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Immigration – Cameron’s ridiculous response.

30 Nov

So, at last David Cameron announces the Government’s plans to deal with immigration. What do we get? We get a headline grabbing piece of misdirection that looks good but is practically useless – a weak and pusillanimous response to the problem that gets nowhere near the real issues and fears of the man in the street.

He plans to persuade the EU, by Treaty change, no less, that EU immigrants should not be eligible for State handouts within 4 years of their arrival. There are 260,000 new people coming into the country every year and this is the best he can come up with.

It is ridiculous at so many levels.

Firstly it will take 10 years to negotiate. Inevitably it will be watered down to something like 1 year. In the meantime we have to create the equivalent of a new large town every year.

Secondly, most EU immigrants do not come here for State handouts. They come here to find work and for the most part, they succeed. So the financial savings are small and will make little impact on EU immigration. And of course, EU immigration is not controllable. The treaties already signed decide that.

Thirdly, when the public say that they want immigration numbers to drop, they are not really talking about the EU at all. They are talking about the flood of asylum seekers who are given money, housing and all sorts of other help in priority over the indigenous population.

They are scared to talk about it but they are thinking of the vast number of people coming in from the Indian sub-continent, particularly the Muslim community.

These people have cultural values completely at odds with British values and they have no inclination to change. They talk peace but by their fruits we know them. They screech,”Discrimination” at every opportunity. They demand special rights and treatments. They are subject to a continuous stream of vitriol about Western values from their teachers. And they are a breeding ground for terrorists who bomb our streets and behead people on the streets of London. And their long term ambition is for the United Kingdom to be subject to the primitive and scary Sharia Law.

Come on David, get a grip on the real issues.

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Foreign Aid Fraud

16 Oct

The UK Foreign Aid invests £860 million in Nigeria over many years. A huge chunk of it is lost in fraud.

Why am I not surprised?

Why do we continue to give this money? It can’t be that hard to see what’s going to happen to it.

See the story in The Times
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/share/uuid/a13afdce-5490-11e4-9a1e-025523d8b234

And what about the vast amount of money we give to the subcontinent!

Am I the only one….

Freezing Energy Prices

14 Jul

At the 2013 Labour Party conference, the flagship policy announcement by Ed Miliband was a 20 month freeze on energy prices.

Since then, we have had energy share price crashes, threats of blackouts and early price rises, energy companies saying it will destroy much needed investment in new capacity and so on.  There has been talk of Red Ed – Labour returning to it’s bad old ways.

All of these points need review but they all miss the real point.

We are up to our ears in debt, state handouts are completely out of control, we desperately need to encourage industry, unemployment is far too high especially for the young, we are under threat from terrorists, the NHS is struggling, the EU is a pain in the neck, immigration is at disaster levels, the Human Rights Act is in complete disrepute.

And what is the very best that Ed Miliband can come up with?

Freeze energy bills!

God preserve us from this man as our Prime Minister.

 

Labour vs Conservative Pre-occupations.

14 Jul

It seems to me that Labour’s pre-occupation is on how the cake should be divided, no matter how small the cake and even if it’s shrinking.
At least the Conservatives make some attempts, however cack-handed, to cook a bigger cake.

Government borrowing is theft

26 May

Government borrowing is theft. It’s theft from our children. It’s a cynical plundering of the future.

Let’s imagine a business that can earn a 10% return on money it invests. It makes sense to borrow at 3% to invest more, getting a net 7%. It makes good sense.

But Governments don’t borrow for investment opportunities. They don’t get a return. They borrow because they run out of cash. They have promised too much in State handouts and purchases.

So they borrow. Future taxpayers can pay the bill!
In fact, they borrow so much that the future taxpayers are now our children!
They have borrowed so much that the interest payments almost match the tax receipts! The borrowings can be reduced but only by increasing taxes.
That’s not good for winning elections. So they borrow more instead.

The government is not reducing borrowing. It is just reducing the rate at which they are borrowing more!
They are merely reducing the rate at which they steal from our children!
They love spending other people’s money.

What can be done? Increasing tax is difficult when the country is on it’s knees – recession, unemployment.

In the steady state, Governments should live within their tax receipts.
To get there, reducing government outgoings is the only way – however hard it is.

