Budget 2021: The Key Points

The Budget box: a history of the Chancellor's red briefcase
-NGSpy leaves number 11 Downing Street to present his first budget

NGSpy will be presenting his first budget to the House of Commons which is expecting to sail through the House of Commons with the support of the Libertarian Party UK. If it passes it will be the first non Conservative budget to pass in recent times and signals end to the Conservative Parties influences to the nations finances for the time being. The Chancellor has defeated all the odds and his critics by reaching a budget agreement and will no doubt be elated as he sips his whisky.  However, what does the budget mean for you?


A tax cut for millions

One of the headline policies of the budget is changes to National insurance contributions which will take many of the lowest paid workers out of paying NIC’s all together as the Chancellor brings the payment of NIC’s in line with the personal allowance. Ordinary working families could see a tax cut of up to £1,000 and many will no longer have to pay NIC’s.

The budget also puts the brakes on tax rises proposed by the Clegg coalition meaning that tax rate will be frozen at 17%,39.5% and 42% meaning that from next year working people will not pay more in income tax. 

Cheaper pints

The passage of the budget will mean the next time you go to the pub you drinks will be cheaper. The budget changes the way alcohol is taxed, there will now be a consistent approach to alcohol taxation with alcohol being taxed on the amount of ethanol in a drink. The budget sets the rate a flat rate of 9p. This budget will be handing out an £8bn tax cut on alcohol. Pubs will no doubt be celebrating and Britons will be able to have a drink without having to pay high rates of alcohol duty.

The budget also delivers lower tobacco duty and signals a reversal to the previous budget’s approach to tobacco taxation. Pundits hear /u/model-mili is elated.  Tobacco Duty will be halved and smokers across the country will be grateful to the Chancellor for easing the financial burden of regressive taxes.

Increased deprivation grants for devolved administrations

The budget delivers increased block grants in line with the Holtham commission, something that the Libertarian Party and others in the House of Commons have been calling for. Devolved administrations will receive money as result of the changes by the Chancellor and will have more money to spend or to cut taxes in their respective devolved budgets. 

SME Tax cut and dividend imputation

Small businesses earning under £20,000,000 profits will see a fall in the level of corporation tax meaning they can retain more of their profits to invest. This was one of the Chancellor’s key promises through the term and this budget delivers it. In order to avoid a steep increase in the marginal tax rate, larger firms will also receive a corporation tax cut but the new corporation tax system will be progressive.

Another key policy that has been flouted by the Chancellor of dividend imputation features in the budget. The policy will allow corporation to claim tax credits and will loosen the burden of taxation of those who receive dividends. This move will be welcomed by shareholders and pension funds across the country. The Chancellor argues it removes the impact of double taxation in the tax system.

A boost for defence

Since last term, higher defence spending has been a hot topic in Westminster. The budget delivers a gradual increase in defence spending but at a lower level than the Blurple government planned. The budget increased the annual defence budget by £1.1bn in the upcoming financial year with defence spending rising to 2.3% gradually in 2024/2025. The extra funding will help fund the recent defence review.

DECC funding and a cycling fund

The Liberal Democrats have delivered key pledges including a cycling fund which was in their manifesto and the Queen’s manifesto. Northern Womble has also benefited from a budgetary error which had double spending for DECC due to confusion over funding allocations to the department of Business and DECC. The budget delivers a £10bn fund to tackle climate change alongside changes to the tax system to make the country greener. £10bn is a substantial sum of money by all accounts and no doubt will be championed as a win for the Lib Dems going into the election.

Deficit to fall with Debt to GDP to stabilise

The budget deficit is expected to peak next year at 2022/2023 before steadily falling due to savings in childcare and the Chancellor’s targeted tax rises on LVT. The budget corrects some errors in the previous Clegg with non-departmental budgets meaning public sector borrowing is higher than we thought. The government’s plan tackle the deficit moderately with Debt-GDP stabilising and ending up lower in 2024 compared to 2020 at 83.98% of GDP.

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Solidarity – The Party so opposed to the Lords unless it benefits them [Op-Ed]

House of Lords | British government | Britannica

Recently we saw /u/chainchompsky1 take to the press over the House of Lords because he is angry and rattled that people call out his hypocrisy. 

The Lords is undemocratic Solidarity tell us, but time and time again Solidarity peers send back legislation passed by the democratically elected house, something they believe shouldn’t happen. Take the FTPA repeal or other common sense legislation, they keep amending and sending it back. In their ideal system this legislation passed by the elected commons would go to Royal Assent.

Solidarity are effectively signaling they are happy to be undemocratic- in their own view if it benefits the cause of the radical left.

> If we were to give it to them, nothing would get better for the pro democracy movement, quite worse in fact.

