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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  28/04/2011  :  07:37
Political comment is a high risk activity on the site these days so I thought I'd try again to give those who are interested in politics a safe haven!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 25/11/2011 : 05:08
Belle, remember that Angela King is the mouthpiece of the bankers, she is definitely not going to be the source of any independent or sensible advice. It's quite informative to look at the national economies that aren't in the deepest trouble, they are the ones that avoided any formal engagement with other countries. Normal rules of supply and demand and comparative efficiencies work better than formal trade arrangements which are, in effect, little better than semi-legal cartels. Look at something like OPEC. If this was made up of individual firms it would be illegal because it is a monopoly artificially regulating world oil prices.

I see that the message I have been banging on about since the 2008 collapse seems to be finally getting home. Cameron and Ossie are leaning towards  moving money into capital projects because they say they will stimulate the economy. Really?  Why wasn't this noted by Godron when he threw the cash at the banks, effectively sterilising it, instead of investing at least half of it in government projects which would have injected capital into the economy at the lowest levels and gained the benefits of the multiplier effect. Just think about the difference this would have made to employment, domestic spending and tax reciepts. I suppose I should be glad they have at last realised rule one of basic economics, Money invested in the infrastructure is never wasted and gives long term benefits. This improves the lives of our children and doesn't saddle them with long term debt for projects that give far worse returns.

Interesting comments from Philip Green about the poor performance of Top Shop. He says that the warm October and November has hit sales of winter clothing. He forecasts that they will close over 200 outlets as leases run out. I was slightly puzzled by this. Surely if there is less demand for high street leases the cost of them will go down and give lessees the opportunity to lock into a new lease at a much lower price? Why won't this affect the decision to close an outlet down?  What does this say about his confidence in his business?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 26/11/2011 : 11:48
quote:
Tardis wrote:
So those that have, from all the statistics, should have more money and can choose to spend it where they want. So why isn't this spending power creating jobs in the UK economy?
The spending `power' alone (i.e. holding the money)  won't do the job, it needs the money to be spent and I'd suggest the lack of spending is not just due to sentiment and fear. Two more reasons are that prices of goods and services often haven't fallen significantly enough to attract spenders and secondly consumers often cannot find the goods they want. In the first case it seems to be greed or foolishness which is stopping the companies dropping prices enough to bring in customers. In the second, it's the failure to match goods/services to demand - manufacturers and retailers these days seem to think that they can force what they like on people rather than giving the customers what they really want/need.

As an example, we've been wanting to trade in our Ford Focus for a newer one for a couple of years now and we thought the recession would allow us to buy at a good price. But no, the dealers were still trying to keep the prices up. It's only in recent months we began to detect a real change and were able to get a good deal and even buy a VW Golf instead of a Focus. But I still had to do a lot of work looking at dealers' web sites to find the right car - they didn't seem to be bothered about helping me.


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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 26/11/2011 : 14:05
The car issue may be a symptom of the relevant exchange rates. Many of the plants have kept workers on despite not producing anything and that adds in massive costs which have to be recouped at some stage unless you go for administration.

Plus, you have to remember that energy prices are massively up in the UK.

I also wouldn't be surprised if there were things sneaked through about import charges, along the lines of the recent VAT charging level lowering by Royal Mail.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 27/11/2011 : 06:10
I'm listening to the hysterical propaganda campaign being waged by the Coalition against the public workers who will withdraw their labour next Wednesday. In particular the statement that it would cost the economy £500,000 using worst case. Where did they get this figure? Why wasn't 'best case' quoted as well? This was a pure sound-bite calculated to generate fear of job losses. I don't know the details of the negotiations of course but for months the unions have been saying that the government hasn't been negotiating seriously and asking for more meaningful discussions. This rings true and the fact that independent arbitrators have been ignored and even the NAO statement that the cost of public service pensions will fall have not been taken into account.

The Ernst and Young Item Club (who have a good track record in these matters) have announced that the total number of jobs lost in public services has been under-estimated and should be raised from 400,000 predicted in March by the Office of Budget Responsibility to 500,000 over the next five years. They also cast doubt on thenumber of jobs that will be taken up by the private sector due to the worsening state of consumption as disposable incomes fall.

Keep an eye on the Atumn Budget Statement. I suspect that one item on the agenda will be the April 2012 rise in benefit payments triggered by the October inflation figures. I hear the sounds of goalposts being dug up prior to shifting them. As a pensioner I wonder if the dare hit the State Pension. My prediction is that the cuts will be selective. Keep your eye on them Ted!  The buggers are up to their old tricks again. Shades of the Means Test weapon in the 1930s. Some of us have long memories and Tory DNA doesn't change..


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 27/11/2011 : 10:46
Putting aside the politics for a moment, don't you think it wrong for unions to call a strike now when the nation's economy is in jeopardy? Never mind whose fault those economic conditions might be, a strike is going to negate the efforts of all those people who are trying to get Britain back on track and quite possibly mean an even worse future for those who will be striking (as well as many others).


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panbiker
Senior Member


2300 Posts
Posted - 27/11/2011 : 15:34
The problem is that the legislation to make the sweeping changes that public sector workers are faced with is being forced through NOW. The government is not waiting for the economy to recover!

