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I don't know the effect,if any,that the emigration of people to Oz US Canada in the 50's and 60's had on the economy of Britain but this idea has more a stink of the Highland clearances rather than the ten pound pom.

Gee :rolleyes: I was referring to the very early settlers who brought their balls and chains with them :lol: :lol:

Btw My fathers ancestors were victims of highland clearances we think..... They certainly moved out of Caithness in early to mid 1800s

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over here the Government has looked at the average age Scots shuffle off our mortal coil and made the retiring age 2 years older than that. I see it as my patriotic duty to live to 100 :rolleyes:

It gets worse, Sammy :lol:

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/retirement-age-raised-to-five-years-after-you-die-201006252851/

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:lol: the bast***s :rolleyes:

I don't know why I am laughing, everyone knows that was a very lazy article, simply lifted from the minutes of the last meeting of the Tory Party' Pensions focus group.

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I think (for the first time :) )I'm going to be a grown up re politics and actually heed what the bloody 'ell is going on for the duration and prospects of this our new twin parliament............usually I don't bother. But it will have to be in Noddy language for me to fully follow the proceeedings :D

Now further to my quest I see lots of cuts coming up

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/10457352.stm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jun/29/budget-job-losses-unemployment-austerity

I see the union leaders protesting that jobs are being sacrificed from the working classes

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/833416-rmt-leader-bob-crow-calls-for-mass-strikes-to-halt-savage-job-cuts

"..the ‘Con-Dems’ were determined to ‘rule by fear’.

Fear of losing your job, fear of losing your home and fear of losing your benefits and the public services that you rely on."

Any speech so far by Osborne concentrates on cuts to save the economy and as someone else pointed out an all out strike won't help however neither will a return to long permanent dole queues. I don't see any global recovery yet so where the hell are the jobs going to come from and why is this not made more clear?????

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I think (for the first time :) )I'm going to be a grown up re politics and actually heed what the bloody 'ell is going on for the duration and prospects of this our new twin parliament............usually I don't bother. But it will have to be in Noddy language for me to fully follow the proceeedings :D

Now further to my quest I see lots of cuts coming up

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/10457352.stm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jun/29/budget-job-losses-unemployment-austerity

I see the union leaders protesting that jobs are being sacrificed from the working classes

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/833416-rmt-leader-bob-crow-calls-for-mass-strikes-to-halt-savage-job-cuts

"..the ‘Con-Dems’ were determined to ‘rule by fear’.

Fear of losing your job, fear of losing your home and fear of losing your benefits and the public services that you rely on."

Any speech so far by Osborne concentrates on cuts to save the economy and as someone else pointed out an all out strike won't help however neither will a return to long permanent dole queues. I don't see any global recovery yet so where the hell are the jobs going to come from and why is this not made more clear?????

The world's economy will grow by 9% this year, that's what we have to grab. Sadly, we have a Govt that would rather hide, that would take the UK into a deeper recession than necessary in some BDSM style of Government.

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The world's economy will grow by 9% this year, that's what we have to grab.

Pigs it will!

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12% in China, 9% in India, 5.5% in USA, 2.5% in Europe. There's business to be had.

Therefore (in Noddy language please :) ) that will result in the UK .......???

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Therefore (in Noddy language please :P ) that will result in the UK .......???

oh we're b*ggered :) Actually, Scottish Government policy is to push internationalisation, get more businesses exporting (Scotland is kinda pathetic at it just now), get more inward investment and drive growth which in turn should drive the economy. England's policy (as set by the UK Govt) is to hunker down and retrench (the decision to close their Regional Development Agencies is baffling).

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http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-how-goldman-gambled-on-starvation-2016088.html

From the Independent - and the UK just had a budget designed to keep these people happy

By now, you probably think your opinion of Goldman Sachs and its swarm of Wall Street allies has rock-bottomed at raw loathing. You're wrong. There's more. It turns out that the most destructive of all their recent acts has barely been discussed at all. Here's the rest. This is the story of how some of the richest people in the world – Goldman, Deutsche Bank, the traders at Merrill Lynch, and more – have caused the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world.

