Number 10 is at risk of continuing the last government’s public health fudge, as new sugar ban plans could lead to British favourites like jelly babies, dib dabs, boiled sweets, and fudge being made illegal. They can try prying Guido’s sherbet lemons from his cold, dead hands.
Ban-happy quango Public Health England have continued their crusade to make life miserable by recommending that no sweet should be allowed to be made of more than 50% sugar. The Institute of Economic Affairs has published a report denouncing PHE for their draconian proposals that are sure to leave a sour taste in people’s mouths.
Josie Appleton, the report’s author, said:
“These new food reformulation plans go way beyond even the existing Orwellian limits. There is a shocking lack of evidence behind them; it seems the main motivation for the changes is a belief the public are too infantile to make informed choices about their own diet so ‘improvements’ must be made for them.”
We don’t know Werther we’ve said it enough, Boris needs to tell PHE to suck it up.
Jacob Rees-Mogg has co-authored a paper for the Institute of Economic Affairs along with top wonk Radomir Tylecote on how to use freedom-based solutions to tackle the housing crisis. The package of solutions include cutting stamp duty, permitted development rights for individual streets, and importantly selectively re-classifying some ‘green belt’ designated land that achieves none of its official purposes. Harder for Tory grassroots to dismiss this when even Jacob Rees-Mogg is saying nimbyism has gone too far…
‘Green belt’ land includes large areas of scrubland and even brownfield sites. Building on just 3.9% of London’s green belt near railway stations would provide one million well connected new homes – replacing parts of the green belt that are not green or pleasant at all. This is a policy that would help fix one of the biggest problems facing Britain today, and it wouldn’t cost a thing…
Philip Hammond’s fiscal responsibility challenge might not be the most exciting intervention in the Tory leadership race but it has received a warm welcome from many of Westminster’s top think tanks. The Institute of Economic Affairs’ Kate Andrews says:
“The Chancellor has dished out a fair and sensible warning to leadership candidates. Slashing tax and spending increases must go hand-in-hand with cuts in other areas and a radical pro-growth agenda, otherwise they are not fiscally responsible policies…
“With the UK tax burden at a near-fifty year high, putting more money back in people’s wallets should be a top priority, but it shouldn’t mean abandoning fiscal responsibility along the way.”
The Adam Smith Institute’s Matt Kilcoyne welcomes the move too:
“Right message at the right time from the Chancellor. As we approach the Cost of Government Day on the 18th June, the first day of the year that private spending overtakes all the spending and borrowing the government does on your behalf, it’s good to see a Conservative preaching fiscal responsibility.
“The UK still has a deficit, a mountain of debt, and government is still passing the buck onto those too young to vote. The next generation shouldn’t be sold out with election pledges made at the expense of their own futures.”
The TaxPayers’ Alliance also give it their seal of approval:
“Philip Hammond is right that a Tory leadership battle isn’t the place for a public spending arms race. A spending spree by the current, or next Prime Minister could leave taxpayers saddled with bills.”
As far as Guido is aware, none of the candidates have committed to Phil’s fiscal responsibility pledge so far. Nor has the current Prime Minister shown any hint of reconsidering her uncosted trillion pound black hole she’s leaving behind for her successor…
UPDATE: It turns out Phil’s Pledge has been taken by the most left-wing candidate in the race, Rory Stewart. If Rory can find time out from his never-ending walks around supermarket car parks to make the pledge, why can’t any of his supposedly more Conservative rivals?
David Davis has given his prognosis for how the Brexit talks will eventually play out, predicting that “terror will win”. Speaking alongside the “Brexiteers’ brain” Shanker Singham at the Institute of Economic Affairs, Davis told a room packed with numerous MPs including Steve Baker, Owen Paterson, Simon Clarke, John Penrose, Eddie Hughes and the DUP’s Nigel Dodds and Sammy Wilson that the “irrational fear of no deal” would ultimately win out and a deal would get through Parliament, possibly at the second attempt:
“Terror will win, the fear of no deal… I think the irrational fear of no deal, a WTO deal – that will win and there will be a deal. It may take two passes – it may be a deal that’s agreed in Brussels and fails in Westminster and comes back again, it may take two passes.”
Guido largely agrees with his analysis – the strength of opposition to the deal May appears to be edging towards cannot be underestimated if it still includes an unlimited backstop that locks the UK into the customs union, hence it may well be voted down the first time round. This will no doubt unleash Project Fear on levels not even seen during the referendum, with MPs coming under immense pressure to vote again until they get the ‘right result’. Sound familiar?
However, the pressure will not just be on the UK if the deal falls in Parliament the first time. The EU, and Ireland in particular, do not want a ‘no deal’ scenario either if they can possibly help it. This may be the time when the EU finally starts to seriously move on its position…
UPDATE: Davis has just tweeted this clarification
For the avoidance of doubt I believe the PM will get a deal with the EU but anything based on the Chequers plan or one that keeps us in the Customs Union will not pass the Commons. Time to revert to free trade deal suggested by EU?
— David Davis (@DavidDavisMP) October 31, 2018