UK economy

Yet another look at the UK economy

Revolutions and earthquakes abroad could cause trouble at home

Made in the UKMade in the UK
The UK economy, how's it doing? Well Mervyn King is not exactly confident is he? There's less talk of domestic matters now since the revolutions in North Africa. These events are pushing oil prices to painful levels and it is this price rise that will cause all sorts of trouble. A recent post on EU Referendum suggests the older age group is to see a rise in debt problems. This age group tends to own a house so could be thought of as having great potential wealth. At the other end of the age range students will find university fees rise to the maximum permissible, so their debt burden will also. This means their grasp on the housing market further weakens unless house prices fall. This may well happen and for more on students debt problems see HERE.

The always fragile Buy-to-Let market sector could well be heading for trouble again, see HERE.

Hung parliament dynamics

The UK's third world moment starts here

MPs, hang the lot of them!MPs, hang the lot of them!
So the polls have spoken, possibly the fraudsters too although as is the way with politics in the UK (think immigration) this will be swept under the carpet for as long as possible. The spinners working for all parties must be close to exhaustion. The Nulabour team have gone from the impressive to the downright delusional, the party's fate looks sealed. For the Lib Dems (and the BBC?) it must have been hard to see the TV 'success' fail to transfer into votes. Although this was bound to happen due to the weakness of Lib Dem understanding of the way a majority of people in the UK view their love of the EU. The pollsters will now begin all sorts of backtracking, anything but face the facts, they got it wrong. For the Tories there will now be the 'if only moment', rightly too. They made many mistakes and will get, if they continue to be foolish, only one chance.

The UK economy still under a cloud

Cuts versus snips, debate, like air travel, suspended

More hot air than in a TV debateMore hot air than in a TV debate
"Is it all over?", asked a friend from overseas. I stated to explain, the date of the election and so on, but was cut short, the enquiry was about the crisis in Greece. Could the euro now said to be "saved", was the single currency and so by implication the EU, going to make it? So it's back to this post and its theme. At the time that post was written it did seem that the UK general election would come before any decision on the Greek problem. Indeed, all of the party leaders might have preferred it that way. For now, with just days to go before polling day, a decison has been reached to help Greece. However, while the EU and IMF may have made decision, that's not the same thing as a solution to the problem. There will have to be massive cuts in the costs of the Greek state. Obviously this will not be popular with the Greeks and to seek a perspective on this, comparisons will be made with other countries. And naturally, (ha, ha!) the problems of Greece and the UK are not at all similar, are they? So, rather like the Greeks spent years pretending they could go on as before, so can we; boom and bust are behind us, a thing of the past right?

Why do we put up with it?

A quiet week?

Lake Wobegon Lake Wobegon
In 'Lake Wobegon Days' the author Garrison Keillor always began an observation with: "it's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon". Well it was a quiet week beginning 8th September 2008, very quiet, in fact we didn't notice a thing. I refer to the great non-news story of that week when the cabinet meeting was held right here in Birmingham and, for the first time in, well ages, so they say. Just what was the point of this, why did they do that? Personally it was a quiet day and I was working in the garden but I'm sure, in the fullness of time, my life will be the better for this Birmingham meeting. No, only kidding. But I think if Gordon Brown and his cabinet keep this sort of thing up then we will all start to feel sorry for them. Hang on, was that the reason? Then again we all deride the EU for shuffling back and forwards between Brussels and Strasbourg, we can only hope there is not too much gypsy in Gordon Brown otherwise we are stuck with this expensive and futile stunt as a regular feature.

Perhaps at the Birmingham meeting the details of how we can build an extension to our homes without planning permission, see HERE.

This has been promoted as a great help to us all in the depths of the credit crisis and the downturn in the property market.

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