Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Lockerbie economy

I hope that the Lockerbie bomber was let out on compassionate grounds. It shows that this country at least is capable of compassion. It was a difficult outcome and would be controversial whatever may happen. If it wasn't based upon a humanitarian reason then really it does put us in the same position as the rest of the world. If I was a relative of the a victim of that outrage then I too would be upset, but also think on this. If we by this gesture stop more Lockerbies from happening isn't that a good thing?
I know the Americans are angry about it but wasn't a deal done to get the two journalists out of North Korea or the American idiot who now has stopped the pro democracy leader in Burma from participating in the next election, so enabling the military powers to keep power for another long term. Do the Americans send a senator to protest, (I didn't hear anything), no he gets the American out of jail and back to the USA.
I dare say it was about oil. It generally is these days. Which leads me on to the idiocy of raising tax in a recession. It's not just the duty on petrol but the VAT on the duty. I am not sure but is the government taking 65% of the price of petrol in tax, plus in March unless the money runs out the scrappage scheme stops. Well that really helps the economy.It doesn't help the car industry but it helps the banks or finance houses that give the loans to buy the new cars. Does it really help the car industry? What car industry? Does the government mean car imports or cars built here for foreign companies who make more profits for their home company? If governments, any governments want to aid the economy then lets drop the cost of VAT on building. If you buy materials you pay VAT plus vat on the services, such as employing a plumber. We complain about houses falling into disrepair and not enough houses in the first place well how about dropping VAT on materials by half. The amount of work that would take place would easily cover the first instance shortfall in government revenue. Householders would be able to employ builders or even do it themselves so stimulating the economy through retail and the housing market through improved sales.
We now need a radical rethink in policy. Instead of the simple methods of more of less public spending which never works, depending on who is in government lets have some stimulating ideas about running the economy. Instead of nuclear power lets start by giving houses the opportunity of buying solar panels (without VAT) and proper grants. Have you tried to read the material about getting a grant to put in solar panels? I am reading a book on French revolutions series of economic blunders which led to the reign of terror and that is easier to understand than the documents from the government.
Lets actually stop and think about how to maintain a decent economy, without recourse to oil, but then without oil we wouldn't be in the Middle East,but then that brings us back to Lockerbie.

1 comment:

John Beech said...

A couple of (unrelated) points: 1) 'this country' of course refers to Scotland, not England or the UK, and 2) following this story on Scottish chatlines, I found the name which keeps appearing is Lt. Calley (of Mai Lai massacre infamy), who, it might well be argued, received a lot more compassion (from the US government) than Megrahi has from the Scottish parliament.