If the 13 Solidarity peers left the chamber, Prescription Charges would have Royal Assent and bills such as the Child Care Enhancement bill would have had Royal Assent faster. I am sure there are many other examples of bills passed by the elected Commons that would have Royal Assent faster if solidarity peers left instead of trying to hold it up. So once again according to their own logic things would get better for the so called ‘pro-democracy’ movement. But when it comes to holding up right-wing legislation they see themselves as some sort of experts in a belief they are right so they are justified to over rule the democratically elected representatives of the House of Commons.

Crossbench peer LeChevalierMal-Fait expressed concern at the “block voting” by Solidarity Peers who receive suggestions to vote a particular way which few have deviated from according to the recent house voting record. Mr Mal-Fait said he fears that the Lords risks losing its trust and independent image if this continues. 

The paradox being that Solidarity as a party opposed to the institution’s very existence has no incentive to abide by the norms that hold the Lords within Britain’s constitutional settlement whereby under the Salisbury convention Lords would not block legislation with a clear popular mandate. They use their peers in the Lords to pursue maximal power above all else.

If one believes in the House Lords they would not take part or if they did, they would not attempt to frustrate legislation from the democratically elected house. But Solidarity has no principle, let’s remember chainchompsky’s position changes depending on who’s in government – we saw this with the state banquet. The same solidarity parties MP who said they would not vote on matters not relating to Northern Ireland to only flip flop for the goal of political power.

Solidarity’s participation in the Lords shows they have no principle and desire for only one thing- political power and influence. They are finding it hard to cope that a budget was created without them and despite their rising poll numbers, other parties do not want to work with them. As the exceptionally based Henry John Temple Foundation pointed out Solidarity are only concerned with one thing- control, control over our legislative chambers, and control over the lives of British people, even if they admit they are being undemocratic and control over your lives with their hard-left agenda which will wipe out your savings and tax you into oblivion. If a party is willing to admit to using methods they themselves consider to be undemocratic, in order to maximise their political power, can you imagine what a Solidarity government would do to further their pursuit of power? A truly chilling thought.

The Welsh Unity Government: Let’s take a look at the Cabinet

After a heated series of debates around who will become the next First Minister of Wales, Greejatus, the Marquess of Bexley and member for Aberavon has emerged as the victory. Leading an unlikely coalition, Greejatus recently announced a new Cabinet, and here at the Telegraph we took the opportunity to review the selection.

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Greejatus, First Minister of Wales, according to a poll of the Welsh Government

First Minister (IND)

With the position of first minster, a post decided by the Senedd itself, occupied by Greejatus, the tone has already been set for the political agenda of the next term. During the debates, Greejatus made a point of ensuring that it was clearly communicated that his government would be “one built on teamwork and compromise, offering a nonpartisan approach to the problems faced by the people of Wales”. However, this does not deter from the fact that Greejatus himself as a sporadic political past, dominated by his tenure as Chairman of the right-wing Libertarian Party, during which time he held several Government posts in a Conservative-Libertarian coalition.

A self-described fan of ‘small government’ and of ‘protecting individual freedom and liberty’, he seems an apt choice for a coalition made up of fiscal conservatives and freedom lovers. However; in less public discussions, Greejatus has made clear that he believes firmly in localism, and believes there is an – albeit limited – role for government to play at this level, hence is winning over of the PPUK, who form a key component of the coalition.

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Deputy First Minister, and Environment Minister, Rhys.

Deputy First Minister & Environment Minister (LD)

Holding the second highest ranked position in this Unity Government is a member of the Liberal Democrats, and a long-time stalwart of Welsh politics, Rhys.

Currently serving in Westminster as a Secretary of State, Rhys is no stranger to cross-party work, having stood side-by-side with members of the Libertarian and the Conservative parties in Wales, in the past. Of note in this appointment is the inclusion of the Environmental portfolio as part of the role of Deputy First Minister, something sources close to the new administration confirm ‘will not change’ and ‘shows that environmentalism is the top of the governments agenda’.

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Sam Gibs (left) with his chief of staff T-twich N-nostrile (right)

Finance and Public Works (CON)

Serving as the Leader of the Welsh Conservative Party, Sam Gibs steps into a new role which expands on the role of finance minister to give the position general oversight over the sponsorship of ‘public works’ across Wales.

The position, which puts the Conservatives in control of the formation of the Welsh Budget, puts Sam Gibs and the Tories in the third highest ranked position in the Government. It is worth noting that the Conservatives also hold the most cabinet positions, and – early reports indicate – the main drive of the government this term will be focused on tax liberalization, with the intention to reduce the burden of taxation on the lowest earners, and make it easier to do business in Wales.

