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  • RE: British Press and Social Media

    Mini-News: Autumn Budget "A Worker and Innovator Friendly Budget" - Chancellor

    LONDON --- The Chancellor will be firmly in the spot light on Wednesday as he presents the first Autumn Budget in quite some years. Phillip Hammond inherits a strong, still growing UK economy that looks to be at the forefront of European economic growth, the fourth largest economy in Europe behind Inquista, the Duxburian Union, and Angleter and what the Government has signalled is that innovation and middle class friendliness is the hallmark of this budget.

    "The Autumn Budget will be a budget that will unite innovators with capital, and secure more in pay packets for British workers," the Chancellor said before dashing off.

    posted in European News Consortium
  • RE: The EU's Latest Tweets

    #MeToo #PartTwo

    posted in European News Consortium
  • RE: The EU's Latest Tweets

    #MeToo #MeToo

    posted in European News Consortium
  • RE: Get Ready For The Future...

    BUMPITY BUMP

    posted in Chamber Of Loose Lips
  • RE: British Press and Social Media


    Andrew Marr: Good morning, this is the Andrew Marr Show. On today's programme:

    • The Budget is coming in on 22 November and we have Treasury Secretary Sajid Javid to give us a preview of what the Government is planning for the economy in the next fiscal year.
    • Is Keir Starmer an effective enough SDLP Leader? New polling shows the Social Democrats behind by nearly 8 points, and a lost election in 2017 could spur a leadership spill in 2018. Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry is in to say if she does or does not support Sir Keir in his current position.
    • Is the Government sacrificing security for taking in migrants from Dromund Kaas? After the terror attack this fall in Piccadilly Circus, is the Government not doing enough to keep Britain safe?

    All that and more on the Andrew Marr programme. 

    (Introduction)

    AM: First, we know that the Budget is coming up so the Exchequer has sent out allies to set the groundwork for expectation on the budget. I'm pleased to welcome Sajid Javid, Chief Secretary to the Treasury and former Chancellor of the Exchequer. Welcome to the programme, Chief Secretary.

    Sajid Javid: Happy to be here, Andrew. 

    AM: The Budget is set to be handed down from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, in about 17 or so days. Is there anything that we should be looking for in the economy that the Government will be moving towards?

    SJ: Well, first I'd like to say that as you know, I can't say what's in the Budget until it has been handed down by the Chancellor. What I can say is that there's a lot of good ideas bouncing around the Treasury and Cabinet, and we will be looking to continue the Government's programme of creating a Britain that works for everyone. That means we'll be backing British business, improving British infrastructure, and giving our children and workforce the education it needs to meet the demands of the 21st century. 

    AM: The biggest criticism that the Government has faced is that wages have been growing slower than at historical levels in Britain. What will you do to solve that problem?

    SJ: Well, what I can say is that we have the highest amount of people in work in our peacetime history. We have more people making more money than ever before. Average wages are at £50,200 now, the highest its ever been. We have the strongest currency in the European Union, with many more people investing in government bonds on the LSE. We are a powerhouse economy, and the Government simply wants to ensure a steady hand is at the helm making the investments to magnify the effect of this time for our children and grandchildren. That includes the National Broadband Network, which has now been in effect for two years now and has seen internet speeds and access boom across the United Kingdom...

    AM: But what about those who feel they are stuck at the bottom of the wage ladder?

    SJ: Andrew, let me finish. We are investing in the infrastructure needed to continue to have good, high paying jobs for everyone in the United Kingdom. That's the goal of this Government. So I'd respond to that claim with evidence that we are building economically sound policies that will bring greater economic stability and growth for the future and that the growth of the country will lift wages naturally. 

    AM: But the bottom 10% are at £19,400 annually and the richest 10% start at £112,600 and are concentrated mostly in the south east. Surely, those people who want wealth to spread and prosperity to spread will be upset that you haven't made many investments north of London since coming into power. 

    SJ: I disagree with that claim, Andrew...

    AM: Then what would you tell the people who think that way?