It starts with an apparent mystery. At the end of 2006, food prices across the world started to rise, suddenly and stratospherically. Within a year, the price of wheat had shot up by 80 per cent, maize by 90 per cent, rice by 320 per cent. In a global jolt of hunger, 200 million people – mostly children – couldn't afford to get food any more, and sank into malnutrition or starvation. There were riots in more than 30 countries, and at least one government was violently overthrown. Then, in spring 2008, prices just as mysteriously fell back to their previous level. Jean Ziegler, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, calls it "a silent mass murder", entirely due to "man-made actions."

Earlier this year I was in Ethiopia, one of the worst-hit countries, and people there remember the food crisis as if they had been struck by a tsunami. "My children stopped growing," a woman my age called Abiba Getaneh, told me. "I felt like battery acid had been poured into my stomach as I starved. I took my two daughters out of school and got into debt. If it had gone on much longer, I think my baby would have died."

Most of the explanations we were given at the time have turned out to be false. It didn't happen because supply fell: the International Grain Council says global production of wheat actually increased during that period, for example. It isn't because demand grew either: as Professor Jayati Ghosh of the Centre for Economic Studies in New Delhi has shown, demand actually fell by 3 per cent. Other factors – like the rise of biofuels, and the spike in the oil price – made a contribution, but they aren't enough on their own to explain such a violent shift.

To understand the biggest cause, you have to plough through some concepts that will make your head ache – but not half as much as they made the poor world's stomachs ache.

For over a century, farmers in wealthy countries have been able to engage in a process where they protect themselves against risk. Farmer Giles can agree in January to sell his crop to a trader in August at a fixed price. If he has a great summer, he'll lose some cash, but if there's a lousy summer or the global price collapses, he'll do well from the deal. When this process was tightly regulated and only companies with a direct interest in the field could get involved, it worked.

Then, through the 1990s, Goldman Sachs and others lobbied hard and the regulations were abolished. Suddenly, these contracts were turned into "derivatives" that could be bought and sold among traders who had nothing to do with agriculture. A market in "food speculation" was born.

So Farmer Giles still agrees to sell his crop in advance to a trader for £10,000. But now, that contract can be sold on to speculators, who treat the contract itself as an object of potential wealth. Goldman Sachs can buy it and sell it on for £20,000 to Deutsche Bank, who sell it on for £30,000 to Merrill Lynch – and on and on until it seems to bear almost no relationship to Farmer Giles's crop at all.

If this seems mystifying, it is. John Lanchester, in his superb guide to the world of finance, Whoops! Why Everybody Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay, explains: "Finance, like other forms of human behaviour, underwent a change in the 20th century, a shift equivalent to the emergence of modernism in the arts – a break with common sense, a turn towards self-referentiality and abstraction and notions that couldn't be explained in workaday English." Poetry found its break with realism when T S Eliot wrote "The Wasteland". Finance found its Wasteland moment in the 1970s, when it began to be dominated by complex financial instruments that even the people selling them didn't fully understand.

So what has this got to do with the bread on Abiba's plate? Until deregulation, the price for food was set by the forces of supply and demand for food itself. (This was already deeply imperfect: it left a billion people hungry.) But after deregulation, it was no longer just a market in food. It became, at the same time, a market in food contracts based on theoretical future crops – and the speculators drove the price through the roof.

Here's how it happened. In 2006, financial speculators like Goldmans pulled out of the collapsing US real estate market. They reckoned food prices would stay steady or rise while the rest of the economy tanked, so they switched their funds there. Suddenly, the world's frightened investors stampeded on to this ground.

So while the supply and demand of food stayed pretty much the same, the supply and demand for derivatives based on food massively rose – which meant the all-rolled-into-one price shot up, and the starvation began. The bubble only burst in March 2008 when the situation got so bad in the US that the speculators had to slash their spending to cover their losses back home.

When I asked Merrill Lynch's spokesman to comment on the charge of causing mass hunger, he said: "Huh. I didn't know about that." He later emailed to say: "I am going to decline comment." Deutsche Bank also refused to comment. Goldman Sachs were more detailed, saying they sold their index in early 2007 and pointing out that "serious analyses ... have concluded index funds did not cause a bubble in commodity futures prices", offering as evidence a statement by the OECD.

