Tag Archives: debt

Richard Ratcliffe hunger strike: Nazanin’s husband is risking permanent harm but the Tories don’t care

We’re 16 days into Richard Ratcliffe’s hunger strike outside the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and none of the Tory government could care less.

We shouldn’t be surprised.

Since Mr Ratcliffe’s wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was first imprisoned under false charges in Iran, the UK government has only worsened her situation.

Boris Johnson famously mistook the accusation against her for what she did, providing the Iranian authorities with justification, not only for having jailed her, but for jailing her for an indefinite period to come.

And then Johnson turned Nazanin’s freedom into a bargaining chip in an argument between the UK and Iran over around £450 million owed to the Middle East country since the Shah was overthrown in the late 1970s.

That gave the Iranians reason enough to find another charge on which to keep her imprisoned for another year.

But it won’t do any good because Johnson and the Tories couldn’t care less what happens to anybody who isn’t one of them.

Mr Ratcliffe, after having entrusted his wife’s well-being into the hands of the worst clown ever to hold high office, has realised that nothing will change unless there is a genuine threat to health and life.

So he started his hunger strike, more than two weeks ago – and is now in danger of suffering permanent harm to his health.

And nobody in the government has paid a blind bit of attention.

Liz Truss, the current Foreign Secretary, has probably walked past Mr Ratcliffe – on her way to vote in support of corrupt Owen Paterson last Wednesday, for example – without a first glance, let alone a second.

Mr Ratcliffe is receiving his fair share of celebrity visitors who are raising whatever publicity they can give him – but it’s not doing any good, for the reason I state below:

Then again, how many people in the UK even know that the husband of a woman who is wrongly imprisoned because of the prime minister is even on hunger strike at all?

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MPs plan to make us spend decades paying the NONEXISTENT cost of Covid-19

Money, money, money: Boris Johnson ordered the Bank of England to create all of the money that has been used to pay the costs associated with Covid-19 in the UK – in the same way that governments create money all the time. There is no debt to pay because the government never borrowed anything.

MPs are trying to fool us into thinking there is a Covid-19-related debt that will need to be paid back. Be warned: they’re lying; there isn’t.

According to the BBC:

Taxpayers will bear the costs of Covid “for decades”… MPs have said.

the PAC [Public Accounts Committee] said the taxpayer would be exposed to “significant financial risks for decades to come” with the estimated cost of the government’s measures having already hit £372bn in May.

UK government debt is now over £2.2 trillion, or about 99.7% of GDP – a rate not seen since the early 1960s. In June alone, debt interest cost £8.7bn.

In one example of future Covid costs, the PAC says taxpayers could be liable for an estimated £26 billion of bad loans, out of a total £92 billion of loans guaranteed by the government.

Shocking numbers, certainly. But here’s the thing: there is no Covid-19 debt.

Here’s Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK to explain:

And here’s my short version:

Any questions?

Source: UK will be paying for Covid for decades, say MPs – BBC News

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Why the UK has NO Covid-19 debt – the short version

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Windfall tax on pandemic profits should wipe out Covid-19 related debt says McDonnell

John McDonnell: he would have revolutionised the UK’s economy. Instead, the Tories have saddled one-tenth of the population with debt so great that they cannot pay their regular bills.

A former Shadow Chancellor has proposed a radical set of plans to clear the debt created by the Tory government’s cack-handed handling of the Covid-19 crisis.

John McDonnell pointed out that the richest firms in the UK have profited hand-over-fist during the crisis, and should pay a windfall tax to help pay for the measures to end it – which would ultimately help them, of course.

His proposals were not an attack on businesses, though – they were a criticism of a speech by current Labour leader Keir Starmer, whose best idea was to get members of the public to give all the money they have managed to save during the crisis to a new investment bank – meaning the nation’s poorest would foot the bill (again). What a socialist Starmer is!

In fact, according to Citizens Advice, more than six million people have fallen behind on their bills because of Covid-related hardship, and the number in severe, problem debt has doubled to 1.2 million.

They don’t have any spare cash for castle-in-the-air investment banks!

McDonnell said a comprehensive package of debt cancellation was needed to get the UK back on its feet, including high-cost debt, old debt, unmanageable rent and student debt – all to be supported by a windfall tax on businesses that have raked in billions of pounds over the last year.

He called for the creation of a ‘Debt Charter’ to tackle the causes and consequences of debt in UK society.