    SJ: The Government has put in the Universal Credit to help people out of poverty with the freedom to invest in whatever they like. We've heard people have used it to buy groceries at the supermarket or as a down payment on their first home or a new car. That is what welfare is intended to do, Andrew. Lift people out of poverty and give them the tools to better their lives. We've paid for it through closing income and corporation tax loopholes on the biggest businesses and the highest income earners.

    AM: Universal credit is means tested though, meaning that as people earn more, they get less. That kind of squeeze on people's incomes surely is not something that will help the bottom percentages of British income earners.

    SJ: No, that's not our policy at all. Yes, the Universal Credit is means tested, but that also allows us to guarantee a basic rate of £1,000 to every household income under £30,000 a year. We are a One Nation conservative Government that wants to give people the means to get on in life without endless interference of the state. As such, we definitely subscribe to the way that the Universal Credit has been settled. 

    AM: The Office for National Statistics has said that the UK loses nearly £15 billion annually due to lack of proper infrastructure, particularly in transportation. The Government has built the expansion on London Stansted and Gatwick, giving London 3 major airports. High Speed 2 has been completed, with High Speed 3 spurs continuing to Edinburgh via Leeds-Newcastle and Dublin-Glasgow via Blackpool estimated to be completed next year and High Speed 4 to Cardiff wrapping up in 2020. All of these projects put together has cost nearly £150 billion over the course of the 15 years of their construction, starting from the previous SDLP Government. Many would rather see a widening of existing railways under National Rail, something that the Transport Secretary could do today...and also the expansion of motorways, particularly around major cities in Britain. 

    SJ: Why not do all of it? The Government is committed to, over the course of the next 10 years, £120 billion in projects jointly funded by the Government and by the UK Infrastructure Bank, established under this Government. It is right to tackle all 3, and at £12 billion annually, it is the right thing to do to make sure we have transportation infrastructure to not only get goods to port, but also to get people across the country to greater economic opportunity, greater cultural opportunity. 

    AM: Most of the time, the Liberal Governments of the past would be cutting taxes, traditional Tory pledges to reduce public spending. Adding that £12 billion there, promises to increase NHS spending by £2 biillion, defence spending at nearly £390 billion annually....will you be spending more or less than the £1.5 trillion target you have set for yourself as a Government on budgets?

    SJ: I cannot say anything about that due to market sensitivity, but we will make sure that the Government lives within its means and that we do not saddle the future of our country with great big heaps of debt. We want to get to 40% of GDP by 2020, and the Government will do everything it can to meet that target.

    AM: Like what?

    SJ: Prudent fiscal responsibility. 

    AM: So higher taxes or cutting public services and spending?

    SJ: Andrew, I have already said I cannot comment. What I can say is that the Government will show its record on prudent fiscal responsibility to be accurate and we will continue to find economies where we can without sacrificing the world-class public services that the United Kingdom is known for like the National Health Service. 

    AM: I do think we're out of time. Thank you...Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid Javid.

    SJ: Thank you, Andrew.

    posted in European News Consortium
  • RE: Monthly European Union Economic Report

    October 2017 - November 2017

    • Wage growth shown in the United Kingdom (1.3%), Australia (1.2%), Derecta (1.2%)
    • Wage stagnation in Angleter, Duxburian Union, Inquista
    • Wages fell in Miraco (-1.5%), Fremet (-0.4%), Liban (-0.9%), Pefki (-0.4%), Inimicus (-0.28%)
    • Q3 GDP growth: 
      • The United Kingdom (2.8%)
      • Australia (3.3%)
      • Derecta (0.5%)
      • Duxburian Union (1.1%)
      • Angleter (3.4%)
      • Inquista (1.7%)
      • Miraco (-0.1%)
      • Pefki (0.2%)
      • Fremet (-0.17%)
      • Liban (-0.29%)
      • Inimicus (-0.39%)

    Largest EU economies:

    1. Inquista
    2. Duxburian Union
    3. Angleter
    4. The United Kingdom
    5. Inimicus
    6. Australia
    7. Fremet
    8. Derecta

    posted in European Central Bank
  • RE: House of Commons Official Hansard

    Oral Answers to Questions

    25 October 2017

    Volume 652

    Engagements

    Mr. Martin Finsbury (Bournemouth - Liberal)

    Q1. If the Prime Minister will list her engagements for today, 25 October 2017.

