Friday 17 October 2008

What do we get for our recession

Continuing on a theme

Gordon Brown and the state has to spend the taxpayer's money on something. He neither knows nor can conceive of any other way of saving the economy. The New deal is coming. So given that at any moment all thoughts about restraining national debt are to be abandoned and the mother of all splurges is to be unleashed, what should the money actually be spent on? Equality advisers, firework officers and wheelie bin detectives are the usual non-jobs. But if we must spend, then isn't there something that we might actually need?

There could be 2+ million jobs required. We know Alistair Darling reads here.. {If only he was the real chancellor}. At the moment it appears to be windmills and loft insulation. The loft insulation not actually so silly.It is low cost, low tech and redundant trades people can be quickly re-trained and put back into work. But there must be something else. Something that, like cavity wall insulation, fits into the government's wider aspirations.

1]The refurbishment of schools has faltered badly. Construction was the first industry to feel the recession and those workers are the ideal ones to patch up the buildings, rubber mat the playgrounds, and expand the premises. Then move onto the armed service's homes that are a disgrace. Then the completion of the semi refurbished social housing stocks.
2] School diners has been something government is desperate to be associated with but has done very little to actively promote or even encourage. Spend a bit more and help the faltering pubs and restaurants get another string to the bow. Put kitchens back into schools linked to [1] above
3] Special Constables? With the police unable to cope with binge drinking and Home Office unable and unwilling to do anything about it, more 'officers' trained in basic policing? Able to help with Town Center policing and public dis-order.Some consider these Police as a waste of resources already.
4] Agriculture will suffer with the migrants going home. Some incentive to work the harvest next year? Another low skill area where people can be trained quickly
5] Or be smart for the future. What will tomorrows media studies graduates actually do? If money is being spent now, why not a full repayment of student loans for graduates who achieve their degrees in engineering or mathematics or medicine or whatever it is that we need? Won't help now, but will help for the future.
6] Job creation. Small business sheds workers very quickly in a downturn. Tax cuts or some sort of short term 'work grant' would keep more in work. Again, its wasteful, but the money is going to be spent anyway...
7] Future Lynx and a decent high lift capacity helicopter? A decent APC for the troops? New transport aircraft? All still waiting after years of delay from the government for the nod to go ahead.

8] There is no amount of money that couldn't be spent on the NHS. It would cheerfully swallow the bank bailout without even noticing. But there is a shortage of maternity units and midwives. Training and building needed.
9] Prison building... we could wait another decade or build some now.
10] Government funding for nursery schools would allow mother's to take those low paid jobs IF they earn more / hour than they paid in childcare costs. It sort of does it now, but only 2.5 hours/ day. What job can you get for 2.5 hours a day? Make it for 4 hours.

And..fibre-optic cables for our households.. motorway widening schemes .. old branch rail lines reopened if practical.. the military's falling recruitment due partly to pay....mining.. The estuary barrier power schemes if they have any legs.. the shocking waste of water through leaking pipes.. or maybe just for the social good the modernisation or even merging of libraries and post offices and day centres into efficient, modern, comfortable and pleasant places to go to. After all the money is going to be sent on something. Reopening all those recently closed swimming pools.
Or we could just build a giant email and telephone capturing database.

Your ideas and comments welcome as ever.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Bottler is broke, more or less, now and like Dubya will have to be running the printing presses far into the long dark night of our souls. Trying to add a spending spree on top of bail-outs will prove a little difficult with Zimbabwe like levels of inflation.

Electro-Kevin said...

Dearieme has it right, I'm afraid.

Though I wouldn't quite do it that way. We need a clear out. Cut back the welfare state so those that shouldn't be here bugger off.

Cut benefits so that those 'unemployed' Brits get off their butts and do the jobs that better educated Poles were perfectly prepared to do.

Sack half of the non-job interfering council workers and get the rest out clearing grafitti and litter on renegotiated contracts. They stupidly lost our money in Iceland after all.

Re-deploy traffic wardens to cutting down speed cameras.

Build more prisons, employ more prison wardens.

Allow wages to fall so that we can start making stuff competitively again.

It's going to be tough and ugly which ever way we do it.

And we're all going to get a lot poorer.

Elby the Beserk said...

Hunting politicians. Down here in the South West, we miss our foxes, so could we not instead hunt MPs as soon as they lose their seats? Or sooner? Yoicks Tally Ho down Whitehall would do wonders for tourism in a recession.

lilith said...

