Tag Archives: tariff

Social energy tariff plan quietly scrapped

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Plans to launch an energy social tariff which would help low income households with energy costs have reportedly been “quietly shelved” by the Government.

The Tory Government first pledged to consider energy social tariffs – which are cheaper tariffs for certain groups – in 2022, and this was doubled down on by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Energy Secretary Grant Schapps last year.

However, Government sources have indicated that social tariffs are “no longer a priority” and that ministers were looking into other ways to help those struggling with energy costs.

The move comes despite calls from charities, organisations and energy companies themselves calling for the introduction of a social tariff for energy. End Fuel Poverty Coalition co-ordinator Simon Francis said the decision to “abandon plans” for energy bill reform would be a “slap in the face to British households.

Well.

You didn’t really think the Tories would do anything to stop the privateers from fleecing us all, did you?


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The news in tweets: Monday, July 10, 2023

Number of people waiting long periods for PIP claim result has plummeted

The number waiting longer than six months has dropped from more than 20,000 to just 300 within 12 months, and the DWP says it has halved the time it takes in acting on a claim.

But how many claims are the DWP processing now, in comparison to 12 months ago? What is the figure as a proportion of all claims received? And – more to the point – how many are successful?

Ofgem asks energy suppliers to publish all their tariffs, so customers know what deals are worthwhile

Scam adverts: the government has STILL enacted no laws to protect you against them

Are doctors in Scotland well-advised to suspend strikes after pay offer of 17.5% over two years?

It may seem a lot but doctors in Scotland have only suspended their strike action for a pay deal of 8.75 per cent per year – that’s still less than the current rate of inflation and therefore a pay cut.

But it is more than junior doctors have been offered by Health Secretary Steve Barclay – whose own pay packet has not been reduced by inflation.

Meanwhile, teachers are being told their own job is a “vocation” – meaning it is especially worthy of dedication – and they should be happy with £27,000 a year, by Heather Wheeler. Take a look at this point:

There is no degree in being a member of Parliament, and most of the degrees in politics don’t seem to be worth the paper they’re written on (look at the havoc wreaked on the nation by graduates of Oxford’s Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) course). It is a career for which there is no qualification and cannot be described as a vocation – but Heather Wheeler draws down a salary of £82,000 a year, plus expenses.

And it is important to remember that teachers aren’t just striking to get better pay for themselves. Government spending on education suffered its longest-ever decline under the Tory governments between 2011 and 2019, and teachers are striking to ensure that education as a whole is properly funded:

And the Tory arguments that pay increases would raise the rate of inflation have already been proved false.

So there is no good reason for refusing to pay doctors, teachers and other striking workers what they are due – which would bring them to parity – in real terms – with their pay in 2010. And there’s no good reason for refusing to properly fund education and the NHS either; taxation is currently at its highest in something like 70 or 80 years, which should mean public money is available for such projects. What have the Tories done with it?

All of the above supports the following short clip, making an important point that should be remembered by everyone who complains about strikes:

Did Jeremy Corbyn grab Israel Advocacy member – as he claims – or was the MP the one who was assaulted?

Here’s video footage of what happened. The context note beneath it clarifies exactly what really did happen. Reggie D Hunter’s comment is pertinent too:

These aggressively Zionist, pro-Israel goons think they can do whatever they like and then lie about it when we can see what’s really happening via their own recordings.

Remember that, next time one of them makes a wild accusation.

Most train ticket offices in England to be shut within three years, no matter how many people it disadvantages

That’s the theory. Here’s the practical upshot:

Does anybody remember a piece of law called the Disability Discrimination Act? Did it not make provision for a situation like this?

If not, is it time that Act was amended?

Jeremy Hunt to appear on Martin Lewis ITV show about mortgages – and you can help grill him

Tin-eared airport bosses want to increase pollution there by 60% amid public fury over environmental harm

Minister for disabled people refuses to discuss his disability action plan with them

Perhaps Tom Pursglove doesn’t want disabled people to object to the plan to close railway ticket offices?