    The Prime Minister (Mrs. Theresa May)

    I had phone calls with Australian Prime Minister Hillary Clinton and Angleteric Prime Minister Sam Courtenay to discuss further cooperation in out combat mission in Dromund Kaas as well as the handling of the refugee crisis we face together. I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others, and in addition to my duties in this House I shall have further such meetings later today. 

    Mr. Martin Finsbury

    The local economy of Bournemouth has benefited from this Government's long term economic plan. Will the Prime Minister explain how a strong economy will help people across the UK, but in particular my constituents in Bournemouth.

    The Prime Minister

    My honourable friend has raised the point of economic strength and stability, and he is right to do so. I think one of the top priorities of any Government is to ensure that the country has a strong economy. It is only with economic strength can we provide things like the Britcoin, like the National Broadband Network, and be able to provide for the new economy of the future. It is important to know that when we were under the Social Democratic and Labour Party, we did not have the resources to tackle these growing issues of the future. Under this Liberal Government, we have seen Britain stand up to her challenges.

    Sir Keir Starmer (Leader of the Opposition - SDLP)

    The Office for Budget Responsibility has stated that the Government has not spent the extra funding for the NHS that they claimed they would, but rather filled in a fiscal black hole in their budget, an £8 billion black hole to be exact. Is this the mark of the Liberal Government's management of the economy?

    The Prime Minister

    Ah, I see the right honourable gentleman has been reading the Independent and the Guardian again. There was no black hole in the bcurrent udget, and the OBR was referring to the first year of this Government's budget, in which we were cleaning up the mismanagement of the previous Social Democrat Government. It is this Government that is getting the job done of cutting taxes, giving people more money to spend at the shop and giving them the freedom to choose what and where they do business. 

    Sir Keir Starmer

    The Prime Minister is ignoring the fact that this came out today in reference to the current 2017-2018 fiscal year budget. This Government's second budget and it's already in denial about what the OBR is saying. Let's try another question on the economy. James is a former worker in a factory in Yorkshire. His factory closed in 2016 and was promised by the Government that they would invest in the area and build new manufacturing jobs that are high paying. It's been a year, and nothing has been done to put more jobs in the area to replace them. Is this an example of the Liberal Government's management of the economy?

    The Prime Minister

    What I would say to James is that the Government has been creating jobs across the United Kingdom, and that we will continue to ensure that Yorkshire and the north generally get just as much attention to job creation and economic growth as the south. What we aren't going to do is botch job like the last Government did, and focus all of our attention on deregulating the City and nearly crashing the UK economy.

    Sir Keir Starmer

    The last SDLP Government did not crash the economy. We achieved the largest amount of economic growth in the peacetime history of this nation. We were the ones who followed the policies that lifted the wages of every worker in this country. We kept inflation low, we kept exports up, and we were one of the economic powerhouses in Europe. In just two years, this Government has made us wholly dependent on financial services in London, Dublin, and Edinburgh for job security in this country. That is the true record between our two sides. I noticed that the Prime Minister didn't like my question, so I'll try again on the economy. The top 10% in this country, according to the Office for National Statistics, now earn almost 8 times as much as our poorest 10%, and the gap between the top 1% and the middle class is almost 12 times as much, higher in two years than in 2015. Is this an example of the Liberal Government's management of the economy?

    The Prime Minister

    The Leader of the Opposition talks about economic record. Let's take a look at the economic record of the SDLP in government from 1997-2015. Lowest economic growth of all the major economies of Europe. Lowest wage growth of all the major economies of Europe. Economic recession in 2014-2015. This is not the mark of any masterstroke of economic management, it's the mark of economic incompetence by the Leader of the Opposition and the Social Democrats. So, this Government will take no lectures from the members opposite on how to run an economy, when they have run it into the ground. The Liberals will defend the value of the pound, and promise working people that they can keep what they earn. The Social Democrats will bring socialism to new heights in Britain and make the country poorer. We will never let them do that. 

