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Everything posted by kjw

  1. Public sector net borrowing (PSNB) rose £1.1bn in October compared with the same month a year ago to £8.2bn, official figures show. That is the highest level of borrowing in October in six years. The government has borrowed £54.3bn so far this year and is making slow progress on meeting the Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR) forecast. These figures mean Chancellor George Osborne will need to restrict borrowing to just £15bn between now and April. While not impossible - January usually sees a surplus thanks to an influx of self-assessment income tax receipts - it remains unlikely that the chancellor will meet the £69.5bn OBR forecast without severe cuts at next week's Autumn Statement. The previous annual borrowing figure was £90.1bn. The Treasury said the figures showed the job of rebalancing the economy was "not yet done". [more at link] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34877455
  2. Actually, interest rates are lowered to get people to take on more debt. To reinflate the bubble.
  3. The UK government has sold off 115,000 Northern Rock mortgages it was forced to buy during the 2008 financial crisis to Cerberus, a US asset management firm. The £13 billion ($19 billion) deal is the largest financial privatisation in UK history, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said on Friday. "Today marks another major milestone in clearing up the mess left by the financial crisis, with the sale of former Northern Rock mortgages," Osborne said. "The sale, which raises £13 billion for the British taxpayer, is the largest ever sale of financial assets by a British government, and we are now clear that taxpayers will get back more money from Northern Rock than they were forced to put in during the financial crisis," he said. [more at link] http://www.businessinsider.com/uk-treasury-sells-13-billion-of-northern-rocks-mortgages-to-the-us-2015-11?IR=T&r=UK
  4. The biggest housing association in Worcester where a friend of mine's been working is struggling because they are £60 million worse off because of the cuts. So when he went in on Monday he and others were told they finished next Friday as they were being replaced with apprentices.
  5. Perhaps it's time we had a maximum wage? We could cap top pay as some multiple of the lowest paid, that way if the likes of Lewis wanted to pay his staff lower wages, then he would have to pay himself a lower salary. My hunch is that he would soon raise staff wages.
  6. Headline should read: *Man who pays himself £4m a year says he can't afford to pay his staff £7.20 an hour*...
  7. The National Living Wage could prove "lethal" to Tesco, its chief executive has said, despite commitments by other supermarkets, including budget store Aldi, to pay it. Dave Lewis said the company, which employs more than 500,000 people and has nearly 8,000 stores, had a "history of paying people well" but claimed the living wage could combine with other rising costs to create a "potentially lethal cocktail". A National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour for over-25s will be introduced in April, above the minimum wage of £6.50 per hour. There is also a UK Living Wage of £8.25 an hour and London Living Wage is £9.40 an hour, calculated to reflect the basic cost of living and advocated by the Living Wage Foundation. Mr Lewis told the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference that the living wage would have "unintended consequences". His comments follow commitments by other stores, including Aldi and Morrisons, to pay all staff the living wage. [More at link] http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/11/10/living-wage-tesco-dave-lewis-aldi-morrisons_n_8519306.html?utm_hp_ref=tw
  8. Since businesses are de facto individuals now, tax them on their revenues like individuals. Then perhaps everyone's rates can go down. Or, tax pollution or something else we don't want. Wouldn't most companies support a CO2 tax, which is something they can control the production of, vs. a tax on profits which is what they want more of? Why are we taxing things we want more of and giving free rides to things we want none of?
