Saturday, May 09, 2009


I am not standing for this election. Having to decide who to support I have had a look at UKIP's policies page. Here are MY COMMENTS

-UKIP will leave the political EU and trade globally and freely. We will re-embrace today’s fast-growing Commonwealth and we will encourage UK manufacturing so that we make things again. YES ON ALL POINTS

-We will freeze immigration for five years, speed up deportation of up to a million illegal immigrants by tripling the numbers engaged in deportations, and have ‘no home no visa’ work permits to ease the housing crisis. YES

-We will have a grammar school in every town. We will restore standards of education and improve skills training. Student grants will replace student loans. YES

-We will radically reform the working of the NHS with an Insurance Fund, whilst upholding the ‘free at the point of care’ principles. We will bring back matrons and have locally run, clean hospitals. YES

-We will give people the vote on policing priorities, go back to proper beat policing and scrap the Human Rights Act. We will have sentences that mean what they say. YES

-We will take 4.5 million people out of tax with a simple Flat Tax (with National Insurance) starting at £10,000. We will scrap Inheritance Tax, not just reform it and cut corporation taxes. YES, CUTTING CT WAS A PRIMARY 9% GROWTH PARTY POLICY, INDEED IT WAS OFFICIALLY THE REASON I WAS EXPELLED FROM THE LIBDEMS

-We will say No to green taxes and wind farms. To avert a major energy crisis, we will go for new nuclear power plants on the same existing site facilities and for clean coal. We will reduce pollution and encourage recycling. YES - PRIME 9% GROWTH PARTY POLICY AT THE SCOTTISH ELECTION TO WHICH ALL THE MAIN PARTIES WERE OPPOSED AND THE SNP AND LIBDEMS STILL ARE - WITHOUT THIS THE LIGHTS GO OUT

-We will make welfare simpler and fairer, introduce ‘workfare’ to get people back to work, and a new citizens pension and private pensions scheme insurance. NOT SURE IF A NEW PENSION SCHEME IS AFFORDABLE IN THE CURRENT ECONOMIC MESS BUT OTHERWISE YES

-We will support our armed forces with more spending on equipment, military homes and medical care. We will save our threatened warships and add 25,000 more troops. NO, WE CAN'T AFFORD MORE SPENDING ON ANYTHING JUST NOW & WHEN WE CAN WE SHOULD GO FOR NEW TECHNOLOGY RATHER THAN NUMBERS

-We will be fair to England, with an English Parliament of English MPs at Westminster. We will replace assembly members like MSPs with MPs. And we will promote referenda at local and national levels. NO RETAIN MSPs AND HOLYROOD BUT IF MPs WERE VOTED IN ON A DEMOCRATICALLY PROPORTIONAL SYSTEM THEY WOULD BE INTERCHANGEABLE. ENGLAND SHOULD HAVE A PARLIAMENT IF THEY WANT ONE

-We will make customer satisfaction number one for rail firms – not cost cutting and will look seriously at reopening some rail lines that Beeching closed. We will make foreign lorries pay for British roads with a 'Britdisc’ – and we will stop persecuting motorists. BEST WAY OF SUPPORTING RAILWAYS WOULD BE OUR POLICY OF FULLY AUTOMATING THEM. THE POLITICALLY CORRECT HATRED OF MOTORISTS IS SERIOUSLY DAMAGING OUR ECONOMY

-Last, but never least, we will bring in fair prices and fair competition for our suffering farmers, and restore traditional British fishing and territorial waters. FREE TRADE WITHOUT EU RESTRICTIONS WOULD SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE FOOD PRICES TO THE CONSUMER & FREE FARMERS FROM THE GOVERNMENT FARMING REGULATORS (A CLASS WHICH CONTAINS MORE PEOPLE THAN THERE ARE FARMERS.


The EU’s Enterprise Commissioner Gunther Verheugen said in an interview with the FT this week (OCT 2006) that EU legislation now costs European business €600 (£405 billion) a year, on the basis of a new evaluation of the administrative costs of red tape.