How do we know this is wrong? As Professor Ghosh points out, some vital crops are not traded on the futures markets, including millet, cassava, and potatoes. Their price rose a little during this period – but only a fraction as much as the ones affected by speculation. Her research shows that speculation was "the main cause" of the rise.

So it has come to this. The world's wealthiest speculators set up a casino where the chips were the stomachs of hundreds of millions of innocent people. They gambled on increasing starvation, and won. Their Wasteland moment created a real wasteland. What does it say about our political and economic system that we can so casually inflict so much pain?

If we don't re-regulate, it is only a matter of time before this all happens again. How many people would it kill next time? The moves to restore the pre-1990s rules on commodities trading have been stunningly sluggish. In the US, the House has passed some regulation, but there are fears that the Senate – drenched in speculator-donations – may dilute it into meaninglessness. The EU is lagging far behind even this, while in Britain, where most of this "trade" takes place, advocacy groups are worried that David Cameron's government will block reform entirely to please his own friends and donors in the City.

Only one force can stop another speculation-starvation-bubble. The decent people in developed countries need to shout louder than the lobbyists from Goldman Sachs. The World Development Movement is launching a week of pressure this summer as crucial decisions on this are taken: text WDM to 82055 to find out what you can do.

The last time I spoke to her, Abiba said: "We can't go through that another time. Please – make sure they never, never do that to us again."

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Guest westtender

:)

Disgusting. Predictable - but still disgusting.

What a queer, queer wee species we have evolved into.

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:)

Disgusting. Predictable - but still disgusting.

What a queer, queer wee species we have evolved into.

I'd like to think I am a different species from them. Hopefully the Goldman Sachs brand is done; it will be good to see that shower of b******* disappear (no doubt to be reinvented). However, we need to reintroduce the Glass-Steagall act that required separation of banks and investment banks and these scum need shot the next time they try dictating government policy.

Sadly our coalition Govt rolled over first threat

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12% in China, 9% in India, 5.5% in USA, 2.5% in Europe. There's business to be had.

We are looking at 3.75% and China is slowing, deliberately, Dont think US will achieve 5.5% India probably Europe maybe perhaps , even money bet there.

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Great article Sammy.

The wheat farmers here (same in US & Canada) borrow heavily from the banks to survive the lean times (last 7 or 8 years of drought) As security they, if you like, pre-sell their output to allow for planting and keeping body and soul together. For the last 2 or 3 seasons we have had good rains bumper crops and the need to borrow has diminished (exporting 40 Million tonnes alone this year) so farmers are up dating infrastucture and plant and the wheat pices to end user are tending downwards, per tonne. At last the farmers are making real $$$$. Just hope the good times last a few years it depends on that fickle lady El Nino.

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Thought some of you might be interested in an email I received from an economic historian at Glasgow University. (This Robin Hood tax idea sounds more and more appealing and fair).

"We are economic historians concerned at the recent tone of the debate as to the scale and scope of British public sector debt (Report, 2 March). History shows, first, that British public debt is not high by the standards of the last 200 years. It is rather low in comparison to the second half of the 18th century, the first three-quarters of the 19th century, and most of the interwar and post-second world war era in the 20th century. It is also low in the context of the developed world; only Germany's and Canada's are lower among the larger industrialised powers.

Second, the last 20 years has seen exponential escalation in the scale of each financial crisis: the savings and loan scandals of 1985-89, BCCI in 1991, Long-Term Capital Management and the Asian crisis of 1998; Enron in 2001; and then Lehman Brothers and the mayhem of 2008. Each step in this woeful narrative seems to have deepened the moral hazard involved, as speculators have been encouraged to believe that governments would always come to their rescue. Each crisis has demonstrated ever more clearly that, without radical global regulation, jobs and growth in other sectors are cruelly exposed to the costs of risk-taking in which the general public had no say but which it is always expected to pay for.

