[Re: Why Labour is the natural party of small business and entrepreneurs, Wednesday]
Chuka Umunna’s ideals might be great, but he has incredible chutzpah to trumpet Labour’s credentials for helping small business. The last Labour government presided over a massive increase in the size of the public sector, providing a disincentive for people to be entrepreneurial. It clobbered long-term tax-efficient retirement savings by removing tax breaks on pension fund dividend income. It presided over an ongoing trade deficit, spent so much on welfare benefits, and did nothing to curb excessive borrowing by individuals and ridiculous lending by banks. Finally, it left the economy in recession and the nation with massive debts. What exactly should small businesses be grateful to Labour for? It’s perhaps time Umunna invented “New New” Labour: less spending, lower taxes, incentives to support exports, and for the party to ensure that all parts of the country benefit.
[Re: We will have to save far more as investment returns dwindle, Wednesday]
In Australia, all full-time employees have to contribute 9 per cent of their salary to a defined contribution pension scheme. Whether UK politicians have the foresight to do something similar here still remains to be seen.
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Education reform is necessary. A pass at GCSE is achievable by virtually everyone, rendering them pointless.
The EBacc was one of the few decent reforms the Tories were attempting. And they obviously end up scrapping it.
So what did we learn from Mark Carney yesterday? He’s a diplomat and good communicator. Will he shake up the Bank of England? The jury is out on that one.
EU’s long-term budget may be cut but it’ll remain out of step with economic reality.