  9. Taxing corporate *earnings* is like performing brain surgery on a roller coaster...
  10. Furious Shadow Defence minister Kevan Jones blasted the Conservatives for “turning their back on British jobs and industry” The revelation comes as Britain’s once-mighty steel industry is battered by closures and redundancies. The two contracts signed by the Government are worth almost £3.9billion in total. One is a £348million deal for three new Royal Navy ships, the second is a £3.5billion order for 589 Ajax armoured vehicles. [more at link] http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/shameless-tories-spend-millions-swedish-6718098
  11. ONS figures shows pace of economic growth is slowing due to a cooling of the global economy and sluggish domestic demand Britain’s economic growth slowed in the third quarter of the year, hit by the cooling global economy and weaker domestic demand. Live UK economic growth slows to 0.5% - live updates Rolling coverage of Britain’s growth figures for the third quarter of 2015 Read more Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed GDP grew at 0.5% in the three months from July to September, down from 0.7% in the previous three months. This was a bigger slowdown than had been expected in the City, where most economists were forecasting 0.6%, and is likely to fuel fears that Britain’s economic recovery is faltering. Following the disappointing figures, chancellor George Osborne said the UK economy continued to outperform other major economies but Britain “must live within our means.” [more at link] http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/oct/27/uk-gdp-growth-slows-george-osborne?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Facebook?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Facebook
  12. A severance deal that SunTrust Banks has reportedly provided to as many as 100 laid off technology workers would require the employees to continue providing assistance to the company for a period of two years without additional compensation. Computerworld reported this week that a number of employees who had received layoff notices from the Atlanta-based company provided a copy of the severance deal, “which gives the bank a way to tap their expertise long after their departure.” [more at link] http://www.rawstory.com/2015/10/banks-severance-deal-indebts-laid-off-it-workers-to-be-on-call-for-2-years-of-tech-support-without-pay/
  13. In a word, advertising. Facebook has so many users that if it was a country, it would be the 3rd largest in the world.
  14. Three former prime ministers, the ex-head of the army and a panellist on Loose Women are joining the push to stay in the EU. The "in" campaign, expected to be called Britain Stronger in Europe, has the backing of Sir John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Chaired by ex-Marks & Spencer boss Lord Rose, the board includes former chief of the general staff Sir Peter Wall. Other members have backgrounds in the arts, while former T4 presenter June Sarpong - now a panellist on ITV's Loose Women - has been drafted in to help appeal to younger voters. According to the Sunday Times, she is likely to front the campaign's advertisements in cinemas. Baroness Karren Brady, the West Ham United vice-chairwoman and Apprentice star, will have a central role, alongside Innocent drinks co-founder Richard Reed. Jude Kelly, the artistic director of London's Southbank Centre, has also signed up, along with Liverpool University vice-chancellor Janet Beer and former TUC general secretary Brendan Barber. Longstanding Europhile politicians such as Lord Mandelson, Sir Danny Alexander, Damian Green, and Green MP Caroline Lucas are joining. [more at link] http://nr.news-republic.com/Web/ArticleWeb.aspx?regionid=4&articleid=49713150&source=facebook
  15. Buying a home is cheaper than renting the same property in a third of Britain’s towns and cities – all of them outside the south of England – according to new figures. Property website Zoopla said servicing a 90% mortgage on a typical two-bedroom home costs an average £724 a month across Britain, while renting comes in at £666. Around the country, however, there are big differences in the relative cost of being a homeowner and a tenant – paying off a mortgage works out cheaper in 36% of cities. In Glasgow, Zoopla said, buyers who had raised a 10% deposit would repay an average of £447 a month to their lender, far below average rents of £596. Buyers in Dundee stood to pay £112 less each month, while in Birmingham the premium paid by tenants was £97. In contrast, the website found that in many parts of the south-east homebuyers would pay much more than tenants for the same sized property. In London, the average asking price for a two-bedroom home on the site was £665,000, which resulted in a monthly mortgage payment of £3,302 – 50% higher than the average monthly rent of £2,218; in Reading, Cambridge and Brighton the premium for buyers were all at least 25%. [more at link] http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/oct/09/homebuyers-pay-less-than-renters-in-a-third-of-uk-towns-and-cities?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Facebook
  16. AAlthough regulations around steel make it hard to intervene, a way could be found to preserve jobs at the Teesside plant. ay: Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SSI) announces it will mothball the steelworks in Redcar, resulting in the direct loss of 1,700 jobs. As a result of the low price of steel, SSI will cease producing steel on Teesside, although Andy McDonald, the MP for Middlesbrough, estimates that job losses could be as high as 9,000 once the impact is felt along the steelworks' supply chain, with contractors and suppliers on course to be hit hard. Wednesday: The government announces a loan of £45m – to Evraz, a steel-making and mining company owned by Roman Abramovich, the Russian oligarch. It has operations in the Ukraine, Canada, the United States, and Russia. Why isn't the government stepping in to rescue jobs in Redcar? Government subsidy of the steel industry is tightly regulated by the European Union because overproduction of steel by heavily-subsidised national champions, resulting in crashes in the price – has been a persistent problem within the European economy. (That's also why closing down Trident manufacturing in Barrow and replacing it with alternative, well-paying work, is not as easy as it often sounds – the government has more leeway to subsidise jobs for defence than it does industries that compete on the global market, which is why the three unions who represent its workers remain opposed to scrapping the submarine.) However, other European governments have persistently found ways round these regulations, with the Italian government heavily subsidising its steel industry under the guise of funding "environmental protection". And as David Cameron's choice to use the international aid budget to rehouse refugees here in Britain shows, the British government isn't opposed to fiddling the rules when it suits. It comes back to the central problem of the government's industrial policy: they have a plan to mortgage increasingly large chunks of Britain to China. They don't have a plan toretain the top academics or to maintain British industrial capacity. http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/economy/2015/10/why-government-giving-45m-roman-abramovich-while-letting-british-steelworks
  17. I think all this "what spending cuts?" stuff forgets an important thing. When Jo/anna Public talks about "spending cuts", s/he means "cuts in public services", not "government spending has reduced as a proportion of GDP". And there have, undeniably, been cuts in public services.
