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Rising slowly

Nick Robinson | 10:49 UK time, Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares!

Unemployment is rising slower than many economists and, indeed, the government feared.

Job centreThe number of people signing on rose in September by the smallest amount in 16 months (the Office for National Statistics reported this morning that the claimant count rose by 20,800, below expectations of a rise of up to 25,000).

What's more the wider so-called International Labour Organisation (ILO) measure of unemployment did not breach the 2.5 million mark as expected.

Now if you're one of those who's just lost their job or fears losing it this will come as absolutely no comfort.

However, government ministers are now expecting an unexpected windfall of several billion pounds which was set aside to pay for higher levels of unemployment planned for in the chancellor's Budget.

This will allow the Treasury to make future "savings" (in reality, of course, simply a reduction in what they would otherwise have had to borrow) without making cuts.

Ministers are also set to claim that this slowing in the rate of increase in unemployment is down to their policies and interventions which the Tories...well, you know the rest of the script.

The real economic debate will surely focus on whether it's British labour market flexibility, other inherent features of the UK economy or dodgy forecasts that account for these better than expected figures - or should that be "not as bad as feared" - rather than any short term small scale government interventions.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    These figures take little account of the people on short time work or those with savings who do not register as unemployed. Whilst I would like to believe things were getting better, I see little improvement in the real world and would take the figures with a pinch of salt.

  • Comment number 2.

    Like *1 I too am suspicious of the figures. The Government's record on 'manipulation' of statistics is so well known that I would really want to see independent verification before accepting them.

    T'would be interesting to see where jobs are being lost, and where employers are still recruiting.

  • Comment number 3.

    I haven't had this experience myself, my friends and collegues have been losing their jobs increasingly rapidly it seems. Surely though it would make sense, for the government to go ahead with proposed cuts, and count this "windfall" as another cut to speed up the painfull process? Economics not being my strong suit, I'm guessing theres a reason they can't or won't which someone here will point out to me.

  • Comment number 4.

    And this is all thats going on thats worth reporting on today from inside the bubble?

    Nothing about Jackboots Smith being elevated to the peerage? Nothing about ex-Speaker Martin taking his place in the HoL? Nothing further about Legg? Or the 500 extra troops for Afghan?

    All that you could dig up was:

    "Ministers are also set to claim that this slowing in the rate of increase in unemployment is down to their policies and interventions which the Tories...well, you know the rest of the script."

    Yeah we know the rest of the script, Nick.

    You just seem to spend most of your time reading it to us.

    Precisely what DO you Edit??

  • Comment number 5.

    it is high time the government, that claims to be all powerful in all things economic, accepted that the multiplier on government spending is and always has been under one times.

    it doesn't matter where tyou go in the world, governments worldwide have never been able to achieve a mulltipier on their investment over one times.

    So sooner or later this government spending has to stop as we are getting less than a dollar return for every dollar they keep spending.

    You can quote unemployment numbers until you are blue in the face but they will not start to come down with any multiplier until the private sector starts to spend money and employ people; otherwise we shall end up deeper and deeper in debt that achieves less and less effect and employ fewer and fewer people.

    It seems strange to me that all economists know this multiplier effect of government spending and yet many are advocates of government spending in many areas where it simply isn't appropriate; the auto sector; the steel sector; the energy sector.

    Cut government spending and cut it now as it is crowding out resources from the private sector.

    Call an election.

  • Comment number 6.

    As one of those looking for work, I can confirm that it's a tough out there.
    I have been surprised by how many vacancies there are, there certainly are lots of jobs out there, the problem is all the competition to fill them. Maybe the government could deport everyone clever than me?

  • Comment number 7.

    How much research have you done Nick?

    I know that the Job Centres are currently over whelmed, and thanks to Brown already cutting the numbers prior to the crash the volume of paperwork being completed is slowing

    If the drop is sustained next month then you can call the bottom, but I for one do not trust the figures and a quick visit to the job centres should re-inforce this

    On top of this the unemployment figures are only those who actually qualify for Job Seekers, not those who were not, or those who chose not to go to the job centre.

    A more reliable figure would be those "economically inactive"

  • Comment number 8.

    An 88000 increase in unemployment in 3 months - what a windfall

    I'm sure those of us affected are really pleased with this 'good' news.

  • Comment number 9.

    I agree with Fubar

    Much more interested in debate around, J Smith, G Kinnock, troop deployments or the merits of asset sell offs... this is rather banal.

    The message, "employment rising slower than expected - governement needs to borrow at a slower rate".... wow.

    Nice positive spin on increasing unemployment though.....

  • Comment number 10.

    Agreed with Fubar as well, my posts got moderated yesterday because I complained about the level of comment from nick on his postings recently and this one is plumming the same depths.

    Nick the unemployment levels not plummeting as much as feared is undoubtedly good news, but its not the most important issue of the day, other commentators here have pointed out numerous other topics that deserve much more attention.

  • Comment number 11.

    as someone looking for work, I'm glad the Tories aren't in. Huge cuts are just what we don't need.
    I was only born in the mid-80s but it sounds like the Slash and Burn, Short Sharp Shock policies that failed then are bubbling under the surface.
    A strong, steady recovery is what we need and I trust Gordy and Darling to deliver that ALOT more than I trust Cameron and Osborne

  • Comment number 12.

    Nick, you say "The real economic debate will surely focus on whether it's British labour market flexibility, other inherent features of the UK economy or dodgy forecasts that account for these better than expected figures."

    I'm personally stumping for option 4 - statistical manipulation and massage. The Tories were good at this last time round but Labour have taken it to an entirely new level!

  • Comment number 13.

    well that's good news Nick, isn't it?

    ... although ONE person losing their Job is one too many, of course

    whether the Job is a useful one (like a traffic warden) or one of questionable value (a middle manager in a large private company, say, or a tax advisor) it is of enormous importance to the person doing it - not so much the Feeding the Soul aspect (although it's very nice if your Job does that) but more from the Paying the Bills point of view

  • Comment number 14.

    Unemploment stats show UK born workforce have shed 695 k jobs while overseas born workers rose by 22k in last quarter:
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 15.

    11

    Doesnt matter whether the Tories are in or not, huge cuts is what you're going to get. Either from the tories or NL if they get back in... or from the IMF, once they knock on the door. Wont matter what political colour the chancellor is at the time.

    Its just a matter of how long you're prepared to wait for them.

    I hope for you that your trust doesnt prove to be misplaced.

  • Comment number 16.

    More statistics:

    Statistics:

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/lmsuk1009.pdf

    Oh dear:

    "The number of people in public sector employment was 6.04 million in June 2009, up 13,000 from
    March 2009. The number of people in private sector employment was 22.85 million, down 230,000
    from March 2009."

