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General Chat Thread, The TUC March for the Alternative - Saturday 26th March 2011 in General; ...
  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    the last time i checked i think we were no.5 in the world in manufacturing.
    Not sure of the exact figure but we do have a valuable manufacturing industry. The difference from (say) 50 years ago is that it employs very few people. My dad worked in the Sheffield steel industry in the 50s and 60s; in those days it was a major employer of people. Today I think Sheffield manufactures more steel by value than it did then but it's done with a tiny fraction of the employees.

    I can't see the banks ever leaving London. In theory you could have banking in any country in the world. In reality the bankers want to be in London, not just because they see it as an area where they can pay little tax but for the same reasons that lots of other people want to live here.

    I'm certain that there are areas in pretty much every public and private sector organisation where efficiencies can be made but more efficient doesn't always mean better (it's more efficient to have mixed sex wards in hospitals than single sex wards because you don't get totally predictable numbers of men and women needing a ward at the same time but most people don't want that)

    It's also obvious that anyone who's physically capable of work should be working not claiming benefits. We could employ them in the public sector - there are plenty of jobs which could be created - but this is seen as a bad thing. What we need, then, is for the private sector to employ all these people (5 million???) and there's precious little sign of that happening. Most private companies seem to be working out how they can employ fewer people to do the same work, not more.

    And then there's tax avoidance. Private Eye has reported on £6 billion tax avoidance by Vodafone. Vodafone deny this; HMRC won't discuss it so who knows if it's true but if it is then that's one hell of a contribution to clearing budget deficits (it's more than 10% of the entire education budget, for example) Instead of just cutting public spending he government could choose to make a tax system where companies that do business in the UK pay tax on their profits in the UK and aren't allowed to pretend that their business is actually in Luexmbourg etc. I can't see this government doing it but it's one of the alternatives which they pretend don't exist.

  2. #17
    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post

    And then there's tax avoidance. Private Eye has reported on £6 billion tax avoidance by Vodafone. Vodafone deny this; HMRC won't discuss it so who knows if it's true but if it is then that's one hell of a contribution to clearing budget deficits (it's more than 10% of the entire education budget, for example) Instead of just cutting public spending he government could choose to make a tax system where companies that do business in the UK pay tax on their profits in the UK and aren't allowed to pretend that their business is actually in Luexmbourg etc. I can't see this government doing it but it's one of the alternatives which they pretend don't exist.
    i think that's one of those that probably needs a degree of international cooperation and possibly tax harmonisation across borders that just isn't forthcoming.

    you could take the view that as a result it's a fruitless battle because people are employed to legally minimise the tax burde of big corporations, while the tax authorities themselves are well advanced in the process of downsizing staffwise long before the current round of axe-swinging....such deals between the taxman and big business is like taking a very small piece of a large pie rather than being left with only the crumbs.

    i agree that the public sector could be the ideal vehicle for getting the unemployed and underemployed into work, but then my worry is that as soon as you start large scale job creation into place, you start to see calls for more manages and structures to oversee the additional recruits, so you just end up recreating the layers of management beuracracy that ideally we might otherwise want to cut down on or dismantle altogether in some places.

  3. #18

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    I'll be on the march this Saturday. Is anyone else from Edugeek going?

  4. #19
    CAM
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    I'm in London but not for the march. Taking a special someone out /(annoyingly next to the extended Police closure zone!)

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    It doesn't work like that. No matter how hard the public sector work, they don't generate income for the UK!! It's about money, and to be blunt, there isn't any. At all. It's all gone and the amount we pay per day in interest on the loans the previous govt took out to pay for the party everyones been enjoying for the past 13 years is £40 billion. Per annum!!!! That's over a million pounds a day interest. The previous govt borrowed $450 million a day just to keep the UK runnning as they realised teh party was over. I'll refrane from using such emotive terms as 'rape' instead I'll use real world ones such as incompetance and 'scortched earth' to describe the management of this countries wealth that has got us into this mess.
    The problem with the cuts to the public sector is that all these private sector firms brought in with "leaner and fitter" attitudes are now going out of business because councils have cut back on the money they pay them to do work once done by councils. BBC - PM: Manchester Business survey This survey from the Manchester Business Community shows how hard certain public sector cuts are hitting the private sector.

  6. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by beeswax View Post
    The problem with the cuts to the public sector is that all these private sector firms brought in with "leaner and fitter" attitudes are now going out of business because councils have cut back on the money they pay them to do work once done by councils. BBC - PM: Manchester Business survey This survey from the Manchester Business Community shows how hard certain public sector cuts are hitting the private sector.
    Sorry, maybe you've got the link wrong, but that survey doesn't show that at all, unless you're being very selective and not reading all of it.

  7. #22


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    I have a few simple solutions, but half of you won't like em, the other half would love them. Nature of the world.

    But to put it simply, everyone shares the responsibilities for everything. Noone is to blaim, and noone should be better or worse off for the sake of others.