Sam Gibs has been reported to have been in frequent meetings with the new First Minister, and the PPUK leader in Wales, with insiders informing the Telegraph that many of these discussions have focused around support for small businesses, and local government – alongside a grassroots approach to welfare and poverty alleviation.

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Justice Minister, BrexitGlory

Justice Minister (CON)

Considered by many to be the best looking man in Westminster, there can be little denying why BrexitGlory so quickly snapped up the job as Justice Minister in Wales.

With reports showing that the position was initially intended to go to far-left Plaid member, JGM – who apparently had already started drawing up executive orders – it would have come as a shock to all to see a Unity Coalition placing the leader of the ‘Wales Says No’ campaign in the hot seat for Justice.

This appointment shows the Welsh Government is serious about its plans to heal the political divides in Wales, with the First Ministers office commenting directly saying:

We are very excited to see BrexitGlory, a consummate public servant, taking the position of Justice Minister. In order to maximize the effectiveness of the transition period, we felt it best to bring someone in who new the importance of respecting the democratic outcome of the vote, as well as being able to point out some of the transitional issues we could face.

Furthermore, the First Minister themselves will serve in this department, with daily meetings with the Minister to ensure the transition takes place quickly, and with maximum effect.

Office of the First Minister
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Model Eddy, pictured above on the phone to the Scottish Tories

Communities and Local Government (PPUK)

Perhaps the biggest shock in the formation of this government was the inclusion of the PPUK, a party that was assumed to vote for the left-wing coalition being formed. Indeed, this was such a shock that members of the Labour and Plaid took to the press for weeks, attacking the PPUK for their decision to ‘break ranks’. However, in the spirit of a Unity Government, sources close to the First Minister can confirm that the PPUK, and the First Minister, have had consistent talks – mostly regarding local government and welfare provision – for several months, long before the formation of the Unity Government was broached.

With Eddy taking this position, and Harlus assuming the role of ‘Head of the Anti-Poverty Taskforce’ (which reports directly to the First Minister), the Unity Governments positioning as a cross-party approach to the problems Wales faces, is secure.

Willem (right) going for a walk in Wales, probably.

Education Minister (LD)

Taking up the position of Education Minister, the experience Willem, who (rumors’ say) was asked to fill the position by the First Minister, personally. Promising a ‘closer examination’ of the educational system, Willem appears to be keeping their cards close to their chest – however, this important Ministry is another feather in the Liberals hat. Punching above their weight in this coalition, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have done exceptionally well in the negotiations.

Cuth, contemplating the higher mysteries.

Health and Social Care (LPC)

Having previously served in a Labour – Plaid – LPC Government in Wales, Cuth is a veteran of Welsh politics, and previously worked as leader of the LPC when Greejatus himself was a member.

Remarkably little has been provided as to what the LPC asked for in exchange for their support in this government, however sources within the LPC commented saying;

We have worked with the First Minister before, for several years, and there is little to be gained from hiding that simple fact. It is our belief that this Government is one that is built on strong communication and trust, alongside a shared desire to work across party lines for the betterment of Wales.

Unnamed Source who obviously is real
Tarkin, wearing the traditional headgear of a Welsh Cowboy

Transport Minister (LPC)

Having once been the winner of the ‘Dick Cheney look alike contest’, Tarkin has served in numerous positions in national Government, and now heads up the LPC. Previously a deputy leader of the Libertarian Party nationally, Tarkin and the First Minister, Greejatus, are reported to ‘go way back’ having once been business partners in the cryptocurrency sector, where they co-chaired the business known as ‘Friedcoin’, before sitting on the board of the Sun Newspaper.

Taking the position of Transport Minister, Tarkin is reportedly looking at improvements for the rail sector across Wales, including electrification of the network, and, of course, a space port and Menia Crossing.

Chi, pasteurizing

Culture Minister (CON)

Whilst strenuously denying that he is in fact, a cow, Chi has taken the position of Culture Minister, increasing the Conservative Parties hold on the cabinet by leading such an important ministry. After all, would we even have a culture if the government didn’t have a minster for it?

With a key focus on the Welsh Language, as well as more cultural and arts support for economical deprived areas, Chi has a challenging task ahead of them for the forthcoming term.

He is also, a bovine.

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Chev, realizing he volunteered for this

Chief of Staff to the First Minister (IND)

Finally, and whilst not holding a Ministerial Post, Chev – a long time supporter of the First Minister – has assumed the position of Chief of Staff, according to source close to the First Ministers office.

Having piloted large amounts of solid legislation through Westminster, mostly with cross-party support, Chev provides years, possibly even decades of experience to the government team.