  • Comment number 17.

    re 11 Bearded

    No disrespect but if you were born in the mid 80s how do you know what to expect from a Conservative government? You were approximately 12 when the current incumbents took hold

  • Comment number 18.

    My daughter has recently lost her job and faces a 3 week wait for an appointment with the local job centre to register for job seekers allowance. They are totally overwhelmed with applicants.

    The number of unemployed is likely to reach 3 million and some experts forecast a 2nd recession which will make this even worse.

    Nick, you are spreading Labour propaganda, but this is nothing new!

  • Comment number 19.

    I predict another green shoots outburst in the next few weeks! As previous bloggers have already pointed to the under accounting of those wish to work but do not have jobs and those who are working part time but would like full time. To which I would add the many graduates and qualified people who are having to perform menial jobs to earn bread and attend circuses. It is almost inevitable that the talk by government soon will not be about unemployment but about the end of the recession when the only credible definition of its end is when unemployment falls substantially. IT IS STILL RISING!

  • Comment number 20.

    As Gordon Bruar (?) said on last night's Newsnight Scotland, Britain's flexible labour market is one of Thatcher's better gifts to the nation.

  • Comment number 21.

    More statistics:


    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Direct quote:

    "The number of UK born people in employment (not seasonally adjusted) was 25.10 million in the
    three months to June 2009, down 625,000 from the three months to June 2008. The number of
    non-UK born people in employment (not seasonally adjusted) was 3.73 million, up 22,000 from the
    three months to June 2008."

  • Comment number 22.

    I don't believe the figures so nyah.
    I would have thought the Carter-Ruck story would have been of some interest to Nick what with his being a political journalist and them (C-F, sorry, C-R) trying to stop journalists writing about politics?

  • Comment number 23.

    "The employment rate for people of working age was 72.6% in the three months to August 2009. The unemployment rate was 7.9%."

    Office of National Statistics October 2009

    No comment needed.

  • Comment number 24.

    Could it just be the spending of the vast amount of QE money by the government ? As far as I can see, Brown is just throwing money out into the street, hoping to fool the public that things are OK. Meanwhile the huge debt continues to grow, and will have to be dealt with after the election (by the Tories). Labour will, of course, blame them for the difficult times ahead, and point back at the (fake) good times under Labour.

    There's going to be more wasteful spending until the election, so I am tightening my belt a little further in preparation.

  • Comment number 25.

    "This will allow the Treasury to make future "savings" (in reality, of course, simply a reduction in what they would otherwise have had to borrow) without making cuts."

    This does of course assume other things remain equal, particularly that the growth figures in the budget are indeed accurate. If we don't get back to 3% plus growth from 2011, then we'll have to borrow more.

    Given that we were only just growing at this rate on a debt fuelled economy with low interest rates, I'm highly suspicious this will be achievable in a world of much lower debt availability, higher interest rates and higher taxes.

    Still, that all seems to be "Hush Hush" as well.

  • Comment number 26.

    6. At 11:31am on 14 Oct 2009, beardedshrimper wrote:

    Maybe the government could deport everyone clever than me?

    ************

    Don't suggest that - it's probably the only chance Nu Labour have of winning the next election.....

  • Comment number 27.

    This kind of " good news" smacks of media manipulation.
    I expect better from a supposedly impartial broadcaster.

  • Comment number 28.

    Yes statistics certainly can be miss-leading. It's possible for the same thing to be presented in different ways. Like the number of days jacqui Smith did or didn't spend at her sister's. Seems Smith came up with one number and the police who are tasked with protecting her came up with a lower number.

    Not worth looking into, Nick? Either the police were guarding the wrong place and were incompetent or Smith is fibbing. Surely it's in the interest of the nation to find out which?

  • Comment number 29.

    Nick

    "However, government ministers are now expecting an unexpected windfall of several billion pounds which was set aside to pay for higher levels of unemployment planned for in the chancellor's Budget."

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    What part of cloud cuckoo land is this from.

    All of these figures are are based on Darlings stupid forecasts in the last PBR. We were out of recession last JUNE err wait a mo.

    We won't coming out of recession until 2 quarters after he forecast.

    Unexpected windfall?

    Unexpected costs of 6 months of recession you mean and around £45 Billion more debt.

    Please can we have some truth.

  • Comment number 30.

    ~16 "The number of people in public sector employment was 6.04 million in June 2009, up 13,000 fromMarch 2009.
    The number of people in private sector employment was 22.85 million, down 230,000 from March 2009."

    Ain't that the way of Labour. 230,000 less of us supporting 13,000 more of them.

  • Comment number 31.

    An orgy of self-congratulation because ONLY another 88,000 were thrown out of work, meaning ONLY 2,500,000 are now unemployed. A real cause for celebration - based on official figures which you wouldn't trust under any circumstances. And no doubt we'll now have another verbal onslaught from the "Green Shoots" brigade, seeking to justify their fat bonuses, price rises and interest rate increases. These figures are about as trustworthy as yesterday's inflation figures, which alleged annual price rises of just over 1% - the only trouble is, I wish somebody had told the news about low inflation to the people sending me their bills for gas, electricity, water, clothes, fuel and council tax. Caledonian Comment

  • Comment number 32.

    The fact that the unemployment (J.S.A claimants) figures are down, is indicative of nothing, except figure manipulation. There are, as previously mentioned, many far more important stories that have been gilded over.

    If the Government spent as much energy on rescuing the economy as they do on spin, we would be better off. The story is not that unemployment has stopped dropping, no it is that it has not dropped as far as anticipated.

    What is happening to Baroness Scotland? The stories about MPS' expenses has wiped that off the screen. We, the public, do not forget this type of thing; no more than the story about Lord Mandelson on a yacht last summer was never satisfactorily explained. It remains a 'running sore' that will stay at the back of some peoples' minds.

    This is as true of the Jacqui Smith affair. Sir George Young (yes the tory mp.) tried to excuse her. I watched and listened to his explanation on Newsnight and felt sure that it would feature on this blog today - no chance.

  • Comment number 33.

    The unemployment figures are a statistical joke I can not say it often enough every figure from this government for 9 years has been manipulated not recorded properly and or miss matched I personally know when police would not record a reported crime and social workers asked for potential danger reports to be removed to make abuse stats look better.

    Anyone over 60 has to go on pension credits anyone with money or redundancy has to wait on a reserve list anyone leaving school goes into training allowance look round the offices and the works and see the empty car parks the empty buses and trains at rush hour and then tell me the unemployment figures.

