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Brown's Policies Write The Script For Debt-ridden Britain

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This article by Janet Daley in todays Telegraph is an interesting read, but for the really juicy stuff have a look at some of the comments posted beneath it:

I commented on this last week, but it's worth saying again: our (very average) joint income now buys - at a guess - about 80% of what it bought five years ago; and despite inflation-linked pay rises over the same period, our standard of living has declined noticeably.

So, how do we now afford those things that we previously used to buy (not luxuries - those are very few and far between)?

Simple - we pretend that the convertible value of our house continues to rise, and borrow more against it. Of course, we're paying heavily for the privelege; and our house is actually worth relatively the same as it was (if we wanted to get out). But the reality is that, in our fifties, we'll never pay off the mortgage, and who knows what will happen if we need nursing care? There will be no huge equity to pay for it...and, as your other correspondents point out, most of this decline is due directly or indirectly to Brown's hatred of the English middle class.

I suspect it's too late, but we need to stand up to this constant assault on our purses - it's about time those who contribute the most saw some benefit from their efforts.

Posted by Alan on August 7, 2006 12:24 PM

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I'm 25 and follow the principle of "if you can't afford it, you can't have it." Result? A huge student loan (unavoidable now we aren't given grants), a huge mortgage, holidays are spent staying with friends as we can't afford otherwise (and, of course, theirs are spent staying with us) and a sharp head for mental calculation to work out how to pay for our weekly food, half of which is grown at home.

My husband and I owe over £200k just in mortgage and student loan; the credit card is paid off each month, but still once you owe that much without even trying to get in debt there is a danger of thinking "what's an extra five thousand?"

My husband and I now have a child on the way and are dreading my taking maternity leave - although we want me to leave work, we would need to start having children in our 40s to afford that. We are going to have to borrow something just so we can eat (we don't use heating, just extra jumpers); you can't tell me that this is a healthy economy for two graduates with modest tastes, which we can't afford to indulge. We both certainly attacked the Labour Party over this, both in the last election and the one before it.

Posted by Caryn on August 7, 2006 12:12 PM

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Is it me?

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Are people finally waking up? New Labour are like the machines in The Matrix, hiding the horrible truth and

feeding the sheeple with spin.

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Yep, all those sod stories relate to INFLATION - it just creeps up on you without you realising it - and that's why GB/BOE have allowed it to climb and keep headline grabbing IR low over this boom period - the thick public wouldn't notice - and they were right!

If they'd been responsible and decided to raise IR at the first sign of inflation and not redefine CPI multiple times and increase immigration to surpress wages (originally designed to surpress demand) then we wouldn't be in this position of debt

BOE/GB underestimated (laughed at?) how the general public have simply borrowed to bridge the gap between their virtually static wages and rising inflation - and they still alllowed it to continue rather than become unpopular by raising IR...

Edited by dnd

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Guest Alright Jack

Are people finally waking up? New Labour are like the machines in The Matrix, hiding the horrible truth and

feeding the sheeple with spin.

I agree with this comment entirely. They treat us like children. It's the same with the energy crisis. Rather than do the right thing which is to campaign very hard to drive home the realities we face, they take this ludicrous elliptical approach in which, after thirty years of ignoring the green lobby (who are a bunch of punks admittedly) they suddenly go all green and start banging on about carbon emissions.

I don't blame labour specially for the problems of today but I hate the way are endangering our chances of survival by keeping everyone in dark and feeding them cr@p.

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I don't blame labour specially for the problems of today

NuLab have had nearly ten years in power and just pissed it away on cash-for-cronies and idiot social engineering scams. It's true that governments have been ignoring many of these problems for decades in order to get re-elected, but they were in power when changes needed to happen and they've been an absolute disaster... the consequences will be with us for decades to come. Well, with the people who can't get out of Britain, anyway.

Edited by MarkG

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"No doubt stroking your white pussy as we speak in no11."

Dear, dear - whatever we think of Gordon Boom, that's really no way to refer to Sarah.

Seriously though, at this juncture in time, try if you can to recall the national mood on 2 May 1997. You will be lucky if you find it can be so much as done using all your powers of imagination.