“The DPM Did Little to Convince Us To Stay” – Behind the Scenes At the D12

Following South Korea’ shocking decision to leave the D12, a South Korean source at the Foreign Ministry gives a detailed account of the events that lead to the ultimate breakdown of relations and departure of South Korea from the organization.

Yesterday saw the decision by South Korea to exit the D12, a move which is a significant knock to the recently formed alliance. This unexpected shakeup puts the future of the body and calls the course greater geopolitics within the region into question. In order to understand the rationale and timeline of South Korean withdrawal, the Telegraph reached out to our sources within South Korea. We were able to secure communication with an anonymous source within the ROK Foreign Ministry who was able to provide us with a first-hand account of what happened behind the scenes in the weeks before the decision became public. 

First off, we asked our source when exactly did their country start having doubts over the D12. While they were unable to give an exact date on it, they confirmed that definitely by December rumors and doubts were coming to circle in Seoul and among the senior staff in the Foreign Ministry. South Korea’s position in the D12 apparently became more unclear after former PM lily-irl referred to the situation in Xinjiang as a genocide. This did not please the South Korean government who saw this statement as a sign of drastic action and instead wished to use the D12 for a more slow and long-term solution regarding China. 

When asked about the pressure South Korea faced from China our source downplayed the impact of such pressure. We asked if the November visit by top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi to South Korea saw any pressure from China. Our source responded by saying: “There was perhaps slight pressure, but we are not easily intimidated. This was a decision made in the best interests of the Republic of Korea.”

Instead, more of the reasoning behind Korea’s withdrawal was placed on the UK’s government response or rather lack of response to South Korean concerns. The South Korean government reached out to the British government and talked to the Deputy Prime Minister. The South Koreans wished to talk about the agenda for the upcoming D12 summit. During this conversation, the South Korean’s wished to take a long-term approach and they learned from the DPM that they intended to demand immediate access to detention camps in Xinjiang. When they asked the DPM what action would be taken if China denied such access as they presumably would the DPM did not have a clear answer. This seems to be more complex and nuanced reason than the original government statement regarding South Korea’s withdrawal which was attributed to Parliament ruling the events happening in Xinxiang a genocide.

Ultimately the South Koreans felt that the UK did not understand the need to take a long-term view to deal with China and their wishes felt ignored by the British government. When they told the DPM that China would not grant access to the camps in Xinjiang and this would require an escalation by the D12 the government refused to change course, as our source told us “The DPM did little to convince us to stay.” Faced with a refusal to change course, SK felt they had to leave. 

Then they focused on today’s press conference held by the DPM. The South Koreans were taken aback by the comments made by the DPM, with our source saying “the comments were not well received and the implications unfair.” The DPM’s specific comments saying that South Korea’s priorities “The Republic of Korea has felt that their priorities were in conflict with our priority of keeping people safe and preventing future human rights violations” was not well received. The South Koreans felt that the statement which implied South Korea did not place a value on human life misrepresented their position and the UK failed to understand the reality of the threat posed by China to South Korea. While South Korea does not share a direct border with China, the PRC supports North Korea and has pressured South Korea in the past such as when US THAAD defenses were placed in South Korea by using a boycott to put pressure on Korean businesses. They remarked such comments especially in a public statement shocked them. 

It is clear there will be much discussion in Seoul both about their departure from the D12 and what they feel as unfair comments about South Korea made by the Deputy Prime Minister. When asked what this meant for the future of UK-SK relations our source did not wish to speculate but told us their government found the UK’s “implications to be unfair and they oversimplified our reasons for leaving.” With South Korea’s withdrawal from the D12 and their offense at the DPM’s comments, it is not an understatement to say that relations between the countries will be strained. 

In stark contrast to a few months earlier when Foreign Secretary Seimer landed in Seoul and secured South Korea’s membership in the D12, now the nation has retreated from the D12 and been hurt by the UK. With such an important ally in the Asia-Pacific leaving, the future of the UK’s and the entire West’s approach to combat China is called into question. Furthermore, especially in light of the offense caused by the DPM’s comments on South Korea, strained bilateral relations call into question the future of the UK-SK relationship and any potential for a free trade deal. 

Tres Commas is a special correspondent for the Telegraph.

Solidarity’s platform shows they want one thing: control over your life.

If the past few days have shown anything, it is that the increasingly extreme left-wing party, Solidarity, have very little interest in anything other than complete control over the UK Economy, over the workers and over your life.

From limiting the sort of work you can do, to ‘gradually transferring’ your pension equity to someone else, Solidarities recent campaign pledges have painted an ugly picture of their plan for the United Kingdom should they enter a government after the next election. In a spat that has dominated the press cycle, Solidarity announced (or reconfirmed according to their members) their commitment to banning Zero Hours Contracts (ZHCs), causing rebuttal arguments from other parties, which Solidarity ignored – despite the overwhelming evidence that their proposed ban could put upward of seven-hundred thousand people out of work.