    Of course there are two rescue packages at work the scrapage scheme fuelling more household debt and the dropping pound keeping some manufacturing buoyant in fact the sinking pound is the natural result of the market force self balancing but then what do I know about economics. I as an elector allowed some buffoon into office who said they could do the job or did I….mmm. Another slight of hand - time for the truth me thinks.

  • Comment number 34.

    Interesting. Looks as tho GB and AD took the right actions and decisions then despite siren calls from Tories. Nice One.

  • Comment number 35.

    "13. At 11:45am on 14 Oct 2009, sagamix wrote:
    well that's good news Nick, isn't it?

    ... although ONE person losing their Job is one too many, of course

    whether the Job is a useful one (like a traffic warden) or one of questionable value (a middle manager in a large private company, say, or a tax advisor)"

    Hohoho, you are droll. My client's value my job at £180 an hour. No question. I am sure that you'd agree that it is as wrong that a client pays more tax than he should than that he pays less tax than he should. Who is to advise and protect the vulnerable businessman, trying to keep a roof over his head and his children from destitution if not the likes of myself? Why, it's as much a service to the community as anything else. Next time you pass the local butcher, the local hairdresser, the local newsagent, remember that they could not prosper without sound financial advice and their shops, the lifeblood of the community, would be replaced by a row of boarded up windows, daubed with graffiti and the area would rapidly become a magnet for drug-dealers and muggers. Even the poor traffic warden would suffer as no-one would dare park their cars at all, more fearful of vandelism than a £80 fine (halved if paid within 14 days).

  • Comment number 36.

    Global recovery due to global circumstances.

    Not our fault gov.

  • Comment number 37.

    Considering how many of these posts are complaining about the topic of the blog I doubt this one will last long.

    Best make this post at least slightly "on topic", nick as most of the posters here seem to be having many examples of losing their jobs, can you provide any insight on whether the government has ommited certain parts of the workforce from these statistics or moved them onto a different benifit group?

  • Comment number 38.

    In the statistics, there is a section on numbers in work who were born in the UK and numbers in work who were not. For their own reasons, the moderators won't allow me to quote the relevant passage - so trawl through and read it for yourselves:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 39.

    Hi Nick,

    Haven't you or the government heard of seasonal employment? At this time of year many stores and other companies employ people on short-term contracts. I know, I am one of those people. Having been unemployed for some six months I gained employment in mid September lasting until Christmas time. So Nick, come the new year, you will no doubt be reporting a higher increase in unemployment when people like myself once again find ourselves without work.

    So I think that before the ministers spend their unexpected windfall, they might want to think a few months ahead and the costs of unemployment payments in the new year. Alas, ministers don't think! They just squander.

  • Comment number 40.

    I very much hope this is good news. That said, after such steep previous rises in unemployment, some sort of improvement was to be expected by now. Undoubtedly also, government spending has played a role here and this has been a short term benefit.

    The question is how sustainable that benefit is: where I am more fearful. You can't keep paying for more and more people on the public payroll whilst the tax revenue base continues to drop off a cliff.

    At some point, you either i. have to cut public spending and so jobs in the future, ii. have to raise taxes massively to bring tax revenues into line with the public payroll, or iii. go bankrupt, get bailed out by the IMF and basically lose your independence and be told what to do.

    Personally, whoever is elected will face very painful choices here. For my money, BOTH parties will have to cut spending vey hard and raise taxes. The only difference will be in the relative contribution of the two.

    Labour will cut spending less and raise taxes more, whilst putting off the day of reckoning as long as possible - thereby also making it worse. The Tories will cut spending harder and try to minimise any tax rises, but will face up to the issue squarely and try to tackle it head-on.

    Frankly, Labour should be hoping to lose the election because it's going to be awful, whoever wins. Better to blame the Tories and pretend it wasn't their mistakes.

    As for Martin and Smith becoming peers, isn't that just the sort of Old Boys' School, Clubby idiocy that Brown said he would change when the expenses scandal broke? Great to see him following through his high words with such honourable actions later as usual. The man really is a fool if he can't see that we can see through this: and don't like nor trust him as a result.

  • Comment number 41.

    With all these MP's emptying out in May,should
    a JobCentrePlus be opened in Parliament.
    Help in finding employment/courses in investment!
    These MP's are multi skilled.
    Wages Clerk ? Good with money ?

  • Comment number 42.

    "greatHayemaker wrote:
    Global recovery due to global circumstances.

    Not our fault gov."

    That is a lie, everybody knows that good things are down to Brown and his Midas touch and everything bad that happens is down to global problems!

    The recovery has to be down to Brown's brilliant idea to pull us out of recession by spending billions of taxpayers money - the only problem is that the taxpayers who will be paying it back are too young to vote (or eat solid food)

  • Comment number 43.

    23 Bluematter:

    "The employment rate for people of working age was 72.6% in the three months to August 2009. The unemployment rate was 7.9%."

    Office of National Statistics October 2009

    No comment needed."

    *******
    Where are the other 19.5% (or by the Government's JSA statistics, 6.17 million people)? Are these the Incapacity Benefit recipients, in which case I can't wait for the Conservatives to start weeding out the workshy or the incompetently classified). Are they the 'hopeless homeless' that GB and New Labour deny exist, but you see them every day in doorways and in town centres, and there's nowhere near enough beds for them at night?

    There are more people slipping through the statistical smoke-and-mirrors of the Goverment's press release than are actually employed in the Public Sector (and there are WAY too many of those).

    Nick, don't you think that a trly impartial, unbiased and professional Political editor would be picking up on these things, and not having to rely on the commenters on his blog to point them out to him?

  • Comment number 44.


    Talk about looking for a silver lining. Unemployment in the three months to July 2009 rose by 89,000. So this is a reduction of just 1,000. Happy to see it go in the right direction but it is very marginal.

    Also, any saving the government makes if unemployment does turn our lower than forecast has been already spent on other areas. The latest budget forecast is for a deficit of over £200b, an increase from £175b.

    Nick, you ought to be a bit more skeptical when you listen to the government's line on these issues.

  • Comment number 45.


    #11 beardedshrimper

    I was only born in the mid-80s.

    That would make you around 25 years old. Do you have any kids?

    Unfortunately if you have, it is they who will pick up the tab for the debt NuLabour have created.

  • Comment number 46.

    lmao, since when has "not rising quite as rapidly" been equivalent to "improved"?!!

  • Comment number 47.

    #41 spinspamspun

    Good post.

    Quite a few gardeners in there as well.

  • Comment number 48.

    Nick,
    There are lies, damn lies & unemployment statistics.
    I’m surprised you fell for this one.

  • Comment number 49.

