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Ed Miliband

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A nice challenge for Ed.  The GMB union has announced it's cutting its annual donation to Labour from £1.2m to £155,000 plus cutting back heavily on local campaigns.

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Oh, he'll not be bothered. He'll just ask all his fellow Guardian readers to chip in and make up the difference. He has absolute confidence that they'll flock at the opportunity.

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The saddest thing about it is the Labour MPs seeming to be indifferent at best and gloating at worst that union links to Labour are being deliberately severed by Ed and pals.  It's only the likes of Tom Watson that are publicly trying to keep the links.

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A nice challenge for Ed.  The GMB union has announced it's cutting its annual donation to Labour from £1.2m to £155,000 plus cutting back heavily on local campaigns.

 

yes, and just before this year's TUC conference, too, though clearly there is no link.   :biggrin:

 

 

BBC chief political correspondent Norman Smith said the GMB hoped the pre-emptive move would help protect its political fund, which members are due to be balloted on next year.The concern was that if members felt the union was still giving large sums of money to the Labour Party, they might vote to scrap the political fund altogether.

Edited by JohnM

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A poor day for Ed in today's PMQs.  Oh come on Ed, you could have blown every bit of wind out of Cameron's sails with a simple nod while also doing what is the right thing on the shameful bedroom tax.

 

 

What's especially telling is Nick Clegg's face.  Does anyone really think he's enjoying himself at all these days?

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the spare room subsidy is NOT shameful, though, so Miliband would be wise to avoid the subject. You do  know the facts: it extends the rules already in place  regarding housing benefit for those in private sector accommodation to those in public sector. It motivates public sector housing managers to more accurately match property to peoples needs. 

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the spare room subsidy is NOT shameful, though, so Miliband would be wise to avoid the subject. You do  know the facts: it extends the rules already in place  regarding housing benefit for those in private sector accommodation to those in public sector. It motivates public sector housing managers to more accurately match property to peoples needs. 

Now, if there were tolerances or exceptions built into the policy then it would be fairer.  For example, if a man lives in a two council flat on his own but the council has no one bedroom alternatives available then they should be forced to exempt him from the policy.  Otherwise you get consequences like this.  Most councils simply do not have the housing portfolio needed to adjust for this tax meaning people have a choice, pay a penalty for not being able to move or leave for the private sector and end up costing the state far more, if they can get somewhere else at all.  Don't forget that the vast majority of people affected by this are on levels of income low enough that they have few, if any, options available to them.

 

How can it be fair in the slightest if someone is penalised for something he can do nothing about?  I think shameful is just the right word for it.

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Can't agree.  Its about time social landlords woke up to the their responsibilities to their tenants and to the taxpayer.  And I speak as a someone who has both direct and indirect family members in these situations.  I've also seen what is possible in housing associations once freed from the suffocating grip of local authority control. 

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Can't agree.  Its about time social landlords woke up to the their responsibilities to their tenants and to the taxpayer.  And I speak as a someone who has both direct and indirect family members in these situations.  I've also seen what is possible in housing associations once freed from the suffocating grip of local authority control. 

UN investigation into the impact of "bedroom tax" on UK housing.

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I'll look forward to her report with interest. Certainly as a former  Director of the Department of Planning of the city of São Paulo and National Secretary for Urban Programs of the Brazilian Ministry of Cities she's done a good job in solving Brazil's housing crisis:  It is estimated that more than 50 million Brazilians live in inadequate housing. Most of these families have an income below the minimum wage of R$675 (about US$330) a month. Roughly 26 million people living in urban areas lack access to potable water, 14 million have no refuse collection service and 83 million are not connected to sewerage systems.

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So, he stands up and pretends he's going to do something about zero hour contracts. The man is an utter lightweight.

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So, he stands up and pretends he's going to do something about zero hour contracts. The man is an utter lightweight.

 

Better to say nothing about zero hour contracts then?

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Better to say nothing about zero hour contracts then?

Why not. It's just the latest "thing" for people to get all het up about. They've even got this fancy name now as to when I had one of these terrible, terrible jobs. 20 years ago.

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Just watched the whole of Miliband's speech.  Overall summary:  Uninspiring and missed the target audience.  Regardless of your intentions, going to the TUC and bigging up a 19th century Tory isn't going to get them on the edge of their seats...  He'd have been as well going on about how Thatcher was really to the left of many of Labour's policies, now and under the last Labour government.

 

On the substance of the speech though:

 

He's promising to get the young people of Britain working again.  Go on then Ed, we're listening... how will you do that?  Ah, government funded schemes that you'll fund by taxing bank bonuses.  The ones they're already paying 45% tax on.  Where will you set it?  Back to 50%?  60?  98%?  Is that anyone who is in the finance industry or just people earning over £500,000?  What about the other industries where directors get huge bonuses?  What about other seriously high earners, e.g. footballers?  Bank bonuses get a bad name but if someone gets a £1m bonus now, they're paying £450,000 of it directly to the state.  It's a nice easy target and soundbite for Miliband in front of a union audience but it's not that practical in reality.  Ed complained about bankers bonuses being up this year, yes it sounds distasteful when the country is in quite severe austerity measures but then increased bonuses = increased tax revenues = a quicker end to austerity measures, how else does the government make money?  What if the bankers decide to convert most of the bonuses to salaries or share options, many are already doing that.

 

Also, he announced a policy of companies having to offer compulsory apprenticeships if they want a major government contract.  Is that just manual and blue collar contracts or does it include the white collar industries?  Take bin men as an example, most areas now have outsourced contracts for this work, how do you apprentice as a bin man?  There are surely many better, less blunt, ideas, e.g. scrap Employers NI for all youths employed in a certified apprenticeship scheme or provide tax credits for training costs in a company that lead to an accreditation.  Simpler than simply holding a quite blunt tool of "offer apprenticeships or don't get a government contract".  Carrot rather than stick is always better.

