Officers of the Wessex Regionalists have responded to George Osborne's March 2016 budget.
Below Party President, Colin Bex, Secretary General, David Robins and Communications Officer Rick Heyse, all give their take on the contents of the Chancellor's little red case.
Colin Bex, President of the Wessex Regionalists:
Budget? - Fudge it! No rabbits in a Hat
but Ferrets from a sack - chasing lipstick on a pig.
For something as complex, controversial and arcane as a British government fiscal budget, to rush within a day or two to try to explain let alone to judge the effects of such shenanigans, would be as rash as to prognosticate on events at a mad-hatter's tea party.
Nonetheless, on having listened to much of the two hour spiel from current Rear Admiral, HMS Titanic Britain, ( https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/budget-2016-george-osbornes-speech ) my initial impressions were to note, the sheer number of changes (77 quoted by one commentator) and of course the rhetorical opening salvo:
'To-day I report on an economy set to grow faster than any other major advanced economy in the world; a labour market delivering the highest employment in our history;
a deficit down by two thirds, falling each year; and, I can confirm today – on course for a budget surplus.'
and the ending:
'This is our Budget.
One that reaches a surplus so the next generation doesn’t have to pay our debts.
One that reforms our tax system so that the next generation inherits a strong economy.
One that takes the imaginative steps so that the next generation is better educated.
One that takes bold decisions so that our children grow up fit and healthy.
This is a Budget
that gets investors investing, savers saving, businesses doing business; so that we build for working people a low tax, enterprise Britain; secure at home, strong in the world.
I commend to the House a Budget that puts the next generation first.'
This latest scene from the saga of ritual fiscal-fiddles of the British version of debt-based capitalist finance is but one feature of a more sinister plan - namely to toe a 'red line' condemning the poor to pay the rich in perpetuity.
In turn this is to widen the gulf between them both in order to ensure 'full spectrum world domination' by the .5% pathologically 'rich' and powerful of whom John Maynard Keynes is quoted 'with a shudder one hands over to the men in white suits'.
In Britain, this is made possible principally by serially compliant but illegitimate party-politicial administrations at Westminster (the current one grabbed power with less than 40% support form the British electorate).
'But because we have acted decisively, in 2019-20 Britain is set to have a surplus of £10.4 billion. The surplus is then set to rise to £11.0 billion the year after. That’s 0.5% of GDP in both years.' the 'Rear Admiral' boasts.
Deficit (£72 billion? - and rising)
Future borrowing £72 billion?
Surplus £10.1 billion? by 2019/20
£11 billion? by 2021
Surely much more likely is:
Sovereign Debt (£1.7 Trillion and rising)
Deficit £78.5 billion (OBR estimate)
Surplus £5 billion by 2019/20? - from
hitherto un-announced raids on banks
and fuel duty planned for the time
(Investec Chief Economist)
City commentator Anthony Hilton observes that last year, the competetiveness of Britain's tax system measured by the World Economic Forum's Tax Competetiveness Index had dropped to 54th on the list since 1997 when it was rated fourth in the world,
and Hilton chides Osborn for failing to ensure the tax system is 'fit for purpose' on grounds that the combination of income tax, national insurance and withdrawal of benefits ..... 'makes a nonesense of claims that the tax system is progressive.'
That of course applies for populations throughout the British regions - including Wessex and Cornwall for which as the government's fantasy region known locally as 'Devonwall', 'We’ve also agreed a new West of England mayoral authority – and they too will see almost(sic) a billion pounds invested locally' Osborn gushes.
And although 'From April 2017, anyone under the age of 40 will be able to open a Lifetime ISA and save up to £4,000 each year - every year until they’re 50', - In other words, if you're rich enough, pay me £4,000 and the government will give you £1,000 with money it's borrowed as deficit.
The problem is, that the regulations contrived to bureaucratise the process will ring-fence confidence from many potential punters and for those who subscribe in any case, when the next crash comes all those numbers will be drawn into the whirlpool feeding the giant black hole after which the money vultures will come and steal their homes......
Throughout the delivery of his speech, world trade continued to falter; austerity is set to worsen - the IFS estimating 'to beyond the maximium term of this government' and, creation of a giant new Europe Casino cum global funny-money Laundry in the form of a £30 billion amalgamated LSX/DeutcheBörse is to be inflated ripe for take-over by an as yet unknown full-spectrum global American command and control casino for gambling with world resouces and exacerbating carbon and methane emissions contrary to the COP21 Paris accord to reduce global warming to below 1.5 degrees.