They could spend the money on tax cuts for the low waged. The money wouldn't go on paying down debt, it would go on food and heating.

Bill Quango MP said...

I'm afraid its just wishful thinking.
This an Autobahn and Volkswagen government.. Only they will call them "People's Projects" and "The Peoples Hybrid-Wind car"

Dearieme .. They may need them

Anon. "Trying to add a spending spree on top of bail-outs will prove a little difficult with Zimbabwe like levels of inflation."
It will..but it won't stop Mr Brown from trying it. When he jilted Prudence he made it clear that he never wanted to see her again.

asquith said...

I hope there is some way to achieve (4), & likewise have our native unemployed replace the departing immigrants in all ways.

It isn't necessary to have anything against immigrants to find the situation unacceptable. I actually prefer people who come seeking these shores to work & better themselves to welfare dependents who talk about how we should "look after our own people" (how I hate that phrase) whilst ignoring the fact that they should be improving their own lot rather than moaning about not getting benefits & council houses.

Additionally, I regard the treatment of asylum seekers as a disgrace & am disgusted that people, many of whom are very intelligent & far more talented & qualified than Mail readers, are left to languish on benefits rather than working, as most of them would do if the ludicrous restrictions imposed on them by New Labour were repealed.

However, the basic fact is that the underclass are our responsibility, Poles are not, & we cannot use immigration to mask weaknesses in the economy, such as the ongoing reliance on unskilled work & the failure to attract investment in skilled jobs, including in manufacturing, which should replace mindless non-jobs at Gap & Pizza Hut (about which I blogged today, & in fact Cameron claims to think likewise, as much as I don't like or trust him.).

I do not vilify people who are on benefits, & think they need encouragement as well as coercion (they certainly don't have easy lives), but this whole thing has got to be ended, for the sake of the underclass as well as the rest of us.

Bill Quango MP said...

Nothing wrong with a sensible debate on immigration. Even NuLabour are doing it.

asquith said...

We should unashamedly discriminate between which immigrants we want & which we don't, on the basis of how worthwhile they are. I highlighted asylum seekers. I knew a girl who was Iranian who was deported, & it made my blood boil because she would have contributed far more than a lot of people I know, native or immigrant.

Even if this girl's asylum claim was considered not to be valid, she is still more worthwhile in terms of what she has to offer than many economic migrants, accepted asylum seekers, & Mail-reading Britons.

There has to be some way of determining who we want & don't want. Or is it beyond New Labour's intelligence to get it right?

Electro-Kevin said...

Blokes with tattoos on there necks and faces.

Self-exclusion from most employment, surely ?

So why isn't such self-mutilation self-exclusion from benefits ?

I was collecting for scouts today and you know what ? Not one person with a tattoo on his neck or face contributed ! (One generously stopped by to take the piss out of us) I'm sure these are just nice, ordinary chaps who contribute to society as equally as you or I.

Electro-Kevin said...

I'd have a lot of immigrants over these tosspots any day.

Old BE said...

Tax cuts for small business, raise the income tax thresholds significantly.

Infrastructure such as a fibre-optic network to our front doors and new high-speed rail.

I like your refurbishing of armed forces quarters idea.

If we are going to borrow massively, the money should go into things which add to productivity not just soak up cash and ham-string us forever.

Anonymous said...

Eliminate EVERY quango, now.

Stop funding regional assembly slush funds, Now.

Stop funding all ODPM founded/funded money sinks, Now.

Stop funding un-married mothers, Now. Let family fund them and family re-introduce social sanctions Now.

Flat rate tax (10% first £15,000, 12%, thereafter)with high taxfree earnings threashhold (£15,000), spouse earned income allowance to be added to working partner allowance if only one working, Now. - would get rid of one millions of public serpents, Now.

Cap council expenditure, and council tax per head of population, with built in reductions each year - 15%, year 1, 10% reducing balance thereafter for 5 years. Same levels of reduction from central gov't.

Make councilors personally liable for gross mismanagement of council functions (tight definitions)

Ring fence police, fire, health, at current levels frozen for 5 years.

Abolish human rights laws, Now.
Abolish failed Monarchy, Now.
Ship 'em all back to Europe, at their expense. Reclaim lands and estates, sell off to bidders, - corporate or indigenes, if corporate, UK listed. (Price of signing Lisbon, lizzie!!)
Install non functional figure head if populace needs one.

Immigation frozen, absolutely, whatever the pretext. (see industry exceptions below.)

