Wonk Allegiances

Interesting to note the political influence and orientation of some of the lefty wonk shops most willing to take money from the taxpayer compared to their counterparts to the soft right. Economist Andrew Whitby has calculated that the supposedly “non-political” IFS is more biased to Labour than almost any right-wing think tank is to the Tories. IPPR, Compass and the Fabian Society are almost off the chart. No surprise there.

Via @EconAndrew and @GoodwinMJ.

Flaws in the Ed Balls "Cost of Living Crisis" Attack Line

Labour’s developing retail offer to the voters centres on the cost of living, in essence they will ask the voters on election day “Are you better off now than you were 5 years ago?” Which is why this week – with good economic news abounding – Labour’s twitterati were ignoring jobs and growth and instead chorusing in North Korean style synchronised tweeting this infographic:

lab-cost-of-living

The infographic shows that real wages have fallen behind inflation. A factually correct statistic.

Guido fails to understand why the government parties are not  aggressively countering the Ed Balls cost-of-living crisis attack line with the truth that the average mortgage is £1,000 cheaper because of lower interest rates. Mortgage affordability is clearly illustrated by the fact that, according to data released yesterday by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, mortgage arrears are dramatically lower now compared to where they were when Ed Balls was last in government:

cml-arears

Throw in the income tax threshold hike (£493), the savings from holding down council taxes (£210) and you have already countered the Balls attack in cash terms – and some – at £1,703. Meaning that in terms of disposable income the “average working person” is better off. So why is this point not being made by Tory and LibDem attack dogs more forcefully?

If in the Autumn Statement the Chancellor rolls back some green taxes, brings back the 10p income tax rate or raises the tax threshold again, in terms of disposable income the voters will be even more better off in 2015 than they were in 2010. To the question “Are you better off now than you were 5 years ago?” the answer has to be “yes”. If it isn’t, the Coalition parties will deserve to lose in 2015.

GRAPH: Majority Support Removal of Spare Room Subsidy

More evidence to show that Labour are consistently losing the debate on welfare. Even on the spare room subsidy – Labour’s “hated bedroom tax” – the public support the government. 54% say it is fair that people living in social housing who have more bedrooms than they need should receive less housing benefit. Just 27% disagree. The bedroom ‘tax’ is Labour’s favourite means of painting the Tories as callous and out of touch, the only problem is the public supports the policy…

"The Personal is Political"Gender Inequality at the Patriarchal CLASS Think Tank

class-gender-inequality

The union funded Class think-tank Owen Jones helped found is, despite being very left-wing, not very right-on it seems when it comes to ‘fair’ representation of woman. Their insanely large ‘advisory panel‘ has 48 members, only a third of whom are women. Inexplicable for an organisation devoted to furthering equal rights…

All three of their ‘officers’ are men and only 2 out of 11 of their management committee are women. Of course, their two junior staff are both women – typical the men have all the power and the women do all the work. Disgraceful. Surely Owen Jones, Unite’s Len McCluskey and the Guardian’s Seumas Milne will resign in protest from this blatantly unfair patriarchal organisation…

Q3 GDP +0.8%

osborne7

Everything you need to know:

  • Change in gross domestic product (GDP) is the main indicator of economic growth. GDP increased by 0.8% in Q3 2013 compared with Q2 2013.
  • Output increased in all four main industrial groupings within the economy in Q3 2013 compared with Q2 2013.
  • Output increased by 1.4% in agriculture, 0.5% in production, 2.5% in construction, and 0.7% in services.
  • Output from services is now slightly above its previous peak in Q1 2008, prior to the economic downturn.
  • In Q3 2013 GDP was estimated to be 2.5% below the peak in Q1 2008. From peak to trough in 2009, the economy shrank by 7.2%.
  • GDP was 1.5% higher in Q3 2013 compared with the same quarter a year ago.

Fixing the roof while the sun is shining for hard-working people in the global race, etc, etc…

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…

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 Seven Up

This week 108,444 visitors visited 312,727 times viewing 494,906 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Saturday Seven Up

This week 102,458 visitors visited 311,435 times viewing 500,336 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

  • Weiner Sexting Girl Shoots Celeb Porno
  • WATCH: Dr Tucker
  • Peers Confused By Twitter, Call Each Other Usernames in Lords
  • Nothing is Too Good for the Worker’s Lunch
  • Godfrey Lands Himself a Brace of Bongos
  • An Honest Labour Politician
  • Labour’s Zero Comment on the Co-Op
  • You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

    Saturday Seven-Up

    This week a mere 97,212 visitors visited 295,677 times viewing 498,781 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

    You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

    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:

    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:

    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.