Speaking at the time of the release, former Justice Secretary /u/vitiating debunked the claims that ZHCs undermine workers rights saying:

“There exists laws that prevent the exploitation of workers by allowing them to request a fixed hours contract with the employer only being allowed to reject this request in limited circumstances.”

/r/MHOCPress, 12 January 2021, link

This claim was attacked by Solidarity leader /u/motelblinds, who claimed that workers “have to beg” (link) for contracts with more hours, which once again was swiftly debunked by the former Justice Secretary, who pointed out the clear difference between ‘requesting’ and ‘begging’, before reiterating once again that the point of ZHCs is flexibility. Solidarity however stuck to their lines, ignoring the evidence mounting against them – before finally, the dam broke, and it became clear just why they wanted this form of worker freedom outlawed, with Libertarian leader, /u/Friedmanite19 summing it up saying;

“I am sure the many people on their zero-hour contracts can speak from experience and don’t need you to use the force the state to outlaw their current arrangements. Outlawing the contracts means fewer jobs will be given out and there is less flexibility. Not everyone wants fixed or small guaranteed hours. This policy will increase costs, make the labour market more rigid and take away opportunities from people. Trying to force people onto permanent contracts will be bad for employers and employees alike.”

(/r/MHOCPress, 12 December 2021, link)

As ever, the move to outlaw workers freedoms by scrapping the ZHC, has nothing to do with protecting the worker, and everything to do with state overreach, and a widespread movement within the radical left to increase the control the state has over your life.

Never was this made clearer than with the recently announced plan from Solidarity to ‘gradually’ remove private share ownership. As part of their shift toward socialism, Solidarity therefore naturally makes a move against Capitalism – and we are left asking ourselves, which one of these systems is more democratic? Which one of these systems maximises your freedom, and which one of these systems would hand the state more and more control over our lives.

It cannot be denied that Socialism has a long track record of failure, however, according to its supporters, it is more democratic and more moral than its competitors. Looking at the words of socialist film producer, Michael Moore, we can begin to see where this fallacy originated, and how it continues to spread.

“Democratic socialism means everyone has a seat at the table, and everybody gets a slice of the pie.”

(Vanity Fair, 21 May 2020, link)

Generally speaking, if the majority of people working through their representatives declare something to be a ‘public good’ then they have the moral justification to extract resources from others in order to finance this endeavour. On a superficial basis, this probably sounds good – but you need to ask yourself a series of questions.

What control do the people really have over any governmental institution? There are simple examples to answer this question in the United Kingdom alone, what control do you have over the BBC, over the NHS – the answer is none. Genuine public control over the institutions of government is simply a facade for government control, over aspects of your lives.

When it comes to Solidarity the question of ‘majority rule’ becomes more pressing than ever. What if 51 per cent of the UK population vote to remove the personal property from the remaining 49 per cent? Does that make the action right? Under the authoritarian proposals of a socialist government, this could well be the case – except once again, the wealth would work its way back into the hands of the State, not the 51 per cent of people who voted to seize the wealth in the first place. And then the question arises if you hand the state that sort of power – what stops them using it against you?

However, the main issue with the concept of Solidarity’s style of socialism is the false issue they take with the idea that under a different system, the economy is not under the control of the people. 

This is not the case. Everyone within the United Kingdom is both a citizen of the United Kingdom and a consumer within its economy. Both can vote, either in general elections or several times a day with purchases; in the largest single democratic undertaking in history, the free market. It is the absolute pinnacle of democracy, the ability to exercise your choice with every pound that you spend, with every patronage you give to a store, an outlet or a service. 

You do not ‘cede’ your democratic rights to a representative, you enact your democratic rights yourself.

Let’s be exceptionally clear. Under the Solidarity system, you pass your right to chose to the State, and cede your freedoms in the process. Under the alternative system, you keep your freedoms, your rights to choose, yourself.

It cannot be denied at all, that there is a clear and present danger in the United Kingdoms political system – the Solidarity Party, and their crusade to stop the state being subservient to the people, and make the people, subservient to the state.

A rebuttal on ZHC [Op-Ed]

Over the course of the past few hours Solidarity has attempted to flood the press in an attempt to boost their ratings in the polls, with poor effort posters and anti-intellectual spam. My good friend Greejatus wrote an article regarding flexible working contracts, otherwise known as ‘Zero Hour Contracts’ debunking the nonsense from Solidarity yesterday ,however, Solidarity responded with, shock horror, a poster saying ‘reject the spiel’ – ignoring the evidence presented in the article, and misleading the British public as they did so

First of all, it is worth bearing in mind RedWolf decided to write their article by using a singular source – the Trades Union Congress (TUC) which is of course naturally biased. The Solidarity cult no doubt thinks they are  so clever for googling this one source then typing up some data! I will actually Office of National Statistics (ONS) data to eliminate any bias of surveys and use a real life example from McDonalds to illustrate my point. 