Leave Europe, Now, - Keep collected VAT, see taxes above.

£100,000 max income tax payable on GLOBAL income for tax UK domiciles.

Re-training to grad level, maths, phys, chem, biol, civil, elect, mechanical engineering, etc. fully granted. Open funded new facilities, fund existing Unis.

Soft subjects, media studies, etc, - pay for yourself.

Corporation tax, flat level 10% first 3 years, 5% thereafter. absolutely no pork. If "listed companies", must be UK market listed.

Income from dividends for taxable persons, etc, treated with earned income, above.

Depreciation for tax purposes 60% year one, remaining year 2, on capital expenditure for MANUFACTURING, with tight definitions, absolutely no pork.

Grants for incoming manufacturers (tightly defined), 50% of capital costs first 3 years, 20% second three.

100% grant senior staff relocation costs from overseas for incoming manufacturers.(tight regulations re indigenes employment first))

Develop national energy policy, NOW.
Build electricity generating capacity Now, new planning regs for national energy security, screw nimbys/europe.
Re open coal mines.

Global warming is a myth, depends on sun-spots.

Build tide, wind, solar, wave, all with feed-in tariffs, using tax changes (here) to attract foreign Co's/brains.

Build oil/gas storage capacity for 150 days each.

8 to 1 gearing for bank balance sheets, reserves held at central bank to control. Separate bank brokerage from fund management from clearing activities (as G S used to be in US) re-jig business model of building societies. Wholesale sacking of bank management, and prosecutions for fraudulent trading, etc, for fraudulent balance sheets.
Cap remuneration.

Free-up short selling.
abolish rules on AIM for Isas.
Increase Isas annual limits.
abolish rules for areas of investment for pension co's, etc.

Scrap regional assemblies and ALL associated costs.

Re-take national sovereignty from Europe, re-parliamentary legislation, etc.

Scrap ID cards, data-bases, national and local snooping legislation TOTALLY.

Arms length gov't.

Give it 5 years.

Hope you're reading this, UK gov't denizens.


Hairy Arsed Bloke said...

The number of job that need to be created is more like 5 million that 2 because the government is continuing to force people off the disability benefits and on to jobseekers allowance if their life expectancy is more than six weeks.

An employer want to hire someone and has the choice of a) an immigrant that is grateful for the chance of work in the UK, tend to be younger and fitter, and demonstrated by the fact that they are looking for work in a foreign country, better motivated; b) a recently dismissed British person that aggrieved at losing their last job and having to take lower pay; c) someone without any recent work history or skills and has ‘baggage’ to do with health problems. Who do you think is more likely to get the job?

With businesses under pressure, the demand for cheaper imported workers is more likely to increase thereby displacing greater numbers of indigenous ones. There is also the likelihood of greater outsourcing of work.

Many of those who lose their jobs in this downturn will never return to work. This will be particularly true of anyone over, say, 35. The over reliance that employers place on background checks will exclude form work an even greater proportion of the population.

Anonymous said...

I am still wondering why there has been not a peep of anyone calling for the prosecution for negligence of the financial directors of councils and charities who lost millions of pounds in Icelandic banks...

I'm someone who has a lot of banks account and a lot of fixed rate bonds... I wasn't willing to put any money in Icelandic banks. For somebody to put millions of pounds of 'other peoples money' in there - when Iceland was described, months ago, as the world's biggest hedge fund - is criminally negligent in my eyes.

And yet all the media reports in their bleets for the government to cover their losses.

Steven_L said...

"Abolish human rights laws ... Scrap national and local snooping legislation" (anon)

If you abolished the human rights laws and the snooping laws there would be no restrictions whatsoever as to how much government could snoop on you.

Anonymous said...

Well, since the downturn will push people onto the dole and stop the unemployed finding work, they will need to go onto the dole or stay onto it.

Lagging lofts I agree isn't a bad idea, deals with climate change, gives the unemployed something productive to do. And I generally agree with your other points.

Anonymous said...

Well, about par for the course.

Oh well!

James Higham said...

You've got down to the nitty gritty here. The bottom line is the agenda towards state socialism which Brown's latest announcement about free markets underlines.

Markets can't be trusted, according to the bringer of misery himself and therefore must be regulated. I could make a fortune betting on the next move in the agenda.

Anonymous said...

If you mean the agenda set by Brown, you'd loose your fortune.

In the upcoming moves, brown will NOT dictate the agenda.

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