Gove Trousers £150,000 For Times Column

gove

Michael Gove is another who’s coining it now his political ambitions are on hold. The Gover is making a cool £150,000-a-year for his new column at the Times, which will no doubt delight some lowly reporters on the paper. It is a good column that’s always worth reading and is a fount of gossip and mischief. Still not earning him as much as Boris got at the Telegraph though. Gove is also writing a book, trousering a £17,500 advance from Harper Collins last month. He says it’s “impossible to calculate” how long it will take him to write. The subject is a mystery…

Osborne Making As Much as a Premier League Footballer

osborne

George Osborne might have been standing at the despatch box yesterday as Chancellor on a meagre £141,000-a-year. Instead, he’s trousered £320,000 for speeches to various bankers in the last two months alone. Pro rata that’s nearly £2 million a year, £40,000-a-week, over £5,500-a-day. More than many Premier League footballers make, and around the same salary earned by Leicester City’s champions Riyad Mahrez, Wes Morgan and Danny Drinkwater last season… 

Osborne made £70,000 speaking to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association in Washington, as well as nearly £30,000 for a speech at Stanford University. JP Morgan paid him £81,000 and £61,000 for two speeches in New York. Then three weeks ago Osborne was paid £80,000 by Palmex Derivatives. He could’ve been slumming it in Downing Street, instead he’s earned more in two months than the average Briton does in 12 years…

Farage Speech at the Ritz

Nigel Farage recounts the year of the revolution at his victory party at the Ritz…

When Tory Treasury Used to Mock More Borrowing…

tory-t

These tweets mocking Labour for wanting to borrow more and not balance the books were sent by the Tory Treasury team just last year…

Richmond LibDem Reveals Pro-Heathrow Reading Habits

lib-dem-heathrow-shelfie

The LibDem candidate in Richmond has given a shocker of an interview to the Standard, offering a highly implausible explanation for her Brexit flip-flop and bizarrely blaming an aide for another disastrous interview in which she attacked Zac Goldsmith. Sarah Olney also posed for a picture in front of her bookshelf, awkwardly revealing her pro-Heathrow expansion reading habits. Heathrow’s Terminal 5 – History in the Making describes it as “an iconic piece on infrastructure, which is a tribute to the best of the world’s design and engineering.” Richmond LibDems have been bigging up Olney’s anti-Heathrow expansion credentials, despite the fact her husband helped build Terminal 5. She finished her Standard interview by admitting: “If I don’t win, I’ve got a nice house, a great husband, lovely children and a good job to go back to.” nice house paid for by her great husband’s work for Heathrow…

PMQs / Autumn Statement Sketch Double Bill

pmq-autumn-statement

Before we get to the disaster that was the Autumn Statement, first PMQs. Not one to break with tradition, Jeremy Corbyn continued to question the Prime Minister in the manner of a tramp freshly whisked out of the gutter, chucked into a suit and given a hastily cobbled together sheet to read from. Barely glancing up from his notes while rattling off a list of uninspiring figures, the Labour leader happily wasted all his questions on the NHS, briefly pausing to cast stern looks of reproach across the house. Although in retrospect he may have just been stopping to wonder where his next hot dinner was coming from.

Of course for Corbyn the health service is best understood not as a public service but a deity: divine, unimpeachable, the ultimate source of good and entirely above criticism. Such religious fervour naturally does not lend itself to irony, and so a particular highlight today was his concern about “bed blocking”. This is when an ill person should be discharged but due to poor administrative oversight they end up languishing in an entirely inappropriate position. Sound familiar?

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Labour Rising Star Falls to Earth

Rebecca Long-Bailey is the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, tipped as a Corbynista rising star and protege of John McDonnell. On the Daily Politics today, Long-Bailey had no idea whether Labour wanted to stay in the single market, then claimed they wanted to stay in the customs union. When it was pointed out this means Britain would not be able to make new trade deals with other countries, Long-Bailey claimed it might be possible. It is not. She then could not name any country with a “zero percent deficit”. No idea what she is talking about, completely out of her depth, a joke that she is seen as a talent by Labour.

Vid via Brexit Central

Hammond’s £4 Billion Tax Bombshell

tax

It isn’t just debt and borrowing that are going up, Hammond has stealthily raised taxes too. Insurance Premium Tax is being hiked from 10% to 12% from next June, a 100% increase compared with November 2015. It was just 5% when the Tories got into power. This means £855 million extra tax per year, £4 billion raised by 2020. Insurance companies are already clear this is going to be passed onto consumers – your home insurance, pet insurance and motor insurance are going up.

UNA Alliance: “This is a significant blow. As a result this will significantly hit the pockets of families throughout the country with significant figures being added to the average buildings and contents policies.”

Axa: “An unwarranted attack on millions of people… affordability of insurance is being fundamentally threatened”

Cuvva: “The Chancellor has just slapped “just about managing” pet owners, home owners and drivers with an unfair tax hike that punishes sensible consumers for taking steps to protect themselves against risk.”

