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The UK General Election



Note that various articles on the housing markets of the UK, USA and Australia are recorded at House Price Crash Discussion Forums
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little c
 18 Oct '17  02:08 : 0 recs

Good morning to everyone reading 'Serious Topics', 'The Third' and all other social media websites currently online today. I trust that all is well with all of you this beautiful Wednesday morning. What are you all up to this coming week? 'The Times' leads today with some editorial comment on a fee fall.

"The Times reveals today that the cabinet is squabbling over higher education. Theresa May believes that Jeremy Corbyn’s promise to scrap tuition fees in the election campaign was central to his success, and that the Conservatives need to follow his lead with a new settlement. She is wrong on both counts. The government should countenance only minor changes to the current system, which has provided stable funding for universities and increased access to higher education.

Mrs May said in her party conference speech that the government would undertake a “major review” of the fees system. Not everyone is keen. Justine Greening, the education secretary, and Jo Johnson, the universities minister, think that the system is fine. Those who agree on the need for reform disagree ... "


'The Times' thunders that Conservatives are suffering a crisis of confidence in the tuition fees system they designed. Ministers must not be tempted to pinch Jeremy Corbyn’s education policy.
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little c
 16 Oct '17  14:30 : 0 recs

What are you up to these days, Gorgeous?
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Lord Byron
 16 Oct '17  13:56 : 0 recs

Only you can save us
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George Sore Ass
 16 Oct '17  13:46 : 0 recs : edited 1 time : last edit 16 Oct '17  13:47

Oh my god, I just cleared by browser cache and when I got here, every thread had post after post of nonsense from little c.

I don't wish to engage in personal abuse like he does, but I can't help feeling that he's a massive d1ckhead who really needs to find some purpose in life, rather than embarrass himself in private here (since I assume anyone with any sense has the bell end in their sh1tlist).
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little c
 16 Oct '17  05:07 : 0 recs : edited 3 times : last edit 16 Oct '17  05:13

Good morning to everyone reading 'Serious Topics', 'The Third' and all other social media websites currently online today. I trust that all is well with all of you this beautiful Sunday morning. What are you all up to this coming week? 'The Indpendent' leads today with some editorial comment that everyone is focusing on Philip Hammond's Brexit stance, when we should be worried about his forthcoming Budget.

"Britain’s beleaguered Chancellor will soon has another problem on his hands. So much attention has been paid to his Brexit stance – prioritising a business-friendly outcome – that there has been little debate about the forthcoming Budget, now just over a month away.

This will be the first November Budget for the UK, as the traditional Spring Budget has been moved forward. This shift makes a great deal of sense, because it now gives reasonable time for any new measures to be implemented ahead of the financial year, which starts on 5 April, instead of the usual late March scramble. Assuming it is indeed Philip Hammond who presents this Budget, for it is not at all clear he will survive in his post, what should his priorities be?

The debate falls into two halves: the macroeconomic stance and its implications for public spending, and the detailed issues of the tax-and-benefits system that need to tackled. 

On the first, there has been a great deal of debate about how much room the Chancellor has to increase spending by easing the fiscal aim of reaching a surplus during the life of this Parliament. At the moment the deficit is set to be about 3 per cent for this financial year. So far, tax revenues have held up, while public spending has been contained. By slowing the path towards a surplus, it was thought that the Chancellor had created some room for manoeuvre. But the uncertainties created by Brexit have at best narrowed that space and at worst eliminated it.

There is nothing new in a Chancellor being caught between political pressure to ease the squeeze and financial pressure to contain borrowing. What is new is the scale of the uncertainties. Right now the Treasury and the Office for Budget Responsibility are crunching the numbers to reach agreement on the most likely profile of both spending and revenues. The numbers, when we get them, will at least be “honest” in the sense that they will be free from political massaging, or Micawber-like wishful thinking. But we need to be realistic about the pressures to come. The economy has held up reasonably well, but it is pretty clear that growth has slowed somewhat. It may slow even more.

A difficult macroeconomic environment makes it all the more important for there to be skilful and sensitive handling of the detail of tax and spending. Whatever the overall pressures, there is always a case for simplification. At the moment the UK has an unusually complex tax system, with successive Budgets creating new loopholes while busily closing others. One of the aims behind moving the Budget to the autumn was to enable tax and spending policies to be framed for the long term. 