    The ILO measure of unemployment counts all those who are between 16 and 65 and are out of work, looking for work, and able to start in two weeks. It is used by many countries, so it enables international comparisons. The claimant count is of people claiming benefit, and identifies those claiming benefits either because they are unable to work, or are looking for work, or for some other reason. The two measures are different, so come up with different results. The claimant count is based on actual numbers, while the ILO measure is the result of the Labour Force Survey, where sample interviews are carried out each week and the results collated for a twelve week period.

    The results are not massaged to give good figures, but politicians on all sides use the figures that best suit the case they want to make. Today's figures show that the rate of unemployment growth is slowing. That will probably be seen by most people as good news, and I have seen no evidence that the figure is inaccurate.

    Incidentally, the Labour Force Survey also asks questions about education and training, health, number of hours worked, and pay received. The resulting statistics are all publicly available.

  • Comment number 50.

    Is this a spoof blog ?

  • Comment number 51.

    41#

    You know as well as anyone Derek.... the revolving door...

  • Comment number 52.

    11. At 11:41am on 14 Oct 2009, beardedshrimper wrote:
    as someone looking for work, I'm glad the Tories aren't in. Huge cuts are just what we don't need.
    I was only born in the mid-80s but it sounds like the Slash and Burn, Short Sharp Shock policies that failed then are bubbling under the surface.
    A strong, steady recovery is what we need and I trust Gordy and Darling to deliver that ALOT more than I trust Cameron and Osborne

    I was born in 1985 and in the NHS's case that is not quite how I remember it, in fact I think it was better then. Due to the current defacit we have no choice but to cut spending you simply can not spend what you dont have.

  • Comment number 53.

    This is to the moderator. I find it extremely sinister that you will not allow reference to the section in the UK Government's own statistical analysis which looks at employment levels for UK Citizens as compared with non-UK Citizens. What on earth is the problem with referring to this paragraph?

  • Comment number 54.

    555 @ 35

    my clients value my job at £180 an hour

    and worth every penny, I'm sure!

    no but sorry, Andy, didn't mean to personalise things

    let's talk generic Tax Advisor, not Andy C555

    and the Q is ... useful job?

    right, so we start with a truth:

    every pound of tax paid by a person who's wealthier than the average is an equalising event

    and now another one:

    TAs only work for such people

    and another:

    the impact of TAs (if they're any good) is to REDUCE the tax paid by their clients

    and so to our bolded conclusion:

    if we consider it useful to increase the level of inequality in our society, then yes ... a Tax Advisor is useful

  • Comment number 55.

    34#

    Thats one point of view... for now. Whether you'll think the same when/if you join the ranks of the unemployed remains to be seen.

  • Comment number 56.

    Nick
    can we please have some consistency in BBC output
    You are the Political editor of the BBC.

    You think that the employment figures will deliver a windfall.

    Why then does Andrew Neil write this on his blog today?

    Unemployment rose by 88,000 to just shy of 2.5m in the last three months. The government knows the figures are terrible but takes comfort from a slowing rate of increase. But ministers should perhaps not take too much comfort. A senior Treasury source told me yesterday that unemployment would continue to rise "well into next year", by which I take it to mean that it would only start to fallback sometime in the third quarter. In other words, unemployment is likely still to be rising (to 3m or worse) when the government goes to the country in May/June.

  • Comment number 57.

    54#

    YOUR bold conclusion mate.

    Maybe Andy C555 would need to retrain to traffic duties if the tax law in the UK wasnt so damned complicated.

    And surely you cant be advocating a flat, identical wage for everyone regardless of what they do? They tried that in the USSR and look what happened there... There is no such thing as an average wage. As you're no doubt already aware, an average is just the meanpoint summarised from a range of values, high and low. It isnt really reprasentative...

    the only equality you are suggesting mate is to make everyone poor.

  • Comment number 58.

    "Unemployment is rising slower than many economists and, indeed, the government feared.".
    I want to be positive about the above but it is hardly a cause for joy, is it? It is still a RISE, after all. True?
    What we also have to consider is that such a statistic could be merely due to random fluctuations rather that being an indicator that the recession has truly bottomed out. It is too early to make a meaningful conclusion from such a stat.
    The next set of figures might go the other way, for instance.
    Nope - get back to me when the total level of "actively unemployed" is successively falling - now THAT would be something to smile about.

  • Comment number 59.

    Nick, you state that the government has a several billion pound windfall...

    ... that only cost them £175bn (and still going) in freshly printed QE money. A bank bail out in all but name.

    Not sure that you should really class that as a windfall? What's the opposite of a windfall?? Sunrise? Well, it certainly is a new dawn. Lets see what happens when the Bank tries to sell those bonds.

    You ain't seen nothing yet... no no no no no baby, no you ain't seen nothing yet.

  • Comment number 60.

    re 17 Angry

    Sorry for late reply, not that you'll probably read this.
    I didn't experience the last one to my knowledge, but i know what the present Tories are saying so i'm basing it on that

  • Comment number 61.

    Portraying rapidly rising unemployment as an improvement in employment takes the art of spin to a new level. Unemployment is still rising, the fact that it is doing so at a less rate than before does not mean that employment is improving. But there again I should not be surprised at this latest manipulation of the facts. The same principal has already been applied to when this government (and the political commentators who support them) can claim that this recession has ended. In the past two quarters of positive growth were required before one could declare a recession had ended. Now an economy still contracting but contracting at a slower rate than previous quarters seems to be good enough.

  • Comment number 62.

    I can only assume those who continue to blame Gordon, the Government (this one or the previous one) or 'Global financial weather' as the cause of the crisis has never read Das Kapital.

    It's a sad state of affairs when people are trying to cure colds by sealing up the nose as sneezing is a sign of having one - rather than fighting the virus which causes it.

    In terms of Economic understanding this country is in the dark ages.

    Never mind, when we're all unemployed maybe some of you will bother to read it and might actually realise what a complete waste of time your life has been (Economically speaking of course - I'm sure you've all done some socially useful things.).

  • Comment number 63.

    Please Please Nick do not tell Brown about this windfall or he will just spend it on his next uncosted mad cap plan

  • Comment number 64.

    You can't impose new rules retrospectively. The rules were lax, but make it correct in the future. They allowed MPs to take the piss out of the taxpayers on expenses.

    The way it should work is that MPs should be paid a much higher salary than now (this would attract higher quality people to the job, which we need) and make it such that they pay their own expenses from that. Those who can take advantage of eg living in London, that we must accept.

    Or we can have a dormitory arrangement for MPs' London living arrangements. They have a flat in a block, either supplied furnished or furnished at their cost.