That is equivalent to £70 billion in Britain alone now or £2,500 from every wage packet in the country. The official figures of actual cash handed over are on top of that. Expect this fact to remain unmentioned by the BBC and most parties, particularly LABOUR and LIBDEMS who made a Manifesto Promise that we would get a vote on the constitutional treaty and as soon as the election was over cynically broke it

It is impossible for anyone with the slightest self respect to vote for people we know to be corrupt lying war criminals who clearly have no respect for those who voted for them.

And UKIP don't lie about the Catastrophic Global Warming we are all allegedly suffering from like the rest of the tax increasing leeches.

9% growth party says

vote ukip

on 4th June

don't let them grind you down

UPDATE The blogger Mark Wadsworth has told me that he was involved in drafting their policy on eorkfare & pensions & that, though much to complicated to explain in a 1 line sentence it is practical. Having read his blog I accept thaty.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

HOW WE CAN GET OUT OF RECESSION - What politicians who say they will "do whatever it takes" would do if they meant it

FOR SCOTLAND while remaining part of the UK:

1: Cut government spending by £3 billion (10%). Since we spend about 20% more than the UK average per head this is clearly practical.

2: Endorse nuclear electricity. We could still persuade the French to invest heavily here if we were sufficiently enthusiastic about letting them build.

3: End business rates. This is a pretty extreme step, in principle business should pay something, but we are in a drastic situation. This is a fairly close analogy to cutting corporation tax to 12.5%, like Ireland's for which we need Westminster support & though the SNP are committed to doing so they don't seem to have been putting on enough pressure. In theory cutting CT is marginally more effective because it rewards the most profitable best whereas rates rewards the most property intensive but it is a relatively marginal difference. This would cost about £2 billion.

4: Cut the laws on Health & safety & other regulations & the enormous bureaucracies that enforce them which do so much to push up the cost of projects here.

5: Tell Donald Trump he can start investing his £1 billion tomorrow morning. Apart from his own investment how many billions have we lost by convincing other potential investors they would not be welcome?

6: Cut the regulations that prevent people building houses.

7: Provide an interest free bridging loan of 20,000 pounds to any off site manufactured home for the period from completion of manufacture until installation & a grant of 5,000 pounds to direct purchasers of such homes, so long as they are for their personal use as first homes. This system to last only until we are building 30,000 a year. This would encourage the establishment here of a modular housing industry which, in due course, the English would be clamoring to buy.

8: Scottish Tunnel project - start cutting tunnels to the Cowal peninsula & the Scottish islands. Cost £7 m per km

9: Forth Tunnel instead of bridge & start digging tomorrow. Since the official cost of the bridge has been reduced to two & a half billion massive savings could be made this way & it would be ready far earlier.

10: Privatise Scottish Water thus saving the over £200 m it gets annually.

11: Schools vouchers. It should be a matter of shame & is instead a matter of complete disinterest in our media that our schools, for the first time ever, are underperforming southern ones. The long term future of the nation depends heavily on education.

12: Fully automate the Glasgow-Edinburgh train system.

13: Stop subsidising bloody windmills. Apart from the total waste of money we have as beautiful a countryside as anywhere in the world & should stop desecrating it. This would save between £500 m & £1 billion depending on whether we are allowed to end the subsidy to the production of electricity as well as to building the windmills.

14: Scottish X-Prize Foundation. £50 million a year would give us an even chance of gaving a Scottish built orbital plane in 5 years & would certainly attract a significant part of the world's satellite industry (£1 billion a year & growing)

15: Spend the extra money we have saved on improving roads with the exception of

16: £1 billion to cut Scottish income tax by 3p, the full amount allowed. If that doesn't get people wanting to move here nothing will.


1 - Cut the size of government spending - I would go for a no new hires rule & price freeze in the government, probably excluding new doctors & a few other proven front line requirements - this should be about a 5% real reduction year on year. Also completely prune particular departments described later. 5% of the budget is £30 billion so including both actions over a couple of years that is probably about £100 billion. Mark Wadsworth comes up with a similar figure from different directions. This doesn't itself increase the economy, indeed cutting the non-productive £100 billion would cut the economy by £100 billion (ie 7%) but gives us money which can be used with a real multiplier effect & long term growth benefits.

