Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Public Are Still Welfare Sceptics

The Beeb have jumped on this year’s British Social Attitudes report as apparent proof that pro-welfare policies are now back in fashion. Take a closer look however and the truth is just 34% say benefit spending should be increased:

The suspicion that large numbers of people claim benefits falsely remains strong at 81%, up from 67% in 1987:

Ed can bang on about zero hour contracts all he likes, this is what resonates with the electorate…

Monday, September 2, 2013

Why Mansion Tax is Electoral Suicide

Knight Frank has crunched the numbers and calculated that to raise the target £2 billion, the mansion tax would have to start at £1.25 million, hitting 775,000 households. This would of course be levied overwhelmingly on London and the South East, 86.4% of the properties affected would fall in these areas. Calling it a “mansion” tax is grossly disingenuous too:  just 36% of these “mansions” are detached. 31% are terraced, 22% are flats and 11% semi-detached. Is a terraced house in Merton or Wandsworth, like the one above, really a mansion? 

The table below shows the top ten local authorities with the highest number of homes that would be affected by the mansion tax:

Click to enlarge.

If he has any sense Tory chairman Grant Shapps is right now crafting a mailshot to every single one of those 775,000 homeowners…

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday Seven Up

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday Seven Up

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Saturday Seven-Up

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

More Flaws Emerge in Government Transparency Website

The Register has followed up Guido’s story yesterday about the government’s less than transparent new transparency website. They have delved a little deeper and found that when they downloaded the raw data of a department selected at random , this is what appeared in Excel:

Useful. Invariably, downloading the data merely gives you the limited information in the colourful boxes above in table form. But only for each sub-category of each department at any one time. So if you wanted a comprehensive spreadsheet of all the data across the whole government, across one department even, you would have to spend hours doing it yourself. In fairness to the Cabinet Office this is a beta version so they do the opportunity to iron out these faults. If they do GIST does have the potential to be a useful tool. And after all, all the best people in tech do go and work for the government…

UPDATE: A co-conspirator points out the maths is dodgy too:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

No Interest in New Government Spending Website

GIST is the government’s new spending website, the beta version of which is up today. On the surface it all looks very sharp and transparent, showing you how much each government department has spent in each quarter and allowing you to click through to more detailed information. There is one thing they clearly don’t want taxpayers to find out about however. 

For some reason there is no big, colourful box for the government’s debt interest payments. This year’s debt interest payment is £47.1 billion. Per quarter, that would be the fifth largest square on the table above. All we get are vague non-explanations such as “reducing the structural deficit in a fair and responsible way: £26 million”. Which means absolutely nothing. Hashtag transparency…

UPDATE:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Young MPs With Slim Majorities Are Top Tweeters

Nottingham Uni student James Donald has crunched the numbers and found that the younger an MP and the smaller their majority, the more likely they are to use Twitter. Unsurprisingly, younger MPs tend to tweet the most.  Micky Fabricant being the exception that proves the rule…

MPs with majorities under 10% are relatively prolific users, with those in safe seats much less likely to bother:

Makes you wonder whether they are doing themselves more harm than good…

Via Notts Politics, Democratic Audit.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Party Funding Figures in Full

How much money is there in politics? £72,405,726 is the total income reported by Britain’s political parties in the last year.

 72,405,726 reasons for reform…

Q2 GDP Up 0.6%

As widely predicted, GDP increased by 0.6% in the second quarter. Good news all round as all four main industrial groupings within the economy (agriculture, production, construction and services) increased in Q2 compared with Q1. Services were up by 0.6%, production by 0.6%, manufacturing by 0.4% and construction by 0.9%. That’s almost healthy…


Seen Elsewhere

The School That Proves Michael Gove Was Right | Toby Young
Full Jenkin/Beckett/Straw Letter to PM | Politics Home
The ‘Buckingham Bonaparte’ is Cornered | Speccie
Coalition: The Movie | Indy
Lefties Moan About Messina Working For Cameron | MSNBC
Karen Danczuk V Louise Mensch: Round 48 | Sun
Jack Straw Slams Bercow | Sky News
Putin Shuts Down Red Square McDonalds | Telegraph
Paper Trail Suggests Ashcroft Still Funding Tories | Indy
Bradford Bun Fight Coming | Speccie
Former Minister’s Join ‘Canberra Caterer’ Outcry | The Times


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Westbourne-Change-Opinion hot-button


Lord Glasman tells it like it is:

“The first thing is to acknowledge that Labour has been captured by a kind of aggressive public sector morality which is concerned with the individual and the collective but doesn’t understand relationships.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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