According to the Office of National Statistics, ZHC are most common amongst young people with 10% of those aged 16-24 in employment in a Zero Hours contract, and 6.2% of those aged over 65 in employment on a ZHC. Furthermore 19% of people on ZHC are in full-time education. 

As the economy has strengthened the number of ZHC for those 25-64 has fallen. 

60.6% of people on Zero Hour contracts do not want more hours, in other words they don’t need your transformational change and don’t suit your narrative of poor workers being exploited by big evil corporations, Ah yes the NHS which uses ZHC. Only 20.1% of people on ZHC want extra hours or another job. 

The current proposals by Solidarity, which would see ZHCs banned, would push the vast majority of these workers out of employment altogether, forcing them onto negative income tax (which is capped at £10,000 per year), and therefore earning less than they would have earned before Solidarity made their job illegal. 

Now if workers were crying out for the desperate change Solidarity are pushing for, then you would think less than 80% of workers at McDonad’s would chose to stay on a ZHC when having the option of a fixed job. No this isn’t a survey, this is something that actually happened. It appears that having a choice was actually a good thing and individuals expressed their preference. We don’t need  people like RedWolf and moteblinds to tell working people what they actually prefer.

A study in 2013 by the CUPID revealed that those on ZHC were more likely to be happy with their work life balance compared to the overall UK workforce.

The data shows that ZHC are most prevalent for students who can not always commit to fixed hours and people who want to work a few hours a week on the side or in semi-retirement. But Solidarity wants to take that away, and restrict your freedoms and the choices of us as workers.. Whether it’s choosing your child’s school, the kind of employment contract you want or choosing how to manage your own finances, Solidarity wants to take that choice away because they believe they know better than you and can manage your life better. 

As Solidarity continues unveiling their ‘focuses’ in the press, only one thing is becoming clearer: Solidarity has no interest in serving the workers, and every interest in ensuring the workers serve them and their ideological goals.

ZHC are an important part of the labour market and has given job opportunities to people who can not commit regular hours, to our young people and to those in full-time education.

The Agency Worker Regulations Act in 2010 can explain some of the rise we have seen in ZHC, the Act means that workers need to be effectively treated as permanent employees after 12 weeks. This has meant employers can not minimise labour costs when demand is variable. The act can explain who employers such as the NHS have opted for Zero Hour contacts. This is something I am happy to take a look at and explore.

I do not doubt there are some people who struggle and feel exploited however banning these contracts outright would be a disproportionate response. We have Negative Income Tax (NIT) which tops up wages for a good reason. If it is ‘insecurity’ we are going after, why stop at ZHC, Solidarity could attack all forms of self-employment, remember they’re the saviours you didn’t need!

If Solidarity had their way, these people would not have jobs, a flexible labour market has helped the United Kingdom have a lower unemployment rate than our European counterparts who have had shocking levels of unemployment. Labour market flexibility is something that has been a positive. A ban on ZHC would mean that more people wouldn’t have jobs at all. It’s clear that this would have more harm than good.

This article was written by Sir /u/Friedmanite19 OM KCMG KBE CT LVO PC MP , Former Chancellor Of The Exchequer and Leader of the Libertarian Party United Kingdom

References:

Ons.gov.uk. 2021. EMP17: People In Employment On Zero Hours Contracts – Office For National Statistics. [online] Available at: <https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/datasets/emp17peopleinemploymentonzerohourscontracts&gt; [Accessed 12 January 2021].

BBC News. 2021. Zero-Hours Contract Workers Happy, Survey Suggests. [online] Available at: <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25098984&gt; [Accessed 12 January 2021].

Jessop, J., 2021. Why Zero-Hours Contracts Are A Good Thing — Institute Of Economic Affairs. [online] Institute of Economic Affairs. Available at: <https://iea.org.uk/why-zero-hours-contracts-are-a-good-thing/&gt; [Accessed 12 January 2021].

Shackleton, L., 2021. Why Zero-Hours Contracts Should Not Be Banned — Institute Of Economic Affairs. [online] Institute of Economic Affairs. Available at: <https://iea.org.uk/blog/why-zero-hours-contracts-should-not-be-banned&gt; [Accessed 12 January 2021].