Whatever your view about the optimal levels of taxation and spending, there is no case for making the system more complex than it needs to be – unless you are a tax lawyer.

The second point to be made is that interest rates are historically very low. They will be higher in the future, indeed almost certainly higher by the beginning of the next financial year. So it is an obvious time to use this cheap capital, investing it in the infrastructure that the country needs.

That is not an argument for grandiose prestige schemes, nor for dressing up regular spending as “investment”. Such investment needs to take into account the pressure on public borrowing more generally. But the UK has a huge and sophisticated capital market and it should not be beyond the ability of the financial services industry to figure out ways of financing much-needed infrastructural projects without adding to the burden on the public purse.

There is one particular form of investment, that in housing, which is crying out for action. The country needs more homes. The money is there to build them. It needs better homes. The money is there to improve the housing stock. The role of government is to clear the blockages, not by gimmicks such as Help to Buy, but rather by looking at the detail as to why the country is not meeting its housing needs. There is a role for the state, a role for the private sector and a role for housing associations and other public/private partnerships. This Budget is an opportunity for a reset.

That perhaps leads to the biggest point of all. This is a new Government that hopes to be in power for five years. This is its first Budget. It takes place against a difficult backdrop, but no more difficult than many Budgets of the past. It is an opportunity to show direction, and it would be more than sad were that opportunity to be missed."


'The Independent' takes the stance that the Chancellor will need to tackle public spending, low interest rates and an overly complex tax system. Housing, or a lack of affordable housing and the building of better accommodation, is perhaps the most difficult challenge which Spreadsheet Phil' has to resolve. The tax system does not currently help. Excessive stamp duty reduces volumes of transactions, and capital gains tax reduces any incentive for older people to downsize. Bizarrely, it makes sense for construction companies to hold on to development land, without building badly needed accommodation, particularly in high density areas. The Chancellor should therefore experiment by introducing enterprise zones in which developers can build new and better properties. Much of the housing market could do with the encouragement of more enterprise, but is Spreadsheet Phil' the Chancellor to deliver it, Porn'?
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little c
 12 Oct '17  13:37 : 0 recs

You seem to me to be unduly negative, Gorgeous George Sore Ass. What on earth is the matter with you? Have you nothing better to do with your life than write this rubbish online?
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George Sore Ass
 12 Oct '17  13:06 : 0 recs

Why the UK will eat sh1t and accept whatever the EU puts on the table

For the notion of a no-deal Brexit resembles the thinking of those politicians who, in March 2013, argued that Cyprus should reject the Eurogroup’s bailout offer – because they thought the conditions involved were unfair – and prepare to abandon the euro, and consequently the EU. I was governor of the central bank of Cyprus at the time.

There is no getting around this. Britain is not even close to being able to handle all EU trade through customs, and won't be for years. And their 'preparation' isn't fooling anyone. Because the people saying they'll be prepared are the same people who promised they'd get to keep all the perks of the single market and customs union, while paying nothing and not being subject to the ECJ. And who promised a free trade area 10 times bigger than the EU in 12-24 months.

I honestly can't wait for March 2019. I just really hope Hammond gets the elbow and it's Rees Mogg in the hot seat when the collapse happens. It'll be absolutely golden.
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little c
 11 Oct '17  23:17 : 0 recs

Unprepossessing as he is, even funereal in demeanour, the nation should be grateful for the grounded presence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer as the leader of the sensible faction within Theresa May's badly fractured Cabinet. Someone, after all, has got to tell the British people some of the hard truths about hard Brexit, and what it will mean for their living standards and public services. Philip Hammond is clear, even brutal, about the consequences of a hard Brexit: less funding for schools and hospitals (so much for that famous claim on the side of the Brexit Bus), and a lingering poisonous cloud over investment in the British economy. About time for this honesty.

The Treasury, more than most departments of state, realises the long-term impact of low investment on productivity which is to depress economic growth and wage rises. The Office for Budget Responsibility, in what should count as the most devastating piece of economic analysis in recent years, has highlighted how dire the trend in British productivity has become since the financial crisis a decade ago. Though poorly understood by economists, it is real and the consequences, even without Brexit, will be harsh indeed. No nation can pay itself more than it earns in the long run without running up unsustainable debt; with Brexit that central fact will become still more acute.

