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Offline the leveller

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« on: June 15, 2016, 07:46:56 PM »

Osborne talks of a "£20bn black hole' but fails to note that the pound's fall is modest and indeed, so far, helpful, while unemployment has fallen which hardly suggests a lack of confidence amongst employers! Also German bonds have fallen so far that money is coming to London as a "safe haven"! 

Even the pro-EU BBC's political editor loses her cool! in her reaction.    If Osborne thinks he can remain Chancellor after his crazy budget threats he will soon be disabused! But then he’s been a second-rate Chancellor so he won’t be missed.

Along with this supposed financial impact of Brexit  comes a "blueprint" from Leave supporters  (only featured in The Telegraph and hidden away somewhere that I can't find on the paper's website! )  on how a UK departure from the bloc could play out. immediately. The snag with Boris, Gove et al  is that they have no government to carry out their suggestions will almost certainly remain just that - suggestions .

Two articles I read today are inconclusive in total but with telling remarks embedded in them.  I quote from them.

A TNS online poll yesterday put Leave on 47% and Remain on 40% with 13% undecided. A ComRes phone poll for the Sun had Remain on 46% (-6) and Leave on 45% (+4) and with 9% undecided.



BBC Website   15.6.16

Osborne warning prompts dramatic response

   Laura Kuenssberg

   Political editor

The most drastic warning yet in a campaign laced with fear, has met its most drastic response.

George Osborne, together with the former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling, vows today that the hit to the economy would be so great if we vote to leave the EU that he'd hold a Budget with cuts and tax rises almost immediately.

But in retaliation, in a direct challenge to George Osborne's authority, 57 Tory MPs, including former cabinet ministers, have issued a statement, incredulous at the chancellor's behaviour - saying it is absurd to make a political promise to punish voters in this way - to break Conservative manifesto promises.

Most seriously for a government with a tiny majority, they say they would vote to block such a Budget, making Mr Osborne's position untenable.

As the chancellor threatens drastic action - so too, by suggesting an open coup against him, his internal opponents threaten him.

Whatever you decide a week tomorrow, the governing party may be changed for good.


Glad to see Owen Patterson to the fore on this.  He's the Tories best hope for the future.   Osborne talks of a "£20bn black hole' but fails to note that the pound's fall is modest and indeed, so far, helpful, while unemployment has fallen which hardly suggests a lack of confidence amongst employers!

GUARDIAN   15.6.16

57 Tory MPs would vote against Osborne’s Brexit budget

Chancellor faces backlash after 57 Tory MPs say they would vote against proposed emergency tax rises and spending cuts

George Osborne is facing an extraordinary challenge to his authority as chancellor from 57 Conservative MPs, who are threatening to block his emergency budget of tax rises and spending cuts if Britain votes to leave the EU.
Several former cabinet ministers, including Iain Duncan Smith, Liam Fox and Owen Paterson are among 57 MPs who have said Osborne’s position would be “untenable” if he tried to impose a “punishment budget” in the the event of Brexit.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the chancellor said: “For the first time today you have a Conservative and a Labour chancellor agreeing on the scale of the decisions needed to fix the public finances if we quit the EU. There would have to be increases in tax, there would have to be cuts in public spending to fill the black hole.”  He added that a vote for Brexit would amount to “self-imposed austerity for many years to come”.

However, John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said the Labour party would never support such a move bringing in further austerity and disowned Darling’s backing for the approach.

The Tory rebellion of 57 MPs and the lack of support from Labour means Osborne would find it impossible to get through the House of Commons.

[Owen] Paterson, a former environment secretary, said it was a sign the remain campaign had “reached panic stations”.

“They have lost all the major arguments and have now resorted to scaring the British people. They are taking us for fools,” he said.

“If the chancellor thinks he could pass such a punishment budget through the House of Commons he is utterly delusional. I wouldn’t hesitate about voting against it.”

Such open defiance of Osborne by senior Eurosceptics makes it difficult to see how the current Conservative leadership could continue if there is a vote to leave the EU, although no serving government minister has signed the letter of rebellion.

David Cameron has always insisted he would continue in post to negotiate an exit with Brussels but that has appeared increasingly untenable as the referendum approaches, as Brexit MPs are furious about the force of his campaigning in favour of the EU.

If Cameron does not step down in the event of a vote to leave the EU, a major revolt against his chancellor’s emergency budget could force their resignation and spell the end of the current government.

Osborne took the decision to publish an “illustrative budget scorecard” warning of tax rises and spending cuts at a time of panic within the remain camp about several polls suggesting leave is in the lead.

The document, issued jointly with Darling, comprises a long list of the sort of measures they say may have to be implemented including:

      £15bn of tax rises, comprising a 2p rise in the basic rate of income tax to 22%, a 3p rise in the higher rate to 43% plus a 5% rise in the inheritance tax rate to 45p.

      An increase in alcohol and petrol duties by 5%.

      Spending cuts worth £15bn, including a 2% reduction for health, defence and education, equivalent to £2.5bn, £1.2bn, £1.15bn a year respectively.

      Larger cuts of 5% from policing, transport and local government budgets.

In response, a joint statement issued by Vote Leave said it was incredible that the chancellor was “threatening to renege on so many manifesto pledges”.

It said: “It is absurd to say that if people vote to take back control from the EU that he would want to punish them in this way. If he were to proceed with these proposals, the chancellor’s position would become untenable.”