“No waste no problem” – opinion

Scottish budget passes first stage vote with support from the Greens

Written by Harry Johnson for the Telegraph

After the Conservative government has regained progressive support Scotland once again finds itself facing a large deficit. There is much debate of potential tax raises ,but perhaps cutting waste may be the better solution. To understand why it may be worth taking a look as to where Scottish taxpayers may not be getting value for their money and where savings can be made.

The sports subsidy for instance is a well-intentioned misfire.. A US federal reserve study found that for every 1 dollar of federal aid allocated to students the colleges would simply raise the prices by 60cents, netting the prospective student a meager 40 cents in relief. That is certainly far from a one to one comparison but shows us just how wasteful these government subsidies truly are.

The same problems arise when examining other expenditure proposals such as the pupil premium, which according to Ofsted has resulted in millions being wasted on chasing unrealistic targets and hiring overpaid teaching assistants. Neither of which have been shown to have a major impact on student attainment.

Comparatively speaking however these projects are relatively benign compared to arguably the biggest long-term drain on our coffers  – the Scottish pensions agency. Combined the public sector pensions represent over 6.4 billion or roughly 15% of the budget. This is in contrast to Westminster, where pension schemes overall represent less than 3% of the overall budget.

Infrastructure is another area where major savings can be made with examples of this are the Green Infrastructure Strategy in Scotland . In this case over 5 billion pounds are to be diverted from the Treasury coffers in exchange for the prospect of some long-term benefit. Yet as time goes on these benefits get smaller and smaller until we are making a net loss. To see  how  one only has to look south of the border.

Initially, the HS2 project was supposed to bring in 2.40 pounds for every pound spent. In 2013 that figure was revised to 1.80. Currently, experts like Lord Berkeley estimate the railway to bring 0.66 pounds for every pound spent. A net loss of 34 pounds for the privilege of literally railroading communities out of existence and the destruction of ancient woodlands.

Yet the same principle  holds true for virtually every single such government program. The supposedly infallible National Health Service keeps lagging in survivability and placing far behind its marketised  European counterparts in rankings despite unprecedented investment and cross-party support. In England, universal child care was a similar story with even the Conservative Party rightly recognizing its utter failure and replacing it with a much smaller, yet more effective help to pay model expected to cost only a sixth of the original bonanza.

There is undeniably room for government spending and intervention in a modern economy. A strong national defense and judiciary must exist to stop bad actors and uphold contracts just like some sort of a safety net must exist to protect the least fortunate from slipping through the cracks, but ultimately this is not the subject of this debate. What the taxpayers are being asked to do in Scotland is to foot the bill for a white elephant. 

That’s why you the taxpayer should not ask yourself how much is being spent, but rather what percentage of this funding will benefit you and the society at large because every time you will know how to spend that money better.

OP-ED: The Party of Hate

This op-ed was written by Seimer1234, Deputy Leader of the LPUK.

We have seen all too clearly in recent weeks where the politics of hate leads.

Recent events in Washington, where a mob of violent insurrectionists decided to storm the Capitol, show us what happens when politicians engage in the politics of extremism and divisiveness, what happens when politicians smear and dehumanise opponents.

As the world watched aghast at these events, there was a feeling of both pity and superiority among some here. American politics was to be looked down upon, a nation where politics was broken, not comparable to the UK or too more advanced and sophisticated democracies.

This is the wrong way to view these things.

Britain is not immune to the politics of hate and vitriol. It is a politics all of us engage in at some point or another. Identifying the other side as evil or dangerous is often too alluring and easy, offering politicians, including myself, a perfect way to dismiss the views of those we oppose.

However, while all of us engage with it, this poisonous rhetoric is not shared equally.

Solidarity, the new surging force on the British left, has clearly tapped into something. Its self-righteousness, its distance from the political establishment offers the voters a new choice, a vision of something radically different to the status quo.

There is much to admire about Solidarity as a political force. It’s a group of determined politicians, lead by a clearly competent leader. It’s organised itself very well, differing from the more traditional parties of the left whose internal organisation are often either labyrinthian or totally non-existent.

However, we have seen a dark, dark side to this party.

I contended with myself about whether I should write this article or not, about whether it was fair to write an article about the comments of a relatively new member. However, seeing the comment, and indeed lack of comment, emanating from the Solidarity higher ups I felt I had no choice.

In the recent barrage of press emerging from Solidarity HQ, a poster came from BobbyCrow. It said “Don’t Let the wolf in By the back door”, referring to the recent budget agreement. The poster itself was fine, a well designed piece that offered an interesting, if in my view dishonest, take on the agreement.

The problem emerged in the discussion relating to the poster.

In what had been intended as a debate about MMT, a number of comments were made by the poster author that were simply beyond the pale.