2 - Cut corporation tax to Irish levels - cost about £30 billion & this is the main bit of what got Ireland's growth up from 2% to 7%.

3 - Lets go overboard & cut business rates too - about £20 billion at half the effect.

4 - Gut the Health & Safety Exec - if it saves the work of 4 million workers that is 14% of the economy.

5 - Allow the free market to build as many nuclear plants as the market needs, starting tomorrow. There are arguments for & against the government paying for & owning it but lets keep it simple & at zero cost.

6 - Improve transport - better roads, particularly motorway junctions, allowing airports to expand & the road tunnels project. Cost a few billion. Improving transport infrastructure is one of the things where government expenditure actually works.

7 - Adult job training. Hire retiring plumbers, electricians etc etc to do evening classes in some of the schools empty in the evenings. Adult, particularly male, technical education is the part of education which shows real worthwhile payoff in productivity.

8 - Automate the rail system & introduce lightweight vehicles based on road vehicle technology. My guess is this would be about £10 billion annually but once it is done rail costs go way down & capacity way up.

9 - Quit the EU. The Bruges Group have said the EU costs us £55 billion in direct costs. The EU's Enterprise Commissioner says the regulations alone cost £405 billion - ie £67 billion to us.

10 - Allow almost unrestricted housebuilding & encourage modular methods. This should let them cost about 1/4 the present price. Housebuilding is pretty much the biggest industry in any country & that would give us an enormous boost.

11 - End most of the sort of "environmental" regulations which have stopped Trump investing his £1 billion here for 3 years. This alone has cost the Exchequer £360 billion (£12% a year).

12 - This has already been done, albeit accidentally & need not be extended - Letting the £ drop is a major stimulus to the productive sector though exports. It worked in Major's time too - also accidentally.

13 - An X-Prize foundation & a free market regime on Ascension Island as a British Space base. So long as the Foundation is guaranteed an increasing amount of money at approx 5% above the rate of growth & able to offer prizes based on what the fund will be in future it can offer multiples of the current cost & in turn the gain to the economy will be multiples of that figure. Of course if nobody wins such prizes it has zero cost - that being the worst case scenario. I would suggest £1 billion a year as starting payment which would certainly put us at the top of the space & high technology trees attracting many times that level of investment & even more importantly, many of the world's best brains.

14 - I see that though we have saved £155 billion plus we have only spent about £70 billion. Put the rest into cutting taxes (28p off income tax or equivalent!). I would also support raising alcohol taxes since it discourages something socially damaging whereas most tax discourages productive stuff. It wouldn't take many years of excise duty rising faster than a Chinese style growth rate to pay for all the size of government here.

- These are a bit of a flyer not to be done till we know the economy is recovering:

15 - Build some floating islands, probably around Ascension island, probably about £1 billion each.

16 - Make a purchase guarantee for a factory to mass produce turnkey operation nuclear reactors in Britain, for use here & around the world. If it can be done with a new design & much smaller & hence less economic reactors it can be done for normal 1 gw ones. Invite the best designer, probably Ariva or Westinghouse (which used to be British owned but the government forced British nuclear to sell it off). We guarantee that if they can make a production line turning out one, turnkey operation reactor, a day we will purchase the first 2 years supply at cost if they can't sell them abroad. Assuming £350 million (70% of the current minimum price) a shot that puts us on line for a £255 billion liability & I am working on the assumption that, since there is currently a backlog they would actually sell. That is a bet but a reasonable one & if it works we would lead ourselves & the rest of the world to unequalled prosperity & end up with the sort of role in building the world's electrical power that the US has exercised for decades in world aircraft production.

- I think it would be conservative to say that most of the above individually, excluding #1 in each set, would increase growth by more than 2%. It would be optimistic to assume they would all work cumulatively but but even so that would be pretty good.

Alternately doing only a small amount of this would still have us matching the most successful economies in the world.