    If people stop expecting to get something for nothing, then we'll be better off.

    And as a society we need to put a stop to pidgeon-holing and hierachies. That guy who earns more per year than the rest of us do in 10-25 years, and got a bonus that is bigger than I could earn in 100 years.... What makes him so much better than the next guy down the management chain? Or even the guy at the bottom of it?
    If that guy at the top that earn's £1m per year and just got a £5m bonus, did the guy at the bottom who earns £12k per year just get a £60k bonus? If not, why not? That guy at the bottom probably did as many hours of work, went home twice as exhausted, and hell maybe even earned in profits for the company a sizeable chunk of what that guy of the top just got in bonuses.

    Everyone is equal within a workplace, you just play a different role within it. If I'm 'better' at what I do then by all means pay me a bit more than the next guy; cos you want me to stay here and keep being better than the next guy. But just because your my manager doesn't automatically make you any more or less important, or any better or worse than me.

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    Sorry, maybe you've got the link wrong, but that survey doesn't show that at all, unless you're being very selective and not reading all of it.
    You're right. I should have linked to the pdf and the PM programme (about 17 mins in unfortunately, though you can drag the time bar).

  9. #24

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    Just read this The Adventures of Unemployed Man: Amazon.co.uk: Erich Origen, Gan Golan: Books

    Its a very funny satire on the current economic problems - well worth a look.

  10. #25

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    I hope to be on the march although I am not in total agreement with the TUC - I do think we need cuts BUT I think it is being done in a cack-handed way that is too much, too fast, and not thought out properly.
    I am tired though of the argument that 'the last government did x or y'
    As I recall, the previous government but one were pretty lax as well - no one has really looked to the future for a very long time, it is all about trashing what the last guy did rather than actually trying to find a solution.
    Tightening up the tax laws to stop this legal tax avoidance would be a good start. Taxing the banks. Making them use their profits to buy themselves back from the government (why wasnt this a prerequisite of the deal?).
    An English assembly would be a good thing too - it really annoys me that Scots, NI and now Welsh MPs will be able to vote on things such as the university fees and some of the cuts that do not affect them, and yet the English MPs cannot vote in their assemblies.
    And how CAN they afford to have lower or no fees??

  11. #26

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    Well, I'm off to get ready for the march. If I get Blair Peached tomorrow it's been nice knowing you all

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    An English assembly would be a good thing too - it really annoys me that Scots, NI and now Welsh MPs will be able to vote on things such as the university fees and some of the cuts that do not affect them, and yet the English MPs cannot vote in their assemblies.
    Scots, NI, and Welsh MP's cannot vote on devolved matters only the members of the respective parliaments can vote on those issues. If we had a Federal system we could avoid non-English MP's voting on purely English matters but nobody seems to want it.

    The West Lothian question could be easily solved by Westminster but no one has the stomach to make the changes.
    Last edited by somabc; 25th March 2011 at 03:54 PM.

  13. #28

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    It sounds like the soap-dodgers are going to be stirring up trouble...

    Resist26! is an autonomous group of individuals who aims to support resistance on March 26th in London

    mb

  14. #29
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    Same types at the last demonstrations who never really quite say what they are standing against other than 'capitalism' and the usual.

    Any reason to the adrenaline pumping and random annoyed groups will pop up.

  15. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    I hate to play devils advocate here, but surely the cuts are a given becuase the areas being 'cut' are those in which tax money is spent. This money is then going to be used to pay of the HUGE mountain of debt racked up by the previous govt, which stangely enough the TUC had no qualms about it doing. The tax generating areas i.e. the private sector (very little of the public sector actually generates any cash whatsoever) is still as it was and left to actually bring in the money that the country relies on whilst some areas of the public sector carry on being 'slef-licking-lollipops'. however, I do draw the line at how local authorities manage these cuts, and I do hope a great deal of tought goes into the what, where and when of them, although my experience of working in local govt does not fill me full of hope.
    "...the Osbornian criticism of his inheritance [from Labour] has been willfully overdone. I have pointed out before that, despite Brown's trial separation from Prudence, Britain encountered the global financial storm with net public debt at a relatively low level historically, and that even now, at 58% of gross domestic product, the ratio is far below the almost 250% of earlier "golden" years.Osborne complains that the "structural" deficit – that is, that part of the deficit not explained by cyclical fluctuations – was the worst in the Group of Seven in 2007, having been the second best in 2000.
    Well, so what? For a start, there is much professional dispute about how one distinguishes between "cyclical" and "structural" elements. So-called "structural" deficits can easily disappear in a period of rapid growth. Indeed, the 2007 structural deficit of which Osborne complains – 3.5% of GDP, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development – compares with OECD-measured structural deficits of 5.2% in 1992, 6.6% in 1993, 6.2% in 1994, 5.6% in 1995 and 4% in 1996, under – guess what? – the last Conservative government."

    Full article here - A resurgent Treasury seems all too ready to make cuts | Business | The Observer

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