Monday 27 April 2015

Money is only confetti

Over a bizarre weekend, the desperation of Labour and the Conservatives in the UK election stakes is becoming more apparent.

Labour worst of all, in a blatant bribe, offering a stamp duty holiday to first-time buyers who spend under £300k (also, who they hell spends more than £300k on their first house - who waits until they are earning £100k odd before buying, really?).

This is another in a string of vote grabbing strategies that ape the Greek model of just bribing voters to vote for you. Labour, under Gordon Brown, have been the champions of this strategy for a long time and have won 3 of the past four elections on the back of it and are well set to win 4 out of five next week.

The fact that 'there is no money' does not matter to those handed out bribes like this. The view these days, very anti-capitalist, is that there are all these rich people and they should be paying. But even if we take the rich list, the total wealth is only £547 billion - this is all their wealth including assets. The UK's annual GDP is £2 trillion. Even with a massive wealth tax the rich could only possibly contribute around £50 billion a year and as we all know, this would rapidly diminish as they leave (in the same way that the rich list just shows how many rich people come to live in the UK, not how well the UK is doing as an economy, few make their money here from scratch).

The Tories are increasingly likely to join in this game, saving some tax cut promises for late in the Campaign.

My hunch is that all of this confetti will cause two things to happen:

1) Desperate policies will be counter-productive and see a rise in the vote for UKIP and SNP.

2) Long term the new Government of whatever hue is not going to reduce the deficit very much and the UK will be left structurally exposed in the next major economic downturn.

I wonder what other giveaways we will be offered this week?


Bill Quango MP said...

Labour are rent capping too. Sort of.

This makes more many more houses available to this happens is not made very clear.

hovis said...

"This is another in a string of vote grabbing strategies that ape the normal political model of just bribing voters to vote for you."

There just fixed it for you.

Is a red bribe any different to a blue bribe? - tribalism apart?

Blue Eyes said...

I don't know, CU, but I have seen 500k flats described by sales agents as "perfect for first-time buyers or investors". I suppose a couple on £30+k each, each with £50k of savings? Nah, you are right, unlikely.

Suffragent said...

Medieval total war 2 requires you hold hustings for your home province every 4 years. You drop the tax take for the election year and max it for the rest. It’s purely that simple. The AI and public memory and expectation of the government is about the same.
The only difference is, in the game you use the money raised, to build the stuff you need to conquer the world, in reality it bloats the governments (and friends) personal bank accounts and pensions.
300k is ridicules but I guess they have to put some limit. The law of unintended consequences will have every property developer using their children as a loophole.

John miller said...

It's like the Mafia offering to reduce your protection money for a week.

dearieme said...

"who they hell spends more than £300k on their first house - who waits until they are earning £100k odd before buying, really?" A young London couple I know have done exactly that.

Bill quango mp said...

I have medieval total war 2 in front of me. Bought it in a sale last week but yet to install.

Thought it was just fighting combat game.

Charlie said...

"Who spends more than £300k on their first house?" - anyone in London who doesn't want to live in a sh*thole area.

Jan said...

They should save their breath until after the election. That's when the real fun and games will start.

Anonymous said...

Was at a hustings last night and out canvassing today. Blue South East.

Traditional LibDems are voting Tory to keep out UKIP. Labour supporting area now split between Labour and UKIP. Greens polling well but policies are left of Labour (watermelons). Tories will win but the majority will be much reduced - despite the candidate being a banker linked to the crash. Everyone is confused and wondering if they should go tactical or tribal.

Old hands reckon we will be doing this again in 6 months. They point to parties denying there will be doing deals. Why do a deal if you'll be doing it again etc.

Suff said...

Its like risk on steroids “but we had a pact?”
If you just want to have battles you can (far better than other strategy games) but the larger game involves building cities, raising taxes, technology, trade, religion…….. The wife leaving with the kids, poor diet, no exercise. Truly a time drain of anorak proportions (and I loved it). You can let the IA run this and just do the battles or vice a versa.
Ps I miss quoted the parliament thing comes in a later game.
Voters will be driven to the SNP, for their reality based policies? I thought with the SNP, we had reached the limit on what groundless promises the public would accept but then along came the Greens and took us to the cosmos.

Anonymous said...

Suff - no, but if parties are only going to compete on total BS then vote for the best total BS = SNP.

If you are going to vote for the only party that had its sums checked and they added up, Vote UKIP.

Steven_L said...

Is the stamp duty bribe really bigger than the 'right to buy' bribe?

Blue Eyes said...

Have fun defining "first-time buyer", Mr Miliband.

andrew said...

Sounds like that morecambe and wise film about them becoming leaders of a south american country when Eric shouts out 'free bananas for all!'

Sebastian Weetabix said...

It completely enrages me that every single one of them refuses to speak to us like adults and instead just trot out their completely fucking fatuous 'lines to take.'

I begin to think Billy Connolly was right. "Don't vote for thr bastards, it just encourages them"

Electro-Kevin said...

It's not like the money will help anyway.

The first lot to get it, the HTB and the child care will drive house prices even higher so that next year people are even more desperate.

All I want to hear is "We're introducing a proper points based immigration system forthwith."

That will take a lot of pressure out of the system. Yet we hear nothing of the #1 issue with voters except from Nigel Farage.

He is the only one who bothered to stand and argue against overcrowding for us against the Witches of Eastwick and Wallace.

We are claustrophobes, not xenophobes.