    MPs have shown by their irresponsibility with taxpayers' money that they cannot be relied upon to do the right thing without being "on the make". It has to change.

  • Comment number 65.

    Rising slowly eh? Nothing to do with the fact that HMRC has been deferring company tax and VAT payments of @ £10 billion at the start of the year which has risen to an estimated £30 billion now… a situation which will probably continue until the election.

    Once those payments are called in, watch that unemployment bird fly!

  • Comment number 66.

    fubar @ 57

    and surely you can't be advocating a flat, identical wage for everyone regardless of what they do?

    indeed I wasn't (and I'm not)

    the big clue to how I wasn't (and am not) can be found in how I didn't say anything remotely resembling such a thing

  • Comment number 67.

    Ah, Nick and the Bias Corp spinning this as GOOD NEWS??????? - when Legg, Smith, and MORE troops sent to AFG is the real news AND the gagging of Parliament reporting by a firm of Solicitors.

    This is a disgrace from an organisation paid for by US. The unemployment figures, especially the young, are a TOTAL DISGRACE for no more boom and bust Clown and his utterly useless party and policies - why no in depth reporting of this tragedy - as for the UK we KNOW it is broke and we also KNOW Clown shoulders nearly all the blame.

  • Comment number 68.

    Mods now if any of my posts get cancelled for being off topic and 64 is let through I will be complaining and calling for a few jobs to be added to the unemployment figures.

  • Comment number 69.

    HAHAHA

    I just imagined the scenario. Jenson button climbs from his Brawn GP car which is now three feet shorter and embeded in the armco at turn one of the circuit and says "well i thought everything was going to be OK because I was accelerating less as I entered the corner than when I was halfway down the straight."

  • Comment number 70.

    "sagamix wrote:
    555 @ 35

    right, so we start with a truth:

    every pound of tax paid by a person who's wealthier than the average is an equalising event"

    While that is technically true the question should be "Is it right?"

    We could set income tax at 100% and give everybody in the country pocket money - there everybody is equal. Hooray the left has won and we are now living in Utopia.

    Problem is when you go down the shops to spend your money you will find them all closed as there are no workers (where is the motivation to go out and work all the money goes to the state - it is a lefties paradise remember), another problem is that noone is getting rid of the rubbish which leads to rats, insects and eventually illness. However, when we go to the hospital the staff (those who aren't out getting food or firewood) are unable to actually treat you because all the drug companies stopped developing new drugs (lets face it - without profit where was their motivation?)

    Here is a hard true for you - if you take away the motivation to be something better than the rest society will stagnate. Equality of opportunity is a good thing, however equality of reward is not.

    Would you be happy to live in a world where a doctor was paid the same wage as someone who serves behind the counter at a coffee shop? I know I wouldn't.

    "and another:

    the impact of TAs (if they're any good) is to REDUCE the tax paid by their clients"

    Oddly enough, reducing the tax paid is not always a bad thing. Take for example a small company who hires 50 people, suddenly Gordon Brown's economical miracle collapses into recession (I know it will never happen - no more boom and bust and all that but lets pretend it does collapse maybe because of America) a TA might help this company stay afloat by cutting their tax bill during the difficult times and keep these 50 nice people in their jobs, and maybe the TA also allows them to grow as a company after the recession and hire more people. Now just imagine that there are hundreds of these small companies!


    "if we consider it useful to increase the level of inequality in our society, then yes ... a Tax Advisor is useful"

    The very nature of society means that there will be inequality, all a Tax advisor does is work within the law to find a way to minimise the taxes - if the loopholes weren't in place and the tax system was clear (rather than designed as to confuse people into over-paying taxes) we wouldn't actually need them.

    Perhaps instead of attacking tax advisors you should attack the tax system which requires people to use them to get the best deal for themselves.

  • Comment number 71.

    I think the criteria is wrong.

    Surely we shouldn't be looking at how many unemployed there are, but rather how fewer tax payers there are from the private sector. You know, the ones that actually fund everything.

    I would be interested to see how those numbers stack up

  • Comment number 72.

    rr @ 67

    good post Ronnie!

    if one likes that sort of thing

  • Comment number 73.

    57. At 1:17pm on 14 Oct 2009, Fubar_Saunders

    Ah the classic Liberty vs Equality argument.

    So do tell us how can you attempt to reach total liberty when the liberation of one person can restrict the liberty of another? Ah yes - I forgot, you're talking about your liberty - not anyone elses.

    This is why libertarians are forced to be selfish.

    If however you produce total equality then the liberty is found in the fact that no-one needs to desire any more than they already have - because there is no-one to idolise as being 'better than you', and they have the freedom to pursue lives which would be much more rewarding (not in the 'fake' financial sense).

    I suspect AndyC555 is a great tax advisor - however what if he is also the greatest artist in history - we shall never find out because he is in an industry which only exists to try and rectify the imbalance of our Economic system - making jobs like tax advisor possible.

    The entire tax system is a complete inefficiency - millions of man hours, paper and power dedicated to taking back money that was taken from the populous to begin with - in the form of profit.

    This is like Dad earning money in his shop, giving some to the kids to spend, and they then purchase items in Daddy's shop. Surely the efficent thing would be for Dad to give the goods directly.

    ....and yet that's how our Economy works (or rather doesn't), Peter pays Paul, who pays Patrick, who pays Peter etc.

    Nothing constructive being done - but the movement of the money does allow Government and Bankers to cream off some of the cash with their taxation and their interest, and when they can't cream anymore in the present - they start creaming from the future by speculating on 'expected growth'.

    ....and you really wonder why it all collapses every so often?

  • Comment number 74.

    "sagamix wrote:
    fubar @ 57

    and surely you can't be advocating a flat, identical wage for everyone regardless of what they do?

    indeed I wasn't (and I'm not)

    the big clue to how I wasn't (and am not) can be found in how I didn't say anything remotely resembling such a thing"

    Then why suggest that tax is an equalising event if you yourself admits that equality is not a good thing?

  • Comment number 75.

    Not often you see a second order differential being used for political purposes.

    However I would like to know the fourth order. Is the increase in the rate of decrease in the increase of unemployment increasing or decreasing?

  • Comment number 76.

    I wouldn't read too much into the Summer figures. Once the hols are over and students/graduates return from vac jobs, then we'll see. The Autumn months I suspect will revert to the former pattern, and then next year an acceleration in job losses from the public sector will take over. We'll be at 3.5 million unemployed by early 2011

  • Comment number 77.

    I must reccomend you all read J.K Galbraith's 'The great crash'.

    Inside you will see numerous little press releases (yes they had them in 1929) all of which are dubious statements like the one produced here.