We urge policymakers to take into account these historical lessons and turn their attention to promoting the economic growth that can speed up the repayment of public debt. This is most likely to occur through enabling the knowledge economy to flourish, rather than continuing to be too reliant on the unreliable and profligate financial sector. The next government should develop a constructive strategy for growth, capitalising on the UK's clear advantage as the home of four of the world's top 10 universities, to invest in its role as an international hub for learning, science, innovation, advanced study and green jobs. Economic growth enabled Britain to escape from crushing debt burdens in the early 19th century and during the 1950s and 1960s. It could do so again, if the public spending cuts that would endanger such knowledge-based growth are ruled out in the short to medium term."

Dr Glen O'Hara Oxford Brookes University

Dr Simon Szreter St John's College, Cambridge

Dr Alastair Reid Girton College, Cambridge

Prof Martin Daunton Trinity Hall, Cambridge

Prof Jane Humphries All Souls College, Oxford

Dr Richard Sheldon University of Bristol

Prof Jim Tomlinson University of Dundee

Prof David Edgerton Imperial College London

Prof Roger Middleton University of Bristol

Prof Geoffrey Hosking University College, London

Dr Richard Toye University of Exeter

Prof Steve Hindle University of Warwick

Dr Hugh Pemberton University of Bristol

Prof Frank Trentmann Birkbeck, University of London

Prof Noel Whiteside University of Warwick

Dr Paul Ryan King's College Cambridge

Prof Patrick O'Brien London School of Economics

Dr Paul Warde University of East Anglia

Prof Ronen Palan University of Birmingham

Dr Scott Newton Cardiff University

Members of the History & Policy network

"There is a clear consensus among the main political parties. The solution to the national deficit is to cut public services.

Yet we have a national deficit because the banking sector collapsed, sparking a recession.

Bailing out the banks cost billions, and the recession hit tax revenues and increased unemployment. Public services did not cause this crisis, and we should not have to pay for the crisis through cuts in our services.

What runs through all the attacks on the terms and conditions of public-sector workers is a brutal logic that wages and pensions should be forced down to the lowest level.

The benchmark for this is the private sector, where wages are compared to non-unionised workers.

This global race to the bottom is central to the economic collapse we have seen around the world. Squeezed consumers are defaulting on mortgages and personal debts, and are less able to spend in the economy.

This is not a theory, but a fact - the share of Britain's national income going to wages has declined from 65 per cent in the 1970s to 53 per cent today. The same phenomenon has been witnessed around the world. Neoliberal economic practice is devouring itself, and with it ruining millions of lives.

There are alternatives, but they won't be found in the main parties' manifestos. This is because they require a redistribution of wealth and power in the other direction - from rich to poor.

Research by the Tax Justice Network and the PCS union estimates that £70 billion is lost every year through tax evasion and a further £25 billion is lost through avoidance, by big business and wealthy individuals. Much of this could be recovered if more tax inspectors were hired and the legal loopholes were closed.

But the government is cutting the number of tax staff every year. Last year this meant that another £27.7bn of tax went uncollected by HM Revenue & Customs.

By just collecting the tax that is rightfully ours, including from the wealthy and big business, we could avoid public service cuts.

The organisers of the Robin Hood Tax campaign estimate that introducing a mere 0.05 per cent tax on financial speculation could raise $400bn globally.

We own several banks. They were bailed out with taxpayers' money, having done massive damage to our economy, so it seems reasonable that they should be run in the public interest - with their profits used to invest in public services. If other services collapse and need to be bailed out, let's run them to make a profit for the people who bailed them out - taxpayers.

Thirty years ago, gas, electricity, water, buses, trains, and telecommunications were all publicly owned, with prices set by government and all profits reinvested not given away on fat-cat bonuses and dividends. In recent years, utility bills and rail fares have risen way above the level of inflation for little or no discernible service improvements. These price rises for essential services have hit the poorest hardest and contributed to the growth in inequality to its current unprecedented level.

But there are places where cuts make sense.

There are several large government projects that are worthy of being scrapped. Polls indicate that axing these projects would be popular and would allow public money to be better spent elsewhere.

