Tag Archives: Conservative

No, the UK hasn’t “maxed out its credit cards” | Instant News


Britain’s debt level has exceeded 100 percent of GDP for the first time since 1961, and Rishi Sunak’s planned cuts and tax increases will hardly take effect – even if he isn’t forced to repeal them, which in itself is a big deal. presumption.

Nothing is Sunak announced today which would have seen Britain almost reduce its debt, and indeed in the short term many of its actions would add to it.

Should we be worried? Is this country close to “maximizing its credit cards”? The short answer is no. Britain has two ways to spend more than it collects in tax revenue. The first is being able to borrow money on the international money market. At present, governments, especially in developed countries, find this very easy, because private sector consumption is weak, private investment is still weaker, and interest among savers for risk is very low: as far as they are concerned, low-risk government debt is one- the only game in town. Because interest rates are very low worldwide, the costs of paying these debts are also very low, and because the UK has debts that are due, they are very much protected from changes in interest rates. However, it is unlikely that interest rates will rise much in the short term.

Of course, if private sector spending and investment increases, and if growth and inflation increase, then all governments will face constraints on their ability to raise money in this way. However, this will be good it will increase the government’s financial flexibility in a number of ways. Growth and income will rise, which will increase tax revenue and make it easier politically to raise taxes. The enormous degree of freedom that governments have to borrow is a product of economic conditions that have many negative consequences, including on the ability of governments to finance their activities without borrowing.

Basically, everyone – the International Monetary Fund, the Institute of Fiscal Studies, almost any economist – agrees that today we don’t have to worry about government deficits or debt, and that governments should borrow more, not just because of current market conditions. make it easy, but because they need actively someone who acts as a haven for savers. Now is the time for the government to spend time: and the dual task of defusing the Coronavirus recession and facilitating the transition to a greener economy is an ideal policy priority.

Then there is another way the British government can fund its activities, namely by using the lending capacity of our independent central bank to borrow money directly. The exact limitations and drawbacks of this facility are debatable – but it doesn’t matter, as we are so far from having to rely on them. Talk of the government having “maxed out the national credit card” is economically illiterate and should be avoided.

[see also: Why the UK’s surging national debt does not mean austerity must follow]

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No, the UK hasn’t “maxed out its credit cards” | Instant News


Britain’s debt level has exceeded 100 percent of GDP for the first time since 1961, and Rishi Sunak’s planned cuts and tax increases will hardly take effect – even if he isn’t forced to repeal them, which in itself is a big deal. presumption.

Nothing is Sunak announced today which would have seen Britain almost reduce its debt, and indeed in the short term many of its actions would add to it.

Should we be worried? Is this country close to “maximizing its credit cards”? The short answer is no. Britain has two ways to spend more than it collects in tax revenue. The first is being able to borrow money on the international money market. At present, governments, especially in developed countries, find this very easy, because private sector consumption is weak, private investment is still weaker, and interest among savers for risk is very low: as far as they are concerned, low-risk government debt is one- the only game in town. Because interest rates are very low worldwide, the costs of paying these debts are also very low, and because the UK has debts that are due, they are very much protected from changes in interest rates. However, it is unlikely that interest rates will rise much in the short term.

Of course, if private sector spending and investment increases, and if growth and inflation increase, then all governments will face constraints on their ability to raise money in this way. However, this will be good it will increase the government’s financial flexibility in a number of ways. Growth and income will rise, which will increase tax revenue and make it easier politically to raise taxes. The enormous degree of freedom that governments have to borrow is a product of economic conditions that have many negative consequences, including on the ability of governments to finance their activities without borrowing.

Basically, everyone – the International Monetary Fund, the Institute of Fiscal Studies, almost any economist – agrees that today we don’t have to worry about government deficits or debt, and that governments should borrow more, not just because of current market conditions. make it easy, but because they need actively someone who acts as a haven for savers. Now is the time for the government to spend time: and the dual task of defusing the Coronavirus recession and facilitating the transition to a greener economy is an ideal policy priority.

Then there is another way the British government can fund its activities, namely by using the lending capacity of our independent central bank to borrow money directly. The exact limitations and drawbacks of this facility are debatable – but it doesn’t matter, as we are so far from having to rely on them. Talk of the government having “maxed out the national credit card” is economically illiterate and should be avoided.