Improved benefits and a £10-an-hour living wage, along with restored universal basic services, should be deployed to prevent people from getting into debt in the first place, he said.

He called for a cap on interest rate charges and a ceiling on overdraft fees and interest payments to “rebalance power between lenders and the indebted”.

And he said bailiff visits should be suspended at least until the whole of the UK has been vaccinated against Covid-19.

This is the kind of thinking we need at this time.

We could have had it, too – if only millions of people had not been hoodwinked by anti-Labour propaganda at the 2019 general election, including a Tory campaign that was found to be more than 80 per cent lies.

So if you find yourself struggling with debt for years to come, while the Tories, their client media and their business-oriented doners tell you you’ve never had it so good, just remember that you could have had it better.

And remind everybody you know not to be fooled again.

Source: Impose windfall tax on pandemic profits to wipe debt slate clean, says McDonnell | The Independent

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Tory ideas about money have been wrong since before 2010. Here’s the reason

Flag-waving fools: Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson have no idea how to run a country. They rely on patriotism to blind the gullible while they take your cash – and still put us into debt.

Some of us have been saying this for years but here’s a big-league economist to back us up.

Remember all the talk about Labour having “Maxed out the national credit card” that David Cameron and George Osborne used to win just enough seats to form a coalition with oily Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats in 2010?

It was nonsense. I said it at the time (and many times afterwards in articles on This Site. You can’t compare a national economy with household income and expenditure.

But it seems people are still being taken in by it because the Tories are still using it as the basis of their economic model.

That is the reason the UK has fallen deeper and deeper into debt during their 10 years in office. We can only go into debt, while they continue to follow this course.

Richard Murphy explains it very well in the video clip but I’ll paraphrase: while households become better-off by restricting spending, the nation loses out because businesses don’t benefit from that spending and cannot pass the money on through the system – therefore the nation becomes poorer.

So, by restricting spending with austerity policies, the Tory governments of the last 10 years have starved the UK of its economic lifeblood and plunged us into trillions of pounds worth of debt.

The only way to improve our economic situation is by spending into the economy with wise investments that help it to grow.

But Conservatives simply do not understand this basic (macro)economic fact. They never have.

See for yourself:

Some households fared well during the first Covid-19 lockdown. The lack of any way to spend their money meant they were able to pay off debts and bank spare cash.

But that won’t last. In some cases, families are already suffering because their income has fallen below their outgoings and the lockdowns are still going on.

In fact, the Tory plan is to ensure that they leach that money away from all of us as soon as possible.

There is nothing you can do about it in individual households because the household unit is too small to stave off economic intervention from a national government.

But if you group together with others, you might find a way.

Alternatively, you can just stick your head in the sand and wait for Rishi Sunak to empty your bank account and steal your house. It’s up to you.

You’ll probably see the sense in these words on March 2, when Sunak announces his spring budget.

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Well done, Tory voters now on Universal Credit! You ASKED to be made poor

 

Tory voters who are employees really are the stupidest people on the planet. If that’s you, I’m very sorry but go and look in the mirror and understand that you’re looking at a fool.

You see, these people voted for a government that dumped around one and a half million of them onto Universal Credit – the so-called benefit that the Tories actually use to persecute people who have been plunged into poverty – as soon as the Covid-19 crisis hit.

Now 63 per cent of those people – and you can bet that many of them voted ‘Conservative’ like good little sheeple in December 2019 – are having cash removed from their benefit payments.

The money is being used to repay loans they took out – advances of their Universal Credit payments are loans, you see – to cover their living costs or outstanding debts while they endured the five-week delay the Tories impose on everybody who claims.

1,060,000 ‘Covid claimants’ have a deduction of some kind from their UC. Of those, 810,000 are repaying an advance only, 50,000 have a deduction for another reason and 200,000 have deductions to repay a UC advance and another debt.

It means a million people are trying to live on payments that are less than their assessed benefit need.

That is to say that the Department for Work and Pensions has worked out that they need a particular amount but is refusing to let them have it.

DWP officers do this on the orders of the Conservative government – voted for, most likely, by a majority of the claimants who are now being forced into poverty and starvation.

I wonder how Tory-voting UC claimants feel if they are also parents – knowing that their vote in 2019 is also forcing their children to go without.

(The information on the so-called “Covid claimants” has been compiled by Child Poverty Action Group for the Covid Realities research project).

