Tag Archives: dip

The ‘grubby little idea’ that will tarnish Theresa May

Theresa May. At present, all under-16s have the right to a school place, even if their parents entered the country illegally [Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA].

Theresa May. At present, all under-16s have the right to a school place, even if their parents entered the country illegally [Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA].

We can all agree that illegal immigrants should be rooted out, wherever they have hidden themselves, before being made to face justice and punished accordingly.

But Theresa May’s idea had nothing to do with any of that.

She wanted to punish children for the sins of their parents.

Perhaps she allowed herself to be guided by her religion in this, as she says she is over Brexit. But “visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation” is an Old Testament punishment (Exodus 34:7) and This Writer thought she said she was a Christian.

Either way, her plan to push the children of illegal immigrants to the back of the queue for school places is unacceptable according to the law of this land: Children aged under 16 have a right to an education, regardless of their parents’ actions.

And the plan to turn teachers into border guards, demanding to see pupils’ passports, is beyond the pale.

Teachers are already overworked. They don’t have time for an extra burden, passed onto them because Mrs May simply wasn’t capable of doing her job and protecting our borders when she was Home Secretary.

In addition, This Writer did not have a passport until long after leaving school. In fact I was in my early 20s when I left the UK for the first time, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. What was planned for people like me? It is a hare-brained idea.

Even the language used is worrying. Apparently Mrs May wanted every Whitehall department to be involved in mitigating her failure to reduce immigration – both legal and illegal.

Or, as the BBC suggests it was put, they were all to have their hands “dipped in blood”.

That doesn’t seem very Christian of Mrs May.

“Satanic” would be a better word.

Claims that Theresa May wanted to put the children of illegal migrants to the back of the queue for school places show the “nasty party never really went away”, Angela Rayner has said today.

Rayner spoke out after the BBC published part of a leaked memo which suggested the Home Office wanted schools to withdraw offers of school places for children whose parents had been found living in Britain illegally.

The shadow education secretary joined a chorus of teachers and education leaders who criticised the measure as draconian. Local authorities have an obligation to provide education to children regardless of the status of their parents.

May was “trying to offload the failings of her department”, which failed to meet a net migration target, Rayner told the BBC.

She said May, the former home secretary, sought to blame “innocent children” and “bring our teachers into border control”, a measure Rayner describes as “impractical”. Rayner described the now prime minister’s actions as running contrary to British values.

By law, children under the age of 16 have a right to an education, regardless of their parent’s circumstances.

Source: Rayner: May’s plan to put children of illegal immigrants at bottom of school places list shows nasty party is back | LabourList

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GDP figures due – will Gideon have anything to show for his austerity idiocy?

Triple-dip breakfast: Will we all be dining on the sour cereal of recession again, when GDP figures are published on Thursday morning?

Triple-dip breakfast: Will we all be dining on the sour cereal of recession again, when GDP figures are published on Thursday morning?

Thursday will be another ‘crunch’ day for our part-time Chancellor of the Exchequer – he’s having quite a lot of those lately, isn’t he?

Only last week, the academic justification for his austerity policy was disproven by an American student (oh, the shame!), and then his former allies at the International Monetary Fund distanced themselves from him (oh, the betrayal!) saying he should calm down a bit.

That’s the best advice this columnist has ever heard the IMF provide; if not for his own health, then for the nation’s.

Thursday, though, is a really big day. On Thursday, GDP figures for the first quarter of 2013 will be published.

It is a sign of how low expectations have fallen, that all the economic commentators are saying the best we can expect is to have kept out of a triple-dip recession – with falls in output due to the weather, among other things, making that unprecedented outcome more likely.

There is a problem with all of these predictions, which should be obvious to those of us living in the real world: Short-termism.

It’s all about how the UK managed in the last quarter, how it will manage in the next; what the situation is today. What about six months from now? What about next year? What about 2015, when we’re all expecting an election and the chance to banish this nightmare? What about 2017-18, when 0sborne still reckons he’ll have eliminated the budget deficit (fat chance)?

The fact is that the only options open to a Chancellor in the current climate are unpalatable to the Boy.

He could boost investment in infrastructure, in a bid to make this country a better place to open – and carry out – business. The trouble is, this tends to be a long-term project and he no longer has the time. His chances would have been better if he had started this in 2010, but his government cancelled as many such projects as they could back then, claiming it was more important to cut public spending in order to balance the books.

That was a vain hope. Without new investment, the country has lost revenue.

But if that is unpalatable, the other alternative is likely to make him choke on his pate de foie gras (or whatever it is these posh boys ingest): Increase the spending power of the poor.

It is known that the ‘trickle-down effect’ is a myth – giving all of a country’s money to the very rich, in the belief that they will spend it, boosting the economy and the income of the poor, is nonsense. What they actually do is bank it – in offshore tax havens, most likely. That is what 0sborne has been doing; it is another reason the economy has bombed.

It is also a rock-solid fact that poor people do spend their money – or as much as they can get their hands on. When you are constantly struggling to make ends meet, it’s very hard to keep cash in the bank – you have to spend it on food, clothes, rent, heat, light, water… the list is endless, because it constantly repeats.

When you don’t have much cash, as Edmund Blackadder once said, you feel like a pelican. Everywhere you turn, there’s a large bill in front of you.

That money does work for society. It reinvigorates the economy as it filters through different hands. And it brings with it the extra joy of fiscal multipliers – every pound that gets put into the economy is worth more after it has been through.

The trouble is, Gideon shut off that money supply. He raised VAT, making it harder for working-class people and those on benefits to buy certain economy-boosting products, and then he and Iain Duncan Smith spent the last few years on their project to depress wages.

(For clarity, it goes like this: The DWP makes the benefit system so difficult to navigate that people in receipt have to do their utmost to get off-benefit as soon as possible. This means they are constantly looking for jobs, which in turn makes it possible for employers to refuse pay rises for their workforce, with the classic line that “there are plenty of other people who’d be happy to have your job, you know!” You didn’t really think the benefit cap was about making work pay, did you?)

Say what you like about Labour, but they’ve got the right idea when it comes to the money supply. Ed Balls wants to cut VAT; he wants to bring back the 10 per cent tax rate for the lowest-paid; he wants to bring in a National Insurance holiday for companies that agree to take on new employees.

These are measures that will help.

What is Gideon going to do?