They began by accusing the LPUK of having the RP accent as a requirement. This bizarre personal attack was strange enough, however the response to Cody when he asked what the RP accent had to do with anything was even stranger. Bobby decided to insinuate Cody was an illegal immigrant, saying he’d consider going to the Home Office to have Codys papers checked. From a party that claims to be about social justice and equality, using “illegal immigrant” as a political insult against opponents, who are members of the only party lead by a BAME immigrant, was quite disturbing.

By far the most heinous comment was one making an insinuation regarding paedophilia. The comment said that it was not like Libertarians to lose interest in something once it stopped being a minor. Insinuating opponents are paedophiles, days after we seen a group of conspiracists ,who believe the US Democrats are a party of paedophiles, bring a noose outside the Capitol is an incredibly dangerous act.

The response from Solidarity higher ups was much less than ideal. Solidarity Health Spokesman wiredcookie1 reacted to the paedophile comment with laughter, while the only comment made by motelblinds, the party leader, was to tell the LPUK leader to “stop crying” in a separate discussion.

It is important we grapple with this now. As politics arounds the world enters dangerous places, it is imperative politicians take responsibility for the language they use. I do not expect Solidarity will apologise. I am sure they’ll revert to type, move into a bunker mentality while telling me to “stop crying” or something along those lines.

However, with an election on the way, perhaps it is wise for politicians, of other parties to make clear that in a system which requires coalitions, there will be no political reward in the form of a space in government for parties that can not regulate their behaviour. 

Perhaps then we’ll see a change in tune from Solidarity.

Controversy over government sacking

New 'Community Shares' to boost local services - GOV.UK

Written by Harry Johnson for the Telegraph

The Chief Secretary of Treasury was dismissed from his cabinet position as Housing and Communities Secretary on Sunday due to inactivity. Much of the outrage surrounding the sacking appears to stem from the fashion in , which the Minister was removed by the Deputy Prime Minister with the latter claiming that:

/u/MTFD dismissed from his cabinet position due to not fulfilling cabinet member responsibilities.”

The Deputy Prime Minister has also taken up the position of HCLG Secretary until a suitable replacement can be found.

Interestingly the Liberal Democrat stalwart retained his rank in cabinet as the senior-most LibDem member of the Treasury, a move which has prompted much backlash with senior LPUK politicians slamming the government for this strange course of action. They were joined by other high-ranking politicians from across the political spectrum who also decried the sacking with former Liberal Democrat and Coalition! Deputy Leader saying 

“Why are you publicly declaring this? Surely a simple cabinet shuffle announcement (when we reconvene) would have been sufficient..?? Maybe there’s more to the story here, but I can’t believe this is how you’re treating a long standing party member.”

It is unclear why the government brutally fired and embarrassed a current cabinet member from a role when they could have reshuffled him out quietly. Not one of the government’s finest moments! 

Questions also remain as to whether the government will choose to retain the Northern Irish Secretary seeing as they also missed their question session. All eyes are on Youmaton’s reshuffle

The Telegraph reached out to the LPUK and government for a comment

When prompted for a statement LPUK Chairman and former Housing Secretary /u/Cody5200 replied 

“The government could have handled this situation a lot better. It’s probably not a wise idea to publicly fire someone from a government role when they are still in the government. Over the last few weeks we have seen a lack of accountability however I hope that in the new year the government will up its game. I think it’s worth watching if the NI Secretary gets the same treatment as MTFD. Hopefully, the government learn from this error and move forward”

The government gave the following statement: “We refer you to our previous statement on the matter.”

NI and HCLG Secretaries miss MQs in pre-Xmas blow to government.

The struggling Phoenix government has been dealt a fresh blow just before the Christmas break, as it has emerged two Cabinet Secretaries missed their MQs session.

The first was the Liberal Democrat Housing Secretary MTFD, who failed to answer any of the 32 questions put to them. The session, which ended on the 18th of December, saw questions ranging from HMO licensing reform to the implementation of the Local Government report asked.

The second Cabinet Secretary was the Northern Irish Secretary SammySnail, who is also a member of cabinet leadership, answered just 1 of the questions asked of them. The cut off for answering was Tuesday at 10pm.

This comes after the controversy over the Stalin1953 MQs session, where 53% of initial questions were left unanswered. Questions will undoubtedly be asked over the government’s commitment to parliamentary scrutiny given this.

With parliament heading for the Christmas break, this is a demoralizing hit to a government already flagging in the polls. While they will hope to be able to regroup come January, it may be the case the cabinet is 2 members down by that stage, depending on how the opposition decide to move forward.

The LPUK gave the following comment: “The government early on in their tenure talked a big game about being accountable to parliament, anyone can now see this was lie as ministers fail to do the bare minimum expected of them and answer questions”

The Conservatives have yet to comment.

The government have yet to comment.