Perhaps there are a multitude of other omissions in his plan that he doesn’t want to allow under the spotlight until it has been rubber-stamped?

Whatever the excuse, this is unacceptable behaviour from any government. Nobody’s life should be changed by the government if they haven’t had a chance to participate in the process.

“Nothing about us without us,” remember?


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DWP is accused of misleading claimants – by TV’s Money Saving Expert

He should know: Martin Lewis has warned that messaging on DWP envelopes urging people to switch energy supplier is WRONG – and the government department couldn’t care less.

The Department for Work and Pensions has been misleading people who claim Winter Fuel Payments, according to ‘Money Saving Expert’ Martin Lewis.

It seems the government department has been putting a message on the back of envelopes, asking recipients “What would you do with an extra £290?”

The message, that went out to people in September this year, went on to say that this was the amount the average consumer saved in 2020 by switching to the cheapest tariff and told recipients to contact Citizens Advice.

But 2020 is now a long time ago.

Wholesale gas prices have risen by 250 per cent since the start of 2021, households cannot save money by switching and in fact, they would lose money because there are no tariffs cheaper than the energy regulator Ofgem’s price cap.

So their best choice is to stick to their supplier’s standard tariff as they would then be protected by Ofgem’s cap until April 2022.

The sticking-point is that the DWP is still sending correspondence with this false information on its envelopes.

It says a batch of 10 million envelopes was created before the rise in energy prices and it would be “impractical, costly and wasteful” to replace them, adding that such a change could jeopardise the department’s ability to make Winter Fuel Payments at all. Oh, and the message is “only a suggestion”.

Strange that the government has huge amounts of cash to waste on any number of commissions from friends of the Conservative Party – no matter how wasteful – but none to spend helping hard-up pensioners save cash (which is exactly the point of the letters inside the envelopes).

And Mr Lewis wasn’t having it at all.

He pointed out that there’s nothing on the envelopes that means they could not be used in the future, when the situation they describe is resumed.

More details are here:

And here: Martin Lewis just called-out the DWP’s ‘dangerous’ actions – The Canary

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A week after Brexit, how are the UK and the EU getting on? Not very well, it seems

I was going to leave the headline as a rhetorical question but too many people would have tried to answer without reading the article.

And who can blame them? It all seems a nasty mess at the moment. But are these really only teething problems?

Here comes the list:

The UK and the EU are heading towards a confrontation over financial services after trading in £6 billion worth of euro-dominated shares started moving to European continental stock exchanges in Amsterdam and Paris.

UK financial service providers and banks have lost the so-called passport that gave them the right to operate without restrictions throughout the EU, and now depend on unilateral decisions from European authorities to extend them an “equivalence” based on regulatory convergence, sector by sector.

Bank of England boss Andrew Bailey has said the UK should not become a so-called “rule taker” by mimicking EU regulations just for the sake of obtaining an access to European markets.

To This Writer’s uncultured eye, he seems to be saying we should lose a lot of business. Or is he he suggesting that trade will come back to the UK if businesses see an advantage in trading outside EU regulations?

This is not likely to sort itself out for several years.

Marks & Spencer has discovered holes in the so-called “zero tariff” trade deal with the EU that means its Percy Pig sweets – manufactured in Germany, transported to the UK, and then re-exported to other countries like Ireland – would face taxation and bureaucratic “red tape” costs.

The firm has already dropped hundreds of products, including chocolate fudge pudding and sweet and sour chicken, from its Northern Ireland stores after it saw competitors’ lorries barred from travelling between the mainland and Northern Ireland.

John Lewis has scrapped deliveries of its products to EU countries (although the firm says this is because of a business decision to concentrate on the UK). Debenhams and Fortnum & Masons have also suspended deliveries to Ireland and the EU respectively, blaming uncertainty over post-Brexit trading rules.