Gordon Brown used to call his spending “Government Investment”. It was a cynical misuse of words to cover up his grand larceny on the future.

Anjem Choudray

23 May

Anjem Choudray, a well known Muslim cleric, takes home more than £25,000 a year in benefits, according to the newspapers. He calls it ‘Jihadseeker’s allowance’.  (How I hate the word ‘benefits’.  It means State handouts)

Listen to what he says:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C73ePf_2KVw

And we support this fanatic financially. We are utterly mad.

What happened to the Laws of Sedition?  They were abolished in 2009!  Yes, we are mad.

I don’t care that Amazon, Google, Starbucks etc don’t pay tax in the UK.

23 May

So the big multinationals organise themselves so that they pay little tax in the UK !

We should get over it.

If we are to be in the EU, or sign GATT treaties, then this type of arrangement is what we signed up for.

If we want multi-nationals to pay tax here then we should reduce corporation taxes to competitive levels. That’s how it works. No point whinging.

Or leave the EU.

Anyway, as blogged earlier, big companies don’t pay tax. They pass their taxes on in higher prices. Only consumers pay tax. So as a consumer, I can’t get excited at this furore. I get caught one way other the other. Either I pay income tax or I pay the multinational’s tax bill through their higher prices.

Governments like corporation taxes because their tax collection is hidden from the consumer in the price of goods and services.  And then they have the gall to charge VAT on these hidden taxes!

Mansion Tax

26 Mar

The Liberal Democrats go on and on about the Mansion Tax.

But there are already two Mansion Taxes.

Houses over £2million attract 7% or even 15% in Stamp Duty when they are sold.  That means £140,000 or £ 280,000 on the property.

A house between £125,000 and £250,000 attracts just 1%! That’s just £2500 on a £1/2million house.

That looks like the first tax.

Then, of course, there is the Council Tax.

In my area a Band A house pays £900 pa whereas a Band H house pays £2700 pa. Band H is for houses over £320,000. This tax extends down a long way.

There the second tax.

The Lib Dem tax is just a mean minded attack on a soft touch.

No Representation without Taxation!

13 Jul

A quick visit to our local DSS shows a stream of manifestly unemployable people. Their attitude, haircuts and dirty unkempt clothing would make any employer run a mile. They have just collected their “Benefits”. ( What a dreadful distortion of that word.  It should simply  be called “State Support”).

A huge percentage of people come of the DSS and immediately light up a cigarette. My hard earned taxes are being used to support these leeches and much of it then literally goes up in smoke.

It makes me very cross.

Of course we need some safety net for the unfortunates who lose their job.  But clearly many of these people are manipulating the system. They have no intention of getting work.

Unemployment “Benefit” is given to those who can show that they apply for jobs. That’s all. They are not obliged to present themselves properly so that they are interviewed or indeed succeed in the interview.

It screams out that the feckless can abuse the system.  And all the evidence is that many people do.

But, of course, many people on State Support are not feckless and it is hard to differentiate between the feckless and the unfortunate.  It would be to arbitrary to make judgments to take away their “Benefits”.

Yet, when it comes to an election, the feckless then have the right to vote for the party that promises to perpetuate this scandal!

Now that  is one change I would certainly like.

Those on “Benefits” don’t pay taxes so why should they have the right to decide how the taxes are spent?  It is not a punishment but a statement of fact.  And it could apply to the feckless and the unfortunate alike.

If someone is long term purely dependent on the State they should not have the right to decide who runs the State.

No Representation without Taxation!

(Well, no vote without taxation.)

How to get Economic Growth

17 Feb

The Need for Growth

The UK is beset by economic woes – debt, unemployment, inflation and lack of growth. With economic growth many of these problems would evaporate.  The government says it wants to stimulate growth but it has not thought through how to do it.  So here goes.

Who Pays Tax?

At the heart of my argument is the little understood fact that there are only two groups that pay tax.  The first is you and me, the consumer.  And the second group is overseas buyers of our products.  That’s it.

Let me explain.

As consumers we pay many taxes both directly and indirectly.  Income tax, VAT, Insurance taxes and a myriad of hidden taxes that were only vaguely aware of.  And there is nothing we can do about it. Businesses also pay taxes, but not really because they can recover the taxes directly as with VAT or they can increase their prices so that they can pay the taxes.