 

Then there's a new "British Investment Bank" that's legally obliged to loan money to businesses.  Surely that's going to have extortionate interest rates to cover the defaults of the bad debts such a policy inevitably brings.

 

Next, investing in housing.  is this going to be state housing, increasing the council housing stock across Britain?  If so, good.  If not, where's the money going?  What's it going to do for Britain?

 

He actually gets it right on zero hours contracts, he highlights the key points about how they're being exploited and will stop them.  He also highlighted when they're appropriate.  He's not going to ban zero hours contracts, just stop the exploitation.  So, there's a good point Ed.  One out of a speech isn't bad.

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He actually gets it right on zero hours contracts, he highlights the key points about how they're being exploited and will stop them.  He also highlighted when they're appropriate.  He's not going to ban zero hours contracts, just stop the exploitation.  So, there's a good point Ed.  One out of a speech isn't bad.

He would get my vote based on this alone. Some employers today would make the 19thC factory owners look benevolent if they could get away with it. Ideally they want banning because people  can always be co-erced into accepting them.

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On the substance of the speech though:

 

He's promising to get the young people of Britain working again.  Go on then Ed, we're listening... how will you do that? 

 

He actually gets it right on zero hours contracts, he highlights the key points about how they're being exploited and will stop them.  He also highlighted when they're appropriate.  He's not going to ban zero hours contracts, just stop the exploitation.  So, there's a good point Ed.  One out of a speech isn't bad.

It's always puzzled me when governments say "they'll get people back to work", because if they could do that, there'd be no unemployment.

 

On zhc, how's he going to stop the exploitation? If he sets maximum times, then employers who use them will simply get shut 1 day before the time passes and get someone else in. Plus, why is it ok that bar staff and doctors/teachers are ok to have to use them but no-one in between is?

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Ed complained about bankers bonuses being up this year, yes it sounds distasteful when the country is in quite severe austerity measures but then increased bonuses = increased tax revenues = a quicker end to austerity measures, how else does the government make money?

 

Didn't most of the banks delay paying bonuses from last year until this year so they would be taxed at 45% instead of 50%?

 

These are not benevolent knights in shining armour happily paying their dues in order to rescue the British economy from austerity measures.

 

If we are reliant on taxes earned from huge bank bonus payments to escape from austerity, we are truly doomed.

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Didn't most of the banks delay paying bonuses from last year until this year so they would be taxed at 45% instead of 50%?

 

These are not benevolent knights in shining armour happily paying their dues in order to rescue the British economy from austerity measures.

 

If we are reliant on taxes earned from huge bank bonus payments to escape from austerity, we are truly doomed.

You're right, they're not.  If you could get £50k more by delaying your bonus by a month or two then you'd do it too...

 

What it does highlight though is that they are paying income tax rather than the offshore contracting route that more than a few others use. 

 

I get calls weekly from these companies offering to arrange my affairs so that I take home 90% of my income after tax.  Many are based on the Isle of Man, I contract with them, they contract with the end client, international tax laws mean that they pay me locally at local tax rates of almost nothing, they take 5% and give me the rest.  Same with the professional sportsmen who misused the Employee Benefit Trust system to pay next to no "tax" on their income.  Ethically and legally dodgy but they're relying on HMRC being so overwhelmed with other avoidance and evasion work that you'll get through unscathed, it'd take a major law suit against someone to set the precedent on this to stop it, as they did with EBTs, then the next scam would come up.

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He would get my vote based on this alone. Some employers today would make the 19thC factory owners look benevolent if they could get away with it. Ideally they want banning because people  can always be co-erced into accepting them.

Someone on minimum wage zero hour contracts are only paid that minimum wage because employers legally cannot pay them less or give them fewer employee benefits.

 

It's not as bad as how more than a few companies exploit immigrants.  Company scams UKBA into authorising a batch of visas because they con the system into saying there's no skilled UK workers to do the work, it's not that complex but would take a while for me to write out.  They then get an agency to contract with a bunch of foreigners who want to come here, mainly Indians, using the pre-authorised working visas.  They come here on near minimum wage and forced by contract to use the agency's accommodation at a rate that leaves them barely enough to eat.  When they're at the point that they've got enough time here to request permanent leave to remain the agency cancels their contract, sends them home and gets the next batch of people who want to come here for a better life.  All perfectly legal but, as you say, with lower ethics than 19th century factory owners.

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You're right, they're not.  If you could get £50k more by delaying your bonus by a month or two then you'd do it too...

 

For the vast majority of ordinary working people, including me, such notions are the stuff of pure fantasy.

 

It offends me that such bonuses continue to be paid in an industry that only survives due to having been bailed out in the main by taxes paid by ordinary working people who could never themselves aspire to such unjustifiable remuneration.

 

However much tax they pay on these bonuses, far from helping to end austerity, it will never match the amount of tax money that has flowed the other way in order to preserve all their jobs in the first place. They will never repay that debt in full. Never.

 

I'd love to see a government elected in this country that rejected the fallacy that you can only have a thriving economy by paying those at the top much much more, and those at the bottom much much less.

 

Do I anticipate Ed Miliband will lead such a government? No, not really. More's the pity.

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Just watched the whole of Miliband's speech.  Overall summary:  Uninspiring and missed the target audience. 

 

Read this, and thought "ckn having his weekly whinge about Ed Miliband" and almost stopped. 

 

Glad I didn't, because I wasn't expecting to see this..

 

  So, there's a good point Ed. 

 

Jesus wept.  Praising Ed Miliband.  Have you been on the gin at lunchtime?

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