[see also: Why the UK’s surging national debt does not mean austerity must follow]

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Why worry about the US-UK “special relationship” ignore the reality | Instant News


Consider the breast. By statue I mean, of course, referring to the statue of Winston Churchill, who sat in the Oval Office until Barack Obama took office and the loan from the British government ended. There are actually two statues and one remains in the White House, but many, including now-Prime Minister Boris Johnson, claimed if not. The “removal” of the statue was seen as a sign by some conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic that Obama was somehow anti-British.

One might also consider toast; especially the one Obama gave the Queen when the national anthem was played. Or iPod; that Obama gave to the Queen. Or another statue that Trump moved into the Oval Office, telling then-prime minister Theresa May that, “It’s great to have Churchill back.”

As an alternative, one could consider an interview Sir Kim Darroch gave us World Review podcasts, in which he shared that the British Embassy in Washington, DC, said of president-elect Joe Biden, “he’s definitely going through the best, and the best is never that good,” which is seen as another bad omen for US-UK relations. Or Biden is proud to be Irish-American – telling the BBC, “BBC? I’m Irish! “- led several commentators to wonder whether Ireland can be a bridge to Britain for the United States.

Brouhaha over each of the above, on the one hand, understandable. Diplomats often worry about flag sizes, seating charts, proper protocol, and it is unreasonable to expect American and British diplomats not to withstand the shock of a mistake.

But on the other hand, it’s too much. And it’s exaggerated for an undue reason: the idea of ​​special relationships.

Whenever one of these things happens, or this person is appointed to a role, or that person steps down, or someone else gives an unpleasant speech, there is anxiety in the political and expert class that that special relationship no longer exists. That this statue, this iPod, this president – is the thing that broke it. Headlines from last week included, “Biden saw Trump echo in Boris Johsnon. Will that complicate the special relationship? ” from CNN and “The special relationship is over” from FT.

Maybe that’s true. Maybe no more special relationship. Maybe never. Biden’s first phone call was to Canada. The US also has special – and complex – relations with countries such as Germany, France, South Korea and Japan.

But the US-UK relationship is, if not special, strong, and certainly strong enough to withstand no breast plucking or comment by the former ambassador. Britain is one of the few non-EU NATO members paying above 2 percent of its GDP for defense, and is undoubtedly a military ally of America. The US and the UK are both on Five Eyes, an intelligence-sharing group, which won’t disband because Trump walks in front of the Queen or Boris Johnson making another gruesome comment about the US presidents’ ancestry (though he should stop doing that).

“There is an obsession with PM / president dynamics. It is true, “said Andrew Overton, former deputy head of communications and spokesman at the British Embassy in Washington, DC. But” there is friendship between members of Congress and members of parliament, across all armed forces … working together where military events take place , You see Britain doing more in the Pacific. ”

The relationships that I see and talk about often are what is under the political relationship. “I think that’s where the relationship remains and has always been strong,” he said.

America’s trade in goods and services with Britain was also at its peak total about $ 273 billion in 2019. And that’s without addressing what came to be known as soft culture: that Britain was top goal for American students studying abroad, for example, as well as for many crossovers in music, literature, and film.

And failure to acknowledge the strength of the relationship by worrying too much about its special status also risks making two major mistakes.

The first is that those who do are in danger of losing the true threat to the relationship. To harp, for example, about Joe Biden’s Irish legacy as a potential threat to the US-UK deal is to ignore the fact that Democrats in particular, and American politicians more broadly, see themselves as happily responsible and thus committed to the Friday Treaty. Great. It’s that danger that will really threaten the trade agreement with the United States.

The second is that it doesn’t give enough credit to the United States, or Britain, or all the officials that make those relationships work from day to day. It does not allow for an honest assessment of where we are. It doesn’t have to be too special. It just needs to work. And, so far at least, still. It lasted four years for Trump, and Brexit, and Nigel Farage at work Fox News as a political analyst.

It had even survived the breakdown above the breast.

[See also: Why the real special relationship is between the US and Ireland]

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What did Boris Johnson mean when he said Britain was ending the “era of retreat”? | Instant News


Boris Johnson used a catchy phrase this morning in announcing an increase in defense spending (this means that at the next election defense spending will be £ 7 billion higher than planned): that Britain’s “retreat era” is over.