    The similarity to today is uncanny, my favourite has to be "the rate of decline appears to be slowing" - which is the most bizzarre effort to make a slide sound positive.

    They discovered then - just as we will now - that you cannot talk your way out of recession by putting a positive spin on everything. The effect is in fact worse as you slowly loose your credibility with the public as each hope fails to materialise.

    If you don't believe me then start searching Google news for the start of 2009 and see how many politicans, bankers and business leaders were claiming they could see recovery.

    The outstanding winner is still Baroness 'Green shoots' - who is unsurpassed in her imbocilic analysis - which earned her a promotion no less.

    Don't forget folks, in the 80 / 90's recession we had a quarter of growth before sinking back into negative territory - so even growth (when it comes) is not a sign of recovery - even though all the idiot Economists will talk of a 'technical recession'.

    Considering their GDP, unemployment and inflation figures are at best 'guesses' - I would say there is nothing technical about it!

  • Comment number 78.

    . At 11:31am on 14 Oct 2009, rockRobin7 wrote:
    "it is high time the government, that claims to be all powerful in all things economic, accepted that the multiplier on government spending is and always has been under one times.

    it doesn't matter where you go in the world, governments worldwide have never been able to achieve a mulltipier on their investment over one times.

    So sooner or later this government spending has to stop as we are getting less than a dollar return for every dollar they keep spending."


    " Keynesian models of economic activity also include a so-called multiplier effect; that is, output increases by a multiple of the original change in spending that caused it. Thus, a ten-billion-dollar increase in government spending could cause total output to rise by fifteen billion dollars (a multiplier of 1.5) or by five billion (a multiplier of 0.5). Contrary to what many people believe, Keynesian analysis does not require that the multiplier exceed 1.0. For Keynesian economics to work, however, the multiplier must be greater than zero."
    International Library of Economics

    Your idea that the multiplier is invariably less than one is wrong.It must be more than zero,that is the only precondition for its use.

    The effect of the multiplier is to increase consumption and investment and to raise effective demand during slumps.State spending raises aggregate demand by a multiple greater than zero which works through the economy to affect levels of employment.The two world wars were the laboratories for the Keynesian project in demand management.

    Monetary measures as advocated by Mr. Osborne are relatively ineffective. If there is no demand for goods or services, buainesses don`t invest and consumers don`t spend so the price of money is an irrelevancy.

    I gather from the rest of your post that your agenda is political.Quite right,just ignore the economics.

  • Comment number 79.

    couple of things Mark (WE)

    if you yourself admit that equality is not a good thing

    I admit no such thing - total equality is both not possible and would be a bad thing even if it were - but greater equality (from where we are today) I hold to be a worthwhile objective of political policy

    instead of attacking tax advisors

    I'm not "attacking" Tax Advisors!

    what I'm doing is demonstrating why they are considerably less useful than Traffic Wardens

  • Comment number 80.

    "Unemployment rising slower than expected", eh? Well, it's still rising, so it's still awful news.

    I suppose on the bright side, Joe Jobseeker waiting outside the job centre won't have to wait so long during the cold winter mornings compared to the same time last year.

    What a hopeless attempt to spin disaster as good news! Really!

  • Comment number 81.

    What strikes me as so sad from this kind of blog is that we've got ourselves into a system where it is vital to have a job in order to survive without being regardsd as some kind of pariah. I mean, for most people, work nowadays is more soul-destroying and life-frittering than ever before. You stick it out until, what?, age 66. Then you wonder where it all went. What have you achieved for yourself? Answer: I gave my life and soul to work and look what I have - a car, an LCD TV, a few clothes, etc. The lucky ones have a mausoleum that Brown will tax at 40% over a value of £320,000.

    There was a time when you might find a niche; when many firms offered a career for life and tried to offer a meaningful existence... not nowadays when people are just numbers to be hired and fired to cater to the whimsies of shareholders.

    Very sad. And I'm not sure that stating that less people each month are losing their "dignified" form of survival is any good medicine.

  • Comment number 82.

    Or, to put it another way, Joe Jobseeker has been queueing outside the job centre for 1 hour each day for the last 2 years, and was expecting his wait to increase to 2 hours by Christmas, but - joy of joys! - it turns out he's only going to have to queue for 1 hour 55 minutes after all. Life is good again!

  • Comment number 83.

    70. At 1:44pm on 14 Oct 2009, Mark_WE

    "where is the motivation to go out and work all the money goes to the state"

    National duty?
    Pride?
    Enjoyment?
    The feeling you get of being useful?

    I don't know about you but I'm not at work solely for the money. This is a symptom of the people who take horrible jobs because they are well paid - and then ask 'who would do this horrible job without the money I get paid'. Perhaps you're in the wrong job to begin with.

    Your starting point is from a Capitalist one - which means you cannot see why people would work without the incentive of rewards to improve your perception of status against others (i.e. you want to feel special - ahhhh)
    ....either that or you're just plain lazy.

    Even in such a greedy society you still get thousands (if not millions) of people who volunteer themselves for free - are these people motivated by wages? - I think not.

    I would do my job for the sustinence required to keep me alive (food, shelter, water) and in return (based on my current wage) I would be working 30 minutes a week

    With my spare time I could pursue much more rewarding activities - both for me and for the country (Innovation + Invention).

    The inneficiencies of Capitalism ensures there is 'work' for all - but really we're producing more than we get paid for so the Capitalist can cream off the profit and use it to produce jobs for others.

    Which is why in recession all those additional jobs have to go - mainly because they didn't really exist in the first place. They were produced based on the expectation of expansion - something which cannot be relied upon.

    If we had rid ourselves of this system years ago - I very much doubt we would still be on this planet.
    Criticise the Soviet Union all you like (and some aspects I won't stop you) - but what other nation went from 'farmers' to 'space explorers' in less than 50 years?

    Not even the US has been able to achieve that feat - mainly because their system stopped working, slowed to a standstill or went into reverse in 1929, 1937, 1945, 1948, 1953, 1958, 1961, 1969, 1973, 1975, 1980, 1981, 1990, 2000 and of course 2008.

    The private sector accuse the publis sector of making jobs out of thin air - it seems clear to me they're both at it.

  • Comment number 84.

    36. At 12:25pm on 14 Oct 2009, greatHayemaker wrote:
    Global recovery due to global circumstances.

    Not our fault gov.

    Are you saying the crisis is the fault of the government, while the recovery is due to the international economy? I hadn`t realized there had been a global economic crisis until you told me,I thought it was all the fault of the British government.






  • Comment number 85.

    Saga

    Can we now have your alternative treatise on the usefulness of a traffic Warden.

