of the problems facing the UK at the moment. However, the fiscal and monetary precariousness of the UK Economy and millions now facing hardship that has not been known for a generation means drastic, radical policies will be required: Inflation could well reach 15% by Christmas, and with the UK bordering on Recession the Interest Rate rises needed to curtail inflation are such that not only would a recession be inevitable as soon as these Interest Rate rises are implemented, but the Treasury’s interest on the National Debt will skyrocket- just as revenues fall because of Recession!

    If we as a country are not to “Have To” flog off all the motorways in England- plus Cornwall (and possibly Devon too) to the IMF/ World Bank and/ or the USA- to get the big money needed to rescue Britain’s currency and Economy, and to keep funding Public Services by 2024 (if that’s ever needed the Conservative Party will be out of power for years!), if such a Hobson’s Choice (or worse) is to be avoided then drastic, radical and- even for a time- unconservative policies will be needed (the alternative of severe Austerity will just invite Conservative defeat as sure as night follows day). Instead, these are the sorts of policies needed:

    First, get rid of disgraced Boris Johnson after Partygate and other sleaze-ridden Conservative MPs, because that will invite Electoral Defeat however well the UK Economy does. You, Sir would make a very good Chancellor of the Exchequer for the times we are in.

    Secondly, a 5% Wealth Tax on all personal wealth over £ 1 million, with a 20% Wealth-repatriation Tax (on all transactions over £10,000 of money taken out of the UK) should be imposed as an emergency measure (this will be needed to stop folk moving money out of Britain to avoid the Wealth Tax). The business community can be reassured that this is because of the exceptional economic circumstances and high National Debt. These measures together would raise at least £50 billion over the 12 months of these policies.

    Thirdly, this £50 billion must be used to buy up Gold Shares- which are sent to the Bank of England. Then, with the existing Gold in the Bank of England’s vaults the British Pound must be tied to the value of Sterling. That will help cure Inflation almost overnight and reduce pressure on the Bank of England to raise Interest Rates to an extent that a real Recession beckons. This would- in turn- help keep Debt Interest costs low enough that real Austerity can be avoided by the Government.

    Then, finally, the Bank of England can be mandated to print £100 billion a year- but only to use the new money to buy up Gold shares from UK-based Gold companies and trading platforms. This could be accompanied with a small increase in Interest Rates, say 0.5%. The net result would be more money in the UK economy – despite slightly higher Interest Rates- but the Pound would be strong in value- helping keep inflation low. An additional £40 billion of the new money would find its way to the Treasury and this money should be used to pay for stronger Public Services, Levelling Up, but with 50% of it used for cuts to VAT and Income Tax. Lower taxes would help reduce inflation whilst putting money into people’s pockets, real-terms economic growth would resume in earnest. The proceeds of growth should be used to cut VAT and pay for Levelling Up, as the UK Government pledged.

    Radical policies, outside the box like these, should be implemented. Otherwise the Stagflationary deterioration in the UK situation could become rapid- later necessitating very unpopular policies to correct the situation. Since neither Boris Johnson or Rishi Sunak seem to know how to Cure Stagflation (and both are damaged by Partygate/wife’s Non-Dom status) they need replacing ASAP by those who know about Economics and stabilising currencies. All of this must happen PDQ and it is up to you, Sir and your Conservative colleagues to bring about the much-needed catharsis and change in Economic Policy.

  51. Lindsay McDougall
    May 23, 2022

    Good. You accept that the justification for private sector investment is to generate cash flows and profits. Please tell me why is generally accepted that public sector investment is not required to generate future profits. Indeed, much increased public sector ‘investment’ is aimed at increasing free at the point of consumption and subsidised services. It simply makes no economic sense. Some folk recommend spending more per capita on pupils with ‘learning difficulties’ than on gifted pupils. And our medical profession spends a small fortune on drugs to extend the fag end of life. To what purpose?

  52. Lindsay McDougall
    May 24, 2022

    Some numbers for you:
    – Average UK salary £27,600
    – 1920 hours (48 weeks x 40 hours) at the minimum wage circa £18,000
    – Cap on Universal Credit £20,000 per annum (£23,000 in London)

    So why do we want increase the Universal Credit cap? I thought we believed that work was the way out of poverty. Should we not -as the fiscal position permits – prioritise raising the lower income tax threshold so that no one on the minimum wage pays income tax or NI?

  53. anon
    May 24, 2022

    Price increases not inflation please.
    Inflation is an increase the money supply

    What has the purchasing value of the £ fallen by since 2008? Target inflation being 2%? How many years of 10-20% price increases do we need to burn up 500bn plus ? Someone is doing really well.
    Ditto immigration?
    Ditto energy production capacity?
    Ditto Housing costs?

    Apparently Russia is still selling gas and food to friendly countries and those that pay. Seems to me Russia is a more reliable business partner than the West. I wonder what Russian price increases on basics are?

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