The worst part of it is that these absolute dimwits are so tribal that they will almost certainly defend their 2019 decision and repeat the mistake, first chance they get. There is no reasoning with them.

Source: Over one million on Universal Credit have money deducted to repay debts

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Distraction tactics: why pay attention to all this right-wing fiddling while your country burns?

Jeremy Corbyn: it’s nice that a Twitter poll has rated him the best prime minister the UK never had, but the PM that we’ve got is turning the UK into a major disaster and this stuff is nothing more than an attempt to distract you. Did it work?

We all know bank holiday Mondays are where the news goes to die but August 2020 was particularly bad.

Judging by Twitter, the event that caught everybody’s imagination was a poll by right-wing Times Radio that resulted in a nobody presenter – This Writer has never heard of him – having to declare that Jeremy Corbyn is the best prime minister the UK never had.

(It means he would have been a better choice, not only than Boris Johnson or Theresa May, but better than many others as well – according to those who took part in the poll.)

Certain right-whingers immediately took it upon themselves to alleged – without any factual basis – that Corbynista Twitter users had ganged up to rig the poll.

Who cares?

It doesn’t matter. We didn’t get Corbyn. We got Theresa May in 2017 and Boris Johnson now – partly because Labour apparatchiks conspired to bugger up Corbyn’s campaigns on one or both occasions, if you believe a certain report (I do).

And it diverts attention from the failures of the government we have – especially at a time when Parliament is about to resume sitting after the summer recess.

The Guardian‘s editorial has identified a few of the political crises from which the poll has diverted our attention. For example:

Rishi Sunak is determined to end his Job Retention Scheme – the furlough to you and me – at the end of October, triggering a huge wave of unemployment. That’s right, even more people are about to learn what Universal Credit is all about – and they’re not going to like it.

He’s facing an annual national deficit that will have grown to twice the amount faced by Gordon Brown’s Labour government during the so-called “great recession” of 2008 or thereabouts. His party made a lot of mileage out of criticising Labour’s handling of that recession, slithering back into office by claiming it would end deficit spending and cut the national debt as well (instead the Tories more than doubled the debt to £2 trillion).

And in November Sunak has to produce a budget that will boost the economy and return the national finances to some semblance of balance (fat chance! He’s already facing a backbench rebellion on his mooted plans for tax rises).

Nobody’s going back to work because they don’t trust the government’s proclamations that it is safe from Covid-19. Nobody is likely to go back to universities for the same reason. The only people likely to want to go back to school are the kids – and that’s because they’re probably a bit bored by now and want to see their buddies again.

The Johnson government’s determination to push through Brexit as planned by December 31 means the party that pledged to end the scourge of “red tape” is more likely to throttle us with it, as businesses have to deal with an avalanche of pointless bureaucracy.

These are all problems that the Tories have created for the rest of us, either by incompetence or by design, since they first came back into power in 2010 – and most particularly since Boris Johnson became prime minister last year.

You need to be thinking about that, but instead you’re being seduced into thinking about a dopey Twitter poll that doesn’t mean anything at all.

You’re watching the right-wingers fiddling around while your country burns around you.

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The Tories have pushed public debt past £2 TRILLION after they promised to eliminate it

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“Spaffed up the wall”: Boris Johnson’s phrase – inappropriately applied to public money used to investigate child abuse – may now be more correctly applied to his own government’s use of all public funds..

Remember when the national debt was just £950 billion and the Tories slithered into office with a claim that they would eliminate it?

What happened?

George Osborne – remember him? – promised that he would eliminate the national deficit (regular borrowing by the government) by 2015, and would then reduce the debt.

He never did. And now he’s nowhere to be found.

And the national debt is now more than double what it was in 2010.

The Tories will say it’s because of the cost of the Covid-19 crisis – which they have increased exponentially by involving inept private health companies that have failed to carry out a single task adequately.

They may say it’s due to the cost of Brexit – which Boris Johnson pushed on us with a campaign of lies back in 2016 and which has cost us more in four years than we paid in more than 40 as an EU member state.

And they will certainly try to blame the Labour government of 1997-2010 and the international financial crisis that happened during that period, which had nothing to do with Labour policies.

They’ll also say a Labour government would have made matters worse, even though they have squandered more money in the last 10 years than was ever spent by every Labour administration the UK has ever had.

And don’t forget that Labour has reduced the national debt when in office, which is more than the Tories have done in our collective lifetime.