    Personally I cant see that they are any more use than a TA because they dont add any economic value to society either

  • Comment number 86.

    #54

    As simplistic as ever.

    You start from the assumption that all taxation is aimed at equalisation and must therefore be good. You also assume that somehow it is wrong that my clients pay no more tax than the law requires. Tell me, if you are employed, do you write to the Government and tell them that the 20% income tax they deduct isn't enough and that you'd like to pay some more? If you pay pension contributions do you volunteer to give up your tax relief on them? If you don't what is the difference between you and my clients? You pay the right amount of tax, so do they. It certainly isn't their fault that we have a tax regime of such bewildering complexity that they need the help of a professional to interpret it.

    Not to mention the sheer cost & complexity of mere compliance these days. have you any idea how many forms the average small business needs to fill in as a result of the current Government and that they get fined not for filling the forms in wrong, not for trying to avoid tax but for merely missing deadlines.

    Besides, if my clients have a few extra pounds than they might otherwise have as a result of my efforts, they are likely to spend it in their local community, in shops and with services. they won't be wizzing it up against the wall on endless pointless meaningless politically driven "initiatives" that result in nothing.

    I assume that you aren't in business for yourself? You should try it sometime, on your own, with no professional help. I have contacts that can help you file for bankruptcy.

  • Comment number 87.

    "Tax Advisors...are considerably less useful than Traffic Wardens"

    Certainly under Labour they are less useful. Around my way there is talk of imposing parking restrictions. Why? because the local council are putting up parking charges in the car parks near the station and think people will park further away from the station & walk in. So they'll wack a load of yellow lines where there aren't any at the moment and, hey presto, those people who have the temerity to live in a residential housing estate will suddenly find they are being hit with parking fines for parking outside their own homes.

    An offence created out of nothing and a money generating exercise. Labour through and through.

  • Comment number 88.

    I am a bit suprised that having 4,200 more people than expected in employment will create a windfall of billion pounds.
    A useful measure that no-one seems to quote (no-one knows?) is what the nations wage bill is. With all the short working weeks, pay cuts, withheld bonuses and fewer people in jobs, the nations wage bill must have dropped sharply.

  • Comment number 89.

    Sagamix

    Serious question for you - how equal is equal enough? And how do you measure it? Do you base it on absolute or relative poverty? On disposable income? Income relative to living costs in your area? It's an insanely complicated equation to work out.

    Do you push everyone into work by saying those unemployed will do community based jobs and in return receive the minimum amount they need to live (allowing you to scrap unemployment benefit altogether)? (possibly not a bad idea by the way)

    And what do you do with those few who simply refuse to do anything required of them to earn their "benefit". Do you withdraw their benefit as is only fair, leading to stories like "the government is leaving me to starve . . ." or do you give them money anyway, leading to more people following that example because they realise that you don't actually have to take part in the system.

    I suspect in most animal kingdom communities, those that refuse to take part are quickly dealt with. In the British community we give them money to carry on existing outside the system. Madness! (appear to have rambled slightly off my point - sorry! but it's all good stuff)

  • Comment number 90.

    81. At 2:04pm on 14 Oct 2009, atrisse

    An excellent personal insight into how the system works. The diminishing profit being chased by the Capitalist means we will always be working for less and less over time. The battles being fought at the moment (with Royal Mail for example) is a sign of this struggle. The BA workers working for free is another example....and so on...

    Fortunately Government uses a tool called 'inflation' to disguise this fact - that's why they are so afraid of the dreaded 'deflation'.

    Capitalism also helps cover up this fact by inflating asset values (bubbles) - but unfortunately this cannot last forever (recession).

    Watch some of Naom Chomsky or Professer Wolff's lectures on you-tube and you will see an explanation of how in the US the wages were inflated beyond their sustainable value - when this failed then the credit was made readily available to fill that gap - hence the low rate in the US which led to the eventual collapse.

    Sadly too many people cling on to what they have at the moment as those who have most spread the word of fear that 'you might loose out under another system'. The power of fear has been used throughout history to force the sheep into the pen - these times are no exception.

    The reality is that unless you earn a 3 figure salary (and quite a substantial one) then you would be better off under total equality of wages. I do - and I am quite prepared to take a rate which brings me down to equality with a cleaner, dustman, traffic warden, tax advisor!

    We covered wages yesterday - and I cannot understand how people can moan about the quality of Gordon Brown - I mean he's nowhere near the best paid man in the country - what did you expect?

    ....or is it that old capitalist mantra - cheap is better.....ah but for how long?
    Does your LCD TV last as long as my old Phillips black and white which lasted 22 years before being broken?


    ...didn't think so - cheapskates.

  • Comment number 91.

    It can only be good newz that unemployment has not risen as fast in the last three months but we all know how figures can be distorted to suit the governments requirements.

    These are only broad statistics which do not break down where the unemployed are or where they are transferred to once they lose their jobs.

    It took up to five years during the recession of the eighties for unemployment to reach 3 million so it is fair to say that one swallow does not make a summer.

    Many of the temporary jobs in the tourism industry will have ended and there will now possibly be another surge of temporary jobs in the retail sector leading up to Christmas. The true picture will be seen from January 2010 unless we have another pre election splurge of QE.

    Yvette Cooper was happy to tell us that £5 billion of the fiscal stimulus has been earmarked to helping the unemployed. How long does she think the government can just keep printing money without a proper plan to take the country forward? She says this recession is not behaving in the same way as the nineties. Well it won't because they didn't try to manipulate it in the nineties by huge borrowing and quantatitive easing on a massive scale.

    Manipulating a recession by printing money is a short term fix unless there is a proper long term plan to create the new businesses that will create long term employment and a reduction end to the unaffordable public sector.

    Gordon Brown says every other country is doing the same thing. Well so far no-one seems to have found the answer to the big downturn. Perhaps if every country was trying something different someone somewhere may just have come up with the right answers.

    All eggs in one basket was never the answer when they were all broken at the same time.

    The unemployed are just a pawn in Labour's electioneering games. Longterm the country will pay an even heavier price for such folly. Are Labour really wanting to be in charge when that happens? I doubt it.



  • Comment number 92.

    #73 writingsonthe wall wrote:
    "Ah the classic Liberty vs Equality argument."

    Since I find most of your sentences mired in conceptual confusion I can't really respond to any of them (though they do, I certainly agree, raise many interesting questions). Nor do I quite know to what you are referring in this case.

