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Exploring the risks of EU mis-regulation with Sparks e-cigarettes

The EU Tobacco Products Directive looks set to seriously damage the development of the e-cigarette industry. That is likely to diminish the prospects of helping people quit smoking and lead far healthier lives. Researchers from University College London (UCL) have said that: For every million smokers who switched to an e-cigarette we could expect a reduction of more than 6000 premature deaths in the UK each year, even in the event that e-cigarette use carries a significant risk of fatal diseases, and […]

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Labour’s spending chaos

Via Share The Facts: Labour’s spending plans are in chaos – with Ed Miliband and Ed Balls spending the money from their proposed homes tax over and over again. Last week Balls said the tax will fund the NHS and nothing else: ‘All the money we raised from the mansion tax will go the National health Service’ (LBC, 21 Jan 2015). But now Miliband says the tax will pay for reducing the deficit: ‘A plan to pay down the deficit […]

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Heathrow – this price fixing must end

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Via BBC News – Heathrow Airport attacks regulator’s price-control plan: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Thursday said that Heathrow’s yearly rise between 2014-18 should not be more than the retail price index (RPI). Prices can only bring supply and demand into balance if they are allowed to find their own level. If some government authority fixes prices, it is bound to create problems: we should not be surprised Heathrow is overcrowded and other airports struggle if prices for access […]

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Why iPhone and iPad work with Exchange but not OS X

Update: An update in the course of 2014 rendered this obsolete. Exchange email, calendars and tasks work well enough with iOS devices (iPad and iPhone) but not OS X. Google revealed the usual spread of despairing cries for help followed by suggestions of varying usefulness. A couple of top tips include the news that, when there is no field to enter your domain, you can specify your username as <domain>\<username>. This is apparently well-known to Windows system administrators (although why […]

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EU-HSE farce update

On 4 Dec, I explained how a regulatory farce between the EU and the HSE was wasting millions of taxpayers’ money while costing business millions in lost sales. I have now had an update. Thankfully, the Secretary of State has understood the position. Iain Duncan Smith has given instructions which should see this dealt with promptly. The next stage is to deal with two crucial issues: why the HSE couldn’t see the problem they were causing in the first place and […]

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The EU vs the HSE – another expensive regulatory farce

Yesterday, I heard from a local businessman about the kafkaesque nightmare that has been inflicted upon his industry by the EU – made far, far worse by our own bureaucracy. The firm manufactures water-disinfection systems used in hospitals and other health facilities. The EU has just imposed another round of over-regulation on that particular industry. The new set of rules — the Biocidal Products Regulations — are flawed but what concerns me is the new ban on the use of copper as a […]

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Inflation jumps unexpectedly? Surprise?

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Via the Telegraph: The Office for National Statistics said its consumer prices index (CPI) measure of inflation rose to 2.6pc in July from 2.4pc in June, driven by a 21.7pc rise in the cost of flights which saw overall transport prices rise by 1pc. And via ToryOutcast: “UK inflation jumps unexpectedly in July”. Oh yes, completely unexpected that…http://bit.ly/Pgdp1H  (@SteveBakerMP) Good to know that my reader isn’t surprised by inflation. A pity that the people who manage the money supply are.

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Obtaining service from BT

About 2 weeks ago, my phone line failed. One online report and several days later, an engineer arrived unexpectedly on a Sunday morning. So far, imperfect but fine. He restored voice calls but not Infinity broadband. There was apparently something up with a cable in their junction box. He was to report it to another engineer for a repair the next day. There were 2 days until BT’s self-imposed, sluggish deadline. Five days later, broadband was still not up. Irritatingly, […]

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Labour rigour and high standards for all

Via House of Commons Hansard Debates for 21 Jun 2012, remarks you would not make up: We on the Opposition Benches believe in rigour and high standards for all, but we also believe in a broad curriculum that prepares young people for work, so we will set a series of tests to ensure that the changes meet both. First, Labour wants higher literacy and numeracy standards. The key is to raise teaching quality across the board. Is there any reason to […]

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Can government spending activities have a positive impact on economic activity?

Can government spending activities have a positive impact on economic activity? Do federal spending programs designed to offset a recession’s negative effects add a boost to GDP growth? Can government purposefully and successfully take steps that will increase employment? In essence, do government stimulus programs really work? With various political parties advocating further economic boomerangs, find out here: The U.S. Experience With Fiscal Stimulus | Mercatus. The key conclusions are on the last page. After describing three hurdles to stimulus spending as an […]

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