Fiscally conservative low tax Tories give us soaring debt and higher taxes…

Autumn Statement / Budget Switcheroo Explained

Philip Hammond woke everyone up when he said this was his first Autumn statement but it would also be his last… “Mr Speaker, I am abolishing the Autumn Statement!” The Autumn statement will now be in Spring and will be a response to the OBR rather than an opportunity to announce new policies, the Budget will be moved to the Autumn. Less pulling out rabbits, more moving the hats…

Tory ‘Decade of Irresponsibility’: Debt and Borrowing to Soar

debt

Debt

Philip Hammond has announced that the debt to GDP ratio will rise to an “eye-watering” 90.2% in 2017-18, a seven point increase on previous forecasts, the highest debt level in half a century. National debt by the end of parliament will be £1.945 trillion.

Deficit

The Tory manifesto promise of a surplus in 2019/20 has been abandoned, they are now seeking to balance the books by an undisclosed date in the next parliament.

Borrowing

Borrowing forecasts for 2016-17 have soared to £68 billion, up £13 billion from the previous forecast in March. Borrowing will be £59 billion in 2017/18, £21 billion more than forecast. In 2018-19 the government will borrow £46.5 billion, a massive 117% increase from the £21.4 billion forecast in March. Hammond plans to borrow £118 billion more this parliament.

In 2008 George Osborne told the Commons:

“What [Brown/Darling] did not admit is that he is going to double the national debt to £1 trillion, and that a national debt that has accumulated over centuries is gonna double in just five years. That is the bill for Labour’s decade of irresponsibility.”

Labour under Corbyn and McDonnell theoretically want to balance the books by 2020, a tougher deficit reduction plan than May and Hammond. This is the Tories’ decade of irresponsibility… 

Who is Asking the Questions Today?

pmqs live chat may corbynOral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Peter Grant (Glenrothes)

Q2 Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn)

Q3 Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury and Atcham)

Q4 Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne and Sheppey)

Q5 Angela Smith (Penistone and Stocksbridge)

Q6 Sir Simon Burns (Chelmsford)

Q7 John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness)

Q8 Holly Lynch (Halifax)

Q9 Mr Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden)

Q10 Tom Elliott (Fermanagh and South Tyrone)

Q11 Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North)

Q12 Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham)

Q13 Mr John Whittingdale (Maldon)

Q14 Wayne David (Caerphilly)

 

Kawczynski Shills For Yet Another Autocracy

Daniel Kawczynski isn’t content with shilling for the Saudis or defending Russia on Putin propaganda channel Russia Today, now the shameless Tory MP has added another state-owned TV station to his collection. Kawczynski has appeared on Turkey’s TRT World to praise the country’s autocratic Islamist leader Recep Erdogan’s “heartening” response to the coup. TRT World is owned by the Turkish government, who were so happy with his appearance that they put out a press release in six different languages. Is there any wrong ‘un for which Kawczynski won’t shill?

War Gaming Ambassador Farage

jared

Isabel Oakeshott writing in the Mail this morning says Trump’s ‘Farage for ambassador’ tweet was

“… meticulously ‘war-gamed’ by his advisers. … the ploy was analysed at length and the note only sent after consideration of all possible tactics and the likely response.”

Last Friday the New York Observer published an article by their London correspondent Andre Walker:

observer

Jared Kushner owns the New York Observer, he is married to Ivanka and was Donald’s campaign manager. Fancy that…

Snogging Phil Hammond

She seemed to remember it fondly…

Minister Slammed Letting Fees Ban Just 8 Weeks Ago

The big Autumn statement announcement pre-briefed to today’s papers is that the government is banning letting fees. This is yet another u-turn by Theresa May – just 8 weeks ago her housing minister Gavin Barwell publicly dismissed the proposal as a “bad idea”. Such a bad idea that May herself voted against it in 2014, and the Tories voted the same policy down again in 2013. Kate Andrews from the Institute for Economic Affairs says:

“The Chancellor can come in and not have to commit any of his own spending to do something that seems like it’s trying to help those who are just managing. But of course this is him skirting around the issue of the housing crisis altogether… Politicians will implement the dumbest policies to avoid actually addressing the issue.”

As the National Landlords Association explains, tenants will still foot the bill:

“Philip Hammond lacks any understanding of how the sector works. Agents will have no other option than to shift the fees on to landlords, but adding to landlords’ costs will only push more towards increasing rents.”

Yet another Miliband policy gimmick pinched from Labour’s 2015 manifesto. The politics make sense, the papers have written it up kindly, but even the minister knows the policy is a dud.

UPDATE: Barwell speaks:

“It is the nature of the job that you have to defend current policy even when you’re working to change it.”

CBI Paid £1 Million By Brussels

cbi-voice-of-brussles

Guido’s data bods have crunched the numbers and worked out the Europhile CBI took yet more money from the EU while ‘unofficially’ campaigning for Remain. The big business Brexit scaremongers took £1,092,135 from the European Commission between 2009 and 2016 – £455,448 since Cameron announced he would hold a referendum.[…] Read the rest

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Tory MP Stewart Jackson on Bob Geldof:

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