    Sir Keir Starmer

    I must say that the Prime Minister did not pay attention to what I said were the achievements of the last Government, but it's very typical of the Libs: cuts for the most needy in our society, and handouts to the wealthiest and corporations. Cronyism runs rampant throughout that party, and it starts with the Prime Minister herself. Can the Prime Minister explain why she met with the heads of the major banks of the City in a private dinner at Downing Street before announcing her tax policies in the budget, and is this an example of the Liberal Government's management of our economy?

    The Prime Minister

    You know the Leader of the Opposition is desperate when he starts to invent a new history. He talks about me meeting with banks...when did that happen? I've had public speeches to the City as any Prime Minister has done since the 1960's. It was not private. In fact, I'm certain he could watch the speech I gave on the BBC. He should have paid more attention and took notes about how to run a proper economy that works for everyone, not just the union bosses and select favourites at the top. Ah, he shakes his head no. Well, let's see....who were the three friends of the RBS CEO before the 2014 recession? Oh yes, that would be Blair, Brown, and the Member for Doncaster (Mr. Ed Miliband)! You can't rewrite history; it's in plain sight and we all can see that the Leader of the Opposition cannot be trusted. He's trying to mislead the public about his record and he's trying to throw mud at the Government. 

    Sir Keir Starmer

    And who has lined the pockets of every billionaire, Rupert Murdoch, and Lynton Crosby? The Prime Minister and the Liberals. But let's talk some more about this supposed good economic management. The NHS Chiefs of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland penned a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer this week, begging for an emergency stipend of nearly £12 billion. They said that "cuts and top-down reorganisation of the NHS' revenue structure has resulted in an unexpected £12 billion shortage in funds between the four NHS trusts". Is this an example of the economic management of the Liberal Government?

    The Prime Minister

    The only ones who reorganised the NHS completely are the SDLP. Now....yes! It was you who introduced the trust system in 1997. Now, I can't speak on matters that will be in the budget, but the Chancellor has come up with several ideas that the Cabinet will be discussing on how to deal with NHS funding. I'm sure the Leader of the Opposition will enjoy hearing the magnificent budget and its masterful understanding of what makes a good economy. Now, as for his accusation, of course it is false. Yet again, the Leader of the Opposition chooses to try and rewrite history to escape his own record of helping out his friends. I'm sure Len McCluskey and Jon Lansman are enjoying their cut of the SDLP's coffers. 

    Sir Keir Starmer

    It wouldn't be the Tories without accusations of being beholden to the union movement. We are not beholden to anyone; we stand up for the interests of all working people in the United Kingdom, the same working people whom she is betraying by looking out for the wealthiest in our society. Income inequality has risen under watch, real terms wage growth is at its slowest since 1912, manufacturing exports at its lowest since 1975. When will the Prime Minister learn she can't buy her way out of the truth, and that she will have to answer for it?

    The Prime Minister

    Again, I will take no lectures on the economy from anyone from the SDLP. They will wreck the economy any time, and in a few weeks time, he will learn what it means to make the decisions that powers the UK economy to be the 4th largest in Europe. We have the strongest currency in all of Europe, we are making more products in this country than at any point in our history, and we are known throughout Europe for our high quality products and services. So while the SDLP tries to talk down the achievements of this Government and the UK economy, we will promote British businesses abroad and make sure that we have the right ingredients for a dynamic economy. I will say this to the honourable gentleman opposite: watch and learn. 

    posted in Politics & Incidents
  • RE: United Kingdom - War List

    14 October 2017

    His Majesty's Government will be going through an internal strategy and policy review ahead of the 2017 autumn Budget. This review will allow the Ministry of Defence to make several suggestions and recommendations upon constructing the United Kingdom's defence budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, and it will take into consideration the new security challenges of a long term deployment to Dromund Kaas that we have engaged in as a country and the ever changing situation in the security of the realm. 

