Not exactly much he could do...
The wider economic environment, coupled with the enormous amounts of money pissed up against the wall by Brown & co, mean that we don't exactly have a lot of room for manoeuvre.
George Osborne promised 12 more UK cities £50m in funding to roll out ultrafast broadband during his mini-budget speech this lunchtime. He added that £1bn could be saved if public services were shifted online. The chancellor admitted to Parliament that he had fallen short of his deficit and debt cutting targets, but insisted …
Nonsense. Last time I looked it was the financial industry that crashed the economy in 2008. Fat Gordon was always there to shill for them. But if he hadn't been on their side, he could have done a lot more to avoid the crash.
Spending more on nurses and teachers was never an issue, and still isn't today - not to anyone who knows real economics, and isn't just parroting the usual bollocks.
As for Osbo - he could tax mansions and land. He could tax corporations and executive pay. He could get all Keynesian and invest money in useful infrastructure, creating real and useful jobs and lifting consumer spending.
He does none of these things because all he cares about is getting wages down and paying people who do real work less and less, so his Etonian chums pocket more and more cash.
Don't believe me? Check out the 27% increase paid to FTSE-100 execs, sourced from that well known far-left Trotskyist rag the Daily Telegraph.
Funny how 'we're all in this together' has become 'but some are more in it than others.'
Search article for "birmingham". No matches.
I don't see why all the surrounding areas of brum all have fibre or cable, but the city centre isn't scheduled for fibre until December 2013. I think they recently set that date because they couldn't be bothered pushing it back every 3 months any more.
You can argue whether or not we're still the "second city", but we're big enough for fast internet in the centre, dammit!
George Osborne promised 12 more UK cities £50m in funding to roll out
He added that £1bn could be saved if public services were shifted online.
Right, so, he wants to shift services online, but continues to ignore the country. Good luck with that. Unless you get the access to everyone your not going to be making big savings.
I also assume these savings are coming from people laid off, less buildings rented etc. If that is so,are you not just causing another part of the Government to get less money as all the people affected will not be paying tax anymore?
You will make more savings by spending money once on a densely populated city and thus having all the millions of people in that city using online services compared to spending more money on many small rural towns and villages inhabited by a few thousand people.
If you don't like it, either move or stop complaining. Living in rural areas instead of a city has always been a trade-off of convenience vs nice countryside etc. It's no different when it comes to Internet connections. Spending money on making big cities have better connections is the right priority for the economy and from a logical point of view of benefiting more people. It's the reason why generally everything new comes to cities first and to expect it any other way is absurd.
This amount is probably less than the sum total the people of these cities spend in a couple of weeks on the Lotto. I just don't get the whole idea of government subsidies for fast broadband. Do BT just mosey along afterwards and get to charge people through the nose to use infrastructure that taxpayers have built? How does it work?
My council apparently lets me handle my council tax online, but after creating an account, waiting 1 month to get it approved, writing emails and trying to prove who I am, apparently I only have a council account and it takes further approval to enable paying my council tax bill online. Months later and after lots of time and effort, I still don't have it.
My utility bills on the other hand were all set up within minutes and I now pay those bills and manage my accounts online. I would go as far to say that the website for my water company is a pleasure to use and makes my life easier. I suppose the difference is they actually WANT my money? Something tells me they probably spent less money than the local council did though with all the bureaucracy that entails. It's really pathetic at the time it takes and the money involved for government agencies to catch up.
Your water company is very rich indeed, and getting richer thanks to yearly hikes in prices. After all, they're selling you water, as well as getting further state handouts to deal with flooding, and charging you a pretty penny for the rain that runs down the drain! No one bats an eyelid when they're still blaming Victorian drains for flooding sewage into rivers and the sea. Great websites though, I agree.
On the other hand, your council is probably broke, and getting broker (sic). Don't worry. Local government wont exist in about five years. Expect your council tax to be delivering tidy profits to shareholders overseas. So by then you'll pay for police, health, water and education three times instead of the current twice. You'll pay both your council tax and your income tax, and then you'll pay these companies every time you need something done. I'm sure by then they'll have great websites though.
Yes and no.
To some of the multinationals the UK market (important to us) is trivial compared to the market in Brazil, India, Russia, China, Korea, ... A nation of about 60 million does not have a great pull.
But as part of EU we have a part voice in a bunch of collective voices.
The same argument holds for any European nation with its own language and culture - we are relatively weak as singleton nations and relatively strong as nations "together".
Brits also suffer a bit because we drive on the wrong side of the wrong compared to the rest of the world.
All these consequences arise because UK was once a strong and very influential nation (partly because of the British Empire (now gone))
In all of these compromise arrangements there will be an influence on outcomes by nations not in full agreement with the way Brits want things done.
Do the costs justify the results?
Ans: well, that is a different question?
Depends - are you a farmer, career politician, or international tax lawyer?
I used to be an enthusiastic EU-phile, in the days when they forced unwilling Tory governments to accept stuff like human rights and environmental quality standards. But these days I wonder, I really wonder.
I was surprised to see Cambridge and Oxford on the list too - and Perth, where I am, where BT has already rolled out FTTC to the only BT exchange (ESPER) and Virgin have most of the place wired for the so-called "fibre" coax service too - which was supposed to be 120 Mbps, though the website only mentions 100 Mbps again now. Even before FTTC hit, ADSL speeds seem to be pretty good, both BT and unbundled operators (both C&W/Bulldog and Sky/Easynet, as well as TalkTalk/AOL). Where's the funding need?! Maybe there are gaps in the surrounding countryside, but hard to believe those are the most pressing.
Perth in particular is just 20 miles from the (larger) Dundee, whose central exchange ('Dundee Steeple'/ESMAI) still has no FTTC installation date. (It's also the exchange which serves both my brother's home connection and my office...) It lags far behind Perth already ... so it's Perth that gets extra funding to improve further?!
Public services don't move to online. They copy to online. Sure the savings can be big but it is usually at the expense of stripping out the "public" part of public services and increasing exclusion.
Of course - when that happens the services are deemed no longer effective as they are failing to reach those who need them most so they get dumped and replaced with a couple of platitudes from a minister and a committee (on full expenses) looking at why the poor are so feckless.
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