Stopping the replacement of Trident nuclear weapons would save an estimated £78bn over 30 years. Abandoning ID card proposals would save at least £6bn. Bringing our troops home from the pointless war in Afghanistan would save £2.6bn per year, and save countless young lives - British and Afghani.

The cross-party consensus on cuts is not just stifling debate about alternatives. The consensus itself is economically illiterate and socially unjust.

The three main parties are particularly targeting cuts to public services, welfare costs and to public-sector and state pensions.

Public services are vital in reducing inequality, by making cuts or increasing charges we will damage the service and ultimately damage our society - taking opportunities away from people.

Cuts to university budgets will deny higher education places to people and encourage calls for higher fees, which would exclude even more. A less skilled workforce is also less attractive to foreign investment, something all three parties regularly declare is vital for the economy.

Cutting public-sector jobs will increase unemployment, which in turn will increase the costs to government, as more people claim unemployment benefit and fewer people pay income tax. If people's incomes are taken away or cut through pay freezes then they spend less, also hitting VAT revenues. This hurts the economy as there is less consumer spending. It will also result in the private sector cutting back because there is less demand.

Instead, we should be creating jobs to boost employment and tax revenue. We have plenty of work to be done. We could invest in renewable energy, high speed rail links and building new housing for the 1.8m families on council house waiting lists.

Britain currently has the lowest level of unemployment benefit in western Europe - just £64 per week or £51 for under-25s. If unemployment benefit had risen at the same rate as wages since 1979, it would be over £110 per week today. Even if a link between benefits and earnings had been introduced by Labour in 1997, the unemployment benefit would be £75 per week today.

Despite all the horror stories in the press, three times as much is lost through mistakes in benefit payments as is lost through benefit fraud. Benefit fraud last year was about £0.8bn, tax evasion by big business and wealthy individuals was £70bn - nearly 100 times as much. Yet where are the posters at bus stops to shop a tax evader?

The basic state pension is still under £100 per week, one of the lowest in Europe. The official poverty level is £165 per week. Proposing to increase the state pension age to 66 immediately and gradually up to 70 would hit the poorest hardest. They earn less and so are less able to take early retirement. Because of this and a lifetime of lower standards of living, they die younger. With the current unprecedented levels of inequality, raising the pension age is grossly unjust.

The main pensions target for the stale Westminster party consensus is public-sector pensions. Currently, the average public-sector pension is about £4,000 a year, or about £80 per week - hardly the "gold-plated," "feather-bedded" lap of luxury that the tabloids would have us believe.

In fact, two and a half times as much public-sector money is spent subsidising private-sector pensions through tax relief - and 60 per cent of this relief goes to higher rate earners at the higher rate.

A recent IPSOS/MORI opinion poll revealed that only 24 per cent of the British public thought there was a need to cut spending on public services. The same poll found that people were most in favour of tax rises on business, closely followed by inheritance tax.

Despite the cross-party consensus, it is clear that people know there are alternatives to public service cuts, and there is a clear belief that those who gained the most from the boom should pay for the bust."

Andrew Fisher is co-ordinator of the Left Economics Advisory Panel.

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Thought some of you might be interested in an email I received from an economic historian at Glasgow University. (This Robin Hood tax idea sounds more and more appealing and fair).

"We are economic historians concerned at the recent tone of the debate as to the scale and scope of British public sector debt (Report, 2 March). History shows, first, that British public debt is not high by the standards of the last 200 years. It is rather low in comparison to the second half of the 18th century, the first three-quarters of the 19th century, and most of the interwar and post-second world war era in the 20th century.

debt caused by wars

It is also low in the context of the developed world; only Germany's and Canada's are lower among the larger industrialised powers.

So Australia isnt an "Industrialised Country" but that would spoil their argument

Second, the last 20 years has seen exponential escalation in the scale of each financial crisis: the savings and loan scandals of 1985-89, BCCI in 1991, Long-Term Capital Management and the Asian crisis of 1998; Enron in 2001; and then Lehman Brothers and the mayhem of 2008. Each step in this woeful narrative seems to have deepened the moral hazard involved, as speculators have been encouraged to believe that governments would always come to their rescue. Each crisis has demonstrated ever more clearly that, without radical global regulation, jobs and growth in other sectors are cruelly exposed to the costs of risk-taking in which the general public had no say but which it is always expected to pay for.