(Ex public sector worker already screwed out of the system, now under the radar and not accounted for in any government figures.)

Rant mode off..

 


Ian Go to Top of Page
Another
Traycle Mine Overseer


6250 Posts
Posted - 27/11/2011 : 16:13
Public sector workers have always been pawns in the politics game.

I would have been on strike on Wednesday had I not retired and I'm sure those former collegues of mine who have seen their earning slip dramatically with no pay increases since 2007  and yet expected to pay for a hike in pension contributions  for lesser pensions will be withdrawing their labour. 

Yes there are some extraordinary pensions out there paid to the higher civil service and senior local govenment  staff.

The BBC today quotes the TUC as saying that  
"most public sector workers can expect a pension of between £5,000 and £8,000 pa" and at the other extreme yesterday's Daily Mail quoted the average civil service pension at £6,200pa. So we are not talking bankers perks at all and as for hoilding the country to ranson well, we all know that's on old Tory fall back that they apply to any public service dispute. Nolic

 


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 27/11/2011 : 16:44
I'm not commenting on public sector pensions but saying that I think it's irresponsible of any union to be striking at the moment, whether public or private sector. I don't support any political party and I'm not against unions, but to strike at the moment just seems plain madness to me. There are plenty of ways for groups of individuals to make their concerns felt without striking and jeopardising the economy even further.


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panbiker
Senior Member


2300 Posts
Posted - 27/11/2011 : 17:36
Public sector workers have already had to sign new contracts prior to their payscales being re-graded. The effect of this is what led to me leaving my position as my new pay point (with bigger workload and same hours) if I stayed in the job, would not allow me to afford to pay what remained of my mortgage. Negotiations by all affected member unions have been going on for over two years now and have reached an impasse.

Withdrawing your labour is the final thing that you are legally entitled to do to make a point which I believe is what will happen on Wednesday.

My daughter is a teacher and will be out, along with over 95% of her colleagues at school. Parents have been informed in advance and her school will be closed.

There are a lot of like minded people out there who are prepared to make a stand. I like Nolic would be alongside them if I was still in the system.

The government will lay all the blame for any and all i'lls that may befall anyone on Wednesday on the shoulders of anyone that chooses to make a stand though, no doubt about that.

Tiz, exactly what other methods would you suggest all the folk who now find themselves between a rock and a hard place actually take?


Ian Go to Top of Page
Another
Traycle Mine Overseer


6250 Posts
Posted - 27/11/2011 : 17:41
Best quote yet from a striking worker in the police "My pension is not a tax for deficit reduction" Nolic


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 28/11/2011 : 06:18
Tiz, big problem is that the causes of strikes almost always coincide with depression in the sector concerned so, almost by definition, strikes occur at the 'wrong time' for the economy. The root of this particular problem is not economic, the NAO figures on future pensions showed that the spend was going to reduce naturally. However, the political motive is to reduce all pensions because they 'cannot be afforded'. It just happened that the public service pensions were the easiest target for the governmnet because they have direct control of what is paid. Be sure that if they had the same power over other pensions, and considered the political consequences acceptable, they would attack them as well. The importance the government attaches to this campaign against public pensions is best appreciated by looking at the virulent anti-union statements. We have heard them all before, some things never change. Noticeable that the same passion isn't being injected into financial sector regulation.

Ossie leaks 'good news' items from his speech. One of them is £5billion to inject into growth promotion. Two probems, it is not additional money it will come from cuts in tax credits and the money isn't being injected into the economy at the most basic level, specific projects which would carry with them the benefits of the multiplier effect. The £40billion he was talking about doesn't exist, it is an open ended gurantee on investments which will only become payable further down the road on investments that have gone bad. In other words, the can has been kicked down the road. The biggest problem is sorting out how all these enormous sums overlap, I suspect there is some double-accounting going on.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 28/11/2011 : 06:21
PS Notice that there are no leaks on next year's benefit increases. There will be a small footnote later in the speech.....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tardis
Regular Member


453 Posts
Posted - 28/11/2011 : 10:38
I wonder how many strike days from public sector workers it would take to restore the deficit?

Maybe we could encourage them to do more


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Another
Traycle Mine Overseer


6250 Posts
Posted - 28/11/2011 : 11:23
Tardy, your last post is not deserving of a response. Nolic


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Bruff
Regular Member


479 Posts
Posted - 28/11/2011 : 14:29
I suppose if the economy is being hit by half a billion quid this Wednesday we have to wonder at the merits of giving us all a day off next year in these straightened times to celebrate someone or other's jubilee to sit alongside the sums lost for a similar exercise earlier this year when a young couple got wed.  But flippancy aside, I thought the public sector was a leech on all things productive and so struggle to see how its being 'out' all day could provide a hit of half a billion.  Far be it from me to assume the likes of Mr Maude etc are talking through both sides of their mouth at the same time (which would be enormously rude) and so I have to assume the 'activity' of the public sector contributes well over a 120 billion a year at least.  I guess then we can work backwards to see how many strikes need to be encouraged so that we can calculate at what stage the salary payments forgone outweigh the contribution provided.  That's the 'back of yer fag packet' calculation that resonates with the prejudices of the times.  You might have to add other metrics to the ledger to get a better picture though. 

 
Richard Broughton



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