Monday, September 17, 2007

On the Planet Ming

Several items that caught my attention in today's papers.

First, the LibDems who live on the planet 'Ming have declared they are going to super-tax the super-rich, which is anyone earning over £70,000. They don't appear to have grasped that one reason the UK economy does so well is that this is a popular domicile for billionaire businessmen and football club owners who bring their money with them, in return for a compromise with the tax man. It's not fair, I know but the alternative is that they go and live elsewhere, leaving us to live with rather less investment and interest on their mega-bucks. This kind of theory of wealth distribution simply doesn't work in the global economy of the 21st century.

The other news item which interests me this morning, is Alan Greenspan, the ex-head of the US Federal Reserve, forecasting gloom and doom for the UK economy and "difficulties" ahead for UK home owners, as rising interest rates bring house price growth to a shuddering halt.

The 81-year-old economist, an adviser to Gordon Brown, said that recent increases in house prices - particularly those in London and the South East - were unsustainable

While providing some reassurance about Britain's prospects in the coming decades, saying it will be one of the best-performing Western economies, thanks to the Thatcherite reforms of the 1980s and the strength of the City he also points out tht Britain must overhaul its flagging education system or risk being left behind by other vibrant economies around the world.

Now if you listen to government, you would think we had the best education system in the world but if you listen to the CBI, teachers and university professors, you'll hear that we are sliding quite rapidly down the league tables and will soon be down there with the eastern Mediterranean on an equivalence basis. Time to wake-up and learn Cantonese I think!

Finally, the government has admitted that more than a million pounds a month in child benefit is going to youngsters who live in Eastern Europe.

The money is being paid out to 14,000 Eastern European nationals who claim for offspring living in their home countries.

It is the first time the Government has acknowledged that the payments - funded by British taxpayers - are going abroad.

Even larger sums in tax credits for children are thought to be paid to recent migrants from Eastern Europe but ministers insist that total figures are 'not available'.

Later this morning I'm going down to the benefit office to claim for my six children in various EU countries abroad. I have a hand-written letter from each of their mothers - in their native language - attesting to the fact that I am the father, which should be enough!


Anonymous said...

Chickens coming home to roost springs to mind. Brown ran the treasury for ten years and never gave credit to the Tories for putting a stable economy into his grasp.

He then proceeded to waste billions. The only noteworthy thing he did was to give independence to the BoE. Even that is questionable given the recent debacle with Northern Rock. Hopefully a few other chickens will come home to haunt him. The raid on the pensions industry and selling twenty five tons of our gold when the prices were at an all time low.

Now we are all about to suffer from the mismanagement of nuLabour. If there is a recession and many of the jobs that Eastern Europeans are doing disappear. Will they go back to Romania et al, or will they line up on the dole?

Anonymous said...


The trickle-down economic theory just doesn't work and has widened the gap between rich and poor. Do you want a return to serfdom? You probably do actually.

These millionaires all keep their money abroad so the chancellor never sees a penny of it anyway. Are we meant to be grateful when they throw a few pennies our way?

What was the Tories levels of funding for Schools and Hospitals? Hardly anything for years as they could all afford to go private. We're still trying to catch up but I can tell you that the nurses and teachers I know have a much better quality of life than before.

But my main point is that I find it boring when you just blow the Tory bugle rather than looking at the issues with an open mind.

DrMoores said...

Without a doubt teh ga between rich and poor has widened but other factors are at work here. If you are wealthy and live here, then society enjoys some of the benefits of your wealth as a spin-off effect. The alternative is to drive you out, like France and then society suffers because there's no new investment. It may not be fair but super taxation isn't the answer. Dubai welcomes those with lots of money who don't wish to pay any tax at all!

DrMoores said...

Recommended reading: "The New Barbarian Manifesto" - Prof Ian Angell of the London School of Economics - That will soon put you on the right track in regards to the financial facts of life in the 21st century!

Anonymous said...

I read the same news about child benefits etc and the excuse given was that it only involves about 14,000 people. What duty do we have and under what EU legislation, to pay migrant workers in this country, benefits for the maintenance of their children living outside the UK? My parents live in France as OAPs and are in receipt of the bare minimum state pension given to them in the UK without minimum income guarrantee, fuel allowance etc and are living in a state of near poverty after a life-time of paying NI and taxes in the UK. It makes me irate to think that my taxes are paying for some-one elses brats in Poland, Rumania or Bulgaria!

John said...

The rules on "family allowance" are applied across the EU as far as I know. When I lived in Holland I received a generous allowance from the Dutch Government in respect of my three daughters. I also paid taxes - including medical insirance - in Holland.

Michael Child said...

Goodness me Simon you do get about a bit have you considered the Russian ladies and Sept. 12 Russia’s national Day of Conception the government gives couples time off from work to procreate. Couples who give birth nine months later on Russia's national day — June 12 — receive money, cars, refrigerators and other prizes.

Anonymous said...

John, did your 3 daughters live with you in Holland or were they in UK whilst Dutch were giving you allowances? The whole thing seems crazy if countries pay benefit for children elsewhere!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. A million a month huh? Peanuts compared to, say, BT who make £6 million a day out of us.
Or how about Tesco at £7 million a day?
Even better BP clocking in at £20 million day. Yep, those kids in Europe lolling around in luxury at our expense have sure got a nerve!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. A million a month huh? Peanuts compared to, say, BT who make £6 million a day out of us.
Or how about Tesco at £7 million a day?
Even better BP clocking in at £20 million day. Yep, those kids in Europe lolling around in luxury at our expense have sure got a nerve!

Is there a point to this? People like you must have been devastated at the collapse of communism!
All the companies you mention provide jobs and pay taxes back to the treasury. What benefit are we getting out of enriching East Europeans? Besides the figures do not include housing benefit and NHS charges. How much is squandered there?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't expect you to get the point of it.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

The EU itself, costs the UK over £1M each hour.

One day the British people will wake up to the Great Deception.