Tories slammed by other Tories for introducing a Labour-type solution post-Brexit!

Owl says: but if we are all going to be richer by leaving the EU, why will this be needed?

And in a “free market” aren’t uneconomic businesses supposed to fail? Confused(dot) Owl!

Tories slammed by free market groups over state aid pledges.

Business and free market groups slammed pledges today by Boris Johnson to expand state aid for businesses if the Conservative Party win the upcoming election.

In a press conference today, Johnson promised to expand Britain’s state aid regime once the UK leaves the EU.

“We will back British businesses by introducing a new state aid regime which makes it faster and easier for the government to intervene to protect jobs when an industry is in trouble,” a briefing document said.

Head of regulatory affairs at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Victoria Hewson said support for state aid was “veiled support for cronyism.”

“For all the lip service the Conservatives pay to free markets and free enterprise, today’s announcements about state aid call into question their basic understanding of how these systems work,” she said.

“Calls to expand state aid translate to veiled support for cronyism. Interventionist and protectionist policies always end up disadvantaging smaller businesses in favour of a few giants.”

A spokesperson for the Institute of Directors said: “It’s not clear how these proposals will fit with ambitions of a ‘Global Britain’. The Conservatives must be wary of opening a can of worms on state aid, it’s important to have consistent rules in place to resist the impulse of unwarranted protectionism.” … “

Tories slammed by free market groups over state aid pledges

British capitalism “too extreme” and doesn’t work

“The UK has one of the most extreme forms of capitalism in the world and we urgently need to rethink the role of business in society. That’s according to Prof Colin Mayer, author of a new report on the future of the corporation for the British Academy.

Prof Mayer says that global crises such as the environment and growing inequality are forcing a reassessment of what business is for.

“The corporation has failed to deliver benefit beyond shareholders, to its stakeholders and its wider community,” he said.

“At the moment, how we conceptualise business is, it’s there to make money. But instead, we should think about it as an incredibly powerful tool for solving our problems in the world.”

He said the ownership structure of companies had made the UK one of the worst examples of responsible capitalism.

“The UK has a particularly extreme form of capitalism and ownership,” he said.

“Most ownership in the UK is in the hands of a large number of institutional investors, none of which have a significant controlling shareholding in our largest companies. That is quite unlike virtually any other country in the world, including the United States.”

This heavily dispersed form of ownership means none of the owners is providing a genuinely long-term perspective on how to achieve goals while also making money.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50562518

If you don’t want the NHS to be a political weapon – depoliticise it!

NHS bosses have said that the NHS should not be used as a political weapon in the forthcoming general election:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2019-50282333

But it will ALWAYS be used as a political weapon if it is given annual sums of money or has very short-term plans made by the political party currently in power, as is the case now.

The solution is to make the NHS independent of politics, have a long-term funding plan and have it run by non-politically appointed staff.

You can’t have it both ways.

Tax cuts

Just remember every tax cut costs. It costs public services (health, education, police, social services, young people’s services, environmental schemes).

They benefit the rich and make the poor poorer – the little bit you gain will be offset (and more) by what you and your family will lose. Indirect taxes (VAT, excise duty, fuel duty) are where the gain may be outstripped by bigger losses.

Tax cuts sound good but think twice before voting for them.

Business rates system broken say MPs

The business rates system is “broken” and needs to be reformed for the benefit of councils and businesses alike, according to a report from the treasury committee released today.

It revealed that the tax generated £31bn in the UK in the last financial year, with revenues rising faster than inflation.

MPs also found councils have applied business rates reliefs inconsistently and urged the government to create a “single comprehensive” guide on how they should operate.

The report acknowledged the government’s plan to increase councils’ retention of business rates from 50% to 75% – but this move, which was meant to start in April 2020, has already been pushed back by a year.

“Any reform of the system should have particular regard both to the need to maintain the total income for local authorities, and to keep the link between individual authorities and the current and potential new businesses in their areas,” it said.

Alison McGovern, Treasury committee’s lead member of the inquiry, said: “It’s abundantly clear that the current business rates system is broken. The tax represents an increasing burden on businesses, particularly those with a physical high street presence struggling to remain competitive.”

Commenting on previous attempts to improve the business rates system, she said: “Odd reliefs here and there are nothing more than sticking plasters to a system in urgent need of reform.”

The committee has heard arguments for alternatives to business rates, such as a ‘land value’ tax – a levy on the land a property exists on rather than the property itself. Another suggestion has been to have online sales levies as the system places a “disproportionate burden” on bricks-and-mortar high street shops compared to online businesses.

However, McGovern said that alternatives had not been “sufficiently modelled to examine who would be the winners and losers of any change.”

The report concluded that it should not be up to “external stakeholders” to develop and evaluate detailed proposals for a new system. Instead, the government should prepare a consultation on the business rates system by the next Spring Statement, it said. …”

Source:Public Finance (pay wall)