    The best discussion of equality that I know, in the field of political philosophy, is 'Equality' by Isaiah Berlin (1956). I quote:

    "Equality is only one value among many. When the pursuit of equality comes into conflict with other human aims, be they what they may - happiness or pleasure, justice or virtue, the liberty of choice as an end in itself, it is only the most fanatical egalitarian that will demand that such conflicts be decided in favour of equality alone, with relative disregard of the other values concerned". (abridged by me)

  • Comment number 93.

    Nick,

    A rise is a rise. It's not a fall. You're spinning a rise.

  • Comment number 94.

    "unexpected windfall of several billion pounds"

    Chicken feed compared to the cascade losses of tax revenue and jobs from losses to offshoring of call centers, back office services, IT, manufacturing etc.

    Several billion pounds plus more asset sales are probably not even enough to pay the annual interests to bankers and financiers.

    For a country with only 60 million people, the government, the politicians and the businesses should feel ashamed to have more than 2 million people unemployed. That, of course, assumes they might genuinely care about the society, the country and the people.

  • Comment number 95.

    "writingsonthewall wrote:
    70. At 1:44pm on 14 Oct 2009, Mark_WE

    "where is the motivation to go out and work all the money goes to the state"

    National duty?
    Pride?
    Enjoyment?
    The feeling you get of being useful?"

    As someone who had to work my way through University doing dead-end jobs, I have to tell you that I didn't feel useful, or proud and I certainly didn't enjoy myself. And having to work to pay my way when the previous generation got a free ride removed any lingering hint of national duty.

    "I don't know about you but I'm not at work solely for the money. This is a symptom of the people who take horrible jobs because they are well paid - and then ask 'who would do this horrible job without the money I get paid'. Perhaps you're in the wrong job to begin with."

    I am in a job that I enjoy (but if I got paid the same to spend time with friends and family it would be a no brainer which I would choose) but I have done my fair share of crummy jobs to get here - and this type of job is hardly well paid

    "Your starting point is from a Capitalist one - which means you cannot see why people would work without the incentive of rewards to improve your perception of status against others (i.e. you want to feel special - ahhhh)
    ....either that or you're just plain lazy."

    I freely admit that I can't see why people would work without incentive, as I said I enjoy my job but I enjoy spending time with friends and family and taking part in my hobbies much more enjoyable. I work to live and don't live to work.

    "Even in such a greedy society you still get thousands (if not millions) of people who volunteer themselves for free - are these people motivated by wages? - I think not."

    I have personally volunteered in the past (when I had more time) however these volunteer roles were roles that I found enjoyable or interesting and gave me the opportunity to enhance myself. A world away from the type of jobs where someone would literally have to pay me to do.

    "I would do my job for the sustinence required to keep me alive (food, shelter, water) and in return (based on my current wage) I would be working 30 minutes a week"

    I am lucky that I do a job I enjoy and that I can earn enough to cover the bills each month - many aren't so lucky. However, if I could cover the bills without working I would.

    With my spare time I could pursue much more rewarding activities - both for me and for the country (Innovation + Invention).

    "The inneficiencies of Capitalism ensures there is 'work' for all - but really we're producing more than we get paid for so the Capitalist can cream off the profit and use it to produce jobs for others."

    This is something that I actually agree with - the vast majority of us do jobs that contribute nothing to the wider picture. However, this is not just a flaw of capitalism, there are hundreds/thousands of public sector jobs that do nothing but move paper around and make systems more complicated for their own purpose.

    "Criticise the Soviet Union all you like (and some aspects I won't stop you) - but what other nation went from 'farmers' to 'space explorers' in less than 50 years?"

    I am not sure if you can say that 50 years before the space race the Soviet Union were farmers, I admit that I don't know much of the history of the USSR but I was never under the expression that they were in anyway backward compared to the other nations of the time and how much of their space program was really the work of other nations? Such as America borrowing heavily from German war technologies.

  • Comment number 96.

    92. At 2:55pm on 14 Oct 2009, johnharris66

    "Since I find most of your sentences mired in conceptual confusion I can't really respond to any of them"

    Maybe that's because you have brought up in a Capitalist society? It's hard to explain snow to someone in Africa that's never seen it - or seen anything similar that helps them imagine it.

    ....and I didn't say you couldn't achieve Liberty - but it must be achieved after equality. If the goal is to achieve both then surely you cannot achieve Liberty first for the reasons I listed above.

    Libertarian view is a selfish one because 'liberty' is their personal 'liberty' and not the world's Liberty. Fine if you're one of the few who achieve it - but unlucky for the rest.

    Which is why so many people are so angry and frustrated in society today.

    Who says man A is worth more than Man B? what scale are we using and who is qualified to make that judgement except God (if there is one)?

    ....and yet every day this decision is being made under the false flag of 'freedom'

  • Comment number 97.

    93. paulthorgan
    'A rise is a rise. It's not a fall. You're spinning a rise.'
    The blog is called 'Rising Slowly'
    Quote: 'The number of people signing on rose in September ...'
    Quote: '... the Office for National Statistics reported this morning that the claimant count rose by 20,800, below expectations of a rise of up to 25,000.'
    Quote: 'Ministers are also set to claim that this slowing in the rate of increase in unemployment is down to their policies and interventions which the Tories...well, you know the rest of the script.'
    Where does it say that unemployment fell? Your spinning a bias that isn't there.

  • Comment number 98.


    As is usually the case, (99.9%), Nick is correct.

    One wonders why some just don’t get it!

    If it is spin, one hopes that it does not spin in the region of over 3.4 million unemployed as we had for 4 consecutive years in the early 90s!

    Well done, and good day Nick.

  • Comment number 99.

    Like the government's figures, the impact of their incompetence is also being manipulated ; the pouring of more and more cash into the system will at some time have to stop, and the effect on business and employment will be dramatic.No doubt Brown and his acolytes hope this will not happen until after an election, but I suspect that happen it will. Whoever wins the election, and if the almighty is mercifull it will not be Labour, will be faced with an enormous repair job on the Britith economy, which should have been started at least a year ago. Sadly, this repair job still has not begun in a cynical attempt by Labour to salvage a few of it's seats in parliament at any cost and whatever the effect on the economy.Already the pound is in terminal decline against currencies which are also hit by the recession,but unlike Britain, are being cared for by their countrys' politicians on their countrys' behalf and not on behalf of a dying political party.

  • Comment number 100.

    #54, sagamix wrote:

    "right, so we start with a truth:

    every pound of tax paid by a person who's wealthier than the average is an equalising event"

    Oh come on, saga...

    I assume you're talking income wealth. So everybody earning say GBP30K pays a pound of tax in order to pay some head of a QANGO, Council Chief Exec or Cabinet minister a salary multiples higher than their own.

    How is that a equalising event?

    It's a re-distributive event, but that doesn't mean equalising...


 

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