The Chancellor realises that there is very little political gain to be had from misleading the electors. Even the most bullish proponents of “Brexit now” – disturbingly overrepresented in the Conservative parliamentary party – should recognise that the transition to a “global Britain” will be painful and difficult, even if it will yield the advertised fabulous results in the longer run. For years on end it will necessarily mean economic dislocation as trade patterns adjust and resources move from sector to sector; in plain terms it will mean more unemployment as jobs are lost and before new ones are created, and, very likely, more inflation as sterling depreciates to a level where the trade deficit (again widening) is at least sustainable.

Such are the inevitable consequences of Brexit, and no amount of blather about “exciting opportunities” can mask the fact. National myths about Agincourt, Waterloo and Dunkirk, bewildering turned to by the hard-Brexit rebels, cannot sell a single Nissan Qashqai in France after the tariffs get slapped on it and the customs barriers go up at the channel ports. This is something Spreadsheet Phil' understands!
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little c
 11 Oct '17  15:32 : 0 recs

What, Thoughtful, like you?
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Thoughtful
 11 Oct '17  08:38 : 0 recs

Big trouble in Spain !
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Thoughtful
 11 Oct '17  08:37 : 0 recs

Maybe the reason we have no good politicians in the UK little c is because those who would make good politicians have more sense than to be in politics .
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little c
 11 Oct '17  07:03 : 0 recs

My big mistake was never to commend you, Thoughtful, to the Labour Party! Had you become leader of the Labour Party in 1997, Thoughtful, we could have avoided having Tony Blair as Prime Minister. What about Spreadsheet Phil', Thoughtful?

As for everyone else reading 'Serious Topics', Slightly Optimistic has to be commended for raising his game to levels never seen before! This website is now the best place on the world wide web for serious discussion of the great issues of the day!

I propose some toast: to Porn', Slightly Optimistic and Thoughtful! Three cheers from little c (breakfast coffee)!
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Thoughtful
 11 Oct '17  06:39 : 0 recs

Well little c the Tories don’t seem to have anyone other than Boris !

In fact the UK doesn’t seem to have any decent politicians !

Why ?
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little c
 10 Oct '17  00:28 : 0 recs : edited 1 time : last edit 10 Oct '17  00:29

Phillip Hammond! Spreadsheet Phil'!
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Thoughtful
 09 Oct '17  21:54 : 0 recs

Well little c it seems Theresa May is not able to disseminate the advice she receives !

She sacked her election campaign advisors , she also seems to be somewhat controlled by her husband’s advice ?

Strange game politics , sometimes a very lonely game !

Who will replace her as PM ?
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little c
 09 Oct '17  00:35 : 0 recs

Politics is the apprenticeship of the possible!
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little c
 08 Oct '17  22:09 : 0 recs

Good morning to everyone reading 'Serious Topics', 'The Third' and all other social media websites currently online today. I trust that all is well with all of you this beautiful Sunday morning. What are you all up to this coming week? '[I]The Times' leads today with some editorial comment that Mrs May;s message is the problem not the delivery.

"The British sense of fair play means that this weekend there is still a great deal of sympathy for Theresa May because of the series of unfortunate events that dogged her big speech at the Tory conference in Manchester. Nobody deserved to be interrupted by an infantile prankster, to suffer the loss of voice which is feared by any public speaker and to have her conference slogan disintegrate behind her back.

We do sympathise. Mrs May is a good woman who is doing what she sees as her best for the country. In important respects, however, she had reason to be grateful for the distractions that dogged her address to the Tory faithful. The interruptions merely diverted attention from the paucity of the prime minister’s ... "


Power?
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little c
 08 Oct '17  16:26 : 0 recs

Electorates can always vote out unpopular governments.
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little c
 08 Oct '17  16:26 : 0 recs

Electorates can always vote out unpopular governments.
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little c
 08 Oct '17  15:03 : 0 recs

Debt is an essential part of our economy. Investors invest in debt, just as much as they invest in assets. Are they cheap enough to buy?
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