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Austerity
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michael


Posts: 3,223
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #101
29-01-2016 04:15 PM

Quote:
arguments in favour of returning government spending to sustainable levels, which I think are pretty convincing.

I'm not so convinced. Borrowing money is a classic way to make more money if it is invested correctly. With the rock bottom interest rates for government borrowing it is a great time to borrow to invest in the future (through infrastructure, education, even welfare generally boosts the economy because the poorest in society rapidly recycle the money back into the economy). In my opinion it is still the right time to be running a deficit budget as long as the money is being used sensibly.

But a recession is a good time for everybody to tighten their belts, and this shouldn't just be the role of the middle classes. However, there will always be some debate about the best way to implement these austerity measures. Some of the policies of the government have been cruel - back to work assessment have led to suicides and self-harm among some of the most vulnerable in society. At the same time people in full time employment aged over 60 continue to get free travel and discounts on heating. Tax on petrol has not risen, despite prices at the pump dropping by 30% - surely another penny on petrol wouldn't hurt the economy.

I can't agree with the approach that says that all the countries problems would be solved if people claiming unemployment benefits were forced to have abortions. I think we could save much more money by corporations paying tax and banks having less subsidiaries off-shore. But the real waste of money is stuff like the Olympics or developing weapons of mass destruction on submarines that will never be used. Blaming the poor (or any other single cause) always seems a little too blinkered to me.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #102
29-01-2016 04:49 PM

I agree Michael. Labours selling off of gold stocks and a disasterous NHS IT system which cost billions are two examples. The Conservatives HS2 demands are just as stupid. There are lots of ways to stop spending. Dont get me going on how much alchohol costs the NHS Cursing

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crassbelch
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Posts: 130
Joined: Nov 2013
Post: #103
29-01-2016 05:08 PM

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crassbelch
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Post: #104
29-01-2016 05:12 PM

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crassbelch
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Post: #105
29-01-2016 05:16 PM

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crassbelch
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Post: #106
29-01-2016 05:24 PM

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SteveG85


Posts: 28
Joined: Aug 2014
Post: #107
29-01-2016 05:40 PM

Quote:
it is a great time to borrow to invest in the future (through infrastructure, education, even welfare


I agree that there is a good argument for investing in infrastructure and education and for spending money on *some* forms of welfare (it is after all an incredibly broad category of expenditure). I think the problem with our welfare system is that as it has grown over time a significant minority of people have come to think that they won't need to take responsibility their actions because regardless of their own decisions regarding employment, lifestyle choices leading to ill health or family planning the welfare system will pay for anything that they cannot.

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SteveG85


Posts: 28
Joined: Aug 2014
Post: #108
29-01-2016 05:43 PM

Quote:
I think we could save much more money by corporations paying tax and banks having less subsidiaries off-shore


I completely agree and think that our tax system is a complete shambles. However, I don't think that this being the case is a good reason for not solving problems with our welfare system.

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crassbelch
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Post: #109
29-01-2016 05:59 PM

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SteveG85


Posts: 28
Joined: Aug 2014
Post: #110
29-01-2016 06:03 PM

Quote:
welfare generally boosts the economy because the poorest in society rapidly recycle the money back into the economy


This quote is probably accurate in the short term, but it fails to consider the medium and long term consequences[/quote]. It seems to me to be a bit like a coffee shop boosting their sales by taking out a loan from the bank and using the money from the loan to hand out £10 notes to customers as they walk into the shop.

The coffee shop would experience immediate growth and the shop's earnings performance would look great. But after the short-term boost faded the shop's earnings potential would not have increased and the loan would need to be repaid.

Indeed the bank would probably think twice about lending money to the coffee shop (or require a higher interest rate to be paid) if it could see that the way that the loan was spent had not had a positive impact on the long-term performance of the coffee shop.

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SteveG85


Posts: 28
Joined: Aug 2014
Post: #111
29-01-2016 06:25 PM

Quote:
If we do something draconian, like taxing revenue rather than profit, we will become an international pariah state that is very unattractive to business.


You're in danger of a straw man yourself there. I agree with you that having big multinational companies operating in the UK provides lots of benefits (and costs) to society. I also recognise that increasing the tax that companies are required to pay in the UK does risk them moving the operations that they have in the UK off-shore.

However, a balance has to be struck and I think that the amount of corporation tax that many multi-nationals pay now is too low. I think the government/HMRC underplays it's hand in negotiations with these multi-nationals and I have no doubt that if Google were presented with a choice between a ban on making sales in the UK or paying tax on a fair level of UK profits then they [/quote]would choose the latter.

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #112
30-01-2016 03:33 PM

HMRC did an odd thing by not agreeing a strategy with the EU. The only way to make Google pay a fair whack is for the whole of Europe to tax them the same. As it is, they have undermined the negotiations in progress in France and Italy so strategically not clever. But, they couldn't be seen to be doing that though as some Conservatives don't want anything to do with the EU.

Quote:
It's the 21st century - have we not learnt anything from the 20th?


How true but also hilarious. I attempted to show how the current government policies seem to ignore historical precedent but the poster didn't think he needed to read the article to discover how history teaches us how wrong headed austerity is. You can lead a horse to water...

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crassbelch
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Post: #113
30-01-2016 03:42 PM

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #114
30-01-2016 03:55 PM

The last six years were not in the 20th Century. As for IMF comments, we have already gone through that. They also say that maintaining a high debt is probably optimal, as again already pointed out. But none of that suits your political agenda does it?

This post was last modified: 30-01-2016 03:55 PM by lacb.

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crassbelch
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Post: #115
30-01-2016 04:49 PM

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #116
30-01-2016 06:59 PM

Oh cherry picking to make a political dig again I see. Far worse was the Great Depression and more relevant to now as there was a loss of confidence crisis in the banks. Sound familiar? Am not quite sure why we can say the US have got it wrong to allow their debt to remain high. Again.

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crassbelch
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Post: #117
30-01-2016 07:42 PM

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lacb


Posts: 623
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #118
31-01-2016 08:55 AM

Quote:
You complained I hadn't provided evidence from the 20th century. So I fulfil your request. Then you complain I'm cherry picking? Come on!


You can look at history through the lens of a political manifesto or consider the economic lessons learnt from governments of all hues. I posted a link from the Royal Economic Society that you didn't even bother to read by your own admission.

So, party political broadcast or discussion on the merits of austerity. Which is it to be?

Quote:
Credit crises are bad for banks, yes. And also bad for whole countries when government spending depends on constant debt issuance. Seems pretty self evident we shouldn't vote for governments that raise more debt. Right?


No not at all. The IMF disagrees with this as pointed out twice. Just because it is a nice idea to reduce debt doesn't mean that it is the *best* strategy.

The creation of money itself is dependent on loans being issued by banks. Government spending is, ergo, to a great degree dependent on this too. In fact all governments depend on this. So long as the debt is serviceable, which it is, then that is ok.

BTW, the last 2 great credit crises of the last hundred years were both *caused* by banks. Due to the above, this is bad for everyone.

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crassbelch
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Post: #119
31-01-2016 12:16 PM

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roz


Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #120
15-03-2016 10:50 PM

[Moved from 'Fairlawn Nursery to close' -admin]
_____________________________________________

Parents have had a letter confirming the closure.

Whilst its a shame I think the school is right to prioritise the primary provision over a non statutory provision.

At the end of the day these decisions are a result of government policy and associated cuts as part of the continued Tory war against public education which has served many, including my own family, for many years. Hopefully there will be a renewed vigour equal to that directed at saving the nursery towards public protest against further academisation.

The axe falls tomorrow apparently.

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