Yesterdays Budget

Yesterday's budget was pretty decent in my view. I'm sure Rishi would rather have spent money elsewhere but given that Covid-19 is the biggest issue currently facing us I think he has done a good job. I know the numbers directly affected by the virus are small compared to other sources of illness, and one is probably more likely to get run over by a car or bus than contract Covid-19, but the economy depends on confidence and part of the problem is fear. It is what has led to the panic buying. There will always be people bleating for their own area of interest but in times like these they need to be more acutely aware of the bigger picture.

If the government is seen to be taking this pandemic seriously, and by pumping billions into the NHS to help combat the virus, into R&D to find a vaccine, providing financial assistance to both employers and employees, it has clearly shown that it does, then that should help maintain confidence and allay fears.

The difference between this and Corbyn's 'free broadband for all' is obvious to see (unless you're a socialist).

It's called "being the leader of the opposition", and is the job spec. Note, like every other LoTO ever, he started his reply speech with a few brief words about the good bits.


Personally, at around £7m per mile, I'd have liked a few fewer miles of road exchanged for a bit of support for the criminal justice system but oh well.... around 35 miles should pay the legal costs of those found not guilty, who currently have to self fund, for example.

Pleased to see general consensus across the House on the broadly Socialist policy of infrastructure investment.
There's nothing uniquely socialist about infrastructure projects. They are an investment. These types of projects support all types of industries and even if they don't create new jobs, which they probably will, they certainly help keep people in existing jobs, from planning departments, the supply chain of all sorts of raw and manufactured goods and materials through to the people doing the spade work and then post-project support. If people are employed they are not a major drain on the public purse through the benefits system. If people know they have a job and it is fairly safe then they will have the confidence to spend their money which once again supports other industries and jobs. Don't claim infrastructure investment as a 'socialist' policy because it isn't. If anything, one could probably argue a better case for them being more of a capitalist policy.
 
This in my opinion is a big mistake, it puts us at the mercy of a foreign power should things go a bit pear shaped. We should be looking to produce our own power and be self sufficient.
Much like a lot of Europe is reliant upon Russian gas and Russia has already used its supply of gas as a stick with which to beat other European countries, particularly the Ukraine.

According to the graphic on the British Gas website Europe imports 21% of its gas from Norway and 36% from Russia. We import 47% of our gas from Europe.
 
Yesterday's budget was pretty decent in my view. I'm sure Rishi would rather have spent money elsewhere but given that Covid-19 is the biggest issue currently facing us I think he has done a good job. I know the numbers directly affected by the virus are small compared to other sources of illness, and one is probably more likely to get run over by a car or bus than contract Covid-19, but the economy depends on confidence and part of the problem is fear. It is what has led to the panic buying. There will always be people bleating for their own area of interest but in times like these they need to be more acutely aware of the bigger picture.

If the government is seen to be taking this pandemic seriously, and by pumping billions into the NHS to help combat the virus, into R&D to find a vaccine, providing financial assistance to both employers and employees, it has clearly shown that it does, then that should help maintain confidence and allay fears.

The difference between this and Corbyn's 'free broadband for all' is obvious to see (unless you're a socialist).



There's nothing uniquely socialist about infrastructure projects. They are an investment. These types of projects support all types of industries and even if they don't create new jobs, which they probably will, they certainly help keep people in existing jobs, from planning departments, the supply chain of all sorts of raw and manufactured goods and materials through to the people doing the spade work and then post-project support. If people are employed they are not a major drain on the public purse through the benefits system. If people know they have a job and it is fairly safe then they will have the confidence to spend their money which once again supports other industries and jobs. Don't claim infrastructure investment as a 'socialist' policy because it isn't. If anything, one could probably argue a better case for them being more of a capitalist policy.
I agree, up to a point; but we're in a binary world now, in which sensible, pragmatic, run-the-country-properly politics is despised by Right (because free market ideology) and Left (because we can't have losers and wealth creation is suspect). So on balance I'd call big infrastructure spending more lefty than righty. That's only because the right have been so helplessly addicted to free market bollocks for so long.