Scottish seafood firms are already facing financial difficulty as new post-Brexit rules demand that every single box has to be offloaded from lorries, opened and checked by vets before leaving Scotland – creating five-hour delays per lorry.

And overseas customers are cancelling orders – putting the £1 billion-per-year business in jeopardy.

Expect much more of the same in the future.

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James Delingpole: clueless Brextremist comes unstuck over ‘no deal’ and WTO rules

Rich and clueless: James Delingpole thinks Brexit is a hit worth taking – because he won’t be taking that hit.

In one of the few appearances James Delingpole has made on This Site, he is quoted as saying he smoked cannabis while listening to Supertramp with David Cameron while they were both at Oxford – and one would be forgiven for asking whether he went back on the whacky baccy before appearing on Andrew Neil’s This Week to support a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Mr Delingpole made a short film extolling the virtues of reverting to World Trade Organisation rules on trade and tariffs between countries, and then appeared in the studio for an interview in which Mr Neil, Caroline Flint and Sam Gyimah – who quit his job as a government minister over Theresa May’s Brexit deal – exposed his attitude as nonsense. Watch:

For accuracy: The hysterical laughter at the end of the clip was added by whoever made it; in reality, Andrew Neil said, “Okay. Well, that’s honest – and on that, we’ll move on. Thank you.”

But we can’t move on.

Mr Delingpole has admitted that his claims are based on nothing but hot air.

Under WTO rules, a country like the UK would have to accept an automatic level of tariffs on all goods coming in and going out. If we chose to waive those tariffs, they would be waived on all trade, and there would be no point in trying to strike free trade deals.

For a net importer like the UK, both situations mean we lose money.

That’s why Mr Delingpole said, “We’re going to take a hit”. But is it a “hit worth taking”?

No! At least, not for ordinary working people. The privileged rich, like Mr Delingpole, may find themselves able to accommodate it.

Rod Thistledown McKie made this point on Twitter: “The thing about those “taking a hit” is they don’t include the likes of Delingpole himself. They are working class voters, for instance Airbus’s 100,000 workers estimate, and they are going to be very, very annoyed with the people who promised them the Earth.”

Airbus has slated the Conservative government’s failure to negotiate a workable Brexit deal, warning that it may leave the UK if Theresa May forces the UK to crash out of the EU with no deal. Airbus employs 14,000 people in the UK, with a further 110,000 in its supply chain.

That’s 124,000 jobs in jeopardy.

None of those jobs are held by Mr Delingpole, of course.

But he, and his Brextremist ilk – like James Dyson, who is famously scarpering to Singapore to build his latest invention which has been dubbed a “moral vacuum”, taking his company’s Corporation Tax contributions with him – did promise those people a brighter future.

And now they are walking away, leaving a huge mess behind them, in the knowledge that they won’t be taking the hit.

And people are going to be angry. This response, for example, is mild:

https://twitter.com/Wirral_In_It/status/1088745468845273089

Should we not be talking about imposing penalties on people who talked up the fictitious benefits of Brexit in order to induce the electorate to support it – when they did not have good reason to do so?

Is there no way to force them to put their money where there mouths have been?

And if not, why not? Poor people stand to lose everything – why should the clueless rich get away scot free?

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‘I’m no hypocrite’ says Dyson of Singapore move. Does he expect us to believe him?

James Dyson: Legs-it rather than Brexit. I used that phrase last time but enjoyed it so much I decided to use it again.

James Dyson has defended his decision to move his company’s head office to Singapore, saying Brexit played no part in the decision.

Instead, he reckons the eight-hour time difference between a head office in the UK and a production plant in Singapore could seriously affect the viability of his business there.

Isn’t it more feasible that he just wants to avoid having to pay increased import-export tariffs, and wants to avoid increased taxes that are likely if Brexit harms the economy in the way the experts expect?

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‘Chequers’ Brexit plan won’t get past Barnier – so what’s the way forward?

