Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “City Behaviour”

Pay up £571M or lose your knighthood

The above headline (from the Daily Mirror 25 July 2016) reflects the exasperation that many feel at the behaviour of Sir Philip Green – former boss of BHS.

But surely this is muddled thinking?

Read more…

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FCA has no stomach for regulation

The City regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has shelved plans for an inquiry into the culture, pay and behaviour of staff in banking.

The FCA had planned to see whether pay, promotion and other incentives contributed to misconduct seen in previous years.

The review was meant to be a major piece of work by the watchdog.
BBC News Website, 31 December 2015 : Banking culture inquiry shelved by regulator FCA

Are we surprised? No not really, and that is what makes it so damned sad. When they need bailing out we bail them out, but when we want to look at why they – as a sector – failed, “we” (i.e. an anonymous “they”) do not have the stomach for the fight. Read more…

“old solutions to old problems, not new answers to the problems of today”

Yvette Cooper has turned her fire on the frontrunner in the Labour leadership race as the party prepares to start sending out ballot papers.

“old solutions to old problems, not new answers to the problems of today”
BBC News Website 13 August 2015 : Yvette Cooper: Jeremy Corbyn’s economic policies ‘not credible’

Read more…

Grexit: Wrong Problem?

In another of his periodic pronouncements Robert Peston ponders the possibility and impact of a Greek Exit from the Euro. His conclusion includes:

… an exacerbation of the Greek crisis would be an inconvenience for Britain. But by no means a disaster.

That said, the Treasury fears that Greek exit would be more damaging to the medium-term sustainability of the euro than most of the eurozone establishment apparently believes right now – in that it would prove the euro is not forever.

The euro would be turned into a glorified Deutschmark peg: speculators would have a big incentive to bet on who will be next to leave the currency; and history (the ERM for example) shows those bets can be self-fulfilling.
BBC News Website 5 may 2015 : How vulnerable would new UK government be to Grexit?

It’s the last paragraph that is the give-away. Read more…

What about the Elephants?

This (2015 UK) General Election seems to consist of lots of minor and pretty irrelevant skirmishes. The major issues seem to be un-addressed in the election.

So what are these elephants in the room? Read more…

Oxfam’s war on tax dodgers

Instinctively you reach to support Oxfam’s proposals for a bill which:

  • Makes it harder for big companies to dodge UK taxes and ensure they’re not getting unfair tax breaks
  • Ensures UK tax rules don’t encourage big companies to avoid tax in developing countries
  • Makes the UK tax regime more transparent and tougher on tax dodging

They want it introduced in the first 100 days – perhaps the urgency is such that MPs should work through the summer?

It is not easy though.

What is the difference between an “unfair tax break” and a rule framed to “protect our competitiveness”? Read more…

Tax and Consent

In the UK because most of us are employees and subject to PAYE (Pay As You Earn – collected at source by our employer) we have little option but to pay our taxes. However it appears that some people and corporations view taxation as an optional inconvenience.

We think we have little choice but it is said that one of the problems affecting Greece is widespread avoidance of tax by all kinds of people.

… its fiscal woes are also due to a simple fact: tax evasion is the national pastime.
The New Yorker 20 July 2011 : Dodger Mania

Consent to be taxed is vital if we are to fund our society. Is that consent in danger in the UK?

Read more…

Hunting down the candidates and their views

Julian Ware-Lane is a Labour Parliamentary candidate. From his blog, I would guess that he is being approached by various pressure groups and either being asked to endorse their campaigns (as he has done for various health related campaigns) or being stuck on the horn’s of a dilemma by campaigns that I suspect he does not support. Perhaps the Labour Party is also feeding out details of campaigns to which candidates should (or should not) sign up.

I guess the Countryside Alliance has been in touch with him, and his post “On Boxing Day hunts“, shows how he is becoming a typical candidate:

Riding is a very enjoyable activity, especially in the company of friends, and to get out in the fresh air in our countryside is something marvellous.

Read more…

Executive Pay – Again

The Governor of the Bank of England has weighed in to this never-ending debate:

“The succession of scandals means it is simply untenable now to argue that the problem is one of a few bad apples. The issue is with the barrels in which they are stored.”

“Compensation schemes overvalued the present and heavily discounted the future, encouraging imprudent risk taking and short-termism,” he said.

“Standards may need to be developed to put non-bonus or fixed pay at risk. That could potentially be achieved through payment in instruments other than cash.”
BBC News Website 17 November 2014 : Carney puts bankers’ pay in spotlight after misconduct shockwaves

He goes on to suggest that pay should be in the form of some form of bond which could be clawed back if necessary.

I think there is an easier solution. Read more…

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