Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally


UK debt dangerously out of control

Where’s Cameron? I am told he is sat behind George (we hope!)

The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, today stood up at the despatch box and delivered his Winter Autumn Statement on the state of the public finances and the measures he is taking to fix them. Although he is not fixing them.

Constrained by the Liberal Democrats, who are becoming less representative of Britain by the day, the Chancellor can’t take the drastic action required to reduce the national debt. He can go on about reducing the deficit until the cows come home but it is the debt which will ruin our children’s and their children’s chances in life. Net debt will rise to 80% of GDP over the coming years.
There was some good news. Labour’s scheduled 3p rise in fuel duty in January has been scrapped. The income tax personal allowance is to go up to £9,440 next year, £235 more than previously announced. The yellow peril’s “mansion tax” has been shown the door (Clegg’s deluded look on the front bench shows how mad he is) and the total ISA limit (cash and shares) will increase to £11,520 from next April.
The Chancellor announced a number of infrastructure projects paid for by the son of PFI – PF2. Same method, different name. What this means in reality is big infrastructure projects like extending the Northern Line in London and dualling the A30 will be paid for by private companies which the UK taxpayer will have to pay back with interest, fees etc at a later date. That is the government is paying for today on the backs of the unborn. In other words, more debt.
You see the national debt is not some monopoly money on a playing board, it is REAL money, which must be paid back. And who must pay it back: you and I through taxation. So if this Government keeps on borrowing more to pay for luxuries we can no longer afford like the still very generous welfare benefits, a bloated NHS and £2bn in “international aid” to help the third world build windfarms, the next generation will have to pay Government more in taxes to pay the money back to the banks and our foreign creditors like China. That’s less money in the next generation’s pockets to pay for excesses of today’s generation: it is criminal.
There are now very few politicians in parliament who get it. Clacton’s Conservative MP Douglas Carswell is the exception. Anyone who wants to understand how we got into this mess should read his latest book, “The End of Politics”.


George Osborne capitulates to Lib Dems

The Chancellor announced today in his Autumn Statement that the patently unfair 5.2% increase to benefits, money which is also paid out to those who are fit and able but refuse to work, will go ahead next year after George Osborne was forced to climbdown after Nick Clegg wouldn’t approve a smaller increase.

This really sticks in the claw of the strivers who get up early to contribute to sorting our economy out. A real divide is opening up in this country. We have the strivers and wealth creators in the private sector who are looking at zero pay increases, just so they can keep their job, and a pension based on the success of the stock market and those in the public sector who at least will get a pay increase, as announced by George Osborne today, and also have a nice government-backed final salary pension scheme to look forward to.  And then the public sector workers have the audacity to cause chaos to millions of people, who pay their salaries and pensions, when they walk out tomorrow.

The unions say they shouldn’t have to pay more into their pensions. Really, why not? Ever thought they were too generous in the first place? The maths argument no longer works for the public sector unions. Compared to their private sector peers, public sector workers are paid more and have larger pensions to look forward to. It’s not as if higher pay has improved performance: children are still leaving school illiterate and unable to add up, and doctors have to prescribe water as nurses are not ensuring their patients remain hydrated.

The party is over and it’s about time the public sector realised and joined the real world.