Michel Barnier.

We need to think this through.

Mr Barnier said:

“The British have a choice. They could stay in the single market, like Norway, which is also not a member of the EU, but they would then have to accept all the regulations and make contributions to European solidarity.

“But if we let the British cherry pick which of our regulations to follow, that would have serious consequences: all sorts of other third countries could insist that we offer them the same deal.

“That would be the end of the single market and the European project. I am often accused of being dogmatic in the UK, but the truth is I’m only protecting our fundamental interests.”

So, what’s the way forward? Protectionism?

EU manufacturers are being told to boycott our goods because they will pay higher tariffs from the end of March next year. The UK will not be able to rely on those markets.

It follows that UK businesses will also have to eschew the use of EU-originated goods – for the same reason.

We’ll have a choice between trading elsewhere – and we all know how well that’s going! – or working hard to become self-sufficient.

That’s protectionism. It is what globalists like the Conservatives have argued against for decades. How ironic that they are leading us back to it.

And it still has a huge disadvantage. It takes time.

There is no easy way out of this. No smart way. All the options are bad and we have only a choice between evils.

That’s Tory Brexit for you. A decision made on false information, on a choice that was offered purely to heal rifts within the Conservative Party – an aim that it failed to achieve.

And the selfish Tory who started this imbecility – David Cameron – didn’t even stick around to see through the consequences of his foolishness. He ran like a scalded pig.

The lesson is clear: Tory selfishness leads to Tory stupidity, which leads to suffering for the people of the UK.

At the next general election we need to make sure they aren’t allowed the opportunity to make matters worse – because, given that chance, they will.

Michel Barnier has warned he is “strongly opposed” to the prime minister’s Chequers proposal on future trade with the EU after Brexit, warning the “illegal” offer would “end” the European project.

In what were some of his harshest words yet for the British government’s plans, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said allowing Britain to “cherry pick” regulations would have “serious consequences”, adding it would be “much easier” if the UK stayed in the single market.

Mr Barnier’s comments came in an interview with newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, in which he told European carmakers they would need to shun British manufacturers in order to enjoy low tariffs on their global exports.

Source: Brexit: Michel Barnier ‘strongly opposes’ May’s Chequers proposals, warning offer would be end of EU | The Independent

Increase in US tariff on Bombardier plane shows up Theresa May’s diminishing influence

A Bombardier C-series jet, part of the Delta airline fleet.

Could anything demonstrate the UK’s diminishing influence on the international stage – entirely due to the Conservative government – than the US tariff on Bombardier planes?

This Site reported when the US government slapped its original 220 per cent tariff on Bombardier, in a move that seemed intended to serve notice on the UK that leaving the EU will destroy our aerospace industry altogether.

It seems Theresa May’s government has been in touch with the States about it – and what happened?

The new tariff has been a gift for the Labour Party. Here‘s Owen Smith, Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, making the obvious points:

“While Theresa May worries about press coverage of the phony P45 she was handed this week, more than 4,000 Bombardier workers in Belfast are worried that they’ll receive a real one unless her Government brings Boeing and its allies at the US Commerce Department to the negotiating table.

“Given that the UK Government is Boeing’s second biggest client – we spend over £1.5 billion with them every year – it is inconceivable that ministers have not been able to negotiate a better deal.

“The Government must tell the public what pressure it has really placed on Boeing and on the US Administration. Without any evidence of concrete action, concerns will grow that UK ministers have naively accepted Boeing’s assurances about the safety of jobs in Belfast or worse, have negligently accepted Bombardier job losses as ‘collateral damage’ in their post-Brexit strategy.”

The US Department of Commerce has again ruled against aerospace firm Bombardier in its dispute with rival Boeing.

A further tariff of 80% has been imposed on the import of Bombardier’s C-Series jet to the US for alleged below-cost selling.

This is on top of an earlier tariff of 220% which related to subsidies Bombardier got from Canada and the UK.