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Aye remember the day of the flitting full of hope, heads patted, hands shook, everybody wishing them well, except for me who said it'll take 10 years but they'll ruin this country, God I wanted things to work out well but it looks like I was right.

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I got caught up in the euphoria of '97. Heck, I knew Blair was a hard-right tory even back then but an globe-trotting facsist for hire to crony capitalists everywhere? Oh well...

Anyway, good article. It’s ALL about inflation.

Tax doesn’t make much difference to me in the grand scheme of things. Yes, much of it is squandered and it would be nice to either have it spent on universally beneficial things or given back. But the real problem for me is that a house I could have bought with a mortgage payment of 400-450PCM in 1999 (if I’d just been a few years older and to that stage of life), now requires a payment of close to 1200PCM. Even renting a house worse than the one I might have bought in ’99 costs £800.

So either way, hundreds extra I have to spend every month due to their failure to check property speculation. Why is it better for some BTLer to scoop up my income (only, to give much of it to some loose-lending bank)?

There’s other forms of inflation - there’s the council tax, there’s the rise in utility bills, which have outstripped inflation and eaten into meagre payrises. Thank goodness I don’t have a season ticket for public transport and been screwed here too. Thanks goodness I hardly ever use 'services'. I buy so little that I largely don’t notice the price of the usual tat people buy but I’m now noticing a squeeze, money not going so far.

I don’t even trust that the items in the laughable CPI ‘basket of goods’ are falling in price. The way it’s calculated masks declining product durability and standards. Just because there’s now a sweatshop-made, fall-apart alternative to a given product doesn’t mean it’s the same thing. Is a £19.99 Tesco microwave the same thing as a solid £150 one? Just because there are now cheaper microwaves, doesn’t mean that if you want a microwave of a certain quality you don’t have to have to pay more. I don’t have a microwave but even so.

Professional-grade or high quality products haven’t really fallen in price at all over the last few years at all and in many cases have risen like services. You only get ‘low inflation’ if you’re happy to swap over to sweatshop imports/battery meat/etc. where you may have bought better products in the past. While many retailers are struggling, the fact that bargain retailers like Primark and Tesco are posting strong profits suggests people are ‘choosing’/being forced to do just that to desperately try and offset the effects of brutal real inflation. I think in the last recession they called this the ‘ASDA effect’.

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Seriously though, at this juncture in time, try if you can to recall the national mood on 2 May 1997. You will be lucky if you find it can be so much as done using all your powers of imagination.

I remember the day very clearly. I got hammered and watched the results come in. Was pi$$ed when they got in.

Just as the Tories were sorting the mess out too!

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I remember the day very clearly. I got hammered and watched the results come in. Was pi$$ed when they got in.

You too :)

I would say there have been 3 main TV broadcasts i remember. (9/11, Diana crash and the election results). It was just red red red, all the way and then they started singling along to D:ream 'things can only get better' and i felt they might not....

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You too :)

I would say there have been 3 main TV broadcasts i remember. (9/11, Diana crash and the election results). It was just red red red, all the way and then they started singling along to D:ream 'things can only get better' and i felt they might not....

There's no getting away from the contrast with today. It could not be more extreme.

Remember that Tory election broadcast with the treetrunk being propped up? "A tree without roots cannot withstand the slightest pressure."

What, not even a 0.25% IR rise?

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That was quite a striking article, as it connected the caustic eroding real inflation in personal incomes to the need for additional debt as wages deflate further under mass immigration.

Was looking over a few chinese coal companies recently. As inflation has been surging, thier costs have risen sharply, yet they could not raise thier incomes due to government policies (kind of like a UK worker).

On thier balance sheets, they have taken on immense amounts of debt to make ends meet.

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Good article - (I can afford anything I want - except a house) - but to a certain extent it's preaching to the converted.

Telegraph readers/journos were never going to be especially supportive of a Labour Govt (but they haven't been above helping to ramp up the property boom either).

Edited by greencat

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I haven't voted for the last 20-odd years but..............

Dont all politians c*ck things up?

I feel certain the Conservatives would have pumped the supply of money as much as labour et al have done had they been in power.