Osborne responded to the letter by saying an emergency budget would be necessary to stem financial chaos and fill a £30bn black hole triggered by a vote to leave.

He said: “The kind of measures we would have to take are ones that any chancellor and any government would have to make. No Conservative wants to raise taxes, least of all me. But equally Conservatives understand, and indeed I suspect many Labour politicians understand, that you cannot have chaos in your public finances, you have to deal with the hole that would emerge if we quit the EU. And we would have to take the necessary measures.”

Osborne was pressed on how he could impose such a budget when 57 Tory MP were against it. He said: “The Conservative government would do what was needed to deal with huge instability in our economy and the chaos in the public finances. Would it be easy for folk who pay their taxes for the public services? Of course not, but we would have imposed this on our country. And there is an alternative. If we vote to remain in the EU next week then we are going to be stronger, safer, better off.”

He added: “If we walk through that door and we quit the EU, taxes will go up, public spending will be cut and we be living for the consequences for years to come.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

The likelihood of an emergency budget divided economic experts.

Prof John Fender, lecturer in macroeconomics at the University of Birmingham, said the prospect of such an emergency budget was feasible.

“If there is a vote to Brexit on 23 June, its likely consequences for the public finances need to be taken very seriously,” he said. “Any economic downturn will reduce revenues and put in question the chancellor’s goal of achieving budget balance by the end of the decade. Something will need to be done to restore confidence, and an emergency budget similar to that suggested by the chancellor may well be on the cards.”

But Jonathan Portes of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, a former government economist, said it would be “precisely the wrong response”, which he said “should not and will not happen”.


This crazy day is compounded by the Telegraph's website which has hidden somewhere where I can't finf it their lead front page story!!!   So I will type out a few bull points for later amplification!  It's not strikingly new.    But I give Open Europe's 'take' on it! -cs

OPEN EUROPE   15.6.16

Leave camp lays out more details of post Brexit plan

Chris Grayling, Leader of the House of Commons and Leave campaigner, has said that, if the UK votes to leave, the aim will be to complete the negotiations “by the end of 2019”. Grayling added that the UK would have to immediately limit free movement to “prevent a massive influx of people” and would seek to limit the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice though the UK would continue paying into the EU budget. He also said that there should be a reduction of VAT on energy bills and a commitment to boost NHS spending by £100m per week. He suggested the UK should not seek to trigger Article 50, the procedure for leaving the EU within two years immediately, but should seek a more informal process. However, former Work and Pensions Secretary and Leave campaigner Iain Duncan Smith admitted, “Nobody quite knows how this will pan out…I’m not saying this will be nirvana.”


TELEGRAPH   15.6.16

[Main points from Front Page lead story]

OUT camp reveals its blueprint for Brexit

Boris and Gove set out laws to end power of Europe

* Curtail power of European Courts

* Halt free movement of immigrants

* Divert funds to NHS


  Two extracts from the Telegraph - acin not on website - so I have retyped selections -cs

TELEGRAPH  Business   15.6.16

Jeremy Warner  - “If Europe’s political leaders wake up on Friday, 14 th June to find that Britain has voted to leave..... they will know who to blame most - themselves. .....the EU has become  dysfunctional Byzantium of paralysing political and economic complexity. It has not been possible for a long time now to be an enthusiastic European.  Much of what was good about the EU...has long since ceased to be true. 

Over the last 8 years the EU has faced two distinct existential crises - the eurozone debt meltdown and the challemge of cross border migration.  On both counts it has failed miserably....these crises are essentially from the same genesis...the attempt to crunch together economies of widely different income, wealth and social welfare.  [and dare I add,  temperament?] .... the EU is a disaster area  which cannot reform.”

BUT..NO TO “(Britain) has secured an opt out from “more Europe’.   It has done no such thing.  The meeting which agreed on that was NOT a meeting of any EU body at all and its decisions are not binding,  It was NOT a Council meeting but a meeting of Heads of Government and thus essentially informal and in no way binding.  So much for Cameron’s ‘renegotiations’. 

Ben Wright  - Markets are breathless (and clueless) about Brexit.  “If Socrates was right and the only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing then the markets are displaying their collective genius.  ..they clearly haven’t got a clue  wheter the UK will vote to leave the EU and what that will mean if it does. 


The Press Office of 

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon

(Independent Labour)

News Release     15th June 2016

Chaos reigns in the Remain camp as

“yet another scare story bites the dust”


The independent Labour Peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, has been quick to point out the chaos reigning in the Remain Campaign, as senior figures contradict each other on the same day.


Lord Stoddart said: “On the same day that former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling stood on a platform with current Chancellor George Osborne to support the imposition of additional swingeing taxes on the British people, if they dare to vote for Brexit on 23rd June, the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn emphatically states in the House of Commons that the Labour opposition will oppose any such measures, whether or not Britain leaves the EU.


“Since 59 Tory MPs have also said they will not support Mr Osborne’s measures, it is clear that his threat is a completely empty one and yet another scare story bites the dust!  It is equally clear that the Remain campaign is in chaos.  They are so busy inventing irresponsible scare stories aimed at bullying the voters, that they are forgetting to take the elementary step of consulting with each other.  How can we trust anything they say?


“The one-party state that Labour and the Tory leadership seem to be trying to create on this issue is misfiring badly.”




Let's hope they all get a bit more organised



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