The BBC article is full of Tory apologists saying there was nothing they could do, but it simply isn’t true.

The Conservative Party has, in the words of Boris Johnson “spaffed up the wall” all the public money it could get its hands on, and then borrowed more than a trillion pounds more.

And ministers will say that you have to pay it back.

Source: UK government spending on virus measures pushes debt to £2 trillion – BBC News

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Tory treachery: these are just TODAY’S reasons to regret voting ‘Conservative’

Loadsamoney: Boris Johnson and his party are rolling in it, and can expect much more, courtesy of Russia and the USA. You are going to suffer like you’ve never suffered before.

Anybody who voted ‘Conservative’ last December in the belief that they would be better-off must be really kicking themselves now.

Today we have learned that the Tories took money from Russians and then looked the other way while Russia interfered with our general elections – and possibly the Brexit referendum. The arrogant Tories have said they won’t even bother with a retrospective investigation of what happened (in case it incriminates them, perhaps).

Within the last 24 hours, the Tories voted to ensure that the National Health Service will be part of a future trade deal with the United States of America, meaning that health care in the UK will become an asset of US corporations if any such deal goes through.

Allow me to expand on this.

The Tories have already reneged on a promise that they would not allow diseased US-manufactured chlorinated chicken into the UK, meaning anybody who eats it is more likely to contract food poisoning.

Now we can see that anybody who does become ill in that way will not be able to afford help from a doctor, as they will be charged exorbitant US rates. Buying insurance will be no good because the insurance companies actively search for ways to avoid paying out (see my pieces about Unum).

Jeremy Corbyn warned us that the NHS would be privatised before the election last year – he showed you the documents! – but you were told not to vote for him, and like a herd of sheep you did as you were told.

So: possibly because of Russian interference, if you voted ‘Conservative’, you voted to harm your own health and to ensure that you would not be able to gain access to the healthcare you would need in order to get better.

That’s on you!

By all means, blame the Tories if you like. But they are Tories – it is pointless to say, “You told us you wouldn’t sell the NHS or allow chlorinated chicken, or allow the Russians to mess with our democracy,” because their answer is clear: “You knew what we were when you voted for us. We’re Tories. Lying to you is in our nature.”

Oh, and by the way, under the Tories, borrowing has reached a record high. The UK is in more debt than it has every been in the history of the country, and that is all because of the Tories.

Remember back in 2010 when they conned you into voting for them in that year’s election? They said their austerity would eliminate the national deficit by 2015, and they would go on from there to eliminate the debt as well. They lied.

And it means there will be no money for future, non-Tory governments to buy back what the Tories are selling – without creating a debt crisis as Tory lenders refuse to help out.

And for once, the saying is true.

We’re all in the mire together – because you voted Tory.

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Tory Universal Credit minister says he’s seen no evidence it puts people in debt. Because he’s not looking?

A few coppers and some silver coins: all the Tories think you’re worth.

What has Will Quince been doing? Spending every working day with his eyes closed?

He’s the minister in charge of Universal Credit – and when told research showed people on it were 70 per cent more likely to be in rent arrears than people on old-style Housing Benefit, he said he’d seen no evidence of it.

It’s a clear admission of incompetence.

Here’s the Mirror:

The research was from Citizens Advice, which helps run the Help to Claim service, chair Stephen Timms said.

Mr Quince said he would need to see evidence for that, “not just anecdotally but some actual data”.

He added: “The evidence we have is that it’s people coming on to Universal Credit with historic rent arrears which actually get paid off faster over time on Universal Credit,” he said.

“There is not evidence to suggest, as far as I’ve seen … that suggests that people are building up rent arrears while on Universal Credit.”

Okay, let’s see if I can find some evidence…

Universal Credit is increasing debt and failing disabled people, says SNP

If Tories don’t support abusers, why does Universal Credit push people to stay in abusive relationships?

Backlash against DWP as Universal Credit throws almost half of claimants into debt

Universal credit flaws are pushing claimants to debt and eviction – because that was always the aim

Mum’s court challenge against DWP demand for UC claimants to go into childcare debt

That should do for a start. A quick search of This Site turned up more than 100 articles.

So I doubt Will Quince’s sincerity when he says he’s seen no evidence.

Either he’s lying or he is incompetent. Either way, he should resign.

Source: Tory Universal Credit minister claims he’s seen no evidence it pushes people into debt – Mirror Online