    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…

    Lazy Male MPs Want Longer Lie-Ins

    Lazy male MPs are demanding longer lie-ins before they start work in the morning. Leaked internal polling commissioned by the House of Commons Procedure Committee, in charge of sitting hours, reveals that 56% of male MPs say early starts are having a “negative impact” on the House’s effectiveness. 58% of men oppose rules stopping them from bunking off Tuesday mornings, while many are unhappy at having to be in for 9:30am on Thursdays. 116 MPs polled had the cheek to argue early starts have a negative impact on their personal effectiveness. It turns out the girls are far harder-working, 54% of women MPs are happy with the current family-friendly arrangement. Since Parliament isn’t sitting again until September 2nd they can snooze all day for the rest of the summer…

    In response to the poll of MPs who want longer lie-ins, Guido thought we should poll voters to find out what they think:

    Misery Index: Summer Sunshine

    With temperatures hitting the thirties, the Aussies capitulating at Lords and borrowing down last year, it’s smiles all round this summer. Unemployment fell again this month and, crucially, Public Sector Net Cash Requirement is down at 3.1 from last month’s high. Which all gives us a summer Misery Index of just 12.03. Pimms o’clock…

    N.B. stats bods can check Guido’s adding up here.

    Income Inequality at Lowest Since 1986

    Today’s ONS figures show that the income gap between the richest and poorest is at its lowest level since 1986. The graph below shows the Gini coefficient for disposable income in 2011/12 was 32.3%, a fall from last year and lower than every year until the mid-eighties. For all Labour’s hand-wringing, ONS attribute this primarily to a drop in earnings for the at the top and an increase among the poorest fifth.

    Also worth noting the growth in disposable income for rich and poor households since 1977:

    ONS says the rich are not getting richer whilst the poor get poorer. This will undermine the rhetoric of many on the left. Fundamentally undermining Ed’s plan to fight the election arguing that while the economy might be growing, everyone is worse off.

    Three Graphs That Skewer Europhile Myths

    At the beginning of the last decade over 60% of Britain’s goods exports was to EU countries. Over the last twelve years that percentage has fallen to 50%, as our goods exports to the rest of the world has increased from under 40% to 50%.

    What’s more, Britain’s trade deficit with the EU is far greater than its deficit with the rest of the world. The idea they wouldn’t trade with us if we leave is farcical.

    Thirdly, Europe is becoming less important in world trade. In 1990 the EU was 27 per cent of world output. By 2016 it will be just 18 per cent of world output, a pretty significant fall.

    Food for thought come Friday.

    Via notourbiggestmarket.org

    UKIP Voters Back Boris

    The public don’t yet trust Boris to be PM, so says some pretty comprehensive polling released by Lord Ashcroft this morning. Only just over a third said he was capable of the running the country, while Tory voters overwhelmingly backed Dave.[…] Read the rest

    + READ MORE +



    Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
    team@Order-order.com

    Quote of the Day

    Michael Crick on Safe Seats:

    “In effect, new MPs are being elected day by day now, as, amid huge secrecy, small cabals of party bigwigs pick candidates for safe seats.”

    Sponsors

    Guidogram: Sign up

    Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

    Facebook

    Leader of Anti-UKIP Protest Embroiled in SWP Rape Scandal Leader of Anti-UKIP Protest Embroiled in SWP Rape Scandal
    Hollobone Agrees Tory-UKIP Pact Hollobone Agrees Tory-UKIP Pact
    David Mackintosh Quits David Mackintosh Quits
    Happy Ed Balls Day Happy Ed Balls Day
    Campaign Report: 42 Days To Go Campaign Report: 42 Days To Go
    Zac Back? Watch Our Guy News Special Zac Back? Watch Our Guy News Special
    Campaign Report: 43 Days To Go Campaign Report: 43 Days To Go
    Gallery Guido’s PMQs Sketch Gallery Guido’s PMQs Sketch
    Farron U-Turns and Sacks David Ward Farron U-Turns and Sacks David Ward
    ‘Spring’ Breaks: Jolyon’s Short-Lived New Party ‘Spring’ Breaks: Jolyon’s Short-Lived New Party
    More Selection Shenanigans More Selection Shenanigans
    Bouattia Ousted Bouattia Ousted
    David Ward Becoming a Problem for Farron David Ward Becoming a Problem for Farron
    Clive Lewis Slammed by ICM for Fake News Poll Clive Lewis Slammed by ICM for Fake News Poll
    Radio 4 Gossips Link Peston to Today Radio 4 Gossips Link Peston to Today
    Mirror Chicken Fattened for Election Slaughter Mirror Chicken Fattened for Election Slaughter
    Len Tries to Stitch Up Liverpool Walton for His Bag Carrier Len Tries to Stitch Up Liverpool Walton for His Bag Carrier
    Starmer on Corbyn: Then and Now Starmer on Corbyn: Then and Now
    Updates: Who’s Standing? Who’s Standing Down? Updates: Who’s Standing? Who’s Standing Down?
    Banks Bottles It Banks Bottles It