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Not just the heirs to Blair

Nope, the Cobbleition is also a proud wearer of the Crown of Brown.

UK Financial Investments said it has agreed to sell 100pc of Northern Rock to Virgin Money for £747m in cash immediately, but this could potentially rise to around £1bn.
Under the deal, another £50m is “expected” to be paid within six months. The Treasury will also benefit by up to £80m if the bank floats in the next five years and retain £150m of Tier 1 capital notes.
Northern Rock, which signalled the start of the financial crisis in Britain when it collapsed in August 2007, is the first bank to be returned to the private sector.
The Newcastle-based lender received a £1.4bn bail-out when it was nationalised in February 2008 at the height of the credit crunch. So on paper, taxpayers end up with a loss of £400m, but this could rise to £650m.

Marvellous. Just fucking marvellous. Memo to Gordon Clown, and of course also to his blinky pet Ed Balls who sadly did quite not lose his seat in the election:

This is why you should have let Northern fucking Rock go to the wall,
you witless pair of financially incompetent cunts.

Happily for them, though miserably for everyone else, they’re not alone.

George Osborne said the deal was a “good thing” for taxpayers, consumers and the banking system.

Did he say that? Did he really fucking say that? The Chumpcellor of the fucking Exchequer thinks that losing nearly half a billion quid, and possibly as much as two thirds of a billion, is a good thing. Has Gordon Brown got his fist up George’s arse and is making his mouth move or something? That’s got to be the most retarded thing to come out of the mouth of the finance minister of an industrialised nation since some fucktroon decided to sell nearly 400 tons of gold near a long term low in its value, and then fucking announce it in advance so the price fell even further. Oh, and that was a British one too, wasn’t it? Come to think of it, it was… well, we all know only too well, don’t we?

And although it wasn’t quite on the scale of the billions and billions Gordon flushed away when he dumped gold at a historic low, which his mouth may well have helped make lower, Boy Georgie thinks it was a good thing for taxpayers to lose another half billion or so. Yes, the Cobbleition inherited the situation, and yes, it was Gordon, his badger faced sock puppet and Ed Bollocks who made the incredibly bad decision to bail out a bank that deserved to fail rather than just make sure of the investors’ statutory protection. And yes, in that position you have to take the best offer you’re going to get, and this is probably better than it might have been. But to have the new-ish Chumpcellor stand there saying it’s anything than the loss of another half a billion pounds, perhaps more, is anything other than a colossal fuckup due entirely to the headless chicken panic response of the previous government is at best not very politically astute and at worst an indication that he’s every bit as fucking stupid as they were.

And of course it’s not over yet because only the good bit of Northern Rock was sold, which is presumably why they only got £747m for it. Oh, no what we can still think of as Northern Wreck is still there. And it’s got company.

In January last year the company was split into a “good bank”, which Virgin has bought, and Northern Rock Asset Management, the “bad bank” of closed mortgages and unsecured loans which remain in Government ownership.
[…]
As well as Northern Rock’s “bad bank”, UKFI still owns Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and Bradford & Bingley.

And I don’t doubt that if or when RBS, Lloyds Group and B&B are sold back into the private sector at a further loss to the taxpayers Georgie Lame will say that’s a good thing too. It’s good that it’s over, but in all other respects it’s hard to find anything good to say about the taxpayers having to drop their trousers and grip their ankles yet again because the fucking Treasury (along with most or all of the rest of government) has got next to no fucking clue how to spend money wisely and thinks there’s an inexhaustible supply of it.

Jesus Christ on a borrowed bicycle, the place is fucking doomed.

Cobbleition out-Labouring Labour for the second time this week

It was less than 48 hours ago that I was sitting here abusing the Cobbleition for being as bad a bunch of bastards as Labour was because, like Labour, they’re sticking the details of innocent people into a police database. Now I’m going to have to do it again.