    The Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Fallon KCB MP

    Secretary of State for Defence

    posted in War Lists
  • RE: British Press and Social Media

    Scottish Parliament Passes IndyRef Bill; Westminster to Respond

    The Scottish Parliament has voted in favour of an independence referendum in a vote that split across the minor parties and the SNP vs. the two major UK parties. In a move that put Johann Lamont and Ruth Davidson on the same side of politics, it just wasn't enough to overcome the deal that the SNP made with the Progressive Party and Greens (71 to 58). The First Minister laid out her plans to put the independence referendum in September of next year with the support of Westminster.

    "I hope that London will legally allow this referendum to go ahead. Theresa May has been popular across England and Ireland, but Scotland did not provide her with a mandate to govern, the SNP winning the majority of Scottish Westminster seats. We believe that Scotland will be better off away from the United Kingdom as a more progressive, open society that does not wage war with others in Europe and respects the international community. The choice to stay in the United Kingdom should be given to the Scottish people. Clearly, we put referendum in our manifesto and we won the most seats in the Scottish elections, therefore we have a mandate from the people of Scotland to go to Westminster and ask for the Scottish people to be given the choice. I and others in the Scottish Government  believe that we can succeed and be better off outside of the UK, but we will trust the will of the people," Nicola Sturgeon said at Bute House this morning.

    Theresa May has not commented yet, nor have any relevant UK Government ministers. 

    posted in European News Consortium
  • RE: British Press and Social Media

    Opinion: Sturgeon's Indy Gamble Will Backfire

    Ruth Davidson, Liberal Unionist leader in Scotland, delivering what could be her crowning speech in the Scottish Parliament

    "Scotland's place is in the United Kingdom, steering and leading by example for the rest of the union," said a determined Ruth Davidson on the floor of the Scottish Parliament during the emergency session of Parliament in Holyrood. Many times before has the SNP tried to stoke up Scottish fears of Tory cuts in Westminster, but now it seems there is a chord being struck that puts Edinburgh in direct conflict with London. Many times before in the history of devolution in Scotland, it would have been an acknowledged fact that the Scots would remain in the United Kingdom. In fact, during the SDLP dominance of UK politics and the first Scottish governments starting in 1999, that would have been the case.

    However, the First Minister has done something clever: she has projected on the idea that progressivism and being Scottish are one in the same, and has found a way to put the previous party in power (SDLP) and the UK Government currently (Liberal Unionist) as bed-fellows. Nicola Sturgeon is masterful at casting even the Progressive Party as part of a London cabal to steal away Scottish money and Scottish powers and subject Scotland to humiliation in the union. Therefore, according to her supporters, the only way to escape that fate is to declare independence. 

    It's a nuanced message, but it is a very powerful one that is working to change the political landscape in Scotland, and while Johann Lamont leads the SDLP, she seems less and less viable an option to keep Scotland in the union. Her uninspired, dry, lazy defence of the United Kingdom is trying to toe the line of working with the Liberal Unionists and the UK Government in keeping Scotland in the union and the distancing of the SDLP with the UK Government has led to mixed messaging, bad reviews, and an SNP that is creeping towards the 50% mark in popularity. What's worse, the pro-independence movement, which sat at 20% as late as two years ago, has now crept up towards 40%. That can only bolster Sturgeon's hand. Why the creep upwards?

    It's both the rise of the Liberal Unionists in London and the demise of the SDLP in Scotland that has allowed the SNP to play the progressive, centre-left card. Despite their record being mixed on ideology (personally, I'd describe the SNP as centrists with a very solidly right management of the economy posing as the progressive left and giving a few SJW's a bone here or there), Theresa May and the UK Government are being positioned as the villains. So who will fight for the union?

    Ruth Davidson. That's who. She gave a rousing defence of the Union which will hopefully jog the 60% Scots to call their representatives and tell Nicola Sturgeon not to go forward with this idea, but she may be the only one in Scottish politics in Holyrood or Westminster who could defend the Union now. Despite some allegiances in this paper, I implore all Scots to vote no on this senseless, divisive referendum idea and instead push for devolution at its maximum levels.

    Alistair Darling, former Chancellor of the Exchequer for the Miliband SDLP Government, political commentator for BBC Scotland

    posted in European News Consortium

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