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Archive for the tag “chancellor”

What Now for New Labour?

It’s anyone’s guess at the moment whether Gordon Brown will be able to survive the current political crisis although I suspect that he may hang on until the bitter end next year and the end will indeed be bitter.

When New Labour with Tony Blair were elected in 1997 the electorate would have given power to anyone rather than the Tory’s and at that point a golden opportunity was lost. With a huge majority Blair, with Brown as Chancellor, could have transformed the UK into a far better nation. Together they wasted the first two years by sticking with the economic plans put in place by the previous administration and then proceeded to expand the ‘free market economy’ and embraced and encouraged the money grubbing, me first culture of  profit before people. They increased the gap between the rich and the poor by deviously cutting the taxes of the wealthy and increasing the taxes on the less well off. They believed their own spin that the City of London could go on creating money from thin air and that house prices would increase exponentially for ever. They took us into an illegal war costing billions of Pounds and tens of thousands of lives and into another futile and expensive escapade in Afghanistan from which we have yet to be extradited. They have progressively introduced draconian state control of our citizens by way of surveillance, police powers and data linkage. Yes, they have done some good things and improvements to the NHS and Education spring to mind but even they are tarnished by the Public/Private Finance Initiative which will result in a huge outpouring of money into the private sector over many, many, years.

So what now for Gordon Brown and New Labour? The next election is lost so with nothing to lose why not make some real change in the time that is left. The MP’s expenses must of course be sorted out and pushing through some form of PR in time for the General Election would be mostly popular and have the advantage of limiting Labour’s losses. Abandon the ridiculous and unpopular ID Card Scheme along with Trident replacement and huge aircraft carriers, thus saving tens of billions of pounds. Recognise that killing Afghan tribesmen and devastating villages is an unwinnable war and in any case will do nothing to protect us from terrorist attacks here and in fact will make such attacks more likely. Some of the cash saved could be used to increase pensions towards the poverty line (£165) per week as pensioners are more likely to spend it and so help in the recovery of  industry and employment.

All of this could be done prior to the General Election and may go some way to ensuring a wiser Labour re-election in maybe five years rather than our nation suffering once again under a Tory government for ten or fifteen or more years.

Budget Winner!

Most of us of course are going to suffer somewhat from the budget, most of us through increased taxes and some, sadly, with their jobs.

Isn’t it good though when you read that someone is going to be much, much, better off as a result of the Chancellor’s largess? So who is this, a pensioner, the unemployed, cancer charity, the homeless? No! None other than Prince Charles who will now have the expences of an office that he set up for chwPrinces Harry & William off set against tax. This office is little more than a PR outfit to promote their standing with the public. Although they only performed a few dozen appearances in the last year this office costs hundreds of thousands of Pounds per year which is now to be paid by us the taxpayers.

Still happy?

VAT Cut?

We only have to wait until tomorrow (Monday) to see how the Government will introduce measures in an attempt to boost the economy and help to take the edge off the recession. There is speculation that Alistair Darling will cut VAT from its current 17.5% to 15%. Now I am not an economist, I’m just a simple soul looking at the proposal in a simple sort of way. If I was thinking of buying an article currently costing £100 + VAT that’s £117.50 it would actually cost me. If I was thinking to myself that I couldn’t really afford it or perhaps I aught to wait a bit to see how things go, would making that price £2.50 cheaper persuade me? I think not!

I do think that this Government has handled the crisis rather well so far, although they should have seen it coming and prepared for it. However if what seems likely to be a VAT decrease in tomorrow’s statement, this will be a waste of of money in the order of £12bn doing little to stimulate our economy and if anything will benefit mainly foreign industry.

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