This is Chancer of the Exchequer George Osborne speaking in 2006 on the then Chancer Snot Muncher McDoom’s decision to impose a stealth tax on private pensions shortly after Labour came to power nine years earlier.

George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, said: “Gordon Brown’s pension raid was one of his first and worst acts as Chancellor. Pensioners will be paying a heavy price for many, many years to come.”

So I’m looking forward to hearing what he has to say to justify this news:

George Osborne, the Chancellor, is considering a £7 billion “raid” on middle-class pensions perks.
[…]
Discussions have begun at the Treasury over the move which would see the axing of tax relief currently paid out on pension contributions by people who pay income tax at the higher rates of 40 per cent and 50 per cent.
[…] The Sunday Telegraph understands that the plans for ending so-called “higher-rate” relief have restarted as Mr Osborne targets immediate cash flow savings as easy “wins”.
[…]
Some Conservative MPs expect the axing of higher-rate relief to be merely the first stage in a more extensive and radical plan which would end up with all tax relief – including on contributions made by people paying the basic 20p rate of income tax – being abolished, saving £22 billion a year in total.

So, Gordon took £5 billion a year and it was, according to The Boy George, one of his worst acts as Chancer and one for which pensioners would pay for years to come, and now the hypocritical shit is thinking about taking £7 billion – which is more or less exactly the same fucking amount after adjusting for inflation (38% since 97). Like I said, I’m looking forward to hearing how Georgie justifies this. I mean, what the fuck is he thinking of by even considering it? I know the country has money problems, thanks in no small part for the profligate spunking away of other people’s money by the aforementioned connoisseur of nasal effluence, but you know what, George? You could try maybe spending less fucking money instead. The Telegraph even tells you how.

Saving £7 billion a year would be the equivalent of axing three government departments – Energy and Climate Change, whose budget is £2.9 billion a year, Environment Food and Rural Affairs, also £2.9 billion, and Culture, Media and Sport, (£1.5 billion).

Depending on your point of view one of those departments has a track record of incompetence that would have seen it chopped long ago had it been in the private sector, another appears to be so busy plotting Britain’s economic destruction that it can only save a fortune in the long run by abolishing it now, and the third appears not to be a fucking government function anyway. Alternatively you could make the supposed bonfire of the QUANGOs into an actual fucking bonfire by getting rid of the fucking lot, rather than the entry level Foreman Grill of the QUANGOs that still left billions being spent on rent seekers and time waster. And the EU, oh George, do we even need to go over yet again how much money Britain’s membership of this Debt of the Month Club is costing everyone in the country? It’s not even just the regular annual cost these days but the additional costs of the bailouts and loans to other member nations whose creditworthiness is considered too risky for them to be able to borrow money from the usual sources.

Lots of options, George, but the one that seems to find most favour at the moment involves screwing yet more money out of Britain’s dwindling stock of economically productive citizens. That you’re going for the well off, people who’ve on salaries far larger than I’ve ever been lucky enough to earn, is neither here nor there. The message is coming through loud and clear, George: if you’re a high earner you’re better off not earning it in Britain, because the government is eyeing your fucking wallets again. Once again I’m singing the same depressing chorus – it’s like Labour never really went away, isn’t it?

Fucking exactly like it.

And the devious, hypocritical, tax-happy, thieving shower of cunts call themselves Conservatives? Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

That white fluffy stuff appearing over your eyes is wool

Still, nice try on the part of George Osbourne.

The Chancellor said he remained focused on reducing the UK’s budget deficit, which stands at about £122bn this year, as he spoke at a meeting of European finance ministers and central bank governors in Hungary.
“I made it clear that unlike the Irish case the UK will not be making a bilateral loan to Portugal. British taxpayers’ money will not be lent directly to Portugal,” he said.