If this budget is a return to One Nation Toryism, ie
sensible, pragmatic, run-the-country-properly politics, great, and welcome back Ken Clarke et al.

I suspect it isn't, but we'll see.

Perhaps I'm getting old.
 
Has anyone committed themselves yet to what “levelling up” means?

I presume that if it’s too specific, it means targets that can be scrutinised later as having been met or not.

I can see an issue being made down the line if things haven’t materially improved for those parts of the country that feel left behind.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
There's nothing uniquely socialist about infrastructure projects. They are an investment. These types of projects support all types of industries and even if they don't create new jobs, which they probably will, they certainly help keep people in existing jobs, from planning departments, the supply chain of all sorts of raw and manufactured goods and materials through to the people doing the spade work and then post-project support. If people are employed they are not a major drain on the public purse through the benefits system. If people know they have a job and it is fairly safe then they will have the confidence to spend their money which once again supports other industries and jobs. Don't claim infrastructure investment as a 'socialist' policy because it isn't. If anything, one could probably argue a better case for them being more of a capitalist policy.
Socialist projects, and especially National Socialist projects - viz Autobahns.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Ten years ago during the election debates I was in hospital to undergo a sinus polypectomy. I can still see the apolitical expert (but I forget who) announce that that election was a poisoned chalice because it would take ten years of violent austerity to undo the nuclear disaster Cylops had made off the economy.

I'd say based on yesterday, that man was spot on. Mind he also said that that party would be unelectable for a generation.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Ten years ago during the election debates I was in hospital to undergo a sinus polypectomy. I can still see the apolitical expert (but I forget who) announce that that election was a poisoned chalice because it would take ten years of violent austerity to undo the nuclear disaster Cylops had made off the economy.

I'd say based on yesterday, that man was spot on. Mind he also said that that party would be unelectable for a generation.
The Labour Party and our esteemed national broadcaster have been in denial about austerity ever since, or specifically the reasons why it has been necessary.

[Stopwatch running on the flash-to-bang time of the next round of whataboutery...]
 
Corbyn yesterday in the House looked very frail and weak. I am certain that he has some underlying illness and, as he is standing down soon, I don't understand why he is hiding it.
...because he is copying the Soviet leadership style... the filthy, commie walt...

Soviet leadership illness...
 
I'll take this one.

I've got be careful with Persec here but a very close relative of mine was involved in the building of the previous generation of nuclear power plants, including Sizewell B. This was/is a pressurised water reactor and we turned to the Americans, who have a lot of experience of such designs, for help. There was a design office up at Booth Hall in Cheshire and the guys there spent a fair bit of time shuttling to and from Boston in the US.

At some point, it was decided that there wasn't enough competition in nuclear power plant design - I guess in line with government rules which state that there has to be competition.

Never mind that this could have been declared a strategic capability/asset and placed outside competition. The design office was split, with half moved to a location in Essex.

There was no sense to it, and there was no reason why we couldn't have maintained the capability beyond dogma. In fact, there's every reason why we should have maintained the capability. Certainly, buying a paper design off the Chinese makes no sense, not in a strategic security sense. Look at the furore over Huawei.
I would have thought EDF & CGN's* funding of Hinkley Point C would have caused more knickers to twist, EDF is 85% owned by the French State





*Chinese General Nuclear Power Group
 
Possibly the shortest budget in history, given today's announcements. Finger crossed; hopefully things will still turn out well.

'The UK government has just unleashed an ‘unprecedented’ set of financial measures to help the UK economy tackle the impact from the coronavirus.

'UK chancellor Rishi Sunak said that while the coronavirus “will not be overcome by a single [financial] package,” it will take a “collective national effort.” He said that the UK government wants to “reassure that this government will give you all the tools you need to get through this.” He added that the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t just a “health emergency” but also “an economic emergency.”

'The package is worth 15% of UK GDP, up from a package announced last week worth 1% of GDP...'


 
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