We urge policymakers to take into account these historical lessons and turn their attention to promoting the economic growth that can speed up the repayment of public debt. This is most likely to occur through enabling the knowledge economy to flourish, rather than continuing to be too reliant on the unreliable and profligate financial sector. The next government should develop a constructive strategy for growth, capitalising on the UK's clear advantage as the home of four of the world's top 10 universities, to invest in its role as an international hub for learning, science, innovation, advanced study and green jobs.

This will of course increase the size of the Universities and enhance the writers prestige and income

Economic growth enabled Britain to escape from crushing debt burdens in the early 19th century and during the 1950s and 1960s.

Yeah stating the bleeding obvious

It could do so again, if the public spending cuts that would endanger such knowledge-based growth are ruled out in the short to medium term.

]Increasing Universities would be a drop in the bucket 4 of top 10 Universities in World are in UK 60% arent

Dr Glen O'Hara Oxford Brookes University

Dr Simon Szreter St John's College, Cambridge

Dr Alastair Reid Girton College, Cambridge

Prof Martin Daunton Trinity Hall, Cambridge

Prof Jane Humphries All Souls College, Oxford

Dr Richard Sheldon University of Bristol

Prof Jim Tomlinson University of Dundee

Prof David Edgerton Imperial College London

Prof Roger Middleton University of Bristol

Prof Geoffrey Hosking University College, London

Dr Richard Toye University of Exeter

Prof Steve Hindle University of Warwick

Dr Hugh Pemberton University of Bristol

Prof Frank Trentmann Birkbeck, University of London

Prof Noel Whiteside University of Warwick

Dr Paul Ryan King's College Cambridge

Prof Patrick O'Brien London School of Economics

Dr Paul Warde University of East Anglia

Prof Ronen Palan University of Birmingham

Dr Scott Newton Cardiff University

Members of the History & Policy network

"There is a clear consensus among the main political parties. The solution to the national deficit is to cut public services.

That saves monies which means you have to borrow less

Yet we have a national deficit because the banking sector collapsed, sparking a recession.

Bailing out the banks cost billions, and the recession hit tax revenues and increased unemployment. Public services did not cause this crisis, and we should not have to pay for the crisis through cuts in our services.

Without the banks particularily in UK you are in an even worse positiion

What runs through all the attacks on the terms and conditions of public-sector workers is a brutal logic that wages and pensions should be forced down to the lowest level.

If you havent got the money you cant pay

The benchmark for this is the private sector, where wages are compared to non-unionised workers.

So!

This global race to the bottom is central to the economic collapse we have seen around the world. Squeezed consumers are defaulting on mortgages and personal debts, and are less able to spend in the economy.

Its not Global most of Asia and Australia did not go into recession

This is not a theory, but a fact - the share of Britain's national income going to wages has declined from 65 per cent in the 1970s to 53 per cent today. The same phenomenon has been witnessed around the world. Neoliberal economic practice is devouring itself, and with it ruining millions of lives.

No it hasnt! The standard of living in some Asian countries has increased expotentially in the last two decades

There are alternatives, but they won't be found in the main parties' manifestos. This is because they require a redistribution of wealth and power in the other direction - from rich to poor.

Balderdash the rich are the ones that provide jobs for the poor and have to be encouraged to increase their endeavours to stimulate economic growth and jobs. To penalise them simply means they move elsewhere

Research by the Tax Justice Network and the PCS union estimates that £70 billion is lost every year through tax evasion and a further £25 billion is lost through avoidance, by big business and wealthy individuals. Much of this could be recovered if more tax inspectors were hired and the legal loopholes were closed.

But the government is cutting the number of tax staff every year. Last year this meant that another £27.7bn of tax went uncollected by HM Revenue & Customs.

Great chase the guys providing jobs away

By just collecting the tax that is rightfully ours, including from the wealthy and big business, we could avoid public service cuts.