I hope everyone has spotted that the operative word Georgie Boy is using there is ‘directly’. He has to say that because he know sdamn well that he has no ability, none whatsoever, to prevent British taxpayers’ money going to Portugal indirectly as long as the UK hands over £9 billion a year to the European Union, the entity now hosing money at Portugal and whose income of course comes from the taxes of member states’ citizens. £9 bn is about 7 or 8 per cent of your budget deficit there, George, and you’re giving it to people who are in turn going to ‘lend’ about £90 bn to Portugal. Or to look at it another way, the money will go to Portugal over the next three years and Britain’s EU contributions during that time will be getting close to £30 billion, or a third of the value of the loan.

But it’s okay because George says that there will be no direct loan from Britain to Portugal. Any money that comes from the £30 billion that he’ll have taken at gunpoint from British citizens and given to the EU is indirect and somehow doesn’t count. And in a way I suppose it doesn’t since once it’s gone it’s gone and it makes little practical difference where it ends up. Doesn’t help the deficit much, let alone the actual nation debt, but presumably Georgie is hoping to save a few quid by closing some tax avoidance loopholes reducing the number of perfectly legal methods of minimising tax liabilities (with an exception clause for disHonourable Members of Parliament, natch).

New tax year, same old MPs. After Budget promises to tackle tax avoidance, Parliament is passing legislation to block several loopholes – but an obscure clause specifically exempts MPs from these new restrictions.

“HM Revenue & Customs says that this legislation is only there to stop ‘tax avoidance’. However, Section 554E(8) specifically exempts members of the House of Commons and the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority from the new legislation in situations where they are actually caught by it.”

Do go read the whole thing, and if you were one of the 25 million or so who voted for the usual suspects last year I hope it’s a wake up call – nothing significant has changed. Oh, about 150 troughers didn’t bother to stand again and a bunch more lost their seats, a few of them are going to prison, Labour has gone into opposition, the Speaker was replaced even before the election, and Britain now has the LibConservial Dimotive Cobbleition running things, but all the same nothing significant has changed. Just look around. The government is still spending money it hasn’t got at an ever accelerating rate (just accelerating less rapidly than under the snot munching madman), it’s still intending to make current and, in the case of the national debt, future tax payers foot the bills, and both it and the political class from which it comes are conspiring to give themselves breaks and advantages so they can continue to avoid the pain they’re going to inflict on the proles. I’m not even going to begin to cover the continuing nannying of almost every fucking thing imaginable or, in contrast to pre-election talk, the decidedly lukewarm attitude to personal liberty. There is, as I’ve said before, not three main parties but one with three wings, and with a few notable exceptions all three wings are composed entirely of cunts who can neither be trusted to look after your businesses, your welfare or your wallet.

So if you voted for the usual mob, especially if you did it to keep one of the ‘other two’ out and even more so if it was something along the lines of your parents always voted that way, I do hope you’re thoroughly fucking proud of yourself now.* This time round you had any number of independents, micro parties, and mini-parties to choose from, UKIP being only the most well known and LPUK being the one that would bring you the most freedom, but 25 million of you still chose to vote for Labour, Conservatives or the inappropriately named Liberal Democrats.*

As the man in the mask put it, if you want to know who to blame you need only look in a mirror. In the meantime if the fact that George Osbourne is removing your opportunity to pay less tax at the same time as handing over more of it to the EU so they can give it to member states whose governments have been even more profligate than any of Britain’s, I can recommend a cast iron strategy for legally avoiding UK tax entirely:

Just get the fuck out of there.

* The same applies if you voted for your parents’ party’s opponents. Fair enough if you were one of the fortunate few with a decent offering from the usual lot, and the same applies if there really wasn’t any decent independent or minor party option and you were left with the choice of the least worst candidate or not voting at all. Personally I’d spoil the ballot paper first but in any case I’m not talking to you but to the vast numbers who voted for similarity in the expectation of change, often for very poor reasons that they really hadn’t thought much about.

Mortgage rationing.