There have been warnings that the import tariffs could threaten Bombardier jobs in Belfast.

About 1,000 jobs are linked to the C-Series, the wings of which are made at a purpose-built £520m factory in the city.

Source: Further tariff of 80% imposed on import of C-Series plane – BBC News


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Bombardier and the reason #Brexit will further cripple UK industry

A Bombardier C-series jet, part of the Delta airline fleet.

The US Government has decided to slap a huge, 219 per cent tariff on imports into that country of a new aeroplane made by Northern Ireland-based company Bombardier, in a protectionist move that seems intended to give notice to the UK that our aerospace industry will be ruined by Brexit.

It would more than triple the cost of a C-Series aircraft sold in the US to about $61 million per plane, based on Boeing’s assertion that US airline Delta, which has bought the planes, received them for $19 million each.

The US Department of Commerce agreed with Boeing’s case that Bombardier had received unfair, anti-competitive state support from the Quebec regional government.

Bombardier, which has also received £113m in repayable funding from the UK government, called the decision “absurd and divorced from the reality about the financing of multibillion-dollar aircraft programmes”.

It seems the company is right. Here’s Chris Kendall on Twitter to explain:

What do you think? And what does this mean for the Conservative Party’s deal with the Northern Irish DUP?


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Nissan deal has created a financial nightmare for UK taxpayers. Thanks for nothing, Tories!

Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn received assurances from the prime minister that the carmaker would be shielded from the impact of Brexit [Montage: FT/Getty].

Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn received assurances from the prime minister that the carmaker would be shielded from the impact of Brexit [Montage: FT/Getty].

It’s looking as though Anna Soubry was right and Nissan was indeed offered a ‘sweetener’ deal to stay in the UK after Brexit.

It seems certain that other firms will rush to secure similar assurances – that would leave the Treasury, and the hard-working UK citizens the Tories are so fond of praising, seriously out of pocket.

It seems the Conservative Government under Theresa May is unsafe wherever it goes.

If it denies any further ‘sweeteners’ to other multinational firms, they may pack their bags and head for the continent.

If it gives in, then not only will it seem weak but it will also create a spending commitment that taxpayers will struggle to meet.

So a deal that the Tories were touting as a huge victory only two days ago now stands revealed as a monumental mess.

Still, it’s a rosy result for Nissan and company director Carlos Ghosn, who will build two new models at a plant in Sunderland from 2019.

These are the X-trail and the Qashqai – although Mr Ghosn may wish to consider renaming the latter.

In the light of recent events, ‘Cash Cow’ seems more appropriate.

Nissan warned the British government that the carmaker would wind down UK operations if it was not guaranteed competitive trading conditions with Europe, according to two people involved in negotiations over future investment in its Sunderland plant.

During talks that led to a meeting between Theresa May and Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn, the Japanese carmaker said it was prepared to shift production to its Spanish and French factories in a move that would lead to the closure of its British plant and other UK sites.

Government assurances offered to Nissan led to its decision this week to locate two new cars at the plant from 2019, safeguarding more than 30,000 jobs at the site and in its supply chain.

Sunderland’s closure would have caused a political tidal wave and set a precedent for other carmakers to locate future work outside Britain.

Rival carmakers are now demanding the same assurances offered to Nissan to shield them from the impact of Brexit. While technology and pharmaceuticals companies are prioritising visas for skilled workers, other exporters including chemicals manufacturers have set tariff-free access to the EU as a priority.

The prime minister’s office faces calls from Labour to disclose details of its exact pledges to Nissan, including the contents of a letter written by Greg Clark, the business secretary, to Nissan’s executive committee in Japan.

According to several people familiar with the contents of the letter, it contains the same assurances that were offered to Mr Ghosn by the prime minister — namely that the carmaker would face no change in its trading conditions following Britain’s exit from the EU.

Source: Nissan warned government on fate of Sunderland without deal

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