Is it rightfully yours?? What have you done to earn it? Evasion is a crime avoidance isnt

The organisers of the Robin Hood Tax campaign estimate that introducing a mere 0.05 per cent tax on financial speculation could raise $400bn globally.

The money is there all they want seems to be to control it in a way they deem to be best without earning it

We own several banks. They were bailed out with taxpayers' money, having done massive damage to our economy, so it seems reasonable that they should be run in the public interest - with their profits used to invest in public services. If other services collapse and need to be bailed out, let's run them to make a profit for the people who bailed them out - taxpayers.

The profits have to be returned to share holders to encourage them to invest so that banks can lend money to people that can use it to make money. That is one of the basics in Economics

Thirty years ago, gas, electricity, water, buses, trains, and telecommunications were all publicly owned, with prices set by government and all profits reinvested not given away on fat-cat bonuses and dividends.

Successive governments successfully wrecked most of these enterprises took cash out without providing any sinking funds so that they got to such a state they had to be sold

In recent years, utility bills and rail fares have risen way above the level of inflation for little or no discernible service improvements. These price rises for essential services have hit the poorest hardest and contributed to the growth in inequality to its current unprecedented level.

Governments did not invest adequately in these services now big monies have to paid to update infrastructure that was allowed to run down so of course prices go up Of course the poorest are hit

But there are places where cuts make sense.

There are several large government projects that are worthy of being scrapped. Polls indicate that axing these projects would be popular and would allow public money to be better spent elsewhere.

Stopping the replacement of Trident nuclear weapons would save an estimated £78bn over 30 years.

That was tried in 1930s

Abandoning ID card proposals would save at least £6bn. Bringing our troops home from the pointless war in Afghanistan would save £2.6bn per year, and save countless young lives - British and Afghani.

The cross-party consensus on cuts is not just stifling debate about alternatives. The consensus itself is economically illiterate and socially unjust.

The three main parties are particularly targeting cuts to public services, welfare costs and to public-sector and state pensions.

Public services are vital in reducing inequality, by making cuts or increasing charges we will damage the service and ultimately damage our society - taking opportunities away from people.

Cuts to university budgets will deny higher education places to people and encourage calls for higher fees, which would exclude even more. A less skilled workforce is also less attractive to foreign investment, something all three parties regularly declare is vital for the economy.

The crux give us more money

Cutting public-sector jobs will increase unemployment, which in turn will increase the costs to government, as more people claim unemployment benefit and fewer people pay income tax. If people's incomes are taken away or cut through pay freezes then they spend less, also hitting VAT revenues. This hurts the economy as there is less consumer spending. It will also result in the private sector cutting back because there is less demand.

The public service although very necessary does not produce (with some minor exceptions) it administers money it does not make money for the country

Instead, we should be creating jobs to boost employment and tax revenue. We have plenty of work to be done. We could invest in renewable energy, high speed rail links and building new housing for the 1.8m families on council house waiting lists.

Where does the money come from to do these things???

Britain currently has the lowest level of unemployment benefit in western Europe - just £64 per week or £51 for under-25s. If unemployment benefit had risen at the same rate as wages since 1979, it would be over £110 per week today. Even if a link between benefits and earnings had been introduced by Labour in 1997, the unemployment benefit would be £75 per week today.

Despite all the horror stories in the press, three times as much is lost through mistakes in benefit payments as is lost through benefit fraud. Benefit fraud last year was about £0.8bn, tax evasion by big business and wealthy individuals was £70bn - nearly 100 times as much. Yet where are the posters at bus stops to shop a tax evader?

The basic state pension is still under £100 per week, one of the lowest in Europe. The official poverty level is £165 per week. Proposing to increase the state pension age to 66 immediately and gradually up to 70 would hit the poorest hardest. They earn less and so are less able to take early retirement. Because of this and a lifetime of lower standards of living, they die younger. With the current unprecedented levels of inequality, raising the pension age is grossly unjust.

The main pensions target for the stale Westminster party consensus is public-sector pensions. Currently, the average public-sector pension is about £4,000 a year, or about £80 per week - hardly the "gold-plated," "feather-bedded" lap of luxury that the tabloids would have us believe.