Oh, great. Another authoritarian twat deciding for businesses who they may deal with and for customers what contracts they can enter into.

Mortgage lending would be “capped” to stop borrowers taking out risky loans under radical Bank of England plans to prevent a repeat of the credit crisis, a senior official has disclosed.
Charlie Bean, the Bank’s Deputy Governor, said “direct constraints” may be needed to restrict access to credit, and that homebuyers could be forced to put down sizeable deposits before being granted a mortgage by their banks or building societies. This would mean that prospective buyers would have to put down between 10 per cent and 25 per cent of a property’s purchase price as a deposit before being able to obtain a loan.
It is the first time that a senior official has indicated that the Bank may intervene directly with new rules on so-called “loan to value ratios” to stop risky lending. In the years before the credit crunch, some borrowers were lent 125 per cent of their property’s value and became stuck in negative equity when prices crashed. The move would also mark the return of so-called “credit controls” — scrapped in the early 1980s — which made it difficult for many borrowers to get a mortgage.
The Bank of England is expected to be given responsibility for regulating the overall banking market in the autumn after new laws are introduced by George Osborne, the Chancellor.
Over the weekend, Mr Bean published a policy paper at an international conference detailing how the Bank would approach its new role. There had been speculation earlier in the summer that Mr Osborne favoured a “mortgage cap” although he has never publicly discussed the scheme.

/facepalm

It’s like Labour never really went away, isn’t it?

Last month, the Financial Services Authority, the current banking regulator, said that a policy of limiting mortgages was “too blunt” and could “unfairly deny” loans to creditworthy Britons.
But, in a speech to other central bankers in America, Mr Bean raised the prospect for the first time of the Bank restricting the size of mortgages as part of a package of measures to stop the economy overheating.
He indicated that, in future, the Bank of England should take a multifaceted approach that included setting interest rates; ensuring banks had sufficient capital to stop them going bust; and intervening directly to restrict mortgages or other credit. After describing the other policy measures, Mr Bean said in his speech: “Finally, there is the option of introducing direct constraints on the terms or availability of credit, for instance imposing maximum loan-to value ratios in the mortgage market.
“The best approach seems likely to involve a portfolio of instruments.”

Pardon this humble amateur for disagreeing, but I feel the best approach is to stay the fuck out and let people and businesses get on with things themselves for better or worse. Yes, it probably was stupid to go letting people 125% mortgages, and it was equally stupid of those individuals to over extend themselves to that extent (actually, over extending yourself at all probably isn’t a good idea). But the biggest disincentive to borrowing that much ought to be personal bankruptcy, and the biggest reason not to loan money in those kind of proportions is the risk of the entire bank collapsing around your ears. All that is achieved by trying to put in some kind of hard ceiling is a lot of people looking for ways to squeeze through the gaps around the edges, if not actually knock holes through the bloody thing. On top of that there will still be lenders for whom lending to the limit is still just a little too much for their institution, and borrowers for whom the maximum allowed mortgage is still a little more than would have been wise. And we all know what will happen, don’t we? The cries will go up:

‘But it’s not our fault. It was within the new guidelines. It was within your rules. It’s not our fault. We only did as much as you said we could do. It’s not our fault. Help us!’

And what can you do then? How can you say no? Not only did you not say so last time but actually they will be right – you will have taken control and responsibility away from them and should not then be surprised when it turns out they are not in control and are being irresponsible. So someone will go on TV to say that lessons will be learned and others will dream up new limits and regulations to fail to prevent something similar happening again.

Alternatively you could just make people 100% responsible for their choices now. Lenders loan what they like and borrowers borrow what they can in the strict understanding that they will go bust if they lend too much, and the state will not lift the smallest finger to save them. The only regulation that the BoE ought to be thinking of insisting on is that all mortgage applications state in 72 point bold on the front page and above the signature box, “You’re on your own.”

How much? (Part 2)

Temporarily removed for correction