The only time taxes really hurt a business is when their prices become prohibitive and nobody buys their products.  If they go out of business then they stop paying taxes!

Of course, businesses work hard to reduce their taxes.  But they do it for cash flow reasons and because, rightly, they don’t like increasing their prices.  It makes them less competitive.

Basically businesses can recover their taxes.  Consumers can’t.

Only consumers pay tax.

In fact, taxing a business is just the government’s way of picking up some revenue along the production chain so that it is hidden in the consumer price and is  not a direct tax on the consumer.

The only other group to pay UX taxes are those who import our goods.  The tax they pay is hidden completely in the higher prices charged by our exporters.  This issue is alleviated in the case of VAT because exports are zero rated.

But for all other business taxes, the taxes are disguised as higher prices. There is nothing wrong with that.  But within this fact is a solution to the problems of economic growth.

From Where does Growth come?

Growth comes from employment.  It comes from you and me doing useful things to increase the wealth of the nation.  It certainly does not come from 8.4% of the population doing nothing and getting so called “Benefits”.  The unemployed.

The scandal is that there are so few vacancies for the unemployed.  The job of government should be to create an environment that nurtures new employment opportunities.  And they are not good at that job.

On a grand scale the Government tries to encourage foreign investment.  This effort does create some employment but it feels very precarious to me.  What happened to all the electronic companies that once invested in Scotland’s Silicon Glen?  Where have the majority of car manufacturers gone?

Entrepreneurs

The best growth must be home grown growth.  The top priority must be to go all out to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit.  That would create self employment and healthy new job opportunities.  Barriers to new business set up should be attacked ruthlessly.

The Government tries to help small businesses by trying to force big banks to lend more to them.  But the banks are commercial organisations and are nervous of the risk.  The Government is therefore giving inducements and threats to big business and not really helping small ones!

What the Government could do

Suppose the Government slashed the tax burden on startup business.  Suppose that there was no Corporation Tax for startups.  Suppose that some income could be drawn from the business tax free or at a very low tax rate.  Suppose that the Employer’s National Insurance contribution was lower.

What would be the result?

The young business would have lower prices for a start.  It would be more competitive and less likely to fail.  It would need less start up finance.  It would be more likely to employ staff.

People do what they get rewarded for.  A huge number of budding entrepreneurs would have a go.

In itself that would create employment.  And some small businesses would grow to be big ones creating products, services and employment in real areas of business where there is a gap in the market.

But wouldn’t this approach give an unfair advantage to the start up against a bigger rival?  Of course.   The important definition would be to say when it is no longer a startup and has to go to the normal tax rates.  I guess that as long as a business is increasing its workforce year by year by some defined rate it should still qualify for the startup benefits.

Germany’s Mittelstand

In Germany, they have a culture of  Mittelstand companies.  They are relatiely small and medium sized organisations, often export-oriented. They are veru innovative.  They make high value manufactured products. They dominate some worldwide niche markets, mostly B2B.  They are typically privately owned.

The Mittelstand companies work closely with universities and researchers and cluster themselves around big manufacturers.  Theyare big users of Germany’s apprentice system which supply a steady flow of qualified workers through 34o odd recognized trades.

Apprentices

None of this UK nonsense that 50% of pupils should go to university, (which I think is just a sneaky way of keeping the young off the unemployment statistics).  In Germany the young are trained to do something useful.

It can’t be that hard.

One Parent Families

16 Feb

The Scourge of the One Parent Family

One of the scourges of our times is the number of one parent families. Apparently, the UK has the highest rate in Europe.  It is nothing to be proud of.

The social cost is enormous.  Typically, it is the mother who is the sole parent.  Frequently she lives off the state.  Often, they have several children, in some cases with several fathers.

Children with no father don’t do so well.  They often display discipline problems and do less well in school.

The current system, as I see it, rewards young women  for having children.  After a couple of kids, the council give you a flat for goodness sake.  Everything is paid for.  No wonder if you have little, it looks good to have some kids.

The CSA seems to be singularly inept at tracking down reluctant fathers and getting them to pay.