Recently the National Debt Clock registered that the UK National Debt Surpassed £1 Trillion and now, at a rate of £5,170 per second, it is increasing from £1,670,023,700,000 - approx Debt per citizen £ 26,822; Debt per taxpayer £ 46,135......
This can only increase exponentially unless the entire mechanism of Government finance is overhauled. The truth however is much worse, factoring in all liabilities including state and public sector pensions, the real national debt is closer to £4.8 trillion, some £78,000 for every person in the UK. http://www.nationaldebtclock.co.uk/
Further, albeit from low levels, the cost of insuring Britain's sovereign debt has almost doubled this year, data from global, financial information service Markit* shows. Five-year credit default swaps are at more than 30 basis points, up 87 per cent from the start of the year 2016. That is the most expensive in nearly three years, and above levels hit before the 2014 Scottish independence vote and 2015 general election.
Sterling has weakened more than 6 per cent against the dollar over the last two months, and some banks predict it could lose a further 10 to 20 per cent if Britain exits the 28-nation bloc. see Reuters | Feb 19, 2016, 11.23 PM IST
*Markit Ltd. is a global, financial information and services company with over 3,600 employees founded in 2003
Read more at:
and, the IMF recommends indebted governments confiscate citizens’ assets
Posted on January 26, 2016 by Dr. Eowyn | 44 Comments
On January 26, 2016, the United States had an official national debt of a mind-boggling $18.93+ trillion.
That’s just the official figure we are told. Economists maintain the real debt is much higher. (See “Ex-GAO head: US debt is three times more than you think“)
When your debt exceeds your GDP, the prospects of ever paying off that debt are slim to non-existent, unless the country experiences an enormous and sustained burst of economic productivity. The debt situation is so dire that in 2013, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommended to indebted governments not just higher taxes, but confiscation of citizens’ assets. More perversely still, the IMF’s recommendation of assets-seizure is intended merely to make the national debt “sustainable,” not actually to pay off the debt.
Clearly it's time to halt use of arcane formulae generated by Nobel prize winners and others whose sophisticate 'financial instruments' like cancers provide their authors and friends with huge numbers (not 'money') on their balance sheets and computers screens in the virtual economy by feeding on the host of the real economy, and many of which were responsible for ensuring the 2007/8 capitalist meltdown.
Unless throughout the regions of Britain and Europe, a critical mass of citizens wakes up now and seizes power to uncouple then dismantle such iniquitous tyranny from the IMF, and the American, Brussels and Westminster Governments, then the psycopaths of our species will fail us all and the world in their race with natural climate change to trigger the next ice age.
"Murderous for its victims - Suicidal for its 'beneficiaries'"........
some authorities of ideas to deconstruct the current capitalist model
Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)
Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS)
London Stock Exchange (LSX)
Professor Steve Keen
Author: Debunking Economics
http://everyinvestor.co.uk/2014/05/20/professor-steve-keen-warns-coming-financial-crisis-2/ et al
Anne Pettifer PhD Econ NEF Jubilee Debt Campaign
Predicted crisis beginning in the 1970s
James Robertson Working for a Sane Alternative
author FUTURE MONEY - Breakthrough or Breakdown?
David Robins, Secretary General of the Wessex Regionalists:
There are quite a few bright spots for Wessex folk to cheer about in today’s budget – and not just a freeze on cider duty – but look beyond the headlines. It’s good to see money for children’s A&E in Southampton, but isn’t the rest of the NHS on life support? A “more resilient train line in the South West” (in other words, dealing with Dawlish) is backed, though this actually only extends to a feasibility study that’s currently stalled. We mustn’t forget the “£20 million to help young families onto the housing ladder in the South West”, funded from the 3% stamp duty surcharge on additional properties. Osborne says that’s a reward for good behaviour – “proof that when the South West votes blue, their voice is heard loud in Westminster” – but if we controlled our own resources and made our own decisions the cynical bribes wouldn’t be necessary. With MPs in the South West still being urged to rebel over HS2, it seems they could do with more than a little regionalist help in turning up the volume.
‘Devolution’, so called, can’t be taken seriously so long as it’s viewed as part of some national productivity campaign, no more than a footnote in the Government’s spending plans. Constitutional change should be about democratic renewal, not the further empowerment of unaccountable business interests. Are we happy too with the theft of our publicly funded schools in their entirety? Theft it is, to nationalise the powers of a tier of government closer to the people, without its consent. Where’s the referendum on that?
