Letters to the Editor - 14/05 - Power to town halls, Political risk, Best of Twitter

Power to town halls

[Re: Radically decentralising power to town halls may pay UK growth dividend, Monday]

While I broadly agree with the premise of Philip Booth’s piece, it is plainly wrong to suggest that coalition ministers aren’t interested in fiscal devolution. In the face of strong opposition from Treasury officials, we managed to get a business rate retention scheme on the statute books in 2012. Although the local share isn’t as high as I would have liked, it has still given councils a real incentive to grow their base by supporting private sector-led growth. Increase this local share, and we won’t be a million miles off the landscape envisaged by Booth.

Bob Neill MP, former local government minister


Political risk

[Re: Is political uncertainty the biggest concern for UK firms? yesterday]

Political uncertainty is just one of a number of risks facing UK firms. It should not be ignored, but neither should it be overstated. Few accurately predict interest rate movements, and any surprise in this regard could have a direct and significant impact on businesses across the whole of the UK. Likewise, deflation in Europe is potentially a very dangerous situation, and is difficult to control. The consequences of our largest trading partner entering a deflationary spiral are far more worrying than the current political uncertainties.

Adrian Lowcock, Hargreaves Lansdown



What gives these parliamentary committees the right to intimidate companies?

Now Astrazeneca executives seek to slag off Pfizer to protect their own jobs. Hope MPs realise that.

There’s not much of a pro-Russia movement in Ukraine. But there’s a growing anti-Kiev movement.

More and more people bearish on China, even saying it is in a recession. I’m optimistic. Lots of catch up to come.