This phrase stands out for two reasons. The first is that in the last ten years Britain has actively joined the two wars, while not completely breaking away from the two wars that began in the previous decade. In the previous decade, they participated in three more, in addition to a series of other minor military operations. Great Britain was more active militarily in the last 30 years than in the last three decades of the Cold War. There are a number of different opinions to be had on military operations in Iraq, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Iraq again, Libya, Iraq for the third time, and Syria, but one thing that I don’t think you can reasonably say about this period is that it is an era back off.

The reason these two expressions stand out is because of Johnson himself against many of these operations. As editor Audience, he opposed Tony Blair’s intervention in Serbia to stop ethnic cleansing. As Mayor of London, he refrained from giving full support to David Cameron to intervene in Syria in 2013, and warned against arming Syrian rebels. He voted for the Iraq war but, like many supporters of the conflict, he has long since withdrawn and has been very critical of the war. He criticized British intervention in Libya, saying that the government had been “too optimistic” in its approach to the conflict. If England is in an “era of retreat” it must be said that Johnson is in tune with the mood of the era.

But the reality – and this is the real reason the phrase stands out – is that Britain is not yet in a retrograde era. The idea he had, and that “Great Britain is back” may be an electorally popular idea and a strong political message, is not true. What the United Kingdom lacks is a thorough and serious strategic plan for its foreign and defense policy objectives. The United Kingdom last undertook a proper review of its defense capabilities when the New Labor Party took office, and the country’s exit from the European Union, the continuing political instability in the United States and a series of new threats and challenges all mean the timing is right. for new.

The difficulty is that we have an expenditure announcement prior to the review, making it difficult to assess this expenditure commitment and its effectiveness. But the branding of “retrograde age” makes it hard not to feel that a large, shiny choice of equipment that is electorally satisfying is likely to win over a well-funded foreign and defense policy strategy.

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Why do we lock again? Because Britain doesn’t learn from European mistakes | Instant News


Britain will undertake a second national lockdown, with the leave scheme reverted to its original 80 percent level, as the increasing caseload forced Boris Johnson to abandon the regional lockdown system, in a defeat for the cabinet fiscal rioters, who are trying to open the UK and, with it, reduce financial support.

The reality is nothing really changed in the last few days. We can already see, as the new coronavirus arrived elsewhere in Europe before arriving in the UK, that regional lockdowns are not working. In France, the government must first scale its color code to add a humiliating and senseless “dark red” above its highest level, before moving to stricter national measures. The United Kingdom has essentially introduced a “triple plus tier” which is louder than the default triple tier size.

Downing Street, at least, has avoided some of the other halfway measures France has opted for, such as a national curfew, but the truth is that the British government’s changing coronavirus strategy is a political issue, not a policy issue: policy arguments from government scientific advisers, and stories from around the world. that a country by its size, type and demography, without the ability to test, track, and most importantly, separate New cases of the novel coronavirus cannot maintain a functioning health care system without the lockdowns unchanged. What has changed is that the government was briefly willing to pay the political price for it to avoid spending more money on economic support measures, and not anymore.

The UK government is currently short on three measures: the English language test and tracing system does not trace high enough contact rates, statutory sick wages are too low, and we have no provisions for central isolation. But as the higher rate of contact tracing in Wales shows, you can’t escape lockdowns with enhanced testing and tracing alone – you can only avoid locking if you have the capacity to isolate a new case. That’s why Germany, which has a better testing and tracking system than Britain, has also entered a new lockdown.

That leaves Johnson with the same question his Western European counterparts are facing, namely: why do we think we are special? The choice of coronavirus – unless you have a much younger population than the UK – is to overwhelm your health care system, to build the equipment needed to test, track and quarantine new cases, or to reactivate, periodically kill. lockdown. It was never clear why any British, German or French government thought they could avoid this option.

Whatever you may think of the ban on non-essential goods in Wales, or the Scottish experiment with liquor-free pubs, the Labor-Liberal Democratic Party government in Wales and the SNP government in Scotland have made the decision one way or another. There is never reason to believe that Britain can avoid today’s announcement, and the only realistic way to prevent another lockdown in the spring is for either the promising medical advances to come either or for the British government to do what it didn’t. Europeans. colleagues have tried: to build the infrastructure necessary to test, trace and isolate new cases of the new coronavirus.

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