Doesn't a lot of the rising price woes fall on greedy individuals?

Its just a matter of scale, and the fact that labour was left without a chair to sit on, when the music stopped.

Edited by expatowner

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I haven't voted for the last 20-odd years but..............

Dont all politians c*ck things up?

I feel certain the Conservatives would have pumped the supply of money as much as labour et al have done had they been in power.

Doesn't a lot of the rising price woes fall on greedy individuals?

Its just a matter of scale, and the fact that labour was left without a chair to sit on, when the music stopped.

No, that is oversimplistic. Not all politicos necessarily mess things up to the same extent. Has the present bub-bull any true historical peer?

There are several good reasons to think that the Tories wouldn't have pumped money to the same extent as Labour:

(1) They wouldn't have raised overall taxation as much, if at all - and this has been an important motivating factor behind Labour's credit binge to keep the newly-won middle class voters feeling good regardless.

(2) They wouldn't have vastly expanded the state salariat as Gordon Boom has done, thus aggravating the need for more taxes, etc. as above.

(3) They wouldn't have tolerated the present rampant immigration which keeps the lid on wages, hence requiring more debt for consumer satisfaction as above.

(4) They (presumably) wouldn't have made the BoE nominally independent. I don't know if it was like this from 1997, but with hindsight we can see that Mr. Boom has been obliged to fiddle the inflation statistics to trick the BoE into keeping IRs unrealistically low.

(5) They presumably also wouldn't have started taxing pensions the way Mr. Boom did right away - which may well have been the biggest single impetus given to the present speculative-desperate frenzy by boomers scared of old-age poverty.

The fact is, there was no game of musical chairs to start with, when Labour came in in '97. They set it up, from one electoral cycle to the next, and have now been left holding a bomb of their own making - with millimetres left on the fuse.

In my view they deserve everything that's electorally coming to them.

Edited by Qetesuesi

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Guest mattsta1964

That was quite a striking article, as it connected the caustic eroding real inflation in personal incomes to the need for additional debt as wages deflate further under mass immigration.

Was looking over a few chinese coal companies recently. As inflation has been surging, thier costs have risen sharply, yet they could not raise thier incomes due to government policies (kind of like a UK worker).

On thier balance sheets, they have taken on immense amounts of debt to make ends meet.

I'm sure you've been asked this a 100 times so forgive me but

Where did u get that avartar Brainclamp? It cracks me up every time I see it

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you cannot chuck all this dirt at new labour. its the complete system thats failing. whoever gets voted in.

its a natural response that defines who leads. this isnt about the right decisions. its a popularity contest, hence the pandering, posturing and willingness to adopt any popular policy thats the problem.

a real politician would not have to posture. it should be factual. like in the 50s/60s. there are some tough choices ahead, but no one would vote for a minister if they said they wanted to cut down air travel to 3hrs per person per year. or to force pension savings out of wages. or to even look after that money properley.

if anyone stood up and told the uk these things, the press would eat them alive and so then would the voters. who at the moment are living in a dreamworld of x factor and credit. the face of the uk is changing and there doesnt seem to be any real controls. cept for ID cards and other non freedom related things. instead were in iraq and afghamistan.

this isnt the fault of new labour or the torues. its the fault of the people that vote for them while ignoring real issues and deeming them 'cranks' in favour of slick global brinkmen,. the media has played a dreadful contribution to the decline of the uk as a whole.

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I haven't voted for the last 20-odd years but..............

Dont all politians c*ck things up?

I feel certain the Conservatives would have pumped the supply of money as much as labour et al have done had they been in power.

Doesn't a lot of the rising price woes fall on greedy individuals?

Its just a matter of scale, and the fact that labour was left without a chair to sit on, when the music stopped.

They wouldn't have let real inflation as rapidly/silently

It would have been painful - but I'm a wuss - plus I had to put up with the Tories in the 90's - f*** 'em...

Lets hope any painful correction is fast....

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yeah. lets hope the correction is fast.

so we can get our share of the pointless airtravel and consumer/energy wastage. NOW !!

as joey tempest of europe said in 1988. "will things ever be the same again ?"

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
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      • up 5%



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