383 comments posted · 1 followers · following 1

3 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Cummings made a reason... · 13 replies · +1 points

Imagine if Alastair Campbell during the Blair government was given the privilege to hold his own press conference to clear up any media story about himself. It's unprecedented that a spin doctor gets to have his own press conference to essentially spin a media story about himself.

3 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Cummings made a reason... · 1 reply · +1 points

"This is doing the party savage damage - the 80 majority is built on votes that have been, in many cases reluctantly lent, and have to be earned again for next time"

Earned? You mean bought. The Red Wall is holding taxpayers in the south to ransom. Before the crash Sunak pledge to borrow £300 billion to lavish spending in the Red Wall. What have people there done to "earn" that?

4 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Richard Holden: Labour... · 0 replies · +1 points

The Red Wall MPs appear to have formed a party within the Conservative Party. It's like a northern Labour Party minus the metropolitan diversity. It's blatantly obvious the Red Wall MPs have nothing in common with conservative MPs in southern regions. This is a coalition that will not last.

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Europe 2.0? How divisi... · 1 reply · +1 points

"The USA has State income tax and sales taxes. The income tax is zero in some States. This is a historic situation, a political settlement to CREATE a federal union,pandering to the elected representatives of the States which existed as autonomous entities at the time - rather than something that is seen as a positive."

Objectively it has been positive as it has created economic competition between states that would not exist if the USA had the high level of fiscal centralisation and redistribution model the UK has had for the last 75 years. You seem to be against decentralisation. This is against trend in the UK. Political leaders in London of all parties agree that more of London's resources should be devolved. Likewise county councils in the Southeast and East want more of their resources devolved. Scotland wants more power, so does Wales. The trajectory is not one of tolerating continued centralisation.

"Do you think things would stay as they are now? once businesses start relocating their tax base in the lowest tax zone they can find, you'd soon find that the SE loses its attraction"

No, I don't think they would stay the same because we would be able to make extensive economic reforms that would make us extremely internationally competitive. We would be the lowest tax area in the UK as other regions have large deficits and liabilites they will have to service from their own tax base - which they currently do not do.

"P.S. Swindon, Wiltshire is not in the SE. I'm not aware of a region called "the wider south east"."

The wider southeast is the term used to describe the interdependent economic geography of most of southern England (with London as its nucleus). Swindon's economic geography is part of the wider southeast which encompasses parts of the southwest (except Cornwall and Devon). Swindon is part of the Oxford-Cambridge arc and is included in one of the southeast's sub-regional transport bodies, "England’s Economic Heartland".

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Europe 2.0? How divisi... · 3 replies · +1 points

The Scottish government doesn't seem to be paralysed with this complexity they have devolved tax raising powers - they have called for VAT to be devolved. Northern Ireland has devolved corporation tax - alright for them is it?. Devo-max - as advocated most recently by Gordon Brown - is entirely plausible for Scotland so why could it not be for the wider southeast? Milton Keynes and Swindon are within the wider southeast - the overwhelming majority of trade is confined within our regions - there is very little economic integration with the north, Scotland or Northern Ireland. There are different taxes between different states in the USA and it hasn't stopped them becoming the richest country in the world.

5 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Europe 2.0? How divisi... · 3 replies · +1 points

"The UK is the most geographically economically-unequal country in Europe. London (and the South East) are very wealthy ― that is not “distorted figures”, that is a fact"

The problem with this trope is it relies on a manipulation of regional data. The way the UK collects regional data is different to other European countries. The UK divides regions into much smaller units (i.e. small rich areas end up being segerated from their wider region) which is not the case for regional data collected elsewhere in Europe. If you use UK regional data and compare it with regional data collected in Europe you will end up comparing Camden & City of London (population 263k) with regions like Île-de-France (population 12 million). You can't compare the richest part of a city with entire regions - this is where the distorted "the UK is the most geographically economically-unequal country in Europe" comes from.

If UK regional data is defined the same way as other European countries by using the Functional Urban Areas - which includes the complete city region - then the UK is still unequal but none more so than Germany, France or Italy.

Another factor is the cost of living. Housing costs are much greater in London, the Southeast and the East - this reduces regional inequality but this is never mentioned. After housing costs are factored in London is no better than the UK average.

The so-called left behind regions have had massive transfers for many decades. For example between 2001/2002 - 2018/2019 the north received £743 billion more in spending from the government than it paid in taxes. For the same years the Midlands received £355 billion more in spending than it paid in taxes.

In contrast the wider Southeast (London, Southeast, East) paid £480 billion more in taxes to the government than it received in spending.

The problem in the so-called left behind areas is not a lack of spending it is the chronically poor educational attainment and lack of entrepreneurial endeavours that holds them back - in other words nothing to do with the government.

A devo-max government for the wider southeast would be an acceptable solution to the current situation.

6 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Europe 2.0? How divisi... · 12 replies · +1 points

The Southeast gets the worse "deal" out of anywhere in the UK. Why should we be taxed to fund devolved entities in which we have no representation? Why should we only control 5% of our tax revenue? You can't decentralise decision making while maintaining a high level of centralised taxation and expect that to endure. The Southeast's wealth (a minority of very rich people distort the figures) is overstated. People in deficit regions deliberate obfuscate that fact because it justifies the continuing large transfers from the wider southeast to their regions.

6 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Europe 2.0? How divisi... · 0 replies · +1 points

It's not true. They will be able to manage they just won't be able to afford the perks they currently have without substantial tax increases and/or a large amount of immigration to increase their tax base.

6 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Europe 2.0? How divisi... · 14 replies · +1 points

It seems that some conservative MPs think the UK government should be imperial. Is that the rationale behind the "one nation" propaganda slogan?

The Welsh assembly is the perfect entity to dump all of Wales' costs and liabilities currently held with the UK government. Why should taxpayers in the wider southeast be taxed to fund Welsh expenditure or be liable for Welsh debts? Devolution presents the opportunity for the wider southeast to break the link with high spending nations and regions. It should not be reversed. In 2019 £63 billion was sent to the rest of the UK from the wider southeast - £63 billion is the exact deficit of the north and midlands combined - the UK government borrowed £40 billion on top of that to fund spending outside the wider southeast.

These massive transfers can only be possible with an authoritarian control over taxation. Surely in the interests of freedom and democracy it would be better to bring control over tax and spending closer to people in the form of devolved government.

6 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Christopher Harries: W... · 1 reply · +1 points

It was obvious devolution would lead to the break up of the UK to claim it would end the calls for independence is laughable. Rather than trying to reverse what has happened we should go further. For instance the Barnett formula is an overhang from pre-devolution - it should be rescinded and the devolved nations given the appropriate tax raising powers to fund their own expenditure.

Likewise with public sector pay and pensions, currently the devolved nations enjoy a 30-40% pay premium which constitutes a massive transfer from taxpayers in the wider southeast - devolve public sector pension liabilities to the government's of the devolved nations and make them pay for their own public sector workers.

Devolution is the opportunity to repatriate the costs deficit regions have exported to the wider southeast for decades.