  18. I can't believe Corbyn overlooked HPCers in favour of leading economists including a nobel prize-winner. Must have been an oversight I'm sure.
  19. Yes me too. Also a leading MMTer such as Bill Mitchell would have been nice. Still a decent looking line-up though.
  20. Looks like a decent line-up... Labour has today unveiled its Economic Advisory Committee that will be convened by the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP, and will report directly to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP. Meeting quarterly, the purpose of the Committee will be to discuss and develop ideas around the official economic strategy that Labour will be advocating under the new leadership. The Committee, which contains a broad based group of world leading economists, includes: Mariana Mazzucato, Professor, University of Sussex Joseph Stiglitz, Professor, Columbia University, recipient of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in economics. Thomas Piketty, Professor, Paris School of Economics Anastasia Nesvetailova, Professor, City University London Danny Blanchflower, Bruce V, Rauner Professor of Economics Dartmouth and Stirling, Ex-member of the MPC Ann Pettiffor, Director of Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME), and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Political Economy Research Centre of City University Simon Wren-Lewis, Professor of Economic Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. Speaking ahead of the announcement, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said: “I was elected on a clear mandate to oppose austerity and to set out an economic strategy based on investment in skills, jobs and infrastructure. Our economy must deliver security for all, not just riches for a few. “I am delighted that John McDonnell as Shadow Chancellor has convened this group to advise the leadership as we set out our economic vision.” John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, added: “I am delighted to convene this Economic Advisory Committee that will assist in developing a radical but pragmatic and deliverable economic policy for our country. “Our Economic Advisory Committee will assist in developing a fairer and more prosperous economic alternative based upon investment and growth which reaches all sections of society. “Austerity is failing the people of this country. Working alongside world leading economists Labour will present the coherent alternative our country desperately needs.” Member of the new Committee, Professor Thomas Piketty, said: “I am very happy to take part in this Economic Advisory Committee and assist the Labour Party in constructing an economic policy that helps tackle some of the biggest issues facing people in the UK. “There is now a brilliant opportunity for the Labour party to construct a fresh and new political economy which will expose austerity for the failure it has been in the UK and Europe.”
  21. A banker has spent £2.5 million creating three new flats in Kensington to help him secure planning permission for a new luxury penthouse A wealthy banker has spent £2.5 million creating three new flats in Kensington to help him secure planning permission for a vast luxury home elsewhere in the borough which will see three existing homes merged into one. Garrett Curran, 43, the chief executive of Credit Suisse’s British operations, has bought three flats on the top two floors of a grade II listed terrace in upmarket Belgravia and wants to the turn them into one six-bedroom luxury super-flat. [more at link] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/11842744/Banker-to-build-new-homes-so-he-can-get-approval-for-luxury-megaflat.html
  22. Unions are a problem when they go too far, when they become too powerful. Like anything. We need balance and competing forces, or else the economy gets sick. That is why, to attain balance, you have to be more pro-union or anti-union depending on where the pendulum is. And I'd suggest there is little doubt where it is now....
  23. I would rather tax the rich than borrow from them...
  24. "You seriously think anyone reads the contents of these emails you send?" Yes, somebody does as I've had replies to mine.
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