Category Archives: Uncategorized

Visit of Xi Jinping to the UK, investment and steel price

This week the big news is the visit of the President of China, Xi Jinping, to the UK.   Chinese investment in UK nuclear power is one of the main topics and a contract will be signed for Hinckley Point … Continue reading

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The Beauty of the North West

The North West of England is a great place to live.  The northern half is all hills and lakes with attractive towns like Ambleside and Keswick.  Even the roads are great, the M6 winds through the hills at Tebay and … Continue reading

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Pension Freedom Almost Here

Not long until April when those aged 55 can withdraw cash  from their pension pot and spend it.  This is a huge decision and not something to be taken without thinking and taking a lot of advice from as many … Continue reading

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Tuition Fee reduction promise

Labour are offering a cut in tuition fees to £6000 if they win the election.  Certainly this is to be supported.  £6000 was the original level the Coalition proposed and £9000 was to be only for the top universities.  However … Continue reading

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Defence Spending Cuts

There is debate about whether UK defence spending should be 2% of GDP.   Some say Russia spends 4% and is increasing it, the USA spends 4% and is decreasing.  Some such as wealthy Germany only spend 1.3%.  Considering relative … Continue reading

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Greek Elections

There is a lesson in the Greek election result.  Politicians can push a population so far but then it decides enough is enough and will go where no-one dared to go.  With 25% unemployed, an economy shrunk by 20% it’s … Continue reading

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Wealthiest 1% in the world and overseas aid

This week there is surprise that Oxfam claim the wealthiest 1% own more than the other 99% in the world. Another surprise is that a not too large £550,000 puts you into that 1%. With £55,000 you are in the … Continue reading

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Trident replacement?

The North West has an interest in the Trident replacement.  The submarines are built in Barrow and an alternative solution may involve aircraft from Lancashire. Nuclear weapons are a horror there can be little doubt.   They are unanswerable in conflict … Continue reading

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20mph Speed Limits – any logic

The 20mph speed limits in residential areas seem to have a case, especially as I get older – can’t have all those people dashing about.  But is it the case of the sledgehammer and the nut. Looking at the UK … Continue reading

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English MPs to vote on English matters?

Today William Hague announced proposals for democratic decision making in parliament after giving more power to Scotland.  Basically it means English MPs voting on English only matters, Scottish MPs not voting on English only matters.  Sounds simple, sounds sensible but … Continue reading

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Inflation 1%, petrol 115p a litre

December has brought cheaper petrol and inflation dropped to 1%.  This seems like great news.  Will those businesses whose main costs are fuel reduce their prices?  Airlines with their fuel surcharges, buses.  Gas prices usually reflect the price of oil … Continue reading

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Who will land on Mars first

The USA stepped up its space programme yesterday with the test launch and recovery of the Orion capsule designed for a manned journey to Mars and back.   The flight was the first time an inhabitable capsule has gone beyond … Continue reading

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That’s Living Alright – Pensions below poverty.

Low pay £7.69/hr or 2/3 of median wage.    £307 a week. Poverty £5.78 or 1/2 median wage.  £231 a week. Minimum wage £6.50/hr.  £260 a week. Living wage £7.89.  £315 a week. State Pension £2.85!  £113 a week. Based … Continue reading

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Inheritance Tax on the North

The government are sounding out an increase in inheritance tax to a threshold of a £1m. This is said to cost the taxpayer £3bn.  In reality nearly all that extra cash will go to the South East of England.  So … Continue reading

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Companies not paying tax might not be all bad

On BBC Question Time last week one of the panellists got loud applause for saying companies should pay the tax they owe.  A figure of £35 billion was mentioned. That is a lot of money.  Is it true?  What would … Continue reading

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After the Scottish Referendum

Scotland votes to remain in the United Kingdom by a 400,000 majority.  Many in Scotland think the promises of further powers are almost independence.  They might be disappointed and are sure to make a fuss whatever happens. The UK government … Continue reading

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If Scotland Votes Yes

David Cameron will have a tough time if he flips over and starts to try to sell Currency Union after his firm statement it won’t happen.  It could totally end his trust. If David Cameron was to stand on his … Continue reading

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Scottish Yes Campaign Do or Die

In 2 days Scotland decides ‘whether it should be an independent country’.   Opinion polls have gone from 60 / 40 to 51 / 49 in favour of staying in the United Kingdom. For the Yes campaigners this is a … Continue reading

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Definitions of Poverty

We often come upon debates about ‘poverty’ and whether numbers are rising or falling and what it actually means.  Some say can anyone living in the UK be in true poverty, while others say poverty is relative to the place … Continue reading

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Turning point for the UK?

There is a lot happening.  First the Scottish referendum could signal the end of the UK as we know it.  Secondly there is talk of an EU referendum which could exit the UK from the EU.  An uncertain General Election … Continue reading

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