In fact, two and a half times as much public-sector money is spent subsidising private-sector pensions through tax relief - and 60 per cent of this relief goes to higher rate earners at the higher rate.

A recent IPSOS/MORI opinion poll revealed that only 24 per cent of the British public thought there was a need to cut spending on public services. The same poll found that people were most in favour of tax rises on business, closely followed by inheritance tax.

Despite the cross-party consensus, it is clear that people know there are alternatives to public service cuts, and there is a clear belief that those who gained the most from the boom should pay for the bust."

You as a country must make money to be able to pay out pensions. If you dont it will be another Greece!

Andrew Fisher is co-ordinator of the Left Economics Advisory Panel.

Gees what a lot of socialist drivel!!!!

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Guest westtender

Gees what a lot of socialist drivel!!!!

This forum software renders it undiscussable drivel, period - as I believe you have just demonstrated.

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Thought some of you might be interested in an email I received from an economic historian at Glasgow University.

.....

Wow. Nice complete absence of context there, Pat....

Who wrote it? (There are many EHs at Glasgow and some of them are... well... nutbars from another planet is a kind & courteous description.)

Who sent it?

Why did they send it to you - are you an economic historian?

Is the text to be published for public consumption? If not, have you license to broadcast it?

If so, where is it to be published - i.e. who do they anticipate as their audience?

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Wow. Nice complete absence of context there, Pat....

Who wrote it? (There are many EHs at Glasgow and some of them are... well... nutbars from another planet is a kind & courteous description.)

Who sent it?

Why did they send it to you - are you an economic historian?

Is the text to be published for public consumption? If not, have you license to broadcast it?

If so, where is it to be published - i.e. who do they anticipate as their audience?

Not sure where you are coming from with these questions, Westtie? Like I said, I was sent an email with the content. Why? I expect they thought I would be interested and I thought that people on the forum would be interested. Perhaps you think that you need to be an Economic Historian to be considered worthy of receiving correspondence from academics? Strange! Wee grannies with part time jobs as webmasters are sent allsorts of stuff. :lol:

I wouldn't have put it up had it not been deemed suitable for public consumption. Seems to have originated from the letters page in The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/mar/03/history-lessons-on-public-debt#history-link-box

I didn't say that it was written by anyone at Glasgow, only that that was the source of my email. You are a big advocate of people reading what you write. What's so difficult about this?:

Thought some of you might be interested in an email I received from an economic historian at Glasgow University.

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Guest westtender

Perhaps you think that you need to be an Economic Historian to be considered worthy of receiving correspondence from academics?

No. I just wanted a bit of context - especially to know if it had been published in the media. I thought it bizarre you posted it without any.

I also don't like the implied namedropping. It really annoys me. Always has - and it was redundant in this case.

I didn't say that it was written by anyone at Glasgow

I didn't say you did.

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You are a big advocate of people reading what you write.

No.

I am an advocate of people having read what I wrote when they choose to respond to me.

I have found that it's useful somewhat, when addressing what a person has said, to actually know what they said, rather than reply to what you think they said.

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No.

I am an advocate of people having read what I wrote when they choose to respond to me.

I have found that it's useful somewhat, when addressing what a person has said, to actually know what they said, rather than reply to what you think they said.

Aye, and straightforward language is somewhat useful too.

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No. I just wanted a bit of context - especially to know if it had been published in the media. I thought it bizarre you posted it without any.

I also don't like the implied namedropping. It really annoys me. Always has - and it was redundant in this case.

I didn't say you did.

:lol: "Implied namedropping" - that's a new wan. It was redundant because there was no namedropping. You've clearly got a lot of time on your hands.

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It was redundant because there was no namedropping.

I didn't say there was.

However... why not just provide the link, or say it was an email you'd been sent? Why did you feel the need to mention from whom the email came? That's what I mean by implied namedropping.

It may well be a new one, but I know it when I see it.

You've clearly got a lot of time on your hands.

Not really... it doesnae take long to deal with your posts :lol:

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