Opinion: Sir John Major calls for excess profits tax on ‘big six’ energy companies ex Guardian – John Gelmini

English: John Major, British Conservative poli...

English: John Major, British Conservative politician and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, attending the memorial service for Lord Weatherill, former speaker of the House of Commons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here I find myself agreeing with Sir John Major and Dr Alf who was kind enough to let me be a guest blogger on this site.

The trouble is the Government are in serious difficulty and are desperate for money and due to previous lies cannot easily do what Sir John Major and Dr Alf think should be done.

The problem breaks down something like this:

1) Since 1982 we have had a balance of payments deficit which in my schooldays was filled by “invisible exports” from the City of London and more recently has been filled by other things of an “off the books nature” such as oil from the Al Yamana and other deals which rose several billions in value after we got them

2) In the past, even with our lamentable growth rates(1.4% since 1946) this was enough to keep us afloat but the City of London and its invisible exports is not the powerhouse it was and its share is diminishing year by year to the point where by 2016 it will be relegated to 4th position behind Hong Kong,Singapore and New York.

3) Our productivity is now 20th in the world and is 16% below the average for the G7 having fallen 20% following the Olympics and the Jubilee in 2012

4) We have far to many old, useless and unproductive people (16.5 million unemployed, NEETS, incapacity benefit recipients, economically discouraged, economically inactive, sanctioned by benefits office staff, counted as working when they are not (people who have registered companies), people not working but living off savings and supportive spouses but too proud to claim).

5) Our public sector is bloated and unaffordable but because we lack sufficient growth,enterprise and private sector jobs the Government is frightened to put all these non job holders to the sword and retains hundreds of thousands of overpaid civil servants who are feather-bedded to the point where they, like my sister-in-law, find the hardest thing they do on any particular day is get up.

6) The NHS is practically bankrupt and for some time now has been existing on Petroleum Revenue Tax and Lottery Funding.

Because we are now suffering from Global Cooling (even the IPCC admits that there has been no warming since 1996), car manufacturers have created fuel-efficient cars and tax take from petrol and diesel has fallen because of it and because people are driving less thus reducing Petroleum Revenue Tax take by £3 billion gbp during the past 2 years.

7) The Government responded by doubling the price of Lottery tickets and plundering the money set aside for good causes to fund the NHS but because of the rise in the number of old people requiring Adult Social Care and the number of dementia and diabetes patients presenting themselves at GP surgeries, A and E units even that is not enough.

8) The previous Labour Government deliberately allowed people to come into the country and by not completing E-Borders ,gave a nod and a wink to large-scale illegal immigration which has triggered the need for more houses, driven up house prices because of land scarcity,mortgage fund scarcity(being addressed too late) and because of there being too few building workers to build the houses in the first place

9) Overpopulation by 35 million too many people flowing from 8 above which means that the country has neither the resources or physical infrastructure to support the additional people.

10) Criminality and malfeasance on an industrial scale.

One does not have to be a mathematician or a former Finance Director as Dr Alf was in his earlier incarnation to see that what is and has been being collected in taxes is not reflected in the infrastructure (roads, airports, bridges, power stations) that this money should have bought.

For example, the A1(M), from the Letchworth Gate slip road 1.5 miles from my house runs directly to the South Mimms service area at the junction with the M25. Apart from the Hatfield Tunnel this road remains essentially unchanged since 1974 some 40 years ago.This is despite the fact that over that time car taxes have risen,vehicle prices have risen and car numbers have increased 6 fold.

There are other examples and overall for every £300 we spend on public services Singapore can do the same thing for £100.

This puts us at 17th in the world for value per taxpayer pound and for the life of me I cannot put this down just to cock ups and inefficiency

Of course, this is apart from the banking crash and the monies still not properly accounted for.
Governments including this one have lied about and tried to cover up all these matters whilst claiming credit for nonexistent achievements.

They have promised not to raise income taxes so by allowing power bills and rail fares to rise they get some of the tax revenues they need through VAT.

Of course, by mothballing and not immediately replacing power stations whilst we only have 4% spare generating capacity we are in thrall to energy companies who can increase their bills and through green taxes and more VAT the country supposedly gets the money it needs.

By allowing farmers to go to the wall at the rate of 5000 a year plus 100 suicides we have to import more food which allows the Government to increase its tax take on packaging and freight charges for importing the food and getting it to supermarkets.

So even if the Government wanted to it could not easily do as Dr Alf and Sir John Major both sensibly suggest because then they would have to admit to so many falsehoods that none of them would have any credibility left.

John Gelmini

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Opinion: UK China to boost SME trade and investment-People’s Daily – John Gelmini

English: East entrance of HM Treasury Français...

English: East entrance of HM Treasury Français : Entrée Est de HM Treasury (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thank Dr Alf for bringing this article in China‘s People’s Daily to our attention.

The UK could increase SME to SME trade with China by a better process of business matching and stakeholder mapping which would identify Chinese companies requiring collaboration and in what areas and UK companies that also needed collaboration and had useful services to provide either directly or in collaboration with Chinese partner companies.

The UK Government needs to expand “Passport to Export” and include courses based on Pimsleur methods to teach Mandarin with export funding going to SMEs that have directors or managers who have taken the trouble to learn the language rather than just relying on agents.

SME businesses capable of being groomed into bigger entities and capable of exporting to be encouraged to take on graduate trainees of Chinese origin and at least some Directors who are not simply “dead white males” or identikit versions of existing directors.

A process of exchange visits whereby some of the better SME directors here in the UK could be sent to China and be subjected to George Osborne style “Damascene conversion” might also help.

LEPS in the UK need to employ people other than “dead white males and females” and CEO,s of County Councils need to get on planes,get out of their offices and see what is going on for themselves rather than receiving delegations from China and thinking that they are setting the world alight by knowing how to present a business card with two hands (CEO of Peterborough City Council during 2012) at a Q and A session at the Peterborough Business Club.

Often I bring these matters up in my dealings with these people but they think they know better.

Fortunately George Osborne has seen the light, Boris already has a basic grasp of Mandarin and may one day be Prime Minister.

However, much of the population of the UK needs a bomb under it to change ossified and outdated attitudes and shake them out of their complacency and torpor.

Q ) Can this be done by 2015?
A) I doubt it?

Q) Will Dr Alf’s hopes for greater co-operation between Chinese and UK SMEs be realized?
A) Not any time soon or ever with the present Prime Minister and Home Secretary

Q) Has George Osborne’s visit made a start?
A) I think so but progress will not be fast

John Gelmini

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