That’s why the devolution deals announced today are so pitiful. If the local councils agree, there’ll be a Mayor for ‘Avon, Mk. II’, on top of the one Bristol already has, and despite the one Bath has just rejected. Other parts of Wessex are still trying to line up their bids for more of the same. In East Anglia, councils willing, there’ll be a Mayor too, heading the first region-wide elected administration in East Anglian history. Like it or not, there won’t be a Mayor of Wessex. Which is just as well. We demand the open, transparent debate of a legislative assembly, like Wales or Scotland, not a behind-the-scenes fixer placed beyond accountability for a full four-year term. The whole mayoral obsession is part of a failure to understand that London’s dominance over England is about the inter-regional distribution of political power, not the fact that it has a Boris and we don’t.
As with the North East referendum in 2004, what’s currently on offer may end up rejected locally as too little to bother with for the democratic and financial costs attached. We’ve maintained a bold alternative that’s been rejected by all the London parties, essentially for the mortal sin of being ambitious in what we propose for Wessex. All we need say in response is, where’s your vision then? End the excuses, start rolling out REAL regional devolution, and do it now.
Rick Heyse, Communications Officer of the Wessex Regionalists:
So what does Chancellor George Osborne’s budget really mean to the people of Wessex, apart from the obvious financial black hole which the Rt.Hon George Osborne has failed recognise?
If we look into the detail there were some bright spots which we as a progressive political party welcome. The so called ‘sugar tax’, with revenue raised to help fund sport in primary schools. We also applaud greater recognition of Community Housing Trusts, which are definitely a way forward in a decentralised society. As our Secretary General, David Robins, points out, there is also the possibility of a more ‘resilient’ train line in the south west. The abolition of business rates for small businesses has to be welcomed, and should help shopkeepers in our towns and villages who have been hampered for years by an unlevel playing field in comparison to large chain stores.
But the levelling of the financial playing field between the richest and poorest in society will continue to widen with the Chancellor taking £2.5 billion from the Treasury to finance a cut in the top rate of capital gains tax on assets such as shares. The big divide continues in income tax, with higher earners benefiting more from changes to the higher threshold. Even the proposed saving schemes, though benefitting some and no doubt encourage saving, will be of little benefit for those simply scraping a living. We need real monetary reform and not simply papering over of cracks in a broken system.
It was not a budget for the environment. Forking out massive sums on high speed rail will have little consequence to local communities who are having their bus routes withdrawn or who require improvements to existing train services. Investment in flood protection may only be short lived as the effects of water run off from thousands of what in many cases are unsustainable new housing developments may soon override improvements. There were also the tax breaks to the oil company oligarchs, a further example of a government that is only half hearted about climate change and has no intention of grasping the green economic nettle and making investments in new technology a priority.
Whilst I am sure many Wessex residents will applaud tolls being halved on the Severn Crossing, they will continue to be far less than satisfied with the failure of Westminster to adequately provide funding to maintain the regions existing road network, which would also create employment opportunities in the process.
The obsession with academy schools has to be questioned, as is it really in the interests of pupils for a national curriculum to be dumped, less qualified teachers hired, with no limits on class sizes? At the same time is it right that school buildings and facilities such as playing fields could belong to private sponsors? The academy obsession in reality is simply a scheme which is another example of Tory drive for privatisation. Regionalism would deliver schools which local communities need, and not drive a wedge between better performing and poorer schools.
Last but not least, we have to condemn savage cuts to the benefits of some of the most vulnerable in society, with an estimated 370,000 people losing out. Add to this the threat to libraries, care services and social facilities as a result of government cuts and the verdict is clear, a people’s budget this was not.
On the whole this is another Westminster-centric budget, which tinkers but fails to address serious funding issues. Tax breaks for the super rich do not trickle down into the wider economy but disappears into offshore bank accounts. Failure to invest in green jobs means we take another step towards ecological Armageddon. Meanwhile attacking the most vulnerable shows lack of any heart or compassion, especially when there are tax breaks for the better off.
Wessex needs regional government and a party which is in touch with the needs of all the people to provide a budget for the region. Yet again, the message from the Chancellor’s little red case is that Westminster cannot be trusted to deliver this.
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