Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Protect the NHS from the Tories

Excellent letter in The Guardian today.  Lots of interesting facts: did you know NHS hospitals pay business rates when private hospitals do not?

"The divide between medical and social care is very vague. Medical care is available 24 hours a day seven days a week and is free; social care is largely only available 9 to 5, Monday to Friday and is means tested. Breaking up the system through outsourcing and privatisation only complicates matters. Basically both need to be provided by government and be taxpayer-funded. Expensive? Why not have a levy of 5% on all inheritance over £100,000, including trusts. The rich who would benefit most in life would pay more in the end."

See all the letter at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/08/the-rich-benefit-most-let-them-pay-more-tax

Sunday, 19 November 2017

The Big 4 are at the heart of tax haven abuse

Leading estimates show that profit shifting by multinational companies is responsible for tax revenue losses globally of $500 billion or more each year. Various document leaks, including the Paradise Papers and earlier LuxLeaks, have shown anecdotally the central role of the ‘big four’ accounting firms – Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC. Now our research published today in a top tier, peer-reviewed academic journal shows the systematic nature of the Big Four’s role.

See: TAX JUSTICE NETWORK for more information.

Monday, 17 October 2016

"Citizens of the world" arise

Theresa May’s ‘Citizen Of The World’ View Blasted By Financial Times Reader

“Anybody with an ounce of intelligence understands that climate change, pollution or epidemics know no frontiers, that extreme poverty in one region has stability implications for the whole world; that terrorism is a global problem with global solutions; are not started by citizens of the world but narrow-minded people with a blind belief of their superiority, that some of the greatest minds in any society are descendants of immigrants and refugees.”

Friday, 5 August 2016

We may be seeing the end of the Tory attack on our society: Jeremy Corbyn

Labour leader's 10 pledges

  1. Full employment and an economy that works for all: based around a £500bn public investment via the planned national investment bank.
  2. A secure homes guarantee: building 1m new homes in five years, at least half of them council homes. Also rent controls and secure tenancies.
  3. Security at work: includes stronger employment rights, an end to zero hours contracts and mandatory collective bargaining for companies with 250 or more employees.
  4. Secure our NHS and social care: end health service privatisation and bring services into a “secure, publicly-provided NHS”.
  5. A national education service: includes universal public childcare, the “progressive restoration” of free education, and quality apprenticeships.
  6. Action to secure our environment: includes keeping to Paris climate agreement, and moving to a “low-carbon economy” and green industries, in part via national investment bank.
  7. Put the public back into our economy and services: includes renationalising railways and bringing private bus, leisure and sports facilities back into local government control.
  8. Cut income and wealth inequality: make a progressive tax system so highest earners are “fairly taxed”, shrink the gap between the highest and lowest paid.
  9. Action to secure an equal society: includes action to combat violence against women, as well as discrimination based on race, sexuality or disability, and defend the Human Rights Act.
  10.  Peace and justice at the heart of foreign policy: aims to put conflict resolution and human rights “at the heart of foreign policy”.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Solar is the future, yet the government appears determined to throw it into the industrial dustbin

Convincing article by Patrick Collinson on the Money pages of the Guardian today:

....Cut the subsidy, by all means. Halve it, even. Set a date for its complete removal. The industry will innovate and survive. But slicing it by 87% in one go is plain absurd.....

 Jo Churchill MP

My local MP, Jo Churchill, is very confused.  How does she equate the continued subsidy of nuclear power with her statement that:
"I believe that Government support should help low-cost, low-carbon technologies to stand on their own two feet, rather than create dependence on public subsidies.  Indeed, the global transformation we need in energy will only happen if low-carbon options become cheaper without subsidy than the alternative.  My personl opinion is we should reduce the number of years as we drive down subsidy reduction." [Letter to me, 13/11/2015]
In this last garbled sentence she appears to be arguing for an even faster reduction in subsidies.  How short-sighted can you get?

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

George Monbiot: "Have you ever wondered how the prime minister sleeps at night?"

The "cuts" chickens have come home to roost in wealthy Oxfordshire:

Illustration by Andrzej Krauze

In leaked correspondence with the Conservative leader of Oxfordshire county council (which covers his own constituency), David Cameronexpresses his horror at the cuts being made to local services. This is the point at which you realise that he has no conception of what he has done.

See: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/11/david-cameron-letter-cuts-oxfordshire

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

My local Suffolk Labour hero

Eddie is so succinct:

In setting the scene for your editorial on Labour (7 November) you perpetuate a narrow assessment of the Corbyn phenomenon: “Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign energised enthusiastic young supporters with the promise of a new type of politics.” In truth, also “energised” was a wide range of people of all ages, members and ex-members, non-members, supporters and ex-supporters (unregistered), all despairing of what the party had become under Tony Blair, crucially over Iraq.
A band of malcontents in the parliamentary Labour party, notably those who refused to serve under Corbyn and who abstained on the tax-credits vote, have a hatred of Corbyn that trumps defence of some of the poorest working people, and they should be ashamed of themselves. But these “moderates” are feted and their apocalyptic electoral predictions enthusiastically aired.
The editorial goes on to tread a well-worn path: “Now that the novelty has worn off, another decent performance at prime minister’s questions – which Mr Corbyn again managed this week – cannot compete for media attention with tales of fear and loathing.”
Of course it can’t when you and the bulk of the news media are ensuring the propagation of stories in line with your own predilections.
Eddie Dougall
Walsham le Willows, Suffolk