Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The great EU delusion.

"We don't want a referendum, just a return of power". So writes George Eustice, Tory Eurosceptic MP for Camborne and Redruth in the Financial Times of 10th December. But even my teenage grandchildren understand that 'power' rests with 'the markets' and 'ratings agencies' and 'multinationals'. They are not sure what these are & not much bothered, having what they believe to be better things to do with their time (they may well be right) but they know that they are not the 'Government' or the 'EU'.I find it amazing that people who are otherwise highly intelligent are so obsessed with the EU and seem to believe that if we could only build the equivalent of the Berlin Wall down the English Channel we would enter a sunlit upland undreamed of in our imagination. The organisations to whose tune we all have to dance are elected by nobody & accountable to nobody. Cameron's 'puppet on a string' dance to the tune of his Eurosceptics is, according to many within the City itself, unlikely to provide whatever protection he thought he was achieving. It has perfectly complied with the 'divide & rule' strategy that satisfies the interests of 'international money'. Only when the last tree has died, and the last river poisoned, and the last fish been caught, will we realise that we cannot eat money (Cree Indian Chief Wolf Robe 1909) Happy Christmas

Monday, 19 December 2011

How can women vote Tory?

In the spring of this year a 'You Gov' poll found that only 13% of the public felt that Cameron's Conservatives was closest to women whilst 79% felt they were closest to the rich. More recently the equality campaign group, The Fawcett Society, published a report 'A life raft for women's equality' which identified a 23 yr high in female unemployment. Just to kick them harder there have been cuts to child benefit; maternity grant for low income families; reduced housing benefit and so on. It is estimated that £11bn of the £16bn sliced from the welfare budget affects women and about 3million are worse off. Never mind. The Tories want more women in Boardrooms.That will make a hell of a difference. Theresa May has responded by setting up a scheme to recruit mentors to help women start businesses. Where are these female entrepreneurs going to get start up funds from? One of my daughters has identified an employment opportunity. Divorced mother, one child (age 10) still at home. The training costs over £2000. Supposing she didn't have a dad with a few quid. No chance. Still Cameron does have his heart in the right place with respect to women. The rules of Royal succession are to be changed to allow the eldest child male or female to succeed to the throne. Wow.
The sad thing is that the LibDems will get tainted by this. There is a limit to what 57MPs compared to over 300 can do to restrain the Tories. Compassionate Conservatism, Big Society - sure. The Government has allocated about £500m to help community groups whilst charities are expecting to lose £4.5bn as a result of spending cuts. If we could bottle & sell hypocrisy we wouldn't have a debt crisis. Happy Christmas.

If you can afford the booze you can afford to pay for treatment

"I've been spat on,punched,kicked,slapped-- I gave a tissue to a crying girl and she bit my hand" so is quoted paramedic Antonia Gissing in the Observer of 11th December. These people are not poor and underprivileged. They include trainee lawyers and other so called middle class professionals. It is estimated that it costs the NHS a minimum of £220 per drunk. Why should these people not pay at least this amount as an automatic levy? This is not what the NHS was set up to do & why should the taxpayer meet the cost and why should the paramedics have to endure the abuse.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Only ordinary folk pay taxes

Liberal Democrats calculate that some £750million is being lost every year in taxes when house purchases are hidden behind offshore companies.

One Hyde Park is arguably the most expensive,exclusive apartment block in the world. A penthouse sold for £136million. A one bedroom flat costs over £3.5m. Planning permission was granted for 86 apartments - now reduced a bit as some smaller ones have been put together. Some 60 have been sold. Not surprisingly it is hard to find the details. A significant number have been sold to overseas companies registered in Tax Havens. For example 25 apparently in the British Virgin Islands. Anyone remember Osborne's claim to be going after Tax Havens? What he has actually done in that regard us another story. Returning to One Hyde Park, only 9 are paying Council Tax. Westminster City Council is trying to find out who owns the rest. The developers say they are not responsible for registering people for council tax. It seems the only way is for council officials to do a door to door survey - if they can get past the 'Security' at the entrance to the block.

So what is the huge burden of Council Tax that these poor rich people are not paying?

This story gets even more sick. Council Tax valuations in Westminster ( and Blackpool) are as at 1991 prices when Band H (the highest) is more than £320000. Currently In Westminster about 96.5% of properties for sale are in G & H. The Council Tax which is being avoided on One Hyde Park is just £ 1375.24 per annum. In Blackpool, (which has the lowest average wage in England of just over £15000 p.a.), only about 10% of properties for sale are in G & H and the Council Tax charge on such properties is £ 3032 p.a.. Only those people in Blackpool living in a Band A,B,C, property pay what the Westminster millionaires pay i.e. £1375. One Nation? All in it together? Only in Tory fantasy land.