I have little sympathy for these women for one simple reason.  Contraception prescriptions are free!!  There is no excuse for a single person pregnancy except rape.  It is life style choice.

The Solution

So, what can be done about it?  I have a solution.  It is tough to start with but it would solve the problem.  I know that many people will disagree violently.

The Government should advertise a major policy change.  It should give 18 months notice of the change.  After that the Government should disown any responsibility for any child born to a single parent.  No housing, no extra benefits.  Nothing.

The ads should be along the lines :-

Don’t get pregnant.  You are on your own.  No housing, no extra benefits.  If you need help then get it from the father.  If you don’t do that then that’s why you have a family or that’s why there are charities.  Contraception is free.  There is no excuse.

And the Government should mean it.  They should leave it to the charities and parents.  After the notice period, there will be a tough period as the Government’s resolve is put to the test.  But after a few months the word will get out.  After a year, the number of pregnancies will have dropped off dramatically.

To support the policy change, there should be a real toughening up of the powers of the CSA.

What is the Wealth of a Country?

16 Feb

Basic Wealth

At a common sense level, if the nation produces enough to feed its population, give them clean water, give them housing, educate them to a good level, protect them both internally and externally and give them adequate medical facilities, then I think we can say that the country is wealthy.

Of course, to deliver the above list, the nation needs a suitable infrastructure.  This infrastructure is largely different networks.  They include road and/or rail, distribution, electricity distribution, gas distribution, water distribution, telecommunications, sewage removal, waste disposal.
Certainly we can say that those nations who lack these capabilities and networks are somewhat impoverished.
Clearly, money is needed to make these things happen. But wealth is not really about money.  It is about what the money produces.  
Intrinsic Wealth
Imagine a totally isolated farming community in a fertile area.  If the population work together, they could produce enough food and housing, extract water from a local (clean) river, protect themselves and give adequate education.  Maybe medicine and some of the more technical networks might be a problem but they could probably be self sufficient in wood energy, distribution, waste and sewage disposal.  And, in principle, they could do it with no money.  Compared to impoverished parts of the third world they would be quite wealthy.
My point is that some basic wealth comes from organisation and natural resources.  And these resources can even be reusable.
Imported Wealth
Our isolated community can increase its wealth by buying in the more technical and complex elements such as telecommunications, gas and electricity.  To pay for these goods our community will have to export something.  It could be raw materials the have extracted, or surplus food they have grown or it could be some product or skill where they have the specialist knowledge to add value.
My main point is that the basic wealth is strong enough to produce a surplus.
Ancient Egypt had huge food surpluses.  So there was enough available workforce to build the pyramids.
So what’s my Point?
In a recent visit to India, it was shocking how much rubbish there was just lying in the streets.  Shopkeepers would just sweep any plastic bags, cups, bottles and bags just a yard or so from their shop front.  Villages were truly filthy.  Yet at the same time there were always loads of men just standing around talking to each other.  Clearly there are surpluses in India or they would not be able to just hang out.
We just felt like giving them all a good shake and telling them to get their ass in gear and clean up.  It could be so easy.  But there is no will or system to organise.  Ridiculous.
To a lesser degree we have the same issue.  In the UK, apparently the unemployment rate is 8.4%.  These unfortunate people are paid so called “Benefits” by the government.  To get these handouts they have to prove to the agency that they are looking for work, even though there may be no vacancies.  They have to show their research and their job application forms.  They are paid to look for work.
They are not creating any wealth.  They are just using up the surplus resources.  Yet there are potholes in the roads, rubbish in the streets, foreigners coming in to pick the fruit in the autumn.  The infrastructure is crumbling.  Gas pipes are rotting away under our streets.  Buildings need repair.
Why can’t we create a list of things that need to be done and pay “Benefits” to people for doing these tasks?
Oh the Trades Unions will complain that it’s a way of reducing wages.  They should be overruled.
Staff
Finding work for the relatively unskilled is a problem.  One relatively straightforward idea might be to give people tax relief when they hire staff.  The relatively unskilled could quickly be trained for domestic work.  People who can afford it would be more likely to employ people.  Unemployment down, surpluses not being wasted.
The criticism is always that domestic work is demeaning.  What a load of tosh.  Being unemployed and unable to find work, that is demeaning.