Discussion of the UK Government
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#275577
+1, Abers.

I spent half the eighties and nineties on the bones of my arse thanks to Thatcher & Co. It breaks my fucking heart to see it happening again. Bastards.
#275628
Classic Osborne.
With two days to go until his Autumn Statement, George Osborne is attempting to convince the public that he's launched a "blitz" against tax avoidance. The Chancellor has announced £154m of funding for HMRC to draft in an "army of investigators" to target those companies, like Google, Amazon and Starbucks, who, in the words of the Commons public accounts committee, pay "little or no corporation tax here".

Osborne said:
The government is clear that while most taxpayers are doing their bit to help us balance the books, it is unacceptable for a minority to avoid paying their fair share, sometimes by breaking the law. We are determined to tackle this problem and HMRC are making good progress, but we are giving them additional tools to bring in more.
But what the Chancellor won't say is that the £154m will barely begin to compensate for the cuts he's made. In the Spending Review in 2010, Osborne announced that funding for HMRC would be reduced by 16.5 per cent (£2bn), including 10,000 job cuts. By 2015, staffing levels will be at an all-time low of 56,100, significantly limiting HMRC's ability to collect taxes. A report earlier this year by the public accounts committee found that job cuts among revenue officials meant the government collected £1.1bn less in tax than it would otherwise have done. "We are not convinced that the decision to reduce staff numbers working in this area in the past represented value for money for the taxpayer," it said.

The cuts didn't begin under Osborne - staff levels fell from 97,073 in April 2005 to 66,992 in November 2010 as a result of spending reductions made by Labour - but he has made the problem worse. So, while £154m of funding is welcome, as far as these things go, it's unlikely that Google will be losing any sleep.
http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/20 ... cutting-it" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
#275828
From the Elliott article, a dubious expert:
Nick Parsons, head of strategy at National Australia Bank, said one success had been in protecting Britain's AAA credit rating, now under threat. "The credit rating is much less important going forward but when it was important it was very important," Parsons said, adding that in May 2010, Britain and Spain both had to pay just over 4% to borrow money for 10 years on the money markets. "One government had a deficit reduction plan, the other did not, which was why bond yields went to 7.5% in Spain and to 1.5% in the UK."
So what's this, from May 2010:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10109275" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Spain's PM has outlined a plan to tackle the country's budget crisis, amid concerns that problems afflicting Greece may spread across the eurozone.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced a 5% cut to public sector salaries, as well as reductions to pensions and regional government funding.
#275833
And after all that it looks as if the AAA rating will go when Osborne admits just how far he is off meeting his targets on Wednesday. Not to worry though because Kate Middleton's having a baybee.
#275961
Sovereign borrowing costs are close to record lows... so Gideon signs us all up for another wave of PFI boondoggles. Another masterstroke.
The Treasury hopes to kick-start the economy by ordering a wave of new public sector building under schemes similar to PFI that allow construction to be ordered now but paid for over several decades. Under the PF2 schemes, the public sector would become a minority shareholder in companies set up to run each project.

The companies will also have to publish details of the profits from each project and statements of future liabilities to taxpayers.

The deals will also be far more flexible to stop schools and hospitals being stuck with onerous maintenance contracts.

The first PF2 project is expected to be a £1.7 billion scheme to rebuild and renovate 219 schools. Work is expected to begin in the spring.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politic ... e-out.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"This time it's different".
#276120
The companies will also have to publish details of the profits from each project and statements of future liabilities to taxpayers.
I thought there was quite a lot of info already published already about PFI, think it was on the Treasury website. I'm not it's greatest fan but some of the stuff said about it was unfair.

I can't claim I understood the free-cash-for-Osborne-from-quantative-easing thing, but there was an article in the FT saying this was astonishingly dodgy. Apparently, it turns on future interest rates, and these are unlikely to be as low now. So not free money at all.
#276232
Oh dear.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012 ... ent-rights" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
George Osborne has been given a black eye on the eve of his autumn statement by employers almost universally rejecting his plan to offer workers company shares in return for abandoning many of their employment rights.

The chancellor plans to announce on Wednesday that he will press ahead with the proposal, with some small adjustments.

It was one of the centrepieces of Osborne's speech at the party conference in October but a government consultation has revealed his proposal has won the full support of fewer than five of the 209 organisations that responded.
#276245
Good post on CiF
RogerOThornhill
04 December 2012 9:29 PMLink to this comment
Recommend
6
Should we count the number of times he comes out with "the mess that Labour left us" tomorrow?
Won't wash any more George - when you set your own targets and can't meet them then the only people to blame are...the Office for Budget Responsibility.
That is why you set them up isn't it? So that when it all went tits up, they are the ones you point the finger at and say "It was them, not me guv".
When the OBR were making predictions of good growth, I didn't see the Tories or any of their business mates like Simon Wolfson say the predictions were wrong.
#276270
Every fucking day, there's at least one more reason to be angry at this fucking callous, corrupt, vindictive and rapacious government.

To think we have another fucking two and a half years of these lies and damage from these vested-interest serving cunts.

Can anybody recommend a substance to assuage this anger?
#276275
Abernathy wrote:Every fucking day, there's at least one more reason to be angry at this fucking callous, corrupt, vindictive and rapacious government.

To think we have another fucking two and a half years of these lies and damage from these vested-interest serving cunts.

Can anybody recommend a substance to assuage this anger?
Semtex?
#276355
Tubby Isaacs wrote:Oh dear.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012 ... ent-rights" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
George Osborne has been given a black eye on the eve of his autumn statement by employers almost universally rejecting his plan to offer workers company shares in return for abandoning many of their employment rights.

The chancellor plans to announce on Wednesday that he will press ahead with the proposal, with some small adjustments.

It was one of the centrepieces of Osborne's speech at the party conference in October but a government consultation has revealed his proposal has won the full support of fewer than five of the 209 organisations that responded.
Crap services and construction PMIs this week as well. Service sector orders fell last month for the first time in nearly two years and construction jobs were shed at the fastest pace for